New Testament Writings within Judaism


New Testament is a corpus of texts that describe life and legacy of Jesus - a first century Judean martyr, who was proclaimed the Messiah of Israel by some of his fellow Judeans. The movement which originated in Jerusalem, soon reached beyond the Land of Israel and became predominantly Gentile. As a consequence of various socio-political-religious factors, in the following decades, the connection between emerging Christianity and Judaism became increasingly weaker, which laid foundation for later interpretations picturing Jesus, Paul and other NT figures as proponents of new Christian religion opposed firmly to Judaism and Torah. In recent decades, however, increasing number of scholars have engaged in a research, which attempts to describe various NT texts in its original context of Second Temple Judaism. This interdisciplinary unit aims to present developments in this field and invite scholars from the fields of NT, Second Temple Judaism, rabbinic texts, history, religion, social memory, Greek and Hebrew philology, rhetoric and others to engage in a dialogue regarding this new way of interpreting NT texts. It is hoped, the unit can become a platform to present more context-informed readings and interpretations, combat harmful stereotypes and open new fields of interreligious dialogue.


New Testament, Second Temple Judaism, Christian origins, Jewish-Christian relations, translation studies

Current Term:




František Ábel

Comenius University Bratislava


Wally Vincente Cirafesi
Lund University


 Jakub Michał Pogonowski

University of Warsaw

Sofia 2024 Call for Papers

Paul of Tarsus is one of the most prominent figures in the history of Christianity. It is his writings that have shaped the most important theological debates, most notably those during the time of reformation. In the New Testament he is viewed as an apostle to the Nations, proclaiming Gospel to pagans. Various traditional readings of the Pauline corpus have laid foundation for a silhouette of a former adherent to Judaism, now claiming that Church has replaced Israel and Torah has been done away with. Furthermore, some of these readings have pictured Second Temple Judaism in a caricatural and biased way. In recent years, however, a growing number of scholars propose a different picture of the Apostle – a zealous Israelite with a peculiar understanding of Judean identity. According to this current, Paul is not a proponent of a new religion, but rather engages in an intramural debate regarding the meaning and boundaries of the covenant of Israel, especially in regards to the identity of Jesus-believing Gentiles.

This year we invite papers that seek to describe Paul within Judaism, taking original first century context as a framework within which one can construe a more nuanced, coherent and historically plausible portrait of the Apostle to the Nations. We invite papers that deal with methodological, linguistic, intertextual, halachic and socio-religious aspects of research on Paul within Judaism, as well as proposals of new readings. Special preference will be given to those papers, which challenge traditional antinomian and supersessionist readings, as well as those, which propose new ways of understanding Paul’s most difficult and convoluted statements.