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A Rabbi Talks with Jesus by Jacob Neusner

By Jacob Neusner

Placing himself in the context of the Gospel of Matthew, Neusner imagines himself in a discussion with Jesus of Nazareth and will pay him the splendid Judaic gesture of recognize: creating a reference to him via a decent debate concerning the nature of God's One fact. Neusner explains why the Sermon at the Mount don't have confident him to keep on with Jesus and why, by means of the criterion of the Torah of Moses, he could have persisted to stick with the lessons of Moses. He explores the explanations Christians think in Jesus Christ and the dominion of Heaven, whereas Jews proceed to think within the Torah of Moses and a country of clergymen and holy humans on the earth. This revised and improved version, with a foreword by means of Donald Akenson, creates a considerate and obtainable context for dialogue of the main primary query of why Christians and Jews think what they believe.

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And if I had been there, I would have wondered what he had to say to not me but to us: all Israel, assembled, that day, in the persons present, before him to hear his torah. But if the substance strikes me as both meritorious and flawed, the form is precisely what Matthew says: amazing. If I were there, would I have shared in the astonishment of the crowds? " The wording "You have heard it said" leaves open the question: "By whom? " A teacher of the Torah is judged by the Torah and responsible to it.

Judaism took for granted that Christianity never made a difference to the Torah. Christianity represented Judaism in so repulsive a form that, in all honesty, why should any honorable person have wanted to conduct a dialogue with that religion? So - why bother, just now, to take up an argument postponed for nearly two thousand years? Bother, partly because religious dialogue in twenty-firstcentury America is going to take place; our native American curiosity and basic goodwill make it possible.

Anyone who knew that verse will have identified with Jesus' expansion of it. Nor should we ignore, "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you" (Prov 25:21-22). But that rather shrewd counsel hardly prepares us for, "Do not resist one who is evil," which demands something else altogether. The fifth statement cites a saying not to be found in the Torah, which contains no commandment to hate one's enemies.

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