Nietzsche and the Jewish Jesus: A Reflection on Holy Envy
This chapter explores how Friedrich Nietzsche’s work The Anti-Christ inspired not only an unexpected charitable reading of Jesus’s life and thought in the New Testament, but also an unlikely sense of “holy envy.” The topic of Jesus is very tricky for Jews. The legacy of Christian anti-Judaism provides the hermeneutical lens for how Jews may interpret the life and teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Incorporating aspects of Jesus’s life and teachings into a Jewish religious way of engaging the world, or even just appreciating them, can be an anathema to classical and many forms of modern Jewish thought. Sax explores the irony and power of how Nietzsche’s Jesus could inspire a contemporary Jewish thinker to admire and connect to the Jesus of the New Testament.
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