The Jews in the New Testament
66. Having examined the relationship between the New Testament writings and the Jewish Scriptures, we will now consider the various attitudes to the Jews expressed in the New Testament. We will begin by noting the diversity evident then within Judaism itself.
“Judaism” is a term designating the period of Israelite history which began in 538 B.C. with the permission from the Persian authorities to reconstruct the Jerusalem Temple. The religion of Judaism, in many respects, inherited the pre-exilic religion of the kingdom of Judah. The Temple was rebuilt: sacrifices were offered; hymns and Psalms were chanted, pilgrimage feasts were again celebrated. Judaism took on a particular religious hue after the proclamation of the Law by Ezra (Ne 8:1-12) in the Persian era. Gradually, the synagogue became an important factor in Jewish life. Diverse attitudes to the Temple were a source of division for Jews until 70 A.D., as is clear in the Samaritan schism and in the Qumran manuscripts. Divisions based on different interpretations of the Law existed after the year 70 just as they did before.
The Samaritan community was a dissident group, shunned by others (Si 50:25-26). It was based on a particular form of the Pentateuch after rejection of the Jerusalem Temple and its priesthood. The Samaritan Temple was built on Mt Gerizim (Jn 4:9,20). They had their own priesthood.
The description of three “parties” or schools of thought given by Josephus, Pharisees, Sadduccees, and Essenes (Ant.13:5,9; (*)171), is a simplification that must be interpreted with circumspection. One can be sure that many Jews did not belong to any of the three groups. Furthermore, the differences between them extended beyond the religious.
The origin of the Sadduccees is probably to be found in the Zadokite priesthood of the Temple. They apparently became a distinct group in Maccabean times because of the closed attitude of one section of the priesthood towards the Hasmonean rulers. The difficulty of precisely identifying them is evident from a study of the period from the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucids, from 167, to the Roman intervention in 63. The Sadduccees became more and more identified with the Hellenised aristocracy who held power; one can surmise that they had little in common with the ordinary people.
The origin of the Essenes, according to some authors, dates from around 200 B.C. in an atmosphere of Jewish apocalyptic expectations, but most see it as a reaction to the changing attitude to the Temple beginning from 152, when Jonathan, brother of Judas Maccabeus, was anointed High Priest. They are the Hasidim or “pious” who took part in the Maccabean revolt (1 M 2:42), but later felt betrayed by Jonathan and Simon, brothers of Judas Maccabeus, who accepted appointment as High Priests by the Seleucid kings. What we know of the Essenes has been considerably augmented by the discoveries, beginning in 1947, of about 800 scrolls and fragments at Qumran, near the Dead Sea. A majority of scholars are of the opinion that these documents come from a group of Essenes who established themselves on this site. In The Jewish War, 307 Josephus gives a lengthy laudatory description of Essene piety and its way of life that, in many ways, resembled a monastic settlement. Disdaining the Temple ruled by priests whom they judged to be unworthy, the Qumran group formed the community of the new covenant. They sought perfection through strict observance of the Law, interpreted by the Teacher of Righteousness. They awaited an imminent messianic appearance, an intervention by God that would destroy all iniquity and punish their enemies.
The Pharisees were not a priestly movement. Apparently, the seizure of the High Priesthood by the Maccabees did not proccupy them. Nevertheless, their very name, which implies separation, is probably the result of strong criticism of the Hasmonean descendants of the Maccabees, from whose growing secularised rule they dissociated themselves. To the written Law, the Pharisees added a second Law of Moses, the oral Law. Their interpretation was less strict than the Essenes and more innovative than the conservative Sadducees who accepted only the written Law. They also differed from the Sadduccees by professing belief in the resurrection of the dead and in angels (Ac 23:8), beliefs that made their appearance during the post-exilic period.
The relations between the different groups were at times severely strained, even to the point of hostility. It is worth keeping in mind that this hostility can put in context, from a religious viewpoint, the enmity that is found in the New Testament. High Priests were responsible for much of the violence. There is the case of a High Priest, whose name is unknown, who tried to put to death, probably towards the end of the second century B.C., the Teacher of Righteousness in Qumran during the Yom Kippur celebrations. The Qumran writings are full of polemics against the Jerusalem Sadduccean hierarchy, wicked priests accused of violating the commandments, and they likewise denigrate the Pharisees. While exalting the Teacher of Righteousness, they accuse another person (an Essene?) of scoffing and lying and persecuting with the sword “all who walk in perfection” (Damascus Document, ms. A,I,20). These incidents happened before the time of Herod the Great and the Roman rule in Judea, and so before the time of Jesus.
67. This is the period corresponding to the life of Jesus which had already begun a little earlier, when Jesus was born before the death of Herod the Great in 4 B.C. After his death, the emperor Augustus divided the kingdom between the three sons of Herod: Archelaus (Mt 2:22), Herod Antipas (14:1, etc.), and Philip (16:13; Lk 3:1). The reign of Archelaus stirred up hostility among his subjects, and Augustus before long put his territory, Judea, under Roman administration.
What was Jesus' attitude towards the three religious “parties” mentioned above? Three questions in particular merit consideration.
Which was the most important religious group during Jesus' public life? Josephus says that the Pharisees were the main party, extremely influential in the towns. 308 It was perhaps for this reason that Jesus is presented more often in conflict with them than with any other group, an indirect acknowledgement of their importance. Furthermore, this party within Judaism survived better than the others and nascent Christianity had to confront it.
What beliefs did the Pharisees hold? The Gospels frequently present the Pharisees as hypocritical and heartless legalists. There was an attempt to refute this by referring to certain rabbinical attitudes attested in the Mishna, which shows that they were neither hypocritical nor strictly legalist. But this argument is not convincing, for a legalist tendency is also present in the Mishna. Furthermore, it is unknown whether these attitudes codified by the Mishna c. 200, actually correspond to those of the Pharisees of Jesus' time. However, it must be admitted, that in all probability, the presentation of the Pharisees in the Gospels was influenced in part by subsequent polemics between Christians and Jews. At the time of Jesus, there were no doubt Pharisees who taught an ethic worthy of approval. But the first-hand direct testimony of Paul, a Pharisee “zealous for the traditions of the ancestors”, shows the excess to which this zeal of the Pharisees could lead: “I persecuted the Church of God”. 309
Did Jesus belong to any of the three groups? There is no reason to think that Jesus was a Sadduccee. He was not a priest. His belief in angels and the resurrection of the body, as well as the eschatological expectation attributed to him in the Gospels, is much closer to the theology of the Essenes and the Pharisees. But the New Testament never mentions the Essenes, and there is no recollection that Jesus belonged to such a specific community. As regards the Pharisees, who are frequently mentioned in the Gospels, their relationship with Jesus is usually one of opposition, because of his position of non-conformance to their observances. 310
It is much more likely that Jesus did not belong to any of the sects existing within Judaism at the time. He was simply one of the common people. Recent research has attempted to situate him in various contemporary contexts: a charismatic rabbi from Galilee, an itinerant Cynic preacher, and even a revolutionary zealot. He does not fit into any of these categories.
On Jesus' relationship with the Gentiles and their ways of thinking, there has been much speculation, but there is too little information to go on. During this period in Palestine, even in regions where the greater part of the population was Jewish, Hellenistic influence was strong, but not equally felt everywhere. The influence on Jesus of the culture of the Hellenistic towns like Tiberias on the shore of lake Galilee and Sepphoris (6-7 kilometres from Nazareth) is still uncertain, since the Gospels give no indication that Jesus had any contact with these towns. Neither do we have any evidence that Jesus or his closest disciples spoke Greek in any significant measure. In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus has little contact with Gentiles, he orders his disciples not to preach to them (Mt 10:5); he forbids imitation of their lifestyle (6:7,32). Some of his sayings reflect a Jewish attitude of superiority towards the Gentiles, 311 but he knows how to distance himself from such attitudes and affirms instead the superiority of many of the Gentiles (Mt 8:10-12).
What was the attitude of Jesus' early disciples to the Jewish religious environment? The Twelve and others would have shared Jesus' Galilean mentality, although the environs of the lake of Galilee where they lived were more cosmopolitan than Nazareth. The Fourth Gospel reports that Jesus drew disciples from John the Baptist (Jn 1:35-41), that he had Judean disciples (19:38) and that he converted one entire Samaritan village (4:39-42). The group of disciples, then, could very well reflect the pluralism that existed in Palestine at that time.
68. The first period of direct Roman rule in Judea came to an end in 3940. Herod Agrippa I, friend of the emperor Caligula (37-41) and of the new emperor Claudius (41-54), became king of all Palestine (41-44). He gained the support of the Jewish religious leaders and gave the appearance of being religious. In Ac 12, Luke attributes a persecution to him, and also the death of James, the brother of John and son of Zebedee. After the death of Agrippa, which Ac 12:20-23 dramatically recounts, a second period of Roman rule began.
It was during this second third of the first century that the disciples of the risen Christ greatly increased in numbers and were organised into “churches” (“assemblies”). It is likely that the structures of certain Jewish groups influenced primitive Church structures. It may be asked whether the Christian “presbyters” or “elders” were modelled on the “elders” of the synagogues, and whether the Christian bishops (“overseers”) were modelled on the Qumran “overseers”. Does not the designation of the Christian community as “the way” (hodos) reflect the spirituality of the Qumran groups, gone into the desert to prepare the way of the Lord? From a theological viewpoint, some have thought that traces of Qumran influence are to be found in the dualism of the Fourth Gospel, expressed in terms of light and darkness, truth and falsehood, in the battle between Jesus, the light of the world, and the powers of darkness (Lk 22:53), and in the battle between the Spirit of Truth and the prince of this world (Jn 16:11). Nevertheless, the presence of common themes does not necessarily imply dependence.
The Roman procurators for the years 44-66 were men devoid of vision, corrupt and dishonest. Their mis-government gave rise to the “sicarii” (terrorists armed with knives) and “zealots” (zealous for the Law, devoid of pity), and finally provoked a great Jewish revolt against the Romans. The great Roman armies and their best generals fought to quell this revolt. For Christians, a noteworthy event was the death of James, “the brother of the Lord”, in the year 62, following a decision of the Sanhedrin convened by the High Priest Ananus (Anne) II. This High Priest was dismissed by the procurator Albinus for acting illegally. Only two years later, after a great fire ravaged Rome in July 64, the emperor Nero (54-68) persecuted the Christians in the capital city. According to a very ancient tradition, the apostles Peter and Paul were martyred at that time. Generally speaking, the last third of the first century may be called the post-apostolic era.
69. The Jewish revolt of 66-70 and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple precipitated a change in the dynamics of the religious groupings. The revolutionaries (sicarii, zealots and others) were exterminated. The Qumran foundation was destroyed in 68. The cessation of Temple sacrifices weakened the power base of the Sadduccean leaders who belonged to the priestly families. We do not know to what extent rabbinic Judaism is the successor of the Pharisees. What we do know is that after 70, the rabbinic masters, “the sages of Israel”, gradually came to be recognised as leaders of the people. Those who reassembled at Jamnia (Yavneh), on the coast of Palestine, were considered by the Roman authorities to be spokespersons for the Jews. From c.90-110, Gamaliel II, son and grandson of distinguished interpreters of the Law, presided over “the assembly” in Jamnia. When they speak of Judaism, Christian writings from this period were more and more influenced by this rabbinic Judaism then in the process of formation. In certain areas, conflicts between the synagogue leaders and Jesus' disciples were sharp. This is evident from the expulsion from the synagogue imposed on “whoever confesses Jesus as the Christ” (Jn 9:22) and, on the other hand, in the strong anti-Pharisee polemic of Mt 23, as well as in the reference made from the outside to “their synagogues” as places where Jesus' disciples were flogged (Mt 10:17). The Birkat ha-minim, a synagogal “blessing” (actually, a curse) against non-conformists is often cited. Its dating to 85 is uncertain, and the idea that it was a universal Jewish decree against Christians is almost certainly wrong. But one cannot seriously doubt that at certain times in different places, local synagogues no longer tolerated the presence of Christians, and subjected them to harassment that could even go as far as putting them to death (Jn16:2). 312
Gradually, probably from the beginning of the second century, a formula of “blessing” denouncing heretics or deviants of different sorts was composed to include Christians, and much later, they were the ones specifically targeted. Everywhere, by the end of the second century, the lines of demarcation and division were sharply drawn between Christians and Jews who did not believe in Jesus. But texts like 1 Th 2:14 and Rm 9-11 demonstrate that the lines of division were already clearly visible before that time.
70. The Gospels and Acts have a basic outlook on Jews that is extremely positive because they recognise that the Jews are a people chosen by God for the fulfilment of his plan of salvation. This divine choice finds its highest confirmation in the person of Jesus, son of a Jewish mother, born to be the Saviour of his people, one who fulfils his mission by announcing the Good News to his people, and by performing works of healing and liberation that culminate in his passion and resurrection. The attachment to Jesus of a great number of Jews, during his public life and after his resurrection, confirms this perspective, as does Jesus' choice of twelve Jews to share in his mission and continue his work.
