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Bastard out of Nazareth

Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography by Bruce Chilton

There is a joke within the Jewish community, which credits Jesus of Nazareth with the distinction of being Judaism's first "Reform" rabbi. A thoughtful consideration of Jewish history and the origin of the Christian faith would suggest that there is a measure of truth to this pun.

After all, it was an encounter between a liberal-leaning faction of Germany's Jewish community and Protestant Christian culture that initiated the movement of what is now known as Reform Judaism. Though reform Jews would be loath to acknowledge the Nazarene prophet as the movement's founder, there is no denying the ironic link between them.

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