Monday 30 December 2013

Anti-Semitism in the NT? Examining the claims of Uri Yosef 7

This article will look at three texts raised by Uri near the end of his article and I hope to provide a response to those texts which he raises to his reading audience, let's take a look at those texts shall we?

First 1 Thessalonian 2:13-16

2:13-16 Condemning the Jews for killing Jesus and the prophets, and celebrating the suffering of the Jews now that the "wrath of God" has come upon them ---

"13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

We have to keep in mind that Paul wrote to both Jewish and Gentile Christians within the context of his letters, considering the churches of those times would have mixed congregations, both sides being made one in Christ. Paul obviously has in mind the Jews who killed Christ and not repented, rather than all Jews period and that by continual persecution of the Christians, be they Jew or Gentile, will suffer the wrath of God if they refuse to repent of their evil ways.

For a second time, Yosef quotes from John 8:44 to continue his accusation of the NT teaching Anti-Semitism. Let's read the text again.

John 8:44-47
"44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”"

I had said in Chapter 3 in my response to Yosef, The Jews who were speaking to Jesus are Jews who believed in him, supposedly. However, as Jesus speaks, he reveals their heart's attitude towards him, Once again, this is referring to specific Jews in a given context, he is not saying ALL Jews are of the devil, he is condemning a particular group of Jews. They were shocked by his claims and also couldn't stand what he had said about them. They were superficially believing in Jesus, not really submitting to him. This is the one statement in all the Gospels that is commonly quoted by the Counter-Missionaries to attack the NT and accuse it of Jew Hatred.

These texts I think have been addressed to the best I can by God's grace, you can take my answers on the scriptures, or leave them. All I can do is get you to think on these issues.

One paper I recommend with respect to Anti-Semitism is "Five Questions if you are a Jew", which at one stage does point out that the anti-semitism of yesteryear was wrong. This article can be found at and it's a paper written by Jacob Prasch. I recommend this article and I leave you to judge Prasch's words, as well as mine for yourself.

Shalom and hope this article helps, as with the others before it.

Answering Judaism.


  1. Hello once again I'll list a few reasons why the N.T is anti-jewish.

    1. Nowhere outside of the N.T did it states that pharisees during the first century ever acted in such a way and there are many examples in historical literature such as Josephus and others that they acted the complete opposite way.

    2. Beside trying to kill people did anything that Pharisees did in the N.T was a violation of the 613 because prophets spoke against violating one of the 613.

    3. The book of the prophets were only for the Jews the N.T were for jews and gentiles but gentiles were the people reading the N.T the most which was the exact opposite of the prophets books.

    1. 1. Why do you assume that just because they acted "the complete opposite way" in Josephus to the NT that they didn't act that way at all? Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence
      2. They substituted the Word of God for the precepts of men. They held tradition higher than the Torah and made or broke commandments based on their Rabbinic tradition.
      3. Not sure what you mean by exact opposite.

    2. A quick point here also, The Pharisees were not perfect men, they can be irrational and act in a way contrary to the way they behave in Josephus' day.

  2. agreed. Just about every statement in Matthew in the sermon on the mount was stated previously either in the Tanakh or recorded in the Talmud by those very Pharisees that the NT condemns.

    1. barry, Even though a statement recorded in the TANAKH or the Talmud may of been stated by the Pharisees, that doesn't mean everything they said Jesus accepted. There were issues he agreed with them upon but issues he was in disagreement with them.

  3. 1. Argument of Ignorance is a fallacious argument and since Josephus and other Roman writers were recording what was going in Israel and didn't mention the pharisees evils make it likely it was all made up.

    2. I overlooked that my bad.

    3. The books of the prophets were read only by the Jews until the first century really the New Testament has been for most part been read by gentiles with Jews being a small minority of New Testament readers.

    4. Why didn't Jesus rebuked the Romans as well because in prophetic writings Jews and Gentiles were rebuked.

    1. 1. Dismissing it as fallacious doesn't make it fallacious. Josephus only has to record what was important for those whom his books for written for, namely the Roman Empire. The NT is geared to followers of Jesus., both Jew and Gentile alike
      2. No problem, It happens, There are things I overlook.
      3. No disagreement there, the majority of NT readers were Gentiles.
      4. There is no question the prophets rebuked Jew and Gentile alike, however, As Jesus said, he came for the Lost Sheep of the house of Israel, they were his focus. He would send his apostles to the Gentiles later.

      Sorry for not saying hello earlier.

  4. As long as reasons 3 and 4 a Jew can still say that the NT is anti-Jewish. Jesus still could have said something against the Roman empire and I don't even Paul said anything against Empire just rebuking Idolatry and sexual immortality and that's all.

    1. No, a Jew or Gentile cannot say the NT is anti-Jewish. What is wrong with Jesus helping his own people? The NT readers being mostly Gentiles doesn't mean the NT is anti-Jewish, I have no idea where that assertion comes from.

      Additionally, Paul would of spoken out against immorality in the Roman Empire. I am not sure what your objection is to that.

    2. His main focus was on the immorality in the church, after all they were supposed to be dead to sin and live to rightousness.

  5. The books of prophets solely existed for Jewish eyes only the same can't be said about the NT. That's why reason 3 still stands in other words it kind of how black people can call them selves the n-word and laugh at words with the n-word being used but white people can't do that as well in our modern society. Hopefully this example clarify things and two posts will help even more to show why more two reasons stand.

    1. I'll be happy to look at those articles if the Lord Wills.