Columns Jeffrey Salkin: Martini Judaism Opinion

Was ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ anti-Semitic?

John Legend, as Jesus, is carried during a dress rehearsal scene from NBC’s "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert." Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC

(RNS) — How did you like the Passion play?

Because, in one sense, that’s exactly what we saw on Sunday night’s (April 1) television production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Oh, yes, of course: The music was great, and it has held up over the decades.

John Legend as Jesus was memorable, though it was Alice Cooper, as Herod, who stole the show.

But, for me, the production crashed as soon as the high priest Caiaphas, the other priests, and the Pharisees made their first appearance.

Caiaphas had this odd hairstyle that made him look as if he was about to sprout horns.

The Jews look like they might have been Darth Vader’s homeys. Pure evil.

The lyrics of the accompanying musical number leave little to the imagination. True to at least some of the gospel accounts, the Jewish leaders need Jesus’ death.

Fools, you have no perception!

The stakes we are gambling are frighteningly high!

We must crush him completely,

So like John before him, this Jesus must die.

For the sake of the nation, this Jesus must die.

This pales, however, with the words that the Jews utter later on in the play.

“Crucify him!” the Jews scream to Pilate.

So, why did I refer to Sunday night’s production as a Passion play?

The Passion play was the major entertainment outlet of the Middle Ages. Quite simply — these were pageants, locally produced, that told the story of the final days of Jesus — the Passion.

For a largely illiterate population, the Passion play was the way that they learned the story of Jesus’s arrest, trial, execution, and resurrection — along with the classic anti-Semitic elements that defined the story.

The Passion play tradition did not end with the coming of modernity. The problematic passion play in Oberammergau, Germany, continues to this day.

So, Sunday evening’s scenes of Jesus and the Jews were straight out of a Passion play of the Middle Ages.

In fact, the audience of “Jesus Christ Superstar” was actually seeing the origins of Western anti-Semitism.

Consider that it aired on Easter. Yes, of course: When else should it have been aired?

But, for Jews, Easter has dark historical resonances. Easter was always the time when the local priests used the gospel accounts of the death of Jesus to rile up the masses and to inspire anti-Jewish violence.

That certainly did not happen last night.

I suspect that the most common after show conversations were: “Wasn’t Alice Cooper great?” and “Do you think Starbucks is still open?”

A little history.

The show “Jesus Christ Superstar,” by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, was first produced in 1970.

It imagined Jesus as history’s first celebrity (as well as having had some kind of erotic relationship with Mary Magdalene, which is a whole other story).

A year later, the musical Godspell imagined Jesus as a hippy. It was straight out of “Jesus freak” culture, focusing far more on Jesus’ teachings than on his death.

As soon as “Superstar” opened, the accusations of anti-Semitism began flying. The accusations intensified after the movie version was released in 1973.

From The New York Times, Aug. 8, 1973:

Benjamin R. Epstein, national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, warned yesterday that the movie about the events leading to the crucifixion of Jesus, could result in increased anti‐Semitism by its emphasis on the role of the Jews in the death of Jesus.

The American Jewish Committee has compiled critical comments about the film from Jewish and Christian leaders around the country that it plans to make public this morning to coincide with the movie’s opening at six metropolitan area theatres.

In his prepared statement, Mr. Epstein said that “the movie’s sharp and vivid emphasis on a Jewish mob’s demand to kill Jesus can feed into the kind of disparagement of Jews and Judaism which has always nurtured anti-Jewish prejudice and bigotry.

Except, it didn’t.

Neither, by the way, did the execrable Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ — though it also portrayed the Jewish leaders as not only evil, but demonic. Consider the source …

Why haven’t these productions of Jesus’ final days created any new outbreaks of anti-Semitism — especially because Jew-hatred is far from being a dead issue?

Because, thanks to Christian leaders, thinkers, and teachers, theological anti-Semitism is, in fact, mostly a dead issue.

Consider this:

The latest production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” comes out a full 53 years after the Vatican II declaration that the Jews are not to be blamed for the death of Jesus of Nazareth.

This means that it has been more than a half century since most (though not all)  Catholics have imbibed what Jules Isaac dubbed the “teaching of contempt.”

