If you liked Jacobson on Jesus…

By Simon Rocker
January 16, 2009

If you enjoyed Howard Jacobson's Channel Four outing on Sunday to reclaim the Jewish Jesus (see his JC article), then why not take a look at Modern Jews Engage the New Testament. Its author, Rabbi Michael Cook, went down well at the recent Limmud conference and his book was one of the best-sellers at the conference bookstore.

Rabbi Cook, professor of Judeo-Christian studies at the Hebrew Union College, the American Reform rabbinic seminary, writes in the introduction: "Although the New Testament has exerted the most harmful impact on the Jewish people's history, Jews have always opted to remain ignorant about it. This is the glaring exception to the time-honoured Jewish approach to problem-solving which is to amass - not shun - knowledge."


Rev Mark Troughton

Fri, 01/16/2009 - 22:47

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Greetings Simon,

With the greatest of respect, whilst I understand what you mean ('the New Testament has exerted the most harmful impact on the Jewish people's history') that is not the only perspective. The early church was entirely Jewish to begin with; they would doubtless wish to diasagree with your assessment; the Apostles were Jewish almost in their entirety and the assemblies they founded also well-represented among Jews across the Roman Empire for the next 200 years. It was primarily when Constantine made Christianity into a state-sponsored nominal religion that the atrocities began. More recently, since the 1980s, there have been large numbers of Jewish people particularly in the USA, who have found in Jesus/Yeshua the very Messiah about whom the Prophets wrote without this in any way negating their ethnicity or identity as Jews. Dr David Stern's 'Jewish New Testament Commentary' and 'Complete Jewish Bible' are representative of Messianic Jews so-called who have found this to be true.
Yours very cordially,
Rev Mark Troughton


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