Since the emergence of historical criticism, many Christian and Jewish scholars have concluded that Jesus was Torah positive, upholding that not even a jot or tittle is to be removed (Matt 5:18). Thus, any ostensible disagreements Jesus had with Pharisees or other rival Jewish interest groups were not with the continued role of Torah per se, but with competing interpretations of how to apply Torah. But this new approach does not apply to the Apostle Paul. In fact, with this change of sentiment about Jesus, the significance for representing Paul as the real champion of the devaluation of Torah as well as the founder of Christianity has increased exponentially. And for good reason: now Paul, not Jesus, substantiates the differences between these faith communities, because of his ostensible conversion from Torah to Christ.
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Mark D. Nanos (University of Kansas), is a Jewish scholar who specializes on reading the Apostle Paul from within Judaism, an approach that offers new ways to conceptualize Paul’s teaching and communities as well as the potential for more promising Christian-Jewish relations. Many papers and reviews are available at his web site: www.marknanos.com.