It is widely accepted that Jesus was a Jew. However, both Christian and New Testament scholarship have a strong anti-Jewish history. 'The Symbolic Jesus' presents the controversies surrounding the Jewishness of Jesus. It examines the insistence among historical Jesus scholars that Jesus was a Jew and the ways this frames the figure of Jesus in ancient Christian literature. The book examines the anti-Jewish legacy of the past and more recent approaches to biblical scholarship. Contemporary identity issues - scholarly, political, religious and cultural - are shown to lie at the heart of the debate.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Mad Mel and the Cultural Prominence of Jesus; 2. Bad Karma: Anti-Semitism in New Testament Scholarship; 3. A Manufactured Controversy: Why the "Jewish Jesus" is a Red Herring; 4. The Jewish Jesus and Contemporary Identity; 5. Conclusions
William Arnal is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.