Slander:

Slander:

  • The dissemination of untruths with the express purpose of defaming another person or a group of people.

The Christian Scriptures present a caricature of the Pharisees which is untrue. Here is a brief list of Christian definitions of the Jewish sect of Pharisees which is the forerunner of Orthodox Judaism. These definitions are based on the Christian Scriptures.

http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/pharisee.htm

http://biblehub.com/topical/p/pharisees.htm

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/pharisees.html

http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionaries/dict_meaning.php?source=1&wid=T0002926

http://www.bible-history.com/pharisees/

If you read the literature of the Pharisees, and there is quite a bit of it, you will realize that this caricature is a pack of lies.

You have two choices. You can accept the definition of the Pharisees presented by their own writings and you will then realize that the gospels have nothing to do with truth and a lot to do with petty hatred. Or you can accept the definition of the Pharisees presented by their theological opponents. But then I will ask you to be consistent, and accept the definition of Jesus as presented by his theological opponents. You see, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

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52 Responses to Slander:

  1. Jim says:

    Rabbi,

    If I am repeating myself, please forgive me. A while back I read from some friends on their blog a discussion about whether the appropriate term for one who is hypocritical is “pharisaic” or “pharasitical”. They didn’t mean any harm. It wouldn’t have occurred to them that what they were saying would have been insulting to anybody. But that’s the effect that the teachings of the Church have had in shaping the minds of the Christian world. Not only were they willing to use the word “pharisaic” to mean hypocritical, they were ready to take it the next step to insinuating that the Pharisees are parasites. Because they don’t know that Pharisees are observant Jews, they just think they are talking about a no longer existent people, and so they found it okay. This is what the NT and the writings of Church fathers have done to the western mind.

    Jim

  2. Yedidiah says:

    Matthew 15:18-19. “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, … false witness, slander.”

    For those of us who “believed in Jesus” of the gospels, it is difficult to see that Jesus was not such a nice guy at times. It was hard to see the “Ad Hominem Attacks” all throughout the gospels, especially in Matthew and John, not just against the “Sadducees and Pharisees”, but eventually against “all the Jews” as a class of “evil people”. As a non-Jew, it took me quite a while to recognize the anti-semitism of the gospels. It was hard to see the hypocrisy of the one who so often spoke of the “hypocrites”. Of one, or those, who spoke of a “splinter” in eyes of others and failed to see “the beam in his or their own eye”. To befriend “sinners” and yet somehow not see “the hypocrites” as sinners, but as enemies. It was hypocrisy also to complain about “the high priests” (why plural?) as the “rulers”, but not so much negative was said against the Herodians and the Romans, who were the real rulers who abused their authority and oppressed the people in very visible & violent ways.

    Although much of the gospels and much the rest of the NT was written to “persuade” people (mostly non-Jews) to believe “it’s truth”, or to staunchly maintain the belief once it was accepted, it was and is easy to overlook what very much appears to be the signs of “classic propaganda”. A lot of these “Pharisee guys running around in ‘black hats’”, who guys who most likely didn’t believe in the mostly pagan concept of “the devil” (because it contradicts the “God is One” concept of the Tanach), but who supposedly were the very “children of that devil” (as if there was a 2nd Creator, a 2nd Father).

  3. Dina says:

    Isn’t it funny that although Jesus was only addressing SOME OF the Pharisees, certainly not all of them, just some of them, how stupid of us Jews not to realize that–that despite all that, the word Pharisee has entered the lexicon as a pejorative.

    How would someone like David explain that?

    • David says:

      Hi Dina,

      Sure, I’ll explain that. When used as a pejorative today, it obviously refers back historically to the bad behavior and bad attitude of the Pharisees exposed and reported on in the NT.

      There are also many names/terms that first appeared in the Hebrew Scriptures which are still used today, such as “Jezebel” “idol worshiper” “Sodomite”, etc.

      Obviously in the case of the Hebrew Scriptures you don’t take it against the HS for exposing and reporting the truth. You only use that standard against the NT.

      That’s called a double standard.

      • Dina says:

        Hi David,

        I’m afraid you missed the point. The term “Pharisee” entered our lexicon because it was understood by readers of your scripture to refer generally to the Pharisees, whereas exceptions that you cite like Nicodemus are seen as, well, just that–exceptions.

        Your comparisons don’t hold; here is why: Jezebel was a specific person, like calling someone a Hitler. Idol worshiper is a behavior, like adulterer or murderer. And Sodomite–God told Abraham that He couldn’t find a single righteous one, so if you want that to be analogous, you would have to say there wasn’t a single righteous Pharisee. You compare apples with oranges and then accuse me of a double standard.

        You also fail to see the difference between self-criticism (Hebrew Scripture) and disparagement of the other (Christian scripture).

        Christians who read the “New Testament” spend 5.7% of their time reading harsh criticism of the Jew (457 verses out of 7,959 are anti-Jewish). Why are the faults of the Jews any of their business? If your scripture was given to all mankind, why spend 5.7% of the time on a people that make up LESS THAN 0.2% of the world population?

        !!!!!!!

        And you can’t imagine why we see a link between your scripture and Christian anti-Semitism, as you keep telling Rabbi Blumenthal.

        It makes me sick.

        • David says:

          Hi Dina,

          Again, no link is established to support your slander of the NT (and that’s probably the real reason why you are sick).

          And you are the one who is missing the point right under your nose. Readers of the NT understand (or should understand because that’s what it states), that the Pharisees referred to in the NT are of that era (generation). And, regardless of the dispute whether it includes all, 100% (as you imply), or something less than 100%, it is of that generation. And, the reason for the rebuke is NOT because the NT has it against Pharisees and others in leadership positions without justification or against all in leadership for no reason. It is because they were misusing their positions authority contrary to the will of God; in addition they were (would become) murderers and were approving of murders of their ancestors.

          The fact that Jezebel refers to a single person doesn’t take away from the fact that it is used as a pejorative and first appears in the HS and YOU (rightfully so) don’t slander the HS because of it.

          And I might add that even this forum has entertained the use of the term “idol worshiping pagan” which at certain times in antiquity as reported on in the HS would have included most, if not ALL, of the human race. You rightfully don’t criticize the HS for reporting on this practice.

          And, you are wrong on your facts regarding Sodom and the final agreement between Abraham and God. God NEVER said as you falsely claim that He, “told Abraham that He couldn’t find a single righteous one.”

          Here’s what God actually said:
          Genesis 18:
          32…He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”

          So then Dina, do the math. 9 righteous, its possible the place still gets destroyed; But if God finds 10 righteous, He promises NOT to destroy it. We don’t know whether or not God found none or some number between 1 and 9. All we know is that there were NOT 10.

          Likewise, we don’t know how many righteous Pharisee there may have been besides Nicodemus. Yet the term “brood of vipers” or “sons of the Devil” still fits those who then as now didn’t/don’t bear fruit in keeping with a heart of repentance and are full of hypocrisy, lies, and murder. I’m I saying that Pharisees today are this way, of course not. But it can apply to anyone who fits the description.

          Regarding self criticism you fail to acknowledge that Jesus himself was a leader of the people ( a Jew for Jews), a teacher, a rabbi; likewise the apostles became teachers and leaders in his place (Jews for Jews). Those with the harshest criticism in the NT are one and the same people.

          • Dina says:

            David, thanks for correcting me on the number of righteous Sodomites.

            But the fact is this: you can’t point to any living descendants of these examples, and so Jews didn’t persecute anyone because of this.

            You still fail to see that Hebrew scripture is OUR scripture, while Christian scripture never gained traction among Jews. It is a gentile text (even if some or all of it was written by Jews). Therefore, the criticism directed against a specific people that are still alive today in a text that is read by other peoples is disparagement, not self-criticism.

            Just because you refuse to see the link that Rabbi Blumenthal, I, and in the past Yehuda, Jim, and others showed you does not mean the link doesn’t exist.

            Instead of reviewing these texts with you yet again, you can read it about it here, and then tell me why this is not a classic cause-and-effect scenario:

            http://thejewishhome.org/counter/AntiJewishNT.pdf
            http://www.sandrawilliams.org/ANTI/anti-semitism.html

            And since this website won’t allow me to post a lot of links at a time, I’m posting more in another comment. This should make you happy, since you don’t like when I suggest books for you to read (something that boggles the mind).

            One last thing: You have ignored my questions to you in the comment section of “Seeds of Auschwitz.” Can you answer them?

          • Dina says:

            David, this is a really good one:

            http://www.thoughtsandplaces.org/2012RecoveringYourSelf/Alexpassing3reviews.pdf

            And since you won’t buy or borrow books, here are reviews of a book (unfortunately, it doesn’t provide details):

            http://www.sixmillioncrucifixions.com/Endorsements.html

          • Dina says:

            An article by a former priest (I daresay he studied the scriptures pretty thoroughly):

            http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/06/05/the_roots_of_the_holocaust/

            There’s a lot more, but this is a good start.

            I dare you to read all these links and come back and tell me there is no link, or that no one can show any link, between Christian scripture and the great evil of anti-Semitism.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            You wrote: “You still fail to see that Hebrew scripture is OUR scripture, while Christian scripture never gained traction among Jews.”

            My response:
            I like your choice of words – the “Hebrew scripture is OUR scripture” as well. We Christians hold to that as strongly as you do.

            The original members of the Jewish movement which later became known as Christianity were Jews. Our forefathers (Jews) never stopped venerating, reading and quoting from OUR Holy Hebrew Scriptures, a practice we still maintain today. Most of the NT was written by the 60s (30 years after Christ) and it was all completed by the end of the 1st century. During this time it was largely still a Jewish movement with authority resting with the Jewish-Christian leadership.

            Later it morphed into a largely Gentile new religion separate from Judaism but still maintained a strand of Jewish-Christians. No Christian or Jewish-Christian then or now could or would ever separate the NT from the Hebrew Scriptures; they both make up the Christian Scriptures. We hold it is OUR scripture.

            You wrote:
            Instead of reviewing these texts with you yet again, you can read it about it here, and then tell me why this is not a classic cause-and-effect scenario:

            My response:
            I’m surprised that if the NT is as bad as you claim it is, that you can’t seem to come up with anything on your own. All of your many links of propaganda that condemn the NT suffer from the same problem. First they select true statements from the NT (although I notice they often don’t quote the NT accurately) as examples of evil anti-Semitism. Then they point to evil committed or spoken by people. And then they say, see, case closed, cause and effect.

            Case in point as claimed by your links: the chief priests and crowd are said to have asked Pilot to crucify Jesus.

            HELLO ….. True Story!
            Truth is truth.
            Truth is neither anti-Semitic nor pro-Semitic! It is just true.
            Case closed by virtue of the truth.

            Secondly, retaliation, retribution, revenge, murder, harassment etc. of any kind is totally against the NT.

            As evidence of that fact if the loving and forgiving words of Jesus aren’t abundantly clear enough; there is no evidence, implied or direct in the NT of any retaliation. It wasn’t even encouraged, in any way.

            On the contrary, When Peter addressed the crowd, on the day of Pentecost when 3000 Jews were added to their number, he explained (as reported in Acts) regarding their guilt in the matter of the death of Jesus that “you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law.” And, “Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah,[h] this Jesus whom you crucified.”

            Although true, it sounds pretty direct, accusatory and in your face right? But wait there’s more; then he said:

            “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

            Note the last sentence:
            They then devoted themselves to peaceful pursuits; nothing about these NEW CHRISTIAN-JEWS seeking out non-repentant, non-Christian-Jews for retaliation.

            As I said previously, it’s a double standard you apply against the NT.

          • Dina says:

            David, I’m not following your argument here.

            I did present you with my own selection of verses and showed the cause and effect. I don’t remember which threads they were on; there were two. On one, instead of responding, you said we exhausted all the arguments so it’s been nice debating you (I noticed you do this just when things start to get really interesting). On the other, you simply disappeared. Instead of responding, you popped up on another thread claiming that no one has shown any proof of our contention that Christian anti-Semitism is rooted in the “New Testament.”

            Instead of writing all of my arguments, thousands of words, this time I provided links. So please be fair. Did you actually read them? Are you disputing historical fact? Your only proof for anything you say is what it says in the “New Testament” which we have shown is not reliable for many reasons–all of which you have steadfastly refused to address.

            For example, you wrote:

            “Case in point as claimed by your links: the chief priests and crowd are said to have asked Pilot to crucify Jesus.

            HELLO ….. True Story!
            Truth is truth.
            Truth is neither anti-Semitic nor pro-Semitic! It is just true.
            Case closed by virtue of the truth.”

            David, this proves that you take these stories on faith rather than reason. You simply declare them to be true, case closed. I’d like to see you prove it.

            In fact, this story flies in the face of the historical record. Pilate was so wantonly cruel, massacring and crucifying so many Jews, that even Rome was horrified. He was recalled and replaced.

            Another problem with the story is that the Sanhedrin was a formal body that followed many laws and procedures, especially in capital cases. Pharisaic law made it excruciatingly difficult to administer the death penalty. On the one hand, Christian scripture criticizes the Pharisees for their legalisms. On the other, it accuses them of mob-like behavior. Christian scripture wants to have it both ways. The Pharisees are legalistic; the Pharisees are lawless.

            It’s typical of classic anti-Semitic complaints, you know, like early twentieth century accusations in Europe that the Jews are capitalists and the Jews are communists.

            One final point. The Tanach IS our scripture. The Torah was given to the Jewish people. Even a cursory reading will show you that the target audience is the nation of Israel. You (as in Christians) have taken and distorted God’s holy word.

            So David, it’s pretty clear that for most of Christian history most Christians read your scripture and understood that the Jews are Christ killers, children of the devil, vipers, murderers, liars, spiritually blind, enemies of God, hostile to all mankind–and they acted accordingly. That’s the link right there. It’s that simple.

            Now you need to prove me wrong, instead of saying, well, Christian scripture teaches love. Yeah, we know that. But we haven’t seen too much Christian love throughout its history. Only after the Holocaust did Christians finally dissociate from the evil that is anti-Semitism. (And we are grateful for that, believe me.)

            By the way, you still haven’t answered my questions on that other thread. I think it was “Seeds of Auschwitz.”

            Good luck, David!

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • LarryB says:

            Lets see, “our scriptures, given to a nation, vs we Christians, given to 12 plus.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            Question:
            When God said that, “Israel has sinned” in Joshua 7:11, was He referring to ALL, most, some or just one?

            Factor that into your argument against the NT when Jesus speaks against the “Jews” or the “Pharisees” etc.

            To date no one (including you) has made a single credible cause and effect argument as to your baseless claim that the NT is the cause of evil committed against Jews.

            I’m not the one making baseless slanderous claims against a holy document. So the burden of proof is not on me. It’s on you and anyone else that wants to make a claim against the NT.

            If I wanted to make a case against the Hebrew Scriptures for example I’d have to lay out my case and show how people have been harmed as a result of others following the Hebrew Scriptures.

            Likewise you, (if you want to make a case against the NT which you have yet to do) have to show what harm is committed as a result of the NT.

            Where is it?

            All you’ve done is provide a pile of propaganda links and you think you’ve done something.

            And you’ve offered up the feeble charge that the NT is not truthful? The NT is even slightly more so reliable than the Hebrew Scriptures. It is the most reliable book of antiquity. But even if it wasn’t, you don’t get to cherry pick. All you want to do is selectively criticize the few things that you find objectionable to you and then, based on that, condemn the entire NT as the single source of evil. You ignore the fact that the NT speaks 100 times more so of forgiveness and love, not seeking retribution, etc.

            As I’ve stated, if you are so convinced and the argument was so rock solid, I would think that you could cobble together a couple of sentences all by yourself which show a specific case in the NT of how or where in the NT anyone was commanded to do harm to the Jews as retribution. It doesn’t exist.
            Where’s the command to harm?
            Neither have you shown that the criticism directed at some (including some Jews) was not truthful. Neither have you shown it to be with malice intent so as to malign Jews because they are Jews. Neither have you demonstrated that the Jews were singled out.

            Why did Jesus refer to Peter as Satan? According to your misguided argument it would be simply because Peter was also a Jew and like other Jews was either a son of the Devil or the Devil himself. Do you see how your argument falls apart? Then why did Jesus later after his resurrection, take this Jew, Peter, and reinstate him 3 times after he, Peter, a Jew, denied Jesus 3 times? Do you think just maybe perhaps there’s something deeper going on here then just taking it against Jews?

            I also pointed out that you use a double standard in your argument against the NT which you haven’t addressed with regards to the Hebrew Scriptures and the NT.

            The HS is full of criticisms of the Israelites, and commands of retribution and retaliation against other peoples. There are commands of “annihilation” of men women and children. There are commands to “kill” unbelievers. There are commands to seek retribution and “retaliate” against those that did not acquiesce to the demands of Israel.

            Show me a single command in the NT of retaliation against a Jew, a single command to do any harm to non-believers; a single command to annihilate or harm. It doesn’t exist.

          • Dina says:

            Hi David.

            I hope you don’t mind my commenting on your tone. You sound angry, so I want you to know that nothing I write in our discussion is personal, an attack against you, or an attempt to malign any Christians reading this. I am interested in finding the truth. I understand your anger, because if someone said to me about my holy scripture what I’ve been saying to you about yours, I would be upset too.

            First let me clear up a misunderstanding. As Rabbi Blumenthal explained, we aren’t accusing Christian scripture of commanding its followers to kill or persecute Jews. I didn’t clearly understand your accusation of my double standard, but if this is it, then that should clear it up.

            What we are saying is that the disparagement of Jews in the Christian scriptures incited hatred which led to persecution.

            This is not a wild accusation based on our fevered imaginations but is borne out by history. I will explain this further but I must first point out that while it is legitimate to argue that these Christians misinterpreted their scriptures, and that you disagree with what they did, and that you don’t believe these were the real Christians–it is not legitimate to argue that the description of the Jews in Christian scripture played no role whatsoever in influencing the behavior of Christians (and of most Christians for most of Christian history).

            I must also first point out that it is deeply disquieting that you dismiss as silly propaganda the work of serious historians and scholars such as Pieter van der Horst, Uri Yosef, James Carroll, Michael Berenbaum, Daniel Goldhagen, Eric Zeusse, William Shirer, and Samuel Golding, as well as the work of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Oxford Bibliographies.

            I cannot but assume that with this dismissal you are taking the easy way out instead of examining their claims and seeing if you can refute them. Dismissing these serious scholars as propagandists sounds like the ad hominem attack of someone who cannot refute their positions (forgive me).

            Now I will show you some links between Christian scripture and Christian behavior.

            In the Book of Matthew, the Jews are charged with collective guilt for deicide with the famous “His blood be upon us and our children.”

            In the twelfth century, a new form of persecution arose called the blood libel. Christians believed that the Jews reenacted the crucifixion repeatedly. The blood libel thus took several forms, the two most common being the charge that Jews sneaked into churches and stabbed the holy wafers, which were said to bleed from the stab wounds, and that Jews killed Christian children and used their blood to bake their Passover matzos. Following a blood libel, Jews were usually tortured, killed, massacred, or expelled.

            While the worst of the blood libels continued throughout the Middle Ages, they seeped into the early twentieth century. Christians exported the concept to the Middle East, where the blood libel flourishes today (except that in this version the Jews kill Muslim children to use their blood for matzo and the connection to reenacting the crucifixion has been dropped).

            The link: Christian scripture charges Jews with deicide; Christians enraged by this dastardly deed of the evil Jews accuse Jews of reenacting the deicide and persecute them as a result.

            In the book of John, Jesus calls the Jews the children of the devil (“you are of your father the devil”). Many cities throughout Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century posted signs proclaiming that Jews are not welcome here because they are the children of the devil.

            That’s another link.

            During the Crusades “unbelievers” were massacred by Crusaders. During the Inquisition Jews were forced to choose between conversion and death. Luke 19:27 played a role.

            That is yet a third link.

            Following the forced public disputation in thirteenth-century Paris, 24 cartloads of precious Jewish manuscripts (remember, the printing press had not yet been invented) were seized and burned. The Jews, spiritually blind and hard hearted, had to be punished.

            David, since I am the physical as well as the spiritual descendant of the Pharisees who opposed Jesus, do you believe that I am spiritually blind, hard hearted, a child of the devil, a liar, a murderer, a hypocrite, and everything else Jesus charges the Pharisees with?

            Do you dare to answer this question honestly?

            The 2000-year history of Christian-Jewish relations is a huge and complex topic. It cannot be covered in a few Internet articles. The books in my house related to this topic are several hundred pages long, some covering only one period in history. I hope that you care enough to take this subject seriously enough to read about it, although you disdain books.

            I will address your statement that the Christian scriptures are reliable, even more reliable than the Torah, in another comment.

            I will close with this. I know this is a difficult topic. I don’t expect you to ever agree with me. All I ask is that you open your mind enough to listen and try to understand my perspective with compassion and sensitivity.

            Thank you,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Hi David,

            I am going to address your accusation that my charge of Christian scripture’s unreliability is weak. Since I do not like to use the terms Old Testament and New Testament, I will use the terms Hebrew Scripture (HS) and Christian scripture (CS) henceforth.

            I am going to challenge you to show me the weakness in my reasoning.

            Here’s my premise: If CS is the inerrant word of God, and we find one error, just one tiny scriptural error, then it cannot be the inerrant word of God because God does not err. Not even tiny errors.

            I am going to assume that you agree with this premise.

            But before I continue, I want to talk about an outrageous claim that you made, that CS is more reliable than HS. This is outrageous because CS derives its authority from HS. It frequently appeals to the authority of HS to prove its point, to show fulfillment of prophecy, or to prove that something is true. Moreover, you only have CS because HS exists. No Torah, no Christianity.

            Okay, back to my premise.

            If I find scriptural errors, even one, then that throws the entire credibility of CS into question. First, it makes CS automatically not divinely inspired, because God cannot err (as I said above), and second, it makes its human authors less reliable. The more errors we find, the less trustworthy the authors become.

            I will list just a few errors from the first couple of chapters of the Book of Matthew. I challenge you to prove me wrong and to show why these errors are not, in fact, errors. If you are interested in having this discussion, please don’t feel that you have to tackle all of these at once. Please feel free to pick one and we can discuss that one until we’re done before moving on to the next, if you wish.

            1. In the first chapter, the genealogy of Jesus raises several problems:

            A. It contradicts the genealogy of Luke.
            B. Matthew’s genealogy is 15 generations shorter than Luke’s. If every generation is about 20 years, then Joseph would have been born about 300 years earlier than the Joseph in Luke’s genealogy.
            C. Jesus cannot be descended from David on his father’s side if Joseph is not his biological father.

            There’s more, but that’s enough to get started.

            2. Matthew 1:23 mistranslates Isaiah 7:14 as well as quotes it out of context.

            3. Matthew 2:6 mistranslates Micah 5:1.

            4. Matthew 2:15 quotes Hosea 11:1 out of context, carefully lopping off the first half of the verse.

            5. Matthew 2:17-18 misrepresents the words of Jeremiah 31:14-16 to make it appear to fit his storyline.

            6. Matthew 2:23-24 fabricates a prophecy out of whole cloth: “He will be called a Nazarene.” Not only is such a prophecy not mentioned by any of the prophets, but also the town of Nazareth is not even mentioned anywhere in Tanach!

            So are you up for the challenge, David?

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Larry B,

            The Hebrew Scriptures are shared by modern day descendants of the Jews of the Christian Scriptures (OT and NT). Our Christian forefathers were Jews and our religious heritage goes back to Jesus, King David, Joshua, Moses Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Noah, Adam (to name a few). As you know, there was a split between our ancestral brothers and sisters. Those Jews that accepted Jesus became part of a new movement that held to both the Hebrew Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus. They eventually became known as Jewish-Christians. Later the new sect morphed into a new religion to melded together Jews and Gentiles into one people. The new religion, Christianity, has maintained its holy scriptures to include the OT and NT for the last 2000 years.

            The NT, like the OT was authored by God and written through various Godly people. For example, Moses is believed to have written the first 5 books of the Hebrew Scriptures. He completed writing the law at the end of their 40 years journey in the desert and then placed it next to the arch of the covenant. After hearing the thunder of God at Mount Sinai, which were actually the first few words of the law, the Israelites wanted to hear no more. They were understandably terrified of the display. God said that what they said was good, and didn’t require them to hear any more.

            It was at that time that God said he would send another (or others) like Moses so that they would never again have to listen directly to God.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            I’m will be responding to the post of yours in the near future (a couple days at the most I think) in which you establish your argument of what you believe to be the cause and effect links of your claim of the evil nature of the NT being as you believe the root motivation behind hatred and atrocities perpetrated against Jews.

            I applaud you at long last. I think you are the first one on this blog to even attempt such an endeavor. Why did it take so long?

            I will establish that your accusations are unfounded and misplaced.

            Please be patient. Your post will be the first one I get back to as time permits.

          • Dina says:

            Hi David,

            Take your time. I too will not be able to respond much this week. We have a major Jewish holiday this week, the holiday of Shavuot, so I’m going to be quiet for a while.

            I’m disappointed, though, by a statement that you made. You wrote, “I will establish that your accusations are unfounded and misplaced.”

            I would have preferred to see something like, “I will investigate your claims and determine their truth for myself.” You decided a priori that my “accusations are unfounded and misplaced,” just like you dismissed as propaganda the work of serious scholars, researchers, and historians. You confirm your subjectivity therefore, which makes it seem–and forgive me for saying this–that you are more interested in defending your position than in discovering the truth.

            I ask your pardon for also pointing that you do not know enough about the history of our relationship to so quickly conclude that my “accusations are unfounded and misplaced.”

            So I do hope that you’ll take the time to read some objective history before responding.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Also, David, what do you say to my challenge about the credibility of Christian scripture?

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            I haven’t forgotten; something has intervened. But as soon as I can get back to the blog I will answer your post on Anti-Semitism as linked to the NT.

          • Dina says:

            No rush. Holiday week here anyway.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            Thank you for your response to my challenge.

            At long last I’ve answered your post.

            To paraphrase your position against the NT, I believe it to be as follows. The NT is the root cause of an attitude of anger and hate directed towards Jews throughout history (Anti-Semitism). As a result of this atmosphere of hate and anger, acts of discrimination and violence have been perpetrated against Jews. As evidence, you cite certain NT verses and specific historical cases which you believe have a cause and effect link.

            My rebuttal:

            I am not arguing against the veracity of the historical accounts in your post that acts of violence took place or that there existed Anti-Semitism.

            My rebuttal focuses on two aspects. First, I challenge your erroneous understanding of the NT and misapplication and linkage of selected NT passages to historical events. In doing so, you ignore the overwhelming body of the NT which teaches love and non-violence.

            Your argument either ignores or misstates the affirmative command to love and the prohibition on hate and violence. In other words, for anyone to single out a NT verse and harbor hate and commit violence you’d have to violate all of the teachings and commands of NT. Therefore, even if people harbor hate and commit violence, the NT can’t be blamed since it teaches the opposite of such attitudes and behavior.

            Additionally, you inappropriately assign concepts to the NT which in fact originated and remain the focus of the Hebrew Scriptures. Some examples which you use in your argument include collective national guilt, punishing the distant descendants for the sins of their ancestors, and judgment/retribution/punishment in the immediate present life (as opposed to life in the age to come) for personal, national, or ancestral sins of the past. These are not NT concepts but predated the NT and are either not emphasized in the NT or aren’t mentioned or taught at all in the NT.

