Buddy Scott of buddyscott.com © 2000 ALLON PUBLISHING
Peter Jennings devoted a relatively disproportional amount of time on his ABC News Special, The Search for Jesus, to communicating that the Jews were not as involved in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus as is written in the Bible. Why was that important to him? Answering that question is the subject of this article.
Here is some of the dialogue from the special...
In a conversation with Robert W. Funk, author of The Acts of Jesus and a chairman of the Jesus Seminar, Jennings said, "All the Gospels say that one of His disciples, a man named Judas, led the guards to Jesus. In three of the Gospels, Judas identifies Jesus by kissing him."
Funk responded, "Probably a fiction because Judas looks to many of us like the representation of Judaism or the Jews as responsible for His death. If it is a fiction, it was one of the most cruel fictions that was ever invented."
Jennings asked, "Do you believe that this was written into the Gospels in order to portray the Jews as having participated in His death?"
Funk answered, "Yes."
Jennings pursued, "This is why you call it such cruel fiction?"
Funk replied, "Yes. It's because of the untold hostilities that have existed between Christians and Jews throughout the centuries."
A growing school of thought blames Christian faith more than Adolf Hitler for the Holocaust. Readers, if this is the first time you've heard this disturbing information, you may wonder if what I'm relating to you is actually occurring. Yes, it is. This school of thought is being taught in high places. I'll give you an example before this article concludes.
The ABC News Special continued...
Jennings stated, "In every version of the story (in the Gospels), the Jewish leaders take Jesus to the Roman military governor, Pontius Pilate, and have to pressure him before he will pass the sentence. Many historians don't believe it. The conventional Christian wisdom--I think that's the way to put it--says that the Jews put Him on trial and forced Pontius Pilate to crucify Him."
John Dominic Crossan, DePaul University, asserted, "The conventional Christian wisdom usually forgets the situation. Pilate is running the country."
Paula Fredriksen, a Jewish historian, Boston University, added, "We have evidence other than the Gospels for Pilate. Josephus talks about him as a thug. In a string of bad governors, he was one of the worst. Philo of Alexandria, who is Jesus' contemporary, writes that Pilate was known for his theft, his finality, and his execution of untried prisoners. Jesus fits into that category without effort."
The conclusion at which Jennings and his scholars arrived was that Jesus was executed for treason, not for blasphemy as the Bible states.
When I visited the Holocaust Museum, in close proximity to the Mall of Washington, D.C., I watched a film in the museum and carefully documented its words. The film clearly blamed Christian anti-Semitism for the Holocaust. Included was this quote:
Enter Adolf Hitler. Austrian born and baptized a Catholic, Hitler viewed world history as a racial struggle for survival of the fittest. He saw Jews as the source of all evil--disease, social injustice, cultural decline, capitalism, and all forms of Marxism, especially communism. Anti-Semitism would be considered the presiding ideology of the Third Reich.
The film cut to Hitler, speaking at a rally amid chants of support:
In defending myself against the Jews, I am acting for the Lord. The difference between the church and me is that I am finishing the job.
At the end of the film, these words silently rolled up the screen:
IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE HOLOCAUST, CHRISTIAN CHURCHES ARE REEXAMINING THEIR TEACHINGS ON JEWS AND JUDAISM.
The fact that Hitler was baptized a Catholic can't insinuate that he had remained true to Catholicism or that he lived as a Christian. To the contrary: In his words at the rally, he differentiated between himself and the Catholic Church. Hitler was not a crusading Christian. He was an egomaniac who cunningly pulled from many sources to enable his macabre march through history. And he killed five million people who were not Jews, most of which were Christian. Here is a quote from www.holocaustforgotton.com where links are available to further explore this subject:
Of the 11 million humans killed in the Holocaust, six million were Polish citizens. Three million were Polish Jews and another three million were Polish Christians...Hitler wanted not only to conquer all of Europe, but Hitler also wanted to create a new religion and to replace Jesus Christ as a person to be worshipped. Hitler expected his followers to worship the Nazi ideology. Since Catholic priests and Christian pastors were often influential leaders in their community, they were sought out by the Nazis very early. Thousands of Catholic priests and Christian pastors were forced into concentration camps. A special barracks was set up at Dachau, the camp near Munich, Germany, for clergymen. A few survived; some were executed, but most were allowed to die slowly of starvation or disease...The Nazis decided that it was a waste of time and money to support the handicapped...thousands of people with various handicaps were put to death like cats and dogs...In Mein Kampf, Hitler said he would eliminate all the children born of African-German descent because he considered them an "insult" to the German nation.
I appreciated the comment made by Hadassah Lieberman when she spoke at her husband's introduction as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee. She expressed her gratefulness to the United States for what it had done to help her family survive the Holocaust.
And it's appropriate to note that the majority of the American soldiers who carried the near-death Jews in their arms from the death camps were Christians. Christians were among others who nursed them back to health. And Christians have been very supportive of the Holocaust Museum.
After this article appeared in the newspaper, a letter to the editor challenged my content. The writer wrote:
I'm the one to blame: I killed Jesus! I am not real proud of it, but I have to confess it now because I am tired of people like Buddy Scott blaming the Jews for it like he did in Saturday's religion section...In fact it was the promulgation of this tragic deception that caused the wholesale slaughter of Jews during the middle centuries (A.D.) and the extermination of approximately one-third of the Jews that existed on this planet at the time of Hitler's holocaust. It breaks my heart terribly to know that these people, millions of them, all died in the name of Christianity.
The writer's purpose was to criticize my content. In the process, however, he affirmed it. He wrote that Christianity was responsible for the Holocaust. Point made: There is a growing school of thought that blames the Christian faith for the Holocaust and thereby attempts to discredit our faith. The content of The Search for Jesus seemed to be of that school of thought.
Here are two issues that I would like to also include in this article:
First: Many Jews do not believe that Christian anti-Semitism caused the Holocaust, and many esteem the gallant success of American soldiers, most of whom were of Christian heritages, for stopping the killing of Jews. They know, in fact, that many American Christians literally gave their lives to save the Jews.
Second: I grew up in a Christian home and faithfully attended church. My parents and church leaders raised me to highly esteem Jewish people. My parents gave me a trip to Israel when I graduated from college. In Old Jerusalem, about 35 years ago, I found the only Jewish bookstore located there. In the store, I met a Jewish author's daughter. I bought his book and had her autograph it for me. I still have the treasured book, even to this day. The only experience that has disturbed my esteem for the Jews was my visit to the Holocaust Museum. I went in admiring Jews. I came out fighting a sudden resentment of Jews. Later, I've realized that the Holocaust Museum cannot be given the prestige of being a monument that establishes all Jewish thought.
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