A new issue of JJMJS is now available and we invite you to peruse its content by clicking here: http://www.jjmjs.org/. Since the launch of issue 1 in October of last year we have received overwhelmingly positive responses from scholars and students worldwide. We believe this is an indicator that the innovative approach of the journal resonates with a growing need in our field for a forum where researchers can discuss, across disciplinary boundaries, issues of utmost importance for our understanding of the origins and nature of what developed into two world religions: Christianity and Judaism.
The current issue offers a wealth of approaches and cutting-edge insights to issues that lie at the heart of the purpose of JJMJS. The very concept of ‘religion’ is problematized by Brent Nongbri, who points to the need of reading Paul beyond this type of categorization and shows how things may change when we do. Richard S. Ascough’s study on models for understanding Pauline Christ-groups foregrounds first-century institutional settings (synagogues/associations) in ways that undermine more traditional approaches to the Jesus movement within its Jewish setting. Ralph J. Korner explores Jewish and Graeco-Roman usages of the term ekkl?sia, usually translated ‘church’ in English bibles, noting how Paul’s use of this word in fact locates his associations socially with Jews, Jewishness, and Judaism. William S. Campbell provides a detailed exegesis of Rom 9:27, leading to fresh conclusions about Paul’s understanding of God’s faithfulness to Israel.
Shifting gears from a focus on a specific author, Paul, who in the first four articles provides a point of departure for refined methodological approaches to the dynamics involved in the intersection between followers of Jesus and other forms of Judaism, to investigations of specific locations where traces of ancient Christ-followers and Jews have been found, Thomas A. Wayment and Matthew J. Grey offers the most detailed and in-depth discussion in English ever published on the intriguing Christianos graffito in Pompeii. Then, moving eastward to Syrian Antioch and the fourth century, Christine Shepardson models a new approach to highly rhetorical Christian and Jewish texts as she reconstructs Jewish life in this city between polemics and propaganda. Finally, Miriam DeCock provides an in-depth reading of Daniel Boyarin’s recent controversial book The Jewish Gospels, pointing to key issues raised by the book which are in need of further study.