Christianity in Jewish Terms

By Tikva Frymer-Kensky; David Novak et al. | Go to book overview

The temptation is strongest among Christian thinkers whose reasoning is farthest removed from the plain sense of the biblical sources. Among them are theologians who interpret the Trinity as an account only of the eternal, unchanging self-relation of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, unmoved by the temporal life of His people. Jenson is not such a theologian. Jewish thinkers who share Levinas's concerns may therefore find an ally in Jenson and his colleagues. 31

Of course, by stressing the biblical sources, I do not mean to suggest that there is no place for philosophy in Judaism or Christianity: Moses and his fellow prophets questioned, reasoned, and wondered like philosophers. But their philosophy began with the scriptural word and the questions it raised. Some of these questions concerned being, but not in the abstract; rather they were questions about the being of God's word and its relation to the world, to their lives, and to suffering. In the Exodus account, God said to Moses"I will be what I will be" and "I will be with you in your suffering." This third epoch of Jewish theology may be a time for Jewish thinkers to remember the God who is with us in our suffering--"for I am with you, declares YHVH, in your suffering" ( Jer. 1:19)--and a time to lend support to others who remember Him, too.


A Jewish View of the Christian God:
Some Cautionary and Hopeful Remarks

DAVID ELLENSON

Jewish teachings have long viewed the Christian doctrine of Incarnation and the concomitant Christian affirmation of a triune God as lying beyond the boundaries of acceptable Jewish faith. The objects of Jewish polemic for generations, these notions, as Peter Ochs has indicated, have proven difficult for Jews to appreciate and grasp, much less affirm. This essay will first explore the classical Jewish theological

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