Christian antisemitism, as we will see, involves much more than simple racism. Over the centuries it has left tragic scars, not only on the Jewish people, but also upon the Church. I hope to show how the Lord’s promise, that he will curse those who curse Abraham, has been tragically fulfilled in the results of the early estrangement of the Church from the Synagogue and her consequent abandonment of much of her God-given heritage that was, and i , associated with Judaism.
The first 450 years
Certain clearly definable changes of outlook and orientation took place within the Church, during the first four hundred years of the Christian era, involving a more-or-less complete change of identity. The change may be summarized as follows: Generally speaking, Gentile disciples of Jesus no longer think either of Jesus and their faith as essentially Jewish, or themselves as members of a Jewish movement. They have stopped attending the synagogue and have ceased to be an integral part of the Jewish community. The Church does not keep the Sabbath or the Feasts of the Lord according to the command of the scriptures. Instead she has substituted a solar calendar for the lunar one of scripture and adapted a pagan festival calendar, religious imagery and practices. Collectively she neither knows Hebrew nor gives first priority to the study of the Hebrew scriptures. Her primary written resources are in Greek or Latin, and few of her rank-and-file know either well. Rabbinic authority and teaching is despised. The culture she looks up to and imitates is Greco-Roman. The Law, prophecy and other passages of the Old Testament scriptures specifically related to the Jews, are interpreted spiritually rather than literally. She maintains that God has permanently disinherited old Israeli Jerusalem and her religious system. Where the scripture blesses Israel, it is understood to apply to the Church, exclusively. Where Israel is cursed it applies to the Jews. New Testament passages to do with the Law, the Jews and Judaism are either ignored or interpreted negatively. A foreign language, Greek, with its own peculiar associated world view, ways of thinking, learning and behaving are now the primary tools for interpreting and applying the message of the New Testament. Many Church leaders either gladly participate in persecution of Jews or make written statements about them which, centuries later, become weapons in the hands of their enemies. In her antisemitism she has not only turned against the Jews, but also against the Law and anything associated with Jewish religion in general, yet she argues that she is the new Israel and that she has replaced Israel in God’s plan.
These changes were expedient, for any number of good and bad reasons. I suspect that, if we had been under similar pressures, we would inevitably have fallen into the same traps. Satan asked us, “Did God really say…?” and we willingly believed that God may indeed have meant something entirely different from what is clearly written in his Book. In so doing, we applied the axe to our own root.1
Replacement theology sprung up and developed in the early centuries of the history of the Church. It reflects a belief’ that Israel has permanently lost her place in God’s plan, asserting that the Church has replaced her and constitutes the new Israel. Justin Martyr, for example, displays this exclusive and cuckoo-like attitude in his Disputation with Trypho the Jew (c 135 AD). He argues that the Gentiles are the true Israel and the good promises are spoken of them. When it adopted this position, the Gentile Church declared itself sole heir rather than co-heir to the promises, and thus denied God’s covenant with the flesh-and-blood descendants of Abraham.
God said to Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 17:7-8.). Later He continues: “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” (God personally confirmed this covenant with Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 17:19) and Isaac’s son Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15).) Note that “I will” occurs eight times in the two passages above, once for each promise or word given. Replacement theology contends each and every one of these words, displaying a mind which is diametrically opposed to that of God, where Israel is concerned.
The apostle Paul was well aware of the Gentile Church’s susceptibility. Therefore, he warns her very specifically: “I am talking to you Gentiles…. If some of the branches [unbelieving descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob] have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. . . they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. . . continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut. off.” (Romans 11:13-22).
Why does boasting over the cut-off branches put us, the in-grafted branches, in danger of being cut off again? It is only clear if we understand the nature of the root to which we are grafted. To boast over some one is to declare that one is better than they. Yet the root, which supports both believing Jew and Gentile alike, is the love and mercy of God, through His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants . . . the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the Law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. “He is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16). Paul later states that, for the sake of this very covenant with the Patriarchs and not through any merit of their own, the cut-off branches are still loved and will ultimately receive God’s mercy (ie be grafted back again) (Romans 11:28-31). In principle, then, to succumb to the temptation to boast over these cut-off branches is to cut oneself off from God. “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” (Romans 11:32). If we have neither believed or received God’s love for them, neither have we received his love for ourselves. If we disbelieve God have we truly become sons of the King? This very same unbelief is what caused Adam and Eve and all but the remnant of Israel to be cut off. Surely, our minds are still in unbelief, deceived, if we think there is hope of life for either Jew or Gentile, except in God’s gracious covenant of mercy.
Is it possible that the corporate welfare of the Church is to a large degree a measure of the extent to which she has set her will against God’s in respect to the Jewish people? Why did the power drain out of so much of the Church in the first few centuries of her existence? Why so many factions? I suspect that, through replacement theology, the Church has unwittingly throttled the flow of life to her own body. Somewhat similar to a branch whose flow of sap has been restricted, the Church’s development has been stunted and retarded and she has not yet grown to maturity. Perhaps, even, the Lord’s work in this creation has taken much longer than it may otherwise have done.2
Neglect of the Hebrew Language
Although she claimed to be the new Israel, by AD 400, in her reaction against Judaism and to the changing political climate, the western Church had changed nearly every aspect of her identity in some way. Perhaps the most obvious result of a change of identity is confusion, an identity crisis both in the one who has changed and in the community in which the changeling lives. Neither the Church nor the world really understand that she is essentially a Jewish sect because, apart from her moral standards, she has become externally indistinguishable from the society around her. A tenth century (Arabic!) manuscript, partially based upon a fifth century document, dwells on the importance of the Hebrew language and berates Christians for having abandoned it. Why? The Jews call it assimilation.
Assimilation begins when a people stops using the language which distinguishes it as a nation. So long as they continue to teach it to their children and to use it, at least in their worship services, those who do so will retain their public and personal ethnic identity. Dr Joseph Hertz, late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, wrote, “The Men of the Great Assembly rightly felt that the Synagogue Service must be in Israel’s historic language, which is the depository of the soul-life of Israel. Hellenistic Jewry [in ancient Alexandria] did not share this view, and it dispensed with the Sacred Language in its religious life.” Quoting Schechter, he continued, “The result was death. It withered away, and ended in total apostasy from Judaism.”
Hertz’s use of the words “soul-life” reflects an understanding that more is lost than mere language, when God’s people cease to speak Hebrew. For example, members of the Church lost a vital key to a personal understanding of Scripture. Hebrew is the language of almost the whole of the Old Testament, and it can be reasoned that approximately forty-three percent of the New Testament was originally written down in Hebrew. A growing number of scholars now believe that Hebrew was the spoken language of the people of Judea in the time of Jesus, and that Jesus taught in Hebrew. Jesus’ disciples, including the apostle Paul, were probably all native Hebrew speakers.3
Do you ever feel confused and frustrated when you read and study the Bible in your own language, New Testament included, even as you pray for understanding? We are taught that God is not a God of confusion. Why then the confusion? Perhaps we should not be surprised to learn, from Martin Luther, “No-one can really understand the Scriptures without it “[Hebrew]. For although the New Testament is written in Greek, it is full of Hebraisms and Hebrew expressions. It has therefore been aptly said that the Hebrews drink from the spring, the Greeks from the stream that flows from it, and the Latins from a downstream pool (of Abraham). A contemporary scholar writes, “Passages in the Gospels have become unclear and are easily misunderstood, or the meaning entirely missed, because their interpretation has become separated from an understanding of their Hebrew linguistic and cultural roots.4
Christians naturally wants to get inside the minds of the various characters portrayed in the Bible. Dr Clifford Denton’s introduction to Tishrei aptly notes, “Immersion in a language produces far more than conversation. A language determines the very mind-set of a person. A person who thinks in Hebrew is a different person from one who thinks in English, all other things being equal. Thus, the Hebrew language gives more than an accurate understanding of words. It is within the very root structure of what it is to be a Jew.”
Sharing a common language also helps to reinforce a sense of kinship and identification with the Jewish people. Members of the Church are no longer “excluded from citizenship in Israel” (Eph. 2:12). “Our forefathers were all under the cloud and passed through the sea” (1 Cor. 10:1). Those who study Israel’s ancient literature and share in the communal life of Jewish people, gain an enriched and constantly deepening appreciation of their common root in the Lord God of Israel. This can only strengthen the Church against flowing with the current world trend towards alienation from both the state of Israel and the Jewish people at large.
