Moreover, in a couple of civil paragraphs Dr. Goodman manages to make the same point Professor Neusner makes abusively over several pages. Here is Dr. Goodman:
“The prime aim of Hershel Shanks’s book is to confront readers with the fact that rabbinic Judaism and Christianity developed in parallel from identical origins over six centuries. The same aim lay behind Alan Segal’s much slimmer volume, Rebecca’s Children (1986). Hershel Shanks, by contrast, wanted detail. He has achieved it by asking eight scholars to contribute in their own special fields, four to write about different periods of Jewish history, four about Christianity from Jesus to the Arab Conquest. It does not seem to have been part of the brief of the main contributors to ponder the other side of the religious divide, and those who do offer comparisons essay only brief remarks … The fragmented character of the book was probably unavoidable once each author had been encouraged to write within his own tradition. Thus the history of rabbinic Judaism becomes too often a political and social history of the Jews with occasional references to curiously disembodied texts, while the story of Christianity is too often boiled down to disputes over organization and power and sectarian theology. The two histories seem to have almost no contact with each other, as if Jews and Christians lived in different worlds.”