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The rabbi who studied Jesus
Chiesa Espress Online ^ | February 20, 2010 | Anna Foa

Posted on 02/27/2010 1:12:42 PM PST by annalex

The rabbi who studied Jesus

by Anna Foa

The book "Il Nazareno" by Eugenio Zolli appeared in 1938, published by the Istituto delle Edizioni Accademiche in Udine. Israel Zolli, who would later become Eugenio, was at the time chief rabbi in Trieste, and had not yet become – as he would a year later – chief rabbi of Rome in the place of Rabbi David Prato, who was driven out in 1938 because he was a Zionist. A few months after the publication of this book, Mussolini's racist laws made Zolli – born in Brody, in Galicia, but raised in Italy – a stateless person, and hurled him into the harsh years of persecution. Seven years later, in February 1945, causing great scandal in the Italian Jewish world and a great stir in the non-Jewish community as well, Israel Zolli converted to Catholicism, taking Pope Pacelli's name with baptism, and thus becoming Eugenio Zolli.

A volume about Jesus Christ written by a prominent rabbi, then, destined a short time later, in spite of this book and the vague whiff of heresy that surrounded him for many years, to become the leading rabbi of the Roman Jewish community.

Is the book a prefiguring of the author's later journey, an anticipation of his subsequent baptism? Or does it reflect a journey of exegetical studies, with attention to the figure of Jesus Christ, undertaken by much European Jewish exegetical thought beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century?

The latter is the perspective in which it is placed, in his extensive and valuable postscript, by the book's editor, Alberto Latorre, in analyzing Jewish and Christian studies on Christ in those crucial decades of the early twentieth century, and situating Zolli's work in this context.

The rabbi from Trieste writes about Jesus and about relations between early Christianity and the rabbinical culture of the time with accents and ideas not dissimilar from those of his teachers at the rabbinical college of Florence, Chayes and Margulies, and raising far less serious controversies than Joseph Klausner's book on "Jesus the Nazarene," which at its publication in Hebrew in Jerusalem in 1921 was attacked by both Orthodox Jews and Christians, as recalled, in an interesting selection from one of his novels quoted by Latorre in the postscript, by the writer Amos Oz, Klausner's great-nephew,.

This area of study was very popular with Jewish scholars all over Europe, and in particular with those from Germany, heirs of the Science of Judaism and linked with the reformed currents, which strongly emphasized the Jewishness of Jesus and highlighted the correspondences between rabbinical Judaism and early Christianity. But it was also a favorite of Christian scholars, especially Protestant ones, in nineteenth-century Germany, in the setting of the school of Tubingen and of the later schools of liberal theology, and was assimilated, at the beginning of the new century, by modernist Catholic scholars.

This context, connected to the historical-critical method of biblical exegesis, is of great interest to both sides.

If this was the cultural atmosphere in which Zolli's massive study was born, it must also be said that this was an atmosphere in which there were extremely few contributions from the Italian Jewish world. Some exceptions are the rabbinical college of Livorno, where Elia Benamozegh taught in the second half of the nineteenth century, the rabbinical college of Florence, with its nucleus of teachers from Galicia, and Trieste, a city that was culturally and until 1918 even politically Hapsburg, open to all the cultural currents of Mitteleuropa, not least, with Weiss, that of psychoanalysis. Florence and Trieste had extremely close ties with Zolli, who had completed his studies in Florence and was a rabbi in Trieste for twenty years.

But Italian Jewish culture was far from these broader cultural currents connected to the experience of German studies, and to the secular imprint made on these by the reformed Jewish movement.

Italian Jewish culture did not share this attention to the historical figure of Christianity, to the Jewish categories of its preaching, and to its Jewish roots in general. Its contours were more traditional and provincial, and at that historical moment linked Italian Judaism with Catholic exegetical studies, which were also fairly distant, except for a few figures more closely connected to modernism, sharing the historical-critical exegetical approach widespread in the rest of Europe.

In his volume, which collected writings previously published in the journal of Raffaele Pettazzoni, "Studi e materiali di storia delle religioni," and of the modernist Ernesto Buonaiuti, "Ricerche religiose," Zolli proceeded by using, in addition to the historical-critical method, the comparative analysis of religions.

In his conclusions, he departed significantly from both established Jewish exegesis and the dogmas of the Catholic Church. He strongly emphasized the resemblance between Jesus' preaching and Judaism, postulated an original drafting of the Gospels in Hebrew and Aramaic, denied that the term "nazarene" was derived from Nazareth – an argument used by those who supported the non-historicity of Jesus – and claimed that the Eucharist had come from an evolution of the Jewish Passover "seder."

Moreover, in the text there seemed to appear between the lines a recognition of the messianic character of Christ. This certainly would have been enough to provoke opposite reactions from Jews and Catholics. Nonetheless, these reactions didn't come. According to the editor of the book, Latorre, the Catholic world had no intention of drawing attention to a volume "so difficult to decipher and contextualize," at a moment when the modernist crisis had just recently reappeared, and the antisemitic climate was making it dangerous to discuss such sensitive topics.

So the Church preferred to remain silent about the volume, or almost silent (with the exception of the substantially positive reviews on the part of the Jesuits of "La Civiltà Cattolica"), declining even to use in an apologetical vein a text in which a famous rabbi seemed to be making a veiled reference to the messianic nature of Christ.

