In the minds of many American evangelicals today, Judaism exists in two places: the pages of the Bible and the modern nation of Israel. In Separated Siblings, John Phelan offers to fill in the gaps of this limited understanding with the larger story of Judaism, including its long history and key facets of Jewish thought and practice. Phelan shows that Judaism is anything but monolithic or unchanging. Readers may be surprised to learn that contemporary Judaism exists in a multiplicity of forms and continues to evolve, as recent changes in scholarly Jewish perspectives on Jesus and Paul attest.
An evangelical Christian himself, Phelan addresses what other evangelicals are often most curious about, such as Jewish beliefs concerning salvation and eschatology. Nevertheless, Separated Siblings is geared toward understanding rather than Christian apologetics, aiming for an undistorted view of Judaism that is sensitive to the painful history of Christian replacement theology and other forms of anti-Semitism. Readers of this book will emerge with more informed attitudes toward their Jewish brothers and sisters—those in Israel and those across the street.
John E. Phelan Jr. taught at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago for twenty-five years after serving two churches as pastor. He has been involved in Jewish-Christian dialogue for many years.