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Blasphemer would not have convicted him On top of that the claim that the court met on the eve of Passover is patently impossible Finally the Gospel of Matthew claims and it s the only one of the four that mentions this that the Jews when asked by Pontius Pilate whether he should spare Jesus life shouted that his blood be on our heads and our children s and that he should be crucified However the issue that Nicholls points out is that only the gospel of John relates this AND Pontius Pilate is portrayed as defending Jesus against the Jews which is NOT the history of Pilate Pontius Pilate was nown for executing people on a whim and he was such a bloody governor of Judea that the Romans actually removed him because he was The Defense (Eddie Flynn killing too many people Nicholls points out that Pilate s defense of Jesus in the gospel of John is completely against the nature of Pilate as defined in the historical record Nicholls argues that this indicates that the whole trial of Jesus story is probably a fictional account written by the gospel s authorIn the second section of the book Nicholls does an excellent job detailing how the increasingly influential church began to pressure the Roman emperors after Christianity had gained legitimacy with Constantine to strip away the rights of Jews in the Roman empire He details how Jews slowly lost their ability to own land or practice certain fields of study medicine law etc and began to be limited to loaning money only since usury was a sin in Christianity The story continues through the middle ages the inuisition the crusades the expulsion from Spain the expulsion from England all the way through the enlightenment It is during this time that we start seeing antisemitism morph from a strictly religious hatred Jews converting to Christianity would no longer be targets of antisemitic attacks to one based on raceThe final section of the book focuses on antisemitism in the modern age from Karl Marx and Communism to the Nazis and the Holocaust to modern day antisemitism which is sometimes hidden behind the term anti Zionism He does discuss Vatican II and how the reforms in that effort were valiant but fell somewhat short of a full addressing of the situationOverall William Nicholls provides a pretty damning picture of the Catholic church as well as the protestant faiths and how they have carried antisemitism through the past 2000 years It s a very dense book and a somewhat difficult read plus it can get pretty depressing but I still highly recommend it There is some really good information in this book though I feel like it could have been organized better It really impressed upon me just how big the problem is Inew that antisemitism has been a major problem in Christianity I ve even witnessed it firsthand but seeing how deep seated and widespread it has been throughout the history of the church was eye opening in an awful way I also thought it was important how it traced that antisemitism into the post christian world Even after people rejected the Christian reasons for hatred that hatred still lingered on and evolved into new forms This book has given me a lot to think on I didn t agree with everything it said especially as it moved into modern times but I think it s helped me to better understand antisemitism and how I should examine my own views to try to make sure that I m not infected by it I did disagree with the author s conclusions on how to fix the problem His solution seemed to be for Christians to basically convert to Judaism which I don t think many Christians will be up for But I can t be too critical because I can t come up with a good solution either and I m glad that s it s not on my #Shoulders To Do SoOverall I #to do soOverall I glad I read it though part of me wonders if there are other books on the topic that might be better Nicholls uneuivocally states that Christian teaching is primarily responsible for antisemitism fully documenting the manner in which this was doneHere is a selection of Nicholls arguments Christian antisemitism was a direct enabler of Hitler s Holocaust every German Hai nhà knew that Jews were the enemy of German civilization because they had been taught over the long Christian centuries that the Jews were the enemy of Christian civilization Hitler hadnown from childhood that Jews were bad because he had been brought up in a Catholic milieu Hitler s antisemitic ideas "were not created from nothing without the widespread heritage of anti Judaism and antisemitism put forward by Christianity Hitler s "not created from nothing without the widespread heritage of anti Judaism and antisemitism put forward by Christianity Hitler s would have marked him for the madman he was with few exceptions the Christian world did not care about the Nazi onslaught against the Jews the root of the split between Christianity and Judaism as a struggle for possession of the Jewish Scriptures centering on the role of the Messiah if Jesus was the Jewish Messiah his life death and subseuent resurrection had to have been predicted in the Scriptures if Jesus was predicted and Jews deny it then Jews do not now how to read their own Scriptures if Jesus was not predicted Christianity is either an illusion or something altogether novel unprepared in the Bible as the heretic Marcion argued in the 2nd century Jesus could not have been the Messiah the Jews expected and still expect since he did not fulfill what the Messiah was to do he did not free his land and people nor did he inaugurate an age of universal righteousness and peace Christianity has so successfully diverted attention from the historical facts of Jesus death at the hands of the Romans that countless Christians believe that the Jews illed Christ the supposed guilt of the Jews has echoed through history justifying innumerable massacres. Stament and that 'it has not yet died under the impact of modern critical history' Also included in this remarkable volume is Nicholls' research regarding the Jewishness of Jesus He writes 'Historical scholarship now permits us to affirm with confidence that Jesus of Nazareth was a faithful and observant Jew who lived by the Torah and taught nothing against his own people and their faiththe Romans not the Jews were the Christ illers' In Part I 'Before the Myth ' Nicholls explores the life of Jesus and his teachings as found in the New Testament Was Jesus the founder of Christianity Did he offer teachings against his people Did he believe himse.
William Nicholls æ 1 CHARACTERSS harshest criticism for Martin Luther a father of his own reformed church In the early years of his conflict with the Church Luther assumed that freed of the whip of Church anti Judaism and the thousand year long persecution it inspired the Jews would abandon Judaism and enthusiastically accept conversion to his reformist Christianity When the Jews failed to fulfill his expectations Luther s venom towards them was perhaps unmatched until four hundred years later when Hitler sought to fulfill Luther s instructions to the princes before his death At his trial in Nuremberg after the Second World War Julius Streicher the notorious Nazi propagandist editor of the scurrilous antisemitic weekly Der Sturmer argued that if he should be standing there arraigned on such charges so should Martin Luther Nichols 1993 pps270 271 What is to be done Even assuming that Christianity would want to repent its two thousand years of Jew hatred resulting most recently in what is not likely to be the West s final effort at a Final Solution to its Jewish Problem is reform even possible According to Professor Nicholls the likelihood is negligible On page 168 he writes Christian anti Judaism is not a later distortion of an originally pure religion It is embedded in the foundation documents of the faith What would reform demand if not modifying even deleting blatantly anti Jewish references from Christian scripture What for example would the Matthew gospel be without its dramatic rendition of the trial of Jesus of Pilate washing his hands a typically Jewish not Pagan custom of the Jews self condemned forever as deicides And all the people answered and said His blood be on us and on our children Matthew 2722 25 The John gospel repeatedly describes the Jews as satanic Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do John 844 From there it is a short step to characterizing the Jews as antichrists John associates the Jews with Satan many times than all three other canonical gospels combined Even were all branches of Christianity to agree to somehow moderate the anti Judaism of the gospels and Paul is this even possible These documents in their present translation are after all considered the inerrant word of God Unanimity over violating God s inspired words just for the sake of saving the Jews yet another Holocaust And assuming a wave of remorse a universal need to express penance what then would remain of Christianity if indeed it did agree to do so According to Nicholls Once all the anti Jewish elements have been removed from Christianity what is left turns out to be Judaism p 431 But there are other means of reform short of tampering with the documents A unified Christendom recall this is all extremely unlikely could resolve to interpret and teach the documents as holding the Jews blameless of deicide and not in league with the devil but how interpret His blood be on us and on our children other than We did it And secondly this conclave would have to all agree that Judaism is a co eual religion According to Christian tradition Judaism is the dead branch out of which sprang the new Israel which leaves no room for a living
judaism but this is similar to an effortBut this is similar to an effort the Church in 1965 Nostre Aetate described as an act of contrition by the Church over the Holocaust instructed its clergy to teach that the Jews of today are not to be considered guilty of deicide in the death of Jesus A survey conducted two decades later indicated that most clergy ignored the instruction to moderate their teachings and that antisemitism among Catholics had increased rather than diminished over the years And in 2011 the head of the umbrella organization for the Jews who continue to live in post Holocaust Europe described the climate of antisemitism in the EU as at its highest level since the Holocaust What does this indicate for #the efficacy of education and sensitivity training so strongly promoted by Diaspora Jewish #efficacy of education and sensitivity training so strongly promoted by Diaspora Jewish as the path to understanding and a worry free life in the West According to Nicholls and this in 1993 The forces that led to the Holocaust are still active Until they are identified and eliminated from society there is no enduring safety for Jews p 284 And of course he holds out little expectation of thatIs there hope for the future Early in his book Nicholls already concludes that there is little basis for that since No amount of tolerance and goodwill can obscure the fundamental threat to the Jewish people contained in the heart of traditional Christian belief my italics The very presence of the Jewish people in the world puts a great uestion mark against Christian belief in a new covenant which could not fail to cause profound and gnawing anxiety Anxiety usually leads to hostility my italics again p90 An amazing book William Nicholls does an amazing job of detailing the roots of Christian antisemitism He starts by using critical analysis of the four gospels Mark Luke Matthew and John and identifies discrepancies between them and how they impact what is the real Jesus figure He argues rightly so that first and foremost Jesus was a religious Jew of his time He followed the laws of the Torah he observed the mitzvot he ept Shabbat and the holy days Most likely he was one of the Pharisees and even denied that he was the Messiah especially since claiming as such would have
led the Romans to ill him pretty uickly as they werethe Romans to ill him pretty uickly as they were careful to uash any sort of potential revolt or resistance Even had he claimed that he was the Messiah Nicholls points out that in Judaism this wouldn t be a capital crime correct and the court which according to the Gospel of John convicted him of being of. Historians and theologians have been sufficiently open to the painful truth to accept this explanation without considerable ualification Nevertheless it is correct' Christian Antisemitism traces over two millennia the growing domination of Western culture by the Christian 'myth' as Nicholls calls it about the Jews and shows how it still exerts a major influence even on the secularized 'post Christian world' Nicholls shows through scrupulous research and documentation that the myth of the Jews as Christ illers has powered anti Judaism and antisemitism throughout the centuries Nicholls clearly illustrates that this myth is present in the New Te. It is as telling a five year old id that Santa never existedNJ OutstandingI now understand why many Christians don t seem to be interested in the Hebrew scriptures This book is well written and never gets boring Should be read by every Christian Professor Nicholls traces historical Christianity s relationship with Judaism through every era He explains that Christians do not really understand Judaism and thus can fall prey to historical vilification inherent in the seminal story of their faithHe begins by explaining what is the Jewish faith and then progresses to describe Jesus Jewish life at the time he lived The writer explains how Christian claims do not conform to Jewish laws at the time Jesus lived eg the Jewish High Court would never have had a capital trial for claiming one is Messiah or blasphemy The book examines the gospels and the teachings of Paul whom Professor Nicholls says made Gentile converts not in accordance with normative Judaism This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand why Christianity made Judaism the enemy even though the historical Jesus never taught this In my view Professor Nicholls proves his thesis that the Nazi holocaust could not have occurred had it not been for Christianity theology teaching that the Jews are bad are responsible for the murder of Jesus should be made to suffer and are the enemies of civilization He proves it by tracing the dynamic development of what he often terms the Christian myth Loving HatredThe theological self image of Christianity is love The official ethic of Christianity particularly regarding Judaism is persistent and systematic hatred Although this dissonance has at least been recognised in the decades since the Holocaust the centuries of Christian Anti Semitic doctrine remain in both ecclesiastical and secularised form in Western culture This was Nicholls original thesis when Christian Anti Semitism was first published in 196 This is a hard book to read if your are a Christian My assessment is that his categories of analysis are completely wrong He is ready to flush historic Christianity down the drain He A Menagerie of Heroes knows that Catholicism is corrupt as is Orthodoxy Henows that the Reformers didn t get it all right and the Protestant fundamentalists have made a mess of it He has bought into the historic uest for Jesus and the new perspective on Paul But doing so he has denied the divinity of Christ and the Trinity Nonetheless he ends up asking some of the right uestions It was a painful but important read for me On page 390 he sums up his argument that liberalism is fundamentally anti semitic and concludes Against such hate liberalism Christian or secular has no defense Note his categories Liberalism Christian or secular Not Christianity liberal or secular or fundamental or whatever According to him neither secular liberalism nor Christian liberalism has a prayer against Islam So he has turned to the Old Testament But according to his own work some of the most vicious anti semites are Jews Nonetheless he wants to abandon the New Testament especially Paul His history is good but because he jettisons the Trinity and divinity of Christ he
DOESN T HAVE THE THEOLOGICAL CATEGORIES TO DO ANYTHINGt have the theological categories to do anything it except pile it higher and deeper the definition of PhD Interestingly my books Arsy Varsy and Varsy Arsy on 1st and 2nd Corinthians respectively lay the foundations to address his concerns without either abandoning Christianity or becoming #ANTI SEMITIC A WELL RESEARCHED BOOK SHOWING THE LONG #semitic A well researched book showing the long strong history of Christian hatred of the older faith The background shows why antisemitism remains so strong in today s West Of ey note is Chapter 10 While many rightly point to the right wing as a source of hatred they tend to ignore the same hatred on the left That chapter explains how The Enlightenment secularized the hatred and points to how it is still used today Professor William Nicholls who died in 2003 was a minister in the Anglican Church and founder of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia So his credentials as critic of the religion he loved and was devoted to is clear from his lifework Which is what makes his 1993 Christian Antisemitism A History of Hate so important to the understanding of Christian roots of the Holocaust Dr Nicholls book is unrelentingly honest and powerful a carefully constructed and well written indictment of a religion that sees itself as embodying the high ideals of Love Charity and Forgiveness Wherever else these ideals refer to as Dr Nicholls describes in this volume clearly they do not apply to the Jews I have read much on the history of Christian anti Judaism and find none eual in scope and unblinking directness to this volume Nicholls traces Christian theological development from Paul through Augustine to Luther and into the twentieth century He begins with the foundational work of Paul and the gospels which followed The gospels in particular accuse the Jews openly and directly of responsibility for Jesus death leading to the
charge of John s associating the Jews with Satan along with the deicide charge would be repeatedly developed and amplified over the centuries characterizing the Jews in Christianity s midst as enemies of Jesus a fifth column within Christian society Nicholls describes Augustine s rationale providing for Jewish survival in Christendom as punishment for their crimes from the fifth through the 16th centuries Jews were property of the church or princes and with few exceptions lived in poverty and despair Their purpose in Christian society was to provide a warning against Judaizing or unbelief But Nicholls reserves hi. In Christian Antisemitism A History of Hate Professor William Nicholls a former minister in the Anglican Church and the founder of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia presents his stunning research stating that Christian teaching is primarily responsible for antisemitism As Nicholls states these conclusions 'can now be fully justified by the most up to date scholarship Christian as well as Jewish' Nicholls writes 'Many Jewish writers have said uite simply that the Nazis chose the Jews as the target of their hate because two thousand years of Christian teaching had accustomed the world to do so Few Christian.eternal charge of