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Joseph Sievers

It was noted quite a while ago that Judaism and Christianity have a great reluctance in common: fully and openly accepting that Jesus was a Jew. We Christians often create for ourselves an image of a Christ uprooted from his land, from his time, and from his people. Instead for the Jews, for many centuries, Jesus was he in whose name they were persecuted and therefore it was difficult to consider him one of them.

But this does not mean that there has not been a literature, whose nature is sometimes polemic, sometimes apologetic, on Jesus as seen by the Jews. It must also be quickly affirmed that not all the Jewish authors that interested themselves in the argument did it specifically as Jews, and that no author can speak in the name "of the Jews." In fact, generally every author only expresses his own personal opinions, based on their own research and from a personal point of view, which can be shared by a number of people, more or less, in differing numbers. On the Jewish outlooks on Jesus we find a great many books and articles.(1)

We put off these studies for a more detailed picture of various aspects of their development on Jesus. Here we limit ourselves to a suggestion in some books which were influenced in the first half of our century and a wider selection, if not at all complete, of the last decades.(2) Therefore, we do not consider all the works which do not primarily speak of this subject, although in the philosophical-religious writings of Rosenzweig and Buber, in various paintings of Chagall, and in the many Jewish literary works we find many interesting expressions on Jesus.

Claude Montefiore, an exponent of liberal Judaism in England, was one of the first to write a comment on the Gospels from a Jewish point of view, but sympathetic to Christianity.(3) His work does not so much present original ideas, as it does a synthesis of the studies on the Gospels, in that time, by Christian scholars. Montefiore spoke with such an irenic tone that he was sometimes accused of having moved too close to Christianity, even if he always remained faithful to Judaism.

But more well known than Montefiore's work is that of Klausner, who, instead of focusing on the studies of the New Testament by Christian authors, tried to understand and present Jesus in his historical context.(4) The originality of his book does not lie in the single affirmations, but in presenting a study on Jesus to a Jewish public in the Jewish language.

Klausner underlines the Jewish environment in which Jesus lived and in which his teaching took place. He affirms: «Jesus of Nazareth... was exclusively a product of Palestine, a product of pure Judaism, without any external additives. There were many Gentiles in Galilee, but Jesus was not at all influenced by them...Without exception his teaching can be explained entirely through the biblical and pharisaic Judaism of his time» (5). While he sees the origin of his teachings on Jesus in Judaism , Klausner strongly judges - according to him - the excessive and dangerous radicalism of the ethics of Jesus. According to Klausner this led to a harmful scission between the religious ideal and daily praxis (6). Even if we don not follow Klausner in his polemics, which have more to do with a millennial history of anti-Semitism on the part of Christians than with the figure of Jesus, maybe he can be useful to see Jesus placed entirely, «until the last breath», in the Judaism of his time.

For more than a generation, the work of Klausner remained the most influential of its kind even if it was criticized for his "harmful" approach to the Rabbinical and Christian sources. During the dark period of history of this century, between 1943 and 1946, Jules Isaac wrote his book "Jesus and Israel" (7). In it, he tries to highlight the Jewishness of Jesus and of his first disciples. He emphasis on the inexactness of the accusation of deicide made for centuries by the Jews. The books is articulated in a series of proposals to combat anti-Semitism in its Christian roots. This programmatic book had a vast resonance, not so much in the area on the study of historic Jesus but on the reassessment of the relations between Jews and Christians.

In the 60's, we see the reappearance of an entire series of books on Jesus, written by Jews. The first to note is "We Jews and Jesus" by Samuel Sandmel (8). Up until his death in 1979, Rabbi Sandmel was a professor of the Sacred Scripture and Hellenistic literature at the famous Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati in the United States. His work is very sobering, primarily aimed at Jews, but evidently, it was very favorable received also by others. The author traces the historic development in the understanding of Jesus on the part of Christians and Jews. His intention is to inform and to help improve the reciprocal understanding between Jews and Christians. The main interest is not so much aimed at the historic Jesus as it is to the situation of Jews and Christians today.

