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Why did the Jews reject Jesus? Was he really the son of God? Were the Jews culpable in his death? These ancient questions have been debated for almost two thousand years, most recently with the release of Mel Gibson’s explosive The Passion of the Christ. The controversy was never merely academic. The legal status and security of Jews—often their very lives—depended on the Why did the Jews reject Jesus? Was he really the son of God? Were the Jews culpable in his death? These ancient questions have been debated for almost two thousand years, most recently with the release of Mel Gibson’s explosive The Passion of the Christ. The controversy was never merely academic. The legal status and security of Jews—often their very lives—depended on the answer. In WHY THE JEWS REJECTED JESUS, David Klinghoffer reveals that the Jews since ancient times accepted not only the historical existence of Jesus but the role of certain Jews in bringing about his crucifixion and death. But he also argues that they had every reason to be skeptical of claims for his divinity. For one thing, Palestine under Roman occupation had numerous charismatic would-be messiahs, so Jesus would not have been unique, nor was his following the largest of its kind. For another, the biblical prophecies about the coming of the Messiah were never fulfilled by Jesus, including an ingathering of exiles, the rise of a Davidic king who would defeat Israel’s enemies, the building of a new Temple, and recognition of God by the gentiles. Above all, the Jews understood their biblically commanded way of life, from which Jesus’s followers sought to “free” them, as precious, immutable, and eternal. Jews have long been blamed for Jesus’s death and stigmatized for rejecting him. But Jesus lived and died a relatively obscure figure at the margins of Jewish society. Indeed, it is difficult to argue that “the Jews” of his day rejected Jesus at all, since most Jews had never heard of him. The figure they really rejected, often violently, was Paul, who convinced the Jerusalem church led by Jesus’s brother to jettison the observance of Jewish law. Paul thus founded a new religion. If not for him, Christianity would likely have remained a Jewish movement, and the course of history itself would have been changed. Had the Jews accepted Jesus, Klinghoffer speculates, Christianity would not have conquered Europe, and there would be no Western civilization as we know it. WHY THE JEWS REJECTED JESUS tells the story of this long, acrimonious, and occasionally deadly debate between Christians and Jews. It is thoroughly engaging, lucidly written, and in many ways highly original. Though written from a Jewish point of view, it is also profoundly respectful of Christian sensibilities. Coming at a time when Christians and Jews are in some ways moving closer than ever before, this thoughtful and provocative book represents a genuine effort to heal the ancient rift between these two great faith traditions.


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Why did the Jews reject Jesus? Was he really the son of God? Were the Jews culpable in his death? These ancient questions have been debated for almost two thousand years, most recently with the release of Mel Gibson’s explosive The Passion of the Christ. The controversy was never merely academic. The legal status and security of Jews—often their very lives—depended on the Why did the Jews reject Jesus? Was he really the son of God? Were the Jews culpable in his death? These ancient questions have been debated for almost two thousand years, most recently with the release of Mel Gibson’s explosive The Passion of the Christ. The controversy was never merely academic. The legal status and security of Jews—often their very lives—depended on the answer. In WHY THE JEWS REJECTED JESUS, David Klinghoffer reveals that the Jews since ancient times accepted not only the historical existence of Jesus but the role of certain Jews in bringing about his crucifixion and death. But he also argues that they had every reason to be skeptical of claims for his divinity. For one thing, Palestine under Roman occupation had numerous charismatic would-be messiahs, so Jesus would not have been unique, nor was his following the largest of its kind. For another, the biblical prophecies about the coming of the Messiah were never fulfilled by Jesus, including an ingathering of exiles, the rise of a Davidic king who would defeat Israel’s enemies, the building of a new Temple, and recognition of God by the gentiles. Above all, the Jews understood their biblically commanded way of life, from which Jesus’s followers sought to “free” them, as precious, immutable, and eternal. Jews have long been blamed for Jesus’s death and stigmatized for rejecting him. But Jesus lived and died a relatively obscure figure at the margins of Jewish society. Indeed, it is difficult to argue that “the Jews” of his day rejected Jesus at all, since most Jews had never heard of him. The figure they really rejected, often violently, was Paul, who convinced the Jerusalem church led by Jesus’s brother to jettison the observance of Jewish law. Paul thus founded a new religion. If not for him, Christianity would likely have remained a Jewish movement, and the course of history itself would have been changed. Had the Jews accepted Jesus, Klinghoffer speculates, Christianity would not have conquered Europe, and there would be no Western civilization as we know it. WHY THE JEWS REJECTED JESUS tells the story of this long, acrimonious, and occasionally deadly debate between Christians and Jews. It is thoroughly engaging, lucidly written, and in many ways highly original. Though written from a Jewish point of view, it is also profoundly respectful of Christian sensibilities. Coming at a time when Christians and Jews are in some ways moving closer than ever before, this thoughtful and provocative book represents a genuine effort to heal the ancient rift between these two great faith traditions.

