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Number of Pages: 220
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
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This bold, fresh look at the historical Jesus and the Jewish roots of Christianity challenges both Jews and Christians to re-examine their understanding of Jesus’ commitment to his Jewish faith. Instead of emphasizing the differences between the two religions, this groundbreaking text explains how the concepts of vicarious atonement, mediation, incarnation, and Trinity are actually rooted in classical Judaism. Using the cutting edge of scholarly research, Rabbi Zaslow dispels the myths of disparity between Christianity and Judaism without diluting the unique features of each faith. Jesus: First Century Rabbi is a breath of fresh air for Christians and Jews who want to strengthen and deepen their own faith traditions.
This an important book, for Christians and Jews alike. Rabbi Zaslow has tried to stimulate a conversation and build bridges between the two faiths. This is a critically important task, and this book makes that attempt with broad scholarship and great clarity.Rev. John M. Salmon, Ph. D., Princeton Theological Seminary
Christian readers will find their faith stirred by reading this book on their own, or as shared reading with Jewish friends. Renewal is coming to faith by learning in the presence of the other... It is as if Jesus has been holding his breath, waiting for this time.Rev. Dr. Joseph Ward, D.Min., Presbyterian Church USA
Christians professing faith in Jesus will surely learn and be enriched immensely by studying Rabbi David Zaslow's great new book. The book is a must read for everyone exploring the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. The book fosters conversation and co-operation through mutual respect… fresh and insightful approaches to historic issues that have driven a wedge between two faiths that ironically share so many common values. Rabbi Zaslow encourages the orchestra to play the music that the world needs to hear and enjoy.Dr. Brad H. Young, Ph.D. Oral Roberts University author of Parables: The Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation
Theology books are rarely real page-turners but if you yearn to know Rabbi Jesus better, and to understand his parables and sayings, you won't be able to put this book down! Rabbi Zaslow has put the pieces back together for us. Learning more about the roots and branches that Jews and Christians share will bring us closer to the center of God's new community and create a way to peace for people of every faith.The Rev. Dr. Barbara J. Campbell. Pastor, St. Mark Presbyterian Church
This book will broaden the minds and deepen the hearts of individuals who read it, but imagine the possibilities for deeper understanding and compassion between Jewish and Christian congregations if Jesus: First-Century Rabbi was used in interfaith study groups! I thank my friend and spiritual colleague, Rabbi David Zaslow, for his scholarship, humor, honesty and generosity of spirit . This unique resource is a gift to us all.The Rev. Anne K. Bartlett, Episcopal Priest
Readers of Jesus: First-Century Rabbi will find the common areasTorah, tradition, and sacred spacea protective umbrella reverencing the faith truths of two world religions…."As the wolf shall lie down with the lamb," (Isaiah 11:6) those of Judaic-Christian interests may liken this text to a protective tent under which clubs and congregations can neighbor through an exchange of religious inspiration and return to their respective traditions with living waters.Sister Carolyn Sur, School Sister of Notre Dame St. Louis University
Jews and Christians share a common history but disagree on its import. We share a common scripture but dispute its meanings. Jesus lived and died a Jew, but his message inspired a new tradition. Jesus: First Century Rabbi gracefully examines the life and times of Jesus through a Jewish lens and helps us appreciate the points of meeting.Rabbi David Zaslow goes back to basics: what the text says, what key words mean, and conditions in first-century Judea. He analyzes concepts such as faith and works, the Trinity, and more to suggest ways in which common ideas found divergent expressions in the two traditions, noting the distinctive expressions of each tradition.I was particularly impressed by Zaslow's final section, in which he addresses anti-Semitism and replacement theology. He asks Christian readers to consider how certain statements might be heard by Jewish listeners and notes that many Christian leaders have stepped away from a confrontational stance. Zaslow reminds us that they story of Jesus has its roots within the Jewish world.Zaslow calls on both Jews and Christians to hear anew the story of the other. He asserts that by acknowleding the other, we can both be stronger. It is this optimistic message that characterizes this useful and interesting book.Rabbi Louis A. Rieser, Congregational Libraries Today
Author: Rabbi David Zaslow
Located in: Ashland, Oregon
Submitted: November 30, 2013
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a traditional Jewish rabbi serving a wonderful congregation in Oregon. Just to be clear, I am not what they call a messianic rabbi. I have simply had this calling to help lessen the surface tension between Jews and Christians when they speak about theological issues that separate us. I also travel to lead interfaith workshops for churches and synagogues throughout the country.
