Amy-Jill Levine on Anti-Jewish New Testament Interpretation

Professor Amy-Jill Levine delivered the Comparative Theology Lecture at Harvard Divinity School on October 17, 2012: “From Donation to Diatribe: How Anti-Jewish Interpretation Cashes Out”.

In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus says of a poor widow who makes a donation to the Jerusalem Temple: “she has thrown in her whole life.” Is the widow exploited by a Jewish system that values money over compassion? Is she a faithful worshiper who reveals the Temple’s welcome of rich and poor, male and female? Is she a foreshadowing of Jesus, who will give up his life as a “ransom for many?” The answers depend upon the reader’s sensibilities.

Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences.

Levine’s lecture commences at 5:57.

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