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The unauthorized history of Hitler as a Darwinist

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Richard Weikart kindly writes to say,

I’m happy to announce that my article, “The Role of Darwinism in Nazi Racial Thought,” has just appeared in German Studies Review (Oct. 2013 issue), one of the most important journals publishing on German history.

Here’s the Abstract:

Historians disagree about whether Nazis embraced Darwinian evolution. By examining Hitler’s ideology, the official biology curriculum, the writings of Nazi anthropologists, and Nazi periodicals, we find that Nazi racial theorists did indeed embrace human and racial evolution. They not only taught that humans had evolved from primates, but they believed the Aryan or Nordic race had evolved to a higher level than other races because of the harsh climatic conditions that influenced natural selection. They also claimed that Darwinism underpinned specific elements of Nazi racial ideology, including racial inequality, the necessity of the racial struggle for existence, and collectivism.

A bit from the Intro:

Many historians recognize that Hitler was a social Darwinist, and some even portray social Darwinism as a central element of Nazi ideology. Why, then, do some historians claim that Nazis did not believe in human evolution? George Mosse argued that human evolution was incompatible with Nazi ideology, because Nazis stressed the immutability of the German race. More recently Peter Bowler and Michael Ruse have argued that the Nazis rejected human evolution, because they upheld a fixed racial type and racial inequality.4 Nowhere is this irony more pronounced than in the work of Daniel Gasman, who claimed that Hitler built his ideology on the social Darwinist ideas of Ernst Haeckel, but simultaneously argued that Nazis rejected human evolution. How is it possible to embrace social Darwinism, while rejecting Darwinism and human evolution? Anne Harrington suggests that the Nazis liked some elements of Darwinism, especially the struggle for existence, but not human evolution. Robert Richards agrees, claiming that Nazi racial ideas “were rarely connected with specific evolutionary conceptions of the transmutation of species,” even though they bandied about the term “struggle for existence.” In another essay Richards went further, arguing that Hitler and the Nazis completely rejected biological evolution. The notion that the Nazis could embrace racial struggle without believing in evolution seems plausible at first, especially since Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a forerunner of Nazi racial ideology, embraced this position. However, the claim that the Nazis did not believe in the transmutation of species and human evolution runs aground once we examine Nazi racial ideology in detail. In this essay I examine the following evidence to demonstrate overwhelmingly that Nazi racial thinkers embraced human and racial evolution:

1) Hitler believed in human evolution.

2) The official Nazi school curriculum prominently featured biological evolution, including human evolution.

3) Nazi racial anthropologists, including SS anthropologists, uniformly endorsed human evolution and integrated evolution into their racial ideology.

4) Nazi periodicals, including those on racial ideology, embraced human evolution.

5) Nazi materials designed to inculcate the Nazi worldview among SS and military men promoted human evolution as an integral part of the Nazi worldview.

This should pretty much end the discussion but won’t because the issue isn’t about the massive evidence that Nazis were social Darwinists but about defending Darwin’s sacred name from the sacrilegious facts.

Note: Weikart explains how he first got involved with this matter here:

Actually, at first, he wasn’t interested. While living in Germany some years ago to improve his German, he was mainly interested in the nineteenth century. He doubted that he would uncover anything new about the Third Reich. For one thing, in his view, it was an overworked field. But then he discovered one neglected point:

[A]s I investigated the history of evolutionary ethics in pre-World War I Germany, I noticed—to my surprise—remarkable similarities between the ideas of those promoting evolutionary ethics and Hitler’s worldview. This discovery (which happened around 1995) led me to investigate Hitler’s worldview more closely, and this research convinced me that I had found something important to say about Hitler’s ideology.

One wonders if Weikart will ever be forgiven for documenting it all so carefully, in the faces of all those who want to explain it away.

196 Replies to “The unauthorized history of Hitler as a Darwinist

  1. 1
    LarTanner says:

    Page 552:

    Nazi racial ideology—and the many policies based on it—were profoundly shaped by a Darwinian understanding of humanity. Certainly many non-Darwinian elements were synthesized with Darwinism: Aryan supremacy, antimiscegenation, antisemitism, and many more.

    Christianity and Lutherian views of Jews being critical non-Darwinian elements mixed in as well.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, From your choice of words, you evidently want to indict the Christian faith in general for Nazism.

