In This Issue

From the editor – Issue 37

This issue of Kesher celebrates two recent coming-of-age events in the Messianic Jewish community. In September 2019 MJTI president-emeritus Dr. Mark Kinzer met with the highly influential Protestant Bible scholar N.T. Wright in a debate sponsored by Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama. Their topic was the ongoing covenantal status and role of the Jewish people…

Historic Debate Addresses the Future of the Jewish People: N.T. Wright and Mark Kinzer Meet

N.T. Wright and Mark Kinzer Meet at Samford University The concept of a Jewish-Christian debate usually conjures up somber thoughts in the imagination of the Jewish community. The disputations of the medieval period were antagonistic, motivated by a conversion agenda, and often led to Talmud burnings and attacks on Jews. More than 500 years later,…

“To the Jew First” Paul’s Vision for the Priority of Israel in the Life of the Church

One of the most promising developments in New Testament studies over the past thirty years has been the emergence of a new school of thought referred to as “Paul within Judaism (PwJ).” This view starts “with the assumption that the writing and community building of the apostle Paul took place within late Second Temple Judaism.”1…

A Half-Century of Jewish Scholarship on Jesus

From the time I was eight-years old until my Bar Mitzvah, I attended a Messianic Jewish congregation on Friday nights and a Conservative synagogue on Saturday mornings in the Washington, D.C. Metro area. On Sunday mornings, my father and I regularly had breakfast at the local bagel shop. Then we went to Abe’s Jewish Book…

Survey of Jewish New Testament Studies Focusing on Jewish Backgrounds: Christian Pro-Jewish NT Studies

Introduction Positive attention to the Jewish background of the New Testament from Christian writers has exploded since the middle of the last century, although there were hints of its value before then. My task is to treat the change that has come in the Christian perspective about the importance of Judaism in New Testament studies.…

The Talmud’s Counter-Yeshua Narrative in Response to the Brit Hadashah

Introduction This study1 is based on the premise that the Talmud2 (Gemara) contains rabbinic responses to the gospel story, intended to neutralize the contention that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah foretold by the prophets, expected by Second Temple period Jews, and announced in the New Testament (Brit Hadashah).3 To some extent, interchanges between Yeshua and…

The Resurrection of Jesus: Another Jewish Perspective

  In 1978, Pinchas Lapide became the first Jewish scholar to publish a full-length book on Yeshua’s resurrection.1 In 1983, Wilhelm Linss translated it into English as The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective.2 While many Jewish scholars grant the historical veracity of Yeshua’s empty tomb,3 and that his disciples had experiences they were convinced…

The Personalism of Jacques Maritain and the Postmissionary Messianic Judaism of Mark S. Kinzer

Introduction Mark S. Kinzer, a prominent Messianic Jewish theologian and rabbi, maintains his faith in Yeshua as Messiah while professing allegiance to the written Torah and subsequent Jewish tradition. Kinzer defines his position within the framework of Judaism in the twenty-first century as “postmissionary Messianic Judaism,”1 arguing that earlier modes of what was referred to…

Book Review

Sabbatian Heresy: Writings on Mysticism, Messianism, and the Origins of Jewish Modernity, ed. Pawel Maciejko

Reviewed by Solomon Intrater In the 17th through 18th centuries and beyond, a significant, though often ignored, messianic movement occurred, in association with the supposed messiah Shabbtai Zvi. Proper historical academic research into Sabbatianism was not initiated until the middle of the 20th century, at the hand of the famous German-Israeli scholar of Jewish mysticism,…

Book Review

How to Fight Anti-Semitism by Bari Weiss

Reviewed by Paul L. Saal It is not often that I am afforded the opportunity to write a book review with the potential of being longer than the actual book I am reviewing. Though I write this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, How to Fight Anti-Semitism by Bari Weiss can be characterized by its brevity. Bound in a…