Book Review: David Flusser’s Personal Perspective on Brad Young’s Jesus and His Jewish Parables

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I am pleased to recommend Brad Young’s research into the parables of Jesus, and I am sure that his new book, "Jesus and His Jewish Parables," will help its readers gain a clearer understanding of Jesus’ words and teaching.

I am pleased to recommend Brad Young’s research into the parables of Jesus, and I am sure that his new book, Jesus and His Jewish Parables (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1989), will help its readers gain a clearer understanding of Jesus’ words and teaching.

There is no question that the way to understanding Jesus leads through his Jewishness. To be a Jew in Jesus’ day meant learning not only the Hebrew Bible but also a wealth of rabbinic interpretation. Jesus’ contemporaries called him “Rabbi” (Teacher) and my experience has shown me that Jesus was a very learned man. His words were sometimes simple as salt (e.g., Matt. 16:26), but even in such cases he alluded to Jewish learning, and he sometimes also spoke as a rabbinical authority (e.g., Matt. 12:11-12).

A knowledge of this Jewish background is vital for a modern reader to understand what Jesus really meant. You do not have to be Jewish to be nourished by Jesus’ bread, but to become a New Testament scholar it is essential to acquire a sound knowledge of ancient Judaism. If you want to understand Jesus’ parables without becoming a scholar, you have to find a teacher who is an expert in Jewish matters. Dr. Young is such an expert, a scholar whose books reveal new aspects both in Jewish and in New Testament research.

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  • David Flusser [1917-2000]

    David Flusser [1917-2000]

    Professor David Flusser died and was buried in Jerusalem on Friday, September 15, 2000, his 83rd birthday. A founding member of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, Flusser was one of the world's leading Jewish authorities on Early Christianity. His pioneering research on Jesus and…
    [Read more about author]

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