Even Schalom Ben-Chorin has the same anxiety to promote a better understanding between Jews and Christians. Born and raised in Germany, from 1935 he lives in Jerusalem. He has now written more than twenty books (in German, some also translated in other languages), in which the relationship between Jews and Christians is the fundamental aspect. Above all, he wants to make Christians understand the roots in Judaism. Here we are particularly interested in one of his first books, on the figure of Jesus of Nazareth (9). The author begins with the presupposition that Jesus was a Jew of his time, to understand - and to rediscover - only in his Jewish context, even if he was an exceptional person. Ben-Chorin takes from the already famous words of Martin Buber:

«Since my youth I noticed the figure of Jesus as that of my great brother. That Christianity should consider, has considered him and considers him as God and Redeemer, has always seemed to me a fact of great seriousness, that I must try to understand for his love and for my love...My openly brotherly relationship with him always got stronger and got purer more than ever. And for me, it's more certain than ever that he will have an important place in the history of faith in Israel and that this place cannot be circumscribed with any of the usual categories of thought» (10).

In the attempt to place Jesus more precisely in his context, Ben-Chorin affirms:

«In this sense, we believe not to err in letting Jesus be amongst the Pharisees, naturally in the middle of a lower group of opposition. Jesus himself taught like a Rabbi Pharisee, and with a high level of authority, whose excessive emphasis must then be without doubt considered like a kerigmatic tradition» (11).

These theories, that Jesus was part of a group of Pharisees, is made now by many scholars, and not only Jews (12). Jesus a Pharisee: maybe it is a shocking idea for many readers. In fact, it cannot be proved by any of our sources, from the New Testament or others. But, it indicates a truth that is often forgotten: that many of the teachings of Jesus are not far from those of many Pharisees or Rabbis, and their successors. In fact, even if Jesus did want to create polemics with the Pharisees, in no way would his teaching in itself put him out of the realm of Judaism. The fundamental theory of Ben-Chorin is «that underneath the Greek face of the Gospels there hides, so to speak, an original Jewish tradition, in that Jesus and his disciples were Jewish, purely and solely Jewish» (13).

Following the example of Klausner and others, by now it is a fact that is very much accepted amongst the exegists both Catholic and Protestant, to be careful about the Jewish background of the Gospels. But, it is not that easy, as Ben-Chourin let's it be know, to be sure of the entity of the influence of this background. Naturally for a Christian it is impossible to affirm that Jesus was uniquely Jewish. Often Ben-Chorin goes too far in his affirmation on Jesus, just like when, for example he infers that Jesus was married taken from the fact that he is never accused of not being it (14). Notwithstanding this, amongst the works of popular character it is the most selling book on the Italian market.

An author who had much success with the public, especially in German-speaking countries, but now also elsewhere, is Pinchas Lapide. There are some 20 books of his in German that are on the market, from which there are some that have been translated in Italian. Many of these were born from conferences or radio programs or on television, sometimes in dialogue with famous theologians like Rahner, Moltmann and Kung. The most provocative book is entitled "The Resurrection - a experience of Jewish faith" (15). In it he sustains that the idea of the individual resurrection was present in the Judaism of the time of Jesus and therefore Jesus could have been resuscitated (to then die once again), just as he had resuscitated Lazarus. Unfortunately, here we are dealing with a tendentious interpretation of Jewish sources which leads to an apparent closeness to Christian positions. It seems that such an affirmation does not serve the better understanding of the historic Jesus, nor does it serve in the deepening of the dialogue between Jews and Christians. Even if Lapide did and continues to do much to sensitize a vast Christian public to the essential relationship between Christianity and Judaism, it is necessary to distinguish between affirmations based on a good conscience and sources and understandings which contribute to a better comprehension of them and other affirmations made mostly for their public effect. Amongst his other publications, Lapide dedicates a very useful volume to a round up of Jewish perceptions on Jesus. Of particular interest is a chapter dedicated to the treatment of Jesus in Israeli scholastic texts (16).

Instead, the work of David Flusser is much more different, he is an emeritus professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and is famous for his works on the Manuscripts of the Dead Sea and other Jewish texts, as well as on the New Testament. His first book on Jesus was a great editorial success, with translations in various languages (17). In it Flusser attempted to make the figure of Jesus better understandable, he sees Jesus as a representative of genuine Judaism, close to the Pharisees but critical of him. Flusser argues on two fronts: on the one hand he wants to liberate Christians from what they consider a skepticism which is too much explained by the exegests, especially caused by the influence of Bultmann; on the other side, between the lines, in making certain criticisms on Jesus and the Pharisees, he also wants to criticize some modern Jewish currents. Therefore he sees Jesus as an important character not only for his time but also for our time (18).

Flusser amplified these views and in certain aspects modified them in one of his most recent works on the parables of Jesus. In one study which extends for more than 300 pages, he tries to analyze what is the essence of the parables of Jesus and what there relationship is with the Rabbinical parables. He affirms that: «we understand the parables of Jesus in the right way only when we consider them belonging to the literary style of the Rabbinical parables». (p. 279).

The author then justly insists on the fact that many exegists of the New Testament, even when they are aware of the Rabbinical parallels to the texts of the New Testament , often they do not know enough of the literary or historical context. Therefore Flusser tries with all his means, including a very strong polemic, to stress the necessity of reading the teaching of Jesus in its Jewish context.

Amongst the exegists of the New Testament, there has been elaboration of a series of criteria to establish with more surety which sayings of the Gospel can be attributed to Jesus himself. There is no unanimity on what this criteria can be, but one that is practically seen in every list is the so-called «criteria of the dissimilarity» that means: if a saying is «dissimilar» from the interests both of the primitive Christian communities and from the Judaism of the time, it is to be considered authentically of Jesus.

Flausser goes straight in the opposite direction: he considers the authentic texts of Jesus those which mostly reflect a thought in keeping with those of the Rabbis and of the Pharisees of the time. With this, he puts his finger on a problem which many exegists have already surpassed, but is still seen, for example, in many theological texts, even recent ones: often the accent is put on the fact that Jesus was divided from all the others, and not on the fact that the Word was made into man as a Jew and lived, and taught and died as the son of his people, of his time and of his earth.

Much more different from Flausser's approach is Vermes. Even he has a deep understanding both of the New Testament and of the Jewish literature of that period. Vermes wrote a book with a simple but provocative title: Jesus the Jew (19). In it he tries to analyze first the context of the life and teaching of Jesus and then the various titles given to Jesus. His intention is not to expose a point of view which is specifically Jewish. In fact, the subtitle of the original edition was The Readings of the Gospels on the Part of an Historian. Yet, he suggests, citing Martin Buber, that «we Jews know Jesus in the impulse and in the emotion of his Jewish essence, in a manner in which inaccessible to the gentiles who are submissive to him» (20). Vermes tries to avoid, for as much as its possible, the ideological or theological preconceptions. He affirms that «we get close to the Gospels mostly with preconceived ideas. The Christians read them by the light of their faith, the Jews moved by old suspicions, the agnostics ready to be scandalized and the scholars of the New Testament with the blinders of their ministry» (21). These generalizations naturally explain to the full a part of the truth, but it can be then useful to be aware of the various points of view.

Amongst the most interesting suggestions of Vermes is that of seeing Jesus in a particularly strong bond with the environment of Galilee and with a type of charismatic Judaism, and some of those Galilee exponents are well known to us (22). Even if Vermes does not finish the argument, he induces us to serious consider the question: in what kind of Jewish atmosphere was Jesus raised in?

The second part of Vermes' book is dedicated to some Christological titles of Jesus (prophet, Lord, Messiah, son of man, son of God). In contrast with many exegists who attribute most of these titles to the post-Pasqual Christian communities, he accepts all as historically believable, except that of the Messiah, which Jesus would never have used or accepted that others attributed it to him. Vermes uses a method which in itself is very valuable, that is of the analysis of what these terms meant for a Jew of the first century. He affirms that prophet, Lord, son of God were terms applied to a variety of people, and he cites examples especially in the Rabbinical literature. The greatest controversy arose around the interpretation of the term «son of man» given by Vermes (in this book and in his other studies from 1965). He believes that: «the expression son of man, following a harmonic usage, serves the person who speaks in a veiled manner to allude to himself for reasons of shyness, modest or humility»; in other words, in the mouth of Jesus, it would simply have been the circumlocution for the personal pronoun «I» (23). This is not the place to discuss this controversial affirmation, but we only note that even if its use is attributed in a circumlocutional way, this does not detract from its importance, in the same epoch, of the eschatological figure of the «son of man», seen in the book of Daniel (7, 13 and in the second part of the book of Enoch (cc. 37-71).

Evidently, to fully understand the problematic surrounding Vermes there requires a base of knowledge of the New Testament and of contemporary Judaism, but the author writes both for the specialist (with plenty of documentation in the footnotes) as well as for a more vast public. Certainly, his is not the last word on the subject - even Vermes himself views his book as the beginning of a series of three volumes. But, maybe up until now, his is the first attempt which has most succeeded in placing Jesus in the Judaism of his time (24).

In the last few years, especially in North America, where more and more the Jews are a minority surrounded by other minorities, in which there are also Christians, the dialogue between Jews and Christians made some notable progress even if there still remains a long road ahead. The people involved in this dialogue on various levels are always a small minority within the minority, both on the Jewish part as on the Christian part. The fruit of this climate is also a series of books on our subject.

