I recently finished the book Salvation Is From the Jews by Roy H. Schoeman put out by Ignatius Press. The book is wide ranging in its topics. When I bought it I expected it to mainly be on the Old and New testaments with background information from a Jewish view. This was indeed part of the first half of the book and is worth the price of the book alone.
What I found interesting was how Jewish apologists will try to answer specific claims made by Christians. I have heard and read many hours of Protestant objections and I found this part of the book to be fascinating. Of course like Protestantism there is no one specific Jewish view on passages in the Old Testament or about predictions of the Messiah. Or that among a large swath of modern Jews even a belief in an afterlife. Roy Schoeman goes in depth through the messianic prophesies and how they relate to Jesus. He also details objections and their counters. I found lots of new information that I had not encountered before that I found fascinating.
He also goes into some of the Talmudic writing and how they also related to Jesus. While these of course are not inspired they definitely show the view of Rabbis at the time they were written and how they viewed the coming Messiah. One of these passages written after Jesus had died about a temple practice whose miraculous sign had stopped around the death of Jesus was very interesting.
I had often wondered how Jewish believers would deny that Jesus was the Messiah prophesied. All of salvation history was headed towards a crescendo of the birth of the Messiah, yet the Jewish view is that Prophets just stopped coming and there were no more inspired books to add to the canon. That the Temple just happened to be destroyed within a generation of Jesus’ death. This book goes a good distance and answering these questions.
Another good sized chapter discussed "Judaism and the Holocaust." The chapter covers not only the Holocaust but some of the Jewish religious reaction to the aftermath. He also goes into the debate of calling it this sad time in history the Shoah or the Holocaust. He favors Holocaust and explains his reason why. There are theological reasons why both sides of the debate favor their choices.
Another excellent chapter is "Ideological Foundations of Nazism." He debunks the idea that it was specifically Christian anti-semitism that lead to the Nazi regime. While it is certainly true that it existed and in some ways cooperated with the Nazi’s he shows it is in no way the cornerstone they built on. He traces Nazi spiritualism back to Theosophy for an occult racist theory which later added a mixture of German paganism. The development and basis of Nazi ideas is shown as it progress through many organizations and proponents of a master race and occult tendencies. This chapter covers a lot of information and as the rest of the book contains many footnotes to sources. You truly get a sense of the demonic in this chapter. He also details while Nazism was the most virulent form of anti-Semitism the anti-Semitism of the rest of the world aided Hitler. The chapter reminds us of how ships filled with Jewish people were turned back to Germany and the people later interned in the concentration camps because President Roosevelt would not budge from the quota system for immigrants. The U.S. was not alone in this and it was only two small countries in Europe that were accepting Jewish immigrants. The chapter also goes into the influence of Margaret Sanger and the people on the board of the Birth Control Review and how they were instrumental in the intellectual underpinnings of eugenics that became policy in Nazi germany.
The next chapter "anti-Semitism after the Holocaust" concentrates mainly on Arabs. He shows the history of Arab involvement with Hitler and for the most part their wholesale agreement with his agenda. This whole section really puts a lie to so much of what we hear today about anti-Semitism in the Middle East really being anti-Zionism. This rabid hatred was already in full swing long before Israel became a country. Mein Kamph has long been a best seller in Arabic. This chapter is well documented with quotations. The quotation from so-called moderate Anwar Sadat were just as hateful towards Jewish people as you hear from the most extreme sources. The only weakness in this chapter is that by concentrating mainly on Arabs it omits all the other forms of anti-Semitism that are present in the modern day.
The book continues with conversion stories to Catholicism that include some rather famous cases and some less well known. Even in the more famous cases he revealed details that I had not read in other treatments. To often these stories are treated as instantaneous conversions or that a specific event brought them out. He goes farther in these stories to show how their movement towards the Church was gradual for the most part. The book ends with his own conversion story and is another good read.
So as you can tel by this book I quite enjoyed it and his writing style moves you along quite quickly through the chapters.