Jesus the Jewish Theologian by Brad Young

Table of Contents


Jesus the Jewish Theologian
by Brad Young

Paperback - 308 pages
(November 1995)
Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 1565630602

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This book has 18 sample pages available for viewing at

"Jesus the Jewish Theologian establishes Jesus firmly within the context of first-century Judaism and shows how understanding Jesus' Jewishness is crucial for interpreting the New Testament and for understanding the nature of Christian faith. Insights from Jewish literature, archeology, and tradition help modern readers place Jesus within his original context.  Particular attention is given to the Jewish roots of Jesus' teaching concerning the kingdom of God."

"...this book illuminates anew how Jewish Jesus was. That should come as no surprise to Jews or to Christians, although it often does.  Jesus grew from the soil of his people.  In reading this book I was struck again and again with how Jesus' teachings were paralleled in my own tradition...Dr. Young's book is not intended to diminish Jesus' teaching, but to show its roots."  — Rabbi David Wolpe, University of Judaism, Los Angeles

"Dr. Young...permits the words of Jesus to glisten within their own Semitic setting...[He] has done his readers a great service in introducing them to Jewish theological thought...What emerges, however, is not 'Jesus the Jewish theologian' in any Western, systematic sense. Rather, in Jesus, Dr. Young presents an Eastern or Semitic theologian, one who employs a living, vibrant, theology..." — Marvin R. Wilson, Gordon College

Selected quotes:
"Although Jesus was Jewish, his theology is sometimes treated as if he were Christian. But Jesus never attended a church. He never celebrated Christmas. He never wore new clothes on Easter Sunday" (Introduction). 

"Traditional Christian views of Torah, however, sometimes make it difficult to understand Jesus' teachings. One finds at least four different views of Torah. The first one is the Jewish view. Torah is divine wisdom, which teaches the knowledge of God and reverence for his will...The second is the Christian view, which often describes the old law as perverted legalism. At best, the Christian view of Torah can be ambivalent or negative. The third is the Christian view of the Jewish view. Perhaps this third view is the most abominable. As Christians we have not studied Judaism for its own sake. The Jewish view of Torah is described wrongly as a salvation-by-works religion, a simple earn-your-way legalistic religious system of oppression. The Jewish concept of God's compassion and his sovereignty is replaced with traditional, untutored prejudices. The fourth view, however, is essential, but it is routinely neglected. It is Jesus' view. How did Jesus view Torah?" (Preface)

"The tragedy of church history, in my opinion, is the lack of interest in Jesus. Simply having faith in Jesus has replaced responding to his urgent call to active discipleship, which includes serious study of his teachings and intense involvement with the Hebrew Bible. The Torah is the most neglected volume among the people of the church" (page 260).


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