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Thousand-book Judaism scholar Jacob Neusner dies

    Jacob Neusner, one of the world's foremost scholars of rabbinical texts, has died aged 84.

    The New York-based Conservative rabbi and professor was behind the publication of almost 1,000 books.

    His translations of the Talmud - both the Babylonian and Jerusalem versions - were just one aspect of his work, which also covered Jewish-Christian relations, the Holocaust, contemporary American Judaism and numerous other topics.

    Pope Benedict, when he was a cardinal, lauded Dr Neusner's 1993 work in which the American scholar imagined himself holding a theological discussion with Jesus.

    Cardinal Ratzinger called A Rabbi Talks With Jesus "by far the most important book for the Jewish-Christian dialogue in the last decade".

    Dr Neusner was credited with boosting the standing of Jewish studies at American universities, and was one of the most quoted names in Jewish studies departments worldwide - although not always for the right reasons. Many disagreed with his theories on the history of Judaism, and some found his translations inadequate.

    Dr Neusner was born to an assimilated Jewish family in Connecticut on July 28, 1932.

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