As for the lack of objections from the Jewish side, the historical context in which the book appeared, that of the racial laws of 1938, was not conducive to raising such delicate questions, especially in the crucial months between 1938 and 1939, in which some in the Church, like Fr. Agostino Gemelli, seemed to be hoping for a blending of racist doctrines and the Catholic Church.

On the other hand, the volume was greatly appreciated by the academic world in Italy and beyond. In November of 1938, Ernesto Buonaiuti wrote an enthusiastic review in "Ricerche Religiose."

Beyond the strictly exegetical questions, the volume presents many strictly historical issues for the consideration of today's reader, and prompts many questions about the life of Israel/Eugenio Zolli and about the nature of his conversion.

His conversion was certainly the result of a meditated decision, the result of a long and difficult journey, but it was also a conversion that required him to adjust his accents and emphases, yet didn't seem to change substantially the nature of his fundamental approach: a rigorously critical analysis of the biblical texts, which lifted him above any orthodoxy, and led him to accentuate the historical connections between rabbinical Judaism and Christianity, and to grasp in the figure of the Jewish Jesus the key to this complex moment of passage and transformation.

"Il Nazareno" belongs to the Jewish phase of Zolli's scholarly work, but the changes introduced by conversion into his later critical work are fairly few, and perhaps motivated only by reasons of obedience and prudence.

So it was between Jewish Wissenschaft and Christian modernism that the inseparably religious and scientific journey of Zolli's work unfolded.

A liminal figure whom the Jews, understandably hurt by his defection, did not understand, and whom the Church in the postwar period, at a time still light years away from Jewish-Christian openness, preferred to leave to the side.

"Il Nazareno" is the highest fruit of this being on the boundary, between the different orthodoxies.


The book:

Eugenio Zolli, "Il Nazareno. Studi di esegesi neotestamentaria alla luce dell'aramaico e del pensiero rabbinico", edited by Alberto Latorre, San Paolo, Milan, 2009, pp. 618, euro 42.00.


The newspaper of the Holy See, in which Anna Foa's review of the book by Zolli was published on February 20:

> L'Osservatore Romano


On these topics, on www.chiesa:

> Focus on JUDAISM


English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.

TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Judaism
KEYWORDS: bookreview; jesus; rabbi
The introduction to the review, by Sandro Magister, appears first at source, and is also worth reading.
1 posted on 02/27/2010 1:12:42 PM PST by annalex
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To: Salvation

Thank you for finding this.

2 posted on 02/27/2010 1:13:22 PM PST by annalex (
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To: NYer; narses

For your pinging enjoyment.

3 posted on 02/27/2010 1:13:59 PM PST by annalex (
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To: annalex; netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; ...

The Jew, Jesus, Who Changed the Life of the Chief Rabbi of Rome

ROME, February 24, 2010 – The first person he told that he had finished writing his book about Jesus was a Jewish rabbi, on the day after his visit to the synagogue of Rome, last January 18.

The rabbi is the American Jacob Neusner, and the author of the book is Benedict XVI.

The first volume of "Jesus of Nazareth" by pope Joseph Ratzinger was released three years ago. And now the second and concluding volume of the work, dedicated to the passion and resurrection of Jesus and to the infancy narratives, is ready for translation and printing.

Meanwhile, however, with significant coordination of timing, another important book about Jesus has been reprinted in recent days in Italy, entitled "Il Nazareno," written more than seventy years ago by a great Italian rabbi.

Not only that. A very positive review of this new edition of the book was published on February 20 in "L'Osservatore Romano," written by a famous scholar, Anna Foa, a Jewish professor of history at the University of Rome "La Sapienza."

And this review also marks an important new development. The author of the book, Israel Zoller, was chief rabbi of the Jewish community of Rome. And in 1945, he converted to the Catholic faith.

The stunning news of his conversion rocked the Roman and Italian Jewish community. And it responded with a silence that lasted for decades.

Anna Foa's review in "the pope's newspaper" has definitively broken this silence. Moreover, she has acknowledged that in that book, although it was written many years before its author's conversion, there already "seemed to appear between the lines a recognition of the messianic character of Christ."


Israel Zoller was born in 1881 in Brodj, a village in Austro-Hungarian Galicia, now within the borders of Poland. At the age of six, he emigrated with his family to Stanislavia, now Ivano-Frankivsk, in Ukraine. He studied in L'viv and then in Florence. After settling in Italy, his surname was altered to Zolli. He was chief rabbi in Trieste and taught Jewish literature at the University of Padua. In Rome, he was elected as chief rabbi and as director of the rabbinical college. He resigned at the beginning of 1945, and in February asked to be baptized into the Catholic Church. He took the name of Eugenio, the same as that of the pope at the time, Pius XII. He died in 1956.

His autobiography, written in 1947 and reprinted in Italy six years ago, helps a great deal in understanding the journey and significance of his conversion to the Christian faith.

Ever since he was a child, for him, Jesus was present in all his mystery. In a world that recalls the paintings of Chagall, the Jewish painter who was born and lived in those same Eastern lands between Europe and Russia (see photo): the village, the synagogue, the corn fields covered with snow, the Jewish school with its severe teacher, the roosters on the rooftops... And all the airborne figures in the starry sky: the characters of the Bible.

