S502 Apostolic Writings

Instructor: Dr. Vered Hillel
Dates: January 12, March 17, 2020
Location: Orbund (server11.orbund.com)

This course places the Apostolic Writings in a Jewish context with an emphasis on Yeshua as God’s incarnate presence among the Jewish people, the varieties of Jewish expression existing in the 1st-century world and reflected among the first Jewish Yeshua-believers, the meaning of the good news in its original Jewish setting, and the structure and life of the diverse communities of the early Yeshua movement. The course examines the Apostolic Writings from a post-supersessionist perspective. Special emphasis is placed on the understanding the Ekklesia consisting of those from the circumcision and from the non-circumcision as a prolepsis of the eschaton.

This is a first-year foundational class for all MJTI degree programs and Certificate Tracks. As such it introduces key theological points and ethos of MJTI.

The Apostolic Writings represent the final stage of canon-history. Understanding the development of the Apostolic Writings in relation to the Tanakh, its diversity of voices, and how these texts have been interpreted by Christian and Jewish scholars is essential for solid lay and  rabbinical leadership within the Messianic Jewish community.


This is an online course. The student must have a computer, headset, and high-speed internet access.

Podcast with asynchronous discussion, and video conferencing..

Listen to all podcasts; Complete all readings and reading quizzes; Participate in all discussion threads (posts and responses); Write 3 reflection papers; Complete a final exam


  • auckham, Richard. Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity. Grand Rapids and Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 2009.
  • Miller, John, How the Bible Came to Be: Exploring the Narrative and Message. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2004.
  • Skarsaune, Oskar. In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008.
  • The ESV, NRSV, or the TLV is recommended for study.


Bauckham, Richard. “James and Gentiles (Acts 15:13-21)” pages 154-184 in History, Literature and Society in the Book of Acts. Ben Witherington, III, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

_____. “The Relevance of Extra Canonical Jewish Texts to New Testament Study,” pages 207-220 in The Jewish World Around the New Testament (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 233).
Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008.

Bockmuehl, Markus. “Antioch and James the Just” pages 155-192 in James the Just and Christian Origins
(Supplements to Novum Testamentum 98). Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans, eds. Leiden: Brill, 1999.

Carson, David. “Pauline Inconsistency: Reflections on I Corinthians 9.19-23 and Galatians 2.11-14. Access at:

Collins, John J. “Transformation of Torah in 2nd Temple Judaism.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 43 (2012): 455-474.

Eisenbaum, Pamela. “Is Paul the Father of Misogyny and Antisemitism.” Crosscurrents (2000-2001): 506- 524.http://www.crosscurrents.org/eisenbaum.htm

Fredriksen, Paula. “The Birth of Christianity and the Origins of Christian Anti-Judaism” pages 8-30 in Jesus, Judaism & Christian Anti-Judaism: Reading the New Testament after the Holocaust. Paula Fredriksen & Adele Reinhartz, eds. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Hill, Craig. “Restoring the Kingdom to Israel: Luke-Acts and Christian Supersessionism” pages 185-200 in A Shadow of Glory: Reading the New Testament After Supersessionism. Tod Linafelt, ed. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Kinzer, Mark. Finding Our Way Through Nicaea: The Deity of Yeshua.” Kesher (2010).

Klawans, Jonathan. “Moral and Ritual Purity” pages 266-284 in The Historical Jesus in Context. Amy-Jill Levine, Dale C. Anderson Jr., and John Dominic Crossan, eds. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2006.

Nanos, Mark. “The Apostolic Decree and Obedience of Faith” pages 166-218 in The Mystery of Romans: The Jewish Context of Paul’s Letters. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996. (pages 169-212 can be read on google books

_____. The Myth of the ‘Law-Free’ Paul Standing Between Christians and Jews.” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 4:1 (2009): 1-24. . https://ejournals.bc.edu/index.php/scjr/article/view/1511

Richardson, Peter. “Pauline Inconsistency: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 and Galatians 2:11-4.” New Testament Studies, 26:3 (1980): 347-362.

Rosner, Jennifer M. “Messianic Jews and Jewish-Christian Dialogue” pages 145-155 in Introduction to Messianic Judaism: Its Ecclesial Context and Biblical Foundations. David Rudolph and Joel Willits, eds., Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.

Rudolph, David. “Jesus and the Food Laws: A Reassessment of Mark 7:19b.” EQ 74:4 (2002): 291-311.
_____. “Paul’s ‘Rule in All the Churches’ (1 Cor. 7:17-24 and Torah-Defined Ecclesiological Variegation.” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 5:1 (2010): 1-24.

Runesson, Anders. “Paul’s Rule in All the Ekklēsiai” pages 214-223 in Introduction to Messianic Judaism: Its Ecclesial Context and Biblical Foundations. David Rudolph and Joel Willits, eds. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013. http://jewishstudies.eteacherbiblical.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Pauls-Rule.pdf

Ruzer, Serge. “The Epistle of James as a Witness to Broader Patterns of Exegetical Discourse. Journal of the Jesus Movement in Its Jewish Setting (2014): 69-98.

Saldarini, Anthony. “Interpretation of Luke-Acts and Implications for Jewish Christian Dialogue Today,” Word & World (1992): 37-42. http://wordandworld.luthersem.edu/issues.aspx?article_id=1060

Sanders, E.P. “Jewish Association with Gentiles” pages 170-180 in The Conversation Continues: Studies in Paul and John. In Honor of J. Louis Martyn. Robert T. Fortna and Beverly R. Gaventa, eds. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990.

