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Kosher Jesus Hardcover – February 1, 2012
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Alan Dershowitz, author of Trials of Zion
For years I've been asking my friend Shmuley to write this book. Kosher Jesus is one of his most important, thought-provoking, and stimulating books. I celebrate this book and its potential to provoke dialog and elevate our high ideals of unity and understanding.
Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark
Talking openly and honestly about Jesus and how others view him can only bring people together. This book is a must-read for anyone willing to venture slightly out of their comfort zone in their journey toward real understanding and peace.
Glenn Beck, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of GBTV.com
It is tragic that two great religions that worship the same God, cherish the same Scriptures and affirm the same moral code have been so antagonistic to each other for so long. May this book help to heal that breach. --Rabbi Harold Kushner, Author of When Bad Things Happen To Good People
Shmuley in his own unique, iconoclastic, and controversial way, hits a home run with his new courageous book, Kosher Jesus. While showing understanding for the negative stereotypes many Jews especially European born have of Jesus, Christians and Christianity, he cuts through those perceptions and urges Jews and Christians to take a fresh look at the person of Jesus and to reclaim him for themselves in a truer, more genuine form. The mostly negative views Jews and Christians have had of one another over the centuries were certainly shaped by the fratricide that marked our relationship. It is high time they be revisited. Undoubtedly, not a few Rabbis will be outraged by this book. But certainly this Rabbi a colleague, friend, admirer, and fan of Shmuley will defend his thesis and many, if not most, of his points and view the opposition as Shmuley s red badge of courage. Given the advances that have been made in Christian-Jewish dialogue since the 1960s it is essential that both communities take another look at this central subject. And this book does just that. Kosher Jesus is essential reading for anyone seeking a truer understanding of who Jesus the Jew from Nazareth really was and the enormous contribution he made to the world. This courageous and thought provoking book is a breath of fresh air and major contribution to Jewish and Christian perceptions of Jesus. I hope it s read widely and changes attitudes in both communities.
Rabbi Yechiel Z. Eckstein, Founder and President, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
Rabbi Boteach (Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy) is one of the more high-profile religious figures in the country and has an admitted knack for self-promotion. His latest book reviews the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth from the perspective of both Jewish understandings and contemporary scholarship and identifies Jesus as a Jewish leader, patriot, and even martyr. Many Christian scholars of the New Testament now would agree with him that Jesus lived and died a Jew and that our reconstruction of him as the founder of a new faith is dubious and posthumous, so no surprises there, but Boteach s name and the skill of his argument should draw readers in. Verdict Don t be misled by the media fizz around his name; Boteach writes with clarity, force, and intelligence, and his Kosher Jesus is an excellent resource for parish libraries, Jewish worship communities, individual seekers, and all interested in the historical Jesus. --Graham Christian, Pelham, MA --Library Journal Xpress Reviews: Nonfiction | First Look at New Books, January 27, 2012
This informed and cogent primer on Jesus of Nazareth, Boteach, rabbi and author of the international bestseller Kosher Sex, takes a brave stab at re-evaluating Jesus through an intensive look at the New Testament and historical documents. In what is sure to be controversial, Boteach asserts that contradictions in the New Testament regarding who bears responsibility for Jesus crucifixion, Jesus feelings toward the Jews as well as issues like Jesus divinity and the question of Judas existence, prove that editors of early texts chose to distort that Jesus was, in fact, a beloved member of the Jewish community who rebelled against Roman brutality, not Jewish law. Boteach reiterates that although he does not believe in Jesus as Messiah, he hopes that a new look at Jesus as a man who lived and died as an observant Jew will help eliminate anti-Semitism, establish good will between the faiths and strengthen Judeo-Christian values. This well-researched analysis will certainly reopen intrafaith and interfaith dialogue. --Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
While I agree there is much to learn by rediscovering the Jewish Jesus, I'm not sure what Rabbi Boteach wants his Christian readers to do about it. If a Christian were to read all of this and take every word at face value, questioning nothing, he'd have to conclude that his Christian faith is a sham. He'd have to conclude that everything he had been taught by the church about Jesus and faith and salvation was at best, an elaborate fantasy, and at worst, the most heinous of lies.
