Temple Emanuel will be celebrating their 100th anniversary this year in style, especially by inviting Amy-Jill Levine to speak. Dr. Levine’s one of my favorites, a JEWISH New Testament scholar at Vanderbilt. She’ll be speaking at a couple places the first week of December (see page 3 of the Gaston Gazette article), centered around her fabulous book “The Misunerstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus”.
I got to read this book with some people from Temple Emanuel through our dialogical circle, Gaston Trialogue. Truly a revelatory experience for me. What Levine teaches all Christians in the book is to avoid creating this Jesus vs. Judaism paradigm, which is so easy to do for non-Jews reading and interpreting the New Testament. She brings this to greater light as she convenes a great number of Jeiwsh exegetes to read the New Testament, as Jews, in “The Jewish Annotated New Testament”, pound for pound the best, and most important, study guide for every 21st century Christian.
I thank God for Levine and her work, and for all my Jewish friends in Gastonia. As usual, when I talk with and learn from my neighbors of other faiths, it helps me to be a better Christian. So if yer gonna be in the Gastonia/Charlotte area the first week of December, try to get to some of Temple Emanuel’s events! Should be a great party!