    May I therefore beg to remind you of the key relevant foundational Christian ethical teachings?

    Ac 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]

    as even some of your own poets have said,

    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal [–> these two cover aggressive warfare and the like as carried out by the Nazis right there], You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    In short, all men per creation from a common ancestor are held to be brothers and sisters, and we are4 reminded that in loving neighbour as self, we ought not to harm that neighbour, where the Good Samaritan is forever the standard of neighbourliness.

    Whatever evils Hitler may have imbibed (whether via church leaders or otherwise), he did not gain this from the core moral teaching of the Christian faith. Where, that core moral teaching — which holds authority over any given Church leader past or present — has been repeatedly publicly taught, documented knowledge for the better part of 2,000 years.

    KF

  3. 3
    Barry Arrington says:

    LarTanner: “Christianity . . . mixed in as well.” No doctrine of the historic Christian faith supports what the Nazi’s did. Charity would oblige me to classify you as an ignorant clueless bumpkin were this fact not so blindingly obvious. Sadly, therefore, I must classify you as a shameless liar.

  4. 4
    LarTanner says:

    No indictment at all. Nazism viewed itself and an embodiment of practical Christianity, and Nazi ideology synthesized many elements, just as Weikart says.

    Do you think there’s an essential difference between the relationship of Nazism and Darwin’s theory of evolution, on the one hand, and Nazism and Christianity, on the other hand?

  5. 5
    LarTanner says:

    Try to insult me Barry, but know that no one takes seriously the rantings of your Bachmann-addled mind.

  6. 6
    Barry Arrington says:

    LT: “Do you think there’s an essential difference between the relationship of Nazism and Darwin’s theory of evolution, on the one hand, and Nazism and Christianity, on the other hand?”

    At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes…will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.

    ( Descent of Man,1874, p. 178).

    On the one hand, the Nazis’ views on racial supremacy were no different from Darwin’s views expressed in the Descent of Man and are generally consonant with the views of most Darwinists from 1859 though the 1930’s. It is no coincidence that one of Darwin’s relatives was the leader of the worldwide eugenics movement.

    On the other hand, as KF has demonstrated, the Nazis’ views generally were utterly antithetical to the central tenants of the historic Christian faith.

    So, is there a difference? Well, is there a difference between “generally consonant with” and “antithetical to”?

  7. 7
    Barry Arrington says:

    LT: “Try to insult me . . .” LT, I am not insulting you. I am pointing out an obvious fact about you.

    It cannot possibly be the case that you do not know that Nazism is antithetical to the tenants of the historic Christian faith. It follows that your slander of the faith is not based on your ignorance but on your purpose intentionally to mislead and slander. Therefore, you are a liar and not an ignoramus. Simple logic.

  8. 8
    LarTanner says:

    We have words from Hitler and the Nazis explaining how Christianity informs their mindset and validates their policies.

  9. 9
    Barry Arrington says:

    LT: “We have words from Hitler . . .” Oh, well that settles it. Not.

    Hitler was possibly the most outrageous liar in history. Of course this does not mean everything he said was a lie. How do you sort out the difference? By judging whether his ACTIONS were consulate with his words.

    His actions demonstrate that he was telling the truth about his Darwinist racial views and he was lying about being motivated by Christian principles.

    Can it possibly be that you do not know the difference between Nazi propaganda and the actual truth about the Nazis? Can you be that supremely ignorant? It beggars belief. But if that’s what you are saying, I will reclassify you as “supremely ignorant” from “intentional liar.” Let me know.

  10. 10
    LarTanner says:

    Barry, can it possibly be that you don’t know what antisemitism is and where it comes from?

    You should talk more with Robert Byers.

  11. 11
    SirHamster says:

    No doctrine of the historic Christian faith supports what the Nazi’s did.

    A scholarly type I follow has recently written a book to cover this topic:

    http://www.tektonics.org/gk/hi.....anity.html

    Key points:
    – German “Christianity” in the 1930 era had degenerated into a psuedo-Christian cult where Jesus was considered an Aryan, not a Jew (!).
    – Bible was considered corrupted and large parts were ignored in favor of nationalistic/anti-Semitic views.

    So while there may be Hitler quotes claiming to be Christian, it’s important to look at what he meant by “Christian”.

