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Jesus and the Judaism of His Time

ISBN: 978-0-7456-0784-9
224 pages
January 1991, Polity
Jesus and the Judaism of His Time (0745607845) cover image
The main aim of this work is to understand Jesus as he saw himself, and to compare that self-understanding with the ways in which others have grasped the nature of his mission.
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Part I: Judaism in the Time of Jesus.

Part II: Jesus of Nazareth: Charismatic Religious Virtuoso.

Part III: The Road to Golgotha.



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1. A detailed examination of the society in which Jesus lived and its political composition. 2. Offers a new analysis of the historical split between Judaism and Christianity. 3. The author is very well-known for his previous works in the sociology of religion, and Judaism in particular.
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'A tour de force, an intellectual feat of great distinction.' Arnold Age s, University of Waterloo

'An important addition to the scholarship of the most critical period in the formation of what has come to be called the 'Judeo-Christian heritage'. It will be of great interest to general readers.' St Louis Jewish Light

'Zeitlin has digested a great deal of scholarly material and imparts it with brevity and clarity.' Canadian Jewish News

'A well-written project with many other admirable features' Toronto Journal of Theology

'Admirable in its clarity, its clean, direct, unpretentious style, and its careful arrangement.' Contemporary Sociology

'Zeitlin offers Christians the opportunity to rise to the challenge of understanding the gospels from a Jewish perspective, historically based, while returning to the basics of the faith of the church in their simplest expressions, i.e., the expressions of the gospel accounts themselves. 'Didaskalia

‘How Jewish was Jesus? Did he consider himself the Messiah? Why was he executed by the Romans as a political rebel? What did Jesus really think about the Sabbath, dietary laws, and the idea of divorce? How did Paul misinterpret Jesus’ major concepts? How did the early church separate form Judaism? These are some of the contentious and complex questions that Irving M. Zeitlin, professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, examines in this concise and scholarly study. The author reviews Jesus’ life and teaching in relation to his social milieu and historical period. His method is sociological and proves to be a fruitful approach to problems, questions and issues that have been discussed by scholars over the centuries.’ Canadian Jewish News

‘…a tour de force, an intellectual feat of great distinction.’ Arnold Ages, University of Waterloo

‘… an important addition to the scholarship of the most critical period in the formation of what has come to be called the “Judeo-Christian heritage”. It will be a great value to serious scholars and a great interest to general readers.’ St. Louis Jewish Light

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