But that's just it, Jesus is there too, right away. There's the crucifix in the home of his classmate:

"Why was He crucified? Why do we children become so different in His presence? No, no, He couldn't have been bad. Maybe He was and maybe He wasn't – who knows? – the Servant of God whose canticles we read in school. I don't know anything, but I'm sure of one thing: He was good, and so... and so, why did they crucify Him?"

Right away, there are the Gospels and the New Testament:

"All by myself, I read the Gospel, and experienced measureless delight. What a surprise I received in the middle of the green lawn: 'But I say to you: Love your enemies.' And from the height of the cross: 'Father, forgive them.' The New Testament really is a covenant... brand new! Everything in it seemed to me to have an extraordinary importance. Teachings like: 'Blessed are the pure of heart' and the prayer from the cross draw a line of demarcation between the world of ancient ideas and a new moral cosmos. Yes! Here there arises a new world. Here are delineated the sublime forms of the Kingdom of Heaven, of the persecuted who have not persecuted in return, but have loved."

Baptism would come many years later. And in the autobiography this appears as the natural messianic flowering of a Jewish branch that remains alive, laden with destiny from the beginning.

Israel Zoller later became Eugenio Zoller, prefiguring in his life the establishing of fraternal relations between Christianity and Judaism that today has risen to agenda of the Church's supreme leader.

A fraternal relationship that hinges entirely on the main difference between the two faiths: the recognition of Jesus as "my Lord and my God."

This is the same difference brought to light by Benedict XVI in the chapter on the Sermon on the Mount in the first volume of his "Jesus of Nazareth." In which his friend the rabbi Jacob Neusner is the emblem of the devout Jew who refuses to accept the divinity of Jesus, now as then.

But here it is, the review by the Jewish Foa of "Il Nazareno" by Rabbi Zolli, in the February 20, 2010 issue of "L'Osservatore Romano."

4 posted on 02/27/2010 2:46:39 PM PST by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Mandingo Conservative

Please identify the Jewish court, city and names. Sounds very hard to believe.

6 posted on 02/27/2010 3:15:58 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Mandingo Conservative; SJackson; dennisw

Total BS...did they also talk about killing Christian children and drinking their blood?

7 posted on 02/27/2010 3:18:32 PM PST by Pharmboy (The Stone Age did not end because they ran out of stones...)
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To: Pharmboy

Hey, that’s what she told me, this is a person I have known for years! I don’t want to believe this too and I think she’s gone nuts.

8 posted on 02/27/2010 3:22:05 PM PST by Mandingo Conservative (Satan was like the first "community organizer", just ask Eve, the first liberal useful idiot!)
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To: Mandingo Conservative

total bllsht....hook her up to a lie detector

9 posted on 02/27/2010 3:22:55 PM PST by dennisw (It all comes 'round again --Fairport)
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To: annalex; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

10 posted on 02/27/2010 3:38:20 PM PST by narses ("lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi")
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To: Mandingo Conservative

Have her committed before she joins Stormfront or hurts herself...or both.

11 posted on 02/27/2010 3:46:30 PM PST by Pharmboy (The Stone Age did not end because they ran out of stones...)
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To: Mandingo Conservative

Your friend is a liar, there’s nothing in the Talmud about Jesus or Mary. You should reconsider those you choose as friends, or more likely the websites you hang out at.

12 posted on 02/27/2010 4:41:14 PM PST by SJackson (In wine there is wisdom, In beer there is freedom, In water there is bacteria.)
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To: annalex
The reality is that historically, we are all Jewish converts. From what I understand many Catholic traditions such as Lent, have Jewish origins.

Jesus was Jewish. Judaism was our spiritual origin. In Jewish tradition it is the parent's responsibility to ensure that children are educated in their faith, learn a trade, and marry appropriately. That applies to all of us.

13 posted on 02/27/2010 4:51:56 PM PST by mgist
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To: Mandingo Conservative; jjotto

I have heard very disturbing things about FReepers. Apparently, one person wanted to join the forum, and she had to send nude pics of herself, which were circulated to all the the other forum members for minute comment.

This person also had to tell obscene jokes about Bill Clinton, but couldn’t remember any, and so the attempt to join was a failure.

14 posted on 02/27/2010 5:11:54 PM PST by BlackVeil
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To: Pharmboy

I’m reminded of the Oprah show, in her early days, where she interviewed one of the many Jews who used children’s blood in their “rituals”, don’t think it was confined only to Passover matzos or Purim Hamentashen. Otherwise intelligent people believe this stuff. She apologized, and obviously it did no harm to her career. After all, why would a host/producer question a story like that from a mentally disturbed individual.

15 posted on 02/27/2010 5:32:33 PM PST by SJackson (In wine there is wisdom, In beer there is freedom, In water there is bacteria.)
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To: BlackVeil
one person wanted to join the forum, and she had to send nude pics of herself, which were circulated to all the the other forum members for minute comment.

That was probably the greeneyedblonde person, but it was a he.

16 posted on 02/27/2010 5:33:34 PM PST by SJackson (In wine there is wisdom, In beer there is freedom, In water there is bacteria.)
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To: mgist

Actually, Jesus wasn’t Jewish as he himself proved.

