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Vincent Smiles, Theology


In the spirit of interfaith dialog between Jews and Christians, this project focuses on the Jewish Jesus presented by Geza Vermes in his trilogy of books published during the last quarter of the twentieth century. The paper begins by looking at the life of Vermes as seen from his autobiography and continues into a review and reflection of the major themes Vermes examines in his three books on the search for the historical Jesus. Specifically, the paper covers Vermes' theories regarding intertestamental Palestine, Jesus' observance of Mosaic Law, His notion of the Kingdom of God, and His relation to the charismatic hasidim. These four sections create a believable picture of the Judaism of Jesus while also demonstrating the unique aspects of Jesus' Jewishness. The paper then attempts to reconcile the Jesus presented by Vermes with the Jesus traditionally presented by Christianity.

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