Aug 13, 2011

The Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus

Paul appears to levy absolute, generalizing accusations upon all Jews. Among the reasons that his words cause concern are:
(1) these statements are inconsistent with others Paul makes concerning his Jewish contemporaries, and
(2) these words have fueled anti-Jewish behavior and rhetoric throughout the history of the church.

Here are the verses in question:
“You suffered the same persecutions from your own people that they suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and persecuted us. How displeasing they are to God! How hostile they are to everyone!”

First, Paul limits his verdict to “the Jews, who” meaning a specific limited group of authorities.
Second, Paul himself was a leader in this group.
Third, the accusation of killing God’s prophets has been part of the Jewish tradition ever since Jezebel and is by no means outrageous or special.
Fourth, Paul knows very well that the Romans killed Jesus and is just using polemic for his own denomination here. Capital punishment was only available to the Roman empire that occupied Israel at the time.

Paul uses Jesus example to reject all kinds of persecutions!

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