The Good News, accepted wholeheartedly in the beginning by many Jews, met with opposition from the leaders, who were eventually followed by the greater part of the people. The result was that between Jewish and Christian communities a conflict situation arose that clearly left its mark on the redaction of the Gospels and Acts.
The relationship between the First Gospel and the Jewish world is extremely close. Many details in it show a great familiarity with the Scriptures, the traditions and the mentality of the Jewish milieu. More than Mark and Luke, Matthew stresses the Jewish origin of Jesus: the genealogy presents him as “son of David, son of Abraham” (Mt 1:1) and goes no further back. The etymology of Jesus' name is underlined: the child of Mary will bear this name “because it is he who will save his people from their sins” (1:21). Jesus' mission during his public life is limited “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (15:24), and he assigns the same limits to the mission of the Twelve (10:5-6). More than the other evangelists, Matthew often takes care to note that events in Jesus' life happened “so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled” (2:23). Jesus himself makes it clear that he has come not to abolish the Law, but to fulfil it (5:17).
Nevertheless, it is clear that the Christian communities kept their distance from the Jewish communities that did not believe in Jesus Christ. A significant detail: Matthew does not say that Jesus taught “in the synagogues”, but “in their synagogues” (4:23; 9:35: 13:54), in this way noting the separation. Matthew introduces two of the three Jewish parties described by the historian Josephus, the Pharisees and the Sadduccees, but always in a context of opposition to Jesus. This is also true for the scribes, 313 who are frequently associated with the Pharisees. Another significant fact: it is in the first prediction of the passion (16:21) that the three divisions of the Sanhedrin, “the elders, chief priests and scribes”, make their first appearance together in the Gospel. They are also set in a situation of radical opposition to Jesus.
Jesus many times confronts the opposition of the scribes and Pharisees, and finally responds by a vigorous counter-offensive (23:2-7,13-36) where the phrase “Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” occurs six times. This invective certainly reflects, in part at least, the situation of Matthew's community. The redactional context is that of two groups living in close contact with one another: Jewish Christians, convinced that they belong to authentic Judaism, and those Jews who do not believe in Christ Jesus, considered by Christians to be unfaithful to their Jewish vocation in their docility to blind and hypocritical guides.
It should be noted that Matthew's polemic does not include Jews in general. These are not named apart from the expression “the King of the Jews”, applied to Jesus (2:2; 27:11,29,37) and in the final chapter (28:15), a phrase of minor importance. The polemic is for the most part internal, between two groups both belonging to Judaism. On the other hand, only the leaders are in view. Although in Isaiah's message the whole vine is reprimanded (Is 5:1-7), in Matthew's parable it is only the tenants who are accused (Mt 21:33-41). The invective and the accusations hurled at the scribes and Pharisees are similar to those found in the prophets, and correspond to a contemporary literary genre which was common in Judaism (for example, Qumran) and also in Hellenism. Moreover, they put Christians themselves on guard against attitudes incompatible with the Gospel (23:8-12).
Furthermore, the anti-Pharisee virulence of Mt 23 must be seen in the context of the apocalyptic discourse of Mt 24-25. Apocalyptic language is employed in times of persecution to strengthen the capacity for resistance on the part of the persecuted minority, and to reinforce their hopes of a liberating divine intervention. Seen in this perspective, the vigour of the polemic is less astonishing.
Nevertheless, it must be recognised that Matthew does not always confine his polemics to the leading class. The diatribe of Mt 23 against the scribes and Pharisees is followed by an apostrophe addressed to Jerusalem. It is the whole city that is accused of “killing the prophets” and of “stoning those sent to it” (23:37), and it is for the whole city that punishment is predicted (23:38). Of its magnificent Temple “there will not remain a stone upon a stone” (24:2). Here is a situation parallel to Jeremiah's time (Jr 7:26). The prophet announced the destruction of the Temple and the ruin of the city (26:6,11). Jerusalem is about to become “a curse for all the nations of the earth” (26:6), exactly the opposite of the blessing promised to Abraham and his descendants (Gn 12:3; 22:18).
71. At the time of the Gospel's redaction, the greater part of the Jewish population had followed their leaders in their refusal to believe in Christ Jesus. Jewish Christians were only a minority. The evangelist, therefore, foresees that Jesus' threats were about to be fulfilled. These threats were not directed at Jews as Jews, but only insofar as they were in solidarity with their leaders in their lack of docility to God. Matthew expresses this solidarity in the passion narrative when he reports that at the instigation of the chief priests and elders “the crowd” demands of Pilate that Jesus be crucified (Mt 27:20-23). In response to the Roman governor's denial of responsibility, “all the people” present themselves took responsibility for putting Jesus to death (27:24-25). On the people's side, adopting this position certainly showed their conviction that Jesus merited death, but to the evangelist, such conviction was unjustifiable: the blood of Jesus was “innocent blood” (27:4), as even Judas recognised. Jesus would have made his own the words of Jeremiah: “Know for certain that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants” (Jr 26:15). From an Old Testament perspective, the sins of the leaders inevitably bring disastrous consequences for the whole community. If the Gospel was redacted after 70 A.D., the evangelist knew that, like Jeremiah's prediction, Jesus' prediction had also been fulfilled. But he did not see this fulfilment as final, for all the Scriptures attest that after the divine sanction God always opens up a positive perspective. 314 The discourse of Mt 23 does end on a positive note. A day will come when Jerusalem will say: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (23:39). Jesus' passion itself opens up the most positive perspective of all, for, from his “innocent blood” criminally shed, Jesus has constituted a “blood of the covenant”, “poured out for the remission of sins” (26:38).
Like the people's cry in the passion narrative (27:25), the ending of the parable of the tenants seems to indicate that, at the time of the Gospel's composition, the majority of the Jews had followed their leaders in their refusal to believe in Jesus. Indeed, having predicted that “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you”, Jesus did not add that the kingdom would be given “to other leaders”, but would be given “to a nation producing its fruits” (21:43). The expression “a nation” is implicitly opposed to the “people of Israel”; this assuredly suggests that a great number of the subjects will not be of Jewish origin. The presence of Jews is in no way excluded, for the Gospel community is aware that this “nation” will be set up under the authority of the Twelve, in particular of Peter, and the Twelve are Jews. With these and other Jews “many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into outer darkness” (8:11-12). This universal outlook is definitively confirmed at the end of the Gospel, for the risen Jesus commands the “eleven disciples” to go and teach “all the nations” (28:19). This ending, at the same time, confirms the vocation of Israel, for Jesus is a son of Israel and in him the prophecy of Daniel concerning Israel's role in history is fulfilled. The words of the risen One: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” 315 make explicit in what sense the universal vision of Daniel and the other prophets are henceforth to be understood.
Conclusion. More than the other Synoptic Gospels, Matthew is the Gospel of fulfilment — Jesus has not come to abolish, but to fulfil — for it insists more on the continuity with the Old Testament, basic for the idea of fulfilment. It is this aspect that makes possible the establishment of fraternal bonds between Christians and Jews. But on the other hand, the Gospel of Matthew reflects a situation of tension and even opposition between the two communities. In it Jesus foresees that his disciples will be flogged in the synagogues and pursued from town to town (23:34). Matthew therefore is concerned to provide for the Christians' defence. Since that situation has radically changed, Matthew's polemic need no longer interfere with relations between Christians and Jews, and the aspect of continuity can and ought to prevail. It is equally necessary to say this in relation to the destruction of the city and the Temple. This downfall is an event of the past which henceforth ought to evoke only deep compassion. Christians must be absolutely on their guard against extending responsibility for it to subsequent generations of Jews, and they must remind themselves that after a divine sanction, God never fails to open up positive new perspectives.
72. Mark's Gospel is a message of salvation that does not inform us as to who the recipients are. The ending which has been added addresses it boldly “to the whole of creation”, “into the whole world” (16:15), an address which corresponds to its universalist openness. As regards the Jewish people, Mark, himself a Jew, does not pass any judgement on them. The negative judgement of Isaiah (29:13) is applied in Mark only to the Pharisees and scribes (Mk 7:5-7). Apart from the title “King of the Jews” which is applied to Jesus five times in the passion narrative, 316 the title “Jew” appears only once in the Gospel, in the course of explaining Jewish customs (7:3), addressed obviously to non-Jews. This explanation comes in an episode in which Jesus criticises the Pharisees' extreme attachment to “the tradition of the elders”, causing them to neglect “the commandments of God” (7:8). Mark mentions “Israel” only twice, 317 and twice also “the people”. 318 In contrast, he frequently mentions “the crowd”, for the most part certainly composed of Jews, and favourably disposed towards Jesus, 319 except in one passion episode, where the chief priests pressure them to choose Barabbas (15:11).
It is towards the religious and political authorities that Mark takes a critical stance. His criticism is essentially of their lack of openness to the salvific mission of Jesus: the scribes accuse Jesus of blasphemy, because he uses his power to forgive sins (2:7-10); they do not accept that Jesus “eats with publicans and sinners” (2:15-16); they say he is possessed by a devil (3:22). Jesus has continually to face opposition from them and from the Pharisees. 320
The political authorities are less frequently called in question: Herod for the death of John the Baptist (6:17-28) and for his “leaven”, juxtaposed with that of the Pharisees (8:15), the Jewish Sanhedrin, a political-religious authority (14:55; 15:1), and Pilate (15:15) for their role in the Passion.
In the passion narrative, the second Gospel attempts to reply to two questions: By whom is Jesus condemned and why is he put to death? It begins by giving a general answer that puts events in a divine light: all this happened “so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled” (14:49). It then reveals the role of the Jewish authorities and that of the Roman governor.
Jesus was arrested on the orders of the three components of the Sanhedrin, “chief priests, scribes and elders” (14:43). The arrest was the end result of a long process, set in motion in Mk 3:6, where, however, the protagonists are different: there they are the Pharisees who have joined the Herodians to plot against Jesus. A significant fact: it is in the first prediction of the passion that “the elders, chief priests and scribes” appear together for the first time (8:31). In 11:18 “the chief priests and the scribes” search for a way to eliminate Jesus. The three categories meet in 11:27, to put Jesus through an interrogation. Jesus recounts for them the parable of the murderous tenants; their reaction is “to look for a way to arrest him” (12:12). In 14:1, their intention is to apprehend him and “to put him to death”. The betrayal of Jesus offers them a suitable opportunity (14:10-11). The arrest, followed by condemnation and death, is therefore the work of the nation's ruling class at that time. Mark regularly opposes the attitude of the leaders to that of “the crowd” or “the people”, who are favourably disposed to Jesus. Three times the evangelist notes that in their attempts 321 to have Jesus killed, the authorities were inhibited by fear of the people's reaction. Nevertheless, at the end of the trial before Pilate, the chief priests succeeded in sufficiently inciting the attendant crowd to make them choose Barabbas (15:11) in preference to Jesus (15:13). The final decision of Pilate, powerless to calm the crowd, is to “satisfy” them, which, for Jesus, means crucifixion (15:15). This merely incidental crowd certainly cannot be confused with the Jewish people of that time, and even less with the Jews of every age. It should be said that they represent rather the sinful world (Mk 14:41) of which we are all a part.
It is the Sanhedrin that Mark holds guilty of having “condemned” Jesus (10:33; 14:64). About Pilate, Mark declines to say he condemned Jesus, but that, having no reason to accuse him (15:14), he handed him over to be put to death (15:15), something that makes Pilate even more culpable. The reason for the Sanhedrin's condemnation is that Jesus had uttered a “blasphemy” in his affirmative and circumstantial response to the High Priest's question whether he was “the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One” (14:61-64). In this way Mark reveals the most dramatic point of rupture between the Jewish authorities and the person of Christ, a matter that continues to be the most serious point of division between Judaism and Christianity. For Christians, Jesus' response is not blasphemy, but the very truth manifested as such by his resurrection. To the Jewish community, Christians are wrong to affirm the divine sonship of Christ in a way that gives grave offence to God. However painful it be, this fundamental disagreement must not degenerate into mutual hostility, or allow the existence of a rich common patrimony to be forgotten, a heritage which includes faith in the one God.
Conclusion. Any interpretation of Mark's Gospel that attempts to pin responsibility for Jesus' death on the Jewish people, is erroneous. Such an interpretation, which has had disastrous consequences throughout history, does not correspond at all to the evangelist's perspective, which, as we have said, repeatedly opposes the attitude of the people or the crowd to that of the authorities hostile to Jesus. Furthermore, it is forgotten that the disciples were also part of the Jewish people. It is a question then of an improper transfer of responsibility, of the sort that is often encountered in human history. 322
Rather, it is well to recall that the passion of Jesus is part of God's mysterious plan, a plan of salvation, for Jesus came “to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (10:45), and has made of the blood that he shed a “blood of the covenant” (14:24).
73. Addressed to the “most excellent Theophilus” to complete his Christian instruction (Lk 1:3-4; Ac 1:1), the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts are writings very open to universalism and, at the same time, very well disposed towards Israel.
