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The Jewish Gospels by Daniel Boyarin

The Jewish Gospels

by Daniel Boyarin

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For Daniel Boyarin, Jesus Christ is fundamentally Jewish, and did not set out to establish a new religion. The thought of Jesus was not a break from current Judaism. Boyarin tries to flip our undestanidng of son of man vs son of God. He argues that 'Son of God' was given to a number of signiificant monarchs, and what was unique for Jesus was to be called Son of Man, a more divine term in Judaism, if not angelic. Enoch, who seems to partake of divinity in apocryphal literature was deemed Son of Man.

Boyarin is not entirely satisfactory in explainng the resurrection, but he does give a considerable alternate view of Christ and his place in Judaism, and is worth reading for that. ( )
  vpfluke | Jul 19, 2014 |
Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, along comes Daniel Boyarin, a professor of Talmudic Culture and Rhetoric at the University of California.

You think Christianity’s unique contribution to Judaism was the introduction of a god-man? Wrong. Could it be the idea of a suffering savior? Wrong again. Maybe that Jesus rejected Jewish dietary laws and Sabbath restrictions, freeing us from the Law? Hardly; Boyarin paints a very Jewish Jesus in his reading of the Gospels, certainly a Jesus who keeps kosher.

Christianity’s one claim to fame may be the insistence that the Messiah had already arrived, but that’s about the extent of its uniqueness. Otherwise, Christianity is a very Jewish offshoot of a Jewish religion. Boyarin draws from texts like the Book of Daniel and 1st Enoch to explain the title Son of Man (which, it turns out, is a much more exalted title than Son of God) and in turn to expose the expectation of many first-century Jews of just such a divine savior.

This is a fascinating, controversial book presenting a very different look at Jesus as one who defended Torah from wayward Judaic sects (the Pharisees), rather than vice versa. I don’t think the arguments are fully developed yet, but certainly Boyarin introduces “reasonable doubt” against traditional scholarship. Let the arguing begin. ( )
  DubiousDisciple | Sep 5, 2012 |
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Makes the powerful case that the conventional understandings of Jesus and the origins of Christianity are wrong: that Jesus' core teachings were not a break from Jewish beliefs and that Jesus was embraced by many Jews as the Messiah of the ancient Jewish texts.… (more)

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