A Modern Jewish Perspective on the Gospel of John
Jesus, God, “the Jews,” and the Devil
CHARLES DAVID ISBELL
Nonfiction, Body / Mind and Spirit, Historical
JUDAISM, NEW TESTAMENT ANALYSIS
Did Jesus really call the Jews of his day children of the devil?
Would he label Jews of today the same way?
Did the Jews kill Jesus and then violently expel from the synagogue anyone who accepted him as a promised Messiah?
The Christian church has found answers to these and other similar questions in the Gospel of John. But Jewish readers are justifiably offended by many of John’s answers.
The eleven essays offered here present facts everyone should know. They are written by a modern Jewish scholar responding to troubling questions about John raised over a period of more than forty years by his university students, by congregants in synagogues he has served as spiritual guide (rabbi), and by Christian colleagues with whom he has worked throughout his long career.
Designed to engage thoughtful readers from every religious background, these essays encourage questions and suggest plausible answers to the problems in John by illustrating the difference between the answers of John and the facts of history. They also compare John’s Jesus with the teachings of the modern church about the treatment of “others,” love for all humanity, and the wholeness of body and spirit.
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