I had a great conversation with Dr. Mark Nanos on recovering the Jewish roots of Paul the apostle. We delve into what first got Dr. Nanos interested in studying Paul, questions on the New Perspective, and much more.
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Dr. Nanos notes that in the Hebrew Bible, the prophets critiqued Israel often enough but never were labelled as being non-Jewish. Paul also critiques Israel and his Jewish kin but this does not make him anti-Jewish or anti-Israel, just as prophets like Isaiah are not read as being anti-Jewish. Why then have Christians throughout the centuries read Paul as being anti-Jewish?
While Christians and Western society often caricature Paul as opposing Judaism, what if Paul saw himself as a prophet (like those of the Old Testament) who is for Israel and her purity? This actually makes more sense of Paul’s often harsh tone against fellow Jews. What if Paul, like Isaiah and Daniel, rather than opposing Judaism, wished to reform and/or preserve it? What if Paul never broke ties with his Jewish past and heritage?