17 posted on 02/27/2010 5:39:33 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: SJackson
"there’s nothing in the Talmud about Jesus or Mary."

That's just silly. Of course the Talmud talks about both. At least, that is the way these texts were always understood.

For an excellent treatment of the subject from a very reputable Jewish source, I would respectfully refer you to "Jesus in the Talmud" by Peter Schafer. You can find it on Amazon here:

18 posted on 02/27/2010 6:28:22 PM PST by Erskine Childers
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To: Erskine Childers

You are mistaken.

“The Jesus Narrative in the Talmud”

19 posted on 02/27/2010 6:32:29 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto
I read the Schafer book awhile ago, but as I recall he made the excellent point that the historicity of these passages isn't terribly important. Far more important for ecumenical purposes is that it was traditionally simply assumed that the Jesus and Mary in these passages of the Talmud were the very same Jesus and Mary in the Christian New Testament.

That's what folks believed, and that's the main point.

I am reminded of the "His blood be on us and on our children" passage in the Gospel of John. Christians rightly object that, given the Christian understanding of salvation through the Blood of Christ, the passage could not reasonably be read as a curse but only rather as calling down the salvation of God on the Jews. And I think that's a valid point. But at the same time it must be admitted that Christians throughout the ages understood that passage not as a blessing but indeed as a curse.

The Talmudic passages in question present an analogous situation. It might very well be that this was a different Jesus, but for purposes of inter-religious dialogue that fact does little good. What would do a lot of good would, in my opinion, is rather a frank admission of the traditional understanding of these mutual anathemas that the two traditions hurled at each other.

20 posted on 02/27/2010 6:58:39 PM PST by Erskine Childers
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To: Erskine Childers

Traditional Jews who look at the details do not believe any such thing.

Peter Schafer is a Christian, by the way, who is held in high regard by the Judaism haters in the nihilistic secular Jewish world.

21 posted on 02/27/2010 7:04:34 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: annalex

Good read

22 posted on 02/27/2010 7:29:00 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: jjotto
Traditional Jews who look at the details do not believe any such thing.

Perhaps you mean Jews like Maimonides?

I paste below an excerpt from his Epistle to Yemen wherein he restates succinctly some of the basic ideas concerning Jesus and Mary contained in the Talmud which, as you know, he influenced greatly. So, c'mon. Maimonides himself believed that these stories related to the Christian Jesus.

The first one to have adopted this plan was Jesus the Nazarene, may his bones be ground to dust. He was a Jew because his mother was a Jewess although his father was a Gentile. For in accordance with the principles of our law, a child born of a Jewess and a Gentile, or of a Jewess and a slave, is legitimate. (Yebamot 45a). Jesus is only figuratively termed an illegitimate child. He impelled people to believe that he was a prophet sent by God to clarify perplexities in the Torah, and that he was the Messiah that was predicted by each and every seer. He interpreted the Torah and its precepts in such a fashion as to lead to their total annulment, to the abolition of all its commandments and to the violation of its prohibitions. The sages, of blessed memory, having become aware of his plans before his reputation spread among our people, meted out fitting punishment to him.

I believe that Christians and Jews have so much in common that we don't need to sugarcoat the nasty things we've said about each other ages ago. Let's start by getting honest about what these texts are and what they always meant

23 posted on 02/27/2010 9:51:28 PM PST by Erskine Childers
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To: annalex
The Sacred Page

The Chief Rabbi Who Became A Catholic and His Book on Jesus

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, has just run a review praising a new edition of a book that is often overlooked. The book is Il Nazareno, and it was written more than seventy years ago by Israel Zoller, the former chief rabbi of Rome, who shocked the world by becoming Catholic in 1945. Significantly, the book was written before the rabbi's controversial conversion.

Incidentally, Zoller was baptized with the name "Eugenio". Eugenio, of course, was the name of Pope Pius XII. Zoller took the name to express his admiration for the pope.

The book by Zoller is reviewed by Anna Foa, a Jewish scholar, who is professor of history at the University of Rome "La Sapienza." The review is largely positive.

For more, go here.

It's nice to see this book getting republished. I always enjoy reading the works of Jewish scholars about Jesus. In fact, one of the clear shifts in emphasis in recent historical Jesus scholarship has been the attempt to understand Jesus within the historical context of Second Temple Judaism.[1]

In light of this it is sort of ironic that the works of many important Jewish scholars of the past are often overlooked. Among them all I must highlight the scholarship of Zionist scholar Joseph Klausner, whose work offers some insightful observations[2]. Other important Jewish scholars include Hans-Joachim Schoeps,[3] and David Flusser.[4] While such works were exceptional in their day,[5] Craig Evans is right in assessing the present state of scholarship: “The fruitful progress of the rediscovery of the Judaic character and setting of Jesus is now everywhere seen.”[6] Of course, the major difference between older scholarship and more recent research is that older scholars were a bit less critical in their use of the later rabbinic traditions in reconstructing the Judaism of the first century.

Of course, Israel Zoller's work stands out as unique among these works: none of the other Jewish scholars mentioned here ended up converting to Catholicism.

