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A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume IV: Law and Love

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Overview

John Meier’s previous volumes in the acclaimed series A Marginal Jew are founded upon the notion that while solid historical information about Jesus is quite limited, people of different faiths can nevertheless arrive at a consensus on fundamental historical facts of his life. In this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the series, Meier approaches a fresh topic—the teachings of the historical Jesus concerning Mosaic Law and morality—with the same rigor, thoroughness, accuracy, and insightfulness on display in his earlier works.

After correcting misconceptions about Mosaic Law in Jesus’ time, this volume addresses the teachings of Jesus on major legal topics like divorce, oaths, the Sabbath, purity rules, and the various love commandments in the Gospels. What emerges from Meier’s research is a profile of a complicated first-century Palestinian Jew who, far from seeking to abolish the Law, was deeply engaged in debates about its observance. Only by embracing this portrait of the historical Jesus grappling with questions of the Torah do we avoid the common mistake of constructing Christian moral theology under the guise of studying “Jesus and the Law,” the author concludes.

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Editorial Reviews

Harold Bloom
“John Meier is the most distinguished Roman Catholic biographer of Jesus.”—Harold Bloom
Commonweal
“Monumental . . . staggering erudition and thoroughness.”—Commonweal
Books & Culture

“Meier’s book contains a wealth of useful information, acute observations, and penetrating argument . . . the breadth and depth of Meier’s scholarship call for high admiration.”--Robert H. Gundry, Books & Culture

— Robert H. Gundry

Jacob Neusner
"This definitive work on Jesus and the law displays mastery of the legal heritage of Judaism in clarifying critical issues. Meier's monumental research illuminates long debated issues and resolves a century of debate."—Jacob Neusner, Institute of Advanced Theology, Bard College
Paula Fredriksen
"The quest for the historical Jesus requires the quest for his historical context, late Second Temple Judaism in the land of Israel. With learning both broad and deep, John Meier constructs this context and uncovers therein a prophet and healer and teacher of the Law—an historical Jesus fully incarnate within the Judaism of his time. This is a masterful study and an enduring contribution to scholarship."—Paula Fredriksen, author of From Jesus to Christ,, and Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews
Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"This engaging study will be of interest to scholars, preachers, and all others interested not only in the historical Jesus but also in Second Temple Jerusalem, the NT, rabbinic literature, and the Church Fathers."--Adele Reinhartz, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

— Adele Reinhartz

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"Meier, of course, is a giant in historical Jesus studies. The depth and meticulous nature of his historical research causes him to stand head and shoulders over nearly everyone in the field."—Dennis Ingolfsland, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

— Dennis Ingolfsland

Hindy Najman
"John Meier demonstrates, through rigorous textual analysis, Jesus' intimate and profound involvement with Halakhah. This work will profoundly affect the ways Judaism and Christianity understand each other and themselves."—Hindy Najman, Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto
James VanderKam
"As he turns to the complex, disputed subject of Jesus and the law, John Meier moves systematically, comprehensively, and judiciously through the relevant texts and topics, ever faithful to the criteria that have guided his entire project. All readers stand to benefit from his vast accumulation of material pertinent to the halakhic Jesus and Meier's astonishing control of it."—James VanderKam, University of Notre Dame
Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology - Jonathan Klawans
"There is plenty to be gained from the scholarly quest for the historical Jesus, and John Meier's Law and Love is a masterful guide."—Jonathan Klawans, Interpretation
Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology

"There is plenty to be gained from the scholarly quest for the historical Jesus, and John Meier''s Law and Love is a masterful guide."—Jonathan Klawans, Interpretation

— Jonathan Klawans

Catholic Biblical Quarterly - Adele Reinhartz
"This engaging study will be of interest to scholars, preachers, and all others interested not only in the historical Jesus but also in Second Temple Jerusalem, the NT, rabbinic literature, and the Church Fathers."—Adele Reinhartz, Catholic Biblical Quarterly
Ashland Theological Journal 2010

"The fourth volume of John P. Meier''s A Marginal Jew is, possibly, the most exciting in this excellent series. Meier breaks new ground for understanding first century Palestinian Judaism."—Russell Morton, Ashland Theological Journal 2010

