I read a lot of news! :) And while perusing various sources today, I came across the following article, titled;
“Sorry America, You’re Wrong! The Jews Did Not Kill Jesus!”
In this article, the writer, “Candida Moss” starts out by telling us all how ignorant we are, how we blame “all Jews” and how wrong the Bible is about this and how it caused 2,000 years of anti-Semitism, etc..
But as a Biblical scholar, after reading just part of this article, it pretty much immediately occured to me that yes, there is an ignorance problem, but this problem is not with the people that this writer attacks, but with the writer herself. I don’t think she got even one thing right!
And once again, it amazes me how people think that when it comes to the Bible, reading a few lines out of the whole makes them an expert critic.
And isn’t it also amazing how, when the purpose is hatred toward the Bible, anything goes? Isn’t it amazing how someone writing against the Bible is sure to get headlines? And the editor seems to require zero verification to make sure the writer is performing the proper research (any serious 1st year Bible student could catch the abundance of errors this “reporter” makes!).
But if it’s “pro-Bible”, then, all of the sudden it’s not worth the space, nor is any response to an anti-Biblical article!
You see, if it’s pro-Biblical, that’s categorized as “religion” and of course, they’re not a religious news source and they don’t want to get involved in those types of arguments.
But if it’s anti-Biblical, then that’s newsworthy and it deserves to be on the front page! And as for responses that agree, well, all of the sudden, they can deal with those and have plenty of room for those.
As for this article, let’s look at some of the statements this writer (Candida Moss) made and see what they’re actually all about.
Hint: It isn’t a love for Scripture! :)
First, the whole premise of this article is the response to a poll that was conducted, in which one of the questions was whether participants believed that “Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus”.
However, the writer of the article then plays a game of bait and switch by adding the definite article “the” and acting as if that was in the question the poll asked.
The article begins at the top by saying (notice the presence of the definite article “the”):
“A new poll reveals that 26% of Americans believe the Jews killed Jesus.”
Candida later claims that the definite article makes a “significant” difference and so this is quite different from what she should have said then, by her own (further down in article) admission;
“A new poll reveals that 26% of Americans believe Jews killed Jesus.”
Like I said, big difference, huh? :)
She goes on to say; “In many ways it is strange that anyone continues to think this.” (that “the Jews” killed Jesus).
Yet later in this very same article, she goes on to, as I said, admit that the definite article isn’t there;
“Part of the problem might be the phrasing of the ADL’s question. Participants were asked if they believed that ‘Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus’. The omission of the definite article—’the Jews’—while small, is significant.”
But then she tries to act like it doesn’t matter that it’s not there, even though she’s the one who made a big deal out of it;
“That doesn’t mean that we let this slide. Given that the issue of responsibility for the death of Jesus is inextricably linked to the history of anti-Semitism, something stronger than ‘it wasn’t all Jews’ and good wishes are required.”
In other words, even if it doesn’t say what she (by her own admission) falsely claimed it says, all anti-Semitism is still the fault of the New Testament writers!
I.e., “Who cares how it’s worded! I have some Christians to blame!”
Well, maybe Candida should realize that people believe that Jews killed Jesus, because the Bible states that it is true and the Bible isn’t wrong just because Candida Moss doesn’t like what it says.
And maybe Ms Moss should grasp the fact that nowhere does the Bible say that every Jew was at fault, nor does it say to hate them.
Oh wait! That’s right! She just admitted that she does already know that! :)
But what she doesn’t seem to know, is that in every instance in the NT where anti-Jewish sentiments were voiced, the Apostles, who were also Jews by the way, corrected it by preaching against that and told how God loved, “the Jew first and then the Gentile”. And once, Paul corrected anti-Jewish sentiment on the part of a Gentile church member pretty harshly!
The New Testament was written in the 1st century, between the late 30’s AD and the late 60’s AD. The “late date” idea is fairly recent and is slowly being overturned. It only took hold due to liberal dominance in the media.
The Gospel writers simply stated what happened that brought about Jesus’ death. And all through the NT, in Acts and in all their letters, love for the Jew is expressed and the idea that the Jew held a prominent place in the church. And this, at the same time the Jewish political/religious structure continued to persecute the church, which was almost completely made up of Jews, by the way.
So what it sounds like to me Ms Moss, is a case of “turn the other cheek”, not “hate the Jews”!
This would not be the case, if the NT writings were the creation of anti-Semitic Gentiles, as Candida implies!
So while her premise that the New Testament was written after the events to create anti-Semitism, the truth is that her claim falls under the weight of these facts! No writers who sought to accomplish what she claims, would have used Jewish writers who consistently expressed their love for the Jewish people and admonished those who would attack them!
Furthermore, Ms Moss seems to ascribe a whole lot of world changing power to a few guys spreading rumors and falsehoods in the 1st century!
And let’s make something else very clear here! Candida Moss is no one to be deciding when the New Testament was written, nor to act like she’s uncovered some secret plot that she’s now revealing to the world.
But you go ahead Candida! You take a line or two from the NT out of context, twist what a couple of popes are talking about, pretend that you can speak for “all Biblical scholars” and blame the New Testament for all anti-Semitism, everywhere for the last 2,000 years, which isn’t even possible! It’s okay! Don’t worry, everyone will believe it and no one will doubt it one bit! You’ll look totally, 100% honest, like a reporter who’s only interested in the facts and not her own feelings! Yea, sure! :)
It never occurs to her, that people did read the question correctly and answered yes, specifically because of how it was worded. Surely if it said “all Jews”, people would have answered “No”. Because obviously not “all Jews” were there.
Yet, Candida goes on to claim that the New Testament writers were arguing that the whole of the Jewish people on planet Earth were all there, crying out for Jesus’ death!
Really, Candida?! The writers of the NT were arguing that every Jew, from everywhere was there and had Jesus killed? Really?
Then who were those Jews that they wrote about, who started following Jesus while He was still walking the Earth? And how did they all fit in that one spot where they were crying out for Jesus to be killed? Hello?
She even quotes a pope or two and says she agrees with them, claiming they were also correcting this fallacious view of the NT, when she is actually quoting them out of context!
I’m sorry “Daily Beast”, but this is some bad reporting! This so called “reporter” seems to have no problem quoting people out of context, misrepresenting what the Bible says and playing bait and switch word games, all to suit her obvious purpose, which is to denigrate God’s word!
Throughout this article, Ms Moss’s hatred if the Bible is obvious! So is the fact that she seeks to blame the Bible for 2,000 years of anti-Semitism! In fact she says outright that the Bible is to blame!
Look, if you don’t want to believe, then don’t. But don’t lie about it and call that “news”! How could you even print that garbage?!
The Gospel writers cannot be blamed for how people react to their simple statements of fact, any more than I can be blamed if people attack Ms Candida Moss after they read my words (please don’t do that!)! Stating the facts, or even ones opinion, is not a reason to attack someone! Especially when they didn’t even say what she claimed!
Candida Moss’s logic is highly flawed!
1) Following her logic, if someone writes that; “Germans were responsible for the deaths of six million Jews”, then that writer who stated this fact is responsible for any and all hatred against Germans.
2) Furthermore, anyone who says “the Germans”, is automatically referring to every German who ever lived and is alive. In truth, it only means those who were involved in the incident under discussion.
Candida makes a big deal out of the definite article “the”. But in truth, adding a definite article is not automatically inclusive of every single one who ever lived.
The truth is that Candida Moss simply hates the Bible and hates the idea that there are people who believe it and wants to do whatever she can to tear down anyones faith, the facts be damned!
In fact, when speaking about the New Testament account about the Jews’ involvement in the death of Jesus, Ms Moss says;
“The historical legacy of these stories is devastatingly clear. They laid the groundwork for and nurtured nearly two thousand of years of anti-Semitism.”
In truth, only a person truly ignorant of the Scriptures and whose sole motive is to berate and belittle both the Scriptures and the Christian faith, could possibly say such a ridiculous thing and in doing so, claim that it was saying, “all Jews who ever lived”.
First of all, the Bible does not blame any Jews, except those who persecuted Jesus and sought His death. That is what it means by “the Jews”. This is further proved by the fact that it was being said to Jews.
Second of all, the ones who “laid the groundwork”, is in fact, the Jews! They were the ones who, yes, killed Jesus! The writers of the NT simply reported what happened and blaming the writers of the NT for the last 2,000 years of anti-Semitism, is like blaming you Candida, for all hatred of Muslims since 9/11, because you reported the event in “The Daily Beast”!
Third, Candida tries to make a difference between Jerusalem and Judea, as if there were no Jews in Judea. The ignorance in this attempt is beyond astounding and the stench of historical ignorance is overwhelming!
This woman simply takes stab after stab at the New Testament, hoping that someone will fall for one of her ploys. It is a sad, pathetic showing of desperation on her part!
