Page 350 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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342
1996 BookAwards
J
e w i s h
- C
h r i s t i a n
R
e l a t i o n s
Charles H. Revson Foundation Award.
The Mystery of the Romans: The Jewish Content ofPaul's Letter
,
by Mark D. Nanos. Fortress Press
The Mystery ofthe Romans
is an interpretation of Paul’s
Epistle to the Ro­
mans,
which balances Paul’s new Christian faith with his loyalty to his Ju­
daism, including the centrality of Torah in Jewish life. Nanos argues that
Paul advocated a Torah-observant Christianity for Jewish Christians and
a Noachide, Torah-respectful Christianity for gentile Christians. Schol­
arly yet eminently readable, Nanos’ book advances our understanding of
first-century Judaism and Christianity and presents Paul in a pro-Jewish
rather than anti-Jewish light. It is amajor contribution to the dialogue be­
tween the two faiths.
J
e w i s h
H
i s t o r y
The Gerrard and Ella Berman Award.
Founder ofHasidism: A Questfor the Historical Ba'al Shem Tov,
by Moshe Rosman. University of California Press.
Through the judicious sifting of newly discovered documents and a
wide range of previously known texts, Moshe Roman has created a com­
pelling portrait of the Ba’al Shem Tov as “a person of his time”
Founder
ofHasidism,
is a model of sober scholarship that combines detective work
and careful reasoning in quest of the man behind centuries of accumulat­
ed legends. Thanks to Rosman’s careful historical analysis, we can now at­
tach a recognizable biography to Israel ben Eliezer of Miedzydoz and
situate the man within his times.