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Chilton's Rabbi Jesus

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  • Bob Schacht
    The new BR has a book review of Chilton s Rabbi Jesus by Jonathan Klawans that bears on a few recent points that have come up on CrossTalk: * Klawans spends
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 20, 2002
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      The new BR has a book review of Chilton's Rabbi Jesus by Jonathan Klawans
      that bears on a few recent points that have come up on CrossTalk:
      * Klawans spends some space discussing Chilton's contention that Jesus
      was a mamzer, basically challenging Chilton's analysis.
      * Klawans also criticizes Chilton's application of the word "Rabbi" to
      Jesus, saying that it is essentially an anachronism
      * Chilton's Jesus seems often based on "inferences on inferences."
      * Nevertheless, Klawans is pleased with Chilton's effort to make use of
      rabbinic evidence to gain a fuller understanding of Jesus' life, and thinks
      its a good read.
      I might remark that one of my Jewish acquaintances who read Chilton's book
      rather liked it.

      The highly inferential quality of many depictions of Jesus in the
      historical Jesus literature, such as Klawans' comment about Rabbi Jesus,
      sometimes reminds me of the cliche about scholarly specialization (or maybe
      dissertation research?): You learn more and more about less and less until
      pretty soon you know everything about nothing! I must be well on my way to
      codgerhood, wondering whether maybe once in a while, an author means what
      he writes, and writes what he means. So often these days, we seem to know
      better than the author what he really meant.

      Bob


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