Equally, if only from the point of view of Christian understanding of the Scriptures, it is important to maximize our Jewish cultural awareness. Synagogue attendance was taken for granted and remained habitual for Jesus, Paul and members of the early Jewish Church in the land of Israel until the exile of the Jews in AD 135. Elsewhere, Gentile Christians and Jewish believers continued to take part in synagogue services until at least the fourth century AD. One of the most effective ways to soak up Jewish culture is to attend a synagogue and get involved in its community. The service of the synagogue remains open to anyone who wishes to go along. However, without Hebrew it is difficult to participate in and benefit fully from the traditional Hebrew service. When you are invited to a Passover meal, unless you speak Hebrew, much of it will be lost to you because a varying proportion of the traditional domestic service is recited in Hebrew.
It goes without saying that anyone who also wants to get a firm grasp of the geography of the Bible will want to visit Israel. If so, one will do better if one speaks the language of the people. Even a little is helpful, because people naturally tend to be warmer and more responsive if one at least tries to communicate with them in their own language. Modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew are very similar. One forms an excellent foundation for learning the other.
Is it possible that the Church has become more susceptible to error as a result of abandoning the general knowledge of Hebrew? When the men and women of Europe were given direct access to the scriptures in their own languages, through the translation and mass production of the printed editions of the Bible in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries AD, there was a reformation and a revival. How much more so if Hebrew were to be revived as the language of the Church?5
Allegorisation of Scripture
Another common aspect of Christian antisemitism is belief that Scripture was given only as allegory. That is, they are not intended to mean what they say, but to suggest something entirely different. Origen (d. AD 254), a Hebrew scholar and influential teacher, is credited with popularizing the view that the Hebrew scriptures should be interpreted only allegorically. The idea had probably been popular for some time, and continues to be so. However, scripture teaches that, unless a passage explicitly states otherwise (Galatians 3:2), the plain and obvious meaning is as valid as any additional meaning intended by God (1 Corinthians 9:9-10).
One of the consequences of this underlying belief, has been confusion in translation of the New Testament. Translators have considered themselves free to interpret the text in such a way that it contradicts or undermines the message of the Old Testament. New Testament passages regarding the Jews and the Law, which would otherwise have been clearly understood, have, therefore, become confusing. It is as though God somehow changed nature in the period between the Testaments.
The Law Discredited
The Christian’s attitude to the Law is shaped by his translation of the New Testament, therefore there is a common belief that the Law of Moses is no longer in force and is irrelevant to disciples of Jesus. The apostle Paul appears to tell us that Christ has ended the Law and redeemed us from the curse of the Law. We get the impression that to be “under the Law” or doing “works of the Law” is bad, so we have a desire not to become guilty of legalism, a sin many falsely perceive to be peculiarly characteristic of Judaism. On the other hand he says that the Law is good, and that by our faith we uphold it. Does our faith excuse us from paying any attention to the Law?
Jesus’ teaching assumes an intimate knowledge of the Old Testament, especially the Law. Yet many of us have read very little of the five Books of Moses. (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.) Therefore we are without a main point of reference from which we are to understand either Jesus’ identity or his teaching. In terms of his message, this leaves us with the icing but not the cake; the superstructure without the foundations. Again, confusion reigns. Why? Seeds planted in the early centuries have born fruit in the latent antisemitic bias of successive generations of Bible translators. Often unwittingly and without bearing any conscious personal malice, they have imparted their legacy to the texts and commentaries that the man in the street uses for his devotional reading and study. Israel has been here before us and found that the tendency of that legacy is to make both the teacher and the taught foolish: “How can you say, ‘We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD’, when actually the lying pen of the scribe has handled it falsely? The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped Since they have rejected the law of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?”(Jeremiah 8:8-9).6
Antisemitism in the Translation of the New Testament
The same legacy is behind the common misunderstanding that Jesus and the writers of the New Testament were antisemitic. In other words, that they were opposed both to the Jews and to the continuation of Jewish beliefs, customs and culture within the Church. It is easy to form this impression from most English translations of the New Testament. However, recent scholarship clearly shows us that the opposite is true. Jesus, Peter the apostle to the Jews and Paul the apostle to the Gentiles each began and continued their lives as observant Jews. Neither did they reject their own people as a whole. Indeed, anyone who is not familiar with Judaism at the time of Jesus may receive an impression from the New Testament that Jesus’ teaching was controversial because it was entirely new. In fact, his opposition to certain individuals or groups within Judaism was over specific controversial issues of the time, and the controversies neither began nor ended with him. The only exception to this was his claim to be the Messiah. In every other respect Jesus and his disciples appear to have been typical of observant Jews of their time, who upheld traditions not specifically prescribed by the Law unless they clearly undermined the purpose of the Law. Scripture testifies to the fact that there were thousands of Jewish disciples who were zealous for the Law, without any criticism of their continued Jewish lifestyle and identity. Gentiles are nowhere forbidden to adopt Jewish customs, except when they are under the illusion that doing so is a precondition for receiving salvation.7
The Sages and Teachers of Israel Ignored
The legacy of antisemitic translation has also resulted in the discredit of the Sages and teachers of Israel (a historical resource for understanding Jesus, the Jews, Judaism and the New Testament), the proscription of Jewish identity (a living resource) and the prohibition of Jewish practices to both Jewish and Gentile disciples of Jesus, in particular the Feasts of the Lord (a lifestyle resource).
