Master of Arts in Hebraic Roots of Christianity

Discover the world that informed the Hebraic roots of Christianity, stretching from the Second Temple Period to the early Rabbinic sages and Church fathers.


About the Program

What You Will Learn

Students pursuing our M.A. in Hebraic Roots of Christianity have the opportunity to delve deeply in the complex yet rich Hebraic world out of which Christianity arose. The field of study is much larger than the Jewishness of Jesus, embracing not only the dynamic world of Second Temple Judaism but also the shared heritage of rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity. The degree program allows our students the flexibility to pursue their own specialized interests within the field.

Unique Opportunities at JUC

Students enrolled in the M.A. in Hebraic Roots of Christianity have ample opportunities to draw upon the rich academic and cultural resources of Jerusalem throughout their period of study. We are hard pressed to find a more appropriate place to study the Christian movement as it developed out of Judaism than in Jerusalem, the city in which the church was born.

In Jerusalem, students are immersed in active, living communities, both Jewish and Christian, that trace their descent directly to the days of the New Testament. In addition, the world comes to Jerusalem—conferences and seminars held throughout the city beckon students to interact with biblical scholars and experts in the broad and lively fields of Judaism and early Christianity.

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Course Requirements

The M.A. degree in Hebraic Roots of Christianity includes 48 semester credit hours of course work as outlined below. The degree is designed to be completed within two calendar years, although students choosing to pursue the thesis track are given an additional year to complete all of the work for the degree. Students for whom English is not their native language are expected to be able to finish the degree in three years if taking the non-thesis track, and four years if pursuing the thesis track.

Archaeology: 3 hours

  • Biblical Archaeology II—Persian through Byzantine Periods (3)

Geography: 4 hours

  • Physical Settings of the Bible (4)

History: 12 hours

  • History of the Second Temple Period (3)
  • Cultural Background of the Bible (3)
  • The Parables of Jesus and Rabbinic Meshalim (3)
  • Intertestamental Literature (3)

Biblical Languages: 14 hours

  • Biblical Hebrew I (4)
  • Biblical Hebrew II (4)
  • Readings in Biblical Hebrew Narrative (3) OR
    Introduction to Aramaic (3)
  • Post-biblical Hebrew: Second Temple Period (3) OR
    Introduction to Jewish Palestinian Aramaic (3)

Context Courses in the above areas: 9 hours

  • Archaeology of Jerusalem II (3)
  • Text Studies in Midrash, Mishnah, and Gemara: The Shared
    Heritage of Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity (3)
  • Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls (3)
  • Hermeneutics of Old Testament Texts in Jewish and
    Christian Tradition (3)
  • The Gospel of Matthew in its Jewish Setting (3)
  • Wisdom Literature and the Early Church (3)
  • Jewish Roots of Christian Worship and Liturgy (3)
  • Iconographic Art in Judaism and Early Christianity (3)
  • Seminar in Hebraic Roots of Christianity (3)
  • Guided Research in History (3)
  • Guided Research in Hebrew and Cognate Languages (3)

Thesis-track degree: 6 hours

  • Guided Research on Thesis Topic (2)
  • Thesis Writing (4)

Non-Thesis-track degree: 6 hours of additional context courses

Bible Content Examinations

  • Old Testament Bible Content Examination
  • New Testament Bible Content Examination

Comprehensive - Integrative Examinations

  • Issues in the Hebraic Roots of Christianity Examination
  • Hebrew Examination

Proficiency Examination in Modern Hebrew or Arabic (optional)

Total Credit Hours: 48

Double M.A.

JUC offers double M.A. programs for students who choose to study for an additional year and are accepted into a second M.A. program. Students may share up to half (24) the credits between the following three M.A. programs: Biblical History and Geography, Hebrew and Cognate Languages, and Hebraic Roots of Christianity.

Thesis Track

M.A. students may choose to write a thesis as part of their degree program. Once a topic of interest is chosen, the student will work with two faculty members to develop a thesis proposal, then research and write the thesis. The process of writing a thesis not only allows the student to engage a topic in depth, but also to learn methods of research and writing that allow the student to pursue further academic work.

Sample Thesis Titles

The Sabbath and Jesus.

The Changing Attitude of the Church to Jewish Law from the First to Second Century C.E.

A Jewish Response to Paganism after the Destruction of the Temple.

A History of Judean Desert Monasticism: The Life of the Monks of the Judean Desert during the Early Byzantine Period according to Literary and Archaeological Sources.

Oral Tradition in Judaism and Christianity: The Case of Memorization.

How Much Does It Cost?

Studying at JUC is affordable. Learn about the program costs and our financial aid options.

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