Antisemitism and the New Testament
A. Roy Eckardt, a pioneer in the field of Jewish-Christian relations, asserted that the foundation of antisemitism and responsibility for the Holocaust lies ultimately in the New Testament. Eckardt insisted that Christian repentance must include a reexamination of basic theological attitudes toward Jews and the New Testament in order to deal effectively with antisemitism.
James Dunn has argued that the New Testament contributed toward subsequent antisemitism in the Christian community. According to Louis Feldman, the term "antisemitism" is an "absurdity which the Jews took over from the Germans." He thinks the proper term is Anti-Judaism. The distinction between anti-Judaism and antisemitism is often made, or challenged, with regard to early Christian hostility to Jews: some, notably Gavin I. Langmuir, prefer anti-Judaism, which implies a theological enmity. They say that the concept of antisemitism "makes little sense" in the nascent days of the Christian religion and that it would not emerge until later. In this context, the term antisemitism implies the secular biological race theories of modern times. Peter Schäfer prefers the word Judaeophobia for pagan hostility to Jews, but considers the word antisemitism, even if anachronistic, synonymous with this term, while adding that Christian anti-Judaism eventually was crucial to what later became antisemitism. James D. G. Dunn argues that the various New Testament expressions of anger and hurt by a minority puzzled by the refusal of a majority to accept their claims about Jesus the Jew reflect inner tensions between Jewish communities not yet unified by rabbinical Judaism, and a Christianity not yet detached from Judaism. The Greek word Ioudaioi used throughout the New Testament could refer either to Jews or, more restrictively, to Judeans alone.
The idea that the New Testament is antisemitic is a controversy that has emerged in the aftermath of the Holocaust is often associated with a thesis put forward by Rosemary Ruether, and the various positions depend on how antisemitism is defined, and on scholarly disagreements over whether antisemitism has a monolithic continuous history, or is an umbrella term gathering in many distinct kinds of hostility to Jews over time.
Factional agendas underpin the writing of the canonical texts, and the various NT documents are windows into the conflict and debates of that period. According to Timothy Johnson, mutual slandering among competing sects was quite strong in the period when these works were composed. The New Testament moreover is an ensemble of texts written over decades and "it is quite meaningless to speak about a single New Testament attitude".
The New Testament and Christian antisemitismEdit
According to Rabbi Michael J. Cook, Professor of Intertestamental and Early Christian Literature at the Hebrew Union College, there are ten themes in the New Testament that have been a source of anti-Judaism and antisemitism:
- The Jews are culpable for crucifying Jesus - as such they are guilty of deicide.
- The tribulations of the Jewish people throughout history constitute God's punishment of them for killing Jesus.
- Jesus originally came to preach only to the Jews, but when they rejected him, he abandoned them for gentiles instead.
- The Children of Israel were God's original chosen people by virtue of an ancient covenant, but by rejecting Jesus they forfeited their chosenness - and now, by virtue of a New Covenant (or "testament"), Christians have replaced the Jews as God's chosen people, the Church having become the "People of God."
- The Jewish Bible ("Old" Testament) repeatedly portrays the opaqueness and stubbornness of the Jewish people and their disloyalty to God.
- The Jewish Bible contains many predictions of the coming of Jesus as the Messiah (or "Christ"), yet the Jews are blind to the meaning of their own Bible.
- By the time of Jesus' ministry, Judaism had ceased to be a living faith.
- Judaism's essence is a restrictive and burdensome legalism.
- Christianity emphasizes love, while Judaism stands for justice and a God of wrath.
- Judaism's oppressiveness reflects the disposition of Jesus' opponents called "Pharisees" (predecessors of the "rabbis"), who in their teachings and behavior were hypocrites (see Woes of the Pharisees).
Cook believes that both contemporary Jews and contemporary Christians need to reexamine the history of early Christianity, and the transformation of Christianity from a Jewish sect consisting of followers of a Jewish Jesus, to a separate religion often dependent on the tolerance of Rome while proselytizing among Gentiles loyal to the Roman empire, to understand how the story of Jesus came to be recast in an anti-Jewish form as the Gospels took their final form.
