My dear friend Taylor Marshall has recently published a fantastic new book entitled: The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity. This is a book for anyone interested in understanding Catholic teachings and practices more, and particularly their biblical and Jewish roots. The book is clear and accessible to a wide range of readers, and it is beautifully written. Its orientation is certainly popular, but the scholarship that went into producing this text is apparent in the text itself as well as in the endnotes which conclude each chapter. I would recommend this book to both Catholics and non-Catholics. It is a quick and enjoyable read (I had difficulty putting it down when I first began reading it—I’ve read it twice already and am looking forward to reading it a third time when I am able).
The Crucified Rabbi is available for only $14.95 from Amazon.com. Marshall’s book encompasses a wide-range of topics exploring their OT and Jewish roots: Jesus’ messiahship; Mary as Queen mother of the fulfilled Davidic kingdom (the Church); the papacy; Catholic view of baptism; the Mass and the Eucharist; Catholic priesthood; priestly vestments; cathedrals; parishes; monasticism; Catholic views on marriage; holy days and the liturgical calendar; Saints; and the afterlife. His book also includes a very helpful appendix which lists over 300 OT passages Marshall believes Jesus fulfilled in His NT life and mission. His bibliography includes both useful scholarly and popular works for further reading. This book is a must read.
In this book, Marshall beautifully shows how Catholic Christianity is intimately connected with its Jewish origins. He masterfully weaves together biblical narratives, traditional Jewish literature, the lives of the Saints, magisterial Catholic sources, and his own personal anecdotes, to produce a gripping story of discovery. With this book, Marshall has successfully shown how Catholic Christianity’s roots lie in the OT narratives as they reach their fulfillment in the NT.
Marshall’s work is particularly interesting to me because he was an ordained Episcopalian priest, and it was through his study of the OT and Jewish roots of Christianity, which he presents in this book, that he became convinced that the Catholic Church is the Church Jesus founded. Despite many hardships and difficulties, he and his family entered the Catholic Church, and he is currently completing doctoral work in Philosophy at the University of Dallas. His conversion story is available online from his popular blog Canterbury Tales.