[1] Colin Brown, “Historical Jesus, Quest of,” 337: “If there is a common theme [of "Third Quest" Jesus scholarship], it lies in the belief that Jesus was not the Jesus of liberal Protestantism or of the New Quest, but a historical figure whose life and actions were rooted in first-century Judaism with its particular religious, social, economic and political conditions.” This emphasis in recent scholarship has been noted by numerous other scholars (see, e.g., Tom Holmén, “The Jewishness of Jesus in the ‘Third Quest,’” in Jesus, Mark and Q: The Teaching of Jesus and its Earliest Records (eds. M. Labahn and A. Schmidt; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 149–50. Indeed, this is part of a larger trend in New Testament scholarship, which emphasizes greater continuity between early Christianity and Judaism. Thus, for example, in Pauline studies the Jewish backdrop of Paul’s letters is increasingly coming into focus. See, to name only a few, E.P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1977); Mark Nanos, The Mystery of Romans: The Jewish Context of Paul's Letter (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996); Chris VanLandingham, Judgment and Justification in Early Judaism and the Apostle Paul (Peabody: Hendricksen, 2006).
[2] Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth: His Life, Times and Teaching (trans. H. Danby; New York: Macmillan Co., 1925; repr., New York: Bloch, 1989), trans. of Yeshu ha-Notzri (Jerusalem: Stybel, 1922). Particularly useful is Klausner’s survey of the history of Jewish scholarship. For our purposes here it is worth mentioning that Klausner highlights the work of a number of Jewish scholars largely ignored by contemporary writers. For example, Klausner discusses the way Albert Schweitzer’s seminal survey of the history of Jesus research pays hardly any notice to the work of Joseph Salvador, Jésus Christ et sa doctrine: histoire de la naissance de l’église, de son organisation et de ses progrès pendant le premier siecle (2 vols.; 2d. ed.; Paris: M. Lévy Frères, 1864–65). As Klausner observes, that this work was overlooked cannot simply be chalked up to the fact that the work was originally written in French since Salvador’s work had been translated into German by the time of Schweitzer’s writing. Strikingly, not only is Salvador’s work badly mischaracterized and mentioned only in passing, but Schweitzer even misspells his name (“Salvator”)! See Schweitzer, Von Reimarus zu Wrede: Eine Geschichte der Leben-Jesu-Forschung, 161. See also Craig A. Evans, “Assessing Progress in the Third Quest of the Historical Jesus,” JSHJ (2006): 36 n. 3.
[3] See Hans Joachim Schoeps, Das Leben Jesu: Versuch einer historischen Darstellung (Frankfurt: Eremiten, 1954). Schoeps own work on Jesus followed his own comprehensive study of ancient Judaism. See Hans-Joachim Schoeps, Jüdisch-christliches Religionsgespräch in 19. Jahrhunderten; Geschichte einer theologischen Auseinandersetzung (Berlin: Vortrupp, 1937).
[4] David Flusser, Jesus in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten (Rowohlts monographien; Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1968). With the current climate of scholarship warming towards such approaches, Eerdmans recently republished two of Flusser’s works into English. See David Flusser, Judaism of the Second Temple Period: Qumran and Apocalypticsm (vol. 1; trans. A. Yadin with D. Bivin; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007); trans. of Yahadut Bayit Sheni: Qumran ve Apocalyptica (Jerusalem: Hebrew University Magnes Press and Yad Ishax Ben-Zvi Press, 2002); and The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius (trans. R. S. Notley, with J. H. Charlesworth; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007); trans. of Jesus in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1968). For a fuller survey of Jewish scholarship see Donald A. Hagner, The Jewish Reclamation of Jesus: An Analysis and Critique of Modern Jewish Study of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984). Another scholar who was clearly ahead of his time in calling for an approach that rooted Jesus in first-century Judaism was Joachim Jeremias (e.g., Neutestamentliche Theologie: I. Die Verkündigung Jesu [Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1971] and other works cited above).
[5] For a fuller treatment of the neglect and retrieval of the Jewishness of Jesus in the history of research see Keck, Who is Jesus, 22–47.
[6] Evans, “Assessing Progress in the Third Quest of the Historical Jesus,” 39. Scot McKnight (“Jesus of Nazareth,” in The Face of New Testament Studies: A Survey of Recent Research [eds. S. McKnight and G. R. Osborne; Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), 170], citing words spoken by John Dominic Crossan in public settings, describes how “modern scholarship is in a contest to see who can find the most Jewish Jesus.”

24 posted on 02/27/2010 10:09:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: annalex

Thank you for posting it. I posted the article from Michael Barber’s blog also.

25 posted on 02/27/2010 10:13:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: mgist
Judaism was our spiritual origin

Yes, absolutely. Catholic Christianity is the perfection of Jewish temple worship. The Jews need to convert only insofar as they no longer practice the Judaism of their forefathers. But as the Second Temple was destroyed, it was also rebuilt by Christ. Gaze at the Altar and see Jerusalem in Heaven.

26 posted on 02/27/2010 11:56:51 PM PST by annalex (
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To: annalex


27 posted on 02/28/2010 7:08:44 AM PST by Jaded (I realized that after Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says W T F)
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To: 1010RD

Why did he teach prayer as a Jew then? “Our Father...”

28 posted on 02/28/2010 9:10:35 AM PST by onedoug
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To: Poe White Trash

By the way, you had questions? Here’s a good thread to discuss Catholics vis a vis the Jews.