30 review for Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: The Turning Point in Western History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Danusha Goska

    Klinghoffer summarizes his main points on page one. He, the Jew, is the thinker; he's at a computer, surrounded by Hebrew books. A "brawny" Christian blue collar laborer attempts to debate theology with him, loses, and "puzzled and distraught," retreats. The main points of "Why the Jews Rejected Jesus": Judaism and Christianity are so different that they occupy different universes (e.g. 165). Jews are essentially – one could read "racially" – different. They are intelligent, and have ethical sou Klinghoffer summarizes his main points on page one. He, the Jew, is the thinker; he's at a computer, surrounded by Hebrew books. A "brawny" Christian blue collar laborer attempts to debate theology with him, loses, and "puzzled and distraught," retreats. The main points of "Why the Jews Rejected Jesus": Judaism and Christianity are so different that they occupy different universes (e.g. 165). Jews are essentially – one could read "racially" – different. They are intelligent, and have ethical souls. Judaism "requires expertise. It's not for everyone" (99). Being a Jew is comparable to earning a Master's Degree in Theology (8). During his career, only exceptionally stupid Jews accepted Jesus ("relatively simple," "less knowledgeable," "rustic," "countrified," "peasant" "amei ha'aretz," "hayseed," "famously ignorant" Galileans 44, 43, 59), or phonies, like Paul, who was not really Jewish. Proof that Paul is a gentile "deceiver" posing as a Jew? First, Jews have a "sixth sense" and can always tell (95). Second, Paul regarded the 613 Levitical commandments as a burden; no real Jew has ever so assessed them (113). Presumably, today, all Jews joyfully refrain from shaving, wearing mixed fabrics, non-Levitical sex, Sabbath day labor, and cheeseburgers. Paul attempted to deceive Jews because a Jewish girl rejected his advances (115). Christians receive their faith "unquestioningly" like a baby consuming milk from a breast (176 – significant that the feminine image is negative; women are otherwise absent from this androcentric book that addresses the rise of a religion in which women played a key role). Christianity is suitable for the masses because it does not require intelligence or ethics; when Christianity's ethical "Judaic heritage" does not "dominate," Christianity is a "gauzy, swooning sensation" (186) a "narcissistic, passive" religion that "looks with indifference on injustice and tyranny" and has a tendency to a "high comfort level with injustice" (186, 199) well suited to the Vatican's "allowing" the Holocaust (190). There is only one way to interpret the many cryptic Old Testament prophecies of a messiah, and that way is the Orthodox Jewish way. Not a single one of Klinghoffer's premises is accurate. First: "The" Jews didn't reject Jesus; many converted, as evidenced by a massive Jewish population decline in the second and third centuries, and by historical Jewish reaction to converts. Klinghoffer refers (116) to a malediction against Jewish Christians, in one translation, "May the Nazarenes perish in an instant." Some Jews blamed converts to Christianity for the destruction of the Temple (117). Christians have asked the same questions Klinghoffer cites Jews as asking: If Jesus really were the messiah, why is the world still so corrupt? How can *one* God have *three* distinct persons? How could God emphasize the 613 Levitical commandments in the Old Testament and not in the New? Does "justification by faith" equal "Anything goes?" Why do Christians do bad things? More profound works have explored more satisfying answers to all of these questions. Klinghoffer reveals zero awareness of this. Klinghoffer insists that only the way he interprets God is correct, and that anyone who doesn't see things exactly as he does lacks native Jewish intelligence or proper Jewish training (e.g. 102, 211). He contradicts his own argument, and repeatedly mentions Jews, even professional debaters well trained in Judaism, who converted to Christianity (154-5). Jewish converts to Christianity are variously labeled "dangerous" "traitors" (107) and "betrayers whose actions led to catastrophe" (118). Elsewhere, Jewish converts are "cynical" "social climbers" (187), or are "cleverly exploited" by Christians (202). Two examples of scripture Klinghoffer insists Christians get wrong: the translation of "almah" as "virgin" and the interpretation of Isaiah 53 as a messianic prophecy. Klinghoffer is just, simply, factually, wrong in arguing that no educated Jew could support either. In fact, there are well-documented cases of educated Jews coming to believe in Jesus based on their reading of Isaiah 53. Too, there is a very good case to be made for translating "almah" as "virgin." The point is not that one side or the other in these debates is indisputably correct. Prophecy is by its nature cryptic and open to interpretation, too, translation is an art, not a science. The point is that to insist that native Jewish intelligence is the only salvation from Christian ignorance is a racist argument, and to pretend that informed and convincing – on both sides – debate has been closed on these matters is factually false. Klinghoffer omits one obvious answer to his question: Jews reject Jesus for the same reasons that most people do not ever convert. Klinghoffer never mentions that Jewish communities could exercise even fatal pressure against fellow Jews who converted; more mildly, parents sat shiva for children who converted. Too, Klinghoffer's insistence that all Jews are obsessed with justice and possess the equivalent of a Master's Degree in Theology is bizarre. Has Klinghoffer never heard of Lenny Bruce or Bernie Madoff? Ultimately, Klinghoffer's argument is racist. Jews are different. They have a "unique Jewish soul," a "mystically unique Jewish essence," that predisposed them to accept laws from God at Sinai, while the "nations" – non-Jews – rejected God's offer. That's why Jews reject Jesus; their unique Jewish soul compels them to uphold ethics, and Christians don't care enough about ethics (216-7). Klinghoffer repeatedly insists that Judaism and Christianity are radically different. Wrong. Jesus was a Jew. His every key statement is rooted in the Old Testament. His early followers were primarily Jews. In its key features, the Judeo-Christian tradition is entirely different from Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Paganism, namely: a single, rational, personal God who created one universe one time but is not isolatable within that universe, who created humanity in an act of love and is dedicated to each individual human life, who revealed his plan in the Old Testament; free will, personal choice, confession, reconciliation, and individual, eternal life are foundational. Klinghoffer intellectually errs and serves no beneficial end in driving Christians and Jews further apart.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joel Roberts