            Secondly, I challenge your claim that reading the NT would generate any type of ill feelings towards Jews. You fail to establish where this Anti-Semitism came from. You merely state that it existed as evidenced by history (this I agree with) but then you link it to the NT with no evidence. I have read the HS and NT through and through several times over and never have I felt any ill will towards Jews, much less any desire to do harm as a result. There are plenty people I know and have known who read the NT and this Anti-Semitism phenomenon has never come over them. Additionally, if the NT is the historical source you’d expect to see Anti-Semitism during the period of the NT itself and also during the first centuries following the NT and that’s historically not the case. The first sign of any animosity and fighting towards anyone in Christendom we see starts in the 3rd and 4th centuries in the form of fratricide between Christians. We see Anti-Arianism and Anti-Athanasianism resulting in assassinations and mob violence and killings primarily of Christians by Christians with opposing views. The motivation of such can be traced to powerful bishops and priests obsessed with power and control over people and Christendom against their rivals. In the last century as people are starting to read the NT for themselves (as opposed to getting their information from priests) we see less and less evidence of Anti-Semitism.

            With the above in mind I will comment generally on a few points and then address your specific claims.

            Do not hate, do not resist the evil doer:

            In order to hate, Matthew 5 among other passages, must be violated.

            Matthew 5
            22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister,[e] you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult[f] a brother or sister,[g] you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell[h] of fire.
            39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
            44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

            Love, forgive, do not condemn:

            Luke 6:
            27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
            32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.[e] Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
            37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

            The concept of Judgment in the HS as opposed to judgment in the NT:

            The judgment of the HS is primarily focused on the present life; you fail to account for the overall shift in emphasis between the HS and NT. The NT focus of judgment is in the age to come (often referred to as the resurrection, everlasting life, Kingdom of God, etc.). As a result you mistakenly misapply NT passages (especially parables) that speak of judgment (against Pharisees for example) to the here and now as if it were the HS, when in fact it should be applied to the age to come (Kingdom of God) following the resurrection and the return of Jesus in which all final judgment will take place. Again, as noted above, for anyone (including Christians) to act and judge/condemn/punish with an attitude of revenge in the here and now (current life) in place of God or Jesus who will judge at the resurrection, that person or people would be in violation of the teachings of the NT. All of the examples you give violate the NT in such a manner.

            You also fail to account for the fact in your argument that the NT does not criticize anyone or any group without good reason. It does not discriminate against a people or race or group or individual except to expose a wrong heart/attitude or actions. For example He criticizes Pharisees to expose their sin of their intention of murdering him, not because they are Pharisees. And, you must keep in mind as noted above that the condemnation he speaks of which they will receive as a result is not in this life, but in the age to come.

            He also criticizes his followers (the forerunners of Christianity, to include Christians today) who will say at the resurrection, Lord, Lord we prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name and did many things of power in your name. Yet on the Day of Judgment He will cast them out because they did not do the will of His Father in Heaven. He rebukes Peter, referring to him as Satan for not having his mind on the things of God. Obviously then Jesus is not singling out Jews because they are Jews as he also criticizes his own followers, but He singled out those who weren’t doing or thinking right.

            Here are just a few examples of judgment/condemnation, retribution/revenge or blessings (in the current age), and corporate/national punishment/blessings which are introduced in the HS. It is interesting that these same concepts are either all together absent in the NT or not emphasized to the degree as they are in the HS. This is evidence that these concepts were alive and well long before the NT and were evidently part of the culture by the time of your cases which you cite.
            a. The innocent Israelite children under the age of 20 suffer for 40 years in the desert for the unfaithfulness of their parents (Numbers 14).
            b. The Israelites are ordered to completely destroy the Canaanites, including innocent children and livestock (Deuteronomy 20; Joshua 6 and others)
            c. Revenge on the innocent descendants of Edom because their ancestors denied Israel passage (Ezekiel 25, 35; Isaiah 34; Obadiah 1).
            d. Israel suffers defeat in battle because of the sin of Achan. After the put to death the house of Achan, Israel blessed with success in battle and kills all the enemy children along with the adults (Joshua 7 – 8).
            e. When the Israel chooses to do good in the land, they enjoy blessings in the land (even though they are not ALL good to the last man). But when they choose to do evil they suffer curses and are even expelled from the land. Obviously the children suffer in that case for the sins of their parents (Deuteronomy 30).

            As noted above, the NT either never, or only rarely, speaks of judgment in this age (actually I can’t find it, but maybe it’s there somewhere). The judgment that you mistakenly cite as applicable to this age is actually for the age to come. Here are some examples:

            Luke 13:
            28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out.

            Matthew 11
            22 But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
            24 But I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.”

            Matthew 12:
            36 I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; 3
            41 The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it,

            Luke 12 (be ready for the return of Jesus)
            36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, …
            40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

            Matthew 25:
            31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
            41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
            46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

            Note that all judgment cited above is always in the age to come; not now. Here are examples of parables with the same theme that all judgment is in the age to come, often expressed as when the lord/master/king/owner returns/comes.

            Matthew 13 (explaining the meaning of the parable of weeds as it relates to the day of judgment):
            40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

            Matthew 18 (parable of the unforgiving servant):
            34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister[k] from your heart.”

            Matthew 21 (parable of the wicked tenants):
            40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”

            Luke 20 (same or similar parable)
            9 …“A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

            Matthew 24 (parable of faithful and unfaithful servant)
            50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. 51 He will cut him in pieces[k] and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

            Luke 12 (same parable of unfaithful servant)
            46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces,[h] and put him with the unfaithful.

            Matthew 25 (parable of the talents)
            15 …Then he went away.
            19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
            30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

            Luke 19 (same or similar parable)
            12 So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return.
            15 When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading.
            27 But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’”

            Now, as to your specific cases/links to the NT:

            You wrote:
            In the Book of Matthew, the Jews are charged with collective guilt for deicide with the famous “His blood be upon us and our children.”

            Your citation of the passage of Matthew 27 reads:
            24 So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood;[k] see to it yourselves.” 25 Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

            My response:
            As you can see by reading the passage, “Jews” are not “charged” with guilt. Those Jews which were the “crowd” before Pilot accepted guilt. Not all Jews in the world were before Pilot asking for the death of Jesus. Therefore, not all Jews accepted guilt.

            The NT never makes the claim that they in the crowd have the authority to pass their own personal guilt of their decision to crucify Jesus on to their children justifying execution of the descendants of those who participated. The NT is merely reports what the crowd says (His blood be on us and our children). Ezekiel 18 makes it clear that the children may not be subjected to the death penalty for the sins of the fathers. However, his concept was previously part of HS as noted above, and people may have continued this thinking. In spite of that, Acts 2:38 clearly states that if they repent they are forgiven. And the promise of Holy Spirit and eternal life is for all, as well as those that killed Jesus and their children (Acts 2:39).

