How can Jesus be said to be “missing”? The Church has consistently referred itself to conceptions of Jesus during its history, and the world of scholarship has seen a renaissance in the study of Jesus over the past twenty years. In fact, Jesus’ place in popular culture has been surprisingly prominent as a result of recent historical study. What is “missing” is not by any means reference to Jesus: what is missing is rather an entire dimension of his identity. In order for us to understand Jesus and his profound influence on global culture, we need to see him within the context of the Judaism that was his own natural environment. No one can be assessed apart from one’s environment, but a variety of factors have isolated the study of Jesus from the study of Judaism. The “missing” Jesus is Jesus within Judaism.
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Bruce Chilton is Professor of Hebrew Bible and New Testament at Bard College.
Craig A. Evans is Payzant Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies at Acadia Divinity College.
Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College.
All those interested in Jesus research and the relationship between Rabbinic Judaism and the New Testament.