    To use the same label without noting the differences is to use the same word for different meanings, which is inaccurate and logically fallacious.

  12. 12
    Barry Arrington says:

    LT: “can it possibly be that you don’t know what antisemitism is and where it comes from?”

    I do know what anti-Semitism is. I will not pretend to know what motivated everyone who has hated Jews over the centuries. Doubtless, they were motivate by a myriad of factors, including the rantings of some Christians. It is also true that evil men acting in the name of Christianity have persecuted Jews over the centuries. That does not prove that Christianity is a bad thing. It proves that the evil in the hearts of men can subvert any good thing.

    That which is done in the name of Christianity or by those who call themselves Christians does not define the fundamental non-negotiable tenants of the historic Christian faith. Those tenants were set forth in the sayings of Jesus and by the later writers of the New Testament. And it cannot be doubted that hatred of one’s fellow man (of which anti-Semitism partakes) is antithetical to those fundamental tenants of the historic Christian faith. For heaven’s sake man, Jesus was a Jew! “Anti-Semitic Christian” is very close to an oxymoron.

  13. 13
    StephenB says:

    LarTanner

    Barry, can it possibly be that you don’t know what antisemitism is and where it comes from?

    The issue has nothing to do with the origins of antisemitism, which can be traced all the way back to the pre-Christian era. On the table is the question of what ideology prompted the German anti-semite leaders to “bring science into the service of the Nazi vision,” as they themselves put it. It wasn’t Christianity that provided the rationale for mass murder and produced all those damning charts, diagrams, and photographs; it was Darwinist ideology–the same ideology that produced the anti-Christian eugenics movement in the United States.

  14. 14
    LarTanner says:

    Interesting.

    So you think some Christians acted against “the fundamental non-negotiable tenants” of the Christian faith, although you must admit these same Christians would proudly proclaim themselves to have acted perfectly “consonant with” Christian faith.

    Fortunately, you know you have the right interpretation of the faith, right Barry? Phew. Thank goodness you happen to have it correct.

    Please, tell me more about “the fundamental non-negotiable tenants” of the theory of the origin of the diversity of Earth’s species.

  15. 15
    LarTanner says:

    It wasn’t Christianity that provided the rationale for mass murder and produced all those damning charts, diagrams, and photographs.

    Martin Luther, etc., will be pleased to know this.

  16. 16
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @LarTaner:

    Christianity and Lutherian views of Jews being critical non-Darwinian elements mixed in as well.

    Have you read Weikert’s paper? He actually puts the blame on intelligent design ideology:

    “They saw eugenics and racial policy as a means to
    help the Nordic race evolve to even greater heights.”

  17. 17
    News says:

    StephenB, Yes, it is worth noting that the specific contribution of Darwinism was the resulting widespread notion that there was something *scientific* about anti-Semitism (and racism). As we all know, the original feud between Christians and Jews revolved around whether Jesus was the Messiah and whether, if so, Jews were culpable in his death, an explicitly religious quarrel. Jews who converted were treated as Christians.

    The Nazis, who saw everything in Darwinian terms, saw Jews as a threatening *race,* in Darwin’s sense (“man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.”) That is a completely different point of view, and one that lent itself to genocide as a Final Solution.

    Incidentally, a traditional Christian belief was that just before the end of all things, the Jews would convert en masse. An English poet tells his mistress (17th century):

    “And you shall, if you please, refuse
    Till the conversion of the Jews”

    = till, practically, the end of the world. The belief must have been widespread because he was a popular poet, and assumed that people understood what he meant.

    The situation lent itself easily to persecution, but not so easily to extermination. There is a big difference, and it is not in Darwinism’s favour. – O’Leary for News

  18. 18
    News says:

    JWTruthInLove, if you have to reach this far, you have already lost. – O’Leary for News

  19. 19
    LarTanner says:

    The Nazis, who saw everything in Darwinian terms, saw Jews as a threatening *race,* in Darwin’s sense (“man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.”) That is a completely different point of view, and one that lent itself to genocide as a Final Solution.

    Ah, I see. Christianity on its own led to a few pogroms and some massacres every Easter for a few centuries. So, yeah, a few Jewish communities here and a few Saracens there. But for one full national program of extermination, that took a theory about the development of different animal species.

    Thanks for clearing that up, News.

