Over the many years I have been reading and writing about the Christian Faith, I have become just a little irritated by those well meaning people who try to tell me that in order to really know about Jesus, or ‘Yeshua’ as they like to call Him, it is necessary to get a Jewish perspective on the Gospels. (Actually, “Yeshua” is Hebrew, and Hebrew was rarely spoken in Israel in His day. According to the esteemed Jewish historian David Flusser, “Yeshu” would have in all probability been His name in Galilee (The Sage From Galilee, 6)).
Now no one is going to say that the Jesus of Scripture was not thoroughly Jewish, and no one is going to say that the Bible is not a Jewish Book. Still, there are several reasons for my irritation; one of them being the fact that Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, plus the other writers of the New Testament, did not deem it necessary to include within their narratives a great deal of information about the Jewish culture and tradition of their times. Luke wrote a Gospel to Gentiles (as most every scholar claims), and yet he did not appear to be as concerned to relate to us the exclusively Jewish flavor of the events of Jesus’ Life; not like, for example, one sees in the writings of Josephus a generation or so later.