Culture

Would Jesus Have Preached, 'Render Unto Hitler What is Hitler's?' Or Are We Missing Something?

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“Anti-Semitism always takes on the idiom of its day, and the forms of its day. And while before, there was a center-peripheral relationship for anti-Semitism. It even had an address for a long time, which was the Vatican. It was centered in Christian Europe and spread outward.

Now it is all over the world, flows go in every direction– there is really not a place it can’t be found. This is also due in part to digital technology…there is something today, which has never existed before. Not only in regards to anti-Semitism but with other prejudice, which is an anti-Semitic international alliance.

You have an alliance of many, many countries around the world who actually have a foreign policy to promote anti-Semitism, promote anti-Semitism at home and promote anti-Semitism abroad, but an anti-Semitic alliance against Israel primarily but also against Jews in general. This has never existed for anti-Semitism or any other kinds of prejudice.”[Emphasis mine]

 — Daniel Goldhagen author The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism  Interview with Sara Ivry, Vox Tablet hat-tip Prof. lw

In the first half of his book Kosher Jesus Rabbi Boteach went to great lengths explaining his belief that Christ should be embraced as a beloved Jewish son- an honored sage that died a martyr for his people. This view should not change the way Christians see Christ, only cast him in a light that provides more detail to the man we love and the God we serve.

However, as we delve deeper into his work, the author’s premise becomes glaringly obvious: Jesus, along with Christianity in its infancy, was ripped from the arms of Judaism then nursed at the breast of a graven Roman image.

According to Boteach, in an effort to placate Rome, the early Christian Church fathers rendered Jesus as little more than a white hooded, vitriol-spewing enemy of Judaism — a deity that would wear a swastika on his arm.

That explains a lot. But it also begs questions that must be answered.

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Pointing to Christians celebrating the Sabbath on Sunday, the first day of the week rather than Saturday, as God commanded to rest on the seventh day, Boteach makes the case that the gospels have been altered to placate Rome. The change, as we know came from Constantine when he blended Roman sun worship with Christianity.

The author underscores his theory with Christmas. The birth of Christ, once celebrated in January was switched to December 25th in the fourth century. Again, for the Sol Invictus cult as it worshiped the birth of the sun. Roman sun worship invading Christianity is well documented and even preserved priceless art — as light rings of “halos” around Christ and saints.

This isn’t exactly a new revelation, and we could add to his list the contamination of the resurrection by the goddess of sex and fertility, Ishtar, with her bunnies and eggs. Oddly enough these alterations haven’t really bothered me. I have often argued with other Christians of the importance of keeping those traditions in place. My reasoning is simple. If Christ came to bring salvation to pagans, and usher us into the family of God then it’s only appropriate that their holidays be converted as well.

But what if Boteach is right? What if they didn’t stop there and the Roman and pagan influence is deeper than we could imagine?

What if the statement “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” is a forgery inserted into Jesus’ mouth long after the crucifixion by those who sought to pacify Rome, as the author alleges? Boteach states without apology that he doesn’t believe Jesus said it at all. Insisting that Jesus would never preach to submit to the barbarity of Rome anymore than he would have told his Jewish brethren to submit to Hitler.

If I may add: Nor would he tell Israel to surrender to anyone calling for its annihilation.

Could this “slander” of Christ who came for “the lost sheep of Israel” explain the worldwide hatred for Israel and the Jewish people in general? If so, what can we Christians do about it?

How the followers of Christ answer these questions, could have as profound an impact on the future, as it did on the past.

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Photo credit Shutterstock, salajean