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The Jesus Scandals: Why He Shocked His Contemporaries (and Still Shocks Today) Paperback – May 8, 2012
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An "off the mark" as well as chatty chapter for example, Is "Unfair Loans." The problems related to loans are described including Deuteronomy 23:20's prohibition against Jews charging fellow Jews interest and the various requirements for forgiveness of outstanding debts. Described is how this was circumvented by loaning money to the Temple and the priests would re-loan it to the poor to get around the forgiveness statutes they decided did not apply to the Temple. None of that is connected to Jesus in the text. The author offers that in the 1500's one family finally concluded that 5% interest was normative, interesting but irrelevant in context. Within the chapter the author speculates about the meaning of Luke 16:1-9, the parable of the unrighteous or dishonest steward, but speculates is the sense, there's nothing revealing in the tentative conclusion and certainly nothing "scandalous".
The chapter "Contemplating Suicide" is perplexing, suggesting but never supporting a thought no orthodox theologian would entertain.
Similarly the chapter on Mary Magdalene is far more about the misguided ramblings of the modern era and the chapter can be summed up in one of the final paragraphs:"It's this rewriting of her history that is the real scandal surrounding Mary Magdalen...Read more ›
The idea of the Jesus Scandals is that the gospels are more authentic due to the scandalous facts about the life of Jesus. Some of these we might not really think about in our Western society. For instance, I have a number of male friends who are not married. At this age, that can be common. In the time of the Jews, this was something to be avoided. After all, everyone was expected to be married and if you weren't, there had to be some strongly negative reason for that. The main one that would be pointed to would be Jesus's parentage. (Yeah right. Born of a virgin?) If your atheist friends are skeptical of this, it would not have been any different in a Jewish society. I have often been asked "Would you believe your spouse if she was pregnant and said it was of the Holy Spirit?" I would be hard-pressed in that situation and would probably be like Joseph and need a dream from God to believe otherwise.
We must keep in mind after all that the Bible only gives us snapshots of what happened. When Mary told Joseph about what happened, we can be sure that Joseph did not believe it immediately since it took a dream from God to stop his plans from divorcing her. Imagine then how it would be for Jesus in His ministry, especially when it was asked whose son He was and have the questioner be told "The son of Joseph, you know, THAT Joseph.Read more ›
"The author's aim is to help thinking lay persons and people preparing sermons to apply NT ethics within a modern culture, while still remaining faithful to the text - by taking into account the ancient culture. This is high quality scholarship at a very accessible level. Over the centuries Jesus's teaching on ethical matters has often become muted and distorted. This book sets the matter straight. Here are 30 areas of ethical debate: in each context Jesus offered insights which would have left his contemporaries agape." (From the publisher's website)
It seems that the masses today love a good scandal. That's why there are hundreds of scandal-filled tabloids published and sold worldwide - each offering pages and pages of slanderous and scandalous stories about famous people or people of some renown.
And so we have the story of Jesus Christ to consider along with the author. Dr. Brewer breaks his book down into 3 parts - each part in some way looking at the life of Christ and who he associated with and the scandals that were associated with them. In Part 1 author Brewer wrote about the alleged scandals in Jesus own life, in Part 2 he wrote about the alleged scandals among the friends of Jesus and finally in Part 3 he wrote about the alleged scandals in Jesus teaching. And it's worthy of note that the author had plenty of good potential evidence to use in building his case concerning "the Jesus Scandal."
For starters in Part 1 we have the author looking at the narrative of Christ's conception and birth to Mary...that he was conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and that Joseph, Mary's husband, did not have relations with her prior to Jesus birth.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very insightful and valuable in understanding how the world viewed Jesus in his time; and may view his followers today.Published 9 months ago by Gert Christian Scheiner
Very interesting and informative book. Nicely written.Published 10 months ago by William P Atkinson III
Brilliant book that challenges our sanitized ideas of the life and times of Jesus. Recommended reading for all.Published 17 months ago by Wendy Faye Donaldson
Fascinating and educational book. Gives a whole news perspective of the settings, etc. of Biblical times.Published 19 months ago by Hal Helms
Each chapter would be an appropriate topic for a message, or series of messages, from the pulpit—messages most of us are unlikely to hear, given the typical way ministers are... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Ken
This is a very thought provoking book and one that will hold the interest of all Bible scholars, and novices as well.Published on August 9, 2013 by cjk
Was the life of Jesus scandalous? According to David Instone-Brewer it was. In the context of modern scandals like we see on the news it wasn't, but certainly it was in the minds... Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by Ron Starcher
Jesus scandalous? Perhaps. I have to admit that many of the things he said and did have confused me over the years. Read morePublished on July 21, 2012 by Pat J. Sikora
Some excellent background on Jesus and the gospels from an expert in Rabbinic Judaism that enriches one's understanding. Read morePublished on July 21, 2012 by Steve P