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Compare and contrast views of Jesus
Religion and Theology
Pages 8 (2008 words)
Jewish writers typically separated Jesus the Jew from the Christianity that incorporated him, approving of the former but disliking the latter.The present generation Jewish and Christian, distance him from the Christianity that claimed him."1
This view of Jesus must be relatively recent in Jewish literature since the author of the Toledoth Yeshu (TY) has a very different take on Jesus and Christianity.
"High-minded earnestness and spotless moral purity were his undeniable attributes; they stand out in all the authentic accounts of his life that have reached us, and appear even in those garbled teachings which his followers placed in his mouth." (149)
This leaves open the question of how the TY could be so different in conclusion from Graetz and other writers in this field. The answer may lie in the respective audiences for which the authors were writing: the TY's medieval audience (c14th century) wished to hear a derogatory account of Jesus and Christianity, whereas Graetz was writing a scholarly history of the Jewish people for the erudite.
Both the TY and Graetz are certain that Jesus was not the son of God, and Graetz refers to him as a 'mortal'. One would have expected the TY to deny that Jesus had divine powers. Instead it says that he did;
"Whoever learned the secret of the Name and its use would be able to do whatever he wished. ...
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