Boston, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc., 2002. Softbound. Octavo, paper covers, xiv, 148 pp., bibliography, citation index. Very Good. Item #38569
This book will prove invaluable reading for all those interested in Jewish Christian polemics 70-300 C.E., legal exegesis of late antiquity, textual analysis of Talmud, Midrash, New Testament, Church Fathers, theology and religion.
Herbert W. Basser, Ph.D. (1983) in Religious Studies, University of Toronto, is Professor of Religion at Queen's University, Canada. His works, focussing on Jewish texts and the Jewish back-ground of Christianity, include Pseudo-Rabad: Commentary to Sifre Numbers (Scholars Press, 1998).
Is early Christianity simply Judaism in a foreign accent? Do we have evidence from the Jewish side concerning which biblical verses Jews and Christians bickered over in their interpretations? What did Jesus and Pharisees really argue about? By closely examining the exegetical underpinnings of the controversies between Jews and Christians, Herbert Basser discovers the Jewish side to a debate that, until now, has not received adequate scholarly treatment. He goes behind the words of the gospels and behind the words of the rabbis to decipher the sources upon which both are based in order to make sense of them. Baser shows that the strife between Jews and Christians developed primarily after the death of Jesus when the early Jesus traditions were recast by church writers into bitter controversies between Jesus and Pharisees and between Christian and Jew—controversies that have widened and increased with the passage of centuries.