Re-Judaizing Jesus, a Sea Change?

Secular Recognition of Restoration Reality

TimeCoverTime magazine recently featured an issue in which it presented “Ten Ideas that Are Changing the World.” Number 10 on Time’s list was “Re-Judaizing Jesus.” Time Religion Editor David Van Biema briefly discussed the growing phenomenon in Christianity around the world that is restoring the truth of the Jewishness of Jesus. Van Biema’s quote from Vanderbilt University’s Jewish New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine is particularly revealing: “If you get the [Jewish] context wrong, you will certainly get Jesus wrong,” Levine said.

Biema also noted that the unfolding Christian recognition of Jesus’ Jewishness has come in stages. Moving away from centuries of “cherry picking Jewish texts to support the traditionally assumed contradiction between the Jews—whose alleged dry legalism contributed to their fumbling their ancient tribal covenant with God—and Jesus, who personally embodied God’s new covenant of love,” Christian scholars found first “a brute acceptance that Jesus was born a Jew and did Jewish things; then admission that he and his interpreter Paul saw themselves as Jews even while founding what became another faith; and today . . . dedication to Jewish ideas of [Jesus’] day on everything from ritual purity to the ideal of the kingdom of God–ideas [Jesus] rewove but did not abandon.”

HHCC believes that the Sea Change has just begun. Waves of humanity (often represented in Scriptures as seas) are in the process of recovering what the Christian church has lost (sometimes purposely!) over the past 19 centuries. Not only is Jesus being returned to his own Jewish context, but the Christian faith is being restored to the Hebraic matrix from which it emerged in the first century.

HHCC’s team of scholars and leaders have joined together to facilitate the emerging Christian recovery of its Jewish roots by offering theologically and historically reliable educational content that can be received by students anywhere in the world at any time via the Internet. What we believe is in process is not only re-Judaizing Jesus but also the accomplishment of what Father Edward Flannery called for: “An over-Hellenized, over-Latinized Christianity needs a re-Judaization process to return it to its original ideal.”

For more information on the Time article, see the March 24, 2008, issue or visit: http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1720049_1720050_1721663,00.html

John D. Garr, Ph.D.