Menachem Mendel

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New Book-The New Testament and Rabbinic Literature

A new book from Brill with an October 2009 publication date, The New Testament and Rabbinic Literature,
Edited by Reimund Bieringer, Florentino García Martínez, Didier Pollefeyt & Peter J. Tomson.

The present book brings together the contributions of the foremost specialists on the relationship of the New Testament and Rabbinic Literature. It contains the proceedings of a Symposium held at the K.U.Leuven on January 2006. The contributors, from different European countries as well as from Israel, present in detail the history of rabbinical scholarship by Christian scholars and deal with the main issues in the study of rabbinic materials. As could be expected, much attention is given to halakhic issues, but literary questions in Midrash, Targum and Mystical Literature are also dealt with. All contributions are in English, and the volume is completed with a very large “cumulative bibliography” which will enhance its usefulness.

5 Responses to “New Book-The New Testament and Rabbinic Literature”

  1. 1

    Contributors include: William Horbury, Isaiah Gafni, Giuseppe Veltri, Günter Stemberger, Catherine Hezser, Roland Deines, Peter J. Tomson, Lutz Doering, Friedrich Avemarie, Thomas Kazen, Jan Joosten, Menahem Kister, Miguel Pérez Fernández, Martin McNamara, and Crispin Fletcher-Louis.

    I know 3 of the authors – it appears that the book has no theme – apples and oranges are different, both found in the fruit department, etc. we are supposed to say wow isn’t it grand that your can talk about both in the same book. i thought we were 50 years past that by now.

    on the other hand we should be happy that they are not burning the talmud anymore i guess.

  2. 2


    do you ever have anything positive to say? just curious.

  3. 3

    Christian scholars just don’t have the depth to understand and write about rabbinic literature.

  4. 4
    Menachem Mendel:


    I am trying to figure out what your comment means. Are you claiming that Christian scholars don’t know enough rabbinic literature to comment on it intelligently? That there is some ontological stumbling block which prevents them from understanding rabbinic literature? Having heard what I thought were pretty unintelligent comments about rabbinic literature from Jews, rabbis, etc., I find it hard to believe that ignorance knows religious boundaries.

  5. 5
    John Hobbins:

    Outside of confessional contexts, the study of the Talmud and the Midrashim advances along inter-confessional lines. It is on average true that the best Jewish scholars run circles around the best Christian scholars. On the other hand, I am a pretty ordinary shaygetz who has read widely in (the best Jewish) scholarship, plus I know the languages a fair bit, so I can run circles around those who approach the traditional literature with nothing but a chip on their shoulder and a pair of blinders around the eyes. Just saying.

    Christians tend to shine in study that relates Jewish literature preserved in the Christian tradition with Jewish literature preserved in the Jewish tradition, or with comparisons across the divide that separates Judaism, Christianity, not to mention non-rabbinic forms of Judaism, of which there were many in antiquity. Comparative study of this kind is extremely interesting, though it is of no help to those whose Talmud Torah has a practical focus.

    I’ve read widely enough in the authors listed. My feeling: if you find it impossible to learn something from them, that probably says more about your own shortcomings than theirs.




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