In the view of many contemporary scholars, both Jesus and Judaism have been misrepresented by the church for the past two thousand years. Their main point is that Judaism was not a superficial, rigid, and outdated religion, and Jesus did not reject it. In fact, along with his disciples, he remained a Law-abiding Jew his entire life. However, as Christianity developed from a Jewish sect in the first century AD to the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, the church was transformed, Jesus was redefined, and both Jews and their religion were repudiated and marginalized. In short, both Christians and Jews were deeply affected by what many scholars now call the de-Judaization of Jesus. This book is an attempt to correct the traditional theological and scholarly misinterpretations of Jesus and Judaism that emerged over the first four centuries of the life of the church. ""I've read many of the best accounts of what happened between the Jews and the Christians in the early centuries of this millennium. It's in many ways a sad story, one full of rivalry and misapprehensions, deliberate obfuscations, and serial attempts to revise the story of Jesus and the Jews. The long and short, as Sheldon Liebman admirably shows in this brilliant and beautifully written study, is that our image of Jesus was permanently reconstructed in ways at odds with historical realities. I would recommend The Great Betrayal to anyone who hopes to come to a clear understanding of this critical moment in history."" --Jay Parini, D. E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College, author of Jesus: The Human Face of God ""Sheldon W. Liebman provides a clear and cogent account of one of the most remarkable developments in the world's religious history: the transformation of a small movement within Second Temple Judaism into the official religion of the Roman Empire. Properly historical in its method, and responsible in its recourse to critical literature, The Great Betrayal challenges Christian supersessionism while remaining sensitive to the theological creativity of the New Testament and of Patristic thought."" --Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion, and Director of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College Sheldon W. Liebman is professor emeritus and former chair of the Humanities Department at Wilbur Wright College. Among his thirty-plus scholarly publications are an article in the Oxford University Encyclopedia of American Literature, an essay in Harold Bloom's Nathaniel Hawthorne, and a study of The Picture of Dorian Gray in the Norton Critical Edition of that novel. He received a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972.