The Jewish Jesus: How Judaism and Christianity Shaped Each Other

Princeton University Press  2012

 

It has long been recognized that Christianity arose out of Judaism, but in recent years more attention has been paid to the ways in which Christianity influenced developments within rabbinic Judaism as well. Professor Peter Schäfer of Princeton University is one of the leading scholars in such reappraisals of the ways in which the identity boundaries of emerging Christianity and rabbinic Judaism were less stable and more permeable than traditionally recognized. Schäfer's research explores the ways in which this interaction played out, with special attention to certain cases in which rabbis appropriated ideas that grew out of Judaism that Christians were developing, and thus that reflect a dynamic interplay in which, in some cases at least, it stands to reason that "rabbinic Judaism reappropriated originally Jewish ideas that were usurped by Christianity.” For example, some rabbis insisted that certain ideas about God were originally Judaism's ideas and belonged to Judaism still, which led to disputes about the divine status of figures such as Adam, David, Metatron, and angels, and in a different direction, to various suffering servants. The twists and turns of these disputes among the rabbis, as well as the way they are now being approached by other contemporary scholars engaged in these debates, are intriguing to follow under Schäfer's able guidance.

Chapters are developed around the following topics: Different Names for God; The Young and the Old God; God and David; God and Metatron; Has God a Father, a Son, or a Brother?; The Angels; Adam; The Birth of the Messiah, or Why Did Baby Messiah Disappear?, and The Suffering Messiah Ephraim. Bibliography, index.



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