The best way to close here, is by answering the question Candida never asked; “Did the Jews kill Jesus?”.
The answer is as I said; “Yes! They did!”.
And so everyone understands, this is how it went:
The Jewish religious leaders did not like Jesus’ preaching. It threatened their hold over the people. Jesus sought to put man in communion with God and the Jewish political structure did not like that. You have to remember that for the Jews, the political, legal and religious structures were all one and fhe same. There was no such thing as the “separation of church and state”.
The Jews in this structure wanted Jesus out of the way, but under Roman rule, they were not allowed to execute anyone. So they sought to find a way to have the Romans do it for them. And when the Romans tried on multiple occasions to avoid it, the Jews were unrelenting! So finally Pilate gave in. There were Roman political reasons for this, but I’m trying to be brief, because exploring this subject could go on for page after page! :)
It also pays to understand three things:
1) The New Testament was not written after the Apostles died! That’s garbage liberal scholarship that is not that old and is being rejected now by proper scholarship. But I find it no wonder that you, Candida, would immediately just believe that, because you think it bolsters your claims and so you don’t care about whether or not it’s true.
2) The Christians did not hate the Jews! They were Jews! In fact, Paul said that he knew that those Jews did it in ignorance.
3) It was that same Jewish structure that kept persecuting the church all through the New Testament.
And finally, aside from Ms Moss pretending to be a source of knowledge on this subject, there was one statement in her article that actually just plain ticked me off!
“The story in which Jesus calls the Jews offspring of Satan? Biblical scholars agree that it never happened.”
I am so sick and tired of those who read the Bible as a “take out what you don’t like” excercise, making that claim!
All Biblical scholars do NOT agree! In fact, no serious Bible scholar would agree with such a ridiculous claim! Statements like this about the Bible come from sources like the “Jesus Seminar”, which is made up of men who call themselves scholars, who think that decisions should be made by tossing colored beads in a bowl!
FYI, I am a Biblical scholar and I do not agree with that claim, nor with your claim that we all agree! And it offends me when you make such false claims and when you are so arrogant, that you think that you can speak for “all” of any group!
Furthermore, what you fail to realize Candida Moss, is the responsibility that you carry, when the things that you say are put in publications, remembering that “public” is inherent in “publication”!
In other words, people will tend to put weight on what you say, when in truth, both you and I know that for one example of many, your “all scholars” claim has zero actual research behind it! You’re simply repeating what someone else said. That is not actual reporting. You are simply using a public forum for venting your hatred! Where is your Editor in all of this?
Oh well, I suppose this is what we get, when publications start hiring those who think that ranting on the Internet equals a story and that; “I read it on the Internet” equals, “It’s true!”.
But at least she admits that she sees the Gospels as fiction; the creation of inventive writers long after the fact, who had nothing to do with it and just wanted to calm the Romans and gain Roman converts;
“Why would the Gospel writers create such stories?… They may have been trying to avoid attracting attention from the Romans… They may have been trying to divorce Jesus from Judaism in order to win Roman converts.”
The bottom line? Candida Moss is all over the map! She can’t even make up her mind which of her own invented fictions she wants to stick with and her article is nothing but an excercise in “throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall, to see if anything sticks”.
It is an example of poor reporting at best. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it “reporting”, since true reporting is based on facts, not self-invented and unverified and unexamined facts!
And the Editor at “The Daily Beast” needs to lose his/her job, if he/she thinks that Candida’s article is a good example of reporting!
And that is not anger talking. That’s honest criticism.
You see, I have no problem with people expressing opinions that differ from mine, even right here on my blog as comments to articles. As long as, unlike Ms Moss, they’re respectful.
But what really urks me, is when people pretend to know what they’re talking about and misrepresent what others have said and openly twist the facts to suit their agenda. And her editors job is to prevent this sort of thing from being published.
Even on my own blog, I simply will not publish opinions and claim they’re fact, nor will I ever twist peoples’ words.
It’s called “integrity”! Get some, “Daily Beast”!
The bottom line is, that the truth is not going to change, just because Candida Moss, in her ignorance, said so.
Let me be clear here. I hold no ill will toward Candida Moss. I simply do not appreciate the things she wrote and I do not think what she wrote should be called “reporting”. It was more like “invention”. And it was intentional and I think that she owes both the Christian community and the reporting community an apology.
Or is it only Christians who have to apologize when someone’s offended?
But I would invite her, should she ever wish to, to contact me, or even join the blog if she’d like to and I would be happy to fill her in on the facts. In a reasonable discussion. :)