It is almost impossible to measure the incredibly positive impact David Flusser had on the search for the historical Jesus. His work on the life of Jesus and the relationship between first century Judaism and nascent Christianity is simply brilliant beyond description. I highly recommend reading The Sage From Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius and Judaism and The Origins of Christianity if you ever get a chance.
Flusser could converse fluently in nine languages and read literature in an additional seventeen. He authored over 1,000 scholarly articles in Hebrew, German, English and other languages. His awards in academia are too numerous to name. What impressed me the most about him is that he actually lived out the teachings of Jesus in his everyday life, as you’ll see in some of the stories I’ll share on this blog.
Tonight I just wanted to share one of my favorite stories that I was recently reminded of. This story is found in the introduction to The Sage From Galilee, Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius, by David Flusser and R. Steven Notley.
“Flusser does not work as a detached historian. He works as a man of faith who sees his scholarship as having relevance to the complex challenges of the present age. This facet of Flusser’s character was illustrated by an incident which was relayed to me by Brad Young, who studied with Flusser for a number of years in Jerusalem.
Flusser had a student who went to study at the University of Zurich. When a professor there discovered that he was Flusser’s student, he failed him without warrant. The failing mark ruined the student’s academic career. A few years later, a student of that same professor was studying in Flusser’s class. He turned in a paper, the content of which was mediocre. Flusser instructed Brad, who was his teaching assistant at the time to give the student an “A.” When Brad inquired why, he related the story of his own student and then repeated his instruction, “Give the student an ‘A.’ This I have learned from Jesus.”
–R. Steven Notley