The names “Israel”, “the Jews”, “the people”
The positive attitude to “Israel” is seen immediately in the infancy narratives, where the name appears seven times. It is found only five times in the rest of the Gospel, in much less positive contexts. The name of the Jews appears only five times, three of which occur in the title “King of the Jews” given to Jesus in the passion narrative. More significant is the use of the word “people” which occurs thirty six times in the Gospel (as against twice in Mark's Gospel), usually in a favourable light, even at the end of the Passion narrative. 323
In Acts, there is a positive outlook from the beginning, because the apostles announce the resurrection of Christ and the forgiveness of sins for “the whole house of Israel” (2:36), and they attract numerous followers (2:41; 4:4). The name Israel occurs fourteen times in the first part of Acts (Ac 1:6-13:24), and a fifteenth time at the end (28:20). With forty eight occurances the word “people” is much more frequent; “the people” are well disposed at first to the Christian community (2:47; 5:26), in the end they follow is the example of their leaders and turn hostile towards it (12:4,11), to the extent of seeking the death of Paul, in particular (21:30-31). Paul insists on saying that he “has done nothing against the people” (28:17). The same evolution is reflected in the use of the word “Jews” (79 times).On the day of Pentecost (2:5), the Jews whom Peter addresses and respectfully calls by that name (2:14), are summoned to faith in the risen Christ and adhere to him in great numbers. At the start, the Word is addressed exclusively to them (11:19). But very quickly, especially after Stephen's martyrdom, they become persecutors. The putting to death of James by Herod Antipas was an event that pleased them (12:2-3), and their “anticipation” was that the same fate could be waiting for Peter (12:11). Before his conversion, Paul was a relentless persecutor (8:3; cf. Ga 1:13); but after conversion, from persecutor he became the persecuted: already at Damascus “the Jews plotted to kill him” (9:23). Nevertheless, Paul continues to preach Christ “in the synagogues of the Jews” (13:5; 14:1) and brings to the faith “a great multitude of Jews and Greeks” (14:1), but this success provokes the hostile reaction of the “unbelieving Jews” (14:2). The same treatment is frequently repeated, in various ways, right up to Paul's arrest in Jerusalem, incited by “the Jews of the province of Asia” (21:27). But Paul continues to proclaim with pride: “I am a Jew” (22:3). He suffers the hostility of the Jews, but does not reciprocate.
The Gospel narrative
74. The infancy narrative creates an atmosphere very favourably disposed to the Jewish people. The announcements of extraordinary births reveal “Israel” (1:68) and “Jerusalem” (2:38) as beneficiaries of salvation in fulfilment of an economy rooted in the people's history. The result is “a great joy for all the people” (2:10), “redemption” (1:68-69), “salvation” (2:30-31), “glory for your people” (2:32). This good news is well received. But a future negative reaction to God's gift is glimpsed, for Simeon predicts to Mary that her Son will become a “sign of contradiction” and foretells that “a fall” will precede “the rising up” (or: the resurrection) “of many in Israel” (2:34). Thus he opens up a deep perspective in which the Saviour is at grips with hostile forces. A touch of universalism, inspired by Second Isaiah (42:6; 49:6), joins the “light of revelation to the nations” to the “glory of your people Israel” (2:32), a conjoining which clearly shows that universalism does not mean being anti-Jewish.
In the rest of the Gospel, Luke inserts further touches of universalism: first in relation to the preaching of John the Baptist (3:6; cf. Is 40:5), and then by tracing the genealogy of Jesus back to Adam (3:38). However, the first episode of Jesus' ministry at Nazareth at once shows that universalism will create problems. Jesus appeals to his fellow townspeople to renounce a possessive attitude to his miracles and accept that these gifts are also for the benefit of foreigners (4:23-27). Their resentful reaction is violent; rejection and attempted murder (4:28-29). Thus Luke clarifies in advance what the repeated reaction of Jews will be to Paul's success among the Gentiles. The Jews violently oppose a preaching that sweeps away their privileges as the chosen people. 324 Instead of opening out to the universalism of Second Isaiah, they follow Baruch's counsel not to share their privileges with strangers (Ba 4:3). Other Jews resist that temptation and generously give themselves to the service of evangelisation (Ac 18:24-26).
Luke reports gospel traditions depicting Jesus in conflict with the scribes and Pharisees (Lk 5:17-6:11). In 6:11, however, he plays down the hostility of those adversaries by not attributing to them a murderous intention from the beginning, unlike Mk 3:6. Luke's polemical discourse against the Pharisees (11:42-44), later extended to include the “lawyers” (11:46-52) is considerably shorter than Mt 23:2-39. The parable of the Good Samaritan is an instruction on the universality of love in reply to a lawyer's question (Lk 10:29,36-37). This puts the Jewish priest and Levite in a bad light, while proposing a Samaritan as a model (cf. also 17:12-19). The parables of mercy (15:4-32), addressed to the Pharisees and scribes, also urge an openness of heart. The parable of the merciful father (15:11-32) who invites the elder son to open his heart to the prodigal, does not directly apply to relations between Jews and Gentiles, although this application is often made (the elder son represents observant Jews who are less open to accepting pagans whom they consider to be sinners). Luke's larger context, nevertheless, makes this application possible because of his insistence on universalism.
The parable of the coins (19:11-27) has some very significant special features. There is the pretender to royalty who suffers hostility from his fellow citizens. He must go to a foreign country to be invested with royal power. On his return, he has his opponents executed. This parable, together with that of the murderous vineyard tenants (20:9-19), is a warning by Jesus of the consequences of rejecting him. Other passages in Luke's Gospel expressing Jesus' pain at the prospect of these tragic consequences, complete the picture: he weeps over Jerusalem (19:41-44) and he disregards his own sufferings to concentrate on the misfortune of the women and children of that city (23:28-31).
Luke's passion narrative is not particularly severe on the Jewish authorities. During Jesus' appearance before “the assembly of the elders of the people, chief priests and scribes” (22:66-71), Luke spares Jesus from confrontation with the High Priest, the accusation of blasphemy and condemnation, all of which serve to play down the culpability of Jesus' enemies. They bring accusations of a political order before Pilate (23:2). Pilate declares three times that Jesus is innocent (23:4,14,22), but intends to “give him a lesson” (23:16,22) by having him flogged, and finally succumbs to the growing pressure of the mob (23:23-25) that includes “chief priests, leaders of the people” (23:13). In the events that follow, the “leaders” remain hostile (23:35), while the people are more favourably disposed towards Jesus (23:27,45,48), just as they were during his public life, as we have already noted. Jesus prays for his executioners whom he generously excuses, “for they do not know what they are doing” (23:34).
In the name of the risen Jesus “repentance and forgiveness of sins” is to be “proclaimed to all the nations” (24:47). This universalism has no polemical connotation, for the phrase emphasises that this preaching must “begin from Jerusalem”. The perspective corresponds to Simeon's vision of messianic salvation, prepared by God as “a light of revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (2:30-32).
Therefore, what the Third Gospel transmits to Acts is then substantially favourable to the Jewish people. The forces of evil have had their “hour”. “Chief priests, captains of the Temple guard and elders” have been their instruments (22:52-53). But they have not prevailed. God's plan is fulfilled in accordance with the Scriptures (24:25-27,44-47), and it is a merciful plan for the salvation of all.
The Acts of the Apostles
75. The beginning of Acts depicts Christ's apostles passing from a narrow perspective, the establishment of the kingdom for Israel (Ac 1:6), to a universal one of witness “to the ends of the earth” (1:8). The Pentecost episode, curiously enough, sympathetically places Jews in this universal perspective: “There were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem” (2:5). These Jews are the first recipients of the apostolic preaching, symbolising at the same time the universal destination of the Gospel. Luke suggests as well, more than once, that far from being mutually exclusive, Judaism and universalism go together.
The kerygmatic or missionary discourses preach the mystery of Jesus by emphasising the strong contrast between the human cruelty which put Jesus to death and the liberating intervention of God who raised him up. “Israel's” sin was to have “put to death the Prince of Life” (3:15). This sin, which is principally that of the “leaders of the people” (4:8-10) or the “Sanhedrin” (5:27:30), is recalled only as a basis for an appeal to conversion and faith. Besides, Peter attenuates the culpability, not only of the “Israelites” but even of their “leaders” by saying that they acted “out of ignorance” (3:17). Such forbearance is impressive. It corresponds to the teaching and attitude of Jesus (Lk 6:36-37; 23:34).
Nevertheless, the Christian preaching quickly stirs up opposition on the part of the Jewish authorities. The Sadduccees oppose the apostles' “proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead” (Ac 4:2) in which they do not believe (Lk 20:27). But a very influential Pharisee, Gamaliel, takes the side of the apostles in thinking that their enterprise possibly “comes from God” (Ac 5:39). Then opposition decreases for a while. It flares up again in Hellenistic synagogues when Stephen, himself a Hellenistic Jew, works “great wonders and signs among the people” (6:8-15). At the end of his discourse before members of the Sanhedrin, Stephen has recourse to the invective of the prophets (7:51). He is stoned. Following Jesus' example, he prays to the Lord that “this sin be not held against them” (7:60; cf. Lk 23:34). “That day a severe persecution began against the Church in Jerusalem” (Ac 8:1). “Saul” zealously took part in it (8:3; 9:13).
After his conversion and during all his missionary journeys, he himself — as we have already noted — experiences the opposition of his fellow countrymen, sparked by the success of his universalist preaching. This is particularly evident immediately after his arrest in Jerusalem. When he spoke “in the Hebrew language”, “the assembly of people” (21:36) first heard him calmly (22:2), but from the moment he mentions his being sent “to the nations”, they get terribly agitated and demand his death (22:21-22).
Acts ends on a surprising, but all the more significant, note. Shortly after his arrival in Rome, Paul “called together the local leaders of the Jews” (28:17), a unique gesture. He wants “to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and the prophets” (28:23). What he wished to obtain was not individual adherents, but a collective decision involving the whole Jewish community. After his unsuccessful attempt, he repeats the very harsh words of Isaiah concerning the hardness of “this people” (28:25-27; Is 6:9-10), and announces instead the docile acceptance that the nations will give to the salvation offered by God (28:28). In this ending, which gives rise to interminable discussion, Luke apparently wishes to accept the undeniable fact that, in the end, the Jewish people collectively did not accept the Gospel of Christ. At the same time, Luke wishes to reply to an objection that could be made against the Christian faith, by showing that this situation had already been foreseen in the Scriptures.
In Luke's oeuvre, there is no doubt that there is a profound respect for the Jewish reality insofar as it has a primary role in the divine plan of salvation. Nevertheless, in the course of the narrative, tensions become obvious. Luke tones down the polemics encountered in the other Synoptics. But he is unable, it seems, — and does not wish — to hide the fact that Jesus suffered fierce opposition from the leaders of his people and that, as a result, the apostolic preaching finds itself in an analogous situation. If a sober recounting of this undeniable Jewish opposition amounts to anti-Judaism, then Luke could be accused of it. But it is obvious that this way of looking at it is to be rejected. Anti-Judaism consists rather of cursing and hating the persecutors, and their people as a whole. The Gospel message, on the contrary, invites Christians to bless those who curse them, to do good to those who hate them, and to pray for those who persecute them (Lk 6:27-28), following the example of Jesus (23:34) and of the first Christian martyr (Ac 7:60). This is one of the basic lessons of Luke's work. It is regrettable that in the course of the centuries following it has not been more faithfully followed.
76. About the Jews, the Fourth Gospel has a very positive statement, made by Jesus himself in the dialogue with the Samaritan woman: “Salvation comes from the Jews” (Jn 4:22). 325 Elsewhere, to the statement of the High Priest Caiaphas who said that it was “advantageous” “to have one man die for the people”, the evangelist sees a meaning in the word inspired by God and emphasises that “Jesus was about to die for the nation”, adding “not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God” (Jn 11:49-52). The evangelist betrays a vast knowledge of Judaism, its feasts, its Scriptures. The value of the Jewish patrimony is clearly acknowledged: Abraham saw Jesus' day and was glad (8:56); the Law is a gift given through Moses as intermediary (1:17); “the Scripture cannot be annulled” (10:35); Jesus is the one “about whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote” (1:45); he is “a Jew” (4:9) and “King of Israel” (1:49) or “King of the Jews” (19:19-22). There is no serious reason to doubt that the evangelist was Jewish and that the basic context for the composition of the Gospel was relations with the Jews.
The word “Jews” is found 71 times in the Fourth Gospel, usually in the plural, three times in the singular (3:25; 4:9; 18:35). It is applied especially to “Jesus” (4:9). The name “Israelite” only appears once; it is a title of honour (1:47). A certain number of Jews are well disposed to Jesus. One such is Nicodemus, a “leader of the Jews” (3:1) who saw Jesus as a teacher come from God (3:2), defends him before his Pharisee colleagues (7:50-51) and, after his death on the cross, takes charge of his burial (19:39). At the end, “many of the leaders” believed in Jesus, but lacked courage to declare themselves as his disciples (12:42). The evangelist frequently reports that “many” people came to believe in Jesus. 326 The context shows that it is the Jews, except in 4:39,41; the evangelist is sometimes precise, though rarely sufficiently so (8:31; 11:45; 12:11).
Nonetheless, “the Jews” are often hostile to Jesus. Their opposition begins with the curing of the paralytic on the sabbath day (5:16). It intensifies when Jesus makes himself “equal to God”; they try from then on to have him put to death (5:18). Later, like the High Priest during the trial of Jesus in Mt 26:65 and Mk 14:64, they accuse him of “blasphemy” and try to punish him accordingly by stoning (10:31-33). It has been noted with good reason that much of the Fourth Gospel anticipates the trial of Jesus and gives him the opportunity to defend himself and accuse his accusers. These are often called “the Jews” without further precision, with the result that an unfavourable judgement is associated with that name. But there is no question here of anti-Jewish sentiment, since — as we have already noted — the Gospel recognises that “salvation comes from the Jews” (4:22). This manner of speaking only reflects the clear separation that existed between the Christian and Jewish communities.
A more serious accusation made by Jesus against “the Jews” is that of having the devil for a father (8:44); it should be noted that this accusation is not made against the Jews insofar as they are Jews, but, on the contrary, insofar as they are not true Jews, since they entertain murderous intentions (8:37), inspired by the devil, who is “a murderer from the beginning” (8:44). The only concern here is a small number of Jesus' contemporaries, paradoxically, of “Jews who had believed in him” (8:31). By accusing them openly, the Fourth Gospel puts other Jews on guard against the temptation to similar murderous thoughts.
77. By translating “the Jews” as “the Judeans”, an attempt has been made to eliminate the tensions that the Fourth Gospel can provoke between Christians and Jews. The contrast then would not be between the Jews and Jesus' disciples, but between the inhabitants of Judea, presented as hostile to Jesus, and those of Galilee, presented as flocking to their prophet. Contempt by Judeans for Galileans is certainly expressed in the Gospel (7:52), but the evangelist did not draw the lines of demarcation between faith and refusal to believe along geographical lines, he distinguishes Galilean Jews who reject Jesus' teaching as hoi Ioudaioi (6:41,52).
Another interpretation of “the Jews” identifies them with “the world” based on affirmations which express a comparison (8:23) or parallelism between them. 327 But the world of sinners, by all accounts, extends beyond Jews who are hostile to Jesus.
It has also been noted that in many Gospel passages “the Jews” referred to are the Jewish authorities (chief priests, members of the Sanhedrin) or sometimes the Pharisees. A comparison between 18:3 and 18:12 points in this direction. In the passion narrative, John frequently mentions “the Jews” where the Synoptics speak of Jewish authorities. But this observation holds good only for a certain restricted number of passages and such precision cannot be introduced into a translation of the Gospel without being unfaithful to the text. These are echoes of opposition to Christian communities, not only on the part of the Jewish authorities, but from the vast majority of Jews, in solidarity with their leaders (cf. Ac 28:22). Historically, it can be said that only a minority of Jews contemporaneous with Jesus were hostile to him, that a smaller number were responsible for handing him over to the Roman authorities; and that fewer still wanted him killed, undoubtedly for religious reasons that seemed important to them. 328 But these succeeded in provoking a general demonstration in favour of Barabbas and against Jesus, 329 which permitted the evangelist to use a general expression, anticipating a later evolution.
At times in the Gospel the separation of Jesus' disciples from “the Jews” is evident in the expulsion from the synagogue imposed on Jews who believed in Jesus. 330 It is possible that the Jews in the Johannine communities experienced this treatment, since they would be considered unfaithful to Jewish monotheistic faith (which, in fact, was not at all the case, since Jesus said: “I and the Father are one”: 10:30). The result was that it became almost standard to use “the Jews” to designate those who kept this name for themselves alone, in their opposition to the Christian faith.
78. Conclusion. The ministry of Jesus stirred up the mounting opposition on the part of the Jewish authorities, who, finally, decided to hand Jesus over to the Roman authorities to have him put to death. But he arose alive to give true life to all who believe in him. The Fourth Gospel recalls these events, and re-evaluates them in the light of the experience of the Johannine communities that had encountered opposition from the Jewish communities.
The actions and words of Jesus show that he had a very close filial relationship with God that was unique of its kind. The apostolic catechesis progressively deepened its understanding of this relationship. In the Johannine communities, there was an insistence on the close relationship between Son and Father and on the divinity of Jesus, who is “the Christ, the Son of God” (20:31) in a transcendent sense. This teaching provoked opposition from the synagogue leaders, followed by the whole Jewish community. Christians were expelled from the synagogues (16:2) and were exposed, at the same time, to harassment by the Roman authorities, since they no longer enjoyed the franchise granted to Jews.
The polemic escalated on both sides. The Jews accused Jesus of being a sinner (9:24), a blasphemer (10:33) and of having a devil. 331 Those who believed in him were considered ignorant or accursed (7:49). On the Christian side, Jews were accused of disobedience to God's word (5:38), resisting his love (5:42) and pursuing vainglory (5:44).
Christians, no longer able to participate in Jewish cultic life, became more aware of the plenitude they had received from the Word made flesh (1:16). The risen Christ is the source of living water (7:37-38), light of the world (8:12), bread of life (6:35), and new Temple (2:19-22). Having loved his own to the end (13:1), he gave them his new commandment of love (13:34). Everything must be done to stir up faith in him, and, through faith, life (20:31). In the Gospel, polemics are secondary. What is of the greatest importance is the revelation of the “gift of God” (4:10; 3:16), which is offered to all in Jesus Christ, especially to those “who have pierced him” (19:37).
The Gospels reveal that the fulfilment of God's plan necessarily brought with it a confrontation with evil, which must be eradicated from the human heart. This confrontation puts Jesus at odds with the leaders of his people, just like the ancient prophets. Already in the Old Testament, the people of God were seen under two antithetical aspects: on the one hand, as a people called to be perfectly united to God; and on the other, as a sinful people. These two aspects could not fail to manifest themselves during Jesus' ministry. During the Passion, the negative aspect seemed to prevail, even among the Twelve. But the resurrection showed that, in reality, the love of God was victorious and obtained for all the pardon of sin and a new life.
79. The Pauline Letters will be considered in accordance with the most commonly accepted groupings: first, seven Letters generally recognised as authentic (Rm, 1-2 Co, Ga, Ph, I Th, Phm), then Ephesians and Colossians, the Pastorals (1-2 Tm, Tt). Finally, the Letter to the Hebrews, the Letters of Peter, James and Jude, and the Book of Revelation will be looked at.
Personally, Paul continued to be proud of his Jewish origin (Rm 11:1). Referring to the time preceding his conversion, he says: “I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors” (Ga 1:14). Having become an apostle of Christ, he says of his adversaries: “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I” (2 Co 11:22). Still, he can relativise all these advantages by saying: “These I have come to regard as loss because of Christ” (Ph 3:7).
Nonetheless, he continues to think and reason like a Jew. His thought is visibly permeated by Jewish ideas. In his writings, as was mentioned above, we find not only continual references to the Old Testament, but many traces of Jewish traditions as well. Furthermore, Paul often uses rabbinic techniques of exegesis and argumentation (cf. I. D. 3, no. 14).
Paul's ties to Judaism are also seen in his moral teaching. In spite of his opposition to the pretentions of those who kept the Law, he himself includes a precept of the Law, Lv 19:18 (“You shall love your neighbour as yourself”) to sum up the whole of the moral life. 332 Summing up the Law in one precept is typically Jewish, as the well-known anecdote about Rabbi Hillel and Rabbi Shammai, Jesus' contemporaries, demonstrates. 333
What attitude did the apostle adopt towards the Jews? In principle, a positive one. He calls them: “My brothers, my kindred according to the flesh” (Rm 9:3). Convinced that the Gospel of Christ is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who has faith, to the Jews first” (Rm 1:16), he desired to transmit the faith to them and spared no effort to that end. He could say: “To the Jews I became a Jew, in order to win Jews” (1 Co 9:20) and even: “To those under the Law I became as one under the Law — though I myself am not under the Law — so that I might win those under the Law” (1 Co 9:20). Likewise in his apostolate to the Gentiles, he endeavoured to be indirectly useful to his fellow Jews, “in the hope of saving some of them” (Rm 11:14). For this, he relied on emulation (11:11,14): that the sight of the marvellous spiritual enrichment that faith in Christ Jesus gave to pagan converts, would stir up the desire among the Jews not to be outdone, and would lead them also to be receptive to the faith.
The resistance mounted by the majority of Jews to the Christian preaching produced in Paul's heart “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” (Rm 9:2), clear evidence of his great affection for them. He said that he himself was willing to accept on their behalf the greatest and most inconceivable sacrifice, to be branded “accursed”, separated from Christ (9:3). His afflictions and suffering forced him to search for a solution: in three lengthy chapters (Rm 9-11), he goes to the heart of the problem, or rather the mystery, of Israel's place in God's plan, in the light of Christ and of the Scriptures, without giving up until he is able to conclude: “and so all Israel will be saved” (Rm 11:26). These three chapters in the Letter to the Romans constitute the most profound reflection in the whole of the New Testament on Jews who do not believe in Jesus. Paul expressed there his most mature reflections.
The solution he proposed is based on the Scriptures which, in certain places, promised salvation only to a “remnant” of Israel. 334 In this phase of salvation history then, there is only a “remnant” of Israelites who believe in Christ Jesus, but this situation is not definitive. Paul observes that, from now on, the presence of the “remnant” proves that God has not “rejected his people” (11:1). This people continues to be “holy”, that is, in close relationship with God. It is holy because it comes from a holy root, the ancestors, and because their “first fruits” have been blessed (11:16). Paul does not make it clear whether by “first fruits” he means Israel's ancestors, or the “remnant” sanctified by faith and baptism. He exploits the agricultural metaphor of the tree when he speaks of branches being cut off and grafted (11:17-24). It is understood that the cut off branches are Israelites who have refused to believe in Christ Jesus and that those grafted on are Gentile Christians. To these — as we have already noted — Paul preaches humility: “It is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you” (11:18). To the branches that have been cut off, Paul opens up a positive perspective: “God has the power to graft them on again” (11:23); this would be easier than in the case of the Gentiles, since it is “their own olive tree” (11:24). In the final analysis, God's plan for Israel is entirely positive: “their stumbling means riches for the world”, “how much more will their full inclusion mean?” (11:12). They are assured of a covenant of mercy by God (11:27,31).
80. In the years preceding the writing of the Letter to the Romans, because he experienced fierce opposition from many of his “relatives according to the flesh”, Paul occasionally expressed strong defensive reactions. On the opposition of the Jews, Paul wrote: “From the Jews I received forty lashes minus one” (cf. Dt 25:3). A little later he notes what he must do in the face of danger from brothers of his race as well as from Gentiles (2 Co 11:24,26). The recalling of these sad experiences elicits no comment from Paul. He is ready to “participate in the sufferings of Christ” (Ph 3:10). But what provokes an animated reaction are the obstacles placed by Jews in the way of his apostolate to the Gentiles. This is evident in a passage in the First Letter to the Thessalonians (2:14-16). These verses are so much at variance with Paul's habitual attitude towards the Jews that attempts have been made to demonstrate that they are not from Paul, or to play down their vehemence. But the unanimous testimony of manuscripts renders their exclusion impossible, and the tenor of the whole does not permit restriction to the inhabitants of Judea, as has been suggested. The final verse is pungent: “God's wrath has overtaken them at last” (1 Th 2:16). One is reminded of Jeremiah's predictions 335 and of a phrase in 2 Ch 36:16: “The wrath of the Lord against his people became so great that there was no remedy”. These predicted the national catastrophe of 587 B.C.: the siege and capture of Jerusalem, the burning of the Temple, the deportation. Paul apparently foresees a catastrophe of similar proportions. It is worth noting, though, that the events of 587 were not the end. The Lord then had pity on his people. It follows that the terrible prediction of Paul — one which unfortunately came to pass — did not exclude a subsequent reconciliation.
In 1 Th 2:14-16, in the context of sufferings inflicted on the Thessalonian Christians by their compatriots, Paul recalls that the churches in Judea had suffered the same fate at the hands of the Jews, and accuses them of a series of crimes: they “killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out”; then in the present tense: “they displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved”. It is clear that the last is more important to Paul than the two preceding negative appraisals. Because the Jews are an obstacle to the Christian preaching addressed to the Gentiles, they “oppose all men” 336 and “they displease God”. In opposing the Christian preaching, the Jews of Paul's time show themselves in solidarity with the ancestors who killed the prophets, and with their own brothers who demanded that Jesus be condemned to death. The formulae used by Paul seem to suggest that the death of Jesus is to be attributed to all Jews indiscriminately without distinction: anti-Jewish interpreters understand them in this sense. Put in context, however, they refer only to Jews who were opposed to preaching to the pagans and therefore opposed their salvation. When the opposition ceases, the accusation does as well.
