Aj Justin Acid, Jason, Jesus discussed on Jewish History Matters
Thanks for listening in to our conversation today day with Amy Jill Levine and Mark Butler about this volume. The Jewish annotated do testament what it means to have a Jewish version of the New Testament and how we can effectively understand the new testament within its historical and social context and why all this matters in terms of scholarly developments as well as the relationship between Judaism and Christianity today so high mark and hi. Aj Welcome to the podcast happy to be with your Jason. It's a pleasure to join you as well. I was really glad to take a close. Look at this volume and I'm really excited to discuss it in depth. I I think it really makes an important contribution and a number of ways where I think it might be useful for us to start is in terms of just thinking about what it means to have a Jewish version of the new testament so to speak. What does it mean to have a version of the new testament that is the Jewish annotated version so to speak and what did did you want to achieve in producing one in terms of both scholarly terms and also in terms of how the public approaches the New Testament Testament as well the volume in some senses? This accidents is in some ways a follow up of the Jewish Bible breath which I co edited with Adele Berlin I enjoyed co editing gets a tremendous and I was Lee for follow projects. They said that I'm still not sure at this. Seriously or is a bit of a joke to Donald. Krause is the Executive Bible Editor Extra University as you press him when when are we do Jewish New Testament as a follow lock and he thought about it actually thought about it for a couple careers and then he came back to lean said yeah the people at Oxford the that is secreted idea but obviously since your specialty is Hebrew Bible you really will need to pair up with a scholar of the New Testament then he suggested working with. Aj and that's how the project started where did a follow up of the Study Bible and indeed if you look at the two volumes sticks to each other you'll see that they're very similar covers and that is not an accident that really does represents the way in which belongs to get the idea of Jewish annotated New Testament fits in with other types types of what might be considered Niche Bibles said their Orthodox Christian studied Bibles Roman Catholic Study Bibles Evangelical Study Bibles african-american Study Study Bibles there is a gop T Q. I Study Bible in that sense. The Jewish annotated New Testament is a specifically targeted on the other hand hand. We want this volume to reach more than just jus. The New Testament is part of Jewish history and we want Jews to be aware of that Jesus was Jewish. Paul was Jewish the various Mary's World Jews but we also want Christian readers to be aware of the Jewish context in which their movement took shape and we want them to be aware aware as well of the select New Testament passages which because of select interpretations gave rise to quite horrendous anti-jewish in antisemitic antisemitic views this pick up a bit more than age as saying sel began by asking the question of let Jewish Sheen's Jewish entertaining new New Testament it does mean that the entire volume is by Jewish authors it means that the two co editors. Aj Ni- both Jewish. I wish it means that it says have is. Aj just said is one of its intended groups of readers choose so a term that I I use is that also impart was efforts to create a safe new testaments that Jews would feel comfortable reading because they would know now that it was edited by Jews in that the contributors Jews unlike other new testaments it did not start from Christian theological. Oh position it was not intent on proselytizing people send another aspect of its Jewishness just freeze it a little bit different Weeden. Aj Justin acid- released to this problematic term of Jewish background for the new testaments who were there many different ways to study the new testaments out. It's certainly is a Greco Roman balking in some sense in it also is a Jewish book. These are two mutually exclusive ways working at the New Testament and this particular volume focuses on more than many other volumes under so-called Jewish backgrounds lenses the new testaments which is that I hope you'll reach there are other so-called Jewish studied bibles out there but they're written by Messianic Sti Jews and what they're trying to do is attempt to convert Jews to Christianity what we want to do with show enormous respect for the Christian tradition but recognize is it as something distinct from our agenda is by no means an interest in proselytizing although the number of Jews actually thought that's what we were doing right. I mean that's that's interesting. The idea of creating a version of the new testament that Jews might feel comfortable reading because they don't think that they are trying to be converted birded so there you have an interesting way the major audience but did you not also hope that Christians would look at it as well. Oh absolutely in fact act because many of us are sensitive to places where textual interpretation can lead into anti Jewish or anti Semitic us in cases cases where we knew the texts had proven to be problems in the past in preaching and teaching we pulled out little gray boxes on things like the blood cry in Matthew Chapter Chapter Twenty seven his blood be on us and on our children and said listen these texts have been used to harm Jews be careful. Oh Dear Christians when when you preach and teach this not to lead your congregations or your students in such a way that you would inculcate a reinforced anti Jewish attitudes Yup Jason in the way in which you asked the question he spoke of Jews as d major audience they are a major audience but they really are not God be major audience. Jews are a significant audience but Christians who were trying to help better understand the book that is so fundamental to the Christian religion are very