I really don't think most Christians will be taking this part of the book to such extremes. Yes, they may be confused. Yes, they may certainly feel offended. But since Rabbi Boteach says it is not his intent to confuse or offend his Christian readers, how does he expect them to reconcile their faith with his book short of tossing it into the trash can?
If Rabbi Boteach really believes that it's possible the content of the New Testament was divinely inspired, as he states at one point in his book, I can understand why a good many Orthodox Jewish Rabbis are upset with him right now.Read more ›
In his new, highly controversial book, Kosher Jesus, Shmuley Boteach sets the stage by describing the strong overtures of Christian love towards Israel and the Jewish people. Boteach views this development as a positive step in the Jewish - Christian relationship; however, Boteach points out, there is still a sticking point between Jews and Christians, and that is Jesus. 
Boteach's book presents a solution  that he believes will allow both Jews and Christians to overcome the barrier that stands between them.  Boteach proposes that instead of Jesus being the issue that divides us, we should allow him to serve as a bridge that unites us in the common interest of promoting Judeo - Christian values.
Setting the bar in his introduction, Boteach boldly claims to know the "authentic story" of Jesus of Nazareth. Virtually all historians and scholars agree that when trying to reconstruct the life of the "Historical Jesus" one is crippled by the lack of surviving evidence outside of the Gospels (records which Boteach himself disqualifies.) This leads the reader to wonder how Boteach is going to make his case convincing.
Basing himself on the works of Hyam Maccoby, Boteach insists that although the Gospels cannot be accepted as authentic or reliable, they have nevertheless retained traces of a Jewish Jesus who did not teach against the observance of the Torah and who never claimed to be God. Boteach sees Jesus as a patriot who fought against the occupying Romans; a struggle which cost him his life.Read more ›
Kosher Jesus is being presented as a landmark book of brilliant and original content.. The trouble with brilliant ideas is that they are not always original, and original ideas are not always brilliant. Kosher Jesus is neither brilliant nor original. At times its author readily admits his debt to the scholarship of Hyam Maccoby. Nevertheless, its provenance in terms of contemporary academia is much older. S.F.G Brandon in his groundbreaking studies Jesus and the Zealots: A Study of the Political Factor in Primitive Christianity and The Trial of Jesus of Nazareth was the first to argue that Jesus was a patriotic Jewish revolutionary and Pharisee, who was executed by the Romans after a disastrous coup d'etat in the Temple. Rabbi Boteach makes no reference to Brandon's work yet it was he who laid out that Jesus saw his Messianic candidature in terms of a revolt, with himself as a politico-military redeemer who had no delusions of deity. But Paul, a Roman "stooge", reinvented Jesus as divine and won over the primitive church to his position following the numbing disillusion of defeat and the delay of the parousia. According to Brandon, Paul subverted Jesus from being a loyal Jewish rabbi and patriot, into becoming a mythical figure of divinity.
However, this theory is deeply flawed. Even if we accept that the Gospel writers redacted, one generation would not be long enough for the genesis of completely ahistorical legend.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I learned so much from reading this book and plan to re read it as there is so much to comprehend. One thing for sure, it would benefit Christians to learn about the Jewish Jesus... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bubbe
I think the book is well written, not taking a side in the issue of messiahship or deity. I think it shows a Jewishness that should be relooked at. Read morePublished 4 months ago by ravballek
From the very first pages, I cannot but be surprised by the mistakes and misleading comments presented by the writer - Yeshua is presented as same kind of "Che" Guevara,... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Yehuda Hochmann
I can't really explain it, but I have a visceral hatred for this book. I tried to read it objectively - for a full disclosure I am agnostic, but recognize the merits of most... Read morePublished 5 months ago by PreK Rocks!
Excellent book. Open the reader's mind to various aspects of Jesus' life. The book sheds light on the history of J's times, all the way through modern day history.Published 7 months ago by Naomi Lewis
As much as I like Shmuley, the book seems a little under-researched. It relies a lot on logical inferences (which you may or may not find all that logical) and is light on cited... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Scott from Virginia
Although, I disagree with Rabbi Shmuley Botech on his views of Yeshua the Messiah. This book Kosher Jesus was pretty good. He stated that Yeshua followed the Torah. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Charles