The Galilean Jew named Yeshu, or Jesus, lived in the first half of the first century CE. By the end of that century, he had become the Christ of faith for thousands of Christians—who now number in the hundreds of millions. Who was the Jesus of history? How did he understand himself and his mission?
We know that Jesus was a Jew and that he was committed to “the Law and the Prophets.” However, some sources seem to describe him as attempting to separate himself from his own people. How do we understand his relationship with other Jews and with Jewish leaders of his day? Was he a preacher, teacher, and healer? Or was he a miracle worker and prophet? Was he a revolutionary zealot or a man of peace? Was he seeking to replace the Jewish practice of his day with something completely new or was he simply attempting to reform Judaism?
Together with instructor Perry Y. Asher, we will examine the available sources and piece together a picture of this pivotal person in history.
About the instructor: In 1985, Perry Y. Asher converted to Judaism. During the five years preceding his conversion, he studied at two Christian seminaries: Chicago Theological Seminary on Chicago’s South Side and Pacific School of Religion near the University of California, Berkeley. Even while an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, Perry took an interest in the Hebrew Bible and Judaism. Since earning his master of divinity degree earlier in 1985, he has continued his studies in biblical literature and history, archeology of the Southern Levant, and the Jesus of history. Perry has taught at Lehrhaus Judaica, a center for adult Jewish education in California, and at Temple Beth Or in Everett, Washington. He has led Torah Study at Adat Chaverim in Plano, Texas, and also here at Temple Beth El.
Members: $18 per class or $54 for all four classes in advance (a one-class discount)
Nonmembers: $20 per class