For centuries Jews have been the victim of bigotry and hatred for allegedly being responsible for the killing Jesus. This hateful lie has led to widespread discrimination and pogroms culminating in the Holocaust. But where did this murderous idea come from? The answer is none other than the so-called “Good Book”, the Bible, the book that is supposedly full of nothing but peace and love.
It is unnecessary to recount all the hatred the Jews have faced throughout history. It is well known and I don’t have near enough space for it. This hatred came directly from the Bible itself and it was usually the Church that led the attacks. The justification usually came from Matthew 27:25. It describes how when Plate tried to avoid the blame for Jesus’ execution claiming he didn’t want blood on his hands, the following supposedly happened: “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” This was used to claim that the Jews accepted responsibility for Jesus’ death and any punishment arising from it. To me this seems like a forgery used to justify later pogroms. After all why would anyone claim they wanted blood on their hands? Why would anyone agree to have their children punished for their own actions? So I believe Matthew 27:25 is a lie, and a lie that had horrendous consequences.
The New Testament (remember this is supposed to be the kind loving part of the Bible) contains several accusations that the Jews in general are responsible for Jesus’ death.
“The Jews, who have both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” 1st Thessalonians 2:14-6
There is no ambiguity here. The Jews (not just some of them, all of them) have killed Jesus. God is angry with them and they will be punished. They are contrary to all men. Here, in the supposed message of love, we find the seeds of hatred and anti-Semitism that led to centuries of terrible consequences.
There is more. Acts 2:22-3 addresses the “men of Israel” ad tells them of how Jesus was sent by God to do his work, the man “ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain”. Just in case this wasn’t clear, it is spelled out: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) Saint Peter the founder of the Christian Church denounced the Jews for having “killed the Prince of Life.” (Acts 3:15) Acts 10:39 also blames the Jews for the death of Jesus (though it says he was hung from a tree?)
There is a particularly sinister line in Titus 1:10-1 “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision [Jews], Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s [money gained in a dishonourable way] sake.” Here we have anti-Semitism at its most virulent. Jews deserve to have their mouths stopped (the Nazis would be proud). Here we can also see the beginning of the stereotype of the greedy money grabbing Jew with the words “filthy lucre”. There are also described as “defiled”, “abominable”, and “reprobate” [unprincipled] (Titus 1:15-6)
But surely Jesus never got involved in that? Surely Jesus with his message of love would never agree with such bigotry and hatred. However according to John 8:44 (which could be lying) Jesus denounces the Jews declaring: “Ye are of your father the devil”. I was completely stunned when I saw this. I never expected Jesus (who after all was a Jew) to come out with such anti-Semitism that would be at home in a speech by Hitler.
(On a side note this happens straight after the famous story of adulterer when Jesus said let he who has not sinned through the first stone)
Alas this is not the only anti-Semitic utterance by Jesus. In Matthew 23:31-5 he again denounces them “Ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up the measures of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generations of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” I would have expected this hateful rant to come from a Nazi not from the Prince of Peace.
So there we have it. One of the most disgusting forms of racism, hatred of the Jews, has its roots in the book we are supposed to worship as inspired by God that is supposed to be holy and perfect. I refuse. I cannot in good conscience worship a book with such hateful words that only the Nazis could be proud of.