Jesus in His Jewish Context

Jesus in His Jewish Context

Jesus in His Jewish Context

Jesus in His Jewish Context

Excerpt

My scholarly involvement with the historical Jesus began thirty years ago with the publication in 1973 of Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels, in which I sought to determine what kind of a person Jesus of Nazareth was by firmly setting this charismatic teacher, healer and exorcist in the real world of first-century Palestinian Jews. The pioneering volume was then further developed with a view to paying more and more attention to the doctrinal aspects of the message of Jesus and the nature of the Jewish religion that he preached and practised. This effort produced two further books at ten-yearly intervals, Jesus and the World of Judaism (1983) and The Religion of Jesus the Jew (1993). The three volumes add up to a trilogy demonstrating the authentic Jewishness of Jesus. The present collection of studies is meant to replace and enrich further Jesus and the World of Judaism. All three volumes intended for both scholars and a general readership are available from SCM Press, London, in Britain and Fortress Press, Minneapolis, in the USA.

In general, my contributions to the study of the historical Jesus have been received with sympathy in Britain and Europe. Nevertheless, they occasionally met with open hostility in the United States especially in the wake of some harsh words said about my method by Professor John P. Meier in A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the historical Jesus I usually do not respond to criticism and leave it to the readers to form their own judgement. 'Here is my pudding', I like to tell them. 'Taste it before you start finding fault with the recipe. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.' This time, however, I have been persuaded by friends and colleagues to make an exception.

Father Meier has raised two serious objections against my way of portraying Jesus. He has accused me of lacking 'methodology' and of making an 'acritical' use of the rabbinic sources.

His first charge is based on a misunderstanding of a remark, which I made on methodology. Professor Meier interpreted it à la lettre although it appeared in the context of a jocular piece of self-mockery. In The Religion . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.