Some scholars assert that critical verses in the New Testament have been used to incite prejudice and violence against Jewish people. Professor Lillian C. Freudmann, author of Antisemitism in the New Testament (University Press of America, 1994) has published a study of such verses and the effects that they have had in the Christian community throughout history.[need quotation to verify] Similar studies have been made by both Christian and Jewish scholars, including, Professors Clark Williamsom[need quotation to verify] (Christian Theological Seminary), Hyam Maccoby[need quotation to verify] (The Leo Baeck Institute), Norman A. Beck (Texas Lutheran College),[need quotation to verify] and Michael Berenbaum[need quotation to verify](Georgetown University).
According to the New Testament Gospels, Jesus, on his fateful entry into Jerusalem before Passover, was received by a great crowd of people. Jesus was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin. After the trial, Jesus was handed over to Pontius Pilate, who duly tried him again and, at the urging of the people, had him crucified.
The New Testament records that Jesus' disciple Judas Iscariot,[Mark 14:43-46] the Roman governor Pontius Pilate along with Roman forces[John 19:11][Acts 4:27] and the leaders and people of Jerusalem were (to varying degrees) responsible for the death of Jesus.[Acts 13:27-28]
Gospel of MarkEdit
Paul H. Jones writes:
Although Mark depicts all of the Jewish groups united in their opposition to Jesus, his passion narratives are not "overtly" anti-Jewish, since they can be interpreted as falling within the range of "acceptable" intra-Jewish disputes. To some readers, the "cleansing of the Temple" scene (11:15-19) framed by the "withered fig tree" pericopes confirms God's judgment against the Jews and their Temple. Most likely, however, the story explains for this small sect of Jesus followers that survived the Roman-Jewish War why God permitted the destruction of the Temple. It is an in-house interpretation and, therefore, not anti-Jewish. Likewise, the parable of the vineyard (12:1-12), by which the traditional allegorical interpretation casts the tenants as the Jews, the murdered heir as Jesus, and the owner as God, must be set within the context of an intra-Jewish dispute.
Gospel of MatthewEdit
Matthew's Gospel has given readers the impression his hostility to Jews increases as his narrative progresses, until it culminates in chapter 23. In chapter 21, the parable of the vineyard, which is strikingly similar to Isaiah 5:1-30, is followed by the great "stone" text, an early Christological interpretation of Psalm 118:22-23: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone".[Matt 21:42] The OT allusions appear to suggest that the author thought God would call to account Israel's leaders for maltreating Christ, and that the covenant will pass to the Gentiles who follow Christ, a view that arose in intersectarian polemics in Judaism between the followers of Christ and the Jewish leadership. Then, in chapters 23 and 24, three successive hostile pericopes are recorded. First, a series of "woes" are pronounced against the Pharisees:
you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets...You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?
Certain passages which speak of the destruction of Jerusalem have elements that are interpreted as indications of Matthew's anti-Judaic attitudes. Jesus is said to have lamented over the capital: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it...See, your house is left to you, desolate" (Matthew 23:37-38). Again, Jesus is made to predict the demise of the Temple: "Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down" (24:2b). Such visions of an end to the old Temple may be read as embodying the replacement theology, according to which Christianity supersedes Judaism.
The culmination of this rhetoric, and arguably the one verse that has caused more Jewish suffering than any other second Testament passage, is the uniquely Matthean attribution to the Jewish people: "His [Jesus's] blood be on us and on our children!" (Matthew 27:25). This so-called "blood guilt" text has been interpreted to mean that all Jews, of Jesus' time and forever afterward, accept responsibility for the death of Jesus.
Shelly Matthews writes:
In Matthew, as in many books of the New Testament, the idea that Christ followers are persecuted is pervasive. Blessings are pronounced on those who are persecuted for righteousness sake in the Sermon on the Mount; the woes against the Pharisees in Matthew 23 culminate in predictions that they will "kill and crucify, flog in synagogues, and pursue from town to town;" the parable of the banquet in Matthew 22 implies that servants of the king will be killed by those to whom they are sent.
