Exploring the links between Judaism and early Christianity

Exploring the links between Judaism and early Christianity

Beginning in February, Rev. Dr John Squires will teach a course about the links between Judaism and early Christianity.

Rev. Dr Squires told Insights the course will cover the period between the Old and New Testaments.  

“The Bible is bound as one book. But we know that it contains 66 books. Of those 66 books, 39 are in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) while 27 are in the New Testament,” he said.

“But between Malachi, the last of the 39, and Matthew, the first of the 27, there is a gap of almost half a millennium. What happened in those centuries? This course will trace developments in Judaism from the return to the land of Israel after the Exile, when a second temple was built under Nehemiah. This temple lasted until 70CE, and so gives the name to this period of Second Temple Judaism.”

Students will look at extrabiblical Jewish texts and trace the developments that led to the emergence of the movement initiated by Jesus. The course will also explore the influence of foreign rulers and the diversity of Jewish groups and the way that the variety of early Christianities related to Judaism.

“I first developed this course as “The Partings of the Ways” in the mid-1990s, when UTC was teaching within the Sydney College of Divinity,” Rev. Dr Squires said.

“It has continued, with variations, in the Charles Sturt University School of Theology. So I am pleased to be back to offer this subject for students in the 2020s.”

The course will be available to audit or for credit.

Judaism and Early Christianity will be offered online via Zoom during Semester one on Mondays from 1:45 to 4:35pm. It begins on Monday, 26 February.

For more information, visit United Theological College’s website. The Semester One timetable is available here.


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