Another polemical passage is found in Ph 3:2-3: “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh (katatom)! For it is we who are the circumcision (peritom)”. Whom has the apostle in mind here? Since the reference is not explicit enough, it does not allow us any certainty, but the interpretation that Jews are envisaged, can at least be excluded. According to a current opinion, Paul would have in mind judaising Christians, who wished to impose circumcision on Christians from the “nations”. Paul aggressively applies to them a term of contempt, “dogs”, a metaphor for the ritual impurity that the Jews sometimes attributed to the Gentiles (Mt 15:26). He downgrades circumcision of the flesh by ironically calling it “mutilation” (cf. Ga 5:12), and opposes to it a spiritual circumcision, similar to Deuteronomy's circumcision of the heart. 337 The context, in this case, would have been the controversy about Jewish observances within the Christian churches, as in the Letter to the Galatians. It would probably be better to see a reference, as in Rv 22:15, to the pagan context in which the Philippians lived, and to assume that Paul is referring here to pagan customs: sexual perversions, immoral acts, cultic mutilations associated with orgiastic cults. 338
81. On the matter of Abraham's descendants, Paul makes a distinction — as we have already indicated — between the “children of the promise like Isaac”, who are also children “according to the Spirit”, and children “according to the flesh”. 339 It is not enough to be “children of the flesh” in order to be “children of God” (Rm 9:8), for the essential condition is commitment to him whom “God has sent... so that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Ga 4:4-5).
In another context, the apostle omits this distinction, and speaks of the Jews in general. He declares that they have the privilege of being the depositories of divine revelation (Rm 3:1-2). Nevertheless, this privilege has not exempted them from sin's dominion over them (3:9-19), hence it is still necessary to gain justification by faith in Christ rather than by the observance of the Law (3:20-22).
When he considers the situation of Jews who have not followed Christ, Paul insists on affirming his profound esteem for them by enumerating the marvellous gifts which they have received from God: “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the worship and the promises; to them belong the Patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen” (Rm 9:4-5). 340 Despite the absence of verbs, it can scarcely be doubted that Paul wishes to speak of these gifts as still actually possessed (cf. 11:29), even if, from his viewpoint, possession of them is not sufficient, for they refuse God's most important gift, his Son, although physically he is one with them. Paul attests that “they are zealous for God”, adding: “but it is not enlightened. For being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God's righteousness” (10:2-3). Nevertheless, God does not abandon them. His plan is to show them mercy. “The hardening” which affects “a part of” Israel is only provisional and has its usefulness for the time being (11:25); it will be followed by salvation (11:26). Paul sums up the situation in an antithetical phrase, followed by a positive affirmation:
“As regards the Gospel they are enemies of God for your sake;
as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors;
for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (11:28-29).
Paul views the situation realistically. Between Christ's disciples and the Jews who do not believe in him, the relation is one of opposition. These Jews call the Christian faith into question; they do not accept that Jesus is their Messiah (Christ) and the Son of God. Christians cannot but contest the position of these Jews. But at a level deeper than opposition there exists from now on a loving relationship that is definitive; the other is only temporary.
82. The Letter to the Colossians contains the word “Jew” only once, in a sentence that says, in the new man “there is no longer Greek and Jew”, adding as well a parallel expression: “circumcised and uncircumcised”; there is only Christ “who is all and in all” (Col 3:11). This phrase, which recalls the teaching of Ga 3:28 and Rm 10:12, denies any importance to being a Jew from the point of view of a relationship with Christ. It passes no judgement on Jews, any more than it does on Greeks.
The value of cirumcision before the coming of Christ is indirectly affirmed, when the author recalls for the Colossians that formerly they were “dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of [their] flesh” (2:13). But the value of Jewish circumcision is eclipsed by “circumcision in Christ”, “a circumcision not made with hands, by putting off the body of the flesh” (2:11); there is here an allusion to Christians' participation in Christ's death through baptism (cf. Rm 6:3-6). The result is that Jews who do not believe in Christ are in an unsatisfactory situation from a religious point of view; but this is not expressed.
The Letter to the Ephesians does not use the word “Jew” even once. It mentions only once “uncircumcision” and “circumcision”, in a phrase alluding to the contempt that Jews have for pagans. The latter were “called ‘the uncircumcision' by those who are called ‘the circumcision'” (2:11). Elsewhere, in conformity with the teaching of the Letters to the Galatians and Romans, the author, speaking in the name of Jewish-Christians, describes in negative terms the situation of Jews before their conversion: they were among the “sons of disobedience” together with the pagans (2:2-3), and their conduct served “the passions of [their] flesh”; they were then “by nature children of wrath, like everyone else” (2:3). However, another passage in the Letter indirectly gives a different image of the situation of the Jews, this time a positive image, by describing the sad lot of non-Jews who were “without Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world” (2:12). The privileges of the Jews are here recalled and greatly appreciated.
The principal theme of the Letter is precisely an enthusiastic affirmation that those privileges, brought to their culmination by Christ's coming, are henceforth accessible to the Gentiles, who “have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus” (3:6). The crucifixion of Christ is understood as an event that has destroyed the wall of separation erected by the Law between Jews and Gentiles, and so has demolished the hatred between them (2;14). The perspective is one of perfectly harmonious relations. Christ is the peace between both, in such a way as to create from the two a unique new man, and to reconcile both with God in one body (2:15-16). The refusal of the Christian faith given by the majority of Jews is not mentioned. The atmosphere remains eirenic.
Concerned with the internal organisation of the Christian communities, the Pastoral Letters never speak of the Jews. There is a single allusion to “those of the circumcison” (Ti 1:10), but this refers to Jewish-Christians belonging to the community. They are criticised for being, more so than other members of the community, “rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers”. Besides, the putting on guard against “endless genealogies” found in 1 Ti 1:10 and Ti 3:9, probably refers to Jewish speculations about Old Testament personages, “Jewish myths” (Ti 1;4).
Neither does the Letter to the Hebrews mention “the Jews” or even “the Hebrews”! It does mention once “the sons of Israel”, in reference to the Exodus (Heb 11:22), and twice “the people of God”. 341 It speaks of Jewish priests when it recalls “those who officiate in the tent” (13:10), pointing out the distance that separates them from the Christian cult. On the positive side, it recalls Jesus' connection with “the descendants of Abraham” (2:16) and the tribe of Judah (7:14). The author points out the deficiencies of Old Testament institutions, especially the sacrificial cult, but always basing himself on the Old Testament itself, whose value as divine revelation he always fully recognises. With regard to the Israelites of the past, the author's appreciation is not one-sided, but corresponds faithfully to that of the Old Testament itself: that is, on the one hand, by quoting and commenting on Ps 95:7-11, he recalls the lack of faith of the generation of the Exodus, 342 but on the other hand, he paints a magnificent fresco of examples of faith given throughout the ages by Abraham and his descendants (11:8-38). Speaking of Christ's Passion, the Letter to the Hebrews makes no mention of the responsibility of the Jewish authorities, but simply says that Jesus endured strong opposition “on the part of sinners”. 343
The same holds for the First Letter of Peter, which evokes Christ's Passion by saying that “the Lord” was “rejected by men” (1 Pt 2:4) without further precision. The Letter confers on Christians the glorious titles of the Israelite people, 344 but without any polemical intent. It never mentions the Jews. The same is true for the Letter of James, the Second Letter of Peter and the Letter of Jude. These Letters are steeped in Jewish teaching, but do not touch on the relationship between the Christian Church and contemporary Jews.
83. A very favourable attitude towards the Jews is evident throughout the book, but especially in the mention of 144,000 “servants of our God” marked “on their foreheads” with the “sign of the living God” (Rv 7:2-4) coming from all the tribes of Israel which are enumerated one by one (a unique case in the New Testament: Rv 7:5-8). Revelation reaches its high point in its description of “the new Jerusalem” (Rv 21:2) with its “twelve gates” on which the names are inscribed “which are those of the twelve tribes of Israel” (21:12), in parallel to “the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb”, inscribed on the twelve foundations of the city (21:14).
Regarding the “so-called Jews” mentioned in two parallel passages (2:9 and 3:9), the author rejects their pretensions and calls them a “synagogue of Satan”. In 2:9, these “so-called Jews” are accused of defaming the Christian community of Smyrna. In 3:9, Christ announces that they will be compelled to pay homage to the Christians of Philadelphia. These passages suggest that Christians are denying the title of Jew to the Israelites who defame them, and range themselves on the side of Satan, “the accuser of our brothers” (Rv 12:10). There is a then positive appreciation of “Jew” as a title of honour, an honour that is denied to a synagogue which is actively hostile to Christians.
84. At the end of this exposition, necessarily all too brief, the main conclusion to be drawn is that the Jewish people and their Sacred Scriptures occupy a very important place in the Christian Bible. Indeed, the Jewish Sacred Scriptures constitute an essential part of the Christian Bible and are present, in a variety of ways, in the other part of the Christian Bible as well. Without the Old Testament, the New Testament would be an incomprehensible book, a plant deprived of its roots and destined to dry up and wither.
The New Testament recognises the divine authority of the Jewish Scriptures and supports itself on this authority. When the New Testament speaks of the “Scriptures” and refers to “that which is written”, it is to the Jewish Scriptures that it refers. It affirms that these Scriptures must of necessity be fulfilled, since they define God's plan which cannot fail to be realised, notwithstanding the obstacles encountered and the human resistance opposing it. To that the New Testament adds that these Scriptures are indeed fulfilled in the life of Jesus, his Passion and resurrection, as well as in the foundation of the Church that is open to all the nations. All of these bind Christians and Jews closely together, for the foremost aspect of scriptural fulfilment is that of accord and continuity. This is fundamental. Inevitably, fulfilment brings discontinuity on certain points, because without it there can be no progress. This discontinuity is a source of disagreements between Christians and Jews, no purpose is served by hiding the fact. But it was wrong, in times past, to unilaterally insist on it to the extent of taking no account of the fundamental continuity.
This continuity has deep roots and manifests itself at many levels. That is why in Christianity the link between Scripture and Tradition is similar to that in Judaism. Jewish methods of exegesis are frequently employed in the New Testament. The Christian canon of the Old Testament owes its formation to the first century Jewish Scriptures. To properly interpret the New Testament, knowledge of the Judaism of this period is often necessary.
85. But it is especially in studying the great themes of the Old Testament and their continuation in the New which accounts for the impressive symbiosis that unites the two parts of the Christian Bible and, at the same time, the vigorous spiritual ties that unite the Church of Christ to the Jewish people. In both Testaments, it is the same God who enters into relationship with human beings and invites them to live in communion with him; the one God and the source of unity; God the Creator who continues to provide for the needs of his creatures, in particular those who are intelligent and free, and who are called to recognise the truth and to love; God especially is the Liberator and Saviour of human beings, because, although created in his image, they have fallen through sin into a pitiful slavery.
Since it is a project for inter-personal relationships, God's plan is realised in history. It is impossible to discover what that plan is by philosophical speculation on the human being in general. God reveals this plan by unforeseeable initiatives, in particular, by the call addressed to an individual chosen from all the rest of humanity, Abraham (Gn 12:1-3), and by guiding the destiny of this person and his posterity, the people of Israel (Ex 3:10). A central Old Testament theme (Dt 7:6-8), Israel's election continues to be of fundamental importance in the New Testament. Far from calling it into question, the birth of Jesus confirms it in the most spectacular manner. Jesus is “son of David, son of Abraham” (Mt 1:1). He comes “to save his people from their sins” (1:21). He is the Messiah promised to Israel (Jn 1:41,45); he is “the Word” (Logos) come “to his own” (Jn 1:11-14). The salvation he brings through his paschal mystery is offered first of all to the Israelites. 345 As foreseen by the Old Testament, this salvation has universal repercussions as well. 346 It is also offered to the Gentiles. Moreover, it is accepted by many of them, to the extent that they have become the great majority of Christ's disciples. But Christians from the nations profit from salvation only by being introduced, by their faith in Israel's Messiah, into the posterity of Abraham (Ga 3:7,29). Many Christians from the “nations” are not aware that they are by nature “wild olives” and that their faith in Christ has grafted them onto the olive tree chosen by God (Rm 11:17-18).
Israel's election is made concrete and specific in the Sinai covenant and by the institutions based on it, especially the Law and the Temple. The New Testament is in continuity with this covenant and its institutions. The new covenant foretold by Jeremiah and established in the blood of Jesus has come through the covenant between God and Israel, surpassing the Sinai covenant by a new gift of the Lord that completes and carries forward the original gift. Likewise, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rm 8:2), which gives an interior dynamism, remedies the weakness (8:3) of the Sinai Law and renders believers capable of living a disinterested love that is the “fulfilment of the Law” (Rm 13:10). As regards the earthly Temple, the New Testament, borrowing terms prepared by the Old Testament, relativises the adequacy of a material edifice as a dwelling place of God (Ac 7:48), and points to a relationship with God where the emphasis is on interiority. In this point, as in many others, it is obvious that the continuity is based on the prophetic movement of the Old Testament.
In the past, the break between the Jewish people and the Church of Christ Jesus could sometimes, in certain times and places, give the impression of being complete. In the light of the Scriptures, this should never have occurred. For a complete break between Church and Synagogue contradicts Sacred Scripture.
86. The Second Vatican Council, in its recommendation that there be “understanding and mutual esteem” between Christians and Jews, declared that these will be “born especially from biblical and theological study, as well as from fraternal dialogue”. 347 The present Document has been composed in this spirit; it hopes to make a positive contribution to it, and encourages in the Church of Christ the love towards Jews that Pope Paul VI emphasised on the day of the promulgation of the conciliar document Nostra Aetate. 348
With this text, Vatican Two laid the foundations for a new understanding of our relations with Jews when it said that “according to the apostle (Paul), the Jews, because of their ancestors, still remain very dear to God, whose gifts and calling are irrevocable (Rm 11:29)”. 349
Through his teaching, John Paul II has, on many occasions, taken the initiative in developing this Declaration. During a visit to the synagogue of Mainz (1980) he said: “The encounter between the people of God of the Old Covenant, which has never been abrogated by God (cf. Rm 11:29), and that of the New Covenant is also an internal dialogue in our Church, similar to that between the first and second part of its Bible”. 350 Later, addressing the Jewish communities of Italy during a visit to the synagogue of Rome (1986), he declared: “The Church of Christ discovers its ‘links' with Judaism ‘by pondering its own mystery' (cf. Nostra Aetate). The Jewish religion is not ‘extrinsic' to us, but in a certain manner, it is ‘intrinsic' to our religion. We have therefore a relationship with it which we do not have with any other religion. You are our favoured brothers and, in a certain sense, one can say our elder brothers”. 351 Finally, in the course of a meeting on the roots of anti-Jewish feeling among Christians (1997) he said: “This people has been called and led by God, Creator of heaven and earth. Their existence then is not a mere natural or cultural happening,... It is a supernatural one. This people continues in spite of everything to be the people of the covenant and, despite human infidelity, the Lord is faithful to his covenant”. 352 This teaching was given the stamp of approval by John Paul II's visit to Israel, in the course of which he addressed Israel's Chief Rabbis in these terms: “We (Jews and Christians) must work together to build a future in which there will be no more anti-Jewish feeling among Christians, or any anti-Christian feeling among Jews. We have many things in common. We can do much for the sake of peace, for a more human and more fraternal world”. 353
On the part of Christians, the main condition for progress along these lines lies in avoiding a one-sided reading of biblical texts, both from the Old Testament and the New Testament, and making instead a better effort to appreciate the whole dynamism that animates them, which is precisely a dynamism of love. In the Old Testament, the plan of God is a union of love with his people, a paternal love, a spousal love and, notwithstanding Israel's infidelities, God will never renounce it, but affirms it in perpetuity (Is 54:8; Jr 31:3). In the New Testament, God's love overcomes the worst obstacles; even if they do not believe in his Son whom he sent as their Messiah Saviour, Israelites are still “loved” (Rm 11:29). Whoever wishes to be united to God, must also love them.
87. The partial reading of texts frequently gives rise to difficulties affecting relations with the Jews. The Old Testament, as we have seen, is not sparing in its reproaches against Israelites, or even in its condemnations. It is very demanding towards them. Rather than casting stones at the Jews, it is better to see them as illustrating the saying of the Lord Jesus: “To whom much is given, from him much is expected” (Lk 12:48), and this saying applies to us Christians as well. Certain biblical narratives present aspects of disloyalty or cruelty which today would be morally inadmissable, but they must be understood in their historical and literary contexts. The slow historical progress of revelation must be recognised: the divine pedagogy has taken a group of people where it found them and led them patiently in the direction of an ideal union with God and towards a moral integrity which our modern society is still far from attaining. This education must avoid two opposite dangers, on the one hand, of attributing to ancient prescriptions an ongoing validity for Christians (for example, refusing blood transfusions on biblical grounds) and, on the other hand, of rejecting the whole Bible on the pretext of its cruelties. As regards ritual precepts, such as the rules for pure and impure, one has to be conscious of their symbolic and anthropological import, and be aware of their sociological and religious functions.
In the New Testament, the reproaches addressed to Jews are not as frequent or as virulent as the accusations against Jews in the Law and the Prophets. Therefore, they no longer serve as a basis for anti-Jewish sentiment. To use them for this purpose is contrary to the whole tenor of the New Testament. Real anti-Jewish feeling, that is, an attitude of contempt, hostility and persecution of the Jews as Jews, is not found in any New Testament text and is incompatible with its teaching. What is found are reproaches addressed to certain categories of Jews for religious reasons, as well as polemical texts to defend the Christian apostolate against Jews who oppose it.
But it must be admitted that many of these passages are capable of providing a pretext for anti-Jewish sentiment and have in fact been used in this way. To avoid mistakes of this kind, it must be kept in mind that the New Testament polemical texts, even those expressed in general terms, have to do with concrete historical contexts and are never meant to be applied to Jews of all times and places merely because they are Jews. The tendency to speak in general terms, to accentuate the adversaries' negative side, and to pass over the positive in silence, failure to consider their motivations and their ultimate good faith, these are characteristics of all polemical language throughout antiquity, and are no less evident in Judaism and primitive Christianity against all kinds of dissidents.
The fact that the New Testament is essentially a proclamation of the fulfilment of God's plan in Jesus Christ, puts it in serious disagreement with the vast majority of the Jewish people who do not accept this fulfilment. The New Testament then expresses at one and the same time its attachment to Old Testament revelation and its disagreement with the Synagogue. This discord is not to be taken as “anti-Jewish sentiment”, for it is disagreement at the level of faith, the source of religious controversy between two human groups that take their point of departure from the same Old Testament faith basis, but are in disagreement on how to conceive the final development of that faith. Although profound, such disagreement in no way implies reciprocal hostility. The example of Paul in Rm 9-11 shows that, on the contrary, an attitude of respect, esteem and love for the Jewish people is the only truly Christian attitude in a situation which is mysteriously part of the beneficent and positive plan of God. Dialogue is possible, since Jews and Christians share a rich common patrimony that unites them. It is greatly to be desired that prejudice and misunderstanding be gradually eliminated on both sides, in favour of a better understanding of the patrimony they share and to strengthen the links that bind them.
(1) See the presentation of this phase of Augustine's spiritual journey in the work of Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo, A Biography, London, 1967, 40-45.
(2) A von Harnack, Marcion, 1920. Reissued Darmstadt 1985, XII and 217.
(3) The decisive breakthrough for an appreciation of Origen's exegesis was made by H. de Lubacin his work Histoire et Esprit. L'intelligence de l'Écriture d'après Origène, Paris 1950. Since then, the works of H. Crouzelespecially merit attention (for example, Origene, 1985). A good overview of the state of research is given by H.-J. Siebenin his Einleitung zu Origenes. In Lucam homiliae, Fribourg, 1991, pp. 7-53. A synthesis of the various works of H. de Lubac on the question of the interpretation of Scripture is given in the work edited by J. Voderholzer, H. de Lubac, Typologie, Allegorese, Geistiger Sinn. Studien zur Geschichte der christlichen Schriftauslegung, Johannes Verlag, Fribourg 1999.
(4) 5 Translated from the French by Maurice Hogan.
(5) For example, angelos, “messenger” or “angel”, gin(o-)skein, “to know” or “to have relations with”, diathk, “testament” or “pact”, “covenant”, nomos, “law” or “revelation”, ethn, “nations” or “pagans”.
(6) For example, in the Gospel of Matthew there are 160 implicit quotations and allusions; 60 in the Gospel of Mark; 192 in the Gospel of Luke; 137 in the Gospel of John; 140 in Acts; 72 in the Letter to the Romans, etc.
(7) There are 38 quotations in Matthew; 15 in Mark; 15 in Luke; 14 in John; 22 in Acts; 47 in Romans and so on.
(8) Rm 10:8; Ga 3:16; Heb 8:8; 10:5.
(9) Subjects understood: Scripture (Rm 10:8; cf. 10:11), the Lord (Ga 3:16; cf. Gn 13:14-15; Heb 8:8; cf. 8:8,9), Christ (Heb 10:5).
(10) Subjects expressed: “Scripture” (Rm 9:17; Ga 4:30); “the Law” (Rm 3:19; 7:7); “Moses” (Mk 7:10; Ac 3:22; Rm 10:19), “David” (Mt 22:43; Ac 2:25; 4:25; Rm 4:6), “the prophet” (Mt 1:22; 2:15), “Isaiah” (Mt 3:3; 4:14, etc., Jn 1:23; 12:39,41; Rm 10:16,20), “Jeremiah” (Mt 2:17), “the Holy Spirit” (Ac 1:16; Heb 3:7; 10:15), “the Lord” (Heb 8:8,9,10 = Jr 31:31,32, 33).
(11) Rm 9:15,17; 1 Tm 5:18.
(12) Mt 2:5; 4:10; 26:31, etc.
(13) 1 Co 9:8; Rm 6:19; Ga 3:15.
(14) Rm 15:4; cf. 1 Co 10:11.
(15) Mk 8:31; cf. Mt 16:21; Lk 9:22; 17:25.
(16) Mt 1:22; 2:15; 2:23; Mt 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4.
(17) Jn 12:38; 13:18; 15:25; 17:12; 19:24,28,36.
(18) Mk 14:49; cf. Mt 26:56; Jn 19:28.
(19) Lk 24:27; cf. 24:25,32, 45-46.
(20) Passion: Ac 4:25-26; 8:32-35; 13:27-29; Resurrection: 2:25-35; 4:11; 13:32-35; Pentecost: 2:16-21; missionary outreach: 13:47; 15:18.
(21) Ga 3:6-14,24-25; 4:4-7; Rm 3:9-26; 6:14; 7:5-6.
(22) According to rabbinic understanding, the written Law was duplicated by a complementary oral Law.
(23) The origin and extension of the canon of the Jewish Bible will be treated below in I.E., no. 16.
(24) Ezk 47:1-12 followed by Jl 2:18,27 and Za 14:8-11.
(25) Heb 1:5-13; 2:6-9; 3:7-4:11; 7:1-28; 10:5-9; 12:5-11, 26-29.
(26) Qal wa-homer is found in Mt 6:30; 7:11; Jn 7:23; 10:34-36; Rm 5:15,17; 2 Co 3:7-11; gezerah shawah in Mt 12:1-4; Ac 2:25-28; Rm 4:1-12; Ga 3:10-14.
(27) Cf. Ga 3:19 (Paul derives from the mediation of angels in the promulgation of the Law an argument to demonstrate the inferiority of the Law); 4:21-31 (the mention of Sarah and Hagar serves to demonstrate that Gentiles who believe in Christ are “children of the promise”); Rm 4:1-10 (it is the faith of Abraham, not circumcision, that justifies him); 10:6-8 (the verse that speaks of ascending the heavens is applied to Christ); 1 Co 10:4 (Christ is identified with the rock that accompanied the people in the desert); 15:45-47 (the two Adams, of whom Christ is the second and more perfect); 2 Co 3:13-16 (a symbolic meaning is attributed to the veil that covered Moses' face).
(28) Cf. Ep 4:8-9 (where a text on ascending the heavens, traditionally applied to Moses, is applied to Christ); Heb 7:1-28 (on the superiority of the priesthood according to Melchizedek over that of the levitical priests).
(29) 1 QH 2:31-36; 5:12-16; 18:14-16.
(30) Jews count 24 books in their Bible, called TaNaK, a word formed from the initials of Tôr 1) The Catholic Church accepts 46 books in its Old Testament canon, 39 protocanonical books and 7 deuterocanonical, so called because the former were accepted with little or no debate, while the latter (Sirach, Baruch, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom 1,2 Maccabees and parts of Esther and Daniel) were accepted only after centuries of hesitation (on the part of certain Eastern Church Fathers as well as Jerome); the Churches of the Reformation call these “Apocrypha”.
(32) In Contra Apion(1:8), written between 93 and 95, Josephus comes very close to the idea of a canon of Scripture, but his vague reference to books to which titles had not yet been attached (later called the “Writings”), shows that Judaism had not yet accepted a definitive collection of books.
(33) The so-called Council of Jamnia was more in the nature of a school or an academy that sat in Jamnia between the years 75 and 117. There is no evidence of a decision drawing up a list of books. It seems that the canon of the Jewish Scriptures was not definitively fixed before the end of the second century. Scholarly discussion on the status of certain books continued into the third century.
(34) If the early Church had received from Alexandria a closed canon or a closed list of books, one would expect that the existing manuscripts of the Septuagint and the Christian lists of Old Testament books would be virtually the same. But this is not the case. The Old Testament lists of books of the Church Fathers and early councils do not have such unanimity. It was not the Alexandrian Jews who fixed the exclusive canon of Scripture, but the Church, beginning from the Septuagint.
(35) These books comprised not only writings originally composed in Hebrew and translated into Greek, but also writings composed in Greek.
(36) Cf. Denziger-Huenermann, Enchiridion Symbolorum, 36th edition, Fribourg-im-Breisgau, Basil, Rome, Vienna 1991, nos 1334-1336, 1501-1504.
(37) For the origin of this title, see above no. 2. Today in certain circles there is a tendency to use “First Testament” to avoid any negative connotation attached to “Old Testament”. But “Old Testament” is a biblical and traditional expression which of itself does not have a negative connotation: the Church fully recognises the importance of the Old Testament.
(38) Cf. I. D.: “Jewish Exegetical Methods employed in the New Testament”, nos 12-15.
(39) Cf. Rm 5:14; 1 Co 10:6; Heb 9:24; 1 P 3:21.
(40) Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 1a, q. 1, a. 10ad 1um; cf. also Quodl. VII, 616m.
(41) Is 35:1-10; 40:1-5; 43:1-22; 48:12-21; 62.
(42) Cf. below II B.9 and C, nos 54-65.
(43) “Non solum impletur, verum etiam transcenditur”, Ambroise Autpert, quoted by H. de Lubac, Exégèse médiévale, II.246.
(44) 2 Co 5:17; Ga 6:15.
(45) Cf. the document of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, I.C.2.: “Approach through Recourse to Jewish Traditions of Interpretation”.
(46) Gn 12:1-3; 26:23-24; 46:2-4.
(47) Ex 20:1; 24:3-8; 34:27-28; cf. Nb 15:31.
(48) Ho 12:14; Dt 18:15,18.
(49) Is 6:5-8; Jr 1:4-10; Ez 2:1-3:3.
(50) Is 55:11; Jr 20:9.
(51) Mt 21:11, 46; Lk 7:16; 24:19; Jn 4:19; 6:14; 7:40; 9:17.
(52) The word lordis usually put in capitals here since the Hebrew text has the unpronounced tetragrammaton YHWH, the proper name of the God of Israel. In reading, the Jews substituted other words, especially 'adonaï, ”Lord”.
(53) Dt 4:35,39; Is 45:6,14.
(54) 1 Co 8:4; cf. Ga 3:20; Jm 2:19.
(55) Ps 115:15; 121:2; 124:8; 134:3; 146:6.
(56) Is 42:5; 44:24; 45:11; 48:13.
(57) Pr 8:22-31; 14:31; 17:5; Jb 38; Ws 9:1-2.
(58) Ps 139:13-15; Jb 10:9-12.
(59) Jb 26:12-13; Ps 74:12-23; 89:10-15; Is 45:7-8; 51:9-11.
(60) Mt 6:25-26; cf. Lk 12:22-32.
(61) Ws 9:1; cf. Ps 33:6-9; Si 42:15.
(62) Rv 22:5; cf. Is 60:9.
(63) 2 Co 5:17; cf. Ga 6:15.
(64) Gn 5:1; Ws 2:23; Si 17:3. The same idea is found in Ps 8:5-7, although expressed differently.
(65) This ordinance is completed after the deluge, cf. Gn 9:3-4.
(66) Gn 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25.
(67) Gn 5:29; Is 14:3; Ps 127;2; Pr 5:10; 10:22; 14:23.
(68) Gn 3:19; cf. 2:7; 3:23.
(69) Mt 4:25 and par.; 15:31-32.
(70) Mt 8:10; 15:28.
(71) Ga 3;26; 4:6; Rm 9:26.
(72) 2 Co 4:4; cf. Col 1:15.
(73) Mt 4:24 and par.; 8:16 and par.; 14:35 and par.; Jn 5:3.
(74) Mk 5:38; Lk 7:12-13; Jn 11:33-35.
(75) Mt 3:10 and par.; Lk 13:1-5; 17:26-30; 19:41-44; 23:29-31.
(76) Mt 3:2-12; Mk1:2-6; Lk 3:2-9.
(77) Mk 7:21-23; cf. Mt 15:19-20.
(78) Mt 10:17-23; Lk 21:12-17.
(79) Mt 12:14 and par.; Jn 5:18; Mk 11:18; Lk 19:47.
(80) Rm 3:10; cf. Ps 14:3; Qo 7:20.
(81) 2 Co 5:14; cf. Rm 5:18.
(82) Rm 5:12; 1 Co 15:56.
(83) Ex 15:1-10, 20-21; Ps 106:9-11; 114:1-5; 136:13-15.
(84) Dt 26:6-9; cf. 6:21-23.
(85) Jg 2:11-22; 3:9,15; 2 K 13:5; Ne 9:27. The title Saviour is given to God in 2 S 22:3; Is 43:3; 45:15; 60:16, as well as in other texts.
(86) Is 41:14; 43:14; 44:6,24; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7,26; 54:5,8.
(87) Is 60:10-12; 35:9-10.
(88) Ps 7:2; 22:21-22; 26:11; 31:16; 44:27; 118:25; 119:134.
(89) Ps 34:5; 66:19; 56:14; 71:23.
(90) 2 M 7:9,11,14,23,29.
(91) Lk 1:69,71,74,77.
(92) In the Septuagint, lytr(o-)ts is found only twice, a title conferred on God: Ps 18(19):14; 77(78):35.
(93) Applied to God, this title is found only once in the Gospels (Lk 1:47), never in Acts or in the uncontested Pauline Epistles; it is applied to Jesus, twice in the Gospels (Lk 2:11; Jn 4:42), twice in Acts (Ac 5:31; 13:23), once in the uncontested Pauline Letters (Ph 3:20).
(94) The First Letter to Timothy applies the title only to God, three times (1 T 1:1; 2:3; 4:10); the Second applies it only once to Christ (2 T 1:10); the Letter to Titus applies it three times to God (Ti 1:3; 2:10; 3:4) and three times to Christ (Ti 1:4; 2:13; 3:6). The Second Letter of Peter applies it only to Christ, together with the title Lord (2 P 1:1,11; 2:20; 3:2,18).
(95) Mk 5:23,28,34; 6:56.
(96) Mt 9:22 and par.; Mk 10:52; Lk 17:19; 18:42.
(97) Mt 8:25-26 and par.; 14:30-31.
(98) Mt 9:18-26 and par.; Lk 7:11-17; Jn 11:38-44.
(99) Mt 27:39-44 and par.; Lk 23:39.
(100) Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45.
(101) Jn 6:15; Lk 24:21; Ac 1:6.
(102) Rm 1:16; cf. 10:9-13; 15:8-12.
(103) 2 In Hebrew segullah: Ex 19:5; Dt 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Ps 135:4; Ml 3:17.
(104) Lv 11:44-45; 19:2.
(105) Dt 12:5,11,14,18, 21, 26; 14:23-25, etc.
(106) Ps 78:67-68; 1 Ch 28:4.
(107) 2 S 6:21; 1 K 8:16; 1 Ch 28:4; 2 Ch 6:6; Ps 78:70.
(108) Is 41: 8-9; 44:1-2.
(109) Is 41:8-9; 44:1-2.
(110) Is 41:8-9; 43:10; 44:1-2; 45:4; 49:3.
(111) Is 43:10,12; 44:8; 55:5.
(112) Mt 28:20; cf. 1:23.
(113) Lk 19:48; 21:38.
(114) Ac 2:41,47; 4:4; 5:14.
(115) Ac 13:46; 18:6; 28:28. In the Gospel of Luke, the episode of Jesus' preaching at Nazareth already presents the same type of structure as Acts 13:42-45 and 22:21-22: Jesus' universal outlook provokes hostility on the part of his townspeople (Lk 4:23-30).
(116) Ac 28:26-27; Is 6:9-10.
(117) Ps 47:10; 86:9; Zc 14:16.
(118) Mt 8:11; Lk 13:29.
(119) Mk 16:15-16; cf. Mt 28:18-20; Lk 24:47.
(120) 1 P 2:9; Is 43:21.
(121) 1 P 2:9; Ex 19:6.
(122) 1 P 2:10; Ho 2:25.
(123) Rm 11:1; 2 Co 11:22; Ga 1:14; Ph 3:5.
(124) Discourse of John Paul II in the synagogue of Rome, 13-4-1986: AAS 78 (1986) 1120.
(125) Dt 30:15-16,19; Jos 24: 21-25.
(126) Ex 19-24; 32-34; especially 19:5; 24:7-8; 34:10,27-28.
(127) Ex 32: 11-13,31-32; 33:12-16; 34:9.
(128) Dt 4:13; cf. 4:23; 9:9,11,15.
(129) Ps 89:4; 132:11; 2 S 23:5; Ps 89:29-30,35.
(130) 2 S 7:14 and par.; Ps 2:7; 89:28.
(131) Ex 24:12; 31:18, etc.
(132) Is 1:1-31; Jr 7:25-26; 11:7-8.
(133) Ezk 36:26-27; cf. 11:19-20; 16:60; 37:26.
(134) Damascus Document 6:19; 19:33-34.
(135) Ezk 36:26-28; Jl 3:1-2.
(136) Ga 3:15-4:7; 4:21-28; Rm 6:14; 7:4-6.
(137) Gn 12:3; Ga 3:8.
(138) Ga 3:29; 2 Co 1:20.
(139) Heb 8:7-13; Jr 31:31-34 LXX.
(140) Heb 9:15; cf. 7:22; 12:24.
(141) Heb 7:18; 9:9; 10:1,4,11.
(142) Mt 1:1; 9:27; etc., cf. Lk 1:32; Rm 1:3.
(143) Dt 4:6-8; Si 24:22-27; Ba 3:38-4:4.
(144) Mt 5:21-48; Mk 2:23-27.
(145) Decalogue Ex 20:1-17; Dt 5:6-21; Covenant Code Ex 20: 22-23:19; the collection of Ex 34; Deuteronomic Law Dt 12-28; Holiness Code Lv 17-26; Priestly Laws Ex 25-31; 35-40; Lv 1-7; 8-10, 11-16, etc.
(146) Ex 19-24; 32-34; cf. Dt 5:9-10.
(147) Gn 17; Ex 12-13; 15:23-26, etc.
(148) Ex 20:19-21; Dt 5:23-31.
(149) Ex 19:5-6; 24:10-11.
(150) Ex 32-34; Ex 20:2-6 and par.
(151) For example, the legislation concerning the freeing of slaves: Ex 21:2; Lv 25:10; Dt 15:12; cf. Is 58:6; 61:1; Jr 34:8-17.
(152) Ex 20:2; Dt 5:6.
(153) Rm 7:10; Ga 3:21-22.
(154) Rm 1:17; Ga 2:19-20.
(155) Lv 19:18; Ga 5:14; Rm 13:8-10.
(156) Rm 10:3; Ph 3:9.
(157) Ga 3:10, quoting Dt 27:26.
(158) Ga 3:11; Hab 2:4.
(159) Ga 5:6; cf. 5:13; 6:9-10.
(160) Heb 2:2; 7:5,28; 8:4; 9:19,22; 10:8,28.
(161) Lv 19:18; Jm 2:8; 4:11.
(162) Ex 32:11-13, 30-32, etc.
(163) Shechem: Gn 12:6-7; Bethel: 12:8; Mamre: 18:1-15; Beersheeba: 26:23-25.
(164) Sabbath: Gn 2:1-3; Ex 20:8-11; sabbatical year: Lv 25:2-7, 20-22; jubilee year: 25:8-19; feasts: Ex 23:14-17; Lv 23; Dt 16:1-17; Day of Atonement: Lv 16:23, 27-32.
(165) Note that the Old Testament knows nothing of impure times.
(166) Gn 28:16-18; Ex 3:5; Jos 5:15.
(167) Ex 23:11-12; Lv 25:6-7.
(168) Lv 4-5; 16; 17:10-12; Is 6:5-7, etc.
(169) Ex 25:8-9; Dt 4:7,32-34.
(170) Jr 11:19-20; 12:1-4; 15:15-18; etc. Later 2 M 15:14 presents Jeremiah in the nether world as “the friend of his brothers, who prays much for the people”.
(171) Is 12:1-6; 25:1-5; 26:7-19; 37:16-20; 38:9-20; 42:10-12; 63:7-64:11; Jon 2:3-10; Na 1:2-8; Hab 3:1-19.
(172) Am 4:13; 5:8-9; 9:5-6.
(173) Is 1:10-17; Ho 6:6; Am 5:21-25; Jr 7:21-22.
(174) Is 1:15; 59:3.
(175) Jb 7:1-21; 9:25-31; 10:1-22; 13:20-14:22; etc.
(176) Lm 1:9-11,20-22; 2:20; 3:41-45,55-66; 5:19-22.
(177) Pr 15:8,29; 28:9.
(178) Pr 30:7-9; Dn 2:20-23; 4:31-32,34; 9:4-19 (cf. vv.20,23). And more frequently in the deuterocanonical writings.
(179) 2 K 22-23.
(180) Gn 14:18-20; 2 S 7; 24; Ps 132.
(181) Ex 25:10-22; Lv 16:12-15. (And Rm 3:25; Heb 9:5).
(182) Mi 3:12; Jr 26:18; etc.
(183) 1 K 8:27; cf. Is 66:1.
(184) Ezk 10:3-22; 11:22-24.
(185) 1 K 8:44,48; Ze 1:17.
(186) Ps 48; 87; 122.
(187) Is 60: 19-20.
(188) Is 54:1-8; 62:2-5.
(189) Is 65:17-25; 66:20-23.
(190) Is 2:2-4; Mi 4:1-4.
(191) Mt 28:19; Mk 16:16; Lk 22:19; Jn 6:53-56; 1 Co 11:24-25.
(192) Mt 11:25; Lk 10:21; Mt 14:19 and par.; 15:36 and par.; Jn 11:41; Mt 26:26-27 and par.
(193) Mt 26:30; Mk 14:26.
(194) Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34.
(195) Cf. Mt 9:22 and par; 9:29; 15:28; Mk 10:52; Lk 18:42.
(196) Mt 6:5-15; Lk 18:9-14.
(197) Lk 11:5-8; 18:1-8.
(198) Mt 6:9-13; Lk 11:2-4.
