Yesterday, the 6th Sunday in Ordinary time, the Gospel reading from Matthew 5:17-37 begins:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
It seems clear to me.
“By taking it upon himself to correct Moses, Jesus is placing himself above Moses—and in Judaism, there was no one above Moses but God!
In the course of his book, the Pope undertakes to combat a widespread notion in academic circles that Jesus is not presented as divine in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), but rather that Jesus is first portrayed as fully divine in the Gospel of John, which was written long after the other Gospels.
Rather than attacking this notion directly, the Pope lets someone else do the arguing for him: none other than Rabbi Jacob Neusner, one of the most prolific and widely-read American scholars of Judaism.”