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Valentinus

Jewish Apologetics

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Anyone got any good resources? Books, journals, websites, etc are all welcome.

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The best basic source is online at https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/apologetics .

Hellenizing Jews of the 2nd century B.C. tried very hard to be "respectable," just like their Greek neighbors, and thereby avoid persecution.  The rabbis adopted all the best canons of rhetoric.  However, just like the assimilating Jews of Nazi Germany, they found that this was not a successful strategy (cf. especially II Maccabees 4:16 -- no matter how hard the Jews tried to be like or to imitate the Greeks, in the end they were scapegoated anyhow).  As for the rage of ancient or modern "Pharisees," in their grinding of religious axes, Tobin Siebers has argued that, 

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in the heat of conflict . . . religious elements in competition often demystify each other as part of a strategy to overcome opponents.  Once one side demystifies the other side's beliefs, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain its own system of beliefs.  Siebers, Mirror of Medusa, 156, n. 35 (cf. 25).

The fatal embrace of mimetic rivalry:  In other words, one demythologizes (euhemerizes) someone else's worldview at peril to one’s own.  The Jews persecuted early Christians, and they themselves were likewise persecuted.  It's a vicious circle.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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6 hours ago, Valentinus said:

Anyone got any good resources? Books, journals, websites, etc are all welcome.

Yes, start with the entire old testament. Specifically Isaiah 53. 

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12 hours ago, Valentinus said:

Anyone got any good resources? Books, journals, websites, etc are all welcome.

I studied under Dr. Barry A. Feinstein in his Arab/Israeli Crises class in law school. He teaches at USD School of Law and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. perhaps you can hunt his email down. I am certain he could help you.

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The book that I found most useful to address arab/israeli political conflict was Daniel Peterson's "Abraham Divided".   We ought to understand fully that the current country of Israel is NOT identical to the protected biblical people of Israel, and that means we ought not to swallow/support  everything said or done by the country of Israel without thinking or consideration.   (And even if the country and the covenant people were the same, that doesn't mean leaders can't mess up.)

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