The same is true in mainstream Protestantism as well. Any theologically based anti-Semitism that still exists is so subtle that it might actually pass away unnoticed.

Things are different now — and I’m tempted to add, thank God.

People can watch “Jesus Christ Superstar” and experience it merely as entertainment, not as history and certainly not as theology.

If you ignored the “evil” Jews, “Jesus Christ Superstar” was still a good show.

And ultimately, harmless.

When it comes to contemporary Jew-hatred, as the saying goes — we have far bigger fish to fry.

About the author

Jeffrey Salkin

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin is the spiritual leader of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Fla., and the author of numerous books on Jewish spirituality and ethics, published by Jewish Lights Publishing and Jewish Publication Society.

84 Comments

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  • Great music, terrible lyrics.

    As close as we are going to get to the real Jesus

    “Scholars have virtually no reliable information on the historical Jesus, and conflicting accounts from writers, none of whom were present at the time of his life. While there is some evidence that we may have some of Jesus’ words, in what is called the “Q” source, even this cannot be proven. As for his life, hardly any incident can be verified: his birth and baptism, the wedding at Cana, his curing of the sick, his entry into Jerusalem and meeting with Pontius Pilate, or even his crucifixion, much less the resurrection.”

    Craig Eisendrath is the author of At War with Time: The Wisdom of Western Thought, From the Sages to a New Activism for Our Age, whi.
    Copyright © 2003, The Baltimore Sun |

  • “Oh, yes, of course: the music was great, and it has held up over the decades.” absolutely!
    They got some scripture wrong and misrepresented several things – none I remember at the moment.
    As far as the Jews being blamed for Jesus’ death:
    John 10:17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
    Alice Cooper was great!

  • Not a good idea to use passages from John’s gospel to make a point:

    From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

    “Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John’s Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source……

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

    “Since “the higher criticism” of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] “[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,”[5] and date it to 90-100.”

    “The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle.”

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

    “Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. ”

    l

  • There still are Christians that believe that Jews killed Jesus and they’re not all whte or evangelicals either. Even Christians that aren’t antisemitic don’t understand who the Pharisees really were. I’ve thought for a long time that we need someone to do a ‘Splainer on who the Pharisees were. It’s the hardest thing to explain to Christians. It doesn’t seem to penetrate.

  • Obviously, JC did not reject the book since it was not written in his lifetime.

  • Pop-quiz me, brother Jeffrey Salkin.

    (1) TRUE OR FALSE: “Increased anti‐Semitism” happens when “emphasis on the role of the Jews in the death of Jesus” is made.

    FALSE. How could such a role be performed while lacking real “emphasis”?! Oh I get it; a de-emphasized crucifixion was how it happened. OKEYDOKEY KARAOKE.

    (2) TRUE OR FALSE: “The Jews are not to be blamed for the death of Jesus of Nazareth.”

    FALSE. What, it was the North Koreans’ fault, then?! Hold on, maybe you got something there.

    (3) TRUE OR FALSE: “Theological anti-Semitism is, in fact, mostly a dead issue.”

    FALSE. “Anti-Semitism” is “a dead-issue” because it’s the Jews now who’re accusing each other that they’re anti-Semitic toward Jews!

  • Not a good idea to use Bruce Chilton or Gerd Ludemann in your posts.

    Neither was around when Jesus, or for that matter the Apostles, walked the earth and their musing should be taken with a 5 lb bag of salt.

  • The person who was Jesus is no longer alvie. Christ is the Greek word for Messiah. Jews never thought of the Messiah as a personal savior.

  • Christ is sitting at the right hand of His Father, Susan. He is interceding for His.
    God saved Israel from Pharaoh. He also at various times saved them from their foes. That was one of the things He did for them
    The Messiah – they thought Jesus would free them from the romans and be their new King;

  • The Messiah was supposed to bring about a world of peace, love and understanding. It should be obvious that han’t happened. Never heard that Jesus sits at the right hand of God. That kind of a God is not one I can believe in. God is not an old man in the heavens sitting on a throne.

