Rabbi Jesus by Bruce Chilton
An Intimate Biography

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Beginning with the Gospels, interpretations of the life of Jesus have flourished for nearly two millennia, yet a clear and coherent picture of Jesus as a man has remained elusive. In Rabbi Jesus, the noted biblical scholar Bruce Chilton places Jesus within the context of his times to present a fresh, historically accurate, and revolutionary examination of the man who founded Christianity.

Drawing on recent archaeological findings and new translations and interpretations of ancient texts, Chilton discusses in enlightening detail the philosophical and psychological foundations of Jesus’ ideas and beliefs. His in-depth investigation also provides evidence that contradicts long-held beliefs about Jesus and the movement he led. Chilton shows, for example, that the High Priest Caiaphas, as well as Pontius Pilate, played a central role in Jesus’ execution. It is, however, Chilton’s description of Jesus’ role as a rabbi, or "master," of Jewish oral traditions, as a teacher of the Cabala, and as a practitioner of a Galilean form of Judaism that emphasized direct communication with God that casts an entirely new light on the origins of Christianity.

Seamlessly merging history and biography, this penetrating, highly readable book uncovers truths lost to the passage of time and reveals a new Jesus for the new millennium.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Bruce Chilton

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BRUCE CHILTON is the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson and priest at the Free Church of Saint John in Barrytown, New York. He is the author of many scholarly articles and books, including the widely acclaimed Rabbi Jesus.
Published May 14, 2002 by Image. 352 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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had to submit to the Torah as God-fearers—remaining Gentiles but acknowledging the Law of Moses.” But Paul—a native of Tarsus, that center of Greco-Roman stoic philosophy, and early inclined against mysticism by virtue of his training as a Pharisee and in all events a onetime persecutor of Christ...

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Kirkus Reviews

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That Jesus of Nazareth must be understood in his Jewish context is very old news to scholars, but it may still be a revelation to the popular audience whom Chilton addresses here.

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Publishers Weekly

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Chilton claims to have produced the first comprehensive, critical biography of Jesus in an effort to find the core from which Christian faith arose. Unfortunately, he falls short of these nobl

Oct 02 2000 | Read Full Review of Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biog...


That means I read the story and your analysis as not a religion story but as a science/history story about religion.

Dec 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biog...

Spirituality & Practice

Or, as Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner puts it in an endorsement on the book's jacket, "[This] biography offers the first authentically Christian Jesus — and therefore the most profoundly Judaic Jesus ever."

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