29 posted on 02/28/2010 9:46:48 AM PST by annalex (
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To: annalex
By the way, you had questions? Here’s a good thread to discuss Catholics vis a vis the Jews.

I had several questions concerning your views on a certain writer's positions, not just his position on Judaism... but on ANOTHER thread.

If you wish to answer those questions, my understanding is that it would be best to do so on THAT thread.

30 posted on 02/28/2010 12:51:26 PM PST by Poe White Trash (Wake up!)
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To: Poe White Trash

I don’t know anything about Dr. Rao’s views on that and will not sidetrack the thread that has nothing to do with your questions.

31 posted on 02/28/2010 1:37:36 PM PST by annalex (
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To: annalex
...and will not sidetrack the thread that has nothing to do with your questions.

Good! I'm sure the moderators will appreciate that.

32 posted on 02/28/2010 2:01:36 PM PST by Poe White Trash (Wake up!)
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To: BlackVeil

you need professional help....

33 posted on 02/28/2010 9:56:05 PM PST by Beamreach
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To: Beamreach

It is a ... ah ... satirical reply to post 5.

34 posted on 03/01/2010 12:48:53 AM PST by BlackVeil
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To: 1010RD
Yes, Jesus was Jewish. He was called 'Rabbi' by many of His followers, and he frequently taught in the Synagogues. He wouldn't have been able to do that, had he not been Jewish.

It is Jesus's followers who call themselves 'Christians'.

35 posted on 03/01/2010 7:09:56 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ

Rabbi and teaching in synagogues are contextual to the time.

Do you believe Jesus is God, the Son of God or the Messiah?

That he died and was resurrected in payment of your sins?

Are these Jewish concepts?

36 posted on 03/01/2010 7:33:38 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: onedoug

Do you accept that he is the Son of God, God and the Messiah? Do you believe he was resurrected and died for your sins? Are these religious acts Jewish?

37 posted on 03/01/2010 7:34:21 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD
Hyam Maccoby, Revolution In Judaea: Jesus And The Jewish Resistance

Semikhah, or the ordination of rabbis was performed only by the Pharisees. It's obvious you don't like it. But Rabbi Jesus was a Jew: Prayed as a Jew, ate as a Jew, admonished that the Law be kept as a Jew, went to Temple as a Jew, was buried as a Jew. Read your Bible.

That he was resurrected, I'm agnostic. But the United States could not have been founded without the Christ saga. So, perhaps the Father made him the messiah after all.

38 posted on 03/01/2010 10:13:20 PM PST by onedoug
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To: 1010RD
Yes, Jesus is the Savior, the Son of God, and by His death and resurrection, He redeemed us, and made it possible for us to spend eternity with Him, if we live according to His Word. That doesn't mean he wasn't Jewish. The Old Testament is full of prophecy about a Redeemer. They were waiting for a Messiah. If there were no concept of redemption, why would they NEED a Messiah?

Most Jews rejected Jesus, because they had come to anticipate a Messiah who would liberate them from the yoke of oppression, be it the Babylonians, or the Romans, later. They'd gotten away from the notion of spiritual bondage, and the need for liberation from it.

39 posted on 03/02/2010 10:45:05 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ

You’re confusing noise with the signal. What was the relationship of Jesus to the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes supportive?

Is Christianity a correction of Judaic lost knowledge?

Is the Gospel of Christ eternal and had from Adam or from the birth of Christ?

40 posted on 03/02/2010 3:51:34 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: onedoug
It's obvious you don't like it.

Please, FRiend, that's mind reading and inaccurate to boot.

The truth is Jesus was not a Jew, at least not in the sense you mean.

Do you accept the NT as Scripture?

What was the relationship of Jesus to the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes? Supportive?

Is Christianity a correction of Judaic lost knowledge?

Is the Gospel of Christ eternal and had from Adam or from the birth of Christ?

41 posted on 03/02/2010 3:55:28 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD


42 posted on 03/02/2010 4:29:59 PM PST by Alistair Stratford IV (Keep calm and carry on)
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To: 1010RD
Jesus said he didn't come to change the law. He came to perfect it. The Old Testament is the story of Adam and Eve, and the fall of man, and the promise of God's redemption for us. It is the story of the Jewish people's relationship with God, sometimes good and sometimes bad, and is full of prophecy of Jesus's birth, the Messiah for whom the Jews are waiting. Jesus used stories from the Old Testament to teach His followers, because they could understand them, having heard these readings in the Synagogue. He pointed out the differences between what was taught by the Jews, and what his teachings were.

Jesus thought the Pharisees and Sadducees were hypocrites, because they always talked big about Jewish law, and how faithful they were to their own interpretations of it, and put others down if they thought they didn't follow it as assiduously as they.

The Gospels are the stories of the conception, birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of the Son of God. The rest of the New Testament is the story of the creation of Christianity, and its spread by way of Jesus's Apostles, and those who came after themk.

43 posted on 03/02/2010 9:49:19 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: annalex
Seven years later, in February 1945, causing great scandal in the Italian Jewish world and a great stir in the non-Jewish community as well, Israel Zolli converted to Catholicism, taking Pope Pacelli's name with baptism, and thus becoming Eugenio Zolli.


