Rabbi Richard Hirsh teaching "A Jewish View of the New Testament"
The New Testament (NT) writings from the first and second centuries of the common era contain valuable and important information and insights about Jewish thought, practice and politics of the time. The NT also includes the earliest surviving canonized writings of the Jesus-movement as it is emerging from a Jewish phenomenon to what will later be known as (gentile) Christianity.
In this course we looked at the New Testament writings by genre -- the four Gospels, the Letters of Paul, and the apocalypse of the Book of Revelation -- along with parallel rabbinic writings and trends of the same period. We examined parallel as well as competing messages about the life and death of Jesus, the relationship between the diverse Jewish communities of the first century including the emerging (Jewish) Jesus community, and conclude with a look at the theories as to how and why what we call "Judaism" and "Christianity" were in fact multi-faceted movements often with as much in common with each other as in tension with the other. And, we examined implications of this fertile and fragmented period for the time in which we find ourselves today vis-a-vis Jewish-Christian dialogue and relationships.
Rabbi Richard Hirsh has been the Executive Director of the Reconstuctionist Rabbinical Association and on the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College since 1998. While in rabbinic school, he pursued doctoral work in New Testament at Temple University.
Here is are links to audio recordings of Rabbi Richard Hirsh teaching "A Jewish View of the New Testament" at Beth Israel in April, 2013.