Mark Goodacre provides a brief critique of a recent BBC2 documentary, and particular of claims Simon Schama makes about the apostle Paul’s relationship to Second Temple Judaism. Apparently, Schama is a bit in the dark about where Pauline studies have gone in the last fifty years or so.
To reiterate, I think this is a superb documentary and I am a big fan of Schama. But I think this section falls below his usual standards. One of the reasons that this is important is that getting the history right plays a key role in Jewish-Christian relations. Given the appalling history of Christian attitudes to Jews and Judaism documented by Schama, it is worth paying careful attention to what Jews like Paul, right at the beginning of the Jesus movement, actually said.