Shelf Life Book Review: The Jewish Gospels

William Varner

The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ
The New Press, 2012

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Daniel Boyarin argues that Jews in Jesus’ time were looking for a divine messiah who would also suffer for Israel’s sins, an idea that challenges many assumptions that have recently prevailed in Jewish circles.

Boyarin argues convincingly that Jews from ancient times believed the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 describes a coming messiah. This counters many modern Jewish objections to Jesus—namely that He could not have been the messiah because His suffering and claim to deity were foreign ideas to ancient Judaism. In light of these claims, he argues that we need to reexamine the neglected literature of Daniel 7, Enoch, and 4 Ezra, along with the “Son of God” and “suffering Messiah” texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls to understand what first-century Jews thought about the Messiah.

Boyarin defines technical terms in simple language, making this book accessible for the everyday student of the Bible.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Faithlife Corporation. Originally published in print, Vol. 5 No. 1