Posts tagged ‘Read’

May 15, 2011

“A library is a good place to go…”

by Vince

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people—people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book,”-¬†E.B. White, writing to the children of Troy, Michigan, congratulating them on their new library in 1971.

H/T: A.S.

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August 26, 2010

Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (Book Review)

by Vince

I finished reading Rabbi Jesus by Bruce Chilton last week on vacation in Maine. The book is 350 pages but reads easily in a novel-like form.

I found this book to be a very emotional read, especially as it travels to the end of Jesus’ life and his crucifixion.

Chilton’s novel approach follows Jesus from his childhood beginnings with his family to his decision to leave his family at the Temple.

Rabbi Jesus is not too heavily ladened with citations but emphasizes a few aspects that stood out to me. Chilton connects Jesus’ Jewish traditions through his upbringing in¬†Galilee and his time under John the Baptist to the forming of his rabbinical lifestyle, including both his beliefs and actions that either estranged some of his followers or became rooted in his disciples. The actions included different types of meals depending on his location: larger and more open meals in welcoming towns to more private and small meals in hostile areas. This differed from John the Baptist’s method of salvation through immersion in water and labeled Jesus as a glutton not only by the religious ruling class but separated him from his family (John 7:1-5). Chilton continues to emphasize Jesus’ spiritual meditation on the coming of the Zecharian prophesy (Zechariah 14) and the Chariot noted in Ezekiel (chapter 1). Jesus’ emphasis on Zechariah 14 is seen when he cleanses the temple (compare Zechariah 14:21 to Luke 19:45-48, Matthew 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-18, and John 2:14-16). At this point, Jesus knew what was meant to be “on earth as in heaven” and had little patience with anything less than that.

That leads me to note the benefit of cross referencing in Rabbi Jesus. Chilton delves into numerous situations involving Jesus and his miracles, meals, or enlightening conversations. For each of them, he listed where it was written in the different Gospels. This took time but I read all of the different Gospel tellings and it helped me see the nitty gritty differences in the details or wordings. I feel that practice is helpful in seeing the differences in the recordings.

In the end, Rabbi Jesus had me flipping through my Bible left and right to cross reference, read, and think into the personal and spiritual life of Jesus. One quote wraps up the book quite well: “Chilton writes that Jesus’ enduring legacy, as witnessed in his long-suffering life and agonizing death, is precisely that which “pain teaches”: that a shattered sense of self can blossom into a mystical, visionary awareness of the image of God within.” Even MJ notes beautifully that in some cases, the heart of God’s love may have to be revealed through change, heartache, and or frustration.