the Jewish Theologian
by Brad Young
- 308 pages
Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.
This book has 18 sample pages available for viewing at Amazon.com
"Jesus the Jewish Theologian establishes Jesus firmly within the context of
first-century Judaism and shows how understanding Jesus' Jewishness is crucial for
interpreting the New Testament and for understanding the nature of Christian faith.
Insights from Jewish literature, archeology, and tradition help modern readers place Jesus
within his original context. Particular attention is given to the Jewish roots of
Jesus' teaching concerning the kingdom of God."
"...this book illuminates anew how Jewish
Jesus was. That should come as no surprise to Jews or to Christians, although it often
does. Jesus grew from the soil of his people. In reading this book I was
struck again and again with how Jesus' teachings were paralleled in my own tradition...Dr.
Young's book is not intended to diminish Jesus' teaching, but to show its
roots." — Rabbi David Wolpe, University of Judaism, Los
"Dr. Young...permits the words of Jesus
to glisten within their own Semitic setting...[He] has done his readers a great service in
introducing them to Jewish theological thought...What emerges, however, is not 'Jesus the
Jewish theologian' in any Western, systematic sense. Rather, in Jesus, Dr. Young presents
an Eastern or Semitic theologian, one who employs a living, vibrant, theology..."
— Marvin R. Wilson, Gordon College
"Although Jesus was Jewish, his theology is sometimes treated as if he were
Christian. But Jesus never attended a church. He never celebrated Christmas. He never wore
new clothes on Easter Sunday" (Introduction).
"Traditional Christian views of Torah,
however, sometimes make it difficult to understand Jesus' teachings. One finds at least
four different views of Torah. The first one is the Jewish view. Torah is divine wisdom,
which teaches the knowledge of God and reverence for his will...The second is the
Christian view, which often describes the old law as perverted legalism. At best, the
Christian view of Torah can be ambivalent or negative. The third is the Christian view of
the Jewish view. Perhaps this third view is the most abominable. As Christians we have not
studied Judaism for its own sake. The Jewish view of Torah is described wrongly as a
salvation-by-works religion, a simple earn-your-way legalistic religious system of
oppression. The Jewish concept of God's compassion and his sovereignty is replaced with
traditional, untutored prejudices. The fourth view, however, is essential, but it is
routinely neglected. It is Jesus' view. How did Jesus view Torah?" (Preface)
"The tragedy of church history, in my
opinion, is the lack of interest in Jesus. Simply having faith in Jesus has replaced
responding to his urgent call to active discipleship, which includes serious study of his
teachings and intense involvement with the Hebrew Bible. The Torah is the most neglected
volume among the people of the church" (page 260).