Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith
published January 1990

A classic “must read” introduction to the Jewish heritage and essence of the faith. It demonstrates why Christians cannot afford to be passive about the Jewish experience in history – whether ancient or modern.

From the Preface
Although this work is a biblical, historical, and cultural study, the reader will quickly find out that it is concerned with more than exploring the past. Learning to think [Jewishly] is only the start. These pages also have a contemporary application; they are a call for Christians to reexamine their Jewish [heritage] so as to effect a more authentically biblical lifestyle. This priceless legacy of the Jewish people must be made useful; it must affect not only Christian theory but also experience.
 
From the Back Cover
An ambitious book, sweeping in scope. Wilson has thrown down a theological gauntlet, challenging Christians of all kinds to reform a two-thousand-year-old-history of misunderstanding Jews and misinterpreting our own sources. – Carl E. Armerding, Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
 
 
Table of Contents
  1. A New People: Abraham’s Spiritual Children
    1. THE ROOT AND BRANCHES
“Look to Abraham Your Father”
Athens or Jerusalem?
The World of the Bible
The Olive Root and Branches
Grafted into Israel
    1. GENTILES, JEWS, AND JEWISH HERITAGE
    A New Spiritual Family
    A Western World with an Eastern Book
    The Problem of Judaizing
    Paul and the Law
    Jewish Heritage and Today’s Church
    1. Church and Synagogue in the Light of History
      1. THE EARLIEST CHURCH AND JUDAISM
      Jesus and His Followers
      Beginnings: A Jewish Church
      The Hebraists and the Hellenists
      Stephen and the Hellenists
      Outreach to Gentiles
      The Special Calling of Paul
      Further Success among the Gentiles
      The Council of Jerusalem
        1. THEOLOGICAL CONFLICT AND PERSECUTION
        Theological Differences
        Persecutions
        Summary
          1. “HERETICS” AND THE SYNAGOGUE
          The Birkat ha-Minim: Definition
          The Origin of the Benediction
          The Minim and Notzrim
          “Put out of the Synagogue”
          The Nidduy and Herem
          Conclusion
            1. THE JEWISH REVOLTS AND THE PARTING OF THE WAY
            The First Jewish Revolt (A.D. 66-73)
            Between Revolts: The Academy at Yavneh
            From Sabbath to Lord’s Day
            The Second Jewish Revolt (A.D. 132-135)
            The Parting of the Way
              1. A HISTORY OF CONTEMPT: ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE CHURCH
              The “New” Israel Emerges
              From De-Judaizing to Anti-Judaism
              The Early Fathers: Blaming the Victims
              Allegory: An Attempt to Rescue the Jewish Scriptures
              Anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages
              From Luther to the Present
              1. Understanding Hebrew Thought
                1. THE OLD TESTAMENT: HEBRAIC FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH
                The Heresy of Marcion
                Neo-Marcionism
                A Neglected Treasure
                The Bible of the Early Church
                Two Parts, Yet One Book
                The Theological Key
                God-Breathed and Useful
                Discovering the Jewish Jesus
                Other Early Jewish Sources
                The Shema: Core Affirmation of Israel’s Faith
                Christianity Is Jewish
                The Hebrew Bible and American Beginnings
                Foundational, Not Optional
                  1. THE CONTOUR OF HEBREW THOUGHT
                  An Energetic People, a Descriptive Language
                  The Power of Poetry
                  Painting Verbal Pictures
                  Block Logic
                  A Time for Meditation
                  Everything Is Theological
                  Religion as a Way of Life
                  A Different View of Time and History
                    1. WHERE THE CHURCH WENT WRONG
                    Dynamic Unity versus Dualism
                    Otherworldliness versus This-Worldliness
                    The Individual versus the Community
                    1. Jewish Heritage and the Church: Selected Studies
                      1. MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY THROUGH HEBREW EYES
                      Current Attitudes
                      Biblical Foundations: Genesis and Marriage
                      Marriage and Sinai: Two Covenants Compared
                      Jewish Insights into Marriage and the Family
                      Values within the Home
                      Learning about the Family through Fiddler
                      Older and Better: Aging through Hebrew Eyes
                        1. PASSOVER AND LAST SUPPER
                        The Origin of Passover
                        Passover in Old Testament Times
                        Passover in New Testament Times
                        Jesus’ Last Supper
                        Passover Today
                        Passover and Contemporary Christianity
                          1. JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND THE LAND
                          Jews and the Land: An Overview
                          Christian Approaches to the State of Israel
                          Christians and Support of Israel
                          Epilogue: Prospects for Peace
                            1. A LIFE OF LEARNING: THE HEART OF JEWISH HERITAGE
                            Education in Old Testament Times
                            The Hebrew View of Wisdom
                            Young Fools and Old Fools
                            The Hebrew View of Knowledge
                            Education with a Difference
                            The Sweetness of Learning
                            Hebraic Insights on the Task of Teaching
                            Education in New Testament Times
                            Everyone a Student
                            Teaching Methods and Priorities
                            Study as Worship
                            “Guard It Well, for It Is Your Life”
                            1. Toward Restoring Jewish Roots
                              1. IF NOT NOW…WHEN?
                              Preliminary Considerations for Christians
                              Face-to-face in Dialogue
                              Education and Personal Growth
                              Social Action
                              “The Greatest of These Is Love”
                              1. A Selective Bibliography
                                Index of Biblical Texts
                                Index of Rabbinic Literature
                                Index of Other Early Extrabiblical Literature
                                Index of Authors
                                Index of Subjects
                                Index of Hebrew Words
                                Index of Greek Words
                              Other Books by Marvin R. Wilson