  20. 20
    News says:

    Lartanner, Darwin never distinguished between humans and “other” animals – that was his and is now his followers’ major point about humanity.

    I do not say this lightly but I begin to think you are quite seriously dishonest. That is, you know that is true. In another forum it would never be challenged. When it is, you deny and obfuscate.

    Readers who think facts matter should pay attention to Weikart’s research and reporting when confronted with Darwinism’s many fashionable defenders and some less fashionable ones.

  21. 21
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @O’Leary:

    JWTruthInLove, if you have to reach this far, you have already lost. – O’Leary for News

    Finally. Can I have my UD News writer badge now?

  22. 22
    LarTanner says:

    Darwin never distinguished between humans and “other” animals – that was his and is now his followers’ major point about humanity.

    Aaaaand your point is?

    I don’t care whether you think I am dishonest. I think you are a terrible journalist, a bad writer, an ideologue, and a sloppy thinker. So there.

    Look, Nazi ideology was built on many elements. We all know how they sought to use Darwinian evolution to validate their ideas. They used Christianity and traditional Christian antisemitism also. I don’t say this to indict Christianity at all. Christianity is quite malleable. Yet your — you, not commenting on Weikart’s paper — attempt to convert the IS of Darwin’s theory to the OUGHT of Nazi Germany is scurrilous. You really should stop and think, and have some shame. Then you should apologize publicly.

  23. 23
    News says:

    LarTanner: “We all know how they sought to use Darwinian evolution to validate their ideas.” No, as Weikart provides numerous examples of, many writers have sought to exculpate Darwin and Darwinism in this matter. But glad you at least admit that they did indeed seek to do that. It is a fact. So that is refreshing.

  24. 24
    goodusername says:

    it is worth noting that the specific contribution of Darwinism was the resulting widespread notion that there was something *scientific* about anti-Semitism (and racism).

    They were believed to be scientific ideas long before Darwinism. And Darwin argued against the more extreme rationales of racism, such as polygenism (which was a mainstream idea until Darwinism).

    The Nazis, who saw everything in Darwinian terms, saw Jews as a threatening *race,* in Darwin’s sense…

    The central theme of the Nazi’s (especially Hitler’s) racial theory is the importance of keeping racially pure, and thus saw miscegenation as dangerous, unnatural, and against God’s Law.

    Darwin rarely spoke of racial purity, but when he did, he saw it as a bad thing, and saw racial mixing as a positive. (Racial purity is basically the elimination of variety, which selection needs for adaptation. Darwin also noted how close interbreeding seems to cause infertility and illness.)

    The reason Hitler and many other Nazis saw racial purity as so important was the belief that only the Aryan race is capable of civilization. Thus, racial mixing was a threat to civilization itself. By expanding the Aryan race, and removing other races from their territory, they believed that they were safeguarding civilization. Obviously, you won’t find any such thing in Darwin’s writings.
    But this is the central theme of Gobineau’s “Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races”, which predates Origin. Gobineau is one of the originators of “Aryanism.”

  25. 25
    StephenB says:

    SB: It wasn’t Christianity that provided the rationale for mass murder and produced all those damning charts, diagrams, and photographs.

    Lar Tanner:

    Martin Luther, etc., will be pleased to know this.

    That is not a very intelligent statement. Martin Luther, the off again on again anti-semite, did not provide any scientific charts, diagrams, and photographs to confirm the truth of Darwinian evolution or its application to social policy, which was the driving force of the holocaust.

    If you want to know Hitler’s true attitude about religion, just consult the anti-ID, pro Lar Tanner website called Wikipedia and search for “The Religious View of Adolph Hitler.”

    Or, if you have even a modicum of intellectual curiosity, consult “Hitler’s Table Talk” to get a feel for how much he hated Christianity and how much he identified with materialist biology and Nietzschean ethics. There comes a time when willful ignorance degenerates into dishonesy.

  26. 26
    StephenB says:

    Table Talk” also attributes to Hitler a confidence in science over religion: “Science cannot lie… It’s Christianity that’s the liar”.Michael Burleigh contrasted Hitler’s public pronouncements on Christianity with those in Table Talk, suggesting that Hitler’s real religious views were ‘a mixture of materialist biology, a faux-Nietzschean contempt for core, as distinct from secondary, Christian values, and a visceral anti-clericalism.’ Richard Evans also reiterated the view that Nazism was secular, scientific and anti-religious in outlook in the last volume of his trilogy on Nazi Germany, writing, ‘Hitler’s hostility to Christianity reached new heights, or depths, during the war;’ his source for this was the 1953 English translation of Table Talk.