Tyson, Joseph. “The Lukan Infancy Narratives (Luke 1-2),” pages 42-55 in Images of Judaism in Luke-Acts. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1992.

Zetterholm, Magnus.“Purity and Anger: Gentiles and Idolatry in Antioch.” Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion 1 (2005): 2-20.

Bauckham, Richard. James: Wisdom of James, disciple of Jesus the Sage. New Testament Readings. London and New
York: Routledge, 1999.

Bockmuehl, Markus. Jewish Law in Gentile Churches: Halakhah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics.
Edinburgh: T&T, 2000.

_____. Seeing the Word: Refocusing New Testament Study. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006.

Campbell, William S. Paul and the Creation of Christian Identity. London: T&T Clark, 2006.

Carras, George P. “Observant Jews in the Story of Luke and Acts.” Pages 693-708 in The Unity of Luke-Acts.
Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium. Edited by J. Verheyden. Leuven: Leuven
University Press, 1999.

Linafelt, Tod. A Shadow of Glory: Reading the New Testament after the Holocaust. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Levine, Amy-Jill, The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus. SanFrancisco: HarperOne
(Reprint), 2007.
_____. Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi. HarperOne (reprint edition), 2014.

Jackson, Bernard. Essays on Halakhah in the New Testament (Jewish and Christian Perspectives). Leiden: Brill, 2007.

Nanos, Mark D. The Mystery of Romans: The Jewish Context of Paul’s Letter. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996.
_____. The Irony of Galatians: Paul’s Letter in First-Century Context. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002a.
 ____. The Galatians Debate: Contemporary Issues in Rhetorical and Historical Interpretation. Edited by Mark D.
Nanos. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2002b.

Rudolph, David. A Jew to the Jews: Jewish Contours of Pauline Flexibility in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011.

Tannehill, Robert C. The Shape of Luke’s Story: Essays on Luke-Acts. Eugene: Cascade, 2005.

Tomson, Peter J. Paul and the Jewish Law: Halakha in the Letters of the Apostle to the Gentiles. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990.
_____. “If This Be from Heaven . . .”: Jesus and the New Testament Authors in Their Relationship to Judaism. Sheffield:
Sheffield Academic Press, 2001.

Zetterholm, Magnus. “A Covenant for Gentiles? Covenantal Nomism and the Incident at Antioch.” Pages 168-88 in The Ancient Synagogue from Its Origins Until 200 C.E. Papers Presented at an international Conference at Lund University, October 14-17, 2001. Edited by Birger Olsson & Magnus Zetterholm. Stockholm:
Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2003a.


  1. Completion of ALL required readings before responding to the corresponding discussion thread.
  2. Complete a weekly quiz over the required reading material for that unit. The quiz will be posted on Orbund on Sunday of the appropriate week and will close on Thursday at 11:55 pm EST. This means that you may take the reading quiz anytime during the week but must have it completed before 11:55 pm on Thursday of that week.
  3. Listen to the weekly podcast(s) before answering or entering into the discussion threads for the week. Each week runs from Sunday through Thursday. Podcasts will be available on the Friday before the beginning of a new unit.
  4. Regular and timely participation in the discussion threads posted on Orbund.
    a. The instructor will post at least two discussion questions by Sunday of each week. To ensure proper participation, you are required to post separate answers of at least 250-300 words to each discussion question weekly. Your first posts are to be made by Monday 11:55 pm EST of each week and the second by Tuesday 11:55pm EST. If a third question is  posted, then a third post will be made no later than  Wednesday. In addition, you must respond to at least three of your classmates’ posts in each discussion thread weekly. Stress is placed on “timely participation.” Points will be deducted for a lack of timely participation, not only for your posts, but for your responses. The instructor will close off the discussion threads on Thursday evenings at 11:55 pm EST.
    b. The “classroom” interaction on Orbund is the heart of the course. It is your opportunity to demonstrate that you have completed and understood the required readings. It is also your opportunity to demonstrate that you are learning from other students, formulating opinions,
    defending positions, and/or reconsidering your positions when evidence and reason call for it. You should use proper prose and pay attention to grammar and syntax.
    c. As graduate students, you should engage in higher-level critical thinking and analysis. While some of the discussion questions will be substantive, others will call for analysis and application. In your analysis, be sure to reference authorities and/or sources. Use parenthetical references when citing articles read in class.
  5. Three 800-word Reflection papers (+/- 10%) are required in weeks 3, 5, and 7. An additional article is assigned for each reflection paper. The student is to reflect on the article, using the accompanying question designed to guide your reflections, and write about how it shapes your understanding of class-related material. These are personal and subjective papers, but they must still maintain a fairly academic tone and be thoroughly and cohesively organized. The grading rubric for reflection papers will be provided to the student during the third week of class. Each reflection paper is due by 11:55 pm EST on Thursday in the week the paper is assigned.
  6. A comprehensive Final Exam, covering all lectures, required reading, and class assignments from the beginning of the quarter to the end will be made available on Orbund 12:05 am Friday, March 6. The exam is to be completed and submitted on Orbund by 11:55 pm EST Sunday March 15.
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