The Misunderstood Jew

The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus

Levine, Amy-Jill

Book - 2006
Average Rating: 2 stars out of 5.
The Misunderstood Jew
Baker & Taylor
A leading biblical scholar demonstrates how both liberal and conservative Christians share a fundamental misunderstanding of Judaism and the New Testament that directly contributes to intolerance and anti-Semitism, in a guide that invites Christian and Jewish readers to develop fuller understandings of Jesus and the gospels.


Country Western singer Kinky Friedman often performs a song entitled "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore," and New Testament professor Amy–Jill Levine would agree. In fact, her career is dedicated to helping Christians and Jews understand the Jewishness of Jesus, thereby deepening the understanding of him, and facilitating greater interfaith dialogue. In this book, she shows how liberal Christians misunderstand Judaism, misunderstand the New Testament, and thus yank Jesus out of his Jewish context and wind up promoting hatred of Jews. Only with the deeper understanding this top Jewish, Southern–born New Testament scholar provides can we hope to respect each other's beliefs, as well as enrich our own.

Through a extremely busy teaching and speaking schedule, Levine has honed her message at synagogues, Catholic conferences, Jewish Community Centers, denominational meetings, in the classroom and in her highly successful Teaching Company audios and videos. Levine is brilliant, charming, funny and forceful, and uses these traits to give a completely fresh perspective on Jesus and the New Testament. In addition to offering new insights with great skill, she has the remarkable ability to be tough, pointing out how even liberal Christians can be unwittingly anti–Semitic in their understanding of what Jesus stood for.Her truth–telling here will provoke honest dialogue on how Christians and Jews should understand Jesus and our New Testament heritage.

Blackwell North Amer
Mixing rigorous scholarship with helpings of both wit and pastoral care, Amy-Jill Levine reveals Jesus as The Misunderstood Jew. Levine shows how Christians often misunderstand Judaism in general, misunderstand the New Testament in particular, and thus yank Jesus out of his Jewish context - resulting in intolerance (and sometimes outright hatred) of Jews. She doesn't let Jews off the hook either, cutting through willful ignorance of Jesus and his message. A Jewish scholar who teaches in a primarily Protestant divinity school in Nashville, Tennessee - the buckle of the Bible Belt - Levine offers a unique, deeper understanding of who Jesus was and what he taught.

& Taylor

Demonstrates how both liberal and conservative Christians share a fundamental misunderstanding of Judaism and the New Testament that directly contributes to intolerance and anti-Semitism.

Publisher: [San Francisco, Calif.?] : HarperSanFrancisco, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0060789662
Characteristics: 250 p. ; 24 cm


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Jul 04, 2011

I appreciate this book greatly: ideas that i had run into tangentially, concerns that i had felt but inarticulately, new exegesis of both Christian and Hebrew Scriptures [I disagree with her criticism of that title]-- all this was made coherent and understandable in a new way. The book is scholarly in that EVERYthing said is supported and defended in a most rational way. Unfortunately, like so many books written since the advent of word-procssing and the loss of experienced editors in publishing houses, the book is sometimes repetitive and occasionally borders on the hystrionic.
Even so, Levine's ability as a Jew to value the Christian faith and the positives of this religion, and her challenge to Jews to break out of their institutionalized ignorance of the majority culture, is remarkable and edifying. This should be a must-read for all Christian pastors and on the shelf of all rabbis' offices.


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