It's shaping up to be a big year for the guild of Jewish New Testament scholars. The main event has been the publication of the Jewish Annotated New Testament, in which Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler brought together about 50 Jewish scholars to offer commentary and analysis on the New Testament and its historical milieux. Some of these are scholars of early Judaism who comment on the New Testament from that perspective, but a solid core of the group consists of New Testament scholars trained at the best institutions. Many of them say that studying the New Testament was a positive for their own religious lives: in the words of Levine and Brettler, "study of the New Testament has made us better, more informed Jews." I will be working through the rich (and reasonably priced!) book in the next couple months, and full reviews will be given in time by at least two Commonweal writers. But I wanted to draw your attention to it now so that readers can also be aware of A.-J.'s public speaking events about the project (one is here in NYC this week). The historical uniqueness of what she and her co-editor accomplished in this volume cannot be overstated, and it's well worth hearing her talk about it in her own words.
Michael Peppard is associate professor of theology at Fordham University and on the staff of its Curran Center for American Catholic Studies. He is the author of The World's Oldest Church and The Son of God in the Roman World, and on Twitter @MichaelPeppard. He is a contributing editor to Commonweal.