The Passion:<br>Is It Anti-Semitic?

When we recount the Crucifixion of Christ, are we inciting hatred toward Jews?

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Overview

Many evangelicals have been surprised at the anti-Semitism allegations against Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. We’ve learned about the horrific injustices of anti-Semitism throughout history, especially the Holocaust. Surely the Christian world in particular knows better than to incite hatred against a group of people.

So why the outcry over the film? Do Jews have good reason to be concerned about this movie of Christ’s Crucifixion? Can and should we do anything to ease their fears? This study will address these questions, based on a recent CHRISTIANITY TODAY article by best-selling author and Orthodox Jew Michael Medved.

Table of Contents

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 5:17–20; 12:1–12; 21:23–27; 22:34–40; 23:1–4, 13, 23, 27–28; 26:59–66; 27:25 Mark 2:6–12; Luke 5:17–26; Romans 3:23; 1 Timothy 2:5–6

LEADER'S GUIDE

    • Identify the Current Issue

    • Discover the Eternal Principles

Teaching point one: Jesus was an observant Jew, as was the Apostle Paul and most of the earliest followers of Jesus. Therefore, Christian faith is rooted in the faith of Jesus’ heritage, which we refer to as the Old Testament.
Teaching point two: Jesus’ arguments with the Pharisees and other Jewish groups was an argument internal to Judaism.
Teaching point three: The Pharisees were the righteous, orthodox believers of their day—much like evangelicals today.
Teaching point four: Whereas Jews had some role in the accusations that led to Jesus’ death, it was because of the sins of all human beings that Jesus died. We are all guilty.
    • Apply Your Findings

    • Recommended Resources

ARTICLE FROM CHRISTIANITY TODAY

    • The Passion and Prejudice, by Michael Medved (March 2004, 14 printed pages)

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