Jesus in modern scholarship discussion

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This essay will examine Jesus from the viewpoint that, if the supposed Messiah is not fully successful—or rather, is killed—then He is not the one foretold in the Torah.

As a result, He is comparable to the other deceased wholehearted and deserving types of the family of David. The goal of this Messianic was to bring the Israelites together and rebuild the second sanctuary. Since Christ's existence did disrupt relations between the Romans and the Jews, which resulted in riots and a derogatory portrayal of the Jews as recounted in Luke's gospel, it is regrettable that He is seen as the cause of difficulties for the Jews.

Understanding Jesus in modern scholarship

Understanding Jesus in modern scholarship from a wider lens is driven by the urge to find answers to certain fundamental questions. For instance, the probability of trusting the New Testament to be a true depiction of Jesus Christ, whether Christ represented in history is not the same as the one of faith, truth, and way to life, and whether He has been misquoted and that the Bible might have changed over time have basis on some theological teachings and possible perceptions. With this approach, a discourse on perusal for evidence for Jesus as Jew through comparison and contrast of various authors’ viewpoints become essential for establishing whether their evidence is solid, have justifications and that inferences can be made regarding the academic approach to Jesus.

The relevance of Jesus’ Jewishness

Restima (56) notes that discussing the Jewishness of Christ tend to remind the Arab Christians as Jewish who were and continuously become involved in acts of war as well as aggression. In this view, one would belabor from theological aspects that Jesus’ Jewishness is relevant and not essential. It is relevant for understanding the origin of faith and the roots of the Christians’ faith as well as the New Testament considering that the Judaism of the first-century was base on Jesus. As part of the relevancy, it is apparent that the New Testament rarely exhibit interests in addressing the Jewishness of Jesus Christ in an explicit manner. However, it generally appears that He was a Jew of the Jewish origin of the King David ancestors and Abraham. As a Jew, he is depicted to have lived a life in full observance of the Torah, followed some of the Jewish doctrines, and culturally became part of the Jew society. Imperatively, unlike the other worthy and wholehearted persons from King David ancestry, Restima (58) informs that Jesus being a Jew as explained by Apostle Paul meant the Messiah through which glory came, covenants and promises would be made, the laws would be given, and patriarchs would exist.

Interpreting Jesus from the right perspective

Correspondingly, the modern scholars according to Willis (631) agree that the surface for understanding Jesus appears contradictory, but can be understood when viewed from the right perspective, given logics and thought critically. Unfortunately, the difficult task lies in identifying what could be considered the right perspective and the particular justifications for what qualifies it to be the right approach. Willis while comparing interpretations of Jack Sanders and Marylin Salmon (631) respectively noted that the scholars had two different versions of interoperations on the same verse initiated and founded on focusing on an aspect of a given narrative. At this instance, it is lucid that Jesus could have been misquoted and that the Bible might have changed over time. Understanding Jesus by the modern scholars, thus, depending on the scholar’s perception of the narrative in which Jesus is central to the discussion such as the manner in which a riot scene is depicted and scholarly interpretations derived from it.

The importance of Jesus' Jewishness

Nonetheless, comparison and contrast of the three authors’ works reveal that Wolf while talking about Jesus and the Jews concurs with Restima that acknowledgment of Jesus as a Jewish is of great importance. In particular, the author notes that a great place belongs to Jesus in understanding the history of the Israelites (Wolf, 368). He is relevant to understanding the history of Israel and God as well as that of Christian faith. Jesus, therefore, was a Jew to exemplify the life of a normal human being and most precisely to overcome the doubts of self-identity and personal ties. In the author’s interpretation, Jesus had to be a Jew and triumph over Judaism to overcome deepest doubts that he could probably have had to obtain the highest faith. Furthermore, the author opined that an individual who rises above the most desolate negation has the opportunity to be sure in his or her position of affirmation. Wolf from a comparative approach notes that Judaism symbolized the original sin of Christ (370) which when He eventually conquered and defeated the greatest enemy making Him greatest compared with Buddha and Confucius.


In summary, understanding Jesus in modern scholarship is based on perspectives that are based on theological interpretations and the scholar’s justification of the perceived narrative. There is no solid evidence of the understanding of Jesus but rather agreements that probably offer correlations for what the scholars assume to be the right approach.

Work Cited

Reitsma Benard. "The Jewishness of Jesus: Relevant or Essential." Theological Review XXVI/1. (2005).55-69.

Wills, Lawrence M. "The Depiction of the Jews in Acts." Journal of Biblical Literature 110.4 (1991): 631-654.

Wolf, Arnold Jacob. "Jesus and the Jews." Judaism 42.3 (1993): 368.

July 07, 2023

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