    clearly, the author is zealous about his beliefs. i consider it a mitzvah that he taught me a lot about Jewish history, culture, etc al. it's a very scholarly piece. that said, i thought it a bit disingenuous to call the book "profoundly respectful of Christian sensibilities" (see the back cover) when the author regularly drops in mildly snotty comments that are anything but "profoundly respectful". as a Christian, i did have a few strong reactions/objections. a few: (a) the author writes that C clearly, the author is zealous about his beliefs. i consider it a mitzvah that he taught me a lot about Jewish history, culture, etc al. it's a very scholarly piece. that said, i thought it a bit disingenuous to call the book "profoundly respectful of Christian sensibilities" (see the back cover) when the author regularly drops in mildly snotty comments that are anything but "profoundly respectful". as a Christian, i did have a few strong reactions/objections. a few: (a) the author writes that Christians misinterpret much of the Torah because they can't, or won't, read it in its original language, Hebrew. false. it is standard practice for Christian seminary students to learn Hebrew specifically so that they can read the Torah in Hebrew; (b) the author's unwillingness to recognize the constant Jew/Rabbi/Pharisee tinkering of the "oral tradition" over many centuries is aggravating and (i think) highly damaging to his arguments; (c) he uses the terminology "Pauline Christianity" without defining what that is and how it supposedly differs from plain vanilla "Christianity"; (d) the author regularly makes the blanket statement that Christians reject the Torah/Sinai, and that is simply not accurate; (e) most contemporary Christians consider the detail, who (Jew, Roman, etc.) killed Jesus, a historical red herring of sorts... a foolish cause for conflict, anti-Semitism, etc. they understand Jesus necessarily died as part of God's redemptive plan for humanity. who did the actually killing... this is a detail exploited only by troublemakers; (f) the author's objection/answer section on Brown. he charged Brown for arguing like a "heads I win, tails you lose" Biblical exegesis scholar, yet he is guilty throughout the book of doing the exact same thing;(g) the author doesn't have a good grasp on a Christian's understanding of the symbiotic relationship that exist among grace, repentance, and works (it's tough to fault what hasn't been revealed to him!). the author starts to bridge a Jewish/Christian gap in his last few pages, but he doesn't dedicate enough space to it and he ultimately undermines himself with a grossly self-gratifying, self-serving conclusion: the jews rejected jesus, allowing Christianity to proliferate, allowing the West to be civilized and advanced, allowing the world masses to be introduced to God and the Bible and ethics so that, when the time is right, Judaism will be able to sweep in and set everything right... therefore, thank the Jews. hmmm.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cory Howell

