articles from Investigator:
Jesus and the
Anti-Semitism in the
The Bible Against Anti
Anti-semitism in the
The Problem with "You" 140
JESUS and the JEWS
(Investigator 136, 2011
ANTI-SEMITIC BUT LIFE-SAVING
(Investigator #69) quoted John 8:44 and claimed:
particular race has the Devil as their father, killed Jesus, the
prophets and oppose all men, is a sure way of inciting hatred, fear and
persecution… Biblical anti-semitism infected the minds of the Church
fathers…this campaign of centuries long vilification resulted in the
persecution and murder of Jews — 3.5 million…from the 12th to the 16th
centuries — and eventually culminated in the Holocaust.
false. The Bible has no anti-Semitism, rather counsel that could have
saved millions of Jewish lives.
comprised 10% of
the Roman Empire's population — 4,000,000 out of 40,000,000. Yet Jewish
leaders claimed Jesus' ministry would destroy Judea:
him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will
come and destroy both our holy place and our nation." (John 11:48)
reverse was true.
Jesus taught principles which if heeded would have saved Judea from
destruction. Jesus counselled:
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed
are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God. (Matthew
Jesus' two points:
anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. (Matthew
those who take the sword will perish by the sword. (Matthew 26:52)
back Caesar's things to Caesar, but God's things to God. (Mark 12:17)
Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name
and say, ‘I am he! And, ‘The time is near!' Do not go after them. (Luke
peacefully, including with Rome;
rejected this message. Jesus was crucified, the Jews rebelled against
Rome, and Judaism's bloodiest century before the 20th followed.
Jerusalem was destroyed, and 19 centuries of persecution of Jews
followed. All this was Judaism's "great tribulation". (Daniel 12:1;
Matthew 24; Luke 21:20-24)
Shun false Christs
rebellion began in
66CE and the Romans besieged Jerusalem but then retreated.
returned and ravaged Galilee and Judea and destroyed Jerusalem.
Josephus, the Jewish historian, recorded that a number of "messiahs"
led the fighting. About 1,000,000 Jews died and the Temple of Solomon,
which King Herod had rebuilt into "one of the most stupendous pieces of
religious architecture in the ancient world", was levelled.
to rebuild the
Temple in the 130s and by Emperor Julian (361-363CE) failed.
the Jews in Egypt
rebelled but were crushed and their Temple in the city Heliontopolis
occurred in the final two years (115-117) of Emperor Trajan's reign.
hoped to conquer
Persia and advance to India. His legions rampaged through Mesopotamia
to the Persian Gulf. But Persian Jews fought with Persia, Roman Empire
Jews rebelled for thousands of kilometres in the rear, and Jewish
armies in Cyprus, Egypt and Cyrenaica took revenge on pagan
populations. Trajan had to retreat from Mesopotamia or be cut off. The
rebellions were brutally crushed. In Cyrenaica 220,000 Jews died, and
in Cyprus 200,000. (Perhaps Iranians of today who want Israel destroyed
should remember that Jews once saved Persia from Rome!)
Jews did not
join the 115CE rebellions because Trajan had promised to rebuild their
Temple. Samaritans and pagans, however, opposed the temple-restoration
and in 130 the next Roman emperor, Hadrian, visited Palestine to decide
Wall in Britain and the Pantheon (a temple to all gods) in Rome and was
also the high priest of Jupiter. His policy was to reaffirm Rome's
alliance with Greek culture. He decided against rebuilding Jerusalem's
uprising followed (132-135CE) led by Simon Bar Cochba who was declared
to be the Messiah i.e. Christ. Roman accounts say that 590,000 Jews
Capitolina and a temple to Jupiter were built on the ruins of Jerusalem
and Jews banned from entering. The decree read: "It is forbidden for
all circumcised persons to enter or stay within the territory of Aelia
Capitolina; any person contravening this prohibition shall be put to
fulfilled Bible predictions:
time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the
beginning of the world… (Matthew 24:21; Daniel 12:1)
said… "the hour
is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor
in Jerusalem." (John 4:20)
in 70/135 CE]
I tell you,
the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people
that produces the fruits of the kingdom. (Matthew 21:43)
here have no
lasting city [Fulfilled 70/135CE], but we are looking for the city
[God's rule] that is to come. (Hebrews 13:14)
Jewish uprisings were
energized by expectations the Jewish "Messiah" was coming. Josephus
wrote: "What more than all else incited them to the war was [the
belief] that…one from their country would become ruler of the world."