One of those is that of Harvey Falk, with the tile "Jesus the Pharisee" (25). The author is an Orthodox Rabbi, with a knowledge of very vast Jewish sources, even if more traditional than scientific. Falk takes the initiative from the affirmation of one of his most famous ancestors, the Rabbi Jacob Emden (1697-1776), that Jesus came to found a new religion for the Gentiles, based on the so-called seven commandments of Noah (26). Even if Emden's attitude towards Jesus, Paul and Christianity is very positive in general, it must be seen in the context of his very harsh polemic with other Jewish groups (especially the followers of a false Messiah, Sabbatai Zevi), his writings on the relationship between Christianity and Judaism remain very important documents, which are now more accessible thanks to the work of Falk.

We have already noted that the attempt to place Jesus completely in the middle of the Pharisees is destined to fail; but notwithstanding this, the work of Falk, who uses the sources according to very traditional methods, and not in a historic-critical manner, is very interesting. He tries to demonstrate how in many cases Jesus was in substantial agreement with this Pharisaic school of Hillel, which at the time represented a minority, but later became the determining force. Apart from the details, it is really a sign of a new climate if such a work can be written by an Orthodox Rabbi and published by a Catholic publishing house.

If a climate of dialogue, born out of the indescribable tragedy of the Nazi era, gave the possibility to Jews to become more serenely closer to Jesus, it must also be said that in many Jewish authors an important element in dealing with the subject is one of the anxiety of preventing a possible Christian anti-Semitism. If above all in the works of Flusser and Vermes we see a debate which at times is heated with positions of Christian exegists, Borowitz goes one step further. In a climate influenced by several decades of fruitful dialogue between Jewish and Christian scholars, he decided to study as many Christian theologians today see Jesus. He does not so much try to attain the historic Jesus, as he attempts to make an evaluation of various Christological studies. He says:

«I felt that a detailed investigation of a theological area of Christianity and Judaism, which have radically different views, would offer many interesting examples for the logic of the inter-religious discussion... If dialogue between Jews and Christians has to have a meaning, we must face without ambiguity the inherent question of the Christian doctrine on Christ» (27).

Helped in the selection of the texts by some Catholic and Protestant theologians, he tries to see how these Christologics give an adequate image of the Jewish context of Jesus and especially what attitude the express towards Jews and Judaism. His conclusions are that even in the chosen texts there is no sign of anti-Semitism, often even, Judaism in general or the Pharisees in particular serve as a negative backdrop for the newness of the Gospel and the uniqueness of Jesus. Some authors are sensitive to the fact that Jesus was a Jew of his time, but also in their works this element seems forgotten in some other contexts. Too often even, worthy is the title of a recent work by the well know Catholic exegist Norbert Lohfink: "The Jewish dimension in Christianity - dimensionally lost" (28).

We have spoken a great deal about the difference between the historic Jesus and the Christ of the Christian faith. Often Christian authors see only "the Christ," either because they give less importance to the historic fact or because, like Bultmann, the believe it almost impossible reaching the historic Jesus through the double filter of the authors of the New Testament and of the Christian community of the first century. Instead, Jewish authors more easily recognize a "historic" Jesus and recognize in him some lineaments which are very familiar in the Rabbinical literature and in other writings of Jewish origin.

In their desire to find the authentic Jesus, the Neo-testamental exegists, too often underline only that which is unique in its teaching and therefore tend to separate it from both the Judaism of its time as from the primitive Church. Even if this operation is methodologically necessary in certain moments, it does not give us the authentic Jesus, but it gives us either a genius of creativity or an eccentric person (according to the point of view), therefore a person detached from his environment.

On the other side, many authors, and not only Jewish ones, try to see Jesus exclusively in his Jewish context and attribute almost every conflict with him to the evangelists or to the development of the primitive Church. Proceeding therefore in this vision, we see Jesus only as a Jew, and then fundamentally faithful and observant, with maybe some exceptional ideas (29).

From a historic point of view it does not seem that there is an easy solution to this dilemma of a Jesus totally separated or totally in the middle of his environment. For this, also from a totally historic point of view, the constant dialogue between these two tendencies is important. This, then has affects not only for the study of Jesus, but also for the study of Judaism. In fact, even perhaps timidly, there is a growing idea expressed for example by Alan Segal, who says neither in Christianity, nor in Judaism «can they be understood fully in isolation one from the other. The witness of the one is necessary to demonstrate the truth of the other and vice versa» (30).