  • You are correct. He is not an old man sitting in the Heavens on a throne. His Son sits on a throne beside Him though.
    The Messiah will fulfil that hope when He returns. At present, He is trying to reconcile a wilful, sinful world to Himself so that we do not all perish.

  • Psaln 110:1 – English Standard Version

    The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

  • ….But why wait for some official ‘Splainer gig? You be the ‘Splainer, instead.

    You give the explanation (or simply locate a relatively brief link of your liking), that says out loud what the Pharisees are really about.

    For example, here’s a reasonable little ditty that cuts to the chase on BOTH the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Biblically accurate, too. Enjoy, folks!

    https://www.gotquestions.org/Sadducees-Pharisees.html

  • I’ll repeat what I posted below:
    John 10:17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

  • The Jews did not kill Jesus anymore than blacks killed Malcom X and whites killed JFK. This is nothing but nonsense. After all, Peter, James, and John, were Jews. We all have a choice whether we are Jewish or not to follow Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. If we paid attention to the entire Bible, these disciples accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah. That’s a religionist’s decision. You can’t blame an entire group for a mob action taken centuries ago. That very action has been put to a stop – a horrible form of capital punishment that was normal at that time (2 others were also crucified at the same time). We celebrate Easter as the coming of the promised Messiah who literally overcame death. Although Moses and Elijah have been deemed to have escaped death, too, their demonstration cannot be compared to the Messiah’s. His was an overwhelming and everlasting defeat to “the world, the flesh, and the devil”. The decision to accept him is up to every individual. Accepting his teachings is to love everyone and respect everyone’s personal religious choices. PLEASE! There are some Christians who don’t have the smallest degree of love, compassion, and honesty that a Jewish person exhibits. The Christ-teachings have changed the world forever. So don’t measure Christianity by Christians. Again, many of other religionists can be far more Christ-like. It’s our decision.

  • I tried to make this point but you have said it best. The Pharisees were a religious-political party. They hated Jesus because he was taking away their constituents and weakening their power. The Pharisees and Saducees, political partisans, killed Jesus.

  • One more thing, the Pharisees and Sadducees of yesterday are with us today. They remain as representatives for us to understand that to reject what is good and right and support evil politicians in order to hold on to power is unacceptable to Christians as well as many other religionists. They were hypocrites and the same goes for them today. Hypocrisy killed Jesus and today it is killing the spirit of love, compassion and honesty.

  • Psalm 110:1 is not a reference to Jesus. Jesus was a Jewish sage. He was a human being. He died a long time ago and he’s not coming back. Only God can save human beings and Jesus is not God or God’s son or the Messiah. In the Jewish prayer book it say, “but for you God, we have no savior.”

  • John 10:17 – 17The reason the Father loves Me is that I lay down My life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”

  • For most literal christians the Bible is the only reliable information source on Judaism – which of course it isn’t.

  • yes, their outfits were quite weird … and anomalous to the other characters’ outfits. I think most folk know that the religious elite/power brokers in the drama *are* a sinister group… and could have been as effectively portrayed in 3-piece suits and sunglasses. I also think most folk know that Jesus was a jew and surrounded by all jews.

  • Most Christians read the Hebrew Bible backwards. They start with the idea that Jesus is the Messiah and the son of God and then look for proofs. That’s not the correct way to read the Hebrew Bible. Certainly David didn’t mean Jesus. People get mad when I say this. but the “New Testament” isn’t part of my Bible so don’t quote it at me. If you insist on proselytizing, I will just respond by saying Jesus was a sage, but he was a human being. Jesus has not always been. He was born and died without being resurrected.

  • found something interesting as I was reading tonight:
    Psalm 2:7 7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
    He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
    8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
    9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

    Isaiah 42:1“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
    I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.

    Mark 1:9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

  • Just more backward reading that takes lines out of context to make them mean something they originally didn’t mean.

  • The Pharisees were the foundation of what became modern Judaism. They enabled Judaism to survive the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion.

  • A very Christian explanation. The author didn’t really get it from a Jewish point of view.

  • PHARISEES (Φαρισαῖοι; Aramaic, “Perishaya”; Hebr. “Perushim”):
    The Charge of Hypocrisy.

