Tag Archives: Judaism

Between the Lines: Pentecost 8: July 22, 2012

Text: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado Jesus
(Photo credit: @Doug88888)

… and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Mark’s description of the fringe of Jesus‘ cloak makes clear he is writing about a man serious about his Jewish faith. Such a cloak fringe is required in the Moses tradition: you shall make tassels on the four corners of the cloak with which you cover yourself (Deuteronomy 22:12); The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord at each corner. You have the fringe so that, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments and do them… (Numbers 15:37-39). Continue reading


The Jewish Jesus: Interview with Amy-Jill Levine

I grew up knowing there was this fella named Jesus, he was Jewish, he was important to my Catholic friends, and that my Catholic friends had a Bible that was very similar to the Bible we had in the synagogue. So my initial impression was that Christianity was like `the synagogue we didn’t go to,’ like a form of Judaism.

That’s how this interview with Vanderbilt School of Divinity Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies Amy-Jill Levine starts. Levine is the author of and The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus, and recently co-edited The Jewish Annotated New Testament with Marc Z Brettler (Oxford 2011).

In this interview, Levine talks about what the New Testament can teach us about Jewish life and practice, and why Christians need to be sensitive to the Jewish context in order to understand Jesus.

Amy-Jill Levine

Professor Amy-Jill Levine

The interview is at the website for the PBS program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.

Between the Lines: Palm Sunday: April 1, 2012

Text:  Mark 15:1-39 (40-47)

And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.


A Father's Grief
(Photo credit: RobandSheila)

Richard Swanson reminds us in Provoking the Gospel of Mark that in Jewish tradition the tearing of a garment is a ritual expression of mourning, and that the rending of the Temple curtain in Mark’s passion narrative might thus be understood as God’s expression of mourning. “Mourning,” writes Swanson, “is the ritual activity human beings engage in when they are reminded that their hopes and their love cannot turn back death.” Continue reading

Jewish artists imagine Jesus

Associate Editor Caren Goldman passed along this link to an article about how some Jewish artists have depicted Jesus.

At a time when the idea of the Jewish Jesus was just taking hold in intellectual circles, Liebermann’s image of the savior as a ragamuffin came as a shock. When the painting debuted in Munich’s Second Annual International Art Exhibition of 1879, the Catholic clergy complained. The prince regent himself demanded it be moved to a less prominent location. Months later, the charges of blasphemy, tinged with anti-Semitism, were still going strong, surfacing in a debate in Parliament.

Cross Pollination: How the figure of Jesus came to be employed in modern Jewish art

Be sure to take a look at the slideshow of images from various artists.