  27. 27
    StephenB says:

    LarTanner

    Yet your — you, not commenting on Weikart’s paper — attempt to convert the IS of Darwin’s theory to the OUGHT of Nazi Germany is scurrilous.

    You have been reading too much Hume. People derive their OUGHT TO from their IS on a daily basis. “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.”—Dovtoevsky

  28. 28
    LarTanner says:

    StephenB, I know Table Talk and you have completely missed my point, probably due to your zeal to downplay the undeniable role in the German atrocities played by Christianity, Christian institutions, Christian antisemitism, and ardent Christian believers.

    I have already pointed out that the Nazis sought to use Darwinian evolution to validate their ideas. The Nazis also used an already existing Christian cultural bedrock for the same reason, and they viewed themselves as serving God eminently.

    Not even super-weasels KF, Barry and News have denied it.

    I know you all don’t agree that the Nazis were serving God, that the Nazis were horribly mistaken in their Christian practice. Unfortunately, your view of Christianity’s true message is but one in a centuries-long cacophony of conflicting true Christianities. So, whenever you people get your story straight on what the true religion truly lived is, just send me an email.

  29. 29
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    LarTanner “We have words from Hitler and the Nazis explaining how Christianity informs their mindset and validates their policies.”

    Specifics please.

    I’d like to know what Jesus and the Apostles wrote that could have justified genocide and all the rest of the Nazi atrocities.

  30. 30
    LarTanner says:

    “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.”—Dovtoevsky

    And this quote is supposed to carry the force of authority? You are too much!

    Somebody bring back Joe G. from the wasteland!

  31. 31
    News says:

    goodusername, the Nazis believed in racial purity but they were willing to scour various lands for humans whom they thought represented it (cf kidnappings of “Aryan” children in occupied territories):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....-race.html

    The Nazis probably were not as ignorant of the genetic issues you raise as is sometimes supposed. Their kidnapping-from-foreign-parts and have-babies-with-local-women strategies might have tended to reduce the foreseen medical issues over time. Happily, they never got the time.

  32. 32
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    Moreover, “Christianity” is an extremely imprecise term. It was never used by Jesus and the Apostle themselves, and it is so broad, you could blame just about anything on “it.”

    Be specific, LarTanner. What specific teachings and/or statements of Jesus, the Apostles, and the New Testament writers inspire Hitler and his associates to exterminate 20th century Jews, and commit all the rest of the Nazi atrocities?

  33. 33
    StephenB says:

    The Nazis also used an already existing Christian cultural bedrock for the same reason, and they viewed themselves as serving God eminently.

    Ridiculous. Public speeches to that effect by Hitler were demogogic overtures to gain power–nothing more. Pay no attention to what political leaders say in public. Watch what they plan for and do. There were not altar calls in private chambers of the Third Reich. Get real.

  34. 34
    LarTanner says:

    CS and all,

    I am going home now to enjoy my weekend. This is the reason I won’t respond anymore. I think all you emperors are pretty much standing naked right about now anyway.

    CS, yours evokes my final comment. Have you not read your own Greek Testament? Surely one of your learned UD colleagues or Bing/Google-trained terrier could help you locate NT sources of antisemitism. You can also find statements made by Hitler and comments from other Nazi literature on Christianity and the Nazis’ view of themselves.

    Barry, of course, chooses to take anything Hitler and the Nazis say about Christianity as lies, and anything they say about their understanding of evolution as true. And he says that Nazi actions show the difference, even though others might suggest that Nazi actions show the truth going the opposite way from Barry’s interpretation.

    So, do a little homework. But be careful: one of the most powerful causes of atheism is actually reading the Greek Testament. When you read it, you might start saying to yourself, “These are just dull stories by some long-dead dudes. Why am I giving them any weight whatsoever?”

  35. 35
    StephenB says:

    SB: If God does not exist, everything is permitted.”—Dovtoevsky

    And this quote is supposed to carry the force of authority? You are too much!

