The Jewish Georgian
THE TEACHINGS OF RABBI JESUS
We donít plug too many books about Jesus in
this column, but a new and provocative book on the subject deserves our
attention. It is The Lost Religion of Jesus (Lantern Books) by highly
respected author Keith Akers, who argues with great persuasiveness that
"Jesusí preaching was first and foremost about simple living and
pacifism; he never intended to create a new religion separate from
Akers points out that "Jesus lived and died a Jew; most of those who
heard his message were Jewish; the initial leadership of the church was Jewish .
. . When the larger gentile Christian church drove out Jewish Christianity . . .
it also lost the core of Jesusí teachings." In other words, Jesusí
early followers remained Jewish and rejected the teachings of the apostle Paul,
which form the basis of Christianity.
We got a bum rap for killing Jesus Ė even the Christian Bible makes it
clear the Romans did it. But because of 2,000 years of persecution, often in the
name of Jesus, Jews donít pay much attention to this courageous and very
popular leader, with a huge Jewish following, who should be considered not the
Messiah but a perhaps great Jewish teacher. Maybe someday, with writings such as
Keith Akersí, we can put Jesus in his proper historical perspective.
Indeed, we get the impression from this fascinating and well-documented book
that, if Jesus were alive today, he might be trying, along with so many of us,
to get extra high holiday tickets to The Temple.
The Jewish Georgian, January-February 2001, p. 4, in "Whatís