    Nothing could have been more loathsome to the genuine Pharisee than Hypocrisy. “Whatever good a man does he should do it for the glory of God” (Ab. ii. 13; Ber. 17a). Nicodemus is blamed for having given of his wealth to the poor in an ostentatious manner (Ket. 66b). An evil action may be justified where the motive is a good one (Ber. 63a). Still, the very air of sanctity surrounding the life of the Pharisees often led to abuses. Alexander Jannæus warned his wife not against the Pharisees, his declared enemies, but against “the chameleon- or hyena- [“ẓebo’im”-] like hypocrites who act like Zimri and claim the reward of Phinehas:” (Soṭah 22b). An ancient baraita enumerates seven classes of Pharisees, of which five consist of either eccentric fools or hypocrites: (1) “the shoulder Pharisee,” who wears, as it were, his good actions. ostentatiously upon his shoulder; (2) “the wait-a-little Pharisee,” who ever says, “Wait a little, until I have performed the good act awaiting me”; (3), “the bruised Pharisee,” who in order to avoid looking at a woman runs against the wall so as to bruise himself and bleed; (4) “the pestle Pharisee,” who walks with head down like the pestle in the mortar; (5) “the ever-reckoning Pharisee,” who says, “Let me know what good I may do to counteract my neglect”; (6) “the God-fearing Pharisee,” after the manner of Job; (7) “the God-loving Pharisee,” after the manner of Abraham (Yer. Ber. ix. 14b; Soṭah 22b; Ab. R. N., text A, xxxvii.; text B, xlv. [ed. Schechter, pp. 55, 62]; the explanations in both Talmuds vary greatly; see Chwolson, “Das Letzte-Passahmahl,” p. 116). R. Joshua b. Hananiah, at the beginning of the second century, calls eccentric Pharisees “destroyers of the world” (Soṭah iii. 4); and the term “Pharisaic plagues” is frequently used by the leaders of the time (Yer. Soṭah iii. 19a).

    It is such types of Pharisees that Jesus had in view when hurling his scathing words of condemnation against the Pharisees, whom he denounced as “hypocrites,” calling them “offspring of vipers” (“hyenas”; see Ẓebu’im); “whited sepulchers which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones”; “blind guides,” “which strain out the gnat and swallow the camel” (Matt. vi. 2-5, 16; xii. 34; xv. 14; xxiii. 24, 27, Greek). He himself tells his disciples to do as the Scribes and “Pharisees who sit on Moses’ seat [see Almemar] bid them do”; but he blames them for not acting in the right spirit, for wearing large phylacteries and ẓiẓit, and for pretentiousness in many other things (ib. xxiii. 2-7). Exactly so are hypocrites censured in the Midrash (Pes. R. xxii. [ed. Friedmann, p. 111]); wearing tefillin and ẓiẓit, they harbor evil intentions in their breasts. Otherwise the Pharisees appear as friends of Jesus (Luke vii. 37, xiii. 31) and of the early Christians (Acts v. 38, xxiii. 9; “Ant.” xx. 9, § 1).

  • Archetypal dramas call for archetypal villains, powers-that-be trying desperately to hold on to their privileged positions. The circumstances of this particular story might seem to throw Judaism under the bus, but the underlying theme of the corruption of power is universal. Had the story taken place in a different era, the bad guy might have been Cardinal Richelieu or Jerry Falwell.

  • He was never hit on the head. The scripture that man knew was incredible. Only being led by God could accomplish that.

  • He actually fell off his horse. I just assumed he hit his head when he landed. I attribute his visions to brain damage.

  • No you didn’t get my point. The Pharisees were not Jesus’s enemy. I was pointing out that the picture of the Pharisees in the “New Testament” is just wrong.

  • F. Bailey Smith, the. President of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in 1978…

    “Gawdalmighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

    Check on Roy Hobbs on these very pages, and all of the websites he references.

    Antisemitism isn’t dead, and won’t be as long as there is fear and hatred to be e ploited.

  • I’ll have to disagree. Christians of a sort have been warning us for 2000 years that the antichrist was going to show up. And when he finally did, they voted for him.