    I found this book to be a most thought-provoking description of the Jewish perspective on Jesus. My experience of the typical Christian viewpoint of Judaism is this: "Can you believe it? The Jews spent all those centuries waiting for their Messiah, and when he came, they didn't even recognize him! How could they be so blind?" Not every Christian says it exactly that way, but that's usually the general gist. Klinghoffer shows quite clearly that the reason the Jews have consistently rejected Jesus I found this book to be a most thought-provoking description of the Jewish perspective on Jesus. My experience of the typical Christian viewpoint of Judaism is this: "Can you believe it? The Jews spent all those centuries waiting for their Messiah, and when he came, they didn't even recognize him! How could they be so blind?" Not every Christian says it exactly that way, but that's usually the general gist. Klinghoffer shows quite clearly that the reason the Jews have consistently rejected Jesus (and by extension, Christianity) is that Jesus fulfilled none of the Scriptural requirements for the Messiah. Christians essentially read their already confirmed faith in Jesus as Messiah back into the Hebrew Scriptures, and then take the position that those Scriptures "clearly" point to Jesus. Historically, there is a clear and sensible Jewish rebuttal for every single Christian interpretation of prophecies that supposedly point to Jesus. Interestingly enough, Klinghoffer doesn't use the logic of the Jewish denial of Jesus to attack Christian faith. On the contrary, he points out many points of philosophical agreement between Jews and Christians, and more interestingly, presents the idea that Jewish denial of Jesus was precisely the most important element that allowed Christianity to become a major world religion. I'm sure most Christians who read this book will scoff at most of Klinghoffer's ideas and maintain their belief in Jesus as Messiah, but some may find that it presents a very difficult challenge to their preconceptions. I found the latter to be true. If any book I have read in the past several years can be said to be potentially life-changing, this may be it. The book definitely forced me to research my beliefs more deeply.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pearlie

    I wasted my money. I had high expectations on this book. I had expected the author to take on the differing issues and argue the Jewish stand as opposed to the Christian and NT proclamation. What I got was a poor discussion on why "he" thinks Jesus is not what "he" thought Jesus would be. His take on the NT and even the interpretation on the OT is superficial and shallow. Most of his arguments are unsubstantiated. What he really needs is a good theological education or at least a better attempt I wasted my money. I had high expectations on this book. I had expected the author to take on the differing issues and argue the Jewish stand as opposed to the Christian and NT proclamation. What I got was a poor discussion on why "he" thinks Jesus is not what "he" thought Jesus would be. His take on the NT and even the interpretation on the OT is superficial and shallow. Most of his arguments are unsubstantiated. What he really needs is a good theological education or at least a better attempt at research to find out what the Christians really believe and then tell us why we are wrong.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Digibrill

