Download A Rabbi Talks with Jesus by Jacob Neusner PDF

By Jacob Neusner

Placing himself in the context of the Gospel of Matthew, Neusner imagines himself in a discussion with Jesus of Nazareth and can pay him the perfect Judaic gesture of appreciate: creating a reference to him via a good debate in regards to the nature of God's One fact. Neusner explains why the Sermon at the Mount wouldn't have confident him to persist with Jesus and why, via the criterion of the Torah of Moses, he could have persevered to stick to the lessons of Moses. He explores the explanations Christians think in Jesus Christ and the dominion of Heaven, whereas Jews proceed to think within the Torah of Moses and a country of clergymen and holy humans on the earth. This revised and extended variation, with a foreword through Donald Akenson, creates a considerate and obtainable context for dialogue of the main primary query of why Christians and Jews think what they believe.

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The Torah knows nothing of not resisting evil and does not value either the craven person, who submits, or the arrogant person, who holds that it is beneath one's dignity to 43 A R A B B I TALKS WITH JESUS deign to oppose evil. Passivity in the face of evil serves the cause of evil. The Torah calls eternal Israel always to struggle for God's purpose; the Torah sanctions warfare and recognizes legitimate power. So I find amazing Jesus' statement that it is a religious duty to fold before evil. True, Proverbs teaches, "A soft answer turns away wrath" (Prov 15:1).

These evasions of the Christian claim to truth will serve no more. Christianity does not believe in a Galilean miracle worker, nor does Christianity worship a rabbi. For my part, I will not evade. I will not concede. I will not praise with excessive, irrelevant compliments someone else's God: it is demeaning and dishonest. So to conclude, by addressing teachings of Jesus as Matthew portrays him, I pay the tribute of serious attention to what, until 32 A P R A C T I C I N G JEW IN D I A L O G U E WITH JESUS now, has found little serious attention among Jews.

In fact, the sage on the mountain himself identifies the reason. The contrast between the message echoing from Sinai and the one announced today is drawn explicitly. So I am told to expect to hear something fresh, original, and superior to anything that has gone before - and yet, torah in conformity with the Torah revealed by God to Moses at Sinai. So the sage sets for himself a worthy challenge, one that every sage in every generation does well to meet: receive a tradition whole and perfect, hand it on never intact but always unimpaired, so taking a rightful place in the chain of tradition from Sinai.

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