A Portable God: The Ori­gin of Judaism and Christianity

Risa Levitt Kohn; Rebec­ca Moore
  • Review
By – March 9, 2012
The joint effort of a Jew­ish pro­fes­sor spe­cial­iz­ing in Scrip­ture and a Chris­t­ian pro­fes­sor spe­cial­iz­ing in Chris­t­ian tra­di­tions, this vol­ume pro­vides an acces­si­ble intro­duc­tion to the ori­gins of Judaism and Chris­tian­i­ty. Kohn and Moore explain how Rab­binic Judaism and Chris­tian­i­ty devel­oped from com­mon ori­gins in the pre­cepts and con­cepts of Israelite reli­gion, albeit empha­siz­ing dif­fer­ent ideas and prac­tices. The authors’ shared sen­si­bil­i­ties help to avoid triv­i­al­iz­ing the tra­di­tion of the oth­er in the telling of their own sto­ry, instead clar­i­fy­ing where the dif­fer­ences, and the sim­i­lar­i­ties, emerged, and often con­tin­ue to be rel­e­vant. They focus on explain­ing how Israelite reli­gion is trans­formed in each of these sib­ling” tra­di­tions, espe­cial­ly on how each locates” God. Dis­cus­sions com­pare how each tra­di­tion there­by devel­ops the roles of sac­ri­fice, priest­hood, and inter­pre­ta­tive author­i­ty, which became fun­da­men­tal to sur­vival after the destruc­tion of the Tem­ple in 70 c.e. Glos­sary and index.
Mark D. Nanos, Ph.D., Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas, is the author of Mys­tery­of Romans, win­ner of the 1996 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award, Charles H. Revson­Award in Jew­ish-Chris­t­ian Relations.

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