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Country Western singer Kinky Friedman often performs a song entitled "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore," and New Testament professor Amy–Jill Levine would agree. In fact, her career is dedicated to helping Christians and Jews understand the Jewishness of Jesus, thereby deepening the understanding of him, and facilitating greater interfaith dialogue. In this book, she shows how liberal Christians misunderstand Judaism, misunderstand the New Testament, and thus yank Jesus out of his Jewish context and wind up promoting hatred of Jews. Only with the deeper understanding this top Jewish, Southern–born New Testament scholar provides can we hope to respect each other's beliefs, as well as enrich our own.
Through a extremely busy teaching and speaking schedule, Levine has honed her message at synagogues, Catholic conferences, Jewish Community Centers, denominational meetings, in the classroom and in her highly successful Teaching Company audios and videos. Levine is brilliant, charming, funny and forceful, and uses these traits to give a completely fresh perspective on Jesus and the New Testament. In addition to offering new insights with great skill, she has the remarkable ability to be tough, pointing out how even liberal Christians can be unwittingly anti–Semitic in their understanding of what Jesus stood for.Her truth–telling here will provoke honest dialogue on how Christians and Jews should understand Jesus and our New Testament heritage.
Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University and affiliate faculty at the Centre for the Study of Jewish Christian Relations in Cambridge, UK. Awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies, Levine, an internationally sought lecturer, has authored and edited numerous books, including the highly acclaimed The Misunderstood Jew. She has also recorded Introduction to the Old Testament for the Teaching Company.
“Passionate, witty, and compelling . . . Levine’s depth of knowledge and understanding are evident on every page. . . . There is much food for thought in this wonderful book.”
Written for the general reading public, this is an outstanding addition to the literature of interfaith dialogue.
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Shows how frequently and disastrously inaccurate beliefs about Jesus and early Judaism produce distorted relationships in the present.
-New York Times