Amy-Jill Levine & Marc Zvi Brettler on Biblical Studies and Jewish-Christian Relations

The OUP Academic blog has an interview with Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler on biblical studies, editing processes, and Jewish-Christian relations. The occasion for the interview is the second edition of the Jewish Annotated New Testament.

Here’s a preview:

In what areas, in your opinion, have Jewish-Christian relations improved, and where is there still more work to be done? 

The greatest benefit is our recognition of our common histories: Jews are becoming increasingly familiar with the New Testament as a source of Jewish history, and of how selective interpretations of those texts create hatred of Jews and Judaism. Christians are more aware of the Jewish contexts of Jesus and Paul, and of how knowledge of those contexts can deepen their faith.

You mention the concept of “holy envy” in the Editor’s Preface of the first edition and discuss 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Could you speak a little bit more about what “holy envy” is and perhaps give another example or two of times you experienced it while working on this project? 

“Holy envy” refers to the idea that one’s religious tradition does not contain all of the wisdom in the world, and that as we study other traditions, we find ourselves deeply appreciating those texts, practices, and ideas. We find in studying Jesus and Paul, comments that deeply resonate with us. Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 resonates across the centuries; Jesus’ parables provide brilliant examples of Jewish wisdom.

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