There is a trend that I have noted for some time, but which has been taking on new steam lately in Christian scholarship in an effort to emphasize the difference between Jesus and the Jewish Sages who were roughly His contemporaries.
I understand both the motivation to try and preserve these “differences,” and the scholarly data which supposedly supports this line of thinking, but there really is no need.
“Many modern theologians increasingly attempt to define the message of Jesus over against Judaism. Jesus is said to have taught something quite different, something original, unacceptable to the other Jews. The strong Jewish opposition to Jesus’ proclamation is emphasized….Even though he gave his own personal bent to jewish ideas, selected from among them, purged and reinterpreted them, I cannot honestly find a single word of Jesus that could seriously exasperate a well-intentioned Jew.”
David Flusser, of blessed memory, Professor at Hebrew University-Jerusalem, as quoted in Jesus: The Jewish Theologian by Brad H. Young, PhD (p. 127)
Many find it quite scary to think that some of Yeshua’s sayings and some of Hillel’s were almost verbatim; I understand that. However, the reality is that Yeshua did not vigorously alter the Judaism of the time. Certainly, He contested hotly those areas that needed correction, but that is no different than what He would do to Christianity if He arrived on earth today.
Can you imagine the issues Yeshua would have with the state of the Church today? I expect there would be quite a few “Woe, to you’s” spoken.