    It conveys a fact. Any fact ought to carry the force of authority. People do, in fact, get their ought to from their is. I can successfully argue that point all day long.

    Somebody bring back Joe G. from the wasteland!

    I don’t know why you are getting so upset. If you would read a little literature that transcends your Darwinist ideology, you would gain immeasurably from the increase.

  36. 36
    SirHamster says:

    CS, yours evokes my final comment. Have you not read your own Greek Testament? Surely one of your learned UD colleagues or Bing/Google-trained terrier could help you locate NT sources of antisemitism.

    Heh.

    Kill the Jews! – Words Jesus Never Said
    Blame the Jews! – Stuff Not Said by Paul, the Jewish ex-Pharisee
    Stinking Jews! – Not the Opinion of the 12 Apostles, all Jewish

    The Jewish “cult” sure hates Jews. Just read the Bible’s NT writings, where it says there is one body in Christ, with no Jew or Gentile (non-Jew) … So anti-Semitic.

  37. 37
    goodusername says:

    goodusername, the Nazis believed in racial purity but they were willing to scour various lands for humans whom they thought represented it (cf kidnappings of “Aryan” children in occupied territories):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..-race.html

    The Nazis probably were not as ignorant of the genetic issues you raise as is sometimes supposed. Their kidnapping-from-foreign-parts and have-babies-with-local-women strategies might have tended to reduce the foreseen medical issues over time. Happily, they never got the time.

    Umm, the point of the kidnappings was to maximize the number of racially pure Aryans by preventing their mixing with the foreign races, and to make sure they mated with other racially pure Aryans.

  38. 38
    Barry Arrington says:

    LT: “This is the reason I won’t respond anymore”

    No it isn’t. You are taking your marbles and going home, because you advanced a thesis only to see it utterly demolished. That has to be discouraging.

    “one of the most powerful causes of atheism is actually reading the Greek Testament”

    Blithering nonsense. You truly are shameless.

    “NT sources of anti-Semitism”

    Nonexistent. I notice you provide no examples. Telling.

  39. 39
    News says:

    Yes, indeed, that WAS the point, goodusername at 4:01pm. And MY point was that the Nazis were aware of the issues Darwin would raise about inbreeding – and their strategy would actually minimize that because “Aryans” from distant parts were not usually closely related.

    Unfortunately, the Nazis were not as dumb as we might have hoped.

  40. 40
    News says:

    What I find really interesting is the way some of Darwin’s followers go ballistic when the evidence that the Nazis were fond of his theories is brought up.

    It’s curious, really. Protestants don’t usually go ballistic about the history that many of their denominations got suckerpunched into supporting eugenics. Catholics don’t typically go nuts with denial over the Inquisition. Mormons don’t often abandon their faith just because their church has a chequered former history around racism. Any point of view has its scandals (unless it disappears within seconds after it gets started).

    Yet Darwinists react as if a calm discussion of Nazis’ affection for Darwin’s theory means that people think today’s Darwinists are Nazis. And no reasonable person thinks that.

    Perhaps they are sensitive about growing disconfirmation of their ideas. One can only keep shouting fact! Fact! FACT! for so long, as a defense …

  41. 41
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    CS, yours evokes my final comment. Have you not read your own Greek Testament? Surely one of your learned UD colleagues or Bing/Google-trained terrier could help you locate NT sources of antisemitism. You can also find statements made by Hitler and comments from other Nazi literature on Christianity and the Nazis’ view of themselves.

    I’m quite sure I’ve read the New Testament in Greek a lot more than you have.

    So, no specific examples, eh?

    I thought not.

    Case closed.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems appropriate to again outline the core moral teachings of Jesus and his apostles, as directly relevant to and corrective of distortions, errors and obfuscations across the ages. Let me clip from no 2:

    Ac 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]

    as even some of your own poets have said,

    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments [–> as in Mosaic . . . ], “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal [–> these two cover aggressive warfare and the like as carried out by the Nazis right there], You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    Thus, “the [Christian] Faith once for all delivered unto the saints” and passed down to us by apostles, martyrs and confessors:

    1: is directly rooted in the Hebraic, Jewish creational, prophetic-scriptural-covenantal tradition (never mind the rhetorical flourish that uses a couple of pagan poets to find common ground with a pagan audience]

    2: is antithetical to racialist ideology, and to invasion of peoples in their own spaces

    3: directly opposes the basis of Nazi aggression and mass killing: both murder and stealing are directly opposed through direct citations of the Mosaic Decalogue

    4: Asserts the general principle that neighbour-love does no harm/wrong to neighbour as undergirding the specific commandments (directly parallelling Moses in so doing)

    5: In the person of Jesus in the Good Samaritan parable answers “who is my neighbour” by asserting an account of neighbourliness across lines of religious and ethnic hostility.

