Rabbi Evan Moffic explores the cultural and religious world of Jesus the Jew, offering Christians (and Jews) a new perspective on Jesus’ life and teachings in his book, ‘What Every Christian Needs to Know About The Jewishness of Jesus.’
CHR Comment: The interview with Rabbi Moffic explores why he wrote this book about Jesus as a Jew. Moffic likens the Jewishness of Jesus to Rabbinic, Talmudic Judaism rather than the Judaism described in the Old Testament.
An issue with Moffic’s thesis is that the Talmud was written down several centuries after the time of Jesus though it likely includes comments from Rabbis of an earlier era. A Jewish text that is closer in time to the ministry of Jesus is the Mishnah, written down in the early third century AD. The Babylonian Talmud and Jerusalem Talmud act like commentaries on the Mishnah. The Rabbinic tradition likely reflects the religious views of the Pharisees and their legacy.
Source: A Rabbi’s Quest to Show Christians the Jewishness of Jesus
Assaults on churches by right-wing Jews, a new phenomenon, raise concern about movement’s increasingly aggressive tactics.
CHR Comment: The Church of the Multiplication is built over an ancient site associated with Jesus’ miracle of multiplying bread and fish to feed hungry crowds. It is the third church burned by Jewish terrorists who, spurred on by some rabbis, regard Christians as idolaters that must be driven from the Holy Land. According to the National Geographic article, young Jewish terrorists are adopting tactics against Christians that Jews and Muslims have used against one another for many years.
Source: Jewish Extremists’ Attacks Rattle Christians in Holy Land
With all of the many divisions in our world, why wouldn’t people of different faiths want to demonstrate that there is a way for us to come together and pray for peace?
CHR Comment: United Methodist minister, Dave Norman, explains why he thinks interfaith services are good and in keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ, which means welcoming everyone. He agrees with David Kinnaman, author of “You Lost Me,” that younger Christians are struggling with the idea that Christianity is an exclusive religion.
Source: A Multi-Faith Prayer Vigil for Peace: Why? | Dave Norman
When the Reformation began in 1517, the Church and culture were soon to change forever. But centuries haven’t changed one thing: it’s still all about Jesus!
Source: Reformation 500th Anniversary | News, Resources, History
This new sight is filled with content on Reformation history and theology, including a massive timeline.
These depictions of Jesus provide a pretty good overview. However, when the article asserts that Jesus was not depicted with a beard until the fourth century, I would question that conclusion. The fresco at Dura Europos (second image) might have included a beard on Jesus’ chin. The state of the image makes it difficult to tell. Other early depictions borrowed from existing Greco-Roman depictions of gods or heroes (think stock art), who typically did not have beards. So the evidence is not quite so helpful for determining how to depict Jesus.
Isaiah 50:6 speaks prophetically about Jesus’ suffering and describes Him as bearded. That prophecy may have helped settle early Christian depictions that became standard in later centuries. It would be interesting to research the history of interpretation for Isaiah 50. That Jesus was of Jewish descent is beyond dispute.
The Evolving Look of Jesus – Killing Jesus Gallery – National Geographic Channel.
Elesha Coffman comments on Stephen Prothero’s book and describes her experiences with theology students.
Religion in American History.