significant and in the audience for us as well and of course we had to play balancing act because these are two difference by in large mutually exclusive audiences I say by large because Aj a few moments ago raise the issue of missing Jews and each audience required different issues to be extricated or were the same issue to be excavated slightly different vantage points. We're also sensitive to the variety of Christian readers that we have so we're that might have a particular resonance within the Roman Catholic community we'd have different residents or a different understanding or say Evangelical Protestants or a particular Baptist Church or in eastern Orthodox Church so we had to define terms across the board and Jews may have no clue what Eucharist means in Christians would have different definitions so we have to put in a separate article on what Eucharist means says sometimes called communion meals. We spent a lot of time defining terms sued the Jews who would be familiar with terms like shampoo for young kipper those needed to be defined for Christians and for Christians who would be familiar with terms sounds like baptism. We needed to define those Jews. you're talking about a very difficult and very delicate balancing act reaching different audiences dances who don't always speak the same language as well as who have different interests coming in Jews might be interested in origins of Anti Judaism they might be interested in what was Jewish life like time a Christians and I've worked primarily within Christian context because I am a new testament estimate person primarily. It seems to me that if one claims Jesus is Lord and Savior one would want to know as much as possible about the place where he lived in the time when he lived in the people to whom he spoke and all of that is is that Jewish setting so we can influence a Christian love of Jesus at the same time we can inform juice about what is going on with Jesus of Nazareth and why is it that certain Jews are proclaiming him to be more than savior and at least donated the first edition of the book and was still teaching Brandeis where the majority of students were Jewish so in the way that EJ add a Christian audience brings her minds. I I had a largely Jewish audience and but of course we've both been teaching for decades so we're love aware that value we have the same issue that we have in classroom of a wide variety of these people who are using the buck for a wide variety of reasons and we try to be sensitive to these different groups as we might be to go back to the the the initial question that I posed about. What does it mean to create a Jewish annotated New Testament? People probably speaking don't always think about the new testament that is a Jewish book. It's the holy text of Christianity certainly not of Judaism right so what does it mean to create a Jewish version or a Jewish annotated rotate version of a book that is not usually understood or placed within the context of Ancient Judaism rather within the history of Christianity problem. It's a problem how we define define our terms Christianity itself but even that word suggests that there's a separate entity apart from Judaism called Christianity look Jesus is Jewish and Polish Jewish and Mary Vaga when is Jewish and they're all juice and there is no formal distinction between Judaism and Christianity is two quite separate entities so what we have to do is reconfigure in fact the way we tend to think think about how the New Testament functions within its own historical context how it took shape in the first place says the same thing a little bit differently. One of the major juror academic issues in the study of early Christianity is cold to finding the parting of the ways windy talk about Christianity a separate entity in Judaism would set important for us to go into various answers he are but everybody agrees from who scholarly perspective that in the late first century or even dying largely early second century the period that we're talking that for the production auctioned the new testament the ways had not yet hearted in one way of seeing this is that the word Cristianos the Greek word for Christian appears only four times in the entirety of the new testaments so clearly the people who are involved in rhyming this book do not see themselves as a separate religion although the term gets quite cumbersome when we're careful we talk talk about this group is Christ believing Jews. That's really what they are. We both understand that this is something that's very surprising in Tiffin even ways to members of the Jewish community and members of the Christian community and we see part of her job in writing essays days in working on other people's annotations in bringing this point home time after time again because they simply he is a true historical points that we think it's very important readers on both sides of the divide to understand as well lowest possible three times in the New Testament not for seven extra book right. I mean you just increase percentage. The text financial right right part of the the challenge here is the way of which the New Testament is understood by scholars and the way that is popularly perceived most people who are picking up a copy of of this volume of Jewish annotated. Do Testament are not scholars right right and so this fact that Jesus was a Jew you know all of his contemporaries who were involved in Jesus Movement or Jews and that that there was not yet quite this divide between Judaism and Christianity you know for for many years after the death of Jesus. This is an idea that many Christians are engaging with but that you know is not always at the forefront of the discourse within Christian communities part of what's interesting about this volume is the way in which it's bringing bringing in what has been for many many years the scholarly approach to a much wider audience to thinking about the New Testament and we tried in the entertains -tations not to sound too academic..