We received a letter to the editor of Israel Today asking us to answer some concerns one reader had about a report in the radical Christian website TruNews regarding the recent debate we covered between Dr. Michael Brown and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on “Antisemitism in the New Testament.”
First of all, let’s understand that the idea that the New Testament is antisemitic is a controversy that goes back to the beginnings of institutional Christianity and the dreadful Church theology that teaches that because the Jews killed Jesus, the entire nation is cursed and to be punished. In this way, the Church has justified her Crusades, Inquisitions and the ongoing antisemitic hatred of modern Israel in some Christian circles.
There certainly are passages in the NT, as in the OT, that openly rebuke the Jewish people. Consider the “synagogue of Satan” or Jesus calling Jews “vipers” or “you are descendants of your father the devil.” Does this mean that the New Testament is antisemitic and God curses the Jews?
Of course not.
These passages are windows through which we can watch firsthand the heated conflict that Jesus and his followers had with the religious leaders who rejected their Messiah. Jesus is speaking only to those leaders of the sects of Judaism like the Pharisees, Sadducees and Zealots who were leading the people astray. Jesus and the NT nowhere condemn the entire Jewish nation, nor any people group, for that matter.
Sadly, however, historical Christianity has chosen to believe that in these difficult passages Jesus is talking about the Jewish people as a whole, and not just the religious leaders who were responsible for misinforming the people. For most of its 2,000-year history, the Church has believed and acted (many still do) on this misinterpretation that Jews are somehow inherently God-haters more than any other people group in the world. Therefore, goes the misguided theology, the Jews have been set apart as a nation to be cursed by God and hated by man. That, my friends, is the definition of antisemitism. These ideas held by TruNews and some so-called Christians, but it is far afield from the teachings of Jesus or the Bible.
To our Israel Today readers, the idea that Jews are more wicked than any other people sounds crazy. We all know that not one of us, Jew or Gentile, are better, or worse, than anybody else. But the dreadful lie that Jesus and the NT teaches that Jews are more wicked than anybody “because they killed the Son of God” is still promoted by the likes of TruNews, antisemites who have the gall to call themselves the “remnant” of true Christianity, and demand all Christians to “Get out of Evangelical churches” the “Apostate” church.
These arrogant TruNews fakes want to deceive Christians into believing that the Jewish people, and her rabbis, are still “perverts, freaks and sons of Satan,” as the TruNews hosts liked to call us in their report. Their despicable and deliberate Jew-hating misinterpretation of the NT texts must be swiftly rebuked by all Christians and Jews, as did Dr. Brown and Rabbi Boteach during the debate. Is it any wonder that the Jewish people continue to reject the kind of Jesus that TruNews promotes? If Jews who do not believe in Jesus are going to Hell, then TruNews must be held accountable for preaching a Jew-hating Jesus and blinding the Jewish people to the love of God that is in the Gospel of Christ Jesus, “to the Jew first and also to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16).
TruNews refuse to admit in their report that in every single case where Jesus uses strong condemning language, he is speaking exclusively to those religious leaders who he calls “the blind leading the blind.” And for good reason, Jesus is rebuking the religious teachers in no uncertain terms because they are trying to prevent the everyday people from coming to him, their Messiah. Sound like someone we know (hint: Un-tru-news)?
TruNews also denies the fact that it was the very Jewish people and rabbis they curse (literally) who gave the world God’s Word, both Old and New Testaments. Admitting that would mean the Jews actually have a special, chosen and intimate knowledge of God through the centuries, as the Bible clearly teaches. Something their blind hatred cannot acknowledge.
I should point out a few more of their race-baiting deceptions against the Jews as a warning for Christians to stay away from these people.
In their tirade, TruNews oppose Jews and Christians who supports Zionism, the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, saying, “Their theology sucks.” Referring to Christians Zionists who are working together with Jews in support of Israel, TruNews say that Evangelical Christians are “in bed with those rabbis,” and calls us “an evil movement.” They constantly belittled in their report the Talmud, a compendium of thousands of years of Jewish knowledge and wisdom, as a religion of “occult,” and spread a conspiracy libel that “Talmudist rabbis want to take over the world.” What this libel has to do with “Antisemitism in the NT” is beyond me, but exposes the true motivation of this anti-Jewish, anti-Christian propaganda “news” channel.
Finally, in what sounds like a call for violent action against the Jewish people, TruNews claim that the “evil rabbis” want to “sanitize the world of Christianity” and “censor your (Christian) Bible.” “There is no limit,” they warn, “to what ‘these people’ want to do” to Christians.