followed various rebel groups:
Galilean rose in the days of the registration, and drew off people
after him. And yet that man perished, and all those who were obeying
him were scattered abroad. (Acts 5:36-37)
"Sicarii" which means "dagger men" or "terrorists". The Sacarii
captured the Roman fortress of Massada in 66CE. Their leader, Menahem,
was a son of the Judas mentioned in Acts 5. Encyclopaedia Judaica says,
"It is almost certain that Menahem was considered a Messiah."
Jesus had warned: "Then
if anyone says to you. ‘Look! Here is the Messiah! Or ‘There he
is!' — do not believe it." (Matthew 24:23)
had already come and preached peace (Isaiah 9) but was rejected. The
Old Testament prophet Daniel had foretold that the Messiah would be
"cut off" i.e. killed and Jerusalem and its Temple destroyed. (Daniel
9:25, 26; Matthew 23:37-24:2)
foretold: "So when
you see the desolating sacrilege [Roman legions] standing in the holy
place [Jerusalem], as spoken of by the prophet Daniel…then let those in
Judea flee to the mountains…" (Matthew 24:15)
Jerusalem after the failed siege of 66CE and escaped the horrors of
70CE. Encyclopaedia Judaica says that the Christian community moved
across the Jordan River, and G.A. Williamson in The Jewish War
writes: "It is hard to account for this escape if [the] prophecy was
written after the event."
in the Bible. When Jesus said "You are from your father the Devil…" he
did not demonize a nation but was addressing a crowd wanting to kill
him. (John 8:40)
Mr Straughen referred to, who killed Jews solely for being Jews,
fulfilled another prediction, namely that many Christians would betray
Christian standards and be like "The dog [that] turns back to its
vomit." (II Peter 2) There were, however, also faithful Christians who
rescued Jews but that's another story.
accepted the counsel of Jesus:
There would have been no wars with Rome;
Judea and Jerusalem would not have been destroyed;
Judean Jews would not have been dispersed;
Judea would not have been resettled by immigrants who became
Roman power would still have faded and Judaism retained its
Bible is the "book of
life". It opposes sexual promiscuity which has killed hundreds of
millions of people (#48), opposes infanticide which also killed
hundreds of millions (#41), advocates peace between nations (Isaiah 2),
inspired the men who founded modern science hence modern prosperity,
and could have saved Judea from destruction. Its message is: "Choose
life so that you may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Grayzel, S. 1968 A
History of the Jews, Mentor, USA
Purcell, N. Hadrian:
Beyond The Wall, BBC History, July 2005.
1970/1981 The Jewish War.
ANTISEMITISM in the BIBLE
(Investigator 137, 2011
I have read
Jesus and the Jews (no. 136, page 52) and am unable to agree with his
conclusion that the Bible is free from anti-Semitism. Here is the
European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia's definition
of Anti Semitism:
definition: "Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be
expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations
of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals
and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and
In addition, such
manifestations could also target the state of Israel,
conceived as a Jewish collectivity. Antisemitism frequently charges
Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame
Jews for "why things go wrong." It is expressed in speech, writing,
visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative
character traits. (1)
a recap (for
those not familiar with my original article in No. 69) of the passages
of scripture from the Revised Standard Version Anonymous is
"You [the Jews] are of your father the devil, and your will is to
do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has
nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he
lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the
father oflies." (John 8:44.)
