I don't know exactly what I expected when I bought this book, but I bought it twice. I saw it, and thought it looked fascinating so I picked it up. When I got home, I found that I had already reached that same conclusion some time in the past, because I had another copy already waiting on me.
Any book I buy twice, I figure I'd better read.
It was a Jewish perspective on why the Jews universally reject Jesus, and I found it fascinating.
The author would kick my butt in a debate, and he would make me feel pretty good about myself while he was doing it. He is well read in Christianity and Judaism both. Most Jews frankly don't know any more about their faith than most Christians do about theirs. Not so with David Klinghoffer. He knows his subject deeply enough to impress me to no end. That doesn't prove much, but I learned a LOT reading his perspective on Judaism throughout all history.
Talmud, Midrash, Minim, and a few more terms really mean something to me now, and I appreciate that fact immensely. I now know why Rabbi's have a couple of completely unrelated names, too. Their names are 4 words long so often that the turn them into acronyms, and just say the acronym instead. Who knew. :-)
The first half of the book reads like a synagogue must have sounded a couple months after running Paul out of town when the nicest guy gets up to speak. Paul doesn't get a real chance to answer for himself in this book, and Klinghoffer compiles every single argument against him and presents it with kindness and certainty. I really have a completely different feel for what Paul's arguments with the Jews must have sounded like.
And his arguments are compelling.
I make no bones about it. If he could also convince me that Jesus did not rise from the dead I would convert.
He really pulls together the whole atheistic melange of arguments against Christ being God and combines them with a common sensical, context driven commentary on the old testament prophecies the new testament puts forward to prove Jesus is the Messiah. He paints a vivid picture of Jesus as a normal rabbi with super-normal insights, but who failed in His final deluded attempt to prove He was a Messiah. He shoots down every commonly used prophecy, including all those quoted in the new testament (since he considers it twisted history).
When he gets to Paul, he irenically eviscerates his cunning plan to gut Judaism while verbally protesting his good intentions.
The second half of the book is medeival history, and pretty interesting.
The last bit of the book is where he uncorks his secret. He believes that God is actually using Christianity to pave the way for the Jewish Messiah to return, and credits Judaism's rejection of Christ with the success of Christianity. He is, of course, correct about that last bit. So, Klinghoffer wants to see an ever warming union between Christianity and Judaism as we move closer to seeing the truth of what Messiah ought to be.
I recommend this book to people who want to really feel the passion and see the reason of the Jewish rejection of Christ. It was an easy read except for the objectively, even kindly, rendered insults to our Lord. Be warned, though, this book could convert you.