Mel Gibson

Passion plays historically were often overtly anti-Semitic and sometimes led to pogroms in Jewish Ghettos. TPOTC preserved some echoes of that old anti-Semitism (which for centuries was preached from the pulpit) so it’s understandable why the ADL would get its back up some.

Unfortunately, some of that anti-Semitism comes directly from the anti-Jewish polemic in the New Testament itself. The mere allegation that the Jews had – or even *could[/i have had – anything to do with the crucifixion is an unfortunate bit of ancient propaganda which has had dire consequences for 2000 years.

Just my 2 sheckles worth. Pretty much the whole point of Christianity is that Christ died that man would be free from sin. So, in essence, by being responsible for Christ’s death, the Jewish people are the instrument through which Jesus was able to rescue mankind from sin and guilt.

So, explain to me how that’s a bad thing? I am merely an instrument of divine works.

  1. The allegation that the Jewish people were responsible at all for the crucifixion is patently false. They were not and could not have been.

  2. No matter how that ancient smear is sanitized now, historically it has been the root of the “Christ killer” meme which has been responsible for a great deal of anti-Semitic violence.

It doesn’t seem to me that the Anti-Defamation League is very interested in having opinions about Christianity or conservatism. Usually, when they express an opinion, it’s about anti-Semitism. Do you discount what they have to say on that subject? Or do you believe that merely by criticizing a statement by someone claiming adherence to Christianity or conservatism that they are crossing the line into subjects in which their expertise is suspect?

For obvious reasons (people are a lot more likely to try and hide their bad traits than their good ones), the latter is more noticeable.

More exactly wouldn’t that be man would be freed from the consequences of sin?

More like, man wouild be freed from sin. As in, despite sin, we are redeemed through his death. The consequences for your actions, still your responsiblilty. :smiley:

I assume that this is not to say that SOME Jewish people, all dead at least 1900 years, were, correct? Given that, at least as far as the Biblical account goes, the Temple police arrested Jesus and passed him along up the chain of command to the guy who could order the punishment they wanted, that noted humanitarian :rolleyes: Pontius Pilate, the first person in the process who was NOT Jewish.

Am I correct to assume you mean that it should, though it rarely does, go without saying that no group of people can or should bear collective guilt for the actions of some of their ancestors?

I’m saying that the story in the Gospels that Jesus was arrested, tried or turned over to Pilate for execution cannot be historically true. It’s pure propaganda, not history. Jesus was executed by the Romans, period. The Jewish authorities had nothing to do with it.

That he was tried, etc. by the Jewish authorities, that is…

Why not? There was a local legal system in Palestine to handle jaywalking, littering, and heresy violations, wasn’t there? I assume adulterers didn’t need to go through the Roman legal system before they were stoned or Pilate would’ve changed the punishment to something more painful and strung out, like stringing them out.

The specific sentence of crucifixion was an exclusively Roman punishment which was forbidden under Jewish law. The Romans only used it for crimes against the state, such as sedition or treason. They never used it for Jewish religious crimes and would not have cared about any Jewish “heretic” and (contrary to the portrait in the Gospels) Pilate did not do the bidding of the Sanhedrin. If Jesus was crucified, it could have only been because he pissed off the Romans, not the Sanhedrin.

Moreover, the story of the trial and conviction of Jesus as depicted in the synoptic Gospels (created first by Mark, then copied by Matthew and Luke) is filled with procedural and factual errors, including the mistaken notion that claiming to be the Messiah was “blasphemy.” Mark’s trial is widely believed by NT scholars to be a fiction designed to shift blame away from the Romans and onto Jewish authorities. In reality, Jesus is not depicted as having said or done anything illegal under Jewish law, execpt, perhaps, his disruption in the Temple courtyard.

I’ll take you at your word about crucifiction being illegal under Jewish law, mostly because I don’t have time to research it, but they lost me believing the rest of the story when the evangelists depicted Pilate as some put-upon civil servant who wouldn’t harm a fly and who they dragged out of bed in the middle of the night so they could boss him around. Doesn’t sound much like the real Pontius Pilate; maybe he sent his double or food taster out to talk to them.

A lot of people who supported him gave him the benefit of the doubt on the perceived anti-Semitism of PotC and his own father’s opinions. His remarks have at least seriously damaged that doubt, if not destroyed it entirely. In any case that support is justly reduced or removed. Such remarks should be condemned, no matter who says them.

Sortof, but not completely accurate. The Jewish authorities did have something to do with it, in that it was Caiaphas (the Jewish High Priest) who had Jesus arrested and sent before Pilate in the first place. He did so, as you correctly note, not for religious crimes, but for political reasons (see below for further explanation). He also recommended execution, however, he had no authority to actually carry out such a sentence, nor would execution by crucifixion have been an acceptable method according to Jewish law. As you state, that was strictly a Roman punishment.

From CK Dexter Haven’s SD Staff Report, “Who Killed Jesus,”

Indeed, it was a gross distortion of the true character of Pilate. More from the above-quoted link. . .

Hope that explanation was helpful.

Oh, and Mel Gibson sucks.

Aaand, just to drag the thread back on track, here is some deliciously bitchy coverage from

Defamer does Mel

. . . which does not include my favorite made-up retort: “That’s “Officer Sugar Tits” to you.”

There may indeed be a little seed of anti-semitism planted in him by his father. OTOH, I wonder which really came first? The chicken or the egg? I mean, the guy made PotC, and he’s been catching all kinds of shit for it ever since, especially, but not exclusively, from Jews. It’s not surprising under the influence of a lot of alcohol, he’d lash out at what his drunken mind perceives as his persecutors. “Damn Jews, why they gotta ruin everything!”

From the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board.

I happen to agree with most of what you say, Diogenes, but while Caiaphas couldn’t actually execute Jesus, he could recommend it to Pilate. I believe he did just that.

I really don’t blame Caiaphas, though. From the looks of things, he really didn’t have much of a choice, and yes, the NT account of Pilate trying to spare Jesus’s life strikes me as pretty bogus too. Caiaphus was in a difficult situation, and he didn’t have a much of a choice in recommending Jesus’s death, but he still recommended it.

I also believe that sooner or later someone would have to have taken care of Jesus, be it Caiaphas or the Romans. Jesus seemed to have come to Bethlehem with every intention of stirring up trouble if not actually deliberately goading the powers that be into executing him, and . If it had been the Romans, then a lot of innocent lives would have been lost. Caiaphas really couldn’t have done anything else without bringing the wrath of Rome down upon Jerusalem.

Drat. You win this round, Shayna! (Shakes fist)

The only part of Dex’s piece I might disagree with is that there is any reason to believe that Caiaphas would necessarily have been involved in the arrest. Josephus says that the Romans kept an extra contigent of their own guards at the Temple during passover, so the Temple police would not have been necessary. The Jewish high priests during this period were generally handpicked by the Romans ane were seen as collaborators, so it’s not out of the question that they could have facillitated the arrest, but the trial is fiction, as is the Jewish mob screaming for blood. At worst, a few high placed Jewish authorities did the bidding of the Romans (rather than the other way around), but Jesus was not executed by or at the behest of “the Jews” or any Jewish authority or for any breech of Jewish law.