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Torah in the Messianic Age and/or the Age to Come
W. D. Davies
Publication Date
May 2006


“The issue raised by the non-observance of the Torah among Gentile Christians in the primitive Church was so central that the relation between the Torah and the Gospel could not but have commanded much attention among historians of primitive Christianity. What is surprising, however, is that one pivotal aspect of this relation has been little discussed. Early Christians believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah of Jewish expectations, and that they were living in that Age which had long been promised by the Hebrew Scriptures. It would, therefore, seem natural that in trying to understand the interactions between the Torah and the Gospel scholars should have asked the question what role, if any, the Torah was expected to assume in the Messianic Age or in the Age to come: it could be assumed that this would illuminate for us the impact of the Gospel on the Torah and thus best enlighten us on the various attitudes within the Early Church towards Judaism and also within Judaism towards the Church. At the same time we might expect it to lead to a better appreciation of certain relevant elements in the Christian movement itself, as we shall hope to indicate, very briefly, at the close of this paper.”
—from the introduction