Sharing many traditions and characteristics, the Gospel of Matthew, the letter of James, and the Didache invite comparative study. In this volume, internationally renowned scholars consider the three writings and the complex interrelationship between first century Judaism and nascent Christianity. These texts likely reflect different aspects and emphases of a network of connected communities sharing basic theological assumptions and expressions. Of particular importance for the reconstruction of the religious and social milieu of these communities are issues such as the role of Jewish law, the development of community structures, the reception of the Jesus tradition, and conflict management. In addition to the Pauline and Johannine “schools,” Matthew, James, and the Didache may represent a third religious milieu within earliest Christianity that is especially characterized through its distinct connections to a particular ethical stream of contemporary Jewish tradition.
Huub van de Sandt , Ph.D. (1984) in History of New Testament Exegesis, Utrecht University, is Lecturer in New Testament Studies at Tilburg University. He is the editor of Matthew and the Didache: Two Documents from the Same Jewish-Christian Milieu? and co-author of The Didache: Its Jewish Sources and Its Place in Early Judaism and Christianity (both from Van Gorcum and Fortress). Jürgen K. Zangenberg , Ph.D. (1996) in New Testament Studies, University of Heidelberg, is Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christian Literature at Leiden University. He is the co-editor of Christians as a Religious Minority in a Multicultural City: Modes Of Interaction and Identity Formation in Early Imperial Rome (Continuum) and Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition (Mohr Siebeck).