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.
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.
"Open this book and see Jesus as you’ve never seen him . . . This is one heck of a good read. And it left me feeling better than ever about the Jesus we try to serve and follow." –National Catholic Reporter
"Engaging and lively . . . Chilton has done an admirable job of taking us into Jesus’ world and witnessing the life of one of history’s most important figures." –Charlotte Observer
"Bruce Chilton, an Anglican priest and religion professor, has written a readable and compelling profile of Jesus and the culture and times in which he lived. Rabbi Jesus is a scholarly pursuit that . . . reads more like a novel. The biography flows with the fluidity of an adventure tale, rich in characters, texture, and detail." –Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.)