    Ever felt like you were getting a Christianised treatment of Jewish theology in church(es)? Well I picked up this book because of Dennis Prager, whose wisdom about religion and life in general always makes me think-even if I do not particularly agree with everything he says. Klinghoffer recognises how Christianity framed European law and culture to enable the West to become what it is today, but pulls no punches in his honest, Jewish analysis of Christian theology and history. He is eminently fa Ever felt like you were getting a Christianised treatment of Jewish theology in church(es)? Well I picked up this book because of Dennis Prager, whose wisdom about religion and life in general always makes me think-even if I do not particularly agree with everything he says. Klinghoffer recognises how Christianity framed European law and culture to enable the West to become what it is today, but pulls no punches in his honest, Jewish analysis of Christian theology and history. He is eminently fair and thought-provoking. Highly recommended as a good start in this area.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elliot Ratzman

    A mix of the learned, the lucid and the ludicrous, Klinghoffer’s journalistic account of why Christianity didn’t attract first century (or 19th century) Jews is a readable survey. Klinghoffer drinks the traditional Jewish religious kool-aid, clouding his judgment when it comes to “scholars” and secular historians when our opinions differ from his own dogma. He sandwiches his readable history of Jewish intellectual defense against Christianity with two self-serving provocations: first, that if it A mix of the learned, the lucid and the ludicrous, Klinghoffer’s journalistic account of why Christianity didn’t attract first century (or 19th century) Jews is a readable survey. Klinghoffer drinks the traditional Jewish religious kool-aid, clouding his judgment when it comes to “scholars” and secular historians when our opinions differ from his own dogma. He sandwiches his readable history of Jewish intellectual defense against Christianity with two self-serving provocations: first, that if it the Jews hadn’t reject Jesus, Christianity would have remained a small Jewish sect, and—I kid you not—Islam would have taken over, dooming Civilization; second, that Jews rejected Jesus because Jews have unique souls, tricked up to be Commandment Keepers and thus reject saviors who downgrade Law. Klinghoffer, the Jewish auxiliary of the Christian intellectual Right, can get away with the harsh criticisms of, say Christian biblical interpretation, because he sides with them against “secularism”.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Joynton

    Don't expect an easy read. This is more an analytical book that is more in keeping with scientific writing. I also don't think it is a book that can be appreciated unless you have an open mind and really interested in the question. I can't believe I began this book in 2013! I think it was one I started, then lost, then found. Don't expect an easy read. This is more an analytical book that is more in keeping with scientific writing. I also don't think it is a book that can be appreciated unless you have an open mind and really interested in the question. I can't believe I began this book in 2013! I think it was one I started, then lost, then found.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris Hart

