Dis­put­ing Chris­tian­i­ty: The 400 Year Old Debate Over Rab­bi Isaac Ben Abra­ham of Troki’s Clas­sic Arguments

Richard Pop­kin
  • Review
By – March 9, 2012
For obvi­ous rea­sons, Jew­ish reli­gious cri­tiques of Chris­tian­i­ty have been rare indeed. And, despite the title of this book, this is not one. Dis­tin­guished philoso­pher Richard Pop­kin has con­tributed an inter­est­ing twen­ty-five page intro­duc­tion which details the his­to­ry of one famous exam­ple, that writ­ten in 1593 by a Karaite Rab­bi, Isaac of Tro­ki. The Rabbi’s work was dis­trib­uted in man­u­script and print­ed syn­opses and had a cer­tain influ­ence over the next few cen­turies. The bulk of this book, how­ev­er, is not from the Rab­bi, but is a rather fas­ci­nat­ing foot­note to his­to­ry, an anti-Chris­t­ian polemic by George Bethune Eng­lish, a for­mer Uni­tar­i­an min­is­ter from Boston, turned sol­dier, diplo­mat, and secret agent. Not to steal thun­der from this inter­est­ing char­ac­ter, or his argu­ments, but if we are to learn about a Jew­ish dis­pute with Chris­tian­i­ty, bet­ter to read it from the pen of the Rabbi.
Jeff Bogursky reads a lot, writes a lit­tle and talks quite a bit. He is a media exec­u­tive and expert in dig­i­tal media.

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