Issues 19:07 Jesus through Jewish Eyes
2011 and 2012 brought in a bumper crop of books about Jesus written or edited by Jews: The Jewish Annotated New Testament, edited by Amy Jill-Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler; The Jewish Gospels by Daniel Boyarin; Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Kosher Jesus; and Michael Brown’s The Real Kosher Jesus; .
They aren’t the first to look at Y’shua (Jesus) from a Jewish perspective. Classics like We Jews and Jesus by Samuel Sandmel and Jesus of Nazareth by Joseph Klausner have been around for decades. About ten years ago, philosopher Beatrice Bruteau edited a book entitled Jesus through Jewish Eyes: Rabbis and Scholars Engage an Ancient Brother in a New Conversation. She solicited essays about Jesus from nineteen Jewish leaders, and the responses (two Jews, three opinions!) varied widely.
In this edition, we review that collection as a springboard to discuss a key issue for Jews today: Who is Jesus, what is his significance, and how can we evaluate his claims? We also survey the “new wave” of Jewish books about Jesus. We then present the stories of a rabbi and a 95-year-old Jewish great-great-grandmother from Manhattan’s Lower East Side who offer their answers to the question, who is Jesus?
Jesus through Jewish Eyes: Rabbis and Scholars Engage an Ancient Brother in a New Conversation Beatrice Bruteau, editor (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001) 191 pp. In the preface to Jesus through Jewish Eyes, editor Beatrice Bruteau offers her motivations behind this compilation: “Let me say at the outset, so that there be no misunderstanding, encouraging […]
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Herb Opalek was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home which boasts many rabbis in the family tree. He attended Hebrew day school and by age ten was fluent in both modern and ancient Hebrew. He had a near photographic memory and wangled quite a few free dinners by performing his […]
The Latest Generation of Jewish Scholars Gives Us Its Take on Jesus The past several years have seen a “new wave” of Jewish publications about Jesus and the New Testament. In 2011, The Jewish Annotated New Testament (JANT) was published, the first time the entire New Testament has been presented to Jews and Christians by […]
By Marylee Shrider Rebecca Gottesman moved to California from New York a half century ago, but her hard-boiled upbringing is still evident in her New Jersey accent and countless stories of an age gone by. “I grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan in a Jewish neighborhood, side-by-side with all sorts of people,” […]