    So, plainly, where christians, christianised peoples and church leaders have violated these principles — and that is a serious historical challenge, the sins of Christendom [cf. here on]– this has been in violation of undeniably core, foundational Christian teaching. Such wrongs, though grievous (remember, I am a descendant of Black slaves, indentured Indians, oppressed Irish and oppressed Scottish), have never had the warrant of the Christian Faith qua Christian Faith.

    So, it is never fair or appropriate to tax Christianity as being responsible for evils in direct violation of core Christian ethics. A fairer assessment, is that we are all finite, fallible, morally fallen and struggling, as well as too often stubborn and ill-willed. This is multiplied by the moral hazards of power, where power is always dangerous and if accountability is weakened, that danger tends to go out of control. Hence a dictum I strongly believe, from Lord Acton: power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely. He goes on to great men are bad men, but I think I would moderate that a bit to, too often.

    And that core moral teaching as cited is important, as it is the classic springboard for reformation as the natural and proper fruit of genuine repentance, renewal of mind and heart and revival. Which is materially responsible for any number of reforms in our civilisation.

    Now, too, someone above suggests the NT teaches antisemitism.

    I think some have read it that way improperly, as the NT itself warns against. In the Gospels, there is undoubted tension between the Galilean and the Judaean Jewish leaders but obviously, that is between Jews and Jews; where both Jesus and the apostles are all Jews. There is even more tension with Samaritans, but we can notice Jesus’ response to the Woman at the Well and in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    The judicial murder of Jesus is seen as implicating both corrupt Judaean leaders and corrupt Gentile leaders. If anything, that is subtly anti-authoritarian. And it is across the board. Pastors in this part of the world are fond of pointing out that it was Simon of Cyrenica, an African [the man who seems to have been coming into the city as everyone else was going out], who helped carry Jesus’ awful burden.

    And it is ordinary Jewish women who wail at his fate, the fate shared by so many prophets.

    The difference is of course that in Christian thought “That was Friday, but Sunday was coming.”

    Nor can you find justification for a general hostility to Jews in the rest of the NT.

    As for the Christian idea that in the end of days many Jews will turn to Jesus as messiah, that comes from a very specific OT passage in the prophets:

    Zech 12:12 The oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. 3 On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it . . . .

    7 “And the Lord will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. 8 On that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, going before them. 9 And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

    10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

    Quite opposite to antisemitism, this envisions nations rising up against Jerusalem, only to find themselves fighting God. And in the midst of this, grace poured out on the people of Jerusalem leads them to turn to “him whom they have pierced.”

    This, not in the NT, but the OT.

    But, I fear, there has been such lonngstanding polarisation and hostility, that it is hard indeed for the balance to be struck.

    Just remember, Christian Zionists see the hostility of nations to the Jews of Jerusalem through this lens, of such finding themselves to be enemies of God. The very God who is seen as decisively intervening in defense of the people of Jerusalem; sparking a bitter regret and change of heart to “him whom they have pierced.”

    It is time for some re-thinking.

    KF

  43. 43
    goodusername says:

    Yes, indeed, that WAS the point, goodusername at 4:01pm. And MY point was that the Nazis were aware of the issues Darwin would raise about inbreeding – and their strategy would actually minimize that because “Aryans” from distant parts were not usually closely related.

    Unfortunately, the Nazis were not as dumb as we might have hoped.

    They were racially pure Aryans and yet not closely related? I don’t think you understand what racially pure means.

    They believed that the people they were kidnapping were pure Aryans (ie. they hadn’t yet mixed with the local population genetically) who had wondered from the North into foreign lands, and the Nazis saw the kidnapping as rescuing them from potential race mixing. And so they hardly saw it as helping with problems of inbreeding (a problem they never mentioned, and with tens of millions of German Aryans available, a problem they probably didn’t need to worry about).

