How Jewish was Jesus? Olivier Fitoussi /Flash90

How Jewish was Jesus?

Mischaracterization of Galilee as “Gentile” in culture resulted in a Messiah disconnected from his Jewish identity

Everyone knows that Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a quiet town in Galilee. But what kind of a town was Nazareth? Was it dominated by the Greco-Roman culture of the time? Was Jesus influenced by the so-called “Galilee of the Gentiles” culture in the region where he grew up? Many scholars argue that Jesus’ reforms were greatly influenced by the Greco-Roman philosophers and culture of his hometown, and not by rabbinic or classical Hebrew and Jewish traditions. Even the term “Jesus of Nazareth” has come to reflect a Gentile Jesus removed from Jewish roots, an image used to overlook the…