To ignore Israel’s teachers is to disobey Jesus, who instructed his disciples, “The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you.” There are many practical difficulties in taking these words at face value, not least the differences of opinion between one teacher and another. However, as a rabbi himself, Jesus selected, repeated and clarified the teaching that he endorsed, and his guidelines survive more fully than those of any one of his contemporaries. He also promised that the Holy Spirit would teach his disciples what they needed to know. Nevertheless, he used Hebrew figures of speech and rabbinic teaching techniques, and addressed a Jewish audience which was familiar with the whole gamut of Jewish traditional teachings. A traditional Jewish education was taken for granted. Isn’t it possible that we may miss some important points if we deliberately neglect resources which would help fill in the Jewish background and which Jesus specifically directs us to pay attention?8
Intolerance of Jewish Identity
Traditionally, for a convert to retain his Jewish identity has been unthinkable. When a Jew accepted Jesus at Messiah he became a Christian. Yet, the New Testament uses the term only to describe Gentile converts. From the point of view of the New Testament, Jewish disciples of Jesus remain Jews. Indeed, Paul goes so far as to say that it is the Jewish follower of Jesus who is a the true Jew (Romans 2:28-29). The legacy of forced denial of Jewish identity has brought cursing both upon those who imposed it and upon those who submitted to it.
A Jew who abandons his identity is cut off from his people, because he breaks the Lord’s everlasting covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob concerning both themselves and their descendants (Genesis 17:14). Ponder, for a moment, what would be the just reward for one who causes another to be cut off from the Lord’s people. Jesus said, “Things that cause people to sin must come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck… So watch yourselves” (Luke 17:1-3a).
There are some sins which are uniquely Jewish because they are to do with the Lord’s peculiar call upon the lives of Jewish people. Over the centuries many Jewish people have chosen to abandon their God-given identity, even to the extent of hiding it from their children. If they have not practically repented they are still suffering the consequences of being cut off from their people. However, no matter how many generations have passed since assimilation and intermarriage, the Lord still wants to restore them to blessing. Even if no Jewish ancestors are known to us, it is worth asking the Lord whether they are in fact there, because the Lord remembers his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to “a thousand generations” (Psalm 105:8-11). Anyone who is a descendant of theirs, no matter how far removed, is a participant in the covenants.
If such a person becomes a disciple of Jesus, he is not excused from his practical and outward obligations under the earlier covenants. Romans 2:28-29 and 4:11 tell us that Abraham’s physical circumcision was a covenant sign given after circumcision of the heart; of righteousness by faith which Abraham had before he was circumcised. James says, “Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by what I do”. For the Jewish disciple of Jesus this is part of the obedience which follows faith.
In the Law of Moses the Lord promises restoration specifically to Jewish disciples of Jesus. Look up Leviticus 26:39-42,45 and Deuteronomy 30. Note both what is promised and what the conditions are. These passages are written about Jewish people and speak about what will happen when the Lord imputes to them righteousness by faith. However, each passage also indicates that the Holy Spirit will then lead those people to practically fulfill certain conditions of obedience.. (See Leviticus 26:40-41a and Deuteronomy 30:8-10). Therefore, where the Church has discouraged Jewish identity among her Jewish members, she has impeded the healing of her own body and frustrated the Lord’s plan for the restoration of Israel.
