Matthew Matthew, John One, Jesus discussed on Jewish History Matters
Different. The emphases are different. We're looking at not only at literature contemporaneous with the New Testament be at the Dead Sea Scrolls Josephus Filo text from the Su- depicts NBA archaeological information but we're also looking at rabbinic literature not as background but to say gee how have Jews within traditional national Jewish commentaries addressed some of the same issues that are being addressed in the New Testament at this new and it's fabulous yet and a lot of what is new which should not be downplayed is having all of this material available in a single value you in having it all available in two different ways by which they mean Indiana -tations at in the large number of essays in a single volume simply never been general for and never been done in a way which it seems to be so accessible. I mean I I think the accessibility is is critical. I mean when you look even at the essays right and you think about who wrote each of those essays many of them are a distillation of the monograph that that person wrote on the topic and what we have here is an entire library of scholarship on ancient Judaism Judaism on early Christianity on the New Testament boiled down into a single volume that somebody can pick up and and flip through and that is this is I think a really phenomenal thing to have as a resource okay well. You're welcome I mean I feel like we've talked a lot about the book but I wanNa look maybe a little bit at the because I think one of the interesting things that you do in the in it is not just the notation the introductions to each each of the each of the books of the New Testament and you know this is really useful for people who are getting a sense of tax to are not familiar with it and also who perhaps want to answer similar kinds of questions about each of the texts about who the author was what the context was so on and so forth each of these different texts also presents different challenges and opportunities. How did you try to contextualize the New Testament passages and discourses on how did you contextualize these different books and these different passages this differently depending on what each of them are doing in particular you know when we look at ones that have been a source of anti-jewish hatred or misinformation you know in sentiment intimate about the Jews? How did you approach this this project of contextualising in annotating the New Testament on the book by book level and also about looking in different passages we don't we don't apologize protects and we explain them away and in some cases are entertainers simply said this anti-jewish material we can pause it what the historical circumstances were that gave rise to that material but we also have to deal with in terms of how we understand it by the same same view there's material in the shared scripture that say Anti Canaanite or anti Egyptian or anti Persian Empire Babylonian this is what religious religious texts do and we need to be aware of the problem? We are aware of the fact that for many readers this is the first time that the reading the new testaments were reading it in a serious manner synergy make general recommendations to sue are authors about what they should include in gear introductions actions issues such as the authorship interpretation of the text waiting. We're was written and it just said testing tax require different sorts of introductions from the perspective of Anti Judaism the the most problematic Gospel is the gospel jar so it's no surprise that Adele Reinhart's is pointing for Judah has a whole section on John Nance Judaism so we're aware of the fact that for all the readers this is or should be a significant if it can't issue so unlike many other introductory new testing values we probably do concentrate on those issues a little little bit war both in the introduction and particular annotations but we try to do so in non apologetic there are problematic passages the new testament as they are problematic passages in the Hebrew Bible and rediscussed that I hope they're in a fashion I mean were there any particular challenges when we look especially at books like the book of John When we when we think about the source of the Anti Judaism over the course of many many centuries where there any particular challenges that you've that you've faced you know. How did you try to resolve them when you looked at these this these texts that passages that have particular anti-jewish bent or or approach well? I don't think resolve is the right word. I don't think you can resolve something. We'll take Jewish. I think you have to name it. You can explain it as best as you can but it still remains a problem in the the same way we don't resolve say slavery in the United States. We can explain how it happened and why it was perpetuated but you don't resolve the question. Oh you bring it to bite you flag the tragedies that it is caused and then you ideally find some way of saying I need me to acknowledge this as part of my history and then move on yeah so I release the freeze colon rather than resolve that so to give a very specific example because you asked the question bad John One of the most pragmatic versus is John Chapter Eight Verse Forty Four for your from your father the devil and you choose to do your authors desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks according to his own nature for he's a liar and the father of lies is now that is a highly problematic verse which Adele Reinhart's cold in her notation and says it's on this I is the source of the Association