Christians often assume that Judaism, unlike Christianity, is not a missional religion. But as Michael Bird argues in Crossing Over Sea and Land: Jewish Missionary Activity in the Second Temple Period there is substantial historical evidence to the contrary. Examining his topic under four major rubrics including, the Ancient World, Jewish Missionary Activity in Palestine, Jewish Missionary Activity in the Diaspora, and in Early Christian Literature, Bird demonstrates that Judaism actively engaged in evangelization in the ancient world and in many ways was quite successful.This book will be a perfect choice for anyone interested in the History of Missions, studying world Religions, Judaism, or anyone who is interested in the culture and history of the Second Temple/Early Judaism Period.
What was the extent and nature of Jewish proselytizing activity amongst non-Jews in Palestine and the Greco-Roman diaspora leading up to and during the beginnings of the Christian era? Was there a clear missional direction? How did Second-Temple Judaism recruit converts and gain sympathizers? This book strives to address these questions, representing an update of the discussion while also breaking new ground. A "source book" of key texts is provided at the end.
Michael F. Bird (PhD, University of Queensland) is lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College in Australia. He is also Distinguished Research Professor of Theology at Houston Baptist University. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission and The Saving Righteousness of God, and is a co-contributor to the biblical studies blog "Euangelion."