My second critique of Taylor revolves around her attempt to separate the Pharisees from the rest of the Jewish community. Taylor suggests ...
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...raging all to recognize Israel’s purpose to be a light to all other nations. Jesus believes he is the Good Shepherd who represents a Gospel for the salvation of the Gentiles. Jesus, as a Jew, does not encourage an us-versus-them mentality with his own people. Instead, Jesus upholds the Law and is partaking in a rabbinic normative conversation surrounding the interpretation of the Law. We recognize based on John 9 that God is actively working to include both Jews and Gentiles into God’s kingdom so that all may see the light and avoid blindness. This being the case, Barbara Brown Taylor should reconsider her sermon title to be A Tale of Two Shepherds: The Pharisees and Jesus collectively working towards God’s redemptive plan. But for this to take place, she must acknowledge the context of the passage and work against an already assumed Johannine anti-Jewish theology.
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