Without compromising Jewish identity or encouraging any traditional Jewish stereotypes of the New Testament, offers an enlightened view of Christian beliefs and encourages readers to acknowledge their common humanity with people of all religions.
Rabbi Samuel Sandmel
New introduction by Rabbi David Sandmel
5½ x 8½, 368 pp | 978-1-59473-048-1
An in-depth look at the Christian scriptures—from a Jewish perspective.Many Jewish people know the New Testament only through snippets of verse heard at a Christian wedding or funeral, or through a chapter read in literature class. Many are completely unfamiliar with the meaning or messages of Christian scripture and therefore hold strange or startling judgments about it.
A Jewish Understanding of the New Testament introduces the text to Jewish readers. Samuel Sandmel applies scholarly criticism and provides historical background to the writings of the New Testament, revealing how the sacred literature of other religions can provide fresh perspectives on one’s own beliefs.
Without compromising his Jewish identity or encouraging any traditional Jewish stereotypes of the New Testament, Sandmel offers an enlightened view of Christian beliefs and encourages readers to acknowledge their common humanity with people of all religions. (Previously published by KTAV Publishing House, 1974, ISBN 0-870682-628.)
Rabbi Samuel Sandmel was professor of Bible and Hellenistic Literature at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and author of many highly regarded books in the fields of Jewish and Bible studies.
“Classic ... should be read by everyone, Jew and non-Jew.”
“A remarkably balanced assessment of the significance and meaning of the New Testament.... [Sandmel’s] ability to find common ground without giving up his Jewish identity is legendary.”
—Religious Book Club
“Now when it is needed more than ever, at last the definitive classic is back. Samuel Sandmel—beloved teacher of Bible to generations of Reform rabbis—guides Jews through the beauty, subtlety, and difficulty of Christian scripture. Don’t open the desk drawer in a motel room without Sandmel in your other hand.”
—Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author of Filling Words with Light: Hasidic and Mystical Reflections on Jewish Prayer
“This is a classic in every sense of the term. Sandmel guides us patiently through the early writings of the Christian Church—Paul and the Epistles, the Gospels and the other writings—with scholarly acumen, sound historical judgement, and sympathy. Particularly striking is his treatment of both the genuine controversies within and between the individual books and the overarching unity of the whole.”
—Rabbi Neil Gillman, professor of Jewish philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary; author of The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought and The Jewish Approach to God: A Brief Introduction for Christians