The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, December 20, 2019

Fulfilment Theology

South of the border, in the secular, liberal, republic founded by deistic Freemasons almost two and a half centuries ago in the first wave of the Modern Age’s revolution against Christian civilization, their current President, Donald the Orange, besieged by the barbaric and uncivilized forces of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party, has been doing what he does best, which is to make waves. On a side note, allow me to say that although I, as a staunch royalist and monarchist, disapprove of the office of President of the United States, as I do of the offices of all elected heads of state, I am rather inclined to think well of Donald the Orange, if only because, like Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon before him, he had all the right enemies.

One item that has recently gotten his critics’ dander up, is his having invited Dr. Robert Jeffress to speak at a White House Hanukkah ceremony in which he, that is Trump, vowed to crush anti-Semitism. Dr. Jeffress is a Southern Baptist minister, the present senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, where he occupies the pulpit that once belonged to such homiletical giants as George Truett and W. A. Criswell. This is the church of which the late evangelist, Billy Graham, was a member for over fifty years.

My question for those who say that it was mal à propos for Dr. Jeffress to be invited to speak at this event is whether or not they would say the same thing if a rabbi were invited to speak at a White House Christmas celebration.

Those who are raising a stink about Jeffress point to his having said the following “Judaism, you can't be saved being a Jew, you know who said that by the way, the three greatest Jews in the New Testament, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Christ, they all said Judaism won't do it, it's faith in Jesus Christ.” Which is, of course, the orthodox Christian view of the matter. Anyone who says he is a Christian and disagrees with this is a heretic.

While it is easy to see why Jews would find this offensive and object, therefore, to someone holding these views being asked to speak at an event honouring an important Jewish festival, let us return to the question I raised. Would it be similarly offensive to invite a rabbi to speak at a Christmas celebration?

It ought to be. Christmas is the Christian festival commemorating the nativity of Jesus Christ, that is, Jesus of Nazareth Whom Christians believe to be the Christ, the Son of God. Christ is a Greek word with the same meaning as the Hebrew Messiah. It means “anointed one” and refers specifically to the One Whom God in the Old Testament promised He would send to deliver Israel, make a New Covenant in which His laws would be written in men’s hearts rather than on tablets of stone, and establish the eternal Kingdom of God in which He will reign on the throne of David. Rabbinic Judaism rejects Jesus’ claim to be the fulfilment of these prophesies. Indeed, the suggestion that this rejection of Jesus as the Christ has for almost two thousand years been more central to the identity of Judaism than any positive affirmation, such as descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the deliverance from Egyptian bondage in the Exodus, or the Covenant made at Mt. Sinai, while controversial, is defensible. According to traditional rabbinic teaching, a Jew doesn’t necessarily cease to be a Jew if he loses all faith in God and becomes an atheist, but he does cease to be a Jew is he is baptized a Christian. Traditionally, when a Jew so converts, his family holds a funeral for him.

If Jeffress’ holding the orthodox Christian teaching that Jesus Christ is the only way to God disqualifies him from being a speaker at a Hanukkah event, then the traditional teachings of rabbinic Judaism ought to disqualify any rabbi from speaking at a Christmas event.

In saying all of this, I am, of course, breaking one of biggest taboos of the day in which we live. It is considered, by the bien pensants of the progressive age, perfectly okay to criticize Christianity and especially for ideas and attitudes, traditions and habits, words and behaviour that are considered, rightly or wrongly, to be anti-Jewish, but it is considered unacceptable to criticize Judaism and absolutely verboten when that criticism points out comparable anti-Christian elements of the Jewish tradition. I have no problem with saying that I have no respect, either for this taboo, or for the people of whatever faith – and this includes plenty of nominal Christians – who impose it upon us.

In this taboo, we see precisely what is wrong with the interfaith “dialogue” that has sprung up between Christians and Jews since 1945. I place “dialogue” in scare quotes because this word suggests a two-way conversation and the “dialogue” in question has been anything but. The talk has been entirely about Jewish grievances against Christianity. Any attempt to raise the question of anti-Christian attitudes and behaviour on the part of the Jews runs the risk of being called “anti-Semitic”.