The interest in the historic Jesus in these last few years seems to be continuously growing, both amongst Catholics and Protestants, as well as between the people of other faiths or convictions. In the Catalogue of the Library of Congress of 1975, there are 66 titles under the heading of Jesus Christ-Jewish Interpretations, which are found. Therefore it is impossible to then attempt a picture even an approximately complete one. But, I would like to conclude this summary with reference to at least two other volumes.

Jacob Neusner, getting ideas from the various texts, proposed to answer to Jesus, with respect, expressing his own dissent (31). For him, the dialogue must begin with the explicit recognition of the alterity of the other. He is not afraid to immediately put on the table the differences between the teaching of Jesus and that of the Rabbis, as he perceives them. Apart from possible criticisms to particular points of this divulging book, it can be refreshing for the dialogue to underline not only that which is in common between Jesus and other Jews of his time and of our time but also what differentiates him from others.

A project that would have seemed impossible to consider even some years ago found an expression in a small but substantial volume entitled: "Jews and Christians Talk about Jesus (32). It contains the contribution of eight scholars, Jews and Christians, to a series of discussions on this theme, discussions to which, depending on the preface attracted the participation of some thousand people each time. Therefore, at least in some environments, today it is possible to speak together about Jesus, without remorse or straining, and without false irenicism.

Maybe today we can reaffirm with conviction that Jesus of Nazareth belongs to Jews and Christians. The theological evaluation on who he is, remains naturally a fact that divides us. But, we can together recognize in him a teacher and the victim of oppression. There is a long Jewish tradition, actualized in a special way during the Holocaust (the Nazi persecution), which recognized in Jesus a persecuted Jew - sometimes by Christians themselvesn (33). If in some way we can make this notion ours, not only do we bring Jesus in his Jewish context, but the sufferings which in the past too often divided Jews and Christians, maybe can become more profoundly an element of solidarity and a new point of departure(34).


* This is an up-dated version of an article which appeared in Nuova Umanità 64/65 (July-October 1989) 125-136 and, in abbreviated form in, Unità e Carismi 6 (November/December 1996) 33-38.

1) Gosta Lindeskog, Die Jesusfrage im neuzeitlichen Judentum, Uppsala 1938; 2a ed. Darmstadt 1973. Pinchas Lapide, Ist das nicht Josephs Sohn?- Jesus im heutigen Judentum, Kosel, Munchen 1976. Donald A. Hagner, The Jewish Reclamation of Jesus: An Analysis and Critique of the Modern Jewish Study of Jesus, Zondervan, Grand Rapids 1984 (unfortunately this last author retains a polemic attitude, because he is not capable of accepting the contemporary Judaism as a positive religious reality). Werner Vogler, Judische Jesusinterpretationem in chrislicher Sicht, Hermann Bohlaus Nachfolger, Weimar 1988. Emilio Femi, Che cosa pensano di Gesu i non cristiani: Il punto di vista di ebrei, islamici, induisti, In Dialogo, Milan 1995 (it includes excerpts of books by Klausner, Ben-Chorin, Flusser and Lapide). Amongst the more significant articles we cite Johann Maier, Gewundene Wege der Rezeption: Zur neueren judischen Jesusforschung, "Herder-Korrepondenz," 30 (1976), pp. 313-319; Clemens Thoma, Judische Zugange zu Jesus Christus, "Theologische Berichte," vol.7, Benizer, Zurich 1979, pp.149-176; Lea Sestieri, Gli ebrei di fronte a Gesu, in Gese Ebrea. Provocazione e Mistero (IV Jewish-Christian Colloquio), "Monastic Life," n.158, July/September 1984, pp.40-63.

2) For a complete look at Jewish mediaeval traditions, to understand in a very different context from ours, see Riccardo Di Segni, The Gospel of the Ghetto: The "Stories of Jesus:" legends and documents of the mediaeval Jewish tradition, Newton Compton, Rome 1985.

3) Claude G. Montefiore, The Synoptic Gospels, 1909, 2a ed. 1927, reprint KTAV, New York 1968. By the same author we also see Jesus of Nazareth in Jewish Contemporary Thought, Formiggini, Genoa 1913.

4) Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, 1922 (originally Hebrew, translated into English, French and German).

5) English edition, p. 363.

6) Ibid., pp.393-397.

7) Originally published in 1948, 2a ed. expanded Fasquelle Editeurs, Paris 1959; Italian translation: Jesus and Israel, Nardini, Florence 1976.

