The Torah: A Beginner’s Guide & Soundings in the Religion of Jesus

The Torah: A Beginner’s Guide (Kaminsky, Joel S. and Joel N. Lohr, Oxford: Oneworld, 2011 pp. xii + 200. $14.95)

Book Description: At the heart of the Jewish and Christian faiths lie the five books of the Torah, a text that has had an enormous influence on Western civilisation, from shaping views on ethics, politics, and family to inspiring great works of art and providing spiritual guidance to countless people all over the world. Combining their respective expertise, Kaminsky and Lohr explore how Jews and Christians have each read this common scripture, examining key debates and different interpretations that have fascinated generations of readers. Enduring questions regarding the authorship and historicity of the Torah are considered alongside more contemporary concerns such as reconciling difficult passages with modern values. Analysing each of the five books in turn, this comprehensive primer offers readers the key tools to engage more deeply with this seminal text.

Soundings in the Religion of Jesus: Perspectives and Methods in Jewish and Christian Scholarship (Editors: Bruce Chilton, Anthony Le Donne, and Jacob Neusner, Fortress 2012).

Book Description: Jesus was a Jew and not a Christian. That affirmation may seem obvious, but here an international cast of Jewish and Christian scholars spell out its weighty and often complex consequences for contemporary Jewish-Christian dialogue. Soundings in the Religion of Jesus contextualizes Jesus and the writings about him that set the stage for Jewish-Christian relations for the next 2000 years. Of equal importance,this book considers the reception, celebration, and (too often) the neglect of Jesus’ Jewishness in modern contexts and the impact such responses have had for Jewish-Christian relations. Topics explored include the ethics of scriptural translation, the ideological motives of Nazi theologians and other “quests” for the Historical Jesus, and the ways in which New Testament portraits of Jesus both help and hurt authentic Jewish-Christian dialogue.


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