The Difficult Words of Jesus

A Beginner's Guide to His Most Perplexing Teachings

Book - Paperback
The Difficult Words of Jesus
Paperback ISBN: 9781791007577
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E-Book ISBN: 9781791007584
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Published August 2021

Examine the most difficult teachings of Jesus with Dr. Amy-Jill Levine.

Examine the most difficult teachings of Jesus with Dr. Amy-Jill Levine.

Jesus provided his disciples teachings for how to follow Torah, God’s word; he told them parables to help them discern questions of ethics and of human nature; he offered them beatitudes for comfort and encouragement. But sometimes Jesus spoke words that followers then and now have found difficult. He instructs disciples to hate members of their own families (Luke 14:26), to act as if they were slaves (Matthew 20:27), and to sell their belongings and give to the poor (Luke 18:22). He restricts his mission (Matthew 10:6); he speaks of damnation (Matthew 8:12); he calls Jews the devil’s children (John 8:44).

In The Difficult Words of Jesus, Amy-Jill Levine shows how these difficult teachings would have sounded to the people who first heard them, how have they been understood over time, and how we might interpret them in the context of the Gospel of love and reconciliation.

Additional components for a six-week study include a DVD featuring Dr. Levine and a comprehensive Leader Guide.

Video

About the Author

Prof. Amy-Jill Levine

Amy-Jill Levine (“AJ”) is Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Hartford Seminary and University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies Emerita, Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies Emerita, and Professor of New Testament Studies Emerita at Vanderbilt University. An internationally renowned scholar and teacher, she is the author of numerous books including The Difficult Words of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide to His Most Perplexing Teachings, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi, Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent, and Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven. She is also the coeditor of the Jewish Annotated New Testament. AJ is the first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute. In 2021 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. AJ describes herself as an unorthodox member of an Orthodox synagogue and a Yankee Jewish feminist who until 2021 taught New Testament in a Christian divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt.