Friday, November 02, 2018

Moss on anti-Semitic use of the Bible

CANDIDA MOSS: How Bigots Easily Exploit the Bible for Anti-Semitism. In a debate about what drove the Tree of Life synagogue, Robert Bowers himself squarely grounds his perspective in the Bible (The Daily Beast).
Mark Leuchter, a professor of religion and Judaism at Temple University agrees. “Once the New Testament became holy specifically to Christians, the original context for [the] debate was lost.” Statements from the New Testament “became [for some] the justification for anti-Jewish violence and hatred… and are still used to facilitate anti-Jewish bigotry in ways that many Christians don’t even realize.” As evidence of this subtle bias Leuchter cited the use of the term “Pharisee” by “well-meaning Christians” as an insult against people obsessed with law, when the historical Pharisees were actually more like ancient liberal activists. Examples like this contribute to what Leuchter calls a “cartoon version of Judaism that is presented as devoid of morality, holiness or humane values.”
Unfortunately, the misuse of the term "Pharisee" remains common. I have been pointing it out for years. See the posts collected here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.