of the Jews with CNN that remains prevalence in antisemitic riddick discourse see introduction and a very much help readers of the Saul you will only be dead particular sentence which calls at disperse chief fees three carefully that as antisemitic because that would have been inaccurate but rather as a source for anti-semitism and then I would hope that people would go to the page that she has deals with John Anti the Anti Judaism and explains how he Jewish person can write these particular notions which became the a source for anti Judaism and yeah I mean I think that that this is a fundamental challenge? The flipside of this as well is that that that when you are putting the New Testament within its historical context and in terms of its particular elements which are the source of Anti Judaism there are other texts which are much more Jewish so to speak you know so for instance looking at Matthew as kind of the counterpoint to John. This is the most Jewish so to speak of the four gospels so I think one of the things that you guys do there which is very interesting is that in addition to calling out the sources of of Anti Judaism but also you really emphasizing the ways in which there is this connection between Judaism Christianity in terms of the the way in which Jesus is portrayed and the way in which also the different contexts of the different authors might lead them to have different approaches towards Judaism. We have to be very careful here because we actually for the gospels at least or not clear on what the context is the gospel writers do not begin their text by saying hi. My name is and I live at such and such a place here's my background my ethnicity my community and here's what my mother's name was part of doing. Gospel study is a bit of a circular the argument we read the text we pause it the author in the audience on the basis of the text bread and then we interpret the text on the basis of this audience and author. We've just posited we we talk about. Matthew is a very Jewish cost because it sounds to US Jewish then we have to figure out what does it mean to sound Jewish but we also know that Matthew was the most Popular Gospel among gentile how followers of Jesus in the second and third centuries so even when we talk about Jewish Gospel bad itself is a controversial comment was less just to explain a little bit it sounds so Jewish because of the extent to which it quotes from Scriptures of Israel or the incipient Hebrew Bible and the manner in which it quotes which is very similar from the manner that is attested in DC scroll documents. It's that are more or less contemporaneous with the New Testament and in later rabbinic documents so that's what I think makes Jews who have some knowledge eligible cereal much more comfortable with Matthew. Did they do with the other gospels. I do think Matthew Matthew the author is coming out of some sort of Jewish context because matthew the author not only knows the scriptures of Israel Barry will also post biblical interpretation that we find find other Jewish non Christian sources but that doesn't tell me to who mathew was writing we don't know whether Matthew was writing to some small enclave of other Jewish wish followers of Jesus or Matthey was writing to what might be called the FTC a universal the assembly in the name of Jesus across the board it it would not surprise me that Matthew had gentle substantially in mind as the audience I mean I guess one thing to think about here. I think when we think about the project of annotating and contextualising realizing these new testament texts there are a series of different contexts that we can think about the historical context of the authors who they were I'm not be possible to really know exactly what they were but you know what their historical environment was like you know who they were likely trying to write four. We can also talk about contextualising sexualizing the packages themselves how they relate to the other contemporary texts of time when also to to the TATA into into the Old Testament to the agent and other sort of versions of the Bible part of what I what I would like to hear you say a bit more about is why does this context text matter. Why is it so important to put the New Testament and these texts within all these various contexts the context when it comes to any literature is actually not necessary for comprehension? I mean we can understand a novel without knowing a whole lot about the historical background. It's just that we I understand. It's so much better. If we know we're in went into home it was written Shakespeare can be understood by folks today but if you know a little bit more about history three at the time but it's a whole lot more profound my friend been Widdrington his it is a methodist biblical scholars want to say that a text without the context is just a pretext for making it say anything you want and with the Bible that certainly the case super will open up the Texaco say here's what it means to me and that's fine. There's nothing wrong with that but if they knew what it meant to the people who I heard it they would be able to enhance leading and that's why content okay so I think maybe I want to shift gears a little bit so I guess one thing that I'm really interested in is the way in which take new testament relates to differs from other New Testament study bibles. One of the key differences is that the new testament does not include the old testament right. That's one of the key differences but also putting it in terms of this different kind of a context that you're doing it from a Jewish perspective..