comparison let us
examine what the Koran has to say about Christians:
"For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as
they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the
prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all men." (1
Take not the Jews or Christians as friends. They are but one another's
friends. If anyone of you taketh them for his friends, he surely is one
of them! God will not guide the evil doers." (2)
can see parts of
the Koran are anti-Christian. It exhibits prejudice towards Christians
just as parts of the Bible exhibit prejudice towards Jews. Just as all
Jews have the devil as their father, displease God and oppose all men,
so too, Christians are evil doers and therefore must not be befriended
concede the author/s of the Koran is being reasonable when he places
them in the category of evil doers just because they are Christians? If
they agree that to impute sinister stereotypes and negative character
traits is wrong then surely they must also agree that the Bible writer
is wrong when he places all Jews in the category of evil doers as well.
passages in the Bible and Koran can only stir up hatred and suspicion
between people of different faiths - the very thing that threatens to
plunge the world into violent confrontation.
Koran Sura 5:51
THE BIBLE AGAINST
(Investigator 138, 2011
(#137 p. 60)
claims that when Jesus said "You are from your father the devil…" (John
8:44) the "You" means all Jews.
Straughen is mistaken.
A general statement about all Jews would include Jesus and his
apostles. Jesus would in that case not have said "You" but "We" or
"Us". For example "We Jews are from our father the devil" or "All of us
Jews are from our father the devil."
however, was not
announcing a doctrine of anti-Semitism. He was addressing a crowd of
Pharisees (John 8:13) that wanted to kill him and stop his message. The
crowd, by their murderous intent, showed they were from "your father
Jesus' message would have terrible repercussions. As I explained in
#136 the rejection of Jesus' counsel led to Judaism's "great
tribulation" that killed millions of Jews, destroyed Jerusalem, and
lost Jews their homeland until the 20th century. By having beliefs and
attitudes that led to such horrible consequences, that murderous crowd
of Pharisees and other Jews who were like them were of their "father
teaches that: "All [i.e. all humankind not only Jews] have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God." It teaches that the whole world is led
astray by "the devil" and faces consequences even more terrible than
Judaism's great tribulation. (Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9; II Peter
"Jews and Gentiles are alike all under sin" (Romans 3:9) and that all
humans have a common ancestor (Acts 17:26) together make nonsense of
racial prejudice and racial superiority. Theologically speaking: "Here
there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian,
Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and in all." (Colossians
Thessalonians 2:14-16 where "the Jews" are described as "hostile to all
men"? The NIV translation clarifies what's meant:
brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in
Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things
those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and
the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile
to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so
that they may be saved. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
Jews" does not mean
all Jews, since the Christian "churches in Judea" were themselves Jews
as was Paul the apostle who wrote this. The Jews "hostile to all men"
were Jews who sought to suppress the Christian message — "to keep us
[apostles] from speaking to the Gentiles…"
explanatory note in
the Life Application Bible says: "When Paul refers to the Jews,
he is talking about certain Jews who opposed his preaching of the
gospel. He does not mean all Jews. Many of Paul's converts were Jews,
Paul himself was a Jew." (p. 2173)
Romans 3:1-3 Paul
writes that "some" Jews were unfaithful; nevertheless being a Jew is of
"advantage…in every way".
was 16 a man from
the Hitler era tried to convince me that Jews controlled governments
and corporations everywhere and are dangerous. But I already knew
enough of the Bible to avoid anti-Semitism. The Bible shielded me from
misrepresents the Bible, some people may be misled into rejecting its
excellent ethics including its opposition to anti-Semitism. Whenever I
hear of anti-Semitism, or robbery, or rape, or theft, or child abuse,
or immorality or any other evil the Bible condemns I wonder how many of
the perpetrators were influenced by atheists!
