ADL'S FOXMAN: NEW TESTAMENT IS ANTI-SEMITIC
By Rev. Ted Pike
15 Feb 06
Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League
of B'nai B'rith, believes anti-Semitism will last as long as Christians
accept the New Testament's "lie" that the ancient Pharisees
were responsible for the death of Christ. 1
In his recent book, Never Again? The Threat
of the New Anti-Semitism,
2 Foxman claims this "deadly" 3 deception has caused untold
Jewish suffering through the millennia. Such New Testament-generated
hate culminated in the Holocaust, he claims - but it breaks out afresh
as the "Christ-killers" charge is inferred in Mel Gibson's
Passion of the Christ and readings from the "anti-Semitic" Christian
story at Easter.
Foxman says another wave of global anti-Semitism and persecution
of Jews could be on the way unless Christians agree to ignore large
sections of the New Testament.
What sections will probably be on his "must censor" list?
Certainly, it would include Christ's incendiary attacks on the Pharisees,
whom He called "whitewashed tombs, full of dead men's bones." 4
Foxman would also censor the Apostle John: "He who has the Son
has the life; he who does not have the Son does not have the life...
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This
is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son." 5
In the book of Revelation, recorded by John, Jesus says those Jews
who reject Him are "the synagogue of Satan," 6 another passage
Foxman would certainly cut out.
But most importantly, Foxman would censor the multitude of passages
in all the Gospels that reveal a pharisaic conspiracy to entrap and
finally murder Christ. 7 The book of Acts squarely lays blame for the
crucifixion upon the Pharisees and the nation of the Jews. 8 To please
Foxman, St. Paul's clear indictment must also be omitted: "The
Jews...killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out. They
are not pleasing to God but hostile to all men." 9
Foxman claims Jews were not responsible for the crucifixion and that
Roman officials masterminded Jesus' death. But only one "Roman
official" is mentioned in the New Testament as authorizing the
crucifixion; Pontius Pilate was a weak-willed political opportunist,
reluctant to condemn Christ. He was coerced by an entire Jewish Sanhedrin
and a mob of Jewish citizens who screamed, "Crucify him! His blood
be upon us and on our children." 10
Foxman's Case Against the New Testament
Foxman summarizes his case against the New Testament:
"Over the last century a growing preponderance of evidence
and scholarly study has demonstrated that the execution of Jesus
was instigated primarily by the Roman authorities who ruled Palestine
in the first century C.E., not by the Jewish people. And the anti-Jewish
rhetoric that mars several books of the Christian New Testament has
been shown to reflect not historical fact but the rivalry at the
time the books were written between Jews who followed Jesus and those
who did not.
"Nonetheless, versions of the Gospel narratives that emphasize
Jewish guilt (rather than the responsibility of the Roman imperial
authorities who actually imposed and carried out the death sentence)
were included in the Christian canon. As a result, with every annual
reading or reenactment of the story of the death of Jesus in Christian
churches, millions of Christians imbibed the notion that the Jews
had been guilty of the worst crime in history. Into our own time,
the deicide libel has been used to justify hatred of Jews and violence
against them, including from Christian pulpits. Through the centuries
these denunciations have led to countless outbreaks of violence against
Jews, including murderous pogroms, a bitterly ironic betrayal of
the legacy of the man Christians revere as the Prince of Peace.
"For almost two thousand years Christian teachings drove the
spread of anti-Semitism throughout Europe and beyond. (As we'll
see, the current explosion of anti-Semitism in the Moslem Middle
East is fueled largely by myths and doctrines that originated in
Europe.) The story of Christian anti-Semitism is a long, complicated
and tragic one. Scholars such as the late Dr. James Parks have traced
a direct line from ancient Christian teachings on Jews and Judaism
to the death camps of Hitler." 11
Christians Still Guilty
According to Foxman, Christians in modern times are also very largely
responsible for the Holocaust.
"...many Germans and Austrians who spent the week murdering
Jews then went to church on Sunday, apparently seeing no inconsistency
in their actions and it's also true that the political and social
atmosphere in which the persecution and killing of millions of Jews
could be seen as broadly acceptable could not have existed without
the tacit acceptance of the Christian churches - as well as the ingrained
anti-Semitism of twenty centuries of dogma, doctrine and preaching
that demonized Jews...because Christians and the Christian churches
had spread hatred of Jews for so long, it's impossible for Christians
- and in particular the Catholic Church - to regard themselves as
passive or innocent bystanders during the Holocaust. The killings
could not have happened without the sins of millions Christians -
sins of commission as well as sins of omission." 12
Modern Christianity, Foxman asserts, is thus based on hateful, vengeful
lies spread by the New Testament. He says the evangelism practiced
by devout Christians is also anti-Semitic. "Although it is supposedly
motivated by love for the Jews, this idea [that Jews should be converted]
is inherently anti-Semitic in that it implicitly denigrates the value
of Jewish belief." 13
Threat of Religious Right
But Foxman's allegations go farther still. He says we should
fear Christians because they want to take over America! They are "part
of a broader strategy to transform American government into a wholly
owned subsidiary of the evangelical movement... They seek the power
to impose that faith on everyone in America, replacing pluralism and
tolerance with theocracy." 14 Ironically, Foxman thus becomes
one of the "conspiracy theorists" he usually rails against.
Foxman's ADL exerts enormous influence over at least half million
Jewish members of B'nai B'rith worldwide. His dark warnings about the
Christian threat helps explain the eagerness of many Jews to oppose
Christian symbols, ceremonies, holidays, and values.
Foxman is trying to instill a guilt complex in Christians and a desire
in the Jewish people to resist, restrict, and ultimately persecute
Christians; 15 ADL/B'nai B'rith hate laws were created for this purpose.
To stimulate Jewish anger at Christians, evil Jewish leaders are
creating a truly Big Lie: that the New Testament is inherently evil,
anti-Semitic and violence-generating - a book which, like Mein
should not be read.
How Should Christians Respond to Foxman?
Bible-believing Christians remain extremely reluctant to identify
evil Jewish leaders for what they are (Jewish). Such truthtelling,
however, would be very constructive. It would embarrass the Jewish
community into restraining their brethren in Jewish "civil liberties" groups
and the media. Tragically, lack of specificity from evangelicals only
gives a green light to evil Jewish leadership, hidden behind a media
they control. Eventually, they will convince not only the Jewish people
but the world that Christianity is the most hateful and hurtful of
the world's religions. A generation from now, our media-reared children
may regard Christianity as deserving outright persecution.
The power of Foxman's blame-throwing against Christians inheres in
his presumption that all who have ever called themselves Christians
are indeed Christians. This allows him to lump together in "collective
guilt" those who, throughout history, were Christian in name only
with those who do in fact epitomize the words of the gentle Jesus.
Christ commanded us to love our neighbors and bless our enemies.
Anyone who behaves in a malicious persecutive manner toward Jews,
especially to the extent of the medieval barbarities and pogroms, is
not a Christian. A true Christian is simply not responsible for the
misdeeds of counterfeit Christians, nor is the New Testament.
Nowhere does the New Testament remotely hint that Christians should
persecute Jews, nor does it provide even one example of such persecution.
On the contrary, the book of Acts contains at least 20 instances of
Christians being persecuted at the urging of Jewish leaders. 16 This
is the kind of persecution that ADL's national executive board
member, Philadelphia district attorney Lynne Abraham, brought down
upon 11 Christians in Philadelphia in 2004. They were jailed and threatened
with 47 years in prison and $80,000 fines each, for the "hate
crime" of witnessing to homosexuals on a public sidewalk.
Should Christians Change the New Testament?
Can Christians accommodate Foxman and disregard the New Testament?
Not without destroying Christianity - the New Testament defines Christianity.
No Christian can omit or de-emphasize any part of the New Testament.
To do so is to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, an act for which
Christ will be ashamed of that person on the Day of Judgment. 17
After 300 years of blessing 18 from Christian America, a nation established
on New Testament values, it is time for Foxman to face reality. Jews,
far from being harried victims, have been the coddled darlings of evangelical
New Testament-believing Christians since at least the 17th century.
Foxman and Jewish leaders should stop raking up the past and count
their present blessings - blessings which would never have come upon
them except within a civilization upholding Christ's New Testament
message of love and forbearance.
The church must stand resolute against Foxman's demands that it deny
the New Testament.
It is Foxman's persecution complex which must end.
Christians already accommodate Foxman by saying we "all" have
crucified Christ by sinning. This doctrine was virtually unheard
of before the 1970s when Billy Graham first promoted it; it is
neither Biblical nor logical. The Bible does teach that all have
sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). It also
states those who have once believed and yet apostasized "again
crucify…the Son of God" (Heb. 6:6). Yet Scripture does
not teach that through some metaphysical alchemy we all participated
in the crucifixion. The crucifixion was a unique historical event
nearly 2000 years ago when Christ was rejected by His own, the
Jewish people. Though Pilate was badgered into authorizing it and
a handful of Roman soldiers drove the nails, the force behind the
crucifixion was entirely Jewish. The New Testament assertion of
the Jewishness of the crucifixion is central to the historic prophecies
and claims which ground the Scripture. Without such a reference
point there is little significance in Christ's return someday to
rescue and absolve a repentant Jewish remnant from the stigma of
so heinous a national sin. This may explain why the New Testament
repeats its charge of Jewish guilt in about forty different passages.
2 Harper, San Francisco, 2004.
3 "...Christianity developed a set of doctrines
that proved to be deadly," p.97.
4 Matt. 23:27.
5 I John 5:12; 2:22.
6 Rev. 3:9.
7 Christ's revelation that He would suffer under the Jews
and be killed. Mt. 16:21, Mk. 8:31, Lk. 9:22; "One man should
die for the people." "...planned together to kill Him." Jn.
11: 47-53, Jn. 18:14; "Delivered to the chief priests and condemned
to death." Mt.
20: 18-19, Mk. 10:33, Lk. 18: 31-33; "...and they plotted together
to seize Jesus by stealth and to kill Him." Mt. 26:4,
Lk. 22:2, Jn. 7:1; "...to
obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death." Mt.
26:59; "Why do you seek to kill me?" Jn.
7:19, Jn. 8:37,40; "Is
not this the man they are seeking to kill?" Jn 7:25; "Chief
priests and elders took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death." "...delivered
Him to Pilate." Mt. 27:1-2, Mk. 15:1, Lk. 23:1; "Pilate
knew that because of envy they had, delivered Him up." Mt.
27:18, Mk. 15:10; "What
are you willing to give to me to deliver Him up to you?" "Chief
priests and scribes seeking how they might put Him to death." Mt.
26:15, Mk. 14:10-11, Lk. 22:2-6; "...seeking how to destroy Him." Mk.
11:18, Lk. 19:47; "chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes
to ask for Barabas, and to put Jesus to death." Mt.
27:20, Mk. 15:11, Lk. 23:18, Jn. 18:40; "...and they shouted ‘crucify
ought to die!" Mt. 27:22-23, Mk. 15:13-14, Lk. 23:21-23,
Jn. 19:6-7,15; "Pilate
delivered Jesus to their will." Mt. 27:26, Mk. 15:15,
Lk. 23:24-25, Jn. 19:16; "His blood be upon us and our children!" Mt.
this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin." Jn
how the chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death
and crucified Him.Lk. 24:20; "...Jesus, whom ye have crucified..." Acts
2:36, Acts 3:14-15, Acts 4:10, Acts 5:30, Acts 13:28, Acts 21:11; "[Jews]
who have both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets..." I
Thess. 2: 14-16.
8 “...this man...you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless
men and put Him to death.” Acts 2:23; “God has made Him both Lord
and Christ - this Jesus whom you crucified.” Acts
2:36; “But you
disowned the Holy and Righteous One...and put to death the Prince of Life...” Acts
3:13-15; “Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified...” Acts
4:10; “Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross,” Acts
5:30; “...the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now
become,” Acts 7:52; “...they asked Pilate that He be executed,” Acts
9 I Thess 2:19, 15.
10 Matt. 27:22, 25.
11 P. 47 and 48.
12 P. 93 and 94.
13 P. 138.
14 P. 140 and 141.
15 To combat "a looming international emergency" of global
anti-Semitism, Foxman urges his readers to "work for passage of hate crimes
legislation on the national level and in states and localities where no such
laws currently exist" (p. 178). ADL has been deeply frustrated over the
five failures to pass its Orwellian federal hate bill, "The Local Law
Enforcement and Enhancement Act."
16 Acts. 4:1-21; 5:17-18; 5:26-40; 6:9; 7:1-60; 8:1-4; 9:1-2; 11:19;
12:3; 13:50; 14:2-6, 19; 17:5-9; 18:12; 21:27; 22:22; 23:12; 24:1, 27; 25:7.
17 Mark 8:38.
18"Three and one-half million Jewish immigrants arrived on
our shores around the turn of the century with an average of $9 per person
in their pockets, less than almost any other immigrant group. Six decades later
the mean family income of Jews was almost double the national average." (George
Gilder, p. 11, Wealth and Poverty)