Salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22): Saving Grace in Judaism and Messianic Hope in Christianity

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Liturgical Press, 2007 - Religion - 201 pages
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Growing up in an ethnic suburb in Cleveland, Aaron Milavec was an impressionable adolescent whose religious and cultural influences made it natural for him to ?pity, blame, and despise Jews.? All of that began to change in 1955 when Mr. Martin, a Jewish merchant, hired Milavec as a stock boy. Milavec?s initial anxieties over working for a Jew surprisingly gave way to profound personal admiration. This, in turn, plunged Milavec into a troubling theological dilemma: ?How could God consign Mr. Martin to eternal hellfire due to his ancestral role in the death of Jesus when it was clear that Mr. Martin would not harm me, a Christian, even in small ways?? This book is not for the faint-hearted. Most Christians imagine that the poison of anti-Judaism has been largely eliminated. In contrast, Milavec reveals how this poison has gone underground?disfiguring not only the role of Israel in God?s plan of salvation but also horribly twisting the faith, the forgiveness, and the salvation that Christians find through Jesus Christ. This painful realization serves as the necessary first step for our healing. At each step of the way, Milavec?s sure hand builds bridges of mutual understanding that enable both Christians and Jews to cross the chasm of distrust and distortion that has infected both church and synagogue over the centuries. In the end, Milavec securely brings his readers to that place where Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity can again be admired as sister religions intimately united to one other in God?s drama of salvation.?For the last fifteen years Aaron Milavec has done groundbreaking scholarly work on the first century Jewish-Christian document, the Didache, and he is a veteran of local Christian-Jewish dialogue. His Salvation Is from the Jews is a stirring work that incorporates provocative theological perspectives along with numerous insights from recent official Church teaching. The author is specifically concerned that Church leaders, both lay and ordained, follow through with the trajectory defined in the study document, Covenant and Mission. In addition, he seeks to foster a more honest and soul-searching dialogue in living rooms, in congregations, and on the web.? Louise Barnes Vera Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Cincinnati, Ohio ?A personal, theological, and historical journey, Milavec's volume offers numerous reflections that challenge, that provoke, and that inspire.? Amy-Jill Levine E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies Vanderbilt Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion Nashville, Tennessee ?The integration of the new understanding of the Christian-Jewish relationship that emerged from Vatican II?s Nostra Aetate still awaits completion. Aaron Milavec has moved ahead that process to a significant degree in Salvation Is from the Jews: Saving Grace in Judaism and Messianic Hope in Christianity. He has brought together the best of the biblical and theological scholarship on this question in the past several decades from with the official Catholic statements in a comprehensive framework that breaks new ground.? John T. Pawlikowski, O.S.M., Ph.D. Director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program Catholic Theological Union Chicago, Illinois ?With extraordinary candor, Aaron Milavec challenges traditionally held Christian misconceptions about the Jewish Faith and sets the record straight. Salvation Is from the Jews makes it abundantly clear that unlike its relationship to other religions, Christianity shares an intimate bond with Judaism?a common spiritual pilgrimage that deserves to be affirmed and celebrated.? Keith F. Pecklers, S.J. Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome?Dr. Milavec has elegantly and passionately reframed the dialogue between Judaism and Christianity in purely theological terms and has taken into account both the past and the contemporary scene. He has created a Christian theology of Judaism and it is one well in advance of what is presently in hand.? Jacob Neusner Distinguished Service Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism Senior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Theology Bard College
 

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Contents

Saving Mr Martin from Hellfire
1
Law and Grace among Jews and Christians
23
The Story of Salvation
57
Parting of the Ways
84
Jesus as Messiah
116
The Unsavory Odor of Christian Evangelization
152
Reflections on Covenant and Mission
173
Bibliography
183
Index
196
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