In no particular order, below are some resources that we’ve found helpful for growing as a disciple of Jesus and understanding the Gospel through a first century Jewish apocalyptic lens.
Paul’s Apocalyptic Gospel: The Coming Triumph of God by J. Christiaan Beker (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982). Beker forged the embrace of apocalyptic thought in American academia; this is his most accessible book on Paul.
The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature by John J. Collins. (3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016). For those wanting an introduction to apocalyptic thought in the late second temple period, Collins provides a good survey.
Converging Destinies: Jews, Christians, and the Mission of God by Stuart Dauermann. (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2017). Dauermann is a messianic Jew who outlines the missio dei in distinctly Jewish terms, leading to a convergence between the Jewish people and the Gentile church.
Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle by Paula Fredriksen. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2017). Fredriksen interprets Paul and his mission to the Gentiles within his native Jewish apocalyptic worldview.
Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged by Barry E. Horner. (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2007). Horner argues against modern theological antisemitism, particularly among Reformed circles.
Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen: The Resurrected Messiah, the Jewish People, and the Land of Promise by Mark S. Kinzer. (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2018). Written from a messianic Jewish perspective, Kinzer surveys Luke-Acts and argues that Jewish eschatology was integral to the euangelion of the early church.
The Rediscovery of Apocalyptic by Klaus Koch. (Translated by Margaret Kohl. London: SCM Press, 1972). Koch exposed the widespread bias in modern theological circles against Jewish apocalypticism.
Paul and the Parousia: An Exegetical and Theological Investigation by Joseph Plevnik. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1997). Plevnik anchors the coming of Christ within the context of first-century Jewish apocalypticism.
The God of Israel and Christian Theology by R. Kendall Soulen. (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996). Though in no way embracing apocalypticism, Soulen surveys the antisemitic history of Christian theology, arguing for a theology of mutual blessing.
The Kingdom of God in History by Benedict T. Viviano. (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1988). A survey of theological history from a Catholic perspective, which takes as its starting point Jewish apocalyptic thought.
The Gospel of Christ Crucified: A Theology of Suffering Before Glory by John P. Harrigan. (Paroikos Publishing, 2019). A biblical reconstruction of the principal elements that make up the apostolic gospel.
When a Jew Rules the World: What the Bible Really Says About Israel in the Plan of God by Joel Richardson. (Washington, DC. WND Books, 2015). A helpful overview of the covenants made with Israel including a historical overview of supersessionism and anti-Semitism.
Paul within Judaism: Restoring the First-Century Context to the Apostle by Mark D. Nanos and Magnus Zetterholm, editors. (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2015). A very helpful collection of essays on recent scholarship which places the Apostle Paul and his ministry firmly within 1st century Judaism.
Paul and the Gentiles: Remapping the Apostle’s Convictional World by Terence L. Donaldson. (Fortress Press, 1997) Donaldson gives a comprehensive view of how Paul and other first century Jews thought about Gentiles and their standing before God as the matrix for Paul’s later calling to the Gentile world.
Mind the Gap by Matthias Henze. (Fortress Press, 2017) Henze introduces the four-century gap between the Old and New Testaments and some of the writings produced during this period, often called “the second temple period” by scholars.
The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha by David deSilva (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Jesus and the Forces of Death by Matthew Thiessen (Baker Academic, 2021) Thiessen frames Jesus within first century Judaism in relation to the Temple and Levitical purity system.
Bietenhard, Hans. “The Millennial Hope in the Early Church.” Scottish Journal of Theology 6, no. 1 (March 1953): 12–30. A spirited defense of chiliasm in the early church.
Stendahl, Krister. “The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West.” The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 56, no. 3 (July 1963): 199-215. A groundbreaking article on how Western ideology is wrongly imported into Pauline theology.
Fredriksen, Paula. “Judaizing the Nations: The Ritual Demands of Paul’s Gospel.” New Testament Studies 56.2 (2010): 232-252 A very helpful article that challenges prevailing ideas about Paul’s mission to the Gentiles, and helps place Paul and his mission activity within the complex world of 1st-century diaspora Judaism.
Fredriksen, Paula. “Judaism, the circumcision of Gentiles, and apocalyptic hope: Another look at Galatians 1 and 2.” The Journal of Theological Studies 42.2 (1991): 532-564 This article is from 1991 and is a great introductory resource if you’d like to get a grasp on understanding Paul and his mission in context to the Judaism of his time.
Covenant and Controversy Series: https://www.youtube.com/user/CovenantControversy/videos
Mutli-part, free documentary on the controversy among the nations concerning God’s covenant with the Jewish people and their messianic hope, which will come to climax at the end of the age.
Enduring Witness: https://www.enduringwitness.com
A free documentary featuring Bill, John, and Josh that seeks to explore the consistent story of the Bible and the good news of Israel’s God coming to faithfully accomplish all of His promises.
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