44 posted on 03/04/2010 4:58:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: annalex
They keep coming toward the Catholic Church, don't they?

EWTN - NO PRICE TOO HIGH - Pentecostal minister Alex Jones story
The rabbi who studied Jesus [Eugenio Zolli

In the Breaking of the Bread (conversion story of Tim Drake)
Australia's Traditional Anglicans Vote to Convert to Catholicism
Church of England Bishop Converts to Rome [Bishop Paul Richardson}
From Krishna to Christ: The Conversion Testimony of Father Jay Kythe
Ex-Protestant at home in Byzantine Catholic Church {Father James Barrand]
In Iraq, soldier finds a new faith (Muslim converts to Catholic faith)
Why I Left Anglicanism [Fr. Longenecker]
EWTN - The Journey Home - Oct. 26, 2009 - David Twellman, former United Methodist
Senior Anglican bishop reveals he is ready to convert to Roman Catholicism, Rev John Hind
Book: "You Have Not Chosen Me, But I Have Chosen You..." (23 Surprised Converts)

Newt Gingrich on Catholicism and JPII
Mickey Rourke thanks God and Catholic faith for 'second chance'
Catholic convert and political commentator Robert Novak passes away
Why Newt Gingrich Converted to Catholicism
Reading Into the Church [Deal W. Hudson]
Gnarly: from abuse victim, to prostitute, to surfer, to minister [Mary Setterholm]
Cathedral rector’s priestly journey began with early conversion [ Fr. Bob Clements]
The Great Philosopher Who Became Catholic [Mortimer J. Adler]
The Greater Blessings [David Mills]

EWTN - Journey Home - June 22, 2009 at 8pm - Dr. Jay Budziszewski - former Episcopalian
Cardinal says Catholics humbled by Anglicans' decision to join church
Catholic convert from Oregon coast becomes a priest (former Evangelical)
EWTN - The Journey Home - June 15, 2009 - Marcus interviews a Muslim convert [Talat Strokirk]
(All Saints) Sisters Doing It For Themselves (Anglican House converting en masse)
Journey Home to the Catholic Church: I Have Jumped into the Tiber to Swim Across (UK minister, Fr. Jeffrey Steel )
EWTN - Journey Home - June 8, 2009 at 8pm - Fr. Jay Toborowsky, Jewish convert
EWTN - Monday 8pm - Journey Home - Jerry & Yolanda Cleffi (former Assembly of God)
Exclusive: Newt Gingrich Opens Up on Catholic Conversion and Embracing 'Overt Christianity'
Mom’s Gift From Pope [Heidi Sierras]

The Journey Home - April 27 @ 8pm - Doug Grandon former Episcopal clergyman
EWTN - The Journey Home - April 20 - Msgr. Keith Barltrop, former Baptist
Journey Home - Monday April 6 - Kenneth Howell, Former Presbyterian minister
Newt Gingrich on his conversion to Catholicism
Gingrich Keeps Quiet on Catholic Conversion (received into Church over the past weekend)
Exclusive: Newt Gingrich conversion details; plans release of JP2 documentary
“150,000 new or returning Catholics”
Catholic Church prepares for tens of thousands of U.S. converts
Gingrich to Become Catholic During Easter Season
Faith Journey Leads United Methodist from Pastorate to Catholic Priesthood

From Atheist to Catholic (‘Unshakable’ Rationalist Blogged Her Way Into the Church) [Jennifer Fulwiler]
Former Episcopal bishop discusses his new life as Catholic priest [Father Jeffrey N. Steenson]
The Newt Evangelization: Gingrich to become Catholic
Conservative Episcopal bishop resigned to become Roman Catholic priest (New Mexico) Rev. Jeffrey Steenson
Converted Muslim Tells Story Behind Papal Baptism
EWTN - The Journey Home - December 1 - Dr. Steven C. Smith (former Willow Creek)
Former Socialist senator who converted to Catholicism calls for end to abortion [Mercedes Aroz]
Young New Yorker leaves police force to become priest [Nicholas Fernandez]
Interesting Deathbed Converts
Hollywood screenwriter returns to Cleveland, turns life over to God [Joe Eszterhas]

A Journey in Prayer {Randy Hain} [Ecumenical]
ECUMENIC] Our Conversion Experience (SDA to Catholic) [Brandon and Tara Ogden]
An open letter to Mr. Stephen A. Baldwin, Actor, and “born again” Christian [ Victor R. Claveau, MJ "
Sick person who suffered accident recounts conversion after traveling to Lourdes [Ecumenical] [Antonio Escobedo Garcia]
Welcome Home! Anglo-Catholic Sisters on the Road to Rome [Ecumenical]
Former Anglican Bishop, Catholic Convert, Jeffrey Steenson on Anglocatholicism [Ecumenical]
Jeffrey Steenson: Why I Became Catholic [Address to Anglican Use Conference]
Tony Snow Dead at 53, A Tribute to a Catholic Journalist [Tony Snow - Catholic Convert]
A Sexual Revolution (One woman's journey from pro-choice atheist to pro-life Catholic) [Jennifer Fulwiler]
C of E bishop will defect to Rome

