Judaism, Christianity and the Modern Social Ideals
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1919 Excerpt: ... CHAPTER IV. The Jewish Ideals and the New Testament. In evaluating the contributions of the older and newer covenants, it is hardly just to compare the ethics of Jesus and the New Testament with those of the Old. It is easy to say that some of the teachings of Jesus are higher than those of the older Jewish sages of the older canon, and it is just as easy to say that many of the teachings of the Jewish teachers who lived a century or two after the close of the Old Testament were also higher than those of the older sages of the Bible. But we must not overlook the fact that upon both Jesus and the other post-Biblical Jewish teachers the best portions of the Bible had already exerted an untold influence. So far as religious depth and height of spiritual essence are concerned, there is much of this outside of the Bible superior to a great deal in the Bible. Men grow with years, especially after they have a spiritual treasure and a religious guide by which to live. It is therefore not just to say that the New Testament teaches this and that, while the Old Testament teachers had only given hint of this or that. We ought rather to judge the teachings of the Old Testament in the light of the civilization about them; and compare the New Testament, or more explicitly the alleged teachings of Jesus, with the contemporary Jewish literature: That is, the works cited in the preceding chapter, the Misnnah, the early Talmudic and Midrashic sources, and the Prayer book. In this vast literature we may gain some idea of the ideals, the thoughts and the deeds which constituted the religious life of the people; there we may find what the Jews of those days regarded as the means of their salvation; there shall we find the principles--high and ennobling, which underlay a truly Je...
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