    I'm neither a philosopher nor a Jew. I am a Christian who's been reading and studying the Bible (Old and New Testament) for a lot of decades. Mr Klinghoffer is an Orthodox Jew, although I have no idea whether he is a philosopher or not. :-) This book presents a mix of history, theology, and philosophy, purporting to explain the titular subject. It does a fair job of presenting Jewish Messianic theology, although Mr Klinghoffer refers quite a bit to oral tradition instead of relying on the text of I'm neither a philosopher nor a Jew. I am a Christian who's been reading and studying the Bible (Old and New Testament) for a lot of decades. Mr Klinghoffer is an Orthodox Jew, although I have no idea whether he is a philosopher or not. :-) This book presents a mix of history, theology, and philosophy, purporting to explain the titular subject. It does a fair job of presenting Jewish Messianic theology, although Mr Klinghoffer refers quite a bit to oral tradition instead of relying on the text of the Scriptures and seems to ascribe quite a bit of mysticism to his reasoning. I have no idea if this is mainstream Jewish thought or not, but it's an interesting take. It's not an argument I find particularly compelling, though. Like many other debaters who are convinced of the righteousness of their arguments, Mr Klinghoffer describes those on the other side of the issue as taking things out of context and misinterpreting Scripture, but he then goes on to do the same things himself. He also throws out blanket statements as fact without citing any examples. (Just one example: "Jesus' actions were different than the words he spoke." Really? Let's hear one. In a book as extensively footnoted as this one, it's telling that there's no reference to any passage in the New Testament showing Mr Klinghoffer's assertion.) The author and I will obviously not agree on who Jesus is, but it was interesting to read the "other side." Recommended for those who are interested in theology/religious history.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    It would be tempting, upon reading this book and its smug, self-satisfied tone, casual libels about Jesus and Paul, and its general unpleasant arrogance, to dismiss it entirely as a worthless and unprofitable book that demonstrates the contempt that some Jews have for Christianity and Christians, viewing them only a source for opportunistic conversions and as a cultural threat. While tempting, though, this would be an unwise response, because this is a book that manages to perform a worthwhile t It would be tempting, upon reading this book and its smug, self-satisfied tone, casual libels about Jesus and Paul, and its general unpleasant arrogance, to dismiss it entirely as a worthless and unprofitable book that demonstrates the contempt that some Jews have for Christianity and Christians, viewing them only a source for opportunistic conversions and as a cultural threat. While tempting, though, this would be an unwise response, because this is a book that manages to perform a worthwhile task that is different than the task it sets out to do. While giving too many reasons for the rejection of Christianity by Judaism, and minimizing the level of that rejection and dealing in a very cursory fashion with messianic Judaism as well as Sabbatarian Christianity [1], to the point of creating a false dilemma between Jewish legalism and Hellenistic Chrisitan antinomianism, the book actually does manage to uncover the root of bad blood between Christians and Jews in which neither side has ended up blameless, and the acidness of this book and its willingness to deal forthrightly with the ugly anti-Christian libels of the Talmud is to be appreciated even if the author's viewpoint is bogus and his understanding of Christianity woefully lacking and totally biased. The contents of this book are generally chronological in fashion, and give a perspective of the tortured relationship between Judaism and Christianity over the last two thousand years. The introduction urges readers to thank the Jews, even if the author himself is more than a little bit douchy. After that the author discusses the context of second temple Judaism, before Christ, seeking to present a bogus case for the legitimacy of the oral Torah that was becoming more and more popular at this point, an oral Torah that was rejected wholeheartedly by Christians of all stripes. Then the author provides two chapters on the first encounter between the Jews and the Messiah as well as the question of whether the Jews killed Jesus Christ, showing that underneath the casual hauteur of the author lies an understanding of the lack of legitimacy that the oral Torah possesses in the eyes of Christian that marks a large part of what separates Christians and Jews, along with the reminder that ultimately the divide will be bridged, if it is to be bridged, by the deeds of the return of Jesus Christ and the visible and obvious confirmation of those prophecies that the Jews still await fulfillment of. The author then looks at the curse of the Torah and gives even more libels regarding Paul, as well as chapters that give the discussion between Jews and Minim in the period before Constantine, the great debate of medieval minds, and the never-ending disputation between Judaism and Christianity at present, before a brief conclusion that brings a great deal into focus. It was only in reading the last chapter of this book that I got any degree of sympathy for the writer of this book at all. One can see that he clearly has some anger issues and is certainly a very apt student of his religion, even if his understanding of Christianity is limited largely to the Hellenistic versions of Catholicism (which, like Judaism, places a great deal of untoward importance on flawed tradition) or the Hellenistic antinomian Protestant organizations. One can see him attempting to deny the reality of the resurrection by claiming that the body of Jesus Christ was eaten by some sort of wild animals, which is why it wasn't found, which is one of the dodgier explanations one could make--clearly the author is grasping at straws here. Yet in reading the last chapter of this book, where the author expresses the problems that Jews have in the Incarnation and goes back to Sinai, one has a degree of sympathy with the author and others of his kind when he comments on the difficulty that Jews have in dealing with a God that has come close to mankind. This was, after all, the problem that the Jews had with God's behavior in Exodus 20, where they were terrified by God coming close to them, so that they wanted intermediaries between God and them, which got them the priesthood and the various ordinances of the law. The Jews, as a people, never got comfortable with God being close to them, and Christianity is nothing if not a forcible reminder of God's intimacy with us and the desire of God for a close relationship with mankind. Reading this book, one gets a sense of the schizoid tendencies of the author in longing to know God intellectually but to be terrified by the thought of close intimacy. That is something I can be deeply empathetic about, after all, and something that gives me an appreciation for where this author comes from in a way that I would not have had otherwise. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bronwyn

    I didn’t think that there could be a book that was simultaneously very dry and interesting, but here it is. Also intriguing is reading other reviews and seeing the downward votes being written by... Christians. I wonder why. Ho hum.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kent

    In the course of his analysis, Klinghoffer gives an extensive review of Jewish history. Perhaps most intriguing of his assertions is his revelation that the Jews' rejection of Jesus as the Messiah was the launch pad for Christianity to become the driving force behind European and American societal, cultural and economic development. This was a bit more than expected, but the sub title should have been a tip off. The author imagines the different outcome had more Jews accepted Christ, and their n In the course of his analysis, Klinghoffer gives an extensive review of Jewish history. Perhaps most intriguing of his assertions is his revelation that the Jews' rejection of Jesus as the Messiah was the launch pad for Christianity to become the driving force behind European and American societal, cultural and economic development. This was a bit more than expected, but the sub title should have been a tip off. The author imagines the different outcome had more Jews accepted Christ, and their new "faith movement" had remained a little known Jewish sect. He suggests in such a scenario that the Apostles may not have needed to move on to the "gentiles" to find converts. Meandering through some very obscure Talmudic textual depths, which becomes tedious at times, Klinghoffer shares insights from ancient to modern Rabbis and Jewish scholars that support the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. The basic premise is that the first century Jews couldn't accept him as the Messiah because the Jesus story just didn't fit their understanding of the Messiah prophecies. While that hypothesis may not seem too revealing, the diagnosis of the prophecies and the illustration of the differences in the way Jews and Christians understand them is the real value of this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Garcia

    While I don't like the title (I think the word "rejected" is a bit harsh and has a negative connotation to it), this was a very interesting read. I learned a lot about Judaism, Jewish history, as well as Christian history. It was interesting to read why Jews of Jesus' time didn't believe that he was the Messiah, why Jews after Jesus' time to modern times do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and how Paul changed the early "Jewish Christian" movement into what we now know as Christianity. He While I don't like the title (I think the word "rejected" is a bit harsh and has a negative connotation to it), this was a very interesting read. I learned a lot about Judaism, Jewish history, as well as Christian history. It was interesting to read why Jews of Jesus' time didn't believe that he was the Messiah, why Jews after Jesus' time to modern times do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and how Paul changed the early "Jewish Christian" movement into what we now know as Christianity. He uses scripture after scripture to make his points and relies on the writings of Jewish and Christian scholars and historians. I also appreciated that he incorporates Christian counter arguments to the points he is making and answers those Christian arguments with scripture and historical facts. I will admit that some parts were a little hard to get through. Some sections got bogged down in history and some of the subject matter went over my head. While you may or may not agree with him, it is an incredibly fascinating read. It really makes you question and re-evaluate what you know.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rai Keyri

    This book opened my mind as a Christian that I should stop eating pork (co'z we have a family history of hypertension) and other seafoods aside from fishes that have fins and scales. I like the author's idea of trying to balance some things like when he defended Jesus in this book when He said that He is the Son of God but most pharisees call it blasphemy. The author mentioned about the World War 2 holocaust (that Christians are the highest when it comes to the number of mass murderers in the hi This book opened my mind as a Christian that I should stop eating pork (co'z we have a family history of hypertension) and other seafoods aside from fishes that have fins and scales. I like the author's idea of trying to balance some things like when he defended Jesus in this book when He said that He is the Son of God but most pharisees call it blasphemy. The author mentioned about the World War 2 holocaust (that Christians are the highest when it comes to the number of mass murderers in the history of the world) but the author misses to mention about the persecution of Christians by Jews during the Roman era like selling them to the Romans to be executed (which for me is very biased). And as I read further, I can sense that there is something wrong with what the author are saying. I just don't have that much of an evidence.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Klinghoffer, who is not a Christian by any stretch, gives readers an inside perspective on why the Jews who rejected Jesus during his earthly ministry, and afterward, did so. While his descriptions of the Christian perspective are seriously flawed (an examination of his very few "Christian" sources, like E.P. Sanders - who describes himself as a 'liberal, secular, Protestant - give you a clue), and his selections of Talmudic and rabbinic explanations seem screened, his overall themes seem legiti Klinghoffer, who is not a Christian by any stretch, gives readers an inside perspective on why the Jews who rejected Jesus during his earthly ministry, and afterward, did so. While his descriptions of the Christian perspective are seriously flawed (an examination of his very few "Christian" sources, like E.P. Sanders - who describes himself as a 'liberal, secular, Protestant - give you a clue), and his selections of Talmudic and rabbinic explanations seem screened, his overall themes seem legitimate and, as he intends, likely eye-opening to typical professing Christians. A good read for those seeking to understand religious/cultural history...and the obvious question posed. My gleaning, from this book, of the overriding reason of why the Jews reject Jesus - because to do so would be to eliminate their unique status, one that is more than merely a label. That is no small thing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I got this book from the library to supplement other material for a paper I was working on. (Confession: I don't think I have read it all yet.) It is great outline of the reasons are for Jews (both past and present) have on Jesus as Messiah. Naturally, I don't agree with all of them. And he has made several errors on presenting Christianity. However for my purpose of getting a concise reasons on this issue the book was invaluable. : ) I got this book from the library to supplement other material for a paper I was working on. (Confession: I don't think I have read it all yet.) It is great outline of the reasons are for Jews (both past and present) have on Jesus as Messiah. Naturally, I don't agree with all of them. And he has made several errors on presenting Christianity. However for my purpose of getting a concise reasons on this issue the book was invaluable. : )

  16. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    An interesting compendium of reasons why the Jews -- the progentors of Jesus, the chosen people of God, AND the originators of the Bible -- continuously reject Jesus. One of the strongest reasons that stand out: Christians continuously and strongly misread the Bible, and in particular fail to understand the meaning of what the Jewish Messiah is required to do, all of which Jesus failed to do.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    An interesting perspective. I learned a lot. It is important to spend a little time in life attempting to clarify historical/religious confusion. This book is not for everyone. It was worth the read for me. One thing is clear, not much is clear about events that really occurred around 30CE . But we take our perspectives and try to reason.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    I can't say it was the most engaging book and at times was almost boring, but his arguments are nevertheless quite strong. He provides an excellent case for why the Jews have never accepted Jesus as the Messiah, using biblical, cultural and historical evidence to effectively argue that Jesus could not have been the Messiah promised to the Jewish people in the Hebrew Bible. I can't say it was the most engaging book and at times was almost boring, but his arguments are nevertheless quite strong. He provides an excellent case for why the Jews have never accepted Jesus as the Messiah, using biblical, cultural and historical evidence to effectively argue that Jesus could not have been the Messiah promised to the Jewish people in the Hebrew Bible.

  19. 5 out of 5

    David

    Interesting history of Christianity and the roots of anti-semitism.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rick Davis

    This book was stimulating, engaging, and interesting. It also contained a good deal of nonsense. I'll give a longer review when I have time later. This book was stimulating, engaging, and interesting. It also contained a good deal of nonsense. I'll give a longer review when I have time later.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eliyahu (Marc)

    I will write more for now, a fantastic , read and an eye opener to many, it's the FYI few seem to know. I will write more for now, a fantastic , read and an eye opener to many, it's the FYI few seem to know.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Not a profound book, but rather one intent on justifying a position in light of theology, history and ritual. The author is very sure of his own opinions.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Hall

    This is a good book, very serious read, and compelling

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jan Petrozzi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Lynn

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Eldridge

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shmuel Aryeh

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brad Hoffman

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

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