As many of you know I have always been fascinated by the intersection of early Christianity and the development of Rabbinic Judaism. While many of us know little of the development of our own faith we know less about the development of Christianity and the way Christianity emerged from Judaism tends to be a complete blank to Jews and Christians alike. The essays in The Jewish Annotated New Testament provides some real insight into the ways early Rabbinic Jews and Christians might have viewed each other. These understandings will be most helpful to interfaith families and for a Jewish community that must better understand those of a different faith who now live as part of the Jewish people. As a recent NY Times column puts it:
This volume is thus for anybody interested in a Bible more attuned to Jewish sources. But it is of special interest to Jews who “may believe that any annotated New Testament is aimed at persuasion, if not conversion,” Drs. Levine and Brettler write in their preface. “This volume, edited and written by Jewish scholars, should not raise that suspicion. “
Jews who peek inside these forbidding covers will also find essays anticipating the arguments of Christian evangelists. Confronted by Christians who extol their religion’s conceptions of neighbor love or the afterlife, for example, many Jews do not know their own tradition’s teachings. So The Jewish Annotated New Testament includes essays like “The Concept of Neighbor in Jewish and Christian Ethics” and “Afterlife and Resurrection.”
I’d like to extend an invitation to a book signing and talk featuring the authors. The event takes place on Thursday, December 8th from 5:30 to 6:30 PM at the Usdan International Lounge at Brandeis University.
I look forward to seeing you there.
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