Hitler, Jesus, and Our Common Humanity
A Jewish Survivor Interprets Life, History, and the Gospels
Imprint: Cascade Books
"Rolf Gompertz, German-American Jewish author of A Jewish Novel about Jesus, may be an unusual subject for a non-Jewish New Testament scholar. Longenecker's fascinating book, however, demonstrates both the possibility and value of studying the 'other' by bringing us into the experience of a frightened child in the aftermath of Kristallnacht and making us care about the compassionate, outward-looking adult who seeks harmony between Jews and Christians. A compelling and important book."
--Adele Reinhartz, Department of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
"Bruce Longenecker offers a moving and insightful account of the life and literary work of Rolf Gompertz. Gompertz's resistance to hatred and tyranny emerges as he sets the death-bringing love of power against the life-giving power of love, and constantly affirms against evil ideology and intolerance of difference 'our common humanity.' This is an important book."
--Warren Carter, Professor of New Testament, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX
"In this fascinating book, Bruce Longenecker seamlessly mixes the genres of historical reconstruction, biography, literary assessment, and New Testament exegesis in order to tell the important story of Rolf Gompertz's survival of Nazi Germany and the Jesus novel he later wrote as a response to that experience. Reminding readers of the importance of 'our common humanity,' Longenecker's tribute to Gompertz makes its own welcome contribution to Jewish-Christian relations."
--Chris Keith, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, St. Mary's University, Twickenham, UK
"Longenecker provides an unusual entry point for considering the intersection of Christianity and the Holocaust by investigating a man's life and his work of fiction. While Rolf Gompertz and his work are central to most of the narrative, Longenecker's own insights into the historical tensions in the history of Christianity's attitude toward Jews and Judaism shapes the reader's experience. Especially noteworthy is the nuanced reading of a key passage in Matthew 27; while included as an appendix, it represents a significant contribution to the question of Jewish-Christian dialogue over the history and use of canonical texts."
--David H. Aaron, Professor of Hebrew Bible and the History of Interpretation, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, OH