  • You are quite right. How that happened, I can only chalk up to divine intervention or disqus being disqus,

  • I’ll have to disagree. Christians of a sort have been warning us for 2000 years that the antichrist was going to show up. And when he finally did, they voted for him.

  • You “just assume” a lot of things to get to the answers you’re seeking. Whatever works to get you through the (Messiah-less) night

  • I never ever never ever never ever make mistakes, though my husband would disagree mightily. So don’t ask him. ??

  • You know what surprises me the most, Susan?
    You will believe that God made walls of water for your people to walk though. You will believe that He cracked the earth open to swallow up the immoral. You believe that God got them through a war by them keeping Moses arms raised and that there was a fourth person in the lions den with Daniel, and that Elijah ascended in a chariot – on and on. The wonders of God never cease, yet, when He comes here in the form of a man, in your opinion, He didn’t. Kind of astounds me. Blessings to you Susan. I’ve enjoyed our conversation.

  • No I don’t. I’ve said many times that I don’t believe everything in the Hebrew Bible is literally true. The Hebrew Bible teaches, but it all doesn’t have to be literally true to learn those lessons. Don’t believe anything you mentioned really happened.

  • Jesus was GOD’S Messiah, to lead you out of the darkness of your spiritual night. If you reject Him, you’re without a Messiah, and left in the dark – unless you invent your own personal version.

  • No, I still have God and Jesus is not the Messiah. It’s not my personal version. It’s a version that all Jews share. So you’re saying that all Jews are left in the dark.

  • I’ve always found it a bit odd that if God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the covenant with the Jewish people was of God, why did God allow the temple to be destroyed, a Muslim mosque built in its place effectively preventing it from ever being rebuilt. I listened very attentively to a very interesting conversation between a rabbi and a catholic chaplain once a couple years back where the chaplain asked the rabbi if indeed God had not by the destruction of the temple indicated that the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah had been in error. All the rabbi could answer was they were not connected. It is an intriguing theological paradox. As I understand it God gave the temple so atonement for sin could be made but there is no temple and as I understand there have been no sacrifices of atonement for sin for two thousand years. I must confess that did get me to thinking about what an amazing coincidence all this is. If it were Christians who prevented the building of the temple I could say it was just part of the Christian triumph and tradition but given it is an entire new faith that came centuries later that prevents the temple from being rebuilt, the timing and situation is just a bit weird, unless Jesus was the Messiah and the temple is irrelevant as Christians claim. I have to admit, makes me ponder. There are a few things that alway smake me wonder if Christianity has validity and this coincidence is one.

  • Just curious. Do you believe that God exists? Do you have to believe in God to be Jewish? If God exists is God limited or unlimited? If God exists does he/she care anything about human beings? Could Judaism be a figment of someone’s imagination like many claim Christianity and Islam to be?

  • Can one be a Jew or Jewish and believe that Jesus was the Messiah? Are there any branches of Judaism that entertains the idea that Jesus might be the Messiah? If a Jew becomes a Christian do they cease to be a Jew?

  • Spanky isn’t the antichrist.
    He is He who is the product of 1700 yrs of evolved ” Christianity “.

  • The show was great – all aspects of it.
    Were my grandchildren to see it – they would only identify the good guys and the bad guys w/o labels of ID.
    The none’s are ever increasing – and Salkins observation of antisemitism will fade, as their numbers increase.

  • I met JC at Hooters last week for a drink.
    I ordered the drinks for both of us.
    Vin rouge in double D cups.
    {that’s really gross on more than 1 level….(~_* ) }

  • Might does not make right. God works at God’s own pace and time which is not ours. Jews have replaced the Temple with prayer, good deeds, mitzvot and Torah study. The sacifices were initiated in a period of time when chid sacrifices still took place. The first Messiah hasn’t come yet. The Temple may be rebuilt when the Messiah comes, but I think Jews don’t spiritually need a Temple anymore. Jew have never believed in original sin, so we don’t need Jesus or any Messiah to redeem us from original sin. We have also replaced the sacrifices with making Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and prayer. The Hebrew word for sin means to miss the mark and the Hebrew word for repentence means to return. Btw, nothing you have said makes you a son of Socrates.

