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Jewish Theology: Systematically And Historically Considered Hardcover – July 25, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (July 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0548153051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0548153055
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,741,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I think this is an excellent book as I learned so much from it. As a Christian, I recently realized how little I actually know about the religion that Jesus followed. I recently read Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes by Jack Spong and began to see how all that was Jewish was assumed in what Jesus taught. I now feel that Christians are not getting the whole picture unless they take the time to learn more about Judaism. I found this book to be an excellent introduction to things Jewish. I found that I resonate with most Jewish ideas because they are so rational. Many years of thought have gone into their ideas of morality and I find the discussions of that to be very helpful from the point of view of anyone who seeks to be a good person. Our society has spent a lot of time reading about Buddhism, but it seems to me we have neglected what we ought to know best--the Jewish religion. I am now interested in learning even more about Judaism. I plan to read Jewish Values next by the same author.
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My review is based on the original 1923 edition. The author thinks of Judaism as a community invested in the pursuit of ethics and ethical living, and seems to present a rather visionary, if not platitude-laden, picture of Judaism.

This work includes a wealth of information, dealing with such concepts as the Character of God, the afterlife, ethics, angels, the dual nature of the human spirit, and much more. The author presents evidence for the widespread extent of the ancient belief in the immortal soul that is independent of the body (pp. 286). Belief in the immortal soul is also part of Judaism, thus inadvertently refuting the claim that it was copied by Christians from the Greeks. On another subject, author Kaufman Kohler treats the Tosefta as part of the Talmud. (p. 402).

JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY

Kohler caricatures Christianity as essentially an invention of the Apostle Paul, consisting of a series of legendary accretions, etc. True to his liberalism, he also treats the miracles in Judaism as dispensable.

Not surprisingly, Kohler interprets Isaiah 53 as referring to the sufferings of Israel. Interestingly, however, he mentions one Jewish tradition of the Messiah, based on 4th Ezra 8,28, and dating from before the Bar Kokhba revolt. It states that the true Messiah is to suffer and die, and destroy Rome. (p. 384).

PHARISAISM? LEGALISM AND ROTE RELIGION

Kohler defends Jewish religion from charges that it is just a system of orthopraxy. On the other hand, he acknowledges that, (quote) Another shortcoming of the Synagogue and of Rabbinical Judaism in general was its formalism.
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A very good classic introduction to Jewish theology. Kohler writes in a style that is both informative and easy to follow. Personally, I wish I had read this when I was in seminary or during first years of service as a pastor. The insights provided by Kohler into Jewish understanding of God, humanity, divine inspiration, sin, righteousness, etc. have both confirmed and challenged my many of own Christian beliefs. His critiques of Christian behavior over the centuries and his presentation of Jewish perspectives concerning Christian theology should be heard by the contemporary church to understand why many Christians have such difficulty relating to Jewish persons. Uplifting, challenging, insightful, and at time even corrective, a book worthy of having in my library.
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This book is a helpful resource for anyone interested in how the Jewish world views theology. In particular, I found it intriguing to hear Kohler's descriptions of the Jewish faith as creedless, while Gentile Christianity followed the more typical Gentile philosophical way of building creeds. Even today we see a much more creedally-minded focus in Western Christianity than the Eastern branches, and reminds us that a good portion of the divisions among Christians are self-imposed due to cultural variation.
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Jewish Theology by Mr. Kohler, is in keeping with original Old Testament text, he also defines certain Jewish words which sheds better understanding on certain passages in the Old Testament that may be of Greek interpretation. I find the book quite helpful and of interest to me as a serious Bible Teacher. It is very important to learn as much as one can from Jewish Theology. I enjoyed it, it doesn't mean that I agree with all, nevertheless, I think it is worth the examination. GOD is Holy Spirit and He reveals to us through the written word all that He wants us to know about Him. Man wants to know much more and tries to explain GOD according to human values, science and knowledge, but he leaves too many unanswered questions.
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I'm currently studying world religions and this has been a cool excursion into Judaism. I totally got a better pulse on the Jewish thought.
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classic work, and very detailed exegesis of Judaism. Fairly easy to read, too!
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I keep this on my kindle to review as part of my conversion process
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