Dr. Brown, in response to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's book "Kosher Jesus", encourages his readers to discover who this Jesus (Yeshua) really is. Is He a Rabbi? Is He a prophet? Is He a reprobate sinner? Or He the Son of G-d? Dr. Brown discusses such mysteries as the '...Invisible G-d Who Can Be Seen,' the suffering servant, and the 'Priestly Messiah' and much more! The reader will find out how within rabbinical tradition and the Hebrew Scriptures the death of the righteous atones for the nation and in the case of Yeshua (Jesus) the whole world! I highly recommend this book to both Jews and Gentiles to understand who Jesus is and for them to dig deeper into the Scriptures and into history to learn about Yeshua.
Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, something we often forget.
Brown was born in a Conservative Jewish home. In 1971 he discovered who Jesus really was. It shook Brown with such a force he got his doctorate in Semitic languages and became a specialist in answering Jewish objections to Jesus.
Brown has cultivated a friendship with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and much of this book is in answer to the Rabbi's book, Kosher Jesus. For example, he shows that Boteach's image of Jesus, "...a potential Messiah who believed that the moment of liberation had come and who decided that he would inaugurate the Messianic era by force[,]" is false. (58)
He answers the critics who claim Paul introduced false beliefs about and teaching of Jesus, or that Paul wasn't even a Jew.
Brown reveals the two messiahs of ancient Jewish tradition. He shows how a suffering Messiah was written about in rabbinic literature as was the atoning power of the death of a righteous person. He also gives evidence for the Jewish expectation of a priestly Messiah and a great prophet. There is even some tradition indicating the arrival time of the Messiah, coinciding with Jesus' time on earth.
Brown shows that, without a doubt, Jesus is the promised Messiah. "The real kosher Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world." (189)
This would be a good book for you to read if you have a Jewish friend who has not accepted that Jesus is the Messiah. You could give them this book but I think you should read it first. Brown has done a great job in showing that Jesus is the Messiah but I am not sure even a book like this will result in acceptance of the fact. Reading this book along with your Jewish friend would be a good way to stimulate discussion toward Jesus as Messiah and Savior.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Charisma House Book Group for the purpose of this review.
Dr. Michael Brown's The Real Kosher Jesus is a dynamic examination of the identity of Jesus within His rich Jewish context. Dr. Brown draws the reader into a progressive revelation of Jesus-Yeshua as a Jew, a rabbi, a prophet, a revolutionary and the long awaited and soon returning Messiah. The occasion of the book was the publication of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's book Kosher Jesus, which I have not read and will not be a part of this review, however The Real Kosher Jesus goes far beyond a narrow or temporary response to Boteach's work. This book, penned in only two and a half months, leads the reader into a discovery of who Jesus really was and is. The progressive revelation of Brown's writing, which manages to both build a case and present a journey, is consistently evangelistic and exceptionally powerful, presenting the beauty of Jesus as the truly Jewish Messiah.
While avoiding an academic or scholarly tone, The Real Kosher Jesus obviously has an enormous scholarly depth and foundation. Dr. Brown is probably the foremost Christian apologist to the Jewish people, authoring five volumes of Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, and he effortlessly draws from comprehensive source material. The book moves from Anti-Semitism and the Jewish response through Church history to the Jewishness of Jesus, the Jewishness of the Gospel, the Jewishness of Paul, and a distinctly Jewish path to discovering Jesus as the Messiah, the Savior, Lord, and Son of God. This journey contains vast amounts of revelation for the Christian as well as for the Jew and provides a fresh but vital presentation of the gospel. In reading the book, one feels that this was the progression of the gospel as it was meant to be revealed to the world through the Jewish people and nation. In all the fervor and momentum of the movement back to the gospel in the Church and publishing world today, I have never read a more passionate and more revealing description of the good news in the identity of Jesus.
Dr. Brown refers to Rabbi Boteach's book specifically a number of times and spends three chapters in specific refutation of Boteach's thesis. Having not read Boteach's book, I am unable to thoroughly weigh the argumentation; however, these chapters are immensely relevant without reading Boteach's book. They feature the most entertaining and humorous prose within the book and are also powerful reminders of the revolutionary nature of Jesus in both His spiritual militancy and His passionate non-violence. While Kosher Jesus was the occasion for The Real Kosher Jesus, my impression is that Boteach's work will not stand the test of time, while I hope to see this work endure through many editions.
The Real Kosher Jesus stands out as an exceptionally relevant and readable work of apologetics and theology. It is a prophetic cry both to the Jewish people and the Christian Church to discover the reality of Jesus as He is and as He revealed Himself to the world. It is not only the finest book on the identity of Jesus I have ever read, it is one of finest books on the gospel I have ever read. It has transformed my view of the revelation of God's love and redemption in Jesus-Yeshua.
My thanks to Charisma House for providing this complimentary review copy. I was not required to give a positive review. I have given an honest review.