— Russell Morton

Ashland Theological Journal 2010 - Russell Morton
"The fourth volume of John P. Meier's A Marginal Jew is, possibly, the most exciting in this excellent series. Meier breaks new ground for understanding first century Palestinian Judaism."—Russell Morton, Ashland Theological Journal 2010
Books & Culture - Robert H. Gundry
“Meier’s book contains a wealth of useful information, acute observations, and penetrating argument . . . the breadth and depth of Meier’s scholarship call for high admiration.”—Robert H. Gundry, Books & Culture
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society - Dennis Ingolfsland
"Meier, of course, is a giant in historical Jesus studies. The depth and meticulous nature of his historical research causes him to stand head and shoulders over nearly everyone in the field."—Dennis Ingolfsland, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Commonweal

“Monumental . . . staggering erudition and thoroughness.”--Commonweal

Harold Bloom

“John Meier is the most distinguished Roman Catholic biographer of Jesus.”—Harold Bloom
Hindy Najman

"John Meier demonstrates, through rigorous textual analysis, Jesus' intimate and profound involvement with Halakhah. This work will profoundly affect the ways Judaism and Christianity understand each other and themselves."—Hindy Najman, Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto
Jacob Neusner

"This definitive work on Jesus and the law displays mastery of the legal heritage of Judaism in clarifying critical issues. Meier's monumental research illuminates long debated issues and resolves a century of debate."—Jacob Neusner, Institute of Advanced Theology, Bard College

James VanderKam

"As he turns to the complex, disputed subject of Jesus and the law, John Meier moves systematically, comprehensively, and judiciously through the relevant texts and topics, ever faithful to the criteria that have guided his entire project. All readers stand to benefit from his vast accumulation of material pertinent to the halakhic Jesus and Meier's astonishing control of it."—James VanderKam, University of Notre Dame
Paula Fredriksen

"The quest for the historical Jesus requires the quest for his historical context, late Second Temple Judaism in the land of Israel. With learning both broad and deep, John Meier constructs this context and uncovers therein a prophet and healer and teacher of the Law—an historical Jesus fully incarnate within the Judaism of his time. This is a masterful study and an enduring contribution to scholarship."—Paula Fredriksen, author of From Jesus to Christ,, and Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews
Books & Culture - Robert H. Gundry

“Meier’s book contains a wealth of useful information, acute observations, and penetrating argument . . . the breadth and depth of Meier’s scholarship call for high admiration.”--Robert H. Gundry, Books & Culture
Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology - Jonathan Klawans

"There is plenty to be gained from the scholarly quest for the historical Jesus, and John Meier's Law and Love is a masterful guide."—Jonathan Klawans, Interpretation
Catholic Biblical Quarterly - Adele Reinhartz

"This engaging study will be of interest to scholars, preachers, and all others interested not only in the historical Jesus but also in Second Temple Jerusalem, the NT, rabbinic literature, and the Church Fathers."--Adele Reinhartz, Catholic Biblical Quarterly
Ashland Theological Journal 2010 - Russell Morton

"The fourth volume of John P. Meier's A Marginal Jew is, possibly, the most exciting in this excellent series. Meier breaks new ground for understanding first century Palestinian Judaism."—Russell Morton, Ashland Theological Journal 2010
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society - Dennis Ingolfsland

"Meier, of course, is a giant in historical Jesus studies. The depth and meticulous nature of his historical research causes him to stand head and shoulders over nearly everyone in the field."—Dennis Ingolfsland, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Commonweal

“Monumental . . . staggering erudition and thoroughness.”--Commonweal

Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology

"There is plenty to be gained from the scholarly quest for the historical Jesus, and John Meier''s Law and Love is a masterful guide."--Jonathan Klawans, Interpretation

— Jonathan Klawans

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

John P. Meier is William K. Warren Chair Professor of Theology (New Testament), Theology Department, University of Notre Dame. He lives in South Bend, IN.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    highly recommended

    of the four volumes now in print this one seemes to me to be of most interest to
    professional biblical scholars knowledgeable in the sources of intertestamentary
    history and the original languages of the bible. for most lay readers a general essay
    or precis of the author's conclusions would suffice. though the whole series is
    brilliant and Father Meier to my mind, represents the best in roman catholic
    scholarship (i write as an amateur); i venture the opinion that in general he tends
    more to prolixity than to stylistic elegance and economy. but then the age of
    gibbon is long since past. i look forward to the next volume and hope that i
    live long enough to benefit by reading it. all in all we owe a great debt of gratitude
    to Father Meier. it was a great joy to me, when i read similar praise of this great
    labor of love somewhere in fairly recent pages of harold bloom, a critic not known
    for his leniency, and on record as one who cannot believe in the hebrew god
    because that god does not fulfill promises nor in the christian god because the
    churches in the gospels and other christian foundational documents "hijacked"
    the hebrew bible for self-serving purposes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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