  • Jews are a nation and an ethnic group as well as a religion. So you can be a Jewish atheist. I’m not a theologian and there are more than one answer to these questions. Judaism doesn’t have one set credo. When my mother was dieing of cancer, I didn’t think that if I prayed hard enough, she wouldn’t die, but the prayers offered me comfort and consolation.

  • Theological antisemitism is not dead. There are plenty of Christians and even non-Christians who blame Jews for Jesus’s death. Christianity has what someone whose name escapes called ” a theology of contempt” for Judaism. That exists everywhere in Christianity. It even exists in atheists who grew up in a Christian culture. Antisemitism has a twin brother called anti-Judaism.

  • Yes, not all Pharisees were Jesus’ enemy. Just the ones who persecuted him. There are differing degrees of sincere and consecrated worshipers within every religion. So it’s best not to make blanket statements covering an entire group. Also, that the “New Testament is wrong”, is your personal opinion. I don’t know your credentials for that statement but it wouldn’t matter to me as the entire Bible, including the Old and New Testaments, are my basis of study and faith.

  • You’re the one who made blanket statements about Pharisees being the enemy of Jesus and hypocrites. The “New Testament” is partly a polemic to prove the spiritual superiority of Christianity over Judaism. The Pharisees have always believed that the life and safety of person superseded the Sabbath. They never would have faulted the hungry for picking fruit on the Sabbath. I have studied what you call the “Old Testament” and Jews never do. I don’t believe it prophesizes Jesus’s coming as the Messiah.

  • Yes, I did make a blanket statement, it was unintentional and I apologize. But I will not involve myself in a religious argument. It’s uncouth. This is my final post on this matter.

  • Original sin was/is a brilliant recruiting tool.
    Only “baptism” can free one from “original sin” which will send you to “hell”.
    Only the church through it’s “clerics” can perform baptism.
    By being baptized, you automatically become a member of the church.
    Members of the church must perpetually pay $$$ for the privilege of membership.
    Original sin, baptism and hell were/are brilliant $$$-making recruiting tools.

  • This is a trick question: Were the Jews at the time involved in the crucifixion, burial & resurrection of Israel’s Messiah Jesus?

    The other is: Didn’t the proto-Catholic Early Church Wolves I mean Fathers invent anti-Semitism?

  • No! There are no branches of Judaism who believe Jesus was the Messiah. There are fake branches of Judaism that say you can, but only Christians accept them. The person who founded such an organization in Philly was a Christian who converted to Judaism under false pretences and took what would be called a Jewish sounding name.

  • “So you’re saying that all Jews are left in the dark.”

    No –some Jews have already accepted their Messiah…and more will do so
    yet.

  • The concept of “Messiah” would not be very meaningful to you unless you were a Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim, but it’s a role that has to do with arranging and executing the “salvation” you also asked about.

    “Salvation” means this: All souls end up in the presence of God – for eternity. That will be Hell for those who resist Him, and Heaven for those who accept Him and the sacrifice He made to open the “pearly gates.” “Salvation” consists of changing your attitude – and your status – from the first category to the second.

  • You wanted answers. You got answers. If you don’t like them, the confusion is of your own making.

  • No, they haven’t because they’re not Jews and only Christians accept them as Jews. Jews don’t. I sincerely doubt many will. Certianly no one on RNS has been successful. I can say personally, they’re attempts are offensive and annoying.

  • You can call it by any exaggerated name you like. The desire to spread a message of hope is equivalent to “genocide?” Hyperbole, you have a new Mistress! And you have to divine my “real motive” (to eliminate Jews) by oracular means — or do you have psychic powers? In the meantime, beneath the cloud of name-calling, the real issue stubbornly continues to demand attention.
    Jews can convert to Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, you name it, or even declare themselves outright unbelievers, and will still consider themselves (and be considered) as “Jews” – but not if they convert to Christianity. Have you ever considered why that jarring disparity exists? The simple and obvious answer is that the unique Jewish despisal of Christianity (present from day one of their relationship) has poisoned the development of their liason.

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