Dr. William Varner is excited about The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ by Daniel Boyarin. Here’s how Dr. Varner starts:
There are few books that really challenge my thinking anymore. The Jewish Gospels by Daniel Boyarin is one. And I mean challenge in a good sense. Boyarin is Professor of Talmud at the UC, Berkeley. In the Intro, Jack Miles calls him “one of two or three greatest rabbinic scholars in the world.” Boyarin thinks Judaism and Christianity are compatible, and his goal is to help Christians and Jews to stop vilifying each other. He doesn’t follow Jesus and isn’t asking fellow Jews to do so, but he demolishes the idea that Christian devotion to Jesus is contradictory to Judaism or that Christianity is anything other than a Judaism to which mostly non-Jews have been drawn. Jews in the time of Jesus were looking, he says, for a divine messiah, and Jesus’ earliest followers were kosher Jews. The sad separation and enmity of Judaism and Christianity is something to get beyond, not something to perpetuate.
See also Joel Willitts’ review of this book.
See also Michael F. Bird’s comments on this book.