Christian and Jewish scholars
collaborating in the land and language of Jesus;
bringing historical, linguistic and critical expertise
to bear on the Synoptic Gospels.

Jesus' Last Week.
Jerusalem Studies in the Synoptic Gospels - Volume 1

Jesus' Last Week

For the past half-century, but for only the first time in history, Christian scholars fluent in Hebrew and living in the land of Israel have collaborated with Jewish scholars to examine Jesus' sayings from a Judaic and Hebraic perspective. The result of this research confirms that Jesus was an organic part of the diverse social and religious landscape of Second Temple-period Judaism. He, like other Jewish sages of histime, used specialized methods to teach foundational Jewish theological concepts such as God's abundant grace. Jesus' teaching was revolutionary in a number of ways, particularly in three areas: his radical interpretation of the biblical commandment of mutual love; his call for a new morality; and his idea of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jerusalem Studies in the Synoptic Gospels, the initial volume, focuses on the Passion Narratives in a search for the Historical Jesus. It also reexamines the synoptic problem in light of recent historical and archaeological research. The volume represents the first attempt by members and associates of the Jerusalem School to apply collectively the methodology pioneered by Robert Lindsey and David Flusser. Included in the volume is the final article written by the late Professor Flusser, The Synagogue and the Church in the Synoptic Gospels.

Editors: Steven Notley, Marc Turnage, Brian Becker



• "This fascinating collection of essays demonstrates the fruitfulness of ‘collaboration between Jewish and Christian members’ of the School as they continue to study the Synoptic Gospels together." Robert L. Webb, McMaster University, Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.

• "There is little doubt that, like the bird cage in Alexandria, this devoted beit knesset of properly equipped scholars has produced a perceptive set of essays, and it will be interesting to see the further insights that future volumes in this series will almost certainly produce." Nina Collins, Leeds University, Novum Testamentum.

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Jesus' Last Week Author
Preface Steven Notley
The Synagogue and the Church in the Synoptic Gospels David Flusser
Literary Languages in the Time of Jesus Shmuel Safrai
Temple Authorities and Tithe-Evasion: The Parable of the Vineyard, the Tenants and the Son Randall Buth & Brian Kvasnica
The Double Love Precept in the New Testament and the Rule of the Community Serge Ruzer
Learn the Lesson of the Fig Tree Steven Notley
Eschatological Thinking of the Dead Sea Sect and the Order of the Christian Eucharist Steven Notley
Jesus and Caiaphas: An Intertextual-Literary Evaluation Marc Turnage
The Cross and the Jewish People Brad Young
The Kingdom of God and Study of Torah Chana Safrai
Evidence of an Editor's Hand in Two Instances of Mark's Account of Jesus' Last Week David Bivin
Early Testimonies in the New Testament Laws and Practices Relating to Pilgrimage and Pesah Shmuel Safrai
Use of the Hebrew Language in Economic Documents from the Judaean Desert Hanan Eshel
Appendix: Critical Notes on the VTS (=Temple Authorities and Tithe-Evasion: The Parable of the Vineyard, the Tenants and the Son) Randall Buth & Brian Kvasnica


The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, a consortium of Christian and Jewish scholars, was chartered in 1985 as an Israeli non-profit scientific and educational organization dedicated to understanding better the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and to rethinking the Synoptic Problem. Examining the Synoptic Gospels within the context of the language, land and culture in which Jesus lived, this Jewish-Christian collaboration is unique and unprecedented historically. In 2003, the U.S. citizens of the Jerusalem School formed a sister-corporation in the United States which has been granted the IRS's 501c3 Charitable status for tax-deductible donations.


Jerusalem School Members<top>

Senior Fellows:

David Bivin
Randall Buth
Weston Fields
Steven Notley
Halvor Ronning
Serge Ruzer
Brad Young

Research Fellows:

Gary Alley
Sharon Alley
Leehee Aynav
Guido Baltes
Yair Furstenberg
Jeffrey Garcia
Jordash Kiffiak
Brian Kvasnica
Marc Turnage


Grace Sharon
Lenore Mullican
Lois Tverberg


Jeff Mackey


Deceased Members

Robert Lindsey (1917-1995) was the long-time pastor of Jerusalem's Narkis Street Baptist congregation. His research on the Synoptic Gospels led to the creation of the Jerusalem School in 1985. Lindsey's publications include his three-volume A Comparative Greek Concordance of the Synoptic Gospels, A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus Rabbi and Lord: The Hebrew Story of Jesus Behind Our Gospels.

David Flusser (1917-2000) was Professor of Early Christianity and Judaism of the Second Temple Period at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Flusser was a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and a recipient of the Israel Prize (1980), the State of Israel's most prestigious honor. In 1989 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Theology by the Catholic Faculty of Theology of Lucerne, Switzerland. His books include Jesus and Judaism and the Origins of Christianity. He published over 1000 articles in Hebrew, German, English and other languages. He died on his 83rd birthday on September 15th, 2000.

Shmuel Safrai (1919-2003) immigrated to Palestine with his family in 1922. He was ordained as a rabbi at the age of twenty at the prestigious Mercaz Harav Yeshivah in Jerusalem. He later received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the fields of Jewish History, Talmud and Bible. Safrai was recipient of the Jerusalem Prize (1986) and the Israel Prize (2002). He wrote over eighty articles and twelve books including Pilgrimage in the Period of the Second Temple and Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef: His Life and Teachings. He died July 16th, 2003, and was buried only a few feet from the grave of his close friend and research colleague, David Flusser.

Chana Safrai (1946-2008), daughter of Shmuel Safrai, was a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, a teaching fellow at Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem, and held visiting lectureships in Talmud and Jewish philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt and at the Papal University Wuppertal in Wuppertal. She was well known for her work in Talmudic literature, the relationship of early Christian and Rabbinic literature, and feminism within Judaism.

Dwight Pryor (1945-2011), director of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, was a founding member of the Jerusalem School in 1985. He was a prominent teacher within Christian laity of the Hebraic understanding of the Scriptures and Jewish-Christianity.


Jerusalem School Patrons <top>
The Jerusalem School recognizes all of the supporters of its organization with the designation of "Patron." The support of our patrons have helped us over the years to grow this organization in ways not possible without their generosity. Our patrons have helped to support our members by providing monies for research, lecturing at academic seminars, publishing the Jerusalem Studies Volume, our Annual Symposion Reception, Annual SBL Breakfast and Annual Meeting. More information about our Patron program.

Jerusalem School Alliance Partners <top>
A number of organizations around the world have taken the information from the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research and made the research more palatable for different segments of the population. Through our unique relationship, the Jerusalem School's research and methodology have made it outside the academic setting and into the hands of the lay community of Jewish and Christian study groups. To read more about our Alliance Partners or to fill out an application for your organization please click here.

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