I have found two books which have profoundly shaken my worldview up. The books themselves are quite different though on the same topic. Jewish 'guilt' or lack thereof, in the death of Jesus. I picked up the Cohn book (Cohn was an Israeli Supreme Court Judge, retired when he wrote this book) -- What a fantastic analysis! I have read the Gospels many times over but never even noticed the discrepancies in them, or thought about it. Cohn has a wide knowledge of Jewish Law and history and of course an enormous intellect to go with it. I think he has a point, but most Christians can't handle it.
I actually wrote a review of it in Amazon today (not up there yet) and have quite a few comments on the reviews.
The Trial and Death of Jesus by Haim Cohn:
One thing led to another and I am now in the middle of the following book and in correspondence with the author.
The Ghost in the Gospels: The True Story of How Jesus Died and How We All Missed It for 2,000 Years , by Leon Zitzer
I have always known and understood the Jewishness of Jesus in my heart, which I think is why I am moved by the Christians who have the sticker : "My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter".... though heaven knows I don't agree with them about everything!!
Zitzer goes even further with a wonderful thesis regarding Barabbas and Judas which makes magnificent sense. I have never been able to buy the Mel Gibson vision of the Passion. Most Jews don't. It may not be as these 2 people have laid it out, but if it is, time to make some changes in our thinking. Now is actually a very religious time, where millions and millions of people are acting out of religious convictions. Jihads are being fought, wars are being fought over religious conviction; mosques are popping up all over, Christians are being thrown persecuted in the middle east and elsewhere, and Jews are back to being "the sons of apes and pigs."
All of the book reviews (written by nonJews) give Judge Cohn credit for scholarship and such but cannot accept it. They have to have it that the Jews have at least some guilt over the death of Jesus! No one seems to be able argue his thesis away. Argument is based on sheer emotion, not to mention a couple of millennia of tradition as to how things were with Jesus and how things were supposed to have happened. That Jews should be completely innocent, Christians (and maybe even secularists) cannot accept! Maybe they would put a little guilt on the Romans, but Heaven knows most (if not all) of the guilt has to go to the Jews.
Zitzer tells me that he is getting a very hostile reception from everyone, including Messianic Jews, which I would have thought would have taken it well. Anyway, If this is an area of interest of any of you, I highly recommend both books above.