Anti-Semitism in the
Bible - A Final Reply to Anonymous
(Investigator 139, 2011
I have read
response (No. 138, p. 30) to my previous comments on this subject and
am unable to agree with him.
those passages of scripture which appear anti-Semitic refer only to a
specific group of Jews — in the case of John 8:44 to the Pharisees
Jesus was addressing. This may be so, but how can we be sure it is so
and not merely a rationalisation on the part of apologists that attempt
to explain an unpalatable fact?
scripture is inspired
by God and the passages are not meant to be anti-Semitic and God has
foreknowledge of potential misunderstandings, then Jesus' words would
be carefully qualified in the opening lines of John 8:44 by the phrase
"You Pharisees who stand before me..."
problem is that John
8:44 doesn't say this. Rather, the author of scripture uses intemperate
and unqualified language that may reflect personal anti-Semitic views.
applies to 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15. Anonymous, in his attempt to
resolve the issue, appears to have confused race with religion. The
word 'Jew' refers more to the ethnicity of a person than their actual
race. For example the Ethiopian Jews are Jewish by faith but Negroid by
Christianity would have still been Semites by race if they were born
Semites, but after conversion Christians by religion. Therefore, they
would no longer identify themselves with the children of the devil and
have no hesitation in maligning Jews.
final analysis the
unqualified, unflattering and intemperate language used by some authors
of scripture to describe Jews suggests, in my opinion, the presence of
THE PROBLEM WITH "YOU"
(Investigator 140, 2011
that Jesus' statement "You are from your father the devil" (John 8:44)
was not addressed to all Jews in the world but to a crowd seeking to
Straughen feels that:
is inspired by God and the passages are not meant to be anti-Semitic
and God has foreknowledge of potential misunderstandings, then Jesus'
words would be carefully qualified in the opening lines of John 8:44 by
the phrase "You Pharisees who stand before me..." (#139)
days teachers sometimes made a misbehaving class remain for a while
after the official end of the lesson and announced, "You will
all be kept in for ten minutes." Although the students were only
children the teacher did not need to "qualify" the pronoun "You".
We understood that "You" did not mean everyone in the world, nor
all students in the school, but only this one class.
the pronoun "you"
is often meaningless. I sometimes listen to ABC radio, to interviews
with learned politicians, professors and authors. After "good morning
to you" — the "you" being singular and referring to the
person addressed — there might be a question such as "What do you
think should be done militarily in Afghanistan?" The interviewee's
reply might commence with, "What you should do is…" If "you"
in this reply is still singular and referring to the person addressed
then the interviewee is placing the responsibility for solving
Afghanistan's problems on the interviewer. It often happens that after
a few more uses of "you", the interview becomes ambiguous
gobbledegook and I switch the radio off.
science also. For example, "Some of the planets merge, some are
ejected, some fall into the star and you're left with fewer
planets…" (New Scientist, 26 February, 2011, p. 7) In this case "you're"
refers not to the interviewer but to the star so that, "the star is
left with fewer planets." That's easy enough.
political or ethical
discussion, however, if "you" is spoken repeatedly with
ambiguous meaning, it requires enormous mental effort to interpret what
the speaker means when saying "you". Because all the words are
familiar the hearer assumes he has understood when he probably hasn't.
confusion on the pronoun "you" by usually defining the audience
that's being addressed, as did John when quoting, "You are from
your father the devil." John says Jesus was talking with some Pharisees
(John 8:13) and with "Jews who had believed in him". (8:31)
that the Bible writers have done right in being clear and that English
speakers should copy their example.
the question of interpretation when a teaching is extended beyond the
original audience. A sectarian book I read applies "You are from
your father the devil" to today's clergy. That, of course, is the same
sort of generalized hate-mongering as anti-Semitism.
a reminder: This
discussion began in #136 where I showed that Jewish rejection of Jesus'
counsel led to millions of Jewish deaths and expulsion of Jewish
survivors from their homeland. It's a lesson being repeated everywhere
— people who reject God's counsel hurt themselves, since God is wiser
than humans and "His ways are higher than our ways." (Isaiah 55:9)
statements in the Bible investigated for accuracy on this website: