Antisemitic is defined as "one who cherishes hatred
for Jews and their influence." Those acquainted with the
currents of society know that the millstone of antisemitic
is draped around the neck of one who merely entertains the belief
that the Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus (1
Thess. 2:15). The factual account of the crucifixion we may preach
boldly in our small community churchhouses, but one wishing
be a public figure must avoid acknowledging it. For, this is catalogued
as antisemitic for which there is no expiation in this life
nor in that which is to come. If the reader is not aware of this
I suggest some musings through 20thcentury political or
For example, Patrick Buchanan was branded by Alan Dershowitz in
a March issue of the Jewish Bulletin as a "bigot and
antiSemite." As a spokesman for "the lunatic fringe"
which feeds him information of a "proNazi nature,"
Buchanan primarily gains a hearing with "kooks." What
evidence indicts him? He questioned the historical accuracy of
a certain account which tells that "Jews were gassed at Treblinka"
earlier this century. Even William F. Buckley had to fall in line
and confess this amounts to being a "hater of Jewish people."
In a paper called The Indiana Alumni it was reported that
Roy Eckardt (Christian News, Nov. 9, 1992), professor of
religious studies at Lehigh University and a clergyman in the
United Methodist Church, called for a "radical redefinition
of Christianity" at a gathering of Jewish and Christian scholars
from around the world. The meeting occurred on the Bloomington
campus in 1980 in which they discussed the theme of the Holocaust.
This selfappointed Sanhedrin concluded that one type of
antiJewish bigotry is the "conversion" of Jewish
peoples. Eckhardt suggests that a "fitting response to the
Holocaust requires the elimination of Christianity as a set
of doctrines centering around a triumphant Christ. " As
a matter of fact, per Eckhardt, "the Christian doctrine
of the Resurrection helped to create the Holocaust event because
Christian triumphalism (the belief of its ultimate triumph) meant
the eventual elimination of Judaism."
United Methodist ministerhistorian Franklin H. Littell
warns us that "the cornerstone of Christian antisemiticism
is the superseding or displacement myth, which already rings with
the genocidal note." In other words. if you suppose that
Israel is no longer God's chosen people, but that the church is
the Israel of God (Gal. 6:16), then you hate the Jewish race and
are extending fellowship to ideas which form the foundation for
mass genocide, such as Hitler practiced in Germany. You are a
Hitlerite. To convert the Jew is to pour vials of hate upon Semitic
In a recent book by Dr. Norman Beck of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church, a professor of Texas Lutheran College in Seguin, Texas,
entitled Mature Christianity in the 21st Century (reviewed
by Christian News, June 5, 1995) the unsuspecting public
is pounded once more with the twaddle that "many sections
in the Bible should be repudiated because they are antiJewish
I do not deny that some persons today may harbor hatred for Jewish
people within the depths of their heart, but it is absolutely
nonsensical to interpret doubts as to the number of Jews killed
during the Holocaust, or belief that Jews must become Christians
to be saved as enmity for a race of people. It is not more malicious
than believing that illegal aliens must become naturalized citizens
of this country, though I realize some foreigners on American
soil today tell us this is hatred for nonAmericans.
Note the following. First, Norman Beck lectures us by saying,
"[A]lthough the way to God through Jesus as the Christian
Messiah may be the only way to God for us from our standpoint,
ultimately God cannot be limited nor access to God restricted
by any of us. Only God can limit God's self." I wonder what
our Pentecostal friends would answer to this familiar sounding
accusation? The Lord's church is falsely charged by them for limiting
God because we realize the Bible teaches the cessation of miraculous
gifts after the first century. The question hinges upon God's
will - what has he said? - it does not "limit God" to recognize
his restrictions upon who may be saved nor to whom the miraculous
Second, to believe that Christianity "supersedes" or
replaces Judaism as God's law for the salvation of mankind is
not an "antiSemitic" polemic. If it were, the
last thing I would expect to find is that the gospel of Jesus
Christ is extended to the Jew. However, as the New Testament reveals,
the message was to the "Jew first" then to the Gentile.
