I gave a talk last week at the Christian bookstore in my hometown called “How Studying the Jewishness of Jesus Saved my Faith.” Here’s the flyer.
I’m sharing my faith journey of why I left academia to write about this full time. It actually has a pretty big punchline — that the Jesus Seminar’s skeptical theory that Jesus didn’t actually claim to be the Messiah and Son of God has been put to rest… and believe it or not, Jewish scholars actually provided the evidence!
It was taken on my camera and there is a little background noise from customers in the store – hopefully not too much. Here it is:
Going Deeper on this Issue
If you want to learn more, I wrote about this in chapter 12 of my book Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus (Baker, 2018.)
Another excellent presentation that digs into the scholarship on this issue is Jesus’ High Self-Awareness and the Christology of Paul by Dwight Pryor. Dwight explains how back in the 1960’s, the scholarly “Quest for the Historical Jesus” had pretty much discarded the idea that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. The single voice refuting this was David Flusser, an award-winning Jewish scholar who asserted that Jesus did indeed have what he called a “high self-awareness.”
Flusser was part of a think-tank of Jewish and Christian scholars called the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research that was studying Jesus’ words in the Synoptic Gospels in light of their Jewish context. They published two scholarly volumes for Brill, but you can read many articles in the online journal Jerusalem Perspective. (In 2005 I worked with David Bivin, Jerusalem Perspective’s editor to publish many of their articles in New Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus, which is available in my bookstore.)
Dwight Pryor’s talk was part of a conference sponsored by Jerusalem Perspective in 2006, Insights into Jesus of Nazareth: His Words, His Wisdom, His World. It features talks by several Jerusalem School scholars. Dwight founded the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies which has many excellent resources.
If you’d like to read other authors on these issues, check out the following.
The Sage from Galilee by David Flusser, with R. Steven Notley (Eerdmans, 2007)
Two Powers in Heaven by Alan F Segal (Baylor, 2002)
The Jewish Gospels by Daniel Boyarin (New Press, 2012)
(Many thanks to my assistant Lydia Wolthuis and my niece Kari Tverberg for their video editing skills!)