ANTI-SEMITIC / ANTI-JUDAIC
PASSAGES IN THE BIBLE
The terms: Anti-semitic and anti-Judaic:
Joseph Telushkin wrote:
"...the word 'antisemitism' was created by an antisemite, Wilhelm Marr [in
1879]. Marr's intention was to replace the German word Judenhass (Jew-hatred)
with a term that would make Jew-haters sound less vulgar and even somewhat
scientific.... Throughout history, antisemitism has been directed against [the
religion of] Judaism and its
values. ...Until about 1800, the societies in which Jews lived were generally
piously Christian or Muslim, and so antisemitism focused on Jewish concepts of
God and law. In the last two centuries, during which nationalism became a
dominant value in the Western and Arab worlds, antisemitism increasingly focused
on the Jews' peoplehood and nationhood." 1
More accurately, passages in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) which denigrate Jews
as a group should be called anti-Judaic rather than anti-semitic verses.
2 They were
originally directed against followers of one of the approximately 24
faith groups within Judaism that were active at the time that most of the Christian Scriptures
were written -- i.e. 48 to 150 CE (according to many
liberal Christian theologians) or 48 to 100 CE (according to many conservative
At first, it may seem strange to search for anti-Judaic passages in the
Christian Scriptures. After all, Jesus, his mother, his (foster) father,
brothers, cousins, disciples and early apostles were all Jewish. So were the
initial followers of Jesus, and almost all of the authors of the Hebrew
Scriptures (Old Testament) and Christian Scriptures. Jewish Christianity was
composed almost entirely of Jews. Two other movements in primitive
Christianity -- Pauline Christianity and Gnostic Christianity -- were initially
also almost entirely Jewish. It was only after the propagation of Pauline
Christianity throughout the Roman Empire began, that the majority of Christians
converted from religions other than Judaism.
Unfortunately, passages do exist in the Christian Scriptures --
primarily in the Gospels -- .
Topics covered in this section:
|We plan to write a series of essays in the future on anti-Judaic passages in
- J. Telushkin, "Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About
the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History," William Morrow, (1991).
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
- There is a difference of opinion as to whether the "s" in anti-semitic"
should be capitalized. Since "Semite" refers to a group of languages
and not to a religion, we elect to leave the "s" in lower case.
- This is the dedication on the Holocaust Museum in Israel.
- Gerd Lűdemann, "The Unholy in Holy
Scripture: The dark side of the Bible," Westminster John Knox Press,
(1997), Chapter 3, Pages 76 to 127. This book is extremely difficult to read
because of the quality of the translation.
- Peter Gomes, "The Good Book: Reading the Bible with mind and heart,"
William Morrow, (1996).
- Charles Glock & Roidney Stark, "Christians beliefs and Anti-Semitism,"
Harper & Row, (1966)
Copyright © 2002 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2002-DEC-5
Latest update: 2006-APR-25
Author: B.A. Robinson