If you believe that you have Jewish ancestry the following suggestions may be of help:
(i) Confess that you are a Jew and declare yourself wilIing to accept and embrace the Lord’s peculiar (special) call upon you as a Jew within the body of the Messiah. Do not be afraid of this. The New Testament refers back to Moses’ encouraging words concerning the command to obey the teachings of the Law, “What I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach” (Deuteronomy 30:11 and Romans 10:6-8), and in both Testaments he goes on to explain why. This decision is a necessary step of repentance because it reverses the decision of your forefather(s), who chose to become assimilated into the society in which they found themselves.
(ii) On your own behalf and that of your forefathers, confess out loud and ask forgiveness for despising and breaking the Lord’s covenant with Abraham, lsaac, Jacob and their descendants, and for being “treacherous against and hostile towards” the Lord.
(iii) Confess that, by faith, through the atoning blood of the Jesus, you are redeemed from the curses written in the Law, and from the futile way of life of your forefathers and its consequences (See Deuteronomy 28:15-68, Jeremiah 31:29, Galatians 3:13, 1 Peter 1:18,19)
(iv) Ask and trust the Lord to restore you, according to his promises and plan, as his Holy Spirit continues to guide you and make you willing to do his will (Ephesians 2:10 and Philippians 2:13.)
The Feasts of the Lord Abandoned
The Church has suffered further loss because she has abandoned the Feasts of the Lord. In other words the Sabbath, Passover, First-fruits, Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Tabernacles (Leviticus 23) Following the Bar-Kochba revolt and the destruction of Jerusalem, the Roman emperor, Hadrian, prohibited the practice of the Jewish religion, throughout the Empire, especially the reading of the Law, circumcision of males, keeping the Sabbath, eating unleavened bread at Passover and observing any Jewish festival. This increased the already considerable pressure upon the Churches to discontinue any observances which gave the impression that they were practicing Judaism. Nevertheless, the churches of Asia Minor (western Turkey) kept at least the Passover in the Jewish tradition until the last decade of the second century, when they were forbidden to continue, by the Bishop of Rome. The Nazarenes and conservative churches in Cilicia, Syria and Mesopotamia also maintained various degrees of Jewish observance. When, in AD 325, the Council of Nicaea formally separated Christian Easter from the Jewish observance of Passover its main motive was antisemitism.
There is no explicit New Testament instruction concerning the Feasts of the Lord. The Law of Moses and Jewish tradition would have provided all that was necessary. However, there is evidence that the Jewish calendar was familiar to Jews and Gentiles alike (1 Corinthians 16:8) and that observance of the Sabbath and the remaining Feasts was also taken for granted (1 Corinthians 6:7-8), although not to be imposed as a condition for salvation (Acts 15:10-11). On the other hand, Paul rebukes Gentiles who have fallen back into pagan observance and legalism (Galatians 4:10), for the Law was not given as a legalistic means of earning salvation, but to a people already saved by grace (Exodus 20:2). The belief that one day is intrinsically more propitious than another is also a pagan one and, although he does not rebuke those who honour one day above another when it is done as to the Lord, Paul indicates that it reflects an immature faith (Romans 14:5-6).
The Feasts of the Lord are everlasting ordinances. They are not to be kept either legalistically or in honour of the day, but at the time appointed, as a sacred assembly, in honour of the Lord (Leviticus 23:1). Each Feast begins and ends with a Sabbath of rest, even if it does not fall naturally upon a weekly Sabbath. The Sabbath day is the first of a number of covenant signs given to Israel by the Lord, to show that they are consecrated to him (Exodus 31:13) (ie That they are His people and that He is their God). Without resorting to graven images, the Lord reminds us of himself by a seven-day life cycle of work and rest. “In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, but he rested on the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:11). The command concerning the Sabbath and, therefore, each one of the Feasts is, “Remember….” Every one is a reminder of the nature of God, who his people are and what he has done, is doing and will do, both with and for his covenant people. His plan for the redemption of creation is unfolded, phase by phase, using the agricultural year as the pattern, yet each phase also tells the whole story. The fruit of the womb and of the land is progressively redeemed and consecrated to the Lord, until it has all been gathered and the work of harvest is complete.
