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When Christians Were Jewish

Season 2: Episode 34
When Christians Were Jewish
Date Aired: 09/25/2023

It’s easy to read the New Testament and come away thinking that Jesus and his disciples were in opposition to “the Jews.” But the first followers of Jesus were all fellow Jews and the early Jesus movement was very much a Jewish movement. Would the first generation of “Christians” have thought of themselves as anything other than Jewish? Our guest Paula Fredriksen says absolutely not. According to Paula, there was plenty of room in the first century for competing Jewish sects—including the Jesus movement—all arguing over the right way to be Jewish. (The fact that they were arguing, jokes Paula, is proof enough of their Jewishness.)

Listen to the episode on the Biblical Time Machine website or wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclaimer: The Society of Biblical Literature is not responsible for the content of this podcast. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Society of Biblical Literature, its members, or its staff.

  • The Biblical Time Machine Podcast is hosted by Helen Bond and Dave Roos. Helen Bond is professor of Christian origins at Edinburgh University. She is the author of Women Remembered: Jesus’s Female Disciples, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel, and The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed. Her research focuses on the social and political history of first century Judaea, the historical Jesus and the canonical gospels. Dave Roos is a journalist and writer who contributes to, HowStuffWorks and the popular podcast Stuff You Should Know. Dave has a degree in religious studies from Duke University.