Country Western singer Kinky Friedman often performs a song entitled "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore," and New Testament professor Amy-Jill Levine would agree. In fact, her career is dedicated to helping Christians and Jews understand the Jewishness of Jesus, thereby deepening the understanding of him, and facilitating greater ...Read MoreCountry Western singer Kinky Friedman often performs a song entitled "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore," and New Testament professor Amy-Jill Levine would agree. In fact, her career is dedicated to helping Christians and Jews understand the Jewishness of Jesus, thereby deepening the understanding of him, and facilitating greater interfaith dialogue. In this book, she shows how liberal Christians misunderstand Judaism, misunderstand the New Testament, and thus yank Jesus out of his Jewish context and wind up promoting hatred of Jews. Only with the deeper understanding this top Jewish, Southern-born New Testament scholar provides can we hope to respect each other's beliefs, as well as enrich our own. Through a extremely busy teaching and speaking schedule, Levine has honed her message at synagogues, Catholic conferences, Jewish Community Centers, denominational meetings, in the classroom and in her highly successful Teaching Company audios and videos. Levine is brilliant, charming, funny and forceful, and uses these traits to give a completely fresh perspective on Jesus and the New Testament. In addition to offering new insights with great skill, she has the remarkable ability to be tough, pointing out how even liberal Christians can be unwittingly anti-Semitic in their understanding of what Jesus stood for.Her truth-telling here will provoke honest dialogue on how Christians and Jews should understand Jesus and our New Testament heritage.Read Less
....and funny to boot. This student minister could not appreciate her content or style more.
Apr 17, 2008
A Better Understanding
On the whole, this book is a welcome effort for its main goal of demonstrating and reclaiming the Jewishness of Jesus, and the Jewish background and culture of the New Testament scriptures. Jesus is shown to be originating within, aligning himself with, and expressing himself within a religious culture that venerates the divinely revealed scriptures of the Hebrew prophets. He was a devoted member of the body and calling of the divinely elected people of Israel. Levine helps us see the shameful anti-Semitism of the historical church and dispels the reprehensible conceptions of false oppressive social standards supposedly found within this noble tradition. Of course, writing as a traditional Jew, Levine does not regard Jesus as Israel's messiah and so this reviewer must depart from some of her interpretations of certain passages in both the OT and the NT. Also, when she criticizes the church, she usually has in mind the Roman Catholic church and its interaction with the Jews throughout history. This does not fairly represent the evangelical Christian church.
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