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  • The fact is that all those responsible for the death of Jesus are dead. -- certainly one of the most sensible things one can say about anti-semitism (which is one of my favourite rant subjects.) Blaming Jews for the death of Jesus is just like blaming Americans for the death of Abraham Lincoln.

    Anti-semitism is not different, at its core, from other forms of racism : it files a bunch of very different individuals, who lived at different times and in different countries, under a same totem, which is then pr

    • "The fact is that all those responsible for the death of Jesus are dead." -- certainly one of the most sensible things one can say about anti-semitism

      And it's completely secular, too, so it requires no theological overhead to accept. I'd like to be able to get all those professing Christianity as well as Jews and others to at least agree on the fact that the Bible doesn't have this bananas idea of blaming the Jews for the death of Christ, even if many professing Christians have said so. Unfortunately it is not so easy.

      which is one of my favourite rant subjects

      Mine, too, ever since I heard of the issue. I teach a 2nd and 3rd grade Bible class that passes through the first and second epistles to the thessalonians every two years, which contains one of the statements that is often taken out of context to support Christian anti-semitism. (Actually I've never heard a professing Christian use it that way, though I'm sure some do; I've heard it only from Jews who are under the impression that the New Testament itself promotes this viewpoint.) Though I would never have thought someone could get that idea from the context, I take great care to make sure the children understand exactly what the verse really does teach in context and mention the misinterpretation so they will not be confused if and when they should ever hear otherwise (at home or elsewhere).

      Incidently, if anyone wants to compile a list of supposed verses of the New Testament that teach anti-semitism, I'll happily demonstrate from context the true meaning of each.

      Blaming Jews for the death of Jesus is just like blaming Americans for the death of Abraham Lincoln.

      ROTFL! That may be the second most insightful statement on the subject. :)

      Now considering Mel Gibson's upcoming, er, movie. I disagree with you, because a movie cannot, by nature, adhere stricly to the Bible. Why? Because as long as you're making images up -- and you have to, since you obviously lack photographs of Jesus, Pilate, Caiph, Judas, etc. -- you're doing interpretation. Well, the sole fact of directing a movie is already interpreting the story it tells, everybody who's familiar with the narrative techniques of cinema knows this. Imagine, for example, that even though each line of dialogue comes directly from the Bible, actors who play the Sanhedrin are deliberately made ugly and counterfeit, and speak in a guttural language (say, Aramaic), while Pilate is played by a DiCaprio-lookalike and speaks in a musical and harmonious language (say, Latin.) See my point?

      Yes, but as neither you nor I have seen Gibson's movie yet (I presume), we can't pass judgment as to whether he might or might not have done anything to lay blame on the Jews. I would counter that deliberately altering their appearance in this matter would NOT qualify as adhering to the Biblical text. To me, any attempt to insert an idea not found in the Bible is a departure from the text, even if you still stick to it word for word. I've heard that noone comes out of the movie depicted as lily-white, including Pilate, so while I'm reserving judgment I feel fairly confident Gibson's movie is not anti-semitic, per se.

      Incidentally I've spent more time trying to convince Jews and others about this than Christians and professing Christians. Unfortunately the work of murderous zealots in past centuries have left tremendous scars that may never be healed. I have only heard statements blaming Jews for the death of Jesus pass from the lips of Christians I knew on two occasions; one was a person quoting another Christian they knew, while the other has not entered a church building or opened a Bible in nearly fifty years.

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • I haven't seen Gibson's movie, but I plan to do so, because I don't like having second-hand opinions. (I'll have to reread the Gospels beforehand, though.)