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Part 1: Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide to Holy Week

Throughout Wednesdays in Lent, we’ll discuss Amy-Jill Levine’s book, Entering the Passion of Jesus.

Amy-Jill Levine has described herself as a “Yankee Jewish feminist” and said that although she attends an Orthodox synagogue in Nashville, she is “often quite unorthodox.” When asked what she hopes people will take away from this study, Levine says, “Part of my goal is to get people to appreciate how each Gospel has a different story to tell. Rejoice in those distinctions. Rejoice in the separate stories. Because these stories are so wonderful that there’s no single way of telling them any more than there’s a single way of telling the creation story in the Book of Genesis. To be Israel means to wrestle with God.

Think about Judas Iscariot and what were his motives, because they vary from Gospel to Gospel. Think about how the apostles felt, because, at best, they’re confused. Look at all those minor characters like the woman who anoints Jesus or later the centurion at the cross — what did they think and how were they functioning? Listen to Jesus’ teaching: What does he say about paying taxes? What does he say about the greatest commandment and why?

Each story opens up to so many possibilities — profound, inspirational, often challenging. And I want people to take that challenge, which is in fact to take that risk, to let the stories challenge us and sometimes to indict us.” (Religion News)