Judaism and Christian Anti-Semitism
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
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