Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"Sometimes I just get all hunkered up like a jackass in a hailstorm."

LBJ said that. He may have been talking about his efforts to get civil rights laws passed or about a lot of things. It describes how I feel about trying to get people to start making sense about the historical, Jewish Jesus.

In the last post, I mentioned that feminists scholars have been apologizing for injecting anti-Jewishness yet again into historical Jesus studies. Some have a tendency to blame this on their male teachers whom they learned it from. Yet this femisnism still shows signs of fearing the specific person the historical Jesus was. They show no signs of realizing that they are imbued with this fear and that this continues anti-Jewishness in historical studies.

I think many Jews feel a constant sense of humiliation living in a predominantly Christian culture, though they do not like to admit this. It is one reason why so few Jews take an interest in the historical Jesus. Almost any book you read on the subject gives you precious little of Jesus' Jewishness. Even more, these books have a tendency to portray ancient Judaism in a bad light. You will not walk away from any of these books thinking "Wow! Judaism was a pretty good religion. Now I see where Jesus got his spirituality and ethics from."

On the contrary, books about the historical Jesus are always telling us how unJewish or beyond Jewish he was. It is a hailstorm that has been going on for centuries and shows no signs of abating, not even in the most progressive forms of scholarship. All I can do is hunker up and it is getting me nowhere.

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