So this video of Lewis Black ranting like he does pretty much lays out the thesis I have herein: Christianity is, by default, anti-Semitic.  Foregoing the annoyance of arguing whether there ever was a real Jesus of Nazareth, let's just take a sort of cultural studies look at the basic trappings of the Christ story.

 

Essentially, we have a faith which proclaims itself better and improved upon an older one.  The whole basis of the faith is that Jews were not able to live up to the role of Chosen People (Christians re-arranged books of the Jewish Torah in order so that the message overall became one of the failure of Jews in holiness as opposed to a message of hope for the exiles in Babylon) and now only Christians can be God's Chosen People.  From there, the line of insults grows.  'Old' Testament connotes an antiquated and out-of-date status, along the same lines of dispersion as 'used car'.  Further, the Jewish Judas character, who never repents, represents the Deicidal Jew that deserves mass condemnation for eternity.

 

Thoughts?

Tags: Christianity, anti-Semitism

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"Foregoing the annoyance of arguing whether there ever was a real Jesus of Nazareth, let's just take a sort of cultural studies look at the basic trappings of the Christ story."

 

Considering virtually all scholars agree that there was one, yes, we might as well forego that argument.

(Sorry, I can never resist it when I see that qualifier.)

 

"Essentially, we have a faith which proclaims itself better and improved upon an older one."

 

What faith doesn't?

One of the main parts of modern Christianity (at least in most denominations) is that all humans are sinners and all humans need forgiveness. So why would they necessarily single out the Jews of all people?

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. - Jesus, while speaking to a group generically described as 'the Jews' in John 8:44

If Yeshua himself (or the gospel writers who placed these words on his lips) went as far as saying that they worship and serve the devil ... then some would say the case is probably closed.  Bu I personally disagree that being critical of Jews is equal to anti-semitism.

This begs the question: can criticism of Jews be construed as anti-semitism?  Are Jews above reproach?

When Jesus said 'he was a murderer from the beginning, he may have been refering to Exodus 32 where MOSES inaugurates the tradition of Abrahamic terrorism by mass murdering 3,000 simply for not believing like he did.  From there, it then degenerated into the genocidal Old Testament that we know, including the extermination of 31 ENTIRE Canaanite cities in Joshua 12 in order to steal their lands.

I think Jesus was profoundly ashamed of many things in the Old Testament, but he had his issues with a father figure and still wanted to believe in a God that served that role so he reinvented his god and then Emperor Constantine was left with the work of giving some semblance of coherence to a god that had multiple personalities.  I do think Jesus had a love/hate relationship with his Jewishness ... but who can blame him.  The Jews were the Taliban of his day, stoning women to death on the streets.

Hi Hiram,

 

I'm not usually one to criticize someone's pet theory, but...

 

First of all, cherry-picking from John is a sure way to arrive at an anti-semitic conclusion, because John is by far the most anti-semitic of the gospels (since it was written the latest, when Christianity had drifted far from its Jewish roots, and around 95 CE when Jews had closed their synagogues for Christian to pray in).

Not coincidentally you'll find some colourful lines in there, but I'm not sure you'll get far with simply focusing on a single gospel to establish the "ultimate philosophical outcome" of Christianity.

 

Second...

I think Jesus was profoundly ashamed of many things in the Old Testament, but he had his issues with a father figure and still wanted to believe in a God that served that role so he reinvented his god

 

I'm not seeing Jesus reinventing anything; I'm seeing him working from and continuing a long line of Jewish apocalypticism that started in the Intertestamental period and permeates the earlier gospels (especially Mark). Later gospels and Christianity in general downplayed these aspects, which is all the more reason to suspect that this was the core of it in the beginning.

A lot of people (and to be fair, a substantial part of scholars, though mostly liberal Christians) have this vision of a mellow hippy Jesus who simply wanted us to, like, be cool with each other. But this vision is hard to reconcile with the pages and pages in earlier gospels (specifically Mark and Matthew) that details how the Apocalyps is coming soon and how everyone who doesn't make right with God will burn in a lake of fire.

 

and then Emperor Constantine was left with the work of giving some semblance of coherence to a god that had multiple personalities.

 

Constantine had nothing to do with any doctrine of Christianity in any way whatsoever, so we might as well leave that guy out of the discussion too.

 

Kind regards,

 

Matt

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