Douglas Hare noted that the Gospel of Matthew avoids sociological explanations for persecution:
Only the theological cause, the obduracy of Israel is of interest to the author. Nor is the mystery of Israel's sin probed, whether in terms of dualistic categories or in terms of predestinarianism. Israel's sin is a fact of history which requires no explanation.
Gospel of JohnEdit
In the Gospel of John, the word Ἰουδαῖοι, the Jews, is used 63 times, of which it is used in a hostile sense 31 times, and no distinctions are made between Jewish groups, who are all lumped together. The Sadducees, for example, prominent elsewhere, are not distinguished. The enemies of Jesus are described collectively as "the Jews", in contradistinction to the other evangelists, who do not generally ascribe to "the Jews" collectively calls for the death of Jesus. In the other three texts, the plot to put Jesus to death is always presented as coming from a small group of priests and rulers, the Sadducees. The Gospel of John has provided antisemites with grist for their mill. It is the primary source of the image of "the Jews" acting collectively as the enemy of Jesus, which later became fixed in Christian minds.
John himself has Jesus tell the Samaritan woman that "salvation is from the Jews." For example, in John 7:1-9 Jesus moves around in Galilee but avoids Judea, because "the Jews" were looking for a chance to kill him. In 7:12-13 some said "he is a good man" whereas others said he deceives the people, but these were all "whispers", no one would speak publicly for "fear of the Jews". Jewish rejection is also recorded in 7:45-52, 8:39-59, 10:22-42, and 12:36-43. John 12:42 says many did believe, but they kept it private, for fear the Pharisees would exclude them from the synagogue. After the crucifixion, 20:19 has the disciples hiding behind locked doors, "for fear of the Jews".
I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father. They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did. ... You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is you are not of God.
Although it has been claimed that the modern consensus is that the term Ioudaioi (Jews) in John refers exclusively to religious authorities, the basis for this claim has been challenged and John's use of the term Jews remains a complex and debated area of biblical scholarship. New Testament scholar J.G. Dunn writes:
The Fourth Evangelist is still operating within a context of intra-Jewish factional dispute, although the boundaries and definitions themselves are part of that dispute. It is clear beyond doubt that once the Fourth Gospel is removed from that context, and the constraints of that context, it was all too easily read as an anti-Jewish polemic and became a tool of anti-semitism. But it is highly questionable whether the Fourth Evangelist himself can fairly be indicted for either anti-Judaism or anti-semitism.
Reflecting the consensus that John's use of the term refers strictly to Jewish religious authorities, some modern translations, such as Today's New International Version, remove the term "Jews" and replace it with more specific terms to avoid antisemitic connotations. For example, Messianic Bibles, as well as the Jesus Seminar, often translate this as "Judeans", i.e. residents of Judea, in contrast to residents of Galilee, a translation which has not found general acceptance in the wider Christian community.
Successive generations of Christians read in the Gospel of John the collective guilt of Jews, universally and in all generations, in the death of Christ. John's use of the collective expression "the Jews" is likely explained by the historical circumstances in which and audience for which he wrote. With the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, the Jewish priesthood, and thus the class of the Sadducees was massacred and thus ceased to exist, due to its role in the First Jewish–Roman War. As John wrote his Gospel after these events, for a gentile audience, he spoke generically of Jews, rather than specifying a group within Judaism that no longer existed and that would have been unfamiliar to his readers.
First Epistle to the ThessaloniansEdit
Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 as follows:
For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own compatriots as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out; they displease God and oppose everyone by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus they have constantly been filling up the measure of their sins; but God's wrath has overtaken them at last.
The text appears somewhat anomalous compared to the general tone of thanksgiving, in that we have a diatribe against persecutors identified as Jews. The text appears to flagrantly contradict what Paul writes in chapters 9 to 11 of his Epistle to the Romans. This has led several scholars to question its authenticity, and suggest that it is an interpolation. According to Pieter Willem van der Horst, there is an instance of antisemitic statements in one of the Pauline epistles; David Luckensmeyer maintains that it was not written with the intent to condemn all Jews, Paul's letters reveal someone who lived his life within Judaism, but did at the same time have an antisemitic effect. F. F. Bruce called it an 'indiscriminate anti-Jewish polemic' mirroring Graeco-Roman pagan attitudes to the Jews. Gene Green, Ernest Best, T. Holtz, Amy Downey variously argue that it resonates with Old Testament themes, plays on Jewish fears of being the "privileged people of God" and typical of an argumentative style shared by Greeks and Jews alike and thus, in Downey's words, exemplifying an intracultural clash between Paul the Jew and Jewish leaders opposing the propagation of Gospel ideas in both Judea and Thessalonia.
Epistle to the HebrewsEdit
Most scholars consider the Epistle to the Hebrews to have been written for Christians who were tempted to return to Judaism. Lillian Freudmann thinks that it in trying to argue the superiority of Christianity to Judaism, it twisted Old Testament passages in a way that transmitted an anti-Torah antisemitism. John Gager reads it as a polemic against Judaism, not the Jewish people, and regards it as the most important anti-Judaizing text of early Christianity. Samuel Sandmel asserts that rather than vilifying Judaism, or the Jews of that age, the Epistle to the Hebrews is an argument for the supersessionist notion that Christianity is the pinnacle of ancient Judaism. William L. Lane dismissed the idea that it contains an anti-Judaic polemic, its primary concern being simply to assert that the Old Testament prophecies had been fulfilled. Those who see in its discontinuities antisemitism are wrong William Hagner argued: there may be anti-Judaism, but no antagonism for Jews. While it promotes supersessionism it venerates the Hebrew saints, for Donald Bloesch, and therefore what it is exhorting is the replacement of Jewish institutions, not Jews. For Timothy Johnson, Christianity had to struggle to survive amid a majority of sects that were not Messianic, and whatever slander there is, is to be understood as the rhetoric of a marginal group against the majority of Jews. Such rhetorical vehemence was common in antiquity in religious and philosophical disputes.
Book of RevelationEdit
In Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 reference is made to a "synagogue of Satan" (συναγωγή τοῦ Σατανᾶ). At Revelation 2:9 we have:
I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
At 3:9 one reads:
Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie--behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you.
There is no certainty about who are those claiming falsely to be Jews: whether they are Jews hostile to gentiles, Jewish Christians persecuted by a Jewish majority, Jews who are practicing a "false" form of Judaism or gentiles feigning to be Jews. The traditional interpretation upheld until recently by a majority of scholars took this to denote Jews hostile to Christians, and specifically to the Jewish communities of Smyrna (2:9) and Philadelphia (3:9). In the Smyrna passage, according to Koester, those claiming to be Jews probably bore in their traits the usual markers of kinship, circumcision, dietary restriction and Sabbath observance, but are taken to task for denouncing the Christian community to the Roman authorities to get them arrested.
This has recently been questioned by Elaine Pagels, David Frankfurter, Heinrich Kraft and John W. Marshall. Pagels, reviewing the literature, argues that the author of Revelation, John of Patmos, was himself a Jew devoted to Christ, saw himself as a Jew, not a Christian. Unlike the other evangelists who blame Jews for Christ's death, the author of Revelation, drawing on old patterns of late Jewish eschatological imagery, assigns responsibility for his death to Romans and says they are abetted by an internal enemy who feign to be God's people while acting as agents of Satan, a theme also present in the literature of the Qumran sectaries. Pagels identifies most of these internal enemies as converts to the Pauline doctrine and teachings prevailing among gentiles. Taken literally the passage at Revelations 3:9 would refer to gentiles upstaging Jewish followers of Jesus, feigning to be more Jewish than Jews themselves. Paul Duff on the other hand assumes they are Jews, like John himself, but Jews who are hostile to the Jesus movement. David Frankfurter has revived the old argument of Ferdinand Baur by endorsing the view that in fact the members of Satan's synagogue are mostly gentiles, claiming Israel's legacy while rebuffing religious practices that are obligatory for Jews. Even those who, like David Aune, consider that the phrase indicates Jews, not gentiles, allow that the Book of Revelation is virtually devoid of traces of the polemics between Christians and Jews typical of those times. Pagels concludes that the evidence weighs in favour of reading the 'synagogue of Satan' as referring to gentile converts to the Pauline version of the Jesus movement, who denominate themselves as 'those of Christ/Christians', a terminology never used by John of Patmos.
True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures.
Norman Beck, professor of theology and classical languages at Texas Lutheran University, has proposed that Christian lectionaries remove what he calls "… the specific texts identified as most problematic …". Beck identifies what he deems to be offensive passages in the New Testament and indicates the instances in which these texts or portions thereof are included in major lectionary series.
Daniel Goldhagen, former Associate Professor of Political Science at Harvard University, also suggested in his book A Moral Reckoning that the Roman Catholic Church should change its doctrine and the accepted Biblical canon to excise statements he labels as antisemitic,- he counts some 450 such passages in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts of the Apostles alone-to indicate that "The Jews' way to God is as legitimate as the Christian way".
- In Memoriam: Professor A. Roy Eckardt Holocaust and Genocide Studies 1998 12(3):519
- A. Roy Eckhardt, Elder and Younger Brothers:The Encounter of Jews and Christians, Scribner New York, 1967
- Eckardt, A. Roy. Your People, My People.
- James D. G. Dunn (ed.) 1992 J. The Question of Anti-Semitism in the New Testament Writings of the Period, in James D.G. Dunn, ‘Jews and Christians: the parting of the ways, CE 70 to 135. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999. Pp.176-211 p 179. 'The challenge thus posed to Christian NT scholars in particular cannot therefore be ducked... The question we must face, then, is whether such attitudes are already inseparable from the scriptures on which they were based. ... in terms of the present inquiry, Does the attitude to Jews in the post-70 NT documents indicate that the final breach, the decisive parting of the ways between Christianity and (rabbinic) Judaism, has already happened?'
- Louis Feldman, Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, BRILL 1996 pp.277f. and n.1:'Of course, the term antisemitism is an absurdity which the Jews took over from the Germans. There was no such thing in antiquity, since its basis, the Machic family tree, was hardly known outside the circles of the Jews themselves, until the rise of Christianity, which could not well be hostile to the race of its savior. The more accurate term would be “anti-Judaism” but the term “anti-Semitism” is so widespread that it may seem artificial to discard it.’
- David Luckensmeyer, pp.167-171.
- Avner Falk, Anti-semitism: A History and Psychoanalysis of Contemporary Hatred, ABC-CLIO, 2008 pp.6-8
- Guy G Strousma, ‘From anti-Judaism to antisemitism in Early Christianity,’ in Ora Limor, Guy Stroumsa, Contra Iudaeos: Ancient and Medieval Polemics Between Christians and Jews, Mohr Siebeck 1996 pp.1-26 p.5: 'It obviously makes little sense to speak of Christian anti-Semitism in the earliest stages of the new religion, since the belief in Jesus Christ was at first held within a Jewish sectarian movement . .Anti-Judaism is hence perceived as inherent to Christianity, while antisemitism would represent an attitude of a rather different nature, appearing later, and elsewhere
- Ruth Sheridan Retelling Scripture: 'The Jews' and the Scriptural Citations in John 1:19-12:15, BRILL, 2012 Rev.ed. pp.38 f. Sheridan argues the dichotomy is problematic
- Peter Schäfer, Judeophobia: Attitudes Toward the Jews in the Ancient World, Harvard University Press 1997 pp.6-7, p:7, pp.197ff.’The only term I avoid is “anti-Judaism” thus following those scholars who restrict it to early Christian expressions of hostility towards the Jews.ì
- Rosemary Ruether Faith and Fratricide: The Theological Roots of Anti-Semitism, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1996 pp.23ff.
- John G. Gager, The Origins of Anti-Semitism: Attitudes toward Judaism in Pagan and Christian Antiquity, Oxford University Press, 1985 pp.13ff.
- Falk pp.8ff.
- Abel Mordechai Bibliowicz, Jews and Gentiles in the Early Jesus Movement: An Unintended Journey, Springer, 2013 p.93.
- Lloyd Kim Polemic in the Book of Hebrews: Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, Supersessionism?, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2006 p.14.
- Guy G Strousma, ‘From anti-Judaism to antisemitism in Early Christianity,’ p.5:'I wish to recall that . . these texts were written in rather diverse milieus, and that therefore it is quite meaningless to speak about a single New Testament attitude.’; p.16 ‘The context and meaning of the rejection of the Jews in the Gospel of John, . .are vastly different from Chrysostom’s anti-Jewish invective. We cannot speak of a single early Christian or Patristic attitude toward Jews and Judaism, or imply its existence. Both the relationship of Christianity to Judaism and the Christians’ perceptions of Jews were totally different at the end of the fourth century than they had been three hundred years previously’.
- Rabbi James Rudin, Christians & Jews—Faith to Faith: Tragic History, Promising Present, Fragile Future, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2013 p.89.
- Michael Cook 2008 Modern Jews Engage the New Testament Page no.required
- Paul H. Jones,'The Christian Formation of the Jew as Religious Other,' in Encounter 67:2 2006 pp.161-197.
- Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Matthew, Liturgical Press 1991 p.20.
- Samuel Sandmel cited Harrison, The Gospel of Matthew, p.20.
- Frank E.Eakin, What Price Prejudice:Christian Antisemitism in America, Paulist Press 1998 p.36.
- Rosemary Ruether, Christianity and Social Systems: Historical Constructions and Ethical Challenges, Rowman & Littlefield, 2009 p.61.
- Frank S. Thielman, Theology of the New Testament, Zondervan 2011 pp.102f.
- James W. Aageson, Windows on Early Christianity: Uncommon Stories, Striking Images, Critical Perspectives, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2016 pp.43ff.
- Shelly Matthews. "Violence in Matthew: The Question of Text and Reality". Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- Douglas Hare. (1967). The Theme of Jewish Persecution of Christians in the Gospel According to St. Matthew. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 145.
- Count from New King James Version as calculated by BibleGateway.com online version
- Reimund Bieringer, Didier Pollefeyt, Frederique Vandecasteele-Vanneuville, 'Wrestling with Johannine Anti-Judaism: A Hermeneutical Framework for the Analysis of the Current Debate,' in Anti-Judaism and the Fourth Gospel, pp.3-41 p.15.
- R. Alan Culpepper, 'Anti-Judaism in the Fourth Gospel as a Theological Problem for Christian Interpreters,' in Reimund Bieringer, Didier Pollefeyt, Frederique Vandecasteele-Vanneuville (eds.),Anti-Judaism and the Fourth Gospel, Publisher Westminster John Knox Press, 2001 pp.61-82, p.64.
- Andreas J. Köstenberger, Encountering John: The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective, Baker Academic, 2002 pp.248ff.
- An exception is Gospel of Matthew 27:25 'And all the people (πᾶς ὁ λαὸς) answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!"
- Mark 11-17-28 ('the chief priests, scribes and the elders'); Luke 20:1-2; Matthew 21:23.
- Larry R. Helyer, The Witness of Jesus, Paul and John: An Exploration in Biblical Theology, InterVarsity Press, 2010 pp.324ff.
- Gerd Theissen, Dagmar Winter, The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002 p.68.
- Gospel of John, John 4:4-26, v.22.'You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.'(ἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐστίν)
- John 8:37-39
- John 8:44-47
- Kierspel, p.13.
- BPVV, pp.15-17
- R Alan Culpepper, The Gospel and Letters of John, Abington Press 1998 p.294:'The Greek term hoi Ioudaioi can mean "the Jews," as it is usually translated, but it can also mean "the Judeans." In the Gospel of John the group designated by this term appears to be variously Judeans (as opposed to Galileans or Samaritans), the Judean leaders (where it is used interchangeably with "the Pharisees"), or-less frequently-Jews as opposed to Gentiles. The meaning of the term Ioudaioi, which is used 71 times in the Gospel, must therefore be determined by the context of each occurrence. There are places in John where the term can hardly mean "the Jews." . For example, although the crowd in Jerusalem at the Festival of Booths must have been predominantly Jewish, they still fear the Ioudaioi. By translating hoi Ioudaioi as "the Jews" in this context, the NRSV and other translations produce a reading that makes little sense. . Here it is clear that hoi Ioudaioi refers to a much more limited group opposed to Jesus, either certain Judean Jews or the religious authorities. The same difficulties appear elsewhere in the Gospel.'
