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The Reluctant Parting: How the New Testament's Jewish Writers Created a Christian Book [Paperback]

By Julie Galambush (Author)
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Item Number 56134  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 5.1" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2006
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060872012  
EAN  9780060872014  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

Peeling away centuries of misinterpretation, The Reluctant Parting tells the painful story of how the New Testament authors fought—ultimately in vain—to preserve their legitimacy as members of the Jewish community. Biblical scholar Julie Galambush, a former Baptist minister who converted to Judaism, reveals the diversity within first-century Judaism and how an intra-Jewish debate about what it means to be Jewish included the followers of Jesus as one Jewish sect among many.

Although other books have demonstrated the Jewishness of Jesus, none have grappled with the implications of the New Testament authors' identity as Jews. What would it mean to read this Christian scripture as it was meant to be read—as a collection of Jewish books? Through lively and accessible scholarship, Galambush identifies the distinctively Jewish goals of the New Testament authors and sheds new light on the common roots of modern Judaism and Christianity. The Reluctant Parting breaks new ground by exposing the volatile historical backdrop that produced the New Testament, offering rich rewards for both Jews and Christians wanting a fuller understanding of their inherited tradition.

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More About Julie Galambush

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Julie Galambush is an associate professor of religious studies at The College of William and Mary. She holds a Ph.D. in Old Testament studies from Emory University and a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School. Formerly an ordained American Baptist minister, Galambush is a convert to Judaism and a member of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Virginia.

Julie Galambush has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series; 130

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > New Testament   [2831  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > New Testa   [1782  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General   [10297  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > History of Religion   [1161  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A superb presentation of the New Testament  Mar 8, 2007
Julie Galambush is a Jewish convert from Protestantism, and is a religious scholar to boot. Thus, she is imminently qualified to present Christianity from a Jewish perspective. Her approach is similar to that of Amy Jill Levine, another Jewish New Testament scholar who patiently explains to Christians that Jesus was a first century Jew who was not out to establish a new religion, but rather was out to get rid of the Roman oppressors and reestablish Jewish law and tradition in his country. Galambush's greatest gift in this book, in my opinion, is to present the books of the New Testament in chronological order, giving a concise explanation of each of them from a first century Jewish perspective. Every Christian should read this book, if for no other reason than to get a quick review of the New Testament in a very digestable form.
Interesting review of the New Testament by a Jewish author  Jun 26, 2006
First, let me state that I have had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Galambush and I find her to be delightful with an intelligent yet approachable personality. This comes through clearly in her writing. Her scolarship is outstanding, but she is not pedantic.

This book was clearly written for me, a Jewish woman who has had little experience with the New Testament. I was so ignorant that I did not realize the Pharisees were Jews, when I read the Gospels in high school.

I found her explanations of the different books of the NT to be interesting. I appreciated that she explained the thoughts of authors of the different texts and how those differed depending on the author. Because the books of the NT were written at different periods of history and in different locations, some by authors who did not know Jesus directly, the history of the first century can be gleaned. The further one moves from the time of Jesus, the more "fantastic" his life became, the more amazing his miracles. Most interesting to me was the apocalyptic book, Revelations, about which I had heard a great deal, but knew nothing.

I enjoyed this book to such an extent, that I purchased an additional two copies to give as gifts and I have lent my copy to friends.
Oddly out of it  Apr 16, 2006
The author says the book is for Jewish readership, but I can’t imagine why anyone Jewish or otherwise would be much interested in it. It’s not based on historical or biblical scholarship, but more like a long sermon in conjunction with a retelling of the books of New Testament (I guess for people who don’t want to read them for themselves.) No footnotes or endnotes, (only references to Scripture) so no sources for her information or explanation of conclusions. She seems completely oblivious to the tremendous amount of scholarship and research done in this area over the last decade. There’s no reason to believe she’s ever heard of Earl Doherty, Alvar Elleg?rd, Richard Carrier or several hundred other scholars who have published on this topic. Two major sects, the Essenes and Gnostics are each mentioned exactly once (pages 10 and 275 respectively.) This is like describing events leading up to the world wars and overlooking Germany and England. No mention of Tacitus, one of Pliny (she means The Younger, but may not know there were two.) one of Suetonius (p.185.) Josephus who wrote a 21-volume history of the Jews gets only four mentions, while G.W. Bowersock, the modern historian of late antiquity, gets none. The author doesn’t appear to be especially knowledgeable or have any real sense for the age, but apparently felt a need to write about it. I admit the one-star is harsh, but the book both misleads the reader and pretends to an authority it simply doesn’t have.

Interesting and Informative  Apr 3, 2006
According to the author "The Reluctant Parting seeks to reconstruct the ways in which the early Christians saw themselves and their movement in relation to the rest of the Jewish world (p. xx)." This objective Galambush achieves, largely through an excellent first chapter that traces the subtle transition from Jewish to Jesus/Jewish to Jesus/Jewish/Christian to Christian and the many permutations thereof.

The next chapters go through the New Testament in a story like format, discussing various issues that Galambush believes illustrates her premise. These synopses are quite good and the information is interesting.

The book is not without its flaws, at least from my perspective. For example, Galambush claims that Luke and Acts were written by the same person. I can't help but believe that Acts was written by two people considering the 1st person changeover in the middle. Moreover, she neglects the fact that many parts of Luke were taken from other literature extant in 1st/2nd Century, which brings into question many of her assumptions about this Gospel. Her account of Matthew underplays the legion of errors which Matthew made vis-a-vis Jewish prophecy. My question would be - "How can Matthew have been a pious Jew if he made so many mistakes?" Was he just stupid? Or maybe he wasn't a Jew at all, hence accounting for the errors and also for the harsh anti-Semiticism. Galambusch ignores this line of questioning.

These are relatively minor problems. My main criticism of the book is the all too short epilogue that doesn't match the opening chapter. Here I would have liked Galambush to give us a synthesis of what we've read. Some questions I would have liked discussed - "How did the differing Jewish and Christian subgroups effect each other?" "What were the preeminent outside influences impacting all these groups?" "What distinctive Jewish elements remained after the Christians took over?" "Given the schizod origins of the New Testament, did that influence the subsequent development of the religion?" Maybe these questions were beyond Galambush's scope, or maybe they can be raised in a subsequent edition.

In summary, Galambush's book is a well written, interesting, and informative look at the part which Jewish writers played in constructing the Christian Bible. This book should appeal to students and scholars alike. I think it would be especially appealing to people who have trouble reading the bible but who are interested in the stories contained therein.

Lucid and engaging  Feb 27, 2006
Examining the New Testament through a Jewish lens offers many fresh insights and has been undertaken by a number of scholars and clerics in recent years, most targeting Christian audiences and some, in the process, raising considerable controversy. (Think of Episcopal Bishop John Spong's reading of the gospels as midrash, from which he concluded that not only was Mary not a virgin, she might have been a victim of rape or sexual abuse, speculation that got him pilloried from conservative pulpits across the country.) Galambush's approach developed from her work with a synagogue study group, and while not principally intended for Christian audiences would clearly enlighten and benefit many Christians who take for granted what sounds like casual (or vehement) anti-Semitism in the New Testament, even as it provides for Jewish readers clarity on the roots of many modern Christian attitudes that cause interfaith problems. The book is thoroughly scholarly but entirely accessible to non-academic readers - highly recommended.

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