Anti-Judaism in the Gospels: A Blast From the Past

Four years ago now I offered up the following response to a question about whether the Gospels of the New Testament are anti-Semitic.  Here’s the post!

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QUESTION:

It is in my understanding that it is of common scholarly opinion that the Gospel writers (at least Matthew, Luke, and John) were rather anti-Semitic in nature. Correct? How would you respond to that claim? After reading “The Origin of Satan” by Elaine Pagels, it is a subject that deeply interests me, ...

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The Myth of the First Christmas

Over the years I’ve been asked to write short articles on the meaning of Christmas for various news magazines.  Looking back at some of these articles makes me realize how many different views of the season seem to be competing with each other inside my head.  Or maybe I’ve just been in different moods!

I thought I would reproduce a couple of these articles on the blog.  The following is one I wrote a few years ago for the British journal ...

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Anti-Judaism in the Gospel of Luke

In my previous post I argued that in the narrative of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus has to die for a rather specific reason.  In Luke, more than in his predecessor Mark, Jesus is portrayed as a great prophet (like Samuel, like Elijah, etc.), and in Luke’s understanding, that is why Jesus had to die.  The Jewish people, in his view, always reject their own prophets sent from God.  Jesus was the last of the great prophets.  He too had to be ...

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Yale Shaffer Lectures 3 of 3 – Christ Against the Jews

Here is the third of my Shaffer Lectures delivered almost exactly ten years ago.   This final one has to do with textual variants and apocryphal texts that show evidence of Christian anti-Judaism.  I call this one: Christ Against the Jews.   It is a topic that I continue to be interested in, and on which I plan to write a book for a general audience, at some time in the next few years (not about textual variants, but about ...

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More on Jews, Christians, and the Battle for Scripture

In yesterday’s post I indicated that my next trade book, to be written in a couple of years, would deal with the question of Jews and Christians, centered on the question of why Christians kept the Old Testament and how doing so led to controversies with Jews. The following is how I set up the issue that I will be addressing.

The second-century Christian theologian Marcion maintained that the Old Testament was the Scripture of the Jews. Christians, ...

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The Next Trade Book: Jews and Christians

QUESTION:

I was wondering if someday you will write a book on the rise of anti-Judaism in early Christian circles ?  If you were to write such a book, what would the title and the subtitle be ?

RESPONSE:

As it turns out, that is indeed to be the topic of my next trade book, which I plan to write in a couple of years.  As I have said on this blog before, I try to alternate the kinds ...

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Why Was Barnabas Attributed to Barnabas: Part 2

In my last post but one, in starting to talk about why the anonymous Letter to Barnabas was attributed by early Christians to Barnabas, best known as a one of the closest companions of Paul, I talked mainly about the mid-second century philosopher/theologian-eventually-branded-arch-heretic Marcion. You may have wondered why. In this post I’ll tell you why.

VERY brief review. Recall, the letter of Barnabas is stridently anti-Jewish, claiming that the Jews never were the people of God because they had ...

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Melito and arly Christian Anti-Judaism

I AM IN THE PROCESS OF MAKING THE PENULTIMATE EDITS ON MY MY BIBLE INTRODUCTION.  TODAY I HAD TO REVIEW AN EXCURSUS ON EARLY JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS IN WHICH I DISCUSS THE RISE OF ANTI-JUDAISM IN THE EARLY CHURCH, IN CLUDING THIS BIT ON MELITO OF SARDIS.  I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE WORTH POSTING HERE.

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Melito was a bishop of the city of Sardis in Asia Mino in the mid to late second century.  Today he is best known for a sermon ...

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Anti-Judaism in the Gospels

QUESTION:

It is in my understanding that it is of common scholarly opinion that the Gospel writers (at least Matthew, Luke, and John) were rather anti-Semitic in nature. Correct? How would you respond to that claim? After reading “The Origin of Satan” by Elaine Pagels, it is a subject that deeply interests me, and I would love to hear your professional opinion on the matter.

RESPONSE:

This question actually ties into some of the things I’ve been thinking about ...

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