Presumed Guilty: How the Jews Were Blamed for the Death of Jesus

Presumed Guilty: How the Jews Were Blamed for the Death of Jesus

Presumed Guilty: How the Jews Were Blamed for the Death of Jesus

Presumed Guilty: How the Jews Were Blamed for the Death of Jesus

Synopsis

"A premier New Testament scholar explores how Jesus' trial and execution are portrayed in the New Testament and how that portrayal has affected biblical studies, Christian theology, and Jewish-Christian relations throughout history. Peter J. Tomson has written an accessible, responsible analysis of the biblical accounts of Jesus' death, demonstrating how, through compounded misunderstandings, they contributed to anti-Jewish sentiment in the early church and later history." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Publication of this book is sponsored by the Foundation for Scientific Research on Christian Literature on Jews and Judaism (Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek van Christelijke Literatuur over Joden en Jodendom), which is based in the Netherlands. The aim of the Foundation is to publish scholarly studies on the religious roots of anti-Semitism. Although much has been written on this subject in the past half-century, anti-Semitism has often been seen merely as a variant of racism. Racism most probably did play a role especially in the motivations behind the Spanish inquisition and the Nazis'hatred of the Jews. One of the lessons of the Shoah (the Holocaust), however, is that this racism could never have had such a catastrophic effect without the passive or active collaboration of many Christians. The reason behind that attitude must be sought in the negative portrayal of Jews within Christian circles. Although there would be sufficient reason to extend a similar project to include the Islamic world, the Foundation focuses on Christianity because of the course of recent European history.

To this end, the board of the Foundation has solicited the advice of Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish experts. As a result, a study on the relationship to Judaism in the earliest collection of Christian texts . . .

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