(199) Ph 2:6-11; Col 1:15-20; 1 T 3:16. The hymn in Ep 1:3-14 glorifies the Father for the work accomplished “in Christ”.
(200) 2 Co 1:3-4; Ep 1:3.
(201) Jn 4:23; Rm 8:15,26.
(202) Mt 26:26-28 and par.; Jn 6:51-58; 1 Co 10:16-17; 11:17-34.
(203) Mk 16:16; Mt 28:19-20.
(204) Cf. above note 169 and Ps 40:7-9 quoted and commented on in Heb 10:5-10; Ps 50: 13-14; 51: 18-19.
(205) Heb 9:8-10; 10:1,11.
(206) Heb 5:7-10; 9:11-15; 10:10,14.
(207) Jn 7:14,28; Mk 12:35; Lk 19:47; 20:1; 21:37; Mt 26:55 and par.
(208) Jn 4:20-24; Ac 7:48-49 (in reference to Solomon's Temple, quoting Is 66:1-2), Ac 17:24 (in reference to pagan temples).
(209) Jn 2:19; cf. Mt 26:61 and par.
(210) Rv 3:12; 7:15; 11:1-2, 19; 14:15,17; 15:5,8; 16:1,17; 21:22.
(211) Mt 20:17-19 and par.; 21:1-10 and par.; Lk 9:31,51; 13:33.
(212) Lk 19:41-44. Cf. Mt 23:37-39; Lk 13:34-35; 21:20-24.
(213) Ex 15:24; 16:2; 17:3; etc.
(214) The golden calf episode is the first narrative episode after the conclusion of the covenant. The intermediate chapters (Ex 25-31) are legislative texts.
(215) Ex 33:3,5; 34:9; Dt 9:6,13; 31:27; Ba 2:30.
(216) Nu 13:31-14:4; Dt 1:20-21, 26-28.
(217) 2 K 21:15; Jr 7:25-26.
(218) Is 58:1; cf. Ho 8:1; Mi 3:8.
(219) Am 2:6-7; 4:1; 8:4-6.
(220) Rejection of Israel in Ho 1:4-6,8-9; Am 8:1-2; of Judah in Is 6:10-13; Jr 6:30; 7:29.
(221) Mi 3:11-12; Jr 7:14-15.
(222) Jr 7:9; 9:1-8.
(223) Jr 3:1-13; 5:7-9.
(224) Ezr 9:6-7,10,13,15: Ne 1:6-7; 9:16-27; Ba 1:15-22; Dn 3:26-45 LXX; 9:5-11.
(225) Ho 11:8-9; Jr 31:20.
(226) Ho 2:21-22; Jr 31:31-34; Ezk 36:24-28.
(227) Lk 19:43-44; Mt 24:2,15-18 and par.
(228) Ac 3:17; cf. Lk 23:34.
(229) Ac 2:41; 4:4.
(230) Ga 5:21; Ep 5:5; Heb 10:26-31.
(231) 1 Co 4:8; 5:1-5; 6:1-8; 11:17-22; 2 Co 12:20-21; Ga 1:6; 4:9; 5:4,7.
(232) 1:24,26,28; cf. Ps 81:13.
(233) 1 Co 1:10-13; 3:1-4.
(234) 1 Co 5:1-5; cf also 1 Tm 1:19-20.
(235) 1 Tm 1:19-20; 2 Tm 2:17-18.
(236) Rv 2:7,11,17,29, etc.
(237) Rv 2:5,16,22; 3:3,19.
(238) Gn 13:16; 15:5; 17:5-6.
(239) Gn 15:4; 17:19; 21:12.
(240) Is 61:9; 65:23; 66:22.
(241) Ne 9:2; cf. 10:31; 13:3; Ezr 9-10.
(242) Lk 1:55,73; cf. also Heb 11:11-12.
(243) Gn 12:7; 13:15; 15:4-7,18-21; 17:6-8; 28:13-14; 35:11-12.
(244) Ex 3:7-8; 6:2-8; Dt 12:9-10.
(245) Lv 18:24-28; Dt 28:15-68.
(246) Lv 25:53; Ps 39:13; 1 Ch 29:15.
(247) Am 9:11-15; Mi 5:6-7; Jr 12:15; Ezk 36:24-28.
(248) See above II. B. 7 nos 48 and 51.
(249) Is 2:1-4; Mi 4:1-4; Zc 14; Tb 13.
(250) Jos 6:21; 7:1,11; 8:26; 11:11-12.
(251) Dt 7:3-6; 20:18; cf. Ezr 9:1-4; Ne 13:23-29.
(252) Heb 11:9-16; see also 3:1,11-4:11.
(253) Ex 23:30; Ps 37:11.
(254) Am 5:18-20; 8:9; Zp 1:15.
(255) Ho 11:8-11; Am 5:15; Zp 2:3.
(256) Ezk 20:33-38; Is 43:1-21; 51:9-11; 52:4-12.
(257) Ezk 34:1-31; Is 40:11; 59:20.
(258) Is 44:3; Ezk 36:24-28.
(259) Ezk 37:1-14.
(260) Ezk 43:1-12; 47:1-12.
(261) Is 41:8-10; 44:1-2.
(262) Is 66:22; Jr 33:25-26.
(263) Is 27:12-13; Jr 30:18-22, etc.
(264) Is 66:18-21; Zc 14:16.
(265) Is 11:11-16; Jr 31:7; Mi 2:12-13; 4:6-7; 5:6-7; Zp 3:12-13; Zc 8:6-8, etc.
(266) Ezr 9:13-15; Ne 1:2-3.
(267) Ac 2:41; 4:4; 5:14.
(268) Mt 13:14-15 and par.; Jn 12:40; Ac 28:26-27; Rm 11:8.
(269) Ex 15:18; Nu 23:21; Dt 33:5.
(270) Is 41:21; 43:15; 52:7; Ezk 20:33.
(271) Is 33:22; Mi 2:13; Zp 3:15; Ml 1:14.
(272) Is 24:23; Mi 4:7-8; Zc 14:6-9,16-17.
(273) Ps 47; 93; 96-99.
(274) At the beginning in Ps 93; 97; 99; in the middle in Ps 47 and 96.
(275) Ps 47:9; cf. 96:10.
(276) Mt 4;17,23; 9:35.
(277) 13:47-50; 22:1-13; cf. 24:1-13.
(278) Mt 16:28; 25:31,34.
(279) Jn 3:3,5; Ac 1:3; 8:12, etc; Rm 14:17; 1 Co 4:20, etc.
(280) Rv 12:10 “the kingdom of our God”.
(281) Is 9:1-6; 11:1-9; Jr 23:5-6; Ezk 34:23-24; Mi 5:1-5; Zc 3:8; 9:9-10.
(282) 1 QS 9:9-11; 1 QSa 2:11-12; CD 12:23; 19:10; 20:1.
(283) 1 Hen 93:3-10; 2 Ba 29-30; 39-40; 72-74; 4 Esd 7:26-36; 12:31-34; Apoc Abr 31:1-2.
(284) Mt 1:1-17; 2:1-6; Lk 1:32-33: 2:11.
(285) Jn 1:41; 4:25.
(286) Mt 11:3; Lk 7:19; Jn 11:27.
(287) Mt 24:5,23-24; Mk 13:21-22.
(288) Mt 16:16 and par.; Jn 11:27; 20:31; Ac 2:36; 9:22; 17:3; 18:5,28; 1 Jn 5:1.
(289) Mk 8:31-37; Lk 24:26.
(290) Jn 3:28; 11:27; 20:31.
(291) Jn 7:25-31, 40-44; 9:22; 10:24; 12:34-35.
(292) 2 S 7:14; cf. Ps 2:7.
(293) Mt 16:16; Mk 14:61-62 and par.; Jn 10:36; 11:27; 20:31; Rm 1:3-4.
(294) Jn 10:30 (cf. 10:24); cf. 1:18.
(295) Ac 9:22; 18:5,28.
(296) Ap 2:26-27; 11:18; 12:5; 19:15,19.
(297) Mk 16:15-16; Jn 4:42.
(298) Mk 12:29; 1 Co 8:4; Ep 4:6; 1 Tm 2:5.
(299) Ps 33:6; Pr 8:22-31; Si 24:1-23, etc.
(300) Jn 1:14-18; Heb 1:1-4.
(301) Rm 8:29; 2 Co 3:18.
(302) 2 Co 5:17; Ga 6:15.
(303) Rm 4:25; Ph 3:20-21; 1 Tm 2:5-6; Heb 9:15.
(304) Lk 22:20; 1 Co 11:25.
(305) The New Testament never calls the Church “the new Israel”. In Ga 6:14 “the Israel of God” very likely designates Jews who believe in Christ Jesus.
(306) Lk 14:12-24; 1 Co 1:26-29; Jm 2:5.
(307) War 2.8.2-13; § 119-161.
(308) War 2:8.14; § 162; Antiquities 18:13; § 14.
(309) Ga 1:13-14; Ph 3:5-6; cf. Ac 8:3; 9:1-2; 22:3-5; 26:10-11.
(310) Mt 9:11,14 and par.; 12:2,14 and par.; 12:24; 15:1-2 and par.; 15:12; 16:6 and par.; 22:15 and par.
(311) Mt 5:47; 15:26 and par.
(312) In the second century, the story of the martyrdom of Polycarp witnesses to the “habitual” willingness on the part of Jews in Smyrna to cooperate in putting Christians to death, “Martyrdom of St Polycarp” XIII,1.
(313) This observation is valid for the plural, not for the singular in 8:19 and 13:52.
(314) Is 8:23-9:6; Jr 31-32; Ezk 36:16-38.
(315) Mt 28:18; cf. Dn 7:14,18,27.
(316) Mk 15:2,9,12,18,26.
(317) Mk 12:29; 15:32.
(318) Mk 7:6: 14:2.
(319) Mk 11:18; 12:12; 14:2.
(320) See also Mk 8:11-12,15; 10:2-12; 11:27-33.
(321) Mk 11:18; 12:12; 14:2.
(322) This tendency continues to manifest itself: the responsibility of the Nazis has been extended to include all Germans, that of certain western lobbies to include all Europeans, that of certain illegal immigrants to include all Africans.
(323) Luke notes that “a great multitude of people” followed Jesus (23:27), of whom the greater part were women “who beat their breasts and wailed for him” (ibid.). After the crucifixion, “the people stood watching” (23:35); this watching prepares them for conversion: at the end when “all the people who had gathered to witness this sight and saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away” (23:48).
(324) Ac 13:44-45,50; 14:2-6; 17:4-7,13; 18:5-6.
(325) See above II. B. 3(b), n. 32.
(326) Jn 2:23; 4:39,41; 7:31; 8:30-31; 10:42; 11:45; 12:11,42.
(327) Jn 1:10,11; 15:18,25.
(328) Jn 5:18; 10:33; 19:7.
(329) Jn 18:38-40; 19:14-15.
(330) Jn 9:22; 12:42; 16:2.
(331) Jn 7:20: 8:48,51; 10:20.
(332) Ga 5:14; Rm 13:9.
(333) Cf. Babylonian Talmud, Tract Shabbat 31a.
(334) Rm 9:27-29, quoting Is 10:22-23; Ho 2:1 LXX; – Rm 11: 4-5 quoting 1 K 19:18.
(335) Jr 7:16,20; 11:11,14; 15:1.
(336) Their rejection of idolatry and their contempt for paganism gave rise to strong animosity towards the Jews, accused of being a people apart (Est 3:8), “in conflict in everything with all people” (Est 3:13e LXX) and of nourishing a “hatred of enemies towards all other (people)” (Tacitus, History, 5:5). Paul's viewpoint is quite different.
(337) Dt 10:16; cf. Jr 4:4; Rm 2:29.
(338) Cf 1 Co 6:9-11; Ep 4:17-19. In Dt 23:19 “dog” designates a prostitute; in Greece, the dog was a symbol of lewdness. For ritual mutilations, cf. Lv 21:5; 1 K 18:28; Is 15:2; Ho 7:14.
(339) Ga 4:28-29; Rm 9:8.
(340) In Greek, for “to them belong” there is a simple genitive twice, which expresses possession (literally: “of whom [are]”); for “from them comes” there is a genitive introduced by the preposition ex which expresses origin.
(341) Heb 4:9; 11:25; cf. 10:30 “his people”.
(342) Nu 14:1-35; Heb 3:7-4:11.
(343) Heb 12:3; cf. Lk 24:7.
(344) 1 Pt 2:9; Ex 19:6; Is 43:21.
(345) Ac 3:26; Rm 1;16.
(346) Ps 98:2-4; Is 49:6.
(347) Declaration “Nostra Aetate” on relations of the Church with non-Christian religions, no 4.
(348) Paul VI, homily of October 28th, 1965: “ut erga eos reverentia et amor adhibeatur spesque in iis collocetur”: (“that there be respect and love towards them and that hope is placed in them”).
(349) ASS 58 (1966) 740.
(350) Documentation Catholique 77 (1980) 1148.
(351) Documentation Catholique 83 (1986) 437.
(352) Documentation Catholique 94 (1997) 1003.
(353) Documentation Catholique 97 (2000) 372.
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