Thursday, June 30, 2005


No time to do any blogging. Too busy getting my book ready for publication.

I will just quickly recommend Paula Fredriksen's "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" (1999) and Hyam Maccoby's "Jesus the Pharisee" (2003). Both authors are Jewish and do a very good job on certain aspects of Jesus' Jewishness. As Maccoby notes, Jesus as a Pharisee is still out of bounds for most Christian scholars. But the evidence is there. As I would put it, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he must be a duck -- or Pharisee in this case.

Fredriksen does not approach it this way, but she does see how well Jesus fit into his Jewish context. She is especially good on the nature and meaning of Jewish rituals and how much Jesus was a part of this.

Perhaps I should also mention Bernard Lee's "The Galilean Jewishness of Jesus" (1988). This is an overlooked book. Lee is Catholic, I believe. He too sees how Pharisaic Jesus was. Their traditions are his traditions, including oral Torah. Lee is right that Jesus lives as much from the oral Torah as the written Torah.

I admire all these authors for how much they are willing to buck the trend and examine Jesus in his full Jewishness. But no author, including these three, does a very good job at reexamining the issues surrounding Jesus' death. They all think that Jewish leaders had something to do with it and cooperated with Rome. They are so very wrong. They all assume this was true and make no effort to look at the evidence in a fresh light. I guess they are all waiting for my book. Soon. Soon. I still have some miles to go.

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