Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Nonviolent Messiah (Review)

A review of The Nonviolent Messiah by Kelly Denton-Borhaug in Dialog: A Journal of Theology

“Simon Joseph develops a biblical hermeneutic of nonviolence derived from his textual analysis of messianic portrayals in Judaism and early Christianity. His investigation leads him to assert the originality and centrality of Jesus’ command to love enemies . . . In this extensively researched and comprehensive study . . . Joseph encourages a recovery of the importance of Jesus traditions of nonviolence as a hermeneutical key for a better understanding of the historical Jesus . . . Joseph carefully builds his argument in a way that is very accessible to nonspecialists, almost as if he were writing a mystery novel. At the same time, this book’s detailed footnotes and bibliography demonstrate his meticulous care to address the concerns, intricate analyses, and discoveries of a diverse group of biblical scholars . . . Joseph notices that not only are the consequences of Jesus’ nonviolence ignored and marginalized in mainstream contemporary society, even in historical Jesus research there is surprisingly little attention to this subject.”