Learn more about the relations between Jewish and Christian people throughout history, beginning with the emergence of Christianity in the first century. In this four-volume collection, Jacob Neusner, a distinguished scholar of Jewish Studies, contends that the shortage of dialogue between the two Abrahamic religions throughout history has resulted in a divide that makes it impossible for either side to understand the beliefs and traditions of the other.
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In this follow-up to his influential book, A Rabbi Talks with Jesus, Jacob Neusner, challenges the Apostle Paul to a debate about the true meaning and significance of Judaism. Drawing new boundaries for Jewish-Christian dialogue, Neusner contends that Paul misinterpreted Judaism and that this error has resulted in the widespread perception of Judaism as ethnic and particular while Christianity is understood as universally accessible. Neusner attempts to demonstrate how Judaism, too, may be considered universal. Just as Christianity presents an option to all of God’s faithful, Neusner contends that Judaism's mediation of the voice of God at Sinai echoes across the entire world.
Rabbi Neusner challenges not only St. Paul but all of those who mistakenly think that Judaism is an ethnic religion, that is to say, a religion for a specific people without any universality of concern.
—Andrew M. Greeley, professor of social science, University of Chicago
In an age of ethnic conflict, this is a book as timely as it is generous and profound.
—Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi, United Kingdom
In this book Jacob Neusner, argues that the classical documents of Judaism speak extensively about the diverse ways in which we meet God in the world. The counterpart in Christianity, argues Bruce Chilton, is meeting God in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. As heirs to the Scripture of ancient Israel, both Judaism and Christianity identify humanity as the worldly image of God. The two traditions agree that because we are made in God's image, we see God in the face of one another. The conception of incarnation is therefore as Judaic as it is Christian. The point of difference between the two becomes clear when we ask how incarnation is realized.
Bruce Chilton is the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College. He also serves as chaplain and executive director of Bard's Institute of Advanced Theology. He is the author of several books on early Christianity, including Pure Kingdom: Jesus’ Vision of God, The Glory of Israel, and The Temple of Jesus.
Telling Tales: Making Sense of Christian and Judaic Nonsense: The Urgency and Basis for Judeo-Christian Dialogue
Jacob Neusner, claims that Judeo-Christian dialogue is nonexistent; instead of dialoguing with one another, Christians and Jews have been exchanging monologues—parallel lines that never meet. This is because neither Christians nor Jews have viewed each other sympathetically. He proposes a new way of beginning dialogue by suggesting that Jews and Christians exchange stories in order to better understand one another.
What a fresh injection of intellectual and religious vitality into Jewish-Christian relations! Neusner opens up possibilities often either blocked or shunned on both sides.
—Krister Stendahl, Robert and Myra Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Distinguished Professor of Christian Studies, Brandeis University
Jews and Christians: The Myth of a Common Tradition
Jacob Neusner, proposes that “there is not now, and there never has been, a dialogue between the religions of Judaism and Christianity.” He asserts that, from the very beginning, the Judaic and Christian religious worlds scarcely intersect. He calls for Jews and Christians to describe honestly and accurately their respective faiths, and by doing so, begin dialoguing with the each other. In this way, Jews and Christians can begin to grasp the ideas and practices of each other’s traditions and beliefs and coincide harmoniously together.
About Jacob Neusner
Jacob Neusner is research professor of theology and senior fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College.