The early followers of Jesus focused heavily on the Temple Mendy Hechtman/Flash90

What Was Jesus Doing in the Temple on Hanukkah?

We speak to one of Israel’s most respected New Testament scholars about Jesus’ relationship with Judaism


“The answer to this question is not what most people think,” Prof. Eyal Regev told Israel Today in an exclusive interview.

“It is no coincidence that we find Jesus in the Temple on Hanukkah. The writers of the New Testament had to emphasize that Jesus was active in the Temple in order to secure their own Jewish identity and make sure that the people understood that Jesus was part of Judaism. That is why we not only find Jesus in the Temple, but the ceremonial sacrifices, traditions and practices are mentioned on almost every page of the New Testament.”

Didn’t Jesus make the Temple sacrifices obsolete?

“Absolutely not. The early Christians did not see Jesus as a replacement of the Temple but as a bridge from Judaism to their faith in Jesus. Even the Apostle Paul, who wrote his letters around 60 AD, continued to offer sacrifices in the Temple long after Jesus had died as an atonement.

“The Temple was an essential part of the lives of early Christianity, their NT texts, history and theology.…