New book by U.S. rabbi depicts Jesus as a Jewish patriot

‘Kosher Jesus,’ the first book by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach to be published in Israel, draws praise from Glenn Beck but raises others’ eyebrows.

“Kosher Jesus,” Boteach’s first book published in Israel, asserts that because Christians no longer consider Jews to be their enemies, it is therefore time to recognize Jesus as a Torah-abiding Jewish patriot.

I’d consider reading it. I’m interested in the Jewish roots of Christianity and just by Judaism in general. I took an Intro to Judaism class last semester at my Catholic university and the professor said that Jesus was a pharisee. Still need to do research on that. But I would like to see what Rabbi Boteach writes about Jesus.

From the very little research I did on the Rabbi right now he is an Orthodox hasidic Rabbi. The class I took on Judaism got me interested in hasidic Judaism, so I may do more research on the rabbi just because of that.

I’m curious as to whether this will be a kosher image of Jesus.

Even better, if you can become a Hebrew-language scholar at the same time. Wonderful skill set … being able to read and understand Hebrew.

Wish I had that.

On the few times, that I was able to use a Hebrew translation of the Bible, it made a HUGE difference in my understanding.

One tiny example: this guy:

Simcha Jacobovici does an amazing job with his television program getting close to Biblical sites and providing an appreciation that really helps me understand what took place there and the significance.

He also seems to have a reverence for Jesus … at one point, he visited the place where Jesus’ house stood. And there were hand marks in the plaster. And he reverently placed his hand in what he thought might be the handprint of Jesus.

Pretty neat.

Try reading this as well:

The Prophets: Who They Were, What They Are [Hardcover]
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Hmm, with respect to the Rabbi, he’s about 2000 years behind on the times. The Zealots already tried to play this; they were the primary group who expected the Messiah to be a “Jewish patriot” and overthrow the pagan occupiers.

Some Christians (mostly those crazies who believe that Christ will return when the Third Temple is (re-)build in Jerusalem) will think this is good, but it’s not. Reducing Jesus essentially to a caricature is not good because it misses most of who Christ truly was. Many people already have a overly-simplistic or caricature-like view of Jesus; let’s not add another one.

If Jesus was a law abiding Jewish Patriot, why was he constantly being called on for disobeying the law (healing on the Sabbath, not washing hands, not fasting), and eventually condemned for blasphemy?

He was either the Messiah, or a very bad Jew. There is no middle ground. Anyone trying to claim it is just going for political correctness.


Boteach (never backward in coming forward when self-publicity is a possibility) isn’t one for political correctness.

There’s nothing new in what he’s doing here in the dis-covering of Jesus, ie looking at the NT, removing the Christian gloss (in the old sense of the word) and finding the, often rather conventional, itinerant rabbi beneath. It’s not a question of ‘middle ground’, since removing Christian interpolation means that the ‘Messiah or very bad Jew’ dilemma becomes meaningless.

Personally, I don’t see the point.

A group that called themselves “Jews for Jesus” used to stand around on street corners, handing out their brochures.

Interesting when you think about it.

Might be an interesting read. Might not. He shoots a few straw men in the article, though, which is a bit discouraging for a potential reader. Also, he says this:

“Kosher Jesus” amalgamates research (mostly by Hyam Maccoby ) which suggests that the gospels give the wrong impression of Jesus. “There was a lot of embellishment and editing,” Boteach said.

Well, that’s pretty much what every Protestant sect does; reinterprets the New Testament, changes a bit here, leaves out a bit there, claims mistranslation or a misunderstood meaning, and comes up with a novel view of it. I have seen a lot of that. Coming from a Jewish writer, it might be more interesting than when, e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses do it, but perhaps it isn’t. :shrug:

I think it would be far more interesting if the book’s title was: “Perhaps it is time for Jews to reconsider who Jesus is!”

By Christian gloss you mean everything that doesn’t sit well with modern Judaism. :wink:

You’re still faced with the fact that his execution was spurred on by those now claiming he was a model Jew.

erm… huh? :confused:

Are you saying that Rabbi Boteach called for the execution of Jesus?

That’s the kind of hanging line that could get a girl into trouble . . . . on CAF, anyway. :smiley:

You’re still faced with the fact that his execution was spurred on by those now claiming he was a model Jew.

Allegedly. :wink:

Might I suggest reading Second Exodus by Marty Barrack. Here is his website:

Also, Salvation is from the Jews by Roy H. Schoeman:

I also recommend The Goldstien Letters by David Goldstein that is available online

(all of these texts are offered for some historical perspective and comparison):

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