Judaism and Christian Anti-Semitism

  • Dan Cohn-Sherbok


In a recent issue of Christian Jewish Relations,1 Johannes Cardinal Willebrands argues that Christianity is not anti-Semitic. The New Testament, he explains, contains numerous direct as well as indirect pro-Semitic statements, and at a deeper level the writers of the New Testament continually place Jesus and his mission within the Jewish tradition. Jesus’ (Yeshu) Jewish origins are highlighted; Jesus’ ministry was directed in the first place to Israel; New Testament apocalyptic images have a Jewish origin. Thus Willebrands contends: ‘It is not at all easy to find a book more Semitic, or more Jewish, than the New Testament. To try to tear off from the New Testament its Semitic substance, would simply mean to destroy it, lock, stock and barrel’.2


Jewish Community Jewish People Christian Tradition Christian Theology Religious Pluralism 
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  1. 7.
    Gregory of Nyssa as quoted in Leon Poliakov, History of Anti-Semitism. Vol. I (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975), p. 25.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    Rosemary Radford Reuther, Faith and Fratricide (London: SCM Press, 1975Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    John Hick, God and the Universe of Faiths (New York: St. Martin’ Press, 1973), p. 131.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    Raimundo Panikaar, The Unknown Christ of Hinduism as quoted by P. Knitter No Other Name (New York: Orbis, 1985).Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    Paul Knitter, No Other Name (Mary Knoll: Orbis, 1985), pp. 201–2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dan Cohn-Sherbok 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Cohn-Sherbok
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Religion and SocietyUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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