- J.G.Dunn. The Question of Anti-Semitism in the New Testament Writings of the Period. Jews and Christians: the parting of the ways, CE 70 to 135. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999. Page 209.
- Kierspel, pp.13-14.
- Frank Sherman and with Sarah Henrich,'Difficult Texts:Interpreting New Testament Images of Jews and Judaism, ,' in Darrell Jodock (ed.), Covenantal Conversations: Christians in Dialogue with Jews and Judaism , Fortress Press 2008 pp.76-90 p.205 n.13.
- Shea, Mark P. (31 October 2006). "Is the Gospel of John Anti-Semitic?". CatholiCity. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- Amy Karen Downey, Paul's Conundrum: Reconciling 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16 and Romans 9:1-5 in Light of His Calling and His Heritage, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011 pp.61ff,66-7.
- David Luckensmeyer,The Eschatology of First Thessalonians, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013 pp.16fff.
- van der Horst, Pieter Willem (May 5, 2009). "The Origins of Christian Anti-Semitism - Interview with Pieter van der Horst". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- David Luckensmeyer. pp.167-171.
- Lloyd Kim Polemic in the Book of Hebrews: Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, Supersessionism?, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2006 pp.11-16.
- Revelation 2:9:Οἶδά σου τὴν θλῖψιν καὶ τὴν πτωχείαν, ἀλλὰ πλούσιος εἶ, καὶ τὴν βλασφημίαν ἐκ τῶν λεγόντων Ἰουδαίους εἶναι ἑαυτούς, καὶ οὐκ εἰσίν ἀλλὰ συναγωγὴ τοῦ Σατανᾶ.
- Revelation 3:9:ἰδοὺ διδῶ ἐκ τῆς συναγωγῆς τοῦ Σατανᾶ, τῶν λεγόντων ἑαυτοὺς Ἰουδαίους εἶναι, καὶ οὐκ εἰσὶν ἀλλὰ ψεύδονται· ἰδοὺ ποιήσω αὐτοὺς ἵνα ἥξουσιν καὶ προσκυνήσουσιν ἐνώπιον τῶν ποδῶν σου, καὶ γνῶσιν ὅτι ἐγὼ ἠγάπησά σε.
- Bas Wilenga, Revelation to John: Tuning Into Songs of Moses and the Lamb, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge(India), 2009 pp.17 (Smyrna) pp.27 ()Philadelphia)
- Craig Koester, Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, Yale University Press 2014 pp.2711ff.pp.274-276:’Synagogue members at Smyrna presumably considered opposition to the church to be consistent with Israel’s tradition since they thought that Jesus's followers had departed from the tradition by making elevated claims about Jesus. From John’s perspective, however, their attempt to denounce Jesus' followers-especially when this could lead to imprisonment and death-was incompatible with loyalty to Israel's God. For John, those who denounce Christians thereby denounce the God to whom they bear witness, so he calls it blasphemia. Moreover, the Jews who made such denunciations joined forces with civic and provincial authorities-who worshiped other gods-in their efforts to have Christians arrested. For John, true Jews would not have collaborated with idolators. Other interpretations are less viable. Some assume that the inauthentic Jews are Gentile Christians. First, some argue that these Christians keep Jewish customs and affiliate with the synagogue to avoid Roman persecution. . .Second, some interpreters hold that the so-called Jews are Christians like Jezebel and Nicolaitans, who might have claimed to be part of the Jewish tradition, even though they eat what has been sacrificed to idols..Other interpretations take the so-called Jews to be non-Christians.
- Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, rev.ed. 1997 p.101.
- Adela Yarbro Collins, Crisis and Catharsis: The Power of the Apocalypse, Westminster John Knox Press, 1984 pp85ff.
- Steve Friesen, ’Sarcasm in Revelations 2-3,’ in David L. Barr (ed.), The Reality of Apocalypse: Rhetoric and Politics in the Book of Revelation, Society of Biblical Lit, 2006 pp.127-144 p.134.
- "Jews or Not? Reconstructing the "Other" in Rev 2:9 and 3:9". Harvard Theological Review. 94 (1): 128–132. January 2001. doi:10.1017/s0017816000022045. ISSN 0017-8160.
- Marshall, John W. (2001). Parables of war: Reading John's Jewish Apocalypse. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. ISBN 978-0889203747. OCLC 48075572.
- Elaine Pagels ‘The Social History of Satan:John of Patmos and Ignatius of Antioch:Contrasting Visions of “God’s People”,’ in Kirsten Stirling, Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère (eds.) After Satan: Essays in Honour of Neil Forsyth, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010 pp.7-28 pp.9ff.pp.14ff.
- Paul Duff, 'The ‘Synagogue of Satan’: Crisis Mongering and the Apocalypse of John,’ in David L. Barr (ed.), The Reality of Apocalypse: Rhetoric and Politics in the Book of Revelation, Society of Biblical Lit, 2006 pp.147-168 p.153.
- Elaine Pagels, Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation, Penguin, 2012 pp.64-65:’By the time John of Patmos traveled to Asia Minor, then, he found many followers of Paul who apparently assumed that even groups consisting largely of Gentile converts had now, in effect, become Jews. No wonder, then, that when John heard of such people who “say they are Jews, and are not, but are lying,” he found their claims outrageous. ..John reassures those who really are Jews that Jesus has promised that when he comes back. Distressed as he was by such people, John could hardly have imagined what he might have seen as the greatest identity theft of all time: that eventually Gentile believers not only would call themselves Israel but would claim to be the sole rightful heirs to the legacy of God’s chosen people.’
- Walter Laqueur, "The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, " Oxford University Press, 2006 pp.46–47
- Moshe Lazar, ‘The Lamb and the Scapegoat: The Dehumanization of Jews in Medieval Propaganda,’ in Sander Gilman, Steven T. Katz (eds.) "Anti-Semitism in Times of Crisis, " New York University Press 1991 pp.38-79 pp.45-46
- Jeremy Cohen, Christ Killers: the Jews and the Passion from the Bible to the Big Screen, Oxford University Press 2007 p.168.
- David Cymet,History Vs. Apologetics: The Holocaust, the Third Reich, and the Catholic Church, Lexington Books 2010 p.449.
- Beck, Norman. "Removing Anti-Jewish Polemic from our Christian Lectionaries: A Proposal by Prof. Norman A. Beck". Retrieved 2007-07-18.
- Lars Kierspel, The Jews and the World in the Fourth Gospel: Parallelism, Function, and Context, Mohr Siebeck 2006 p.5 citing D. Goldhagen,A Moral Reckoning, pp.263-265.
- Riebling, Mark (January 27, 2003). "Jesus, Jews, and the Shoah". National Review. Retrieved January 5, 2008.[dead link]
- Baum, Gregory, The Jews and the Gospel: A Re-examination of the New Testament, Newman Press (1961); reprinted as Is the New Testament Anti-semitic?, Paulist Press (1965)
- Evans, Craig A. and Donald A. Hagner, eds., Anti-Semitism and Early Christianity: Issues of Polemic and Faith, Fortress Press (1993); ISBN 9780800627485
- Freudmann, Lillian C. Antisemitism in the New Testament, University Press of America (1994); ISBN 0-8191-9295-3
- Gomes, Peter J. "The Bible and Anti-Semitism: Christianity's Original Sin", Chapter 6 in The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart, William Morrow (1996); ISBN 9780688134471
- Hagner, Donald A., "Anti-Semitism", Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, 2 ed., Green, Brown and Perrin, eds., IVP Academic (2013); ISBN 9780830824564
- Kee, Howard Clark, and Irvin J. Borowsky, eds., Removing the Anti-Judaism from the New Testament, Philadelphia: American Interfaith Institute (1998); ISBN 1-88-106001-2
- Stendahl, Krister, "Anti-Semitism", The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Metzger and Coogan, eds., Oxford University Press (1993); pp. 32–34. ISBN 0-19-504645-5