            Having said all the above, I’m not denying the fact that God by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the 3rd and 4th generation (Exodus 34:6,7). But, again that’s not a concept originated in the NT and it is something that God takes into His own hands (along with forgiveness to thousands of generations noted in the same passage) and is not something man has authority to do upon man.

            Regarding your use of the term “Deicide”; it is neither an OT nor NT concept. There’s just no other way to put it.

            Regarding your reference to “collective” guilt:

            Jesus made it clear that only those Jews who’s attitudes/hearts and actions convicted them were guilty, not the entire Jewish nation. Usually those subjected to criticism and rebukes from Jesus were those Jews in positions of authority (Pharisees, Scribes, Teachers, etc.) due to their actions/attitudes.

            In either case, the concept of collective guilt of the Jewish Nation originated as a HS concept. But even there, God often made it clear that only those who were guilty would be punished (primarily) such as in the case of Achan in Joshua 7. God first says “Israel” has broken faith, suggesting all. But then we see that only the house of Achan (who is the only one who committed any wrongdoing) is executed.

            There were times when the whole nation would suffer for the sins of the King, but that was usually because all or most went astray along with the King.

            Again, either way, collective guilt is a HS concept.

            Blood libel:

            This has nothing to do with the NT. I think that it is well know that the NT preaches love and forgiveness as I’ve noted and cited above. If the actual perpetrators who participated, either directly or indirectly, in the crucifixion of Jesus were not harassed in any way shape or form, ever at any time in the NT, then how much more according to the NT should those be left in peace, who reenacted the crucifixion centuries later who had nothing to do with it.

            This is so also because the NT teaches that those who hold to evil and don’t repent will be judged on the last day (at the resurrection), NOT NOW. It is not our job to act in place of God or Jesus as judge at the resurrection. When Jesus returns there will be judgment as
            John 5 reads:
            28 Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

            You wrote:
            During the Crusades “unbelievers” were massacred by Crusaders. During the Inquisition Jews were forced to choose between conversion and death. Luke 19:27 played a role.

            My response:
            This is another case of judgment in the age to come, NOT NOW. Luke makes this clear in that the king went away for a long time and then returned (that would be Jesus). He came the first time as the sacrificial lamb to save and will come again as the conquering king.

            Luke 19:
            12 So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return.
            15 When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading.

            Here’s an example what the NT says should be done with unbelievers, those who don’t listen in the here and now.

            Matthew 10:14
            14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.

            Luke 10 (the parable of the Samaritan, although not exactly an unbeliever, is an example of how we are to treat others who are different than us in our relation to God).
            36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

            Here’s an example of what those Israelites said in the HS they’d do with unbelievers in the here and now, present life.
            2 Chronicles 15:
            12 They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and with all their soul. 13 Whoever would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with horns.

            As noted above Christians did kill non-believers. But Christians were killing “non-believing” Christians (those that opposed the “orthodox view”) labeling them as sons of the Devil long before they were killing non-believing Jews. Eventually the Athanasius believing Christians won out over the Arians. And later they took up the practice of burning at the stake one-God Christians who refused to accept their Athanasius triune God which later became known as the trinity. The last “non-believing” Christian to be burned at the stake was Michael Servetus in 1533, but the intimidation, harassment, and excommunication didn’t stop there. I’m not saying the scale of persecution is anywhere near the persecution of the Jews. What I’m saying is that none of it is founded, originated, or justified in the NT. It’s a total violation of all the teachings of the NT.

            You wrote:
            In the twelfth century, a new form of persecution arose called the blood libel. Christians believed that the Jews reenacted the crucifixion repeatedly. The blood libel thus took several forms, the two most common being the charge that Jews sneaked into churches and stabbed the holy wafers, which were said to bleed from the stab wounds, and that Jews killed Christian children and used their blood to bake their Passover matzos. Following a blood libel, Jews were usually tortured, killed, massacred, or expelled.

            My response:
            I’ve already noted how the NT teaches we are to love our enemies. Here are some more specific examples of how the NT teaches we are to be and also how to act in response to what we perceive as evildoers:

            Examples of NOT resorting to violence:
            John 8
            7 …“Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
            11 … And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

            John 18
            10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

            You wrote:
            In the book of John, Jesus calls the Jews the children of the devil (“you are of your father the devil”). Many cities throughout Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century posted signs proclaiming that Jews are not welcome here because they are the children of the devil.

            My response:

            If you read the whole discussion you’ll see that Jesus makes it clear that they are not physical children of the Devil, rather they are children of Abraham, but that they are ACTING in a spiritual way as if they were children of the Devil trying to KILL him. The exchange begins and ends with Jesus acknowledging that those he is addressing are from Abraham. Furthermore, Jesus called Peter Satan. So if we take Jesus’ words literally then we Christians are all spiritual descendants of Satan. Obviously His words are not to be taken literally as the full passage of John makes clear:

            John 8:
            37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word.

            39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing[j] what Abraham did, 40 but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.

            44 You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires.

            56 Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.”

            You wrote:
            Following the forced public disputation in thirteenth-century Paris, 24 cartloads of precious Jewish manuscripts (remember, the printing press had not yet been invented) were seized and burned. The Jews, spiritually blind and hard hearted, had to be punished.

            My response:
            What does that have to do with the NT?

            You wrote:
            David, since I am the physical as well as the spiritual descendant of the Pharisees who opposed Jesus, do you believe that I am spiritually blind, hard hearted, a child of the devil, a liar, a murderer, a hypocrite, and everything else Jesus charges the Pharisees with?

            My response:
            Again, what does that have to do with the NT? But of the above, I only believe you are spiritually blind, (as you also probably think of me) not because you are Jewish, rather, because you fail to see the truth in the NT.

            You wrote:
            The books in my house related to this topic are several hundred pages long, some covering only one period in history. I hope that you care enough to take this subject seriously enough to read about it, although you disdain books.

            My response:
            I don’t distain books. But I don’t live in a first world country and have limited resources and limited access to borrowing. However I did finish a book just recently I can recommend to you written by a Jew like you (as opposed to a Messianic Jew) regarding the struggles and violence perpetrated by Christians and perpetrated on Christians of the first few centuries following Jesus. I think you’d find it interesting that Jews weren’t for the most part, part of that.

            The book is:
            When Jesus became God: The epic fight over Christ’s divinity in the last days of Rome. By Richard E. Rubenstein

          • Dina says:

            Hi David,

            I’m on several threads in discussion with different people, so it will take me time to answer this, as I want to give it the attention it deserves. But first, I want to apologize for my unkind comments about your book reading. I could not imagine a reason for your resistance, but now that you’ve explained, I realize I have been uncharitable. I’m sorry.

            Here’s a suggestion you might find helpful. Here in the US, a lot of libraries allow you to borrow electronic books the way you borrow a physical book. You can download it for a limited time and renew it before it expires. If you are a US citizen and have a place of residence here that you visit from time to time, it might be worth your while to get a library card from your local library. Otherwise, you can ask a relative or friend to share with you their library card number and password, if that is allowed. It might not be possible to access these books from, say, Nigeria, but it’s worth a try, I think.

