In the ‘Jewish Chronicle’ – which famously claimed that not only was ‘Jack the Ripper’ not jewish (he probably was) but was an ‘anti-Semite trying to frame jews’ (rather like Russians implausibly claiming the popular anti-jewish pogroms of the early twentieth century were a ‘jewish plot’) – an Anglican priest named Giles Fraser - who cheerily informs us that he sleeps next to a jewess every night - has written a rather amusing article claiming among other things that:
‘The Church of England is currently undertaking a review of those monuments in its churches to people with connections to slavery. In the light of Black Lives Matter, glass windows, statues and headstones are all being scrutinised, many of which will be removed. But that’s the easy bit. What is the Church going to do about those passages within its core texts that have been used, for centuries, to justify the persecution of Jews?’
In other words, Fraser is telling us that while we have to ‘review’ British heritage to accommodate the ‘feelings’ of the hordes of knuckle-dragging arboreal creatures who have been imported wholesale into Britain despite consistent opposition from the public so much so that the late and little lamented Margaret Thatcher successfully used it to gain support from the National Front’s then significant voter base.
That in this spirit of the new cultural revolution; the Church of England – and I presume in his view Christianity in general – needs to ‘edit’ its own foundational texts – the Gospels of the Four Evangelists – to remove the nasty anti-jewish commentary, but also deliberately keep and thus amplify anything philo-Semitic. This is as bizarre as Alan Dershowitz demanding that the Lutheran Churches internationally condemn Martin Luther and intellectually burn his works in a big inquisitorial bonfire several years ago.
Now I am not a Christian in any sense of the term, but even I am taken aback at the sheer lunacy of the idea that a believing Christian – let alone an ordained priest which Fraser is – would want to defile the foundational texts of his own religion and in essence demand they be selectively disbelieved as ‘self-serving’ lies because they don’t fit his distinctly modern ideas about what ‘Christianity should be’.
Either the Gospels are the word of God – remember sola scriptura from your theology classes Giles? – or they are not and by calling for them to be ‘edited’ to remove the nasty fact that the Bible clearly places the blame for Jesus’ death on the jews is tantamount to Fraser taking a gun and blowing his own metaphysical brains out because he disapproves of gun violence.
Fraser continues by stating:
‘It’s a lie, of course. Only the Romans had the authority to put someone to death by crucifixion. It was their signature punishment. But whatever the historical reality, the Gospels themselves are far too keen to shift the blame for Christ’s judicial murder on Jews.’
Notice Fraser’s weasel words here about ‘whatever the historical reality’ – well if the ‘historical reality’ didn’t matter then why write for the ‘Jewish Chronicle’ moaning about it the first place? – which is him stating in essence that: ‘My faith rests on this being a true account of Jesus as the Messiah but the Gospels can’t be reconciled to my secular beliefs’, but also rather dubiously assumes that jews have never stepped outside of their own legal frameworks and engaged in extra-judicial punishment contrary to what the secular authorities state.
After all aren’t Yahweh’s Holy Horrors just such perfect little darlings and ‘persecuted throughout history’ for ‘absolutely no reason’?
Well only if you believe the mountains of ‘histories of anti-Semitism’ put out by jewish historians and writers through the years anyway.
By contrast the jewish journalist Michael Lesher – in his 2014 book ‘Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities’ (pages 110 to 168 if you are interested Giles) – documents the usage of just such judicial and extra-judicial strategies in the contemporary modern and ultra-Orthodox jewish communities around the world nor are these a historical aberration with such prominent rabbinical scholars as Isaac Luria – ‘the father of modern Kabbalah’ - counselling the use of extra-judicial kangaroo courts in the sixteenth century to get around the ban on rabbis dishing out the death penalty enforced and carried out exclusively by the secular authorities and such practices were actually used by major rabbinical figures in Poland at the time as well as mentioned in rabbinical responsa.
Oh, and Giles you can go look up Myer Lew’s ‘The Jews of Poland’ (pages 128-130) if you actually want to read something challenging to your whole ‘the Jews dindu nuffin’ shtick.
Fraser then pulls his ace out of the whole when he states that:
‘It was Haim Cohen — the founder of Israeli law and liberal legalist — that did most to set the trial of Jesus within its proper historical context. Published in 1968, just a few years after Nostra Aetate, his legal analysis of the subject concludes with these words: “Hundreds of generations of Jews have been made to suffer all manner of torment, persecution, and degradation for the alleged part of their forefathers in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, when, in solemn truth, their forefathers took no part in them but did all that they possibly and humanly could to save Jesus, whom they dearly loved and cherished as one of their own, from his tragic end at the hands of the Roman oppressor.”’
Again, Cohen’s analysis – which I have read as well as others such as Gerald Friedlander’s ‘The Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount’ – assumes without reason that the jews strictly adhered to their own legal processes and did not deviate from them in the slightest (and thus ‘could not have put Jesus to death’ because they were good boys and never did anything wrong), which – as we’ve seen – is simply not supported by the evidence.
Nor is Fraser’s whole ‘the crucifixion was a signature/unique Roman punishment not practised by jews’ guff.
In reality crucifixion predates the Romans and was practised in Palestine before Rome by the Macedonians with Alexander the Great crucifying 2,000 citizens of Tyre, while it was the preferred form of state execution by the Carthaginians (who may have got it from their ancestors the Phoenicians aka the Canaanites) and hell King Alexander Jannaeus of Judea (1st Century BC) crucified 800 rebels in Jerusalem for heaven’s sake.
Crucifixion was also used contemporarily to Jesus by the Persian Empire who – you guessed it – repeatedly fought Rome over Syria and Palestine and would later play a key role in the jewish revolts against Rome – what happened to the ‘law-abiding jews’ then Giles? - that happened in the years after Jesus’ death.
So, no Giles crucifixion is neither unique to Rome or their ‘signature punishment’ (it was actually one of several) and was in fact practised by jewish courts in Judea nearly a century before Jesus was born.
Put another way; Giles is too busy sleeping next to the enemy in his bed rather than actually studying and living the Christian faith that he is supposed to be leading his congregation to further understand and practice.
Instead, he wholeheartedly believes whatever lies jews feed him and spouts them off in columns for a jewish periodical that doesn’t given much of a shit what it writes as long as it makes the jews look good or as the eternal ‘innocent victims’ of non-jews.
Pull the other one Giles.