Jesus in His Jewish Context

The late David Flusser, a Jewish-Czech biblical scholar and a world renown expert on ancient Judaism, once wrote:

From ancient Jewish writings we could easily construct a whole gospel without using a single word that originated with Jesus . . . The same is true with the Sermon on the Mount.

(The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius, 62)

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  • Allen Browne

    So Flusser is saying that Jesus’ approach is congruent with understandings that were possible within ancient Judaism. That’s true, but in my reading of Second Temple literature, I’m not finding others before him who actually put the pieces together in the way Jesus did.

    • jwillitts

      Allen: That is absolutely true! There is a sentence in Flusser that I didn’t quote which says something to the effect, that we wouldn’t be able to do this without the gospels.

      • Patrick

        The area I would disagree is on the sermon on the mount. If ancient Jewish writings developed themes like that, where are they?

        Jesus heightened Torah with His, “you have heard,but, I say” commentary. He demanded more of Himself than Torah demanded, where is this in ancient Jewish dogma?