The Chosen by Chaim Potok

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In the beginning, it was difficult to see where the author was going with the story.  I read four chapters before I understood the plot.

The setting of the story is Brooklyn, New York, during the early 1940’s.  The main characters are teenage boys named Danny and Reuven.  Both boys come from Jewish families; however, Danny is an ultra-orthodox Jew and his father would normally not allow Danny to hang out with Reuven.

The boys got to know each other after a baseball game.  Reuven was pitching and Danny hit the ball straight into Reuven’s face.  Since Reuven was wearing glasses, he needed surgery to remove glass from one of his eyes.

Danny felt horrible about the accident and would visit Reuven at the hospital.  At first Reuven had no desire to befriend Danny, but Reuven’s father thought it was important for the boys to become friends.  He told Reuven, “The Talmud says a person should do two things for themselves.”  The first was to find a teacher and the second was to find a friend.

Eventually, a friendship developed between the boys.  It required a lot of work and things didn’t always go smoothly.

The story teaches us a lot about the benefits of friendship and the importance of maintaining a friendship even when it is difficult.

Even though the book had a slow start, I did enjoy reading it and gained some perspective on the value of friendships.

 

Historical Jesus

I was wondering if there is any historical evidence that Jesus actually lived and was executed as recorded in the Bible.  Determining if Jesus was God is beyond the scope of this blog post, that is a whole other conversation.

I did some research and this is what I discovered.

  • Tacitus was a Roman historian and he wrote about Christians.  He called them followers of Jesus Christ.  He also wrote about Jesus being crucified during the reign of Tiberius and sentenced by Pontius Pilate.
  • Josephus was a Jewish historian that wrote about Jesus and made references to the miracles and resurrection stories.
  • The Babylonian Talmud (a collection of Jewish rabbinical writings) also mentioned Jesus and his crucification.

(source: Michael Gleghorn, http://www.probe.com)

While reading articles on this subject, I found a quote that was really interesting.

“There is no evidence that the existence of Jesus was ever denied in antiquity by those who opposed Christianity.”

(source:  Historicity of Jesus, http://www.wikipedia.com)

This is an area of research that I have just recently started, so I know there is a lot more information out there.

If you are aware of information that confirms or denies the existence of Jesus, please let me know in the comment section below.  You can disagree with me or other commenters, but please don’t be rude.