This is the cover of The Jewish Annotated New Testament, New Revised Standard Version Bible Translation edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler. (photo: CNS)
16 Jul 2012 by Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholic and Jewish
scholars heard presentations on a book that one bishop
called an important milestone in Catholic-Jewish
relations and discussed mutual problems of rising school tuition and threats to religious freedom during recent dialogue sessions.
Meeting in New York, the dialogue between the
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National
Council of Synagogues heard from one of the editors of
The Jewish Annotated New Testament, published last November by Oxford University Press.
Amy-Jill Levine, a professor of New Testament
and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville,
Tenn., and co-editor of the book with Marc Zvi Brettler of
Brandeis University, said it is vital for Jews to study the
New Testament to gain respect for their Christian
neighbors and Christians must do the same with the
Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore,
Catholic co-chairman of the dialogue, praised the book as
Never before has a group of Jewish scholars
made so learned and technical a reading of the New
Testament, he said. Clearly, this new effort reflects the
progress we have made since the Second Vatican Council
in mutual respect for each others sacred Scriptures.
Rabbi Gil Rosenthal, executive director of the
National Council of Synagogues, said the volume is
testimony not only to the enormous competence of its
editors and authors, but to the spirit of dialogue that can
allow Jews to read and appreciate the Jewish context of
The dialogue session also included updates on
implementation of practical aspects of the accord between
the Vatican and Israel and on the ongoing process of
reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X with the
Vatican. Participants also planned a two-day dialogue
session for October on the role of religion in the public
At a separate USCCB dialogue session with the
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and
the Rabbinical Council of America, the topics included
global economics, religious education, religious freedom
and the state of Israel.
Opening with a discussion of a religious
perspective on financial reform and a vision of just
economic order, both traditions underscored the need for the moral leadership of religious groups to shed light on ethical considerations in economic systems, their failures and possible reforms, according to a USCCB news release.
The dialogue group also heard from James
Cultrara, director of education for the New York State
Catholic Conference, and Michael Cohen, New York state
political director for the Orthodox Union, about the
funding of religious schools in the state.
There is a tuition crisis in both of our
communities, Cohen said. Noting that tuition has doubled
at some schools in the past six or seven years, he added,
We need to find a solution that works.
Tags: Vatican Jews Papacy Catholic-Jewish relations