“Same stories, different Bibles” book review coming

The Christian Century‘s December 2, 2020, issue will contain a book review that I wrote of Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler’s new book, The Bible with and without Jesus: How Jews and Christian Read the Same Stories Differently (HarperOne, 2020) on pp. 38-39. Copyright proscriptions prevent my simply copying the review to my blog, but it is available already online (at least to CC subscribers–I’m not sure) at https://www.christiancentury.org/system/files/resources/120220.pdf. In brief, the book examines about a dozen passages from the Old Testament (or Jewish Scriptures) that are quoted in the New Testament. Levine and Brettler are both Jewish scholars, but their purpose shines through: to show both Jewish and Christian readers how both faith traditions can legitimately claim to offer reasonable and defensible interpretations, so that “possibilities” rather than polemics between the communities are called for. It’s one of the most insightful works on biblical interpretation that I have read in years. It could well serve as the basis of a series of adult education classes for a serious and engaged group of pastors and laity.