As friend and professor Andrei Orlov (with his journal, which I suspect is a rich Russian Orthodox resource, at aorlov) put it in his announcement to us,
In their lecture on Wednesday, February 14, 10 am, (AMU 252) , a Jewish scholar Dr. HINDY NAJMAN (University of Toronto) and a Catholic scholar Dr. ROBIN DARLING YOUNG (University of Notre Dame) will talk about their work on the commentary on 4 Ezra, forthcoming in the new Walter de Gruyter commentary series. One of the issues that Dr. Najman and Dr. Young will be discussing during their lecture is the question of the fruitful dialogue between Jewish and Christian scholars working on an important messianic text. As you know, 4 Ezra is one of the Jewish texts which gives the description of the messianic figure of the Son of Man.We had a pretty good crowd, including people from all the disciplines, even a few contemporary/Systematics folks like me. I had only read 4 Ezra once myself, for Andrei's seminar on Apocalyptic Literature in Fall 2004, while I was dealing with all the infection fallout from my surgery. I was rather distracted and sick, and so a review last night was useful. It's an interesting text, from around the year 100 AD, and used by both Christians and Jews in various forms over the centuries, and it is certainly understandable that its passage in Chapter 13 on the Son was able to catch Christian attention. For those who've never heard of it, here's what seems to be (in my hasty once-over) a reasonable introduction to the text by a Cambridge doctoral student.
It was interesting. Some of it too specialized for me to follow all its details without more reading or immediate familiarity with the text, but it was another one of those opportunities to just learn by hearing two leading scholars simply talk their speciality. In particular, it seemed to illustrate that "state of flux" of the first century, as though the author were trying to write so that the text could be acceptable by both Jews who were followers of Jesus and those who were not. It comes in that time of fading opportunity, before the new Judaism of the Rabbis defined itself as not Christian, and Christianity among the Gentiles alienated itself from its Jewish roots and members.