The blame for this belongs almost entirely on spineless “Christians” who are unwilling to stand up for the faith and cower before any attack. These cowards, although there has been no dearth of respectable and scholarly Jewish leaders who have spoken out against the charge that it was the traditional teachings of the Christian Church that generated the animus against the Jews that ultimately culminated in the Holocaust (1), have no inclination to do the same on behalf of their own professed faith. Instead, they jettison essential Christian truth as they bend over backwards to accept the blame for the crimes of a regime built on an ideology that blended nationalism, socialism, Darwinism, and various other strands of the Modern revolt against Christianity and Christendom with elements of pre-Christian paganism and occult mysticism, the Fuhrer of which, ridiculed the faith among his intimate acquaintances. (2)

The truth these “Christians” wish to throw out is that spoken by Dr. Jeffress in the quotation found in the fourth paragraph of this essay. It is a truth spoken by Jesus Christ Himself. Stated positively, it is the truth that Jesus Christ is the only way to God.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me”. (John 14:6)

What Dr. Jeffress said was the negative side to this same coin.

Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (John 8:21-24)

Earlier this year at its General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada passed a contemptible and foolish resolution to replace the fourth prayer in the “Prayers and Thanksgivings upon Several Occasions” section of the Book of Common Prayer, with a “Prayer for Reconciliation with the Jews”. The prayer it is replacing was entitled “For the Conversion of the Jews” and reads:

O God, who didst choose Israel to be thine inheritance: Look, we beseech thee, upon thine ancient people; open their hearts that they may see and confess the Lord Jesus to be thy Son and their true Messiah, and, believing, they may have life through his Name. Take away all pride and prejudice in us that may hinder their understanding of the Gospel, and hasten the time when all Israel shall be saved; through the merits of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The prayer that replaces it is for the most part the same, but it replaces “Look, we beseech thee, upon thine ancient people: open their hearts that they may see and confess the Lord Jesus to be thy Son and their true Messiah, and believing, they may have life through his Name” with “Have mercy upon us and forgive us for violence and wickedness against our brother Jacob; the arrogance of our hearts and minds hath deceived us, and shame hath covered our face” and similarly alters the final petition to remove any suggestion that the Jews need to accept the Gospel to be saved.

Twenty-seven years ago, the General Synod had voted to remove the third Collect for Good Friday, from subsequent editions of the Book of Common Prayer. That Collect had read:

O Merciful God, who has made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live: Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Oddly, the resolution to replace the Prayer For Conversion of the Jews has met with little outcry from those who rightly opposed the resolution, defeated at the same Synod – although one would think otherwise from the behaviour of many within the House of Bishops – to change the marriage canon to allow for same-sex marriages. Yet, it is arguably a much more serious deviation from orthodoxy. Sexual ethics and the sanctity of marriage, important as they are, occupy a lower tier in the Christian hierarchy of truth than “Jesus Christ is the only way to God.”

Not only, however, has there been little outcry over this but some have actually defended it. The Anglican Planet, for example, a generally orthodox newspaper, in June reposted excerpts from a few articles originally published by the Prayer Book Society of Canada written by the PBS National Chairman Rev. Gordon Maitland and the Rev. Chris Dow, both of whom were involved in the revision. Rev. Maitland, attempts to argue that the change does not actually deviate from the truth that Jesus Christ is the only way to God:

None of this implies that the Prayer Book Society is giving up on mission and witness to the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and his saving message of peace and reconciliation for all the world. The three prayers “For the Extension of the Church” in the “Prayers and Thanksgivings upon Several Occasions” section of the BCP (pp.40-41) are not being altered in any way, and we will continue to pray that our Lord’s Kingdom will be extended and that people will continue to be called into fellowship with Christ in his Church.

In other words “Jesus is still the only way to God, but we want to word it in universal terms, rather than singling any particular group out.” That’s all very well and good but I very much doubt that any but a small minority of those who supported the resolution interpret it this way.

Rev. Dow bases his rationale for the new Prayer upon a repudiation of supersessionism. I will explain the meaning of that word shortly. First, I will observe that at the end of Rev. Dow’s essay, which is worth reading in the full, unabridged version, he notes that the original ending of the new prayer “through thy wellbeloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord” was removed because “Our Jewish consultants for this project felt that this implied that the redemption of the Jewish people is to be achieved through Jesus Christ, thus contradicting the project’s stated aim of renouncing supersessionism.” Since the idea that the redemption of the Jewish people can be achieved other than through Jesus Christ is soul-damning heresy, the admission that the committee capitulated on this point ought to be sufficient grounds for any orthodox Christian to repudiate this project.

Rev. Dow, to his credit, goes on to say:

This raises a vitally important question: can Christian theology ever be entirely nonsupersessionist? In my view, this is doubtful. Though hard and hostile supersessionism must certainly be rejected, it would seem that a much softer, irenic and more theologically sophisticated form of supersessionism is inherent to the claims of the New Testament, which presents Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Davidic Messiah, who died for the sins of the whole world and rose again according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4), thus fulfilling the Law and the Prophets and inaugurating a New Covenant that emerges from the Old.

The distinction between a “hard” and a “soft” supersessionism is not original with Rev. Dow but is borrowed from Rabbi David Novak. He makes reference to Novak’s having said that the soft form of supersessionism “need not denigrate Judaism” and that Christianity cannot be truly Christian without it. Rev. Dow clearly hopes that the noting of this distinction, affirmation of soft supersessionism and rejection of hard supersession is sufficient to deal with any objections that might arise out of orthodox doctrine. In my opinion, it is not, and what is more, it avoids not only addressing the Christian truth that is being compromised here but also the real problem with supersessionism.

It is time now to define supersessionism. Supersessionism is also known as “replacement theology.” As the alternative label suggests it is the idea that God, in judgement upon the nation Israel for their rejection of Jesus Christ, has nullified His Covenant with them and replaced them as His people with the Christian Church. Those who are comfortable with affirming this idea as just stated would claim support for their position in the Parable of the Vineyard and similar passages. In Rabbi Novak’s terminology this is what would be called hard supersessionism. What he calls soft supersessionism, the idea that the New Covenant is an addition to the Old Covenant rather than a replacement for it, is actually a modified form of dual covenant theology. Dual covenant theology, while increasingly popular due to the spread of the very liberalism that William Law in the Bangorian Controversy had correctly argued was Hoadlyism taken to its logical conclusion, is unacceptable to orthodox Christianity.

There are many orthodox Christians who think that supersessionism is the traditional, teaching of the Church. I would argue, however, that there is a difference between what the Church has traditionally taught and supersessionism as defined above, and that supersessionism is something of a caricature of the orthodox doctrine. Consider again how we defined it above: the idea that God, in judgement upon the nation Israel for their rejection of Jesus Christ, has nullified His Covenant with them and replaced them as His people with the Christian Church. The problem with this doctrine, as stated, is that one could argue that it teaches that God has reneged on all of the promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David, many of which, unlike the Sinaitic Covenant itself, are stated in absolute, unconditional, and eternal terms. Taken this way, it is comparable to teaching that God is about to send another world-destroying flood because of the way His rainbow, the symbol of His promise never to do so again, is currently being misused and abused.

The orthodox Christian doctrine is that not that God has reneged on all of His promises to Israel in the Old Testament but that He has fulfilled them. He promised that He would send them a Messiah, a Saviour of the bloodline of David, and He did precisely that when He sent them – and the world - His Son, Jesus Christ. He promised that He would make a New Covenant with them:

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jer. 31:31-34)

Jesus declared this promise to be fulfilled when, at His last Passover Seder in commemoration of God’s ancient deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage, following the supper He took up the Cup of Blessing and instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist declaring “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).

Now think that through. The passage in the prophet Jeremiah, where God tells Israel that He will make a New Covenant with them, is very clearly a promise of blessing not a warning of judgement. To declare that promise to be fulfilled, therefore, hardly constitutes bad news for Israel. Indeed, it is declared to be good news for Israel – the Good News, that is, the Gospel, which is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). Furthermore, since the promise of the New Covenant is part of the prophetic writings of the Old Covenant, it would have been breaking the Old Covenant for God NOT to have made the New Covenant. Finally, since the promise of the New Covenant explicitly declares that it would be made “with the house of Israel” this allows for no form of dual-covenant theology in which the Jews find salvation through the Old Covenant, and Gentiles through the New.

The Old Covenant, as St. Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews (3) clearly explains, was never the instrument of salvation in the sense in which we have been using the word in this essay, that is to say, salvation from sin and its ultimate consequences, but was rather an illustration of it. The descendants of Jacob had grown into the nation Israel while they were held in slavery in Egypt. Their physical bondage in Egypt was figurative of their, and the entire world’s, spiritual bondage to sin. God delivered them from that physical bondage in the events known as the Exodus which are recounted in the Book by that name. This salvation from physical slavery was figurative of how God would save them, and the entire world, from spiritual slavery to sin when His Son, Jesus the Christ, would bear the sins of the nation and the world to the Cross and make full propitiatory satisfaction for them through His death. The Old Covenant, which God made with Israel at Mt. Sinai shortly after the Exodus, looked backward to commemorate this physical deliverance that it might look forward in anticipation to the spiritual deliverance that it signified. The sacrifices it required, of bulls and goats, while they could not take away sin in themselves, depicted the sacrifice that would effectually do so.

On the night of the first Passover, when God sent the Angel of Death to strike down the first born of each Egyptian household in the last of the plagues by which He persuaded Pharaoh to release His people, the Israelites were told to slay a lamb and to mark their doors with its blood. Those in houses so marked would be spared from the visitation of the Angel of Death. This pointed to the day – the same day, as it occurred on the anniversary – when He, Whom John the Baptist described as “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world” would become the true Passover Sacrifice. The blood of that Lamb, applied to the metaphorical doorway of one’s heart when received in faith, spares one from something far worse than the Angel of Death. It spares one from what St. John in the Book of Revelation calls the Second Death – the eternal condemnation which awaits all who meet their death bearing the guilt of their sins. The blood of the true Passover was applied retroactively to all who, before the coming of Jesus Christ, had looked forward to the coming of the Messiah in faith, trusting God’s promise that He would send a Saviour. Since He came and accomplished the salvation of the world, His blood is applied through faith to all who hear the Gospel that He has come, died for their sins, and risen again, and who believe in His name. Whatever uncovenanted mercies we may hope are available to those who through ordinary human means have never heard of Him, it is the unmistakable teaching of the New Testament that those who know His name and reject Him, will, unless they repent of this unbelief and turn to Him in faith, perish in their sins.

There is no sane and rational way in which this doctrine can be said to be unfair to the Jews. Imagine if you will, a father, who on his son’s sixteenth birthday hands him an envelope. The boy opens the envelope and inside there is a card. On the card is the picture of an automobile. Outside in the driveway, the car, which is the real gift, sits parked. The son, thinking the card is his gift, thanks his father, has the card framed, puts it up on his wall, and parks himself in his room in front of it, gazing upon it with admiration. His father tries to explain to him that it is the car, not the card, that is the gift, and to hand him the keys, but he refuses to listen. The car rusts away unused in the driveway. Who in their right mind would say that the son had been treated unfairly?

Jesus Christ was given to the nation Israel as the Messiah they had been promised and to the world in general as the Saviour that we all needed. Furthermore, He was given to Israel on the same terms as He was given to the world, not with a special set of stipulations that stood in their way. Indeed, since Jesus was born into national Israel, lived among the Israelites all His life with the exception of the flight to Egypt in His infancy, called twelve Jews to be the Apostles of His Church, and commissioned them to take the Gospel to Jerusalem, David’s capital, then Judea, once the kingdom of Judah that had remained loyal to the House of David, then to Samaria, where the schismatic northern Kingdom had been located, before finally taking it to the rest of the world, it is clear that they were given preference, first dibs if you will, at accepting the Gospel. Nor has the door ever been shut to them. To the contrary, the famous illustration in the eleventh chapter of Romans compares the covenant of everlasting salvation to an olive tree, to which the natural Israelites are the natural branches, and Gentile believers are wild branches that have been grafted in through faith, saying that while the former, excluding, of course, those of the stock of ancient Israel who actually do believe, have been cut off from the tree temporarily by their unbelief, they can and will be grafted back into the tree when they finally come to believe in Jesus as their Messiah.

