John 18:12-14

MAIN POINT

The main point — uncomfortably enough — seems to be that it is the Jewish authorities who have Jesus arrested.

NEW LIGHT

I had not noticed before the familial references here. In addition to whatever old boy’s network there were also kinship ties binding these “authorities” to one another. A tight circle of mutual self-interest.

TRUTH

Wasn’t it Bob Dylan who said to not trust anybody over 30? Mind you he’s 62 now isn’t he?

IMPLICATIONS

Not sure what might count as an implication here. That folks with power will join togetehr to protect it? Seems almost — trivial.

PROBLEMS

Blaming the Jews again.

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4 responses

  1. I’ve been lurking here for a while, and thought I’d comment.”Blaming the Jews again.”I just finished Marcus Borg’s “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time”, and have found some very enlightening points, one of which bears on this concern.It’s very true that down through the centuries various passages in the NT have been used as an excuse by Christians to persecute the Jewish people.However, Borg points out that criticism of the Jewish *leaders* (as opposed to the people) is a recurring theme in the OT (or, as he calls it, the Hebrew Bible). There are some especially harsh criticisms of Israelite leaders in the Prophets — in Isaiah, among other places.This passage, imho, should be taken as more of the same. It should not be used as an excuse to persecute anyone now, in the 21st Century, nor should it ever have been used to criticize an entire group. But if there is any historical truth to the story of Jesus’ life and death, it is pretty clear that the Jewish LEADERS of 30 A.D. (not the PEOPLE) conspired with the Roman occupiers to have Him executed.But that doesn’t make today’s Jewish leaders (much less the Jewish people) responsible for Christ’s death, anymore than the current German government is responsible for the Nazi atrocities.

  2. Thanx for dropping by Brandon.I agree. This passage and others like it should not be used as an excuse for blaming the Jews. Yet historically it has been so used. This is something the Christian faith must deal with. The slaughter of millions throuighout history in the anme of the Prince of Peace.

  3. I agree Brandon. I read an interesting article – Are The Gospel Passion Accounts Anti-Jewish? – which siad in part ….. If the question means, “Has the reading and dramatization of the gospel accounts occasioned anti-Jewish attitudes and actions?” – then the answer is, of course, yes … But if the effect of documents (rightly or wrongly understood) is one thing; the intent of the implied authors, understood in their cultural and literary context, may well be something else. If our question means, “Were the gospel accounts written with the intent to provoke negative or hostile attitudes and actions against Jews?” – then the answer could be a careful No …

  4. Right as usual, Crystal. Speaking of the Bible in general there’s a world of difference between the writers’ intent and what we milleniums later take it to mean. By faith I can believe that there’s something meaningful for me regardless of how well or how poorly I may understand the originial intent.

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