Taken together, the Feasts remember, act out and teach the history of the new creation, the critical path for the harvest of souls. Each familiar annual landmark impresses us with new aspects of the person and work of the Messiah. The Feasts serve as domestic teaching tools so that parents and children in every generation of children will remember and learn about the salvation of the Lord. Retained by the Church they would have reinforced the Gospel, and helped protect her from the winds of strange doctrine which continually seek to confuse both her children and her message.9
There is no prohibition against creating one’s own feasts as reminders of what the Lord has done. Thanksgiving Day is an American example. The Jews have Purim and Hanukkah. Jesus both walked and taught in the Temple precincts during Hanukkah, without a word of criticism (John 10:22). However, in attempting both to avoid semblance of Judaism, by moving her feasts to different dates, and to displace paganism by adapting and reinterpreting its observances, the Church has paid a high price. Her message to her children and to the world has become confused and, while her words preach one gospel, her imagery teaches another. Carol singing, a figure riding reindeer or horses in the night, present giving, decorations, toasts of alcohol, a roast fowl, rich fruit cakes and puddings, loud bangs and shouts, were all part of pagan winter rites and folklore long before Jesus was born. Yet, to the pure all things are pure. Why has the attempt to redeem pagan imagery and use it to preach the gospel failed? Perhaps even the outward appearances are abhorrent to the Lord and disobey his command, “Do not … follow their [Canaanite] practices” (Exodus 23:24; 2Kings 17:15, 23). Or is it because the original motivation was an unholy attitude to the Jews and, therefore, the so-called ‘Feasts of the Jews’?
In all that has happened, I acknowledge the absolute sovereignty and wisdom of God. What I have said about the state of the Church is very generalized, and most individuals in any generation would be able to plead ‘not guilty’ on more than one account. However, the Church is a body in which, if one sins, especially one in a position of leadership, we all bear the consequences. One might almost say that this aspect of repentance has traditionally been anathema to the Church. Men and women have died on the mere suspicion that they were Judaizers, but Jesus appears to be putting the Church through a process of re-orientation. Our preconceived, ill-founded, confused and ignorant notions about Jesus, the Jews and Judaism, often based on passages in various translations of Scripture, are being broken down. Many are finding that the study of the Hebrew language is an intrinsic part of the process. As the Church changes her attitude to the Jewish people, she may at last recover an understanding of her true calling and identity, fully embrace her role in God’s plan for the redemption of creation, and so be equipped to endure and overcome the troubles which lie ahead.
The publications cited below are listed as resources for further reading or listening. They are not necessarily the sources of the sections of this article to which they relate.
1. Bacchiocci, S, (1977), From Sabbath to Sunday, Pontifical Gregorian University Press, Rome. A historical investigation, which covers a wide range of material related to the development and expression of Christian anti-Semitism. It is distributed by the author from 4569 Lisa Lane, Berrien Springs, MI 49103, USA.
2. Prince, Derek, Liberating Truth for Israel and the Church. Clear teaching on replacement theology, available in a two tape audio cassettes series from DPM-UK, PO Box 169, Enfield, EN3 6PL, UK
3. The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research.
4. Dr Robert Lindsey, doyen of The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research.
5. Goldfarb, R & Biven, D (1977) Fluent Biblical and Modern Hebrew, American Ulpan, Jerusalem. A teach yourself course including instructions, textbook, recorded dialogues and exercises. It is distributed by Christian Friends of Israel, 35 Elm Road, New Malden, Surrey KT3 3HB, UK and Centre for the Study of Biblical Research, PO Box 1896, Monrovia, CA 91017, USA.
6. Stern, D, (1988) Messianic Jewish Manifesto, Jewish New Testament Publications, Jerusalem. Stern’s chapter on Torah deals with scriptures mentioned and includes a good introduction to the subject of Law in the New Testament.
7. Benhayim, M , (1985) Gentiles and the New Testament, Yanetz, Jerusalem. A short book on supposed anti-Semitism in the New Testament.
8. Cohen, A, (1975) Everyman’s Talmud, Schocken. A summary of the teaching of the Talmud in religion, ethics, folklore and jurisprudence, which begins with a section on its history and make-up. (The Talmud is a compendium of authoritative rabbinic teaching from the intertestamental period until approximately 500 AD, and provides important background to the teaching of the New Testament).
9. Wilson, M, (1989) Our Father Abraham, Eerdmans, Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith. See, for example, the chapter entitled Passover and the Last Supper. There are also sections on Church and Synagogue in the light of history, Hebrew thought, marriage and the family, education and worship.
(Reprinted from Tishrei Vol 1, No 3, Antisemitism, Spring 1993)