What is it about?

Matthew Thiessen’s recent book, Jesus and the Forces of Death, is a systematic attempt at making obsolete an entire research paradigm, which has portrayed Jesus and the gospels as targeting for eradication the Jewish purity system itself, understood as an oppressive social mechanism with which the elite controlled the masses, rather than these texts describing a war against the impurity that this system defined and was meant to control. This essay engages this thesis.

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Why is it important?

Challenging older research paradigms on ritual purity opens up for understanding Jesus as the second-temple Jew he was. Ultimately, Jesus way of defeating the forces of death is a Jewish way of saving the world.

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This page is a summary of: Jesus Against the Forces of Death, Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, February 2022, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/17455197-bja10004.
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