Most important in my life is my family. I have grown kids, and I have one daughter and granddaughter who live in Virginia.
What was your motivation behind this project? Since Vatican II in the 1960s interfaith events have become commonplace between Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and people of all faiths in the United States. These events often take the shape of sharing beliefs and respectful listening, but rarely rise to the level of joyous, mutual celebration. Why? Religious leaders are good at remembering what they dont like about each others theologies. Add that to the memory of historic violence between various religions and cultures, and its easy to understand why religions have limited their ecumenical and interfaith hopes and goals. I wrote this book because, along with many other Jews and Christians, this seems to be the right time to build an authentic bridge of understanding and mutual celebration between our faiths without watering down the unique theological facets of each faith. Because of the advent of travel and technology the world has gotten too small to hide behind old tribal prejudices.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Without a true picture of the historical Jesus, Christians have deprived themselves from the full picture of their messiah. It is this deprivation that has kept Christians from even wanting to investigate the very teachings, writings, and theological questions that Jesus himself was privy to learning. He was part of his Jewish tradition, not apart from that tradition. He likely studied the writings of sages like Hillel and Shammai that most Christians never even heard of. What is at stake is clearly another millennium of unnecessary separation between Jewish and Christians. And, as my book demonstrates I am not looking for a false, syncretic union between our religions. I believe that just as diversity is healthy in our planetary ecology, so G-d would have Jews be the best Jews they can be, Christians be the best Christians they can be, Muslims be the best Muslims they can be, and so on for people of all religions. We dont need unity in the sense of losing our identity. Rather, we need to celebrate a unity in purpose to bring our common sense of ethics and justice into every crevice of our world.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Its easy to say that Christianity arose out of Judaism, and that Jesus was Jewish. But the consequences of really believing these two facts are extraordinary. The current relationship between these two great faiths is a best at the level of tolerance. Most Jews have not absorbed how Jewish Jesus really was. We have bought into 2,000 years of European art that has made him out to be anything but a religious Jew. Christians, for their part, have done all they can to de-Judaize this rabbi from Judea, and present his gospel as one that replaces the Mosaic covenant that was already ancient by the first-century. The irony, of course, is that Jesus died protecting and teaching the laws, and wisdom of that very covenant.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? In the world of Jewish/Christian scholarship I am a huge fan of Amy-Jill Levine, and her books "The Misunderstood Jews" and the book she co-edited "The Jewish Annotated New Testament" are must reads for any serious student of the New Testament. My own rabbi, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi has been on the cutting edge of interfaith work for more than sixty years now. I am study and admire the important work of Dr. Brad Young
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Regarding Jesus its time to step back a bit from our beliefs and be willing to see that the Jesus of history is not the same figure as the Jesus of the Church. This does not mean that the Jews and Christians are incorrect in their unique view of Jesus. There is no "competition" between the historical Jesus and the theological Jesus. Jesus the man was a Torah observant Jew who died as a Jew because the Romans were terrified that he was to become the King of the Jews, and therefore be a political threat to the power of the Empire. His teachings are clearly rooted in the cutting edge Judaism of his day. It seems like the right time for Jews to have a greater understanding of the theological Christ, and for Christians to have a greater understanding of the historical figure whose name in ancient Judea was actually named Joshua.