Is the New Testament Really Anti-Semitic?

Refuting rabbinic objections to Christianity and Jesus and Messianic Prophecies

The Jewish website “Kipa” gives an answer to the question, “Should the New Testament be burned?”

Rabbi Karim answers in the affirmative, and claims that not only should the New Testament be burned, but he also encourages the burning of any book which contradicts rabbinic tradition.

A few years ago, religious Jewish Deputy Mayor of Or-Yehuda, Israel, as well as Uzi Aharon, together with hundreds of kids from the city’s Jewish-orthodox school, publicly burned hundreds of New Testaments. Maybe someone needs to remind the rabbis of the famous saying by Heinrich Heine: “Where they have burned books, they will end up burning human beings.”

Rabbi Daniel Asor explains the reason for hating the New Testament as follows: “The New Testament is an anti-Semitic book, with plots against the Jews.”

So, is the New Testament truly anti-Semitic?

Was Jesus an anti-Semite?

Let us check….

“Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness.”

“Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.”

“Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates. All her idols I will lay waste, for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them, and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return.”

“The Lord was very angry with your fathers… ‘Do not be like your fathers. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed 
your prophets with the sword.”

Sounds anti-Semitic??

What if I told you that these are not quotes from the New Testament, but from the Hebrew Scriptures??

Indeed! These are verses from the mouths of the Jewish prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, Elijah, and others in the Hebrew Scriptures. 

So, are the biblical prophets also “anti-Semites” for criticizing the religious leaders of Israel? Of course not.

In the same way, it’s impossible to claim that Jesus, a Jewish prophet who criticized the religious leaders in Israel, was an anti-Semite.

The corrupt rabbis of Jesus’ era did not appreciate hearing the truth, and therefore rejected and incited against Jesus. They did not want to lose all their power and control over the people.  Jesus rebuked the rabbis of His time, because they crushed the commoners and profited at their expense. He resisted religious compulsion, the corrupted priesthood, and the terrible things the religious leaders in Israel did in the name of God.

Sounds too familiar, right?

But for the purpose of understanding why the rabbis really rejected Jesus, we have devoted another video. Jesus preached against the rabbis, the Pharisees of His time, because He recognized them as hypocritical leaders, the kind who tell others to do what they themselves do not do.

Jesus loved His people Israel and the Hebrew Scriptures from which He quoted repeatedly.

He called the Hebrew Scriptures “The Word of God.”

He believed in the Hebrew Scriptures, relied on them, and referred everyone to the Hebrew Scriptures. Every miracle Jesus performed was done in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He never denied His Jewish identity, nor aspired to establish a new religion. But the religious leaders of Jesus’ time rejected, humiliated and incited against those Jews who, like us, chose to follow Jesus as Messiah. They threw Jesus’ followers out of the synagogues and blamed them for every bad thing that happened.

At the same time, the nations of the world did receive Jesus with open arms, in perfect accordance with God’s promise to Abraham that the Messiah will be a blessing to all nations. The numbers of those who accepted Jesus as Messiah, mainly gentiles, rapidly increased. These followers were given the nickname “Nazarenes” after the city of Nazareth where Jesus grew up. They also were called “Messianic,” meaning “people who belong to the Messiah.”

It’s important to understand and remember two things:

First: The New Testament writers were Israeli Jews themselves, just like us.

Anti-Semitism did not come from the New Testament, but about 300 years after, with the Roman Emperor, Constantine, and his influence on the developing Catholic church. They started teaching a new idea, claiming that God did away with the People of Israel and replaced them with the Catholics. With time, Catholicism grew bigger and stronger, and to our sorrow, throughout many parts of history, it also became more anti-Semitic.

Second: The New Testament itself teaches the complete opposite of antisemitism!

Here are the words of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament to the believers in Rome:

“I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.”

And in another place, he wrote:

“I speak the truth in Christ; I am not lying, as confirmed by my conscience in the Holy Spirit. that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Messiah, who is God over all, blessed forever.”

A Jewish person who checks for himself will find not only that Jesus and the NT are not anti-Semitic, but the contrary is true!

Jesus and His apostles loved the people to whom they belonged, the People of Israel. So much so, they did not agree to stand by in silence against the religious coercion and corruption which came to a climax with the rejection of our Messiah.

 

And what about you? Are you going to continue blindly following the rabbinic tradition of rejecting our Messiah?

 

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