JESUS AND ISRAEL by Jules Isaac

JESUS AND ISRAEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jesus and Israel has the distinction of being both an impeccable work of scholarship and a passionate appeal for justice. The author's thesis is that the message of Jesus was essentially a Jewish one, just as the Jesus of the Gospels was himself a Jew, and that the traditional anti-Judaism of Christians, and the resulting anti-Semitism of the Occident, is a sentiment that is wholly unjustified either historically or theologically. Isaac demonstrates his conclusions by a careful and critical use of sources both religious and historical, and by an interesting and persuasive technique of establishing analogies between, e.g., the crucifixion of Jesus and the execution of Joan of Arc in order to illustrate the inconsistencies and distortions on which common Christian attitudes are based. Professor Isaac's polemic style, elegant though it may be (and elegantly rendered by the translator, Sally Abeles), is slightly out of fashion, and some of the doors on which he is battering have been ajar for a decade now (thanks, at least in part, to the original publication of this book, in 1959). Despite those minor anachronisms, Jesus and Israel remains the most forceful work on the subject, and the most interesting in its implications for Christian theology.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1970
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston