Books by David Flusser are now available on the Internet Archive!
The Programmatic Opening of Jesus’ Biography as a Reflection of Contemporaneous Jewish Messianic Ideas
In this study Professor Ruzer suggests that there was a broader first-century Jewish context behind the narrative strategies employed in Mark’s prologue to Jesus’ messianic biography. On the other hand, he also demonstrates that Mark 1:9-11 can be used to recover an early phase of a pattern of messianic belief, seemingly shared by wider Judaism, that continued into the rabbinic period. In other words, New Testament evidence can be an important witness to broader trajectories in early Jewish messianic beliefs.
Matthew 1:1-25: In the Year of Jubilee?
The genealogies of Matthew and Luke reflect diverging Jewish opinions about the time for the advent of the redeemer.
Myth of the Pagan Origins of Christianity
The artificial constructions of scholars who once sought to build a bridge directly from Hellenism to Christianity are being dismantled, both because of greater knowledge of the Greek world and due to more intensive study of ancient Jewish and Christian thought.
From Melchizedek to Jesus: The Higher Eternal Priest in Jewish Second Temple Literature
A scroll from the Judean Desert proves that the biblical Melchizedek was transformed into the eschatological high priest in some Jewish circles in the first century B.C.E.
Fishers and Hunters: A Fishy Reading of Jeremiah 16:16
Based on on a “fishy” interpretation of Jeremiah 16:16, some Christians see it as their duty to warn Diaspora Jews of a coming persecution.
Can Gentiles Be Saved?
Jesus’ broadminded approach resonates with contemporary sages who belonged to the School of Hillel. In their opinion, it is better to leave God-fearing Gentiles in their blessed state with only the necessity of the moral laws given to Noah.
If Your Eye Be Single
Couched within Jesus’ teaching is an idiom which is difficult to translate, “If your eye is single, your whole body is full of light” (Matt. 6:22). The Hebraic expression, “good eye” to denote generosity is well known in the Bible (Deut. 15:9; Prov. 22:9; 23:6; 28:22; Eccl. 14:10) and the writings of Israel’s Sages (m. Avot 5:15). Nevertheless, in Matthew 6, where you would expect to find the idiom, “good eye,” the adjective used in our saying is not καλός (kalos, good, pleasant) but ἁπλοῦς (haplous, single, simple).
The Cross and the Jewish People
One of the most poignant pictures which exemplify the chasm of historical misunderstanding between Jews and Christians is that found in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. It is a photograph of a life-size crucifix that stood outside an unknown German village prior to World War II. In a twist of tragic irony a sign was hung on the cross to warn Jews not to enter the village. It read: “Jews are not welcome here.”
The Library at Qumran
In the middle of the last century two Bedouin shepherds of the Ta’amra tribe found the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their discovery created an exciting new area of biblical research.
Who Were the Essenes?
The origin of the Essenes is something of a mystery.
Book Review: David Flusser’s The Spiritual History of the Dead Sea Sect
Based on a series of radio lectures, the book retains much of its original conversational tone and structure, but has been expanded to present a more detailed overview.
Jesus and the Essenes
The Essenes’ favorite name for themselves was “the sons of light.” In the Synoptic Gospels the term appears only in Luke 16:8, and the reference is not very ﬂattering. Was Jesus making an ironic reference to the Essenes?