8) Oxford University Press, New York 1965; 2a ed. 1973.

9) Schalom Ben-Chorin, Brother Jesus. A Jewish point of view on Nazareth, Morcelliana, Brescia 1985 (1a ed. German 1967).

10) Brother Jesus, cit., p. 27, citing Martin Buber, Zwei Glaubensweisen, Werke, vol. 1, p. 657.

11) Brother Jesus, cit., p.41.

12) P. es., Harey Falk, Jesus the Pharisee. A New look at the Jewishness of Jesus, Paulist Press, New York 1985. William E. Phipps, Jesus, the Prophetic Pharisee, "Journal of Ecumenical Studies," 14 (1977), pp.17-31.

13) Brother Jesus, cit., p. 305.

14) Ibid., p. 173.

15) Pinchas Lapide, Auferstehung- Ein judisches Glaubenserlebnis, Kosel, Munchen 1977, 5a ed, 1986.

16) Pinchas Lapide, Ist das nicht Josephs Sohn? Jesus in heutigen Judentum, Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart/Kosel Verla, Munich 1976.

17) David Flusser, Jesus. In Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten, Rowohlt, Hamburg 1968. Unfortunately the Italian edition (Lanterna, Genoa 1976) is no longer available.

18) David Flusser, Die rabbinischen Gleichnisse und der Cleichnisserzahler Jesus. 1. Teil: Das Wesen der Gleichnisse, Peter Lang, Bern 1981. By the same author there is also a collection of articles, published beforehand in various magazines, on the figure of Jesus and the traditions of his teachings: Entdeckungen im Neuen Testament. Vol I. Jesusworte und ihre Uberlieferung, Neukirchener Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1987. Recently published in Italian was a collection of articles by Glusser, Judaism and the Origins of Christianity, Marietti 1995.

19) Geza Vermes, Jesus the Jew, Italian edition by V. Grossi and E. Peretto, Borla, Rome 1983 (1a ed. English, 1973).

20) Ibid., p. VI.

21) Ibid., p. 19.

22) Ibid., pp. 48-95, especially pp. 91-93.

23) Ibid., pp. 187-223, I cite p. 217. We can also see Paolo Sacchi, Jesus the Jew "Henoch" 6 (1984) pp. 361-367 ( a very detailed account on Vermes' book); Geza Vermes, Jesus and the World of Judaism, SCM, London 1983, pp. 89-99 (the chapter entitled "The current state of the debate on the Son of Man").

24) Vermes brought his project forward in three conferences, entitled "The Gospel of Jesus the Jew" and publishing as chapter 2-4 in his volume Jesus and the World of Judaism, cit. We also see Vermes' contribution, The Religion of Jesus the Jew, in "Historic Jesus." Problem of Modernity, by Giuseppe Pirola SJ and Francesco Coppellotti, Piemme Publishing Casale Monferrato 1988, pp. 19-35, id. The Religion of Jesus the Jew, Fortress Press, Minneapolis 1993.

25) Harvey Falk, Jesus the Pharisee. A New Look at the Jewishness of Jesus, Paulist Press, New York 1985.

26) Cited by Falk, ibid., p.19.

27) Eugene Boroqitz, Contemporary Christologies - A Jewish Response, Paulist Press, New York 1980.

28) Norbert Lohfink, Das Judische am Christentum. Die Verlorene Dimension, Herder, Freiburg 1987, especially pp. 48-70.

29) An example fairly recent of this new way of seeing is Irving M. Zaetlin, Jesus and the Judaism of His Time, Polity Press, Cambridge 1988. An image of Jesus the zealot instead, which is very difficult to reconcile with the totality of the sources, it is offered between others from Riccardo Calimani, Jesus Jew, Rusconi, Milan 1990, 1995. Cf. Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, The Jewishness of Jesus: Facing Some Problems, "Catholic Biblical Quarterly" 49 (1987), p. 10.

30) Alan F. Segal, Rebecca's Children Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA/London 1986, p. 179.

31) Jacob Neusner, A Rabbi Talks with Jesus: An Intemillennial Interfaith Exchange, Doubleday, New York 1993.

32) Jews and Christians Speak of Jesus, by Arthur E. Sannoni, Fortress Press, Minneapolis 1994.

33) See Clemens Thoma, Judische Zugange zu Jesus Christus, "Theologische Berichte," vol. 7, Benziger, Zurich 1979, pp. 151-154.

34) On this point also see Daniel J. Harrington, op, cit. p.12.