The Anti-Jewish Jesus: Socio-Rhetorical Criticism as Apologetics

The Bible and Interpretation has published an essay based on a chapter of my book, The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics (2015).  You can find it here.


Within biblical scholarship proper, one finds two basic positions concerning the historical responsibility for Christian antiJudaism. One position argues that any anti-Judaism is primarily the product of post-biblical Christian interpretation. Representative scholars include Paul N. Anderson and Paula Fredriksen. The other position argues that anti-Judaism is already present in the New Testament writings. Amy-Jill Levine and Adele Reinhartz, for example, explore how the Gospels bear some responsibility for the anti-Judaism of later Christianity. I will argue more emphatically that anti-Judaism can be traced back to Jesus himself, at least as he is portrayed in the Gospels.