    The central tenant of Nazi racial theory is the importance of racial purity. The Nazis didn’t believe they were kidnapping people of a different race, and so it’s irrelevant here.

    Darwin viewed race mixing (and at times, even species-mixing) as a good thing, which is something Hitler viewed as a crime against God and Nature and as a threat to civilization. On this, and just about every other racial belief, Hitler was in utter disagreement with Darwin.

  44. 44
    Mung says:

    If LarTanner thinks the NT is anti-semetic he should read the OT!

  45. 45
    News says:

    goodusername at 5:41: People could all be “Aryans” in the Nazis’ sense and thus “racially pure” without running genetic risks from interbreeding if they are not closely related (consanguine), as you seem to indicate yourself.

    Could you provide some quotations from Darwin approving of race-mixing? Species-mixing? For our edification.

    It’s odd if the Nazis never noticed that Hitler was in utter disagreement with Darwin. One wonders why that might be.

  46. 46
    goodusername says:

    goodusername at 5:41: People could all be “Aryans” in the Nazis’ sense and thus “racially pure” without running genetic risks from interbreeding if they are not closely related (consanguine), as you seem to indicate yourself.

    The problem is lessened in a larger population, but Darwin believed it still wasn’t healthy in the long term to remain racially pure. The problems, such as infertility, would develop slower in larger populations, but fertility was just one issue. Race mixing brings variety, which Darwin saw as good for a population.

    Here’s a good example of Darwin discussing the benefits of race (and even species) mixing from The Variation of Animals and Plants:
    http://www.freefictionbooks.or.....?start=115

    In Origin of Species he writes that there are many “good effects of frequent intercrossing.”

    And in Descent of Man, Darwin argued (contrary to just about everyone else) that mixing of human races caused no fertility or health problems.
    (It’s hard to convey just how shocking this idea was at the time. Nearly a century later assumptions of the deleterious effects of miscegenation were still cited in anti-miscegenation laws.)

  47. 47
    Querius says:

    Interesting article. I suspect that the support of evolution in Germany at that time was not that much different than in many other nations, the US included.

    However, Adolph Hitler, being a consummate politician, included those aspects of Darwinism, anthropology, and eugenics that supported his agenda. According to my research, evolution in general was NOT a guiding principle of Nazi philosophy, but “genetic hygiene” appealed to Germans, as was the idea of a racial “manifest destiny.” The perceived competition between the races meant that Germans had the ability and thus the moral obligation and right to succeed lesser-evolved races (allowing them to be displaced and to slowly die out in a humanitarian way), and they abhorred miscegenation as an impediment to this natural process.

    Hitler’s antisemitism was generally viewed as a passing “children’s disease” (immaturity), but it ran deep with Hitler and his cronies, who felt that Germany in the Great War was betrayed from within by the Jews, and directly resulted in the devastation of Germany afterwards, including the systematic starvation imposed by the Allied Powers after the armistice to punish Germany.

    Nazi racial scoring based on phrenology, and their human breeding programs underscored their obsession with race. Their alliance with Japan required some mental gymnastics that placed the Japanese at the head of the Asian races.

    All social institutions, including the Catholic and Lutheran churches were made subservient “partners” to the State. They were to provide their support, but the real “religion” of the Nazis was occult—blood and race.

    While I’m not a believer in Darwinism, I believe that blaming Darwinism for the rise of Nazi ideology is incorrect. Certainly aspects of Darwinism were incorporated, but the emphasis in this area of their ideology was on racial purity, selective breeding, eugenics, and racial superiority and destiny. This was the foundation for the German people. Their allies in this struggle for dominance included national socialism and organizing society through the leadership principle. Europe was considered a mess, a collection of “dirt states” that would easily be toppled by this powerful and irresistible new political movement.

  48. 48
    Mung says:

    We should not judge Hitler too harshly. It was all in his genes, after all.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    Q:

    Pardon, but we must let the beast speak, from his own mouth, Mein Kampf, Bk 1 Ch 11:

    Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents . . . Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level.

    [–> Echoes a chilling remark in Darwin’s Descent of Man, ch. 6 cited at comment no 6 by BA: “At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes…will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.“]

    Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life [ –> an allusion to Evolution as a law of nature, and an indication of his own neopagan inclinations — “Nature” here plