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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book investigates the Jewish understandings of gentiles and their conversion in the second temple period. The book provides an introduction to the much-debated problem of Jewish mission and the presumed evidence, found mostly in non-Jewish sources, for Jewish missionary activity. It examines the biblical foundations of Jewish conceptions regarding conversion of gentiles, focusing especially on the traditions of conversion reflected in the book of Isaiah. The book focuses on the book of Philippians and the question of church and mission in Paul. The book shows how Paul's paraenesis, in this supposedly least Jewish of his letters, is shaped by Jewish understandings of conversion, especially from the book of Isaiah, and that understanding the way in which Paul utilizes these traditions will illumine both Paul's own consciousness of mission, and the crucial place of the mission of the church in his theology.

Keywords: book of Isaiah; book of Philippians; church; Jewish mission; Paul; theology



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