            Best wishes and good luck,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Hi David,

            I read your comment several times, and I found that you have repeated your old assertions, namely these:

            1. CS overwhelmingly talks about love and forgiveness, so I am picking verses out of context.

            2. HS has some really horrific commandments about actually slaughtering innocents, something that is found nowhere in CS.

            3. HS contains harsh criticism of the nation of Israel, so these notions (as well as notions such as collective guilt) predate CS.

            4. You and everyone you know are not anti-Semites.

            5. According to your interpretation of the CS citations I presented, they cannot possibly mean what I take them to mean; therefore, they cannot possibly be linked to atrocities committed against Jews.

            6. CS is talking about a particular group in a particular time who happen to be Jewish.

            Instead of refuting my arguments (CS verse leads to atrocity that matches it), you interpreted the verse to show me that it cannot possibly mean that.

            Can you show me, using historical evidence, that anti-Semitism in Christian countries was not the default position which changed only after the Holocaust? Because, you see, the way you interpret Christian scripture is definitely not the way Christians interpreted it for centuries. Anti-Semitism fell into disrepute only quite recently–and I sure am glad to hear, though I am not surprised to hear it, that you and everyone you know understands the anti-Jewish passages in CS the way you do. I just wish you had been around to explain it to the first gentile Christians like Origen and John Chrysostom and later ones like Martin Luther, whose words caused actual Jewish deaths.

            Can you explain to me where Christians got the idea, when a Christian child was found dead or murdered, that the Jews did it as a reenactment of the crucifixion? This idea had the real-life consequence of massacres and expulsions all across Europe. So tell me, where did they get the idea that Jews are Christ killers? Just a few weeks ago a driver shouted at my husband as he passed him in his car, “Why did you kill Jesus?” Who put that notion in his head?

            Can you explain what gave Christians the idea to paint “Jews are children of the devil” on the entrance signs to their cities?

            Can you explain why Christians believed the Jews to be spiritually blind–specifically the Jews–if 2 Corinthians 3:13-15 had nothing to do with it?

            Can you explain why pogroms against Jews sometimes followed Passion plays?

            I do not know how you will answer these questions, but I do know this. You have not proven that the link is non-existent. You have merely shown that if one were to interpret CS the way you do, one would not behave this way. The crushing weight of historical evidence points inescapably to the conclusion that Christians took license from CS to dehumanize, hate, and oppress the Jewish people. It is no coincidence that since the advent of Christianity Jews suffered more in Christian lands than anywhere else in the world–even Muslim countries (not that it was always sunshine and roses there either, but that’s a whole nother story).

            I still find it troubling that you have dismissed as propaganda the serious work of serious historians, professors, and investigative journalists in the links I had posted a while back. You lose credibility when you do this, without showing how they are wrong.

            You wrote that you believe I am spiritually blind, as surely I believe the same of you. I do not believe you are spiritually blind. God forbid! I believe we all have free will. We choose to open our minds and seek the truth, or we choose not to. And only God knows our circumstances and abilities to know if we are putting forth our best effort. It is not for me to know how sincere or otherwise are your efforts.

            I do not understand the relevance to this discussion of certain commands in HS to kill entire nations. In fact, this rather weakens your argument. Despite these commands, which are absent in CS, the nation of Israel never engaged in the systematic persecution of a particular people. Yet the followers of CS did–and for about 17 centuries, too.

            As for the self-criticism in HS–you still fail to see the difference between internal self-criticism and disparagement of the other. I have explained this by way of analogy but still you don’t understand. In the hope that maybe this time you will, here is another analogy.

            Mike and Mandy have been married for twenty years and have ten children. Everyone knows they are devoted to each other and love each other. Mandy has a fantastic figure; she looks not a day older than sixteen. So naturally, her friends are jealous.

            One day, as Mandy is preparing to go to a wedding with her husband, she says to him, “You know, I think I look a little fat in this dress. No dessert for me tonight!”

            At the dinner, they sit with their friends. The woman sitting next to Mike says, “How’s Mandy doing?” He says, “Oh, fine, just fine, but you know,” lowering his voice conspiratorially, “she did think she looked a little fat in that dress.” The woman’s eyes light up. This is something she’s been dying to hear for ages. She whispers to her friend, and pretty soon all the women are pointing at Mandy and whispering.

            Self-criticism: I’m fat and I need to do something about it.
            Disparagement: She’s fat.

            Even though everyone knows he loves her and he didn’t mean it to be used against her. Still, he handed ammunition to her jealous friends.

            I will finish with two points. One, nowhere in CS is there any respect for the moral position of questioning Jesus’s claims–only dehumanization. If someone comes along claiming to be God’s son with a radically new message, it is fair to be skeptical and to question him thoroughly. Yet, the Jews are called hardhearted, spiritually blind, and so on for so doing–that’s dehumanization.

            Two, you are under the impression that nothing against the Jews happened for the first few hundred years of the Church, but this is not the case. The fact is that replacement theology and dehumanization of the Jew and Judaism began with the writings of the earliest Church fathers in the first and second centuries.

          • Dina says:

            To make my analogy more parallel, it would have been one thing for the husband to encourage his wife to go on a diet (still internal criticism if you think the husband and wife are one unit) and quite another for him to tell her friends that she is fat.

  4. What about the link between the Hebrew prophets and anti-Semitism – given the much more extreme and sometimes almost obscene language. We know this is ‘en famille’, but have anti-Semities never misused selected passages from the Torah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel too to ‘prove’ their mendacious case for hatred? I suspect such citations make up a great deal more than 5.7%, perhaps more than 30% of some prophets. Paul once wrote to mixed congregation of Gentile and Jews, ‘the more I love you the less I be loved’ – the same was certainly true of the prophets of Israel – even the difference between loving rebuke and hateful denigration is wider as the difference between day and night.

  5. Sorry about sloppy phrasing, should have been:
    ‘even though the difference between loving rebuke and hateful denigration is wider than the difference’
    BTW I don’t wish to defend Christian depictions of Jews, on the contrary,

  6. David
    The accusation is that the Christian Scriptures intentionally dehumanize and delegitimize the Jew – not that they commanded the destruction of the Jew.

    • David says:

      Hi Yisroel,

      “The Jew”
      Would that include the Jew, Peter, or the Jew James, or the Jew John or the Jew Jesus? Obviously NOT. So then, “the Jew” hasn’t been singled out for being Jew has he? The truth of the matter then is that some Jews were rebuked for their attitudes and behavior regardless of the fact whether or not they happened to be Jew.

    • With all due respect Rabbi Blumenthal, I hardly think they dehumanized their own people. Besides, some of the letters of the NT were written to Jew and Gentile congregations and Hebrews itself was even written to a Jewish audience, an encouragement to keep them in Christ.

