“Watson brings his unique knowledge of the law and legal history to bear on an issue that has been central to the study of the New Testament almost since it achieved its present shape.”
—Calum Carmichael, Cornell University
In Jesus and the Law, Alan Watson measures the success of Jesus’s ministry by explaining his attitude toward, and knowledge of, certain laws and legal customs. Watson argues that Jesus engendered harsh responses from his fellow Jews by his apparently contemptuous or insensitive behavior that stemmed from a lack of knowledge or concern about legal and rabbinic strictures. Informed by Watson’s knowledge of Jewish and Roman law and ancient history, and his skillful relation of Mishnaic and Talmudic materials to the time of Jesus, this book is more than a vivid retelling of the events of the Gospels. Jesus and the Law joins three other works by Watson—The Trial of Jesus, Jesus and the Jews, and Jesus: A Profile—to examine the early dynamism of western religion through refocused attention on biblical texts and other historical sources.
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