Assyrian bishop explains his journey into communion with the Catholic Church
Virginia Tech tragedy leads bereaved mother on journey back to faith [Marian Hammaren]
Journey Home - EWTN at 8pm - Dr. William Bales, former Presbyterian Minister [Ecumenical]
First the Protestants, Now the Cults: Will We (the Catholic Church) Be Ready? [Open]
Six Million African Muslims Convert to Christianity Each Year [OPEN]
EWTN - The Journey Home - May 19 - Tom Cabeen, former Jehovah's Witness [Ecumenic]
Alex Jones: the evangelical who became a Catholic deacon
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity [Kenneth J. Howell, Ph. D.}
How the Saints Helped Lead Me Home [Chris Findley]

Who is Mary of Nazareth? [Kenneth J. Howell, Ph. D.}
A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
EWTN - Journey Home - 4/7/08 - Rosalind Moss - Former Jew & Evangelical Christian
Our Lady’s Gentle Call to Peace [Joan Tussing]
Coming Out of Sodom (Reversion Experience of Once-Active Homosexual) [Eric Hess]
Our Journey Home [Larry and Joetta Lewis]
Book on Mary turns runaway youngster immersed in drugs and crime into a priest
Dr. Robert C. Koons (former Lutheran) - Journey Home - Monday 3/31 - Conversion Story
The Story of a Convert from Islam – Baptized by the Pope at St. Peter's [Magdi Cristiano Allam]
How Do We Know It’s the True Church? - Twelve Things to Look For [Fr. Dwight Longenecker]

"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation [Robert Sungenis]
New Catholics ‘ on fire’ for faith
New faith pulls Hot Springs family together (Baptists join Catholic Church at Easter Vigil) [Danny Morrison and family
SciFi Writer, John C. Wright, Enters Catholic Church at Easter Vigil (conversion story)[John C. Wright]
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura [Dwight Longenecker’family]
Pope baptizes prominent Italian Muslim [Magdi Allam]
My Journey of Faith [Marco Fallon]
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church [Robert Koons]
Thousands in U.S. to Join (Catholic) Church - Many Feel They Have Found a Home

TURN ABOUT (Carl Olson, former Evangelical and Monday's guest on EWTN's Journey Home)
Former Southern Baptist Pastor Now a Traveling Crusader for the Catholic Church [Michael Cumbie]
All Roads Lead To Rome (A Southern Baptist's Journey into the Catholic Church)[John David Young]
Allen Hunt, Methodist Minister ...Journeys Home (Catholic, Re: Real Presence)/a>
The Challenges and Graces of Conversion [Chris Findley]
An Open Letter...from Bishop John Lipscomb [Another TEC Bishop Goes Papist]
Unlocking the Convert's Heart [Marcus Grodi]
His Open Arms Welcomed Me [ Paul Thigpen}
Why I'm Catholic (Sola Scriptura leads atheist to Catholic Church)
From Calvinist to Catholic (another powerful conversion story) Rodney Beason

Good-bye To All That (Another Episcopalian gets ready to swim the Tiber)
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church
Bishop Steenson’s Statement to the House [of Bishops: Episcopal (TEC) to Catholic]
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church
Bishop Steenson Will Become a Roman Catholic
Married man considers turn as Catholic priest
Pavarotti returns to the Catholic faith before dying
Searching For Authority (A Methodist minister finds himself surprised by Truth!)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope(Al Kresta)

The Hail Mary of a Protestant (A true story)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar(Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts (Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Rusty Tisdale (former Pentecostal)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness(Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Matt Enloe (former Baptist) [prepare to be amazed!]
Conversion Story - David Finkelstein (former Jew)
Conversion Story - John Weidner (former Evangelical)

12 Reasons I Joined the Catholic Church
Conversion Story - Tom Hunt
The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism: The Converts
John Calvin Made Me Catholic
Journey Home - May 21 - Neil Babcox (former Presbyterian) - A minister encounters Mary
Going Catholic - Six journeys to Rome
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
A Convert's Pilgrimage [Christopher Cuddy]
From Pastor to Parishioner: My Love for Christ Led Me Home (to the Catholic Church) [Drake McCalister]
Lutheran professor of philosophy prepares to enter Catholic Church

Patty Bonds (former Baptist and sister of Dr. James White) to appear on The Journey Home - May 7
Pastor and Flock Become Catholics
Why Converts Choose Catholicism
From Calvinist to Catholic
The journey back - Dr. Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church
Famous Homosexual Italian Author Returned to the Church Before Dying of AIDS
Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns To Full Communion With The Church
laetare (commentary on ordination of married Anglican convert to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) Father Bill Lowe
Catholic Converts - Stephen K. Ray (former Evangelical)
Catholic Converts - Malcolm Muggeridge

Catholic Converts - Richard John Neuhaus
Catholic Converts - Avery Cardinal Dulles
Catholic Converts - Israel (Eugenio) Zolli - Chief Rabbi of Rome
Catholic Converts - Robert H. Bork , American Jurist (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Converts - Marcus Grodi
He Was an Evangelical Christian Until He Read Aquinas [Rob Evans]
The Scott Hahn Conversion Story
Interview with Roy Schoeman - A Jewish Convert
Church Is Still Attracting Converts [Jim Anderson]

45 posted on 03/04/2010 5:00:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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