      • Dina says:

        Answering Judaism,

        I am not responding on the rabbi’s behalf, but I can’t help jumping in here to point out that what you think doesn’t matter (forgive me). It’s the facts that matter.

        Objectively speaking, are the theological opponents of Jesus dehumanized in Christian scripture? It is fair to say yes.

        The pattern of Jews rejected by their own people and thereby lashing out in the most destructive ways is a familiar one. Jesus is one.

        Here’s another. The first blood libel in twelfth-century Norwich, England, was perpetrated by a Jew who had converted to Christianity. Terrible persecutions followed, especially as this charge caught on and spread like wildfire throughout Europe and eventually to the Middle East.

        Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, urged Pope Gregory IX to order the confiscation and burning of Jewish manuscripts in Paris in the thirteenth century. Twenty-four cartloads were seized and burned.

        Pablo Cristiani, yet another Jewish convert to Christianity, debated the Jewish sage Nachmanides in the famous thirteenth-century disputation of Barcelona. Although participation was not voluntary, to say the least, persecution of the Jewish community in Barcelona followed, and Nachmanides was forced to flee for his life.

        Hell hath no fury like a Jew scorned by his own people.

        Best to you,
        Dina

        • Hi Dina.

          Fair Enough.

          My comment doesn’t dismiss the fact that there were so called Christians who called for the death of Jews. However the NT IN CONTEXT, doesn’t call for that nonsense or even the de humanization of the Jews.

          Yes, there is no doubt that Jews have been demonized over the centuries, Should it of happened? No, Would Jesus approve? No. Would Paul and his fellow apostles approve? No.

          Comparing Jesus’ attitude to those who rejected him is to be honest not a parallel. Calling out someone as a hypocrite is vastly different for taking up the sword or gun and killing them. Jesus even told Peter to put his sword away and when he told his disciples to buy swords, it was to defend themselves, not for merciless killing.

          Blessings
          Answering Judaism.

          PS. Love the peaceful dialogue, much better than Paltalk and Facebook :).

          • Dina says:

            Hi Answering Judaism,

            It is fair to say that if Jesus could have predicted the effect of his words on nearly 2000 years of Christian-Jewish relations, he would have taken them back. The same goes for Paul and the others. It is fair to say that even though we have no way of ascertaining how they would have felt.

            It is also fair to say that only since the 1960s have Christians begun to argue that for the previous 1600 or so years Christians have been reading their scripture out of context. Have you studied this history? If you have, then you will know that Jew hatred for religious reasons such as deicide which are inarguably the result of Christian scriptural influence was the prevalent attitude pretty much until the 1960s.

            As for dehumanization. The other day, as my husband was walking down the street minding his own business, someone drove past, rolled down his window, and shouted something about him being a Christ killer. Did this driver see my husband as a human being? No, he did not. In his eyes, my husband has been dehumanized. And where did this driver get the notion that a twenty-first-century Jew is a Christ killer?

            He certainly didn’t get the idea from, say, Anne of Green Gables.

            To label a whole people children of the devil is to dehumanize them. John does this in his gospel, where he is not referring to a specific group but lumps everyone together as “the Jews.”

            Christian scripture lays collective guilt on a whole people for all their generations for deicide (“His blood be upon us and our children” and “who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out”) and says that they are enemies of God and man (“They displease God and are hostile to everyone”).

            If that isn’t dehumanizing, then I don’t know what is.

      • LarryB says:

        AJ
        In acts 18:6 “6 When they turned against him and started to insult him, he took his cloak and shook it out in front of them, saying, ‘Your blood be on your own heads; from now on I will go to the gentiles with a clear conscience. So, when Paul told the Jews that your blood is on your heads, it clearly meant that if they insisted on rejecting Jesus as the Christ, then their blood is on their head; killing them would be allowed. It is a capital punishment statement. This goes for all Jews. To me it is almost a direct threat.

        • Dina says:

          Also Luke 19:27.

        • A particular group of Jews, Not every single one Larry. Nor is it calling for a death sentence.

          • LarryB says:

            AJ
            Ok, but killing is killing and to Paul, who wrote the christian manifesto, to him it was ok for those who do not believe in jesus to be killed and their blood would be on their own head.
            Thats brutal, and started the whole attitude that its ok to kill those who disagree and it’s their own fault. If they would just accept “our version of gods scripture” all this would end. A threat.

  7. Dina says:

    Not a single Jewish prophet ever threatened eternal damnation to those who didn’t believe in him; rather they pointed the people to God. Not to themselves.

    • “Not a single Jewish prophet ever threatened eternal damnation to those who didn’t believe in him; rather they pointed the people to God. Not to themselves.”
      Interesting:
      “Matthew 10:26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[b] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

      I won’t be going into issues about Trinitarianism here, because that is lengthy and may detract from the post.

  8. Dina says:

    Also, Answering Judaism, you wrote that at the end of days Jesus judges everyone and tosses people into hell based on their acceptance or refusal of him. This in stark contrast to Ezekiel 18 and 33, which tells us exactly what we need to do in order live.

    I don’t know how much more I’ll be able to chat with you this week due to an upcoming holiday. I’ll try to get in here as much as possible, but otherwise I’ll pick up again next week.

    Peace and blessings,
    Dina

    • That’s fine Dina, we all have things to do. Your point about Ezekiel 18 and Ezekiel 33, if you are referring to repentance, a Christian who knows both the TANAKH and the NT will be on the same page, but if you are referring to the end times, Ezekiel 18 and 33 don’t refer to those.

      Answering Judaism.

  9. “AJ
    Ok, but killing is killing and to Paul, who wrote the christian manifesto, to him it was ok for those who do not believe in jesus to be killed and their blood would be on their own head.
    Thats brutal, and started the whole attitude that its ok to kill those who disagree and it’s their own fault. If they would just accept “our version of gods scripture” all this would end. A threat.”

    He did not say that it is ok for someone who refused to believe in Jesus to be killed. He is holding them responsible for their rejection of Jesus.
    “5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6 But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.””

    He is essentially saying that if they perish, it is not his responsibility and he is washing his hands of them. No where is he calling for their death.

    • LarryB says:

      AJ
      Yes he is! No He isnt! Yes he is! No he isnt!
      By saying ” he is holding them responsible for their rejection of jesus” he is saying it is ok for them to be killed. For their rejection of Jesus, but it is their fault.
      minka!

      • Your argument doesn’t even follow. Holding a person responsible for rejecting Christ isn’t a licence to kill them. You are reading something into Paul’s words that isn’t there. In fact he even confesses in Romans 9 the following:
        “9 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.”

        Does this look like a man who wants his people to be slaughtered for rejecting Jesus?

  10. Dina says:

    Hi David.

    I’m starting a new thread so that the issues don’t become tangled. In our previous thread, you stated that CS is the most reliable book of antiquity, even more than HS. I challenged you on that, and you have not responded. Here is my challenge:

    http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/slander/#comment-11845

    When you have time, I hope to explore this topic with you.

    Thanks,
    Dina

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