Modern Jews Engage the New Testament Companion Figures: A Visual Aid for Teaching

An honest, probing look at the New Testament in relation to problems that confront Jews and Christians today. This flexible manual allows instructors to offer standalone lessons or full courses. Includes lesson plans, discussion questions and visual aids.

Rabbi Michael J. Cook, PhD

8½ x 11, 52 pp | 978-1-58023-393-4

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An honest, probing look at the dynamics of the New Testament—in relation to problems that disconcert Jews and Christians today.

Despite the New Testament’s impact on Jewish history, virtually all Jews avoid knowledge of its underlying dynamics. Jewish families and communities thus remain needlessly stymied when responding to a deeply Christian culture. Their Christian friends, meanwhile, are left perplexed as to why Jews are wary of the Gospel’s “good news.”

This long-awaited volume offers an unprecedented solution-oriented introduction to Jesus and Paul, the Gospels and Revelation, leading Jews out of anxieties that plague them, and clarifying for Christians why Jews draw back from Christians’ sacred writings.

Accessible to laypeople, scholars and clergy of all faiths, innovative teaching aids make this valuable resource ideal for rabbis, ministers and other educators. Topics include:

  • The Gospels, Romans and Revelation—the Key Concerns for Jews
  • Misusing the Talmud in Gospel Study
  • Jesus’ Trial, the “Virgin Birth” and Empty Tomb Enigmas
  • Millennialist Scenarios and Missionary Encroachment
  • The Last Supper and Church Seders
  • Is the New Testament Antisemitic?

While written primarily with Jews in mind, this groundbreaking volume will also help Christians understand issues involved in the origin of the New Testament, the portrayal of Judaism in it, and why for centuries their “good news” has been a source of fear and mistrust among Jews.

“A respectful and serious attempt from a Jewish perspective to deal with a subject often avoided by Jews and Christians alike.”

Bible Today

“Will help Jews understand [Christian] literature in its context, and the way that it has been interpreted and employed.... Accessible, yet learned, a valuable resource for educators as well as interested non-specialists.”

Jewish Book World

“A wonderful resource for Jews whoseek to take on the challenges posed by the New Testament andfor Christians who wish to understand Jews’ relationshipto Christian theology. Whether for individual or group study,[its] educational value is without measure.”

RabbiEric H. Yoffie, president, Unionfor Reform Judaism

“Superb. Builds on Cook’smastery of sound New Testament scholarship with innovativeinterpretations and lucid [expression].... Useful for laity,clergy and scholars, [and] essential for [those] dedicated toChristian-Jewish dialogue.”

JosephB. Tyson, professor emeritus of religious studies, Southern Methodist University; author, Marcion and Luke-Acts: A Defining Struggle

“Interesting [and] capable.... On target and constructive.... Jews and Christians, scholars and ‘real people’ would do well to read this book.”

Journal of Ecumenical Studies

“Covers the highlights of theGospels and New Testament Christianity and makes [readers newto the topic] feel more at home. Useful for all engaged inJewish and Christian dialogue.”

RabbiBurton L. Visotzky, ApplemanProfessor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, The JewishTheological Seminary; author, ADelightful Compendium of Consolation

“Important.... Essential reading in Jewish and Christian seminaries, university religion courses and in synagogue and church study classes.”

Religion News Service

“Practical, pointed andprovocative.... Points out how and why Jews need to understandthis material. A welcome addition to both New Testamentscholarship and Jewish-Christian relations.”

Amy-JillLevine, E. Rhodes and Leona B.Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, VanderbiltUniversity Divinity School

“Groundbreaking.... Extraordinaryinsights into a long-neglected and misunderstood subject.Essential reading for people of all religions.”

Rabbi A.James Rudin, senior interreligiousadviser, The American Jewish Committee

“An exciting and exacting learning experience for the enrichment and betterment of two sibling religions committed to biblical narrative and teaching.... Forges an indisputable link between Jesus and the Jews, a lesson Christians ought to know and Jews need to discover. A bridge-builder.”


“Distills modern New Testamentscholarship in a way that will greatly aid Jews.... Christiansreading it will be fascinated by this Jewish ‘take’on it, and challenged in a positive way where they disagree,and they will, with some of the author’s conclusions. A must read for anyone involved in Jewish-Christiandialogue!”

Dr.Eugene J. Fisher, associatedirector emeritus, Secretariat for Ecumenical andInterreligious Affairs, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

“Highly recommended for anyone interested in a look at the New Testament from another perspective.”

Midwest Book Review

“Sharp insights, broad scholarshipand straight language ... opens up the world of the NewTestament and the dynamics that produced it [and] will yieldfruit for virtually every reader. Provocative without beingexplosive, an inspired and inspiring resource for the next eraof Jewish-Christian encounter.”

Rev.Peter A. Pettit, PhD, director,Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding, MuhlenbergCollege