Objection: “The origins of anti-Semitism can be traced to the pages of the New Testament.”
Objection: “The origins of anti-Semitism can be traced to the pages of the New Testament. From the negative depiction of the Pharisees to the charge of deicide, anti-Semitism is a Christian plague.”
by Dr. Michael Brown
Answer: “It is commonly recognized among scholars today that anti-Semitism existed in various forms in the ancient world long before a single page of the New Testament was written. Further, the New Testament documents primarily reflect friction between Jewish groups — differences between Messianic Jews and non-Messianic Jews (including Pharisees, Sadducees, etc.) — just like the Dead Sea Scrolls reflect legal and religious arguments between different Jewish groups. It is a mistake to read the later history of ‘Christian’ anti-Semitism back into the New Testament. As for passages in the New Testament that have helped fuel anti-Semitism in the Church, you need to remember that passages from our own Hebrew Bible have often been used against us Jews by anti-Semites, while alleged anti-Semitic texts in the New Testament, when properly translated and understood, are really not anti-Semitic at all. In fact, Israel’s greatest support today comes from those who read the New Testament as the literal Word of God. For them, it is the source of philo-Semitism, not anti-Semitism.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 145-175.)
Dr. Michael L. Brown is founder and president of ICN Ministries, devoted to taking the message of repentance and revival to Israel, the Church, and the Nations. He has preached throughout the United States and in numerous foreign countries, emphasizing radical discipleship, holy living, and the visitation of the Spirit. His books, articles, and messages have been translated into more than a dozen languages. In 1996, he became part of the ministry of the Brownsville Revival, holding weekly sessions for leaders and heading up the revival’s intensive two-year School of Ministry. Dr. Brown is now President of the FIRE School of Ministry located in Charlotte, NC.
As a Jewish believer in Jesus, Dr. Brown is active in Jewish evangelism and has debated rabbis on radio, TV, and college campuses. He is also a published Old Testament and Semitic scholar, holding a Ph.D in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. In 1997, he was appointed Visiting Professor of Jewish Apologetics at Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission and has been affiliated with Regent University Divinity School as an Adjunct Professor of Old Testament and Jewish Studies.