I have been poorly digesting a large amount of Amy-Jill Levine’s book, The Misunderstood Jew (HarperCollins, 2006). I picked this book up because of Ben Witherington III’s quote on the back cover:
Full of the usual vim, vigor, and vitality that so characterizes Levine’s lectures, and writings, The Misunderstood Jew is quite simply the best book ever written about the Jewishness of Jesus and his earliest followers. This book is such a seminal work that it makes us all reexamine what it really means to be a Jew or a Christian.
For my LDS friends, I quote Levine on page 65 for your interest:
Why Paul persecuted the church is a matter of some speculation. Was he concerned that members of the Way were seeking to replace the Torah with Jesus? If so, his action resembles that of Protestants of all types–frontier Evangelicals (Methodists and Baptists), urban mainline Christians (Presbyterians), and other restorationists (Campbellites)–who attacked members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the charge was this group was teaching something contrary to the basic tenents of their theology and moral vision.
This is very interesting.
How would a community who is following someone teaching tenents contrary to my biblical theology see Christ in me if I am breaking their windows, flaring hell from my nostrils, mobbing them in the streets for a good tar & feather, and terrifying their children?
But at the same time, I don’t know what I would do if someone stole my wife’s heart.
There are a lot of heart issues that I would like to discuss with Amy-Jill Levine, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee.