Friday, 27 December 2013

Anti-Semitism in the NT? Examining the claims of Uri Yosef 4

We are continuing our response to Uri Yosef on the subject of Anti-Semitism and I am spending this particular article looking at the Gospel of John so I can deal with the objections raised by Yosef.

12:10 It is said that the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus and Jesus

John 12:1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.[b]” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you,[c] but you will not always have me.”

9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.

What Yosef fails to inform his readers is that there were Jews COMING TO FAITH IN JESUS. This verse refutes the claim of Anti-Semitism in John 12, if not the whole Gospel. Notice it is the chief priests that are planning his death, not every Jew. Some of the Jews reported to the chief priests Jesus' location and they made plans to eliminate Lazarus and Jesus.

12:36b-43 It is said that most Jews loved the praise of men more than of God

"36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:

“Lord, who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”[h]
39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

40 “He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
    nor understand with their hearts,
    nor turn—and I would heal them.”[i]
41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.

42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God."

It is referring to the Jewish leaders who believed in Christ in the context who loved the praise of man because despite their faith in Christ, refuse to acknowledge their faith, even if it costs them their position. They did not love Christ more than their own lives and loved to be exalted by mere man.

16:2-4 (The Jews who) kill Jesus' disciples will think they are serving God H

"John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you,"

Again, not every Jew is being spoken of here, he is speaking of Jews who refuse to place their trust in him who believe they are doing God a service for killing the disciples and those who came after him. I know I am repeating myself but I have to make this very clear that the NT DOES NOT DAMN EVERY JEW TO HELL. I have to keep reminding the readers of that as they read my material and check my words out with the scriptures for themselves.

18:28-32 The Jews are said to have demanded that Pilate sentence Jesus to 
death HMLR 

"John 18:28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die."

The leaders are the ones who demand the death of Jesus, as does the Jewish crowd within the context. John is recording what the leaders were doing to Christ. This is clearly a case of Yosef's abuse of the text itself and to me it appears that by this point he is grasping at straws.

18:38b-40 The Jews are said to be demanding that Jesus, not Barabbas, be 
crucified HMLR 

"John 18:38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”

40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising."

This objection is answered here:

19:4-16 The Jews are depicted as insisting to Pilate that Jesus be crucified 

"John 19:4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”"

The text pretty much tells you what the crowd demanded, again, it's John recording what the Jews have done to Jesus and again, he is not blaming ALL the Jews, he again referring to a specific group of Jews and given time in a particular context. This is indeed a point to stress constantly as I go through this material showing how false the claims of anti-Semitism in the NT are.

That's it for the Gospels, I shall be moving onto the Acts of the Apostles in the next article if the Lord Wills.

Answering Judaism.

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