Jewish New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine writes, “[Neither] Jesus, Paul nor the New Testament is anti-Semitic.” She’s right! It’s illogical to think that a movement which was comprised originally of only Jewish Jesus-followers could be antisemitic. Historically, some followers of Jesus have combined the anti-Jewish sentiments of the times in which they lived with their understanding of religion. This was especially true during the early days of the institutional church and throughout the Middle Ages. In some cases, these instances of antisemitism were theologically driven by Christian groups who believed that the Church had replaced the Jewish people in the plan of God.
But the Apostle Paul, a disciple of the great Jewish teacher Gamaliel, said this:
“I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew….” (Romans 11:1-2)
Just because some of Yeshua’s followers abused His teachings does not mean that Jesus Himself and His early disciples were antisemitic.
There are many Christian groups today that have repented of antisemitism and view this disparaging of the Jewish people as sin. They have recognized that the New Testament is a pro-Jewish collection of works by Jewish authors writing about the Jewish Messiah!
By Jonathan Mann, A Jewish Believer from Atlanta, Georgia