Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography

Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography

by Bruce Chilton
3.7 17

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Overview

Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography by Bruce Chilton

Beginning with the Gospels, interpretations of the life of Jesus have flourished for nearly two millennia, yet a clear and coherent picture of Jesus as a man has remained elusive. In Rabbi Jesus, the noted biblical scholar Bruce Chilton places Jesus within the context of his times to present a fresh, historically accurate, and revolutionary examination of the man who founded Christianity.

Drawing on recent archaeological findings and new translations and interpretations of ancient texts, Chilton discusses in enlightening detail the philosophical and psychological foundations of Jesus’ ideas and beliefs. His in-depth investigation also provides evidence that contradicts long-held beliefs about Jesus and the movement he led. Chilton shows, for example, that the High Priest Caiaphas, as well as Pontius Pilate, played a central role in Jesus’ execution. It is, however, Chilton’s description of Jesus’ role as a rabbi, or "master," of Jewish oral traditions, as a teacher of the Cabala, and as a practitioner of a Galilean form of Judaism that emphasized direct communication with God that casts an entirely new light on the origins of Christianity.

Seamlessly merging history and biography, this penetrating, highly readable book uncovers truths lost to the passage of time and reveals a new Jesus for the new millennium.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385497930
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/26/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 354
Sales rank: 644,283
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

BRUCE CHILTON is the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson and priest at the Free Church of Saint John in Barrytown, New York. He is the author of many scholarly articles and books, including Redeeming Time and A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible.

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Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bruce Chilton, a member of the Jesus Seminar, is perhaps one of the foremost non-Jewish scholars in the field a Rabbinic literature. From this understanding, he pens a well-written and imaginative biography about the life of the first-century rabbi, Jesus. His background provides us with vivid insight into the culture and times surrounding Jesus' life and first-century Judaism. This insight opens up our understanding of what life was like for Jesus and the early Apostles. However, this work is not without it negative points. Chilton does stray from orthodox Christianity in a number of places (e.g., rejection of the virgin birth, bodily resurrection). He rejects the claims of a number of passages from the Gospels as being 'implausible.' And he does not document and/or explain some of his conclusions as much as one might life. Aside from these negative points, I believe a reading of this text would be beneficial to critical readers interested in learning more about the times, culture, and life of Jesus.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was a very good reading. Chilton creates Jesus biography based on logic and sound reasoning. Some people complained of his contradictions with the scripture, but chilton wasn't writing a bible commentary. He treated the subject in a very professional and scientific manner, with diverse background of Jewish literature besides Christian Bible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author is an authority on Aramaic, allowing him to study the Aramaic version of the scriptures which would give him an insight not possible in reading Greek of the Latin Vulgate. His sources are impeccable; 7 pages of Scripture sources and 2 from other ancient sources. With these he is able to give us a glimpse of how Jesus's early life. He pictures him as somewhat of an outsider--living in a small village, born too soon after his parents' marriage and searching for his own path. His descriptions of the life of the itinerant rabbi Jesus was are fascinating. You'll come away with a better understanding of the culture and world Jesus lived in.
ROAO More than 1 year ago
This is a fine scholarly but readable book that explores many of the scriptural and credal issues facing the church arising from several years of modern archeological and historical research. Not everyone will agree with him, but he is a voice well worth paying attention to. As one reviewer said 'This is not for fundamentalists' - and I think that is too bad. Jesus was a Jew, not a Greek philosopher or ethicist. .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. A little too wordy in places, but is extremely informative. I did like Rabbi Paul better.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The information was presented well but it was so influenced by the authors point of view that it was difficult to accept his conclusions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a difficult read for me. As a reader of history, I very much enjoyed seing Christ in the historical perspective of his life in the first century. I read it with my Bible nearby and very much enjoyed referring to scripture as I went along. For instance, When Christ meets the Samaritan woman at the well, the book describes why in fact he was even traveling in Samaria in the first place (He was most likely traveling off the beaten track to avoid authorities after the arrest of John the Baptist). This book is so rich in this kind of historical detail I'd almost recommend it to anyone. However, and this is a BIG however. This book is so full of heresy that I'd be remiss to recommend it without the caveat that the historical perspective is exquisite but the theology just stinks. The author claims to be a christian and is indeed a priest (of the Episcopal or Anglican church) but his treatment of the nature and divinity of Christ is questionable to say the least. The virgin birth is immediately dismissed and replaced with Joseph and Mary having pre-marital relations. The miracles of Christ are described as mass-hallucinations, or worse. In short, if you read this book you need to know what you believe and appreciate the history while ingoring the questionable theology.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The title intrigued me, but the book was a huge disappointment. To imply that the mother of God had her child out of wedlock? Also that Jesus was looking to John the Baptist as a model and had changed the practice of cleansing with water into food and wine to get a meal? This and other such assertions that were equally historically unjustified clearly suggests to me the author feels Jesus was not divine. That makes all He did, my beliefs, and the foundations of the Catholic Church (and Christianity for that matter) false. Perhaps this was the author's intent. A disturbing book, I would not recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was facinating but disappointed me, especially coming from a man who claims to be a Christian. While some of the stories he tells are intriguing, he blatantly ignores what scripture says and challenges the validity of the Gospels, which has been proven time and time again to have historical accuracy. If Jesus wasn't exactly who he said he was, and if there really was no resurrection, there is no Christianity, plain and simple. I just hope Mr. Chilton isn't one of the many false prophets and false teachers that the new testement talks about in 1 JOHN & 2 PETER
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an eager reader of Christian books of merit, it annoys me no end when an author fails to warn the purchaser that despite the title, his standing as a 'Man of God', and the 'Reviews' on the back , one is about to hear an argument that Jesus was merely a prophet. My soul yearns for union with my Jewish sisters & brothers and so I did appreciate the historical suggestions regarding such items as the meeting of the Samaritan at the well. My faith outweighs 'intellectual' argument so I can tolerate the author's pitiful falling short of the peace that passes understanding. There are many wonderful books on the life of Christ to be found at B&N. Thank you B&N, that you provide reviews that warn the purchaser what s/he is paying for. I will not be buying books off the shelf with deceptive dust covers again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a disappointment! A mishmash of scriptural, historical, and scientific quotations (even though no scholarly sources are cited), the book is more worthy of a report compiled by a college sophomore, trying to write one paper to meet the requirements several courses. Many of the scriptural sources cited have been questionably framed to meet the author¿s convoluted arguments and timelines. To compare this work to a history of Jesus would be like calling Steven Spielberg's animated production 'An American Tail¿ an accurate description of European immigration to America. The work, although an interesting read, offers direct quotes of Jesus with contemporaries that have their source only in the imagination of the author. Chilton's economy of truth would cause even the fraudulent Morton Smith to blush. The book is an illegitimate work because its heritage is found neither in scholarship nor in faith. From a psychological perspective, the work most likely tells us more of the author's own personal feelings of youthful insecurity and frustrations with his own faith; clearly, the work does not provide any new or authoritative insights into the life of Jesus. The motivation for this work is questionable, and the author is encouraged to use his able writing talents within the genres of fiction, where they more appropriately belong.