Michael J. Cook - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Michael J. Cook, Rabbi, Ph.D.

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Sol & Arlene Bronstein Professor of Judaeo-Christian Studies & Professor of Intertestamental & Early Christian Literatures


Rabbinical Program, Cincinnati; School of Graduate Studies, Cincinnati
Academic Field: 
Research Interests: 
Gospels, Pauline Epistles; Hebrew Biblical History; Intertestamental Writings (Apocrypha, Josephus, etc.); Antisemitism; Missionizing & Millennialism; Post-Holocaust Theology

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Rabbi Michael Cook, Ph.D. serves as Professor of Intertestamental and Early Christian Literatures and holds the Sol and Arlene Bronstein Chair in Judaeo-Christian Studies at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. A graduate of Haverford College, he then studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was ordained at HUC-JIR/New York, and earned his doctorate at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.

He is likely the only rabbi in the North America with a full professorial Chair in New Testament. Having extensive expertise in Jewish-Christian relations, he has keynoted more than 200 Institutes for Christian clergy in 40 states and Canada. He was one of seven scholars selected by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops to assess the accuracy of the advance script of Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ.

His service on advisory boards includes the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding (Muhlenberg College, Allentown), Institute for Christian-Jewish Studies (Baltimore [founding member]), Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies (St Leo University, St Leo, FL), Joint Commission on Interreligious Affairs (Union for Reform Judaism; Central Conference of American Rabbis; Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion); Executive Board Central Conference of American Rabbis; on-going Consultant/Reviewer to the Marc H. Tanenbaum Collection in Interreligious Affairs (Jacob Rader Marcus American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati).

Selected Publications and Edited Works
Modern Jews Engage the New Testament

Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish Well-Being in a Christian Environment (Woodstock: Jewish Lights, 414 pp.), 3rd print 2012 / programmed bibliog., five indices, teacher guide


"Mind the Gap": Bridging One Dozen Lacunae in Jewish-Catholic Dialogue" (Ctr for Christian-Jewish Relations, Boston Coll., 2013)

Video:  http://frontrow.bc.edu/program/cook/

Text: http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/research_sites/cjl/pdf/MichaelCook_MindTheGapLectureBooklet.pdf

Handout booklet: http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/research_sites/cjl/pdf/MichaelCook_MindTheGapHandoutBooklet.pdf



"Is Jesus' Nighttime Sanhedrin Trial an Aggrandizement of Friday Morning's 'Consultation'?" Bible & Interpretation (May 2013)  http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/2013/coo378023.shtml  

"The Last Supper & Passover: Overlooking the Obvious?" Bible & Interpretation (Apr 2013)



“'Gospel Dynamics': When the Jewish Jesus Won’t Suffice,” Bible & Interpretation (Aug 2012)


The Distribution of Jewish Leaders in the Synoptic Gospels

"The Distribution of Jewish Leaders in the Synoptic Gospels: Why Wariness Is Warranted,” Soundings in the Religion of Jesus. Eds. B. Chilton, A. LeDonne,  J. Neusner (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012): vii, ix, xi, 61-79, 214-15

How Credible Is Jewish Scholarship on Jesus?

  “How Credible Is Jewish Scholarship on Jesus?” The Jewish Jesus: Revelation, Reflection, Reclamation, ed. Z. Garber (W. Lafayette: Purdue, 2011), 249-70

Paul's Epistle to the Philippians

"Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians,” Jewish Annotated New Testament (New York: Oxford, 2011): 354-61

Jewish Perspectives on Jesus

 “Jewish Perspectives on Jesus,” Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Jesus, ed. D. Burkett (West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 213-31

"Where Jewish Scholars on Jesus Go Awry: Last Supper, Sanhedrin, Blasphemy, Barabbas, The Historical Jesus: Quest, Conquest, Non-Quest, ed. Z. Garber (Shofar 28.3, Spr 2010): 70-77

"Jews and 'Gospel Dynamics': Why Advice by Ancient Sages Is No Longer Sage Advice," The Fourth R, 22 #2 (Santa Rosa: Westar, 2009), 9-14, 24

"Paul's Argument in Romans 9-11," Review & Expositor 103 #1 (2006): 91-112

Current and Future Courses
New Testament & the Jews: Critical Issues Today Arising from the Gospels & Paul's Epistles
Jewish & Christian Perspectives on the Historical Jesus in Ancient, Medieval, & Modern History
Citation of Jewish Scripture in Christian Apologetics & Missionizing
Theological Roles Assigned the Jews in Millennialist & End-Time Scenarios
Ancient Jewish History: from Israelite Origins through the Rise of Islam
The Apocrypha & Problem of Closing the Hebrew Canon
Rabbinic Judaism & Christian Scholarship
Homiletics (sermon writing & delivery)
Public Lecture Topics
"Gospel Dynamics": When the Jewish Jesus Isn't Enough
Jews, Jesus & the Gospels: Why the Future's No Longer What It Used to Be
From Calvary to Oberammergau & Gibson: the Impact of Jesus' Death on Jewish Life
Terror, Armageddon & Israel in Evangelical End-time Scenarios
Praying For & Preying On the Jews: Why We Matter So to Missionaries
Modern Church Seders: Mixed Messages for Interfaith Relations
Anti-Jewish Shades & Shadows: the Abiding Impact of Medieval Church Art
Painting Judas at the Last Supper: Renaissance Images of the Jews?
Annunciations, Magi & Nativities: Revealing Symbols of Judaism
Antiochus the Antichrist: Why Christian Millennialism Is Rooted in Hanukkah!
Virgin Birth, Empty Tomb & Shroud of Turin: Jewish Views of Christian Claims
Hebrew Biblical Stories: Their Transformation by Christian Theology
Excluding the Laity from Jewish-Christian Dialogue: Why It's Done & What It's
Missionary Impossible: When Jews-for-Jesus Target Our Youth
Close Encounters of the Religious Kind: Jewish Children & Christian Friends
In the Cycles of Jewish History, Where Are We with Christianity & Islam Today?
Jesus, Paul & the Gospels: Are Modern Jewish Approaches Viable
Are the Gospels "Antisemitic"? The Problem of Approaching the Problem
Parables of Jesus through a Jewish Filter: What Is Jewish About Them?
Paul's Treatment of Judaism in Romans 9-11: Why His Anxiety for the Jews
From Persecutor to Believer: Why Paul's Reversal Was Not on the Road to Damascus
"And as They Were at Table Eating" (Mk 14): Was the Last Supper a Seder?
Talmudic Depictions of Jesus: a Problematic Legacy for Modern Times
Jewish Jurisprudence & the Trial of Jesus: Avoiding a Classic Fallacy!
Good Friday: Did Jesus' Trial & the Barabbas Episode Actually Occur?
Applying Rabbinic Literature to the New Testament: Help or Hindrance?
Timing the End: Misapplications of Daniel, Matthew, Revelation & 1 Thessalonians
Teaching Christianity at a Jewish Seminary: Beyond "Statuary" Blindness
"Mind the Gap": Bridging a Dozen Lacunae in Jewish-Catholic Dialogue"