Further, how is it that a denial that Judaism is God's chosen
system constitutes hatred for the Jew, but that the belief that
the Jew continues today as God's chosen person does not constitute
hatred for Christian people? And when was the last time you heard
Judaism railed upon as fostering hatred of nonJews? This
fact alone ought to alarm the unenlightened as to what is occurring
in our society. Is it not a bizarre twist of logic that the gospel
of Christ "breaks down the middle wall of partition" - the
Old Testament law (Eph. 2:1118) - and renders all mankind
on equal footing before God as far as the ability to come
to God is concerned, as amounting to "hating Jews"?
But this is what one must swallow to be "somebody" in
popular religion. I call this brainwashing.
Third, of utmost interest to those who study the version issue,
a summons for modern translations which "excise" the
"antiJewish polemic" of the New Testament has
been repeatedly issued since the World Council of Churches began
this campaign in 1948. Joined by the Lutheran World Federation,
the House of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1964,
the Second Vatican Council in 1965, the Lutheran Council in 1971
and the American Lutheran Church in 1974 the desire to "repudiate
the defamatory antiJewish rhetoric" in the Bible has
become more pronounced. Norman Beck predicts that the modern translation
will "reduce to smallprint status its most viciously
defamatory particles" and committees will utilize "circumlocution
and translation according to the sense of the text in order to
reduce pejorative statements about the Jews, Jewish religion,
and the Pharisees." Beck also stated that "we will be
more selective in our choice of lectionary texts, providing readings
that are less blatantly antiJewish" (CN, June 5, 1995).
These liarsinwait ought to warn Bible believers on
the Version issue. For, instead of naively surmising that lower
criticism, the socalled "discipline" of Bible
translation, is becoming more "scientific," a reality
check discovers that the field is becoming more saturated with
political correctness than anything else. Let my brotherhood peers
and elders beware of plunging unawares into the translation/version
issue. As Beck reminds us, even the methods of the selection of
Greek manuscripts and texts fall prey to this criteria. The field
is loaded with politics of which, if we are uninformed, our vision
of the real issues will be clouded.
Apparently, however, a translation "according to the sense"
of the text will be joyfully received by the churches of Christ
for the most part-regardless of what foolish agenda the translation
committee seeks to fill, for this is the principle of translation
beneath the best-selling New International Version which confesses
to have "striven to pursue 'thought patterns and contextual
meanings"' instead of an outdated "word for word translation."
God's people have eaten up the NIV and filled their bellies in
childlike simplicity with this putrid principle. Why should they
not be satisfied that the same operative principle is being utilized
to gratify a different denominational lust?
Hateful Teachings of the New Testament
Under the above caption Norman Beck places Paul's statement in
1 Thessalonians 2:1416 in which inspiration indicated that
the Jews had not only "killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets"
but had become contrary to all men "forbidding us to speak
to the Gentiles." The historical accuracy of such a summation
is beside the point to modernists. When the apostle declares that
"the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost" - evidently
referring to the destruction of Jerusalem - he was yielding to bigotry
by venting the "evil desire" to put "his boot on
the Jews' necks." Let alone our Lord's weeping over the harlot
city of Jerusalem, or Paul's intense love for his fellows (cf.
Rom 9:14). He has become antiSemitic, an inspirer
of Adolf Hitler.
Other antiSemitic lines in the New Testament include the
phrase "his blood be upon us and upon our children"
(Matt. 27:25) and "when Herod saw that it had pleased the
Jews that he had killed James, the brother of John, he arrested
Peter also" (Acts 12:3). We may expect these as well as similar
sentences in future translations to be relegated to footnotes
or eliminated altogether.
Why is it not antiGermanic hatred to relate facts of Hitler's
genocide against the Jews but it is antiSemitic to discuss
historical biblical events in which Jews were culprits? Why ignore
the NT directive of "love your enemies" (Matt. 5:44)
which incidentally set aside the Jewish canonized tradition of
"love thy neighbor and hate shine enemy?" But this phrase
will probably fall beneath the modernist's axe, who will find
"insufficient textual data" to support its reading in
Matthew. Why mutilate Paul's historical statement regarding the
cause of his persecution by paraphrasing it to demonize him? I
suppose modernists find no more difficulty in sprinkling in a
few pejorative ideas to the apostle's words to poison his memory
among us than in removing texts which they find offensive.