Jesus and the Forces of Death

The Gospels’ Portrayal of Ritual Impurity within First-Century Judaism

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Matthew Thiessen
  • Ada, MI: 
    Baker Academic
    , June
     256 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Seth Pryor forthcoming.


Although most people acknowledge that Jesus was a first-century Jew, interpreters of the Gospels often present him as opposed to Jewish law and customs--especially when considering his numerous encounters with the ritually impure. Matthew Thiessen corrects this popular misconception by placing Jesus within the Judaism of his day. Thiessen demonstrates that the Gospel writers depict Jesus opposing ritual impurity itself, not the Jewish ritual purity system or the Jewish law.

This fresh interpretation of significant passages from the Gospels shows that throughout his life, Jesus destroys forces of death and impurity while upholding the Jewish law. Professors, students, and scholars of Jesus and the New Testament will value this work.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Matthew Thiessen is associate professor of religious studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.



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