John Meiers previous volumes in the acclaimed series A Marginal Jew are founded upon the notion that while solid historical information about Jesus is quite limited, people of different faiths can nevertheless arrive at a consensus on fundamental historical facts of his life. In this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the series, Meier approaches a fresh topic, the teachings of the historical Jesus concerning Mosaic Law and morality, with the same rigor, thoroughness, accuracy, and insightfulness on display in his earlier works.
After correcting misconceptions about Mosaic Law in Jesus time, this volume addresses the teachings of Jesus on major legal topics like divorce, oaths, the Sabbath, purity rules, and the various love commandments in the Gospels. What emerges from Meiers research is a profile of a complicated first-century Palestinian Jew who, far from seeking to abolish the Law, was deeply engaged in debates about its observance. Only by embracing this portrait of the historical Jesus grappling with questions of the Torah do we avoid the common mistake of constructing Christian moral theology under the guise of studying Jesus and the Law, the author concludes.
John P. Meier
John P. Meier is William K. Warren Chair Professor of Theology (New Testament), Theology Department, University of Notre Dame. He has been both president of the Catholic Biblical Association and the general editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. He lives in South Bend, IN.
This definitive work on Jesus and the law displays mastery of the legal heritage of Judais-n1n clarifying critical issues. Meiers monumental research illuminates long-debated issues and resolves a century of debate.
- JACOB NEUSNER Bard College
"The quest for the historical Jesus requires the quest for his historical context, late Second Temple Judaism in the land of Israel. With learning both broad and deep, John Meier constructs this context and uncovers therein a prophet and healer and teacher of the Law an historical Jesus fully incarnate within the Judaism of his-time. This is a masterful study and an enduring contribution to scholarship."
- PAULA FREDRIKSEN author of From Jesus to Christ and Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews
"As he turns to the complex, disputed subject of Jesus and the law, John Meier moves systematically, comprehensively, and judiciously through the relevant texts and topics, ever faithful to the criteria that have guided his entire project. All readers stand to benefit from his vast accumulation of material pertinent to halakhic Jesus and Meiers astonishing control of it.