Jesus’ friends, followers Jewish

To the editor:

True Christians never misuse the Bible to stereotype Jews. The Jewish identity of Jesus is important to them. So are the Jewish origins of the New Testament, half of which Paul wrote. He said, “I am a Jew.”

Jesus was popular among Jews of his day even though not many knew he was the Messiah. His popularity was the reason Pharisees who hated him didn’t dare execute him for heresy. They wanted the Romans to crucify him.

A letter (Jan. 24), by a man who ridicules Judaism’s Hebrew Scriptures (most recently March 2) tried to prove that the New Testament and Christianity are anti-Semitic. Matthew 27:25 was quoted, saying, “All the people (Jews)” said, “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

That doesn’t include all Jews, only members of one group wanting Jesus to be crucified. His friends and followers were Jewish.

The letter claimed, “… Jews demanding to crucify a Jew is nonsense. Jewish law strictly forbids transferring a Jew to Gentiles for trial, and execution by crucifixion was an abomination for Jews.”

It is unrealistic to claim that Jews were like robots, lacking free will and incapable of violating the tenets of Judaism.

Was Jeremiah an “anti-Semitic” Jew for conveying a message from God against Jews who were influenced by paganism to commit evil acts? They did what was forbidden by Jewish law:

“… the people have forsaken me, and have profaned this place by burning incense in it to other gods … they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and … burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Ba’al, which I did not command …” (Jeremiah 19:4-5)

That was before the New Testament and Christianity existed.