It would undoubtedly be more prudent to end on that note, but there is one more point that I feel I must address. In the New Testament, after the conversion of the first Gentiles when St. Peter was sent to Cornelius with the Gospel (4), the Apostolic Church met at the Jerusalem Council as narrated in Acts 15, to debate the question of whether the Gentiles needed to become Jews in order to become Christians. Their ruling was no, and St. Paul, who had become the Apostle to the Gentiles, elaborated the theology behind this in several of his epistles. He stressed the point that the ceremonial elements of the Mosaic Law which had been a wall, setting Israel apart from other nations as a kind of object lesson, which she constantly ignored, that she should not fall into their idolatrous practices, had been removed as such a barrier within the Christian Church. As the Book of Acts makes obvious, even as the Apostles were developing the Christian style of worship – meeting on the day of the resurrection, each week, for example - they, including St. Paul, did not see their ruling that the Gentiles need not be circumcised, eat kosher, etc., as prohibiting them from participating in the worship of Second Temple Judaism. Christian liberty was the doctrine, and it went both ways. Christians were free to follow the diet of the Old Testament and keep its festivals, but they were not required to do so.

In the more-or-less useless “interfaith dialogue”, dominated by progressives from both religions, that sprung up immediately after World War II, those “Christians” who have been bending over backwards to take the blame for Hitler’s atrocities – or the Protestants who have been pointing fingers at the “Catholic”, i.e., Roman Church – it has been argued that in the Patristic period a radical reversal on this Christian liberty was brought about, and the Church began to require that Jews cease to be Jews in order to become Christians.

There is, of course, a degree of truth in this but it is incomplete with no discussion of the radical change in the nature of Judaism that took place towards the end of the first generation of Christians. Jesus, His Apostles, and all the pre-Cornelius Christians had been Jews in two senses of the word. First, they were of the ethnic stock of Israel, descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Second, they practiced the religion that would later be designated Second Temple Judaism. (5) This was the religion established by the Old Testament – taking that term to include all the history, including the partial return from exile and the rebuilding of the Temple. This was a national religion – practiced by a people who were bound to each other and to the land in which they lived by the ties that set a people apart as an ethnos – led by the clergy established in the Old Testament, the Levitical priesthood, the national worship of which was focused on the Temple in Jerusalem. Both Christianity and what we call Judaism today began within Second Temple Judaism but Second Temple Judaism itself came to an end in 70 AD, when Titus of Rome sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, half-way through the war that would end three years later when Israel’s last besieged defenders committed suicide as their stronghold in Masada fell, and most of the nation was scattered into diaspora throughout the Empire.

As a consequence of this, the rabbis, who had not been the clergy of Second Temple Judaism but a sort of lay teacher, associated especially with the sect of the Pharisees, became the leaders of those who continued to identify as Jews. Accordingly, their interpretation of the Old Testament has been the defining element of the religion known as Judaism ever since. For this reason it is known as rabbinic Judaism or Talmudic Judaism, the Talmud being the written compilation of rabbinic commentary on the Torah, on their own commentary, on their commentary on their commentary, and so on, starting well back in the intertestamental period. Jesus had participated in this traditional dialogue, as evidenced by St. Luke’s account of the incident when He was twelve and His occasional references to the disputes which were raging between the various rabbinic schools at the time of His earthly ministry, but was also a severe critic of it. In Second Temple Judaism, as we see in the Book of Acts, the rabbis greatly differed among themselves in their attitudes towards Christianity, the most positive in the New Testament record being that of Gamaliel, who had been a mentor of St. Paul before his conversion. After AD 70, the party most hostile to Christianity gained the uppermost hand in the rabbinic school, just as it itself became the top tier of post-Temple Judaism.

The explanation for this is not difficult to find. While Christianity could hardly be blamed for Rome’s actions in the Jewish-Roman War, as it had exactly zero political influence in the Empire at that time, and indeed, for a few centuries after, Jesus Christ Himself has both predicted the destruction of the Temple – see the Olivet Discourse, His references to the destruction of the Temple do not all refer to His own death – and proclaimed it to be an act of divine judgement. (6) When these prophecies materialized, the rabbinic attitude towards the One Who had made them, Whom they had rejected as their Messiah, hardened into hatred. Today, nearly two thousand years later, it is not hard to find rabbis who take a more positive view of Jesus, although obviously not accepting His claims to Messiahship. At the time, however, their descriptions of Him were such that Christians could only describe as blasphemous and their attitude towards His disciples was hardly amicable.

It was this new, strongly anti-Christian version of Judaism, aflame with hatred towards the One Who had prophesied the destruction of their Temple, that was denounced so vehemently by Church Fathers such as St. John Chrysostom. Obviously, this in no way justifies mistreatment of the Jews at the hands of Christians. It does, however, show that negative interaction between the two faiths has hardly been the one-sided affair with Christians bearing the sole blame, that the so-called interfaith dialogue of the present day often implies. Until that is properly acknowledged, no real such dialogue can ever take place.

In the meantime, it is hardly right for Christians to compromise the truth that Jesus Christ is the one and only Saviour of the world. Nor is there any good reason to abandon our prayers for the conversion of the Jews. See what the “Anglican Billy Graham” Marney Patterson had to say about this subject in his excellent book Suicide: The Decline and Fall of the Anglican Church of Canada? (1998) From the genuine Christian point of view, it is refusing to pray for their conversion and abandoning attempts to evangelize them, which would truly amount to Jew-hatred, not loving them enough to pray that Romans 11 would finally be fulfilled and they would embrace their Messiah.

So Merry Christmas everyone. For all the Jews out there, Happy Hanukkah and may you accept Jesus Christ as your Messiah. After all, we would hate to see you go to hell.

(1) See, for example, the late Rabbi Jacob Neusner’s “Sorting Out Jew Haters” in the March 1995 issue of Chronicles Magazine. “For nearly 20 centuries, faithful Christians have maintained that Judaism died at Calvary, meaning, Jesus Christ replaced Judaism and Christianity superseded it. This is anti-Judaism. Until Vatican II (for Catholicism) and its counterparts in Protestantism, that view prevailed universally. Classify this as the quite familiar theological warfare— all against all in God's name…None of these trivialities changes the world very much. None qualifies as anti-Semitism, because, by themselves or all together, none can have led to the holocaust of World War II... But anti-Semitism is not the same thing as casual bigotry, mere dislike of the unlike, let alone theological animus or a spiteful form of politics.” The most extreme version of the accusation that the Church is to blame for the Holocaust of which I am familiar is Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair, (2002). Goldhagen was also the author of the earlier Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (1996) which displayed a Teutonophobia that fell just short of saying that the Holocaust was caused by something in the German DNA. Goldhagen’s books have been rejected as vile tripe by serious historians, foremost among them being such Jewish historians as Raul Hilberg, Fritz Stern, and Yehuda Bauer.

(2) See Hitler’s Table Talk, a compilation of his private conversations as transcribed by Martin Bormann, Henry Picker, and Heinrich Heim.

(3) St. Peter in II Peter 3:15-16 makes reference to a Scriptural epistle that St. Paul had written to the same people to whom he was writing. Since St. Peter’s epistles were catholic epistles, written to the churches in general at a time when they were majority Jewish, and all of St. Paul’s signed epistles were written either to particular churches, usually majority Gentile, or specific individuals, the only epistle that St. Peter could have been referring to is Hebrews, identifying it therefore, although it is internally unsigned, as Pauline.

(4) Those who heard the Gospel in a multitude of languages at Pentecost in Acts 2, the “Grecian widows” whose neglect led the Apostles to establish the order of deacons in Acts 6, and the Ethiopian eunich whom St. Philip led to Christ in Acts 8, were all Jews.

(5) The word “Judaism”, or rather its Greek antecedent, was already around at the time, but it was used as a cultural description and only later became the proper name of the religion of the Jews.

(6) See, for example, the Parable of the Vineyard. Note, by the way, that while this hardly leaves room for orthodox Christians to argue that AD 70 was not a divine judgement, the preterist view that it fulfilled all Scriptural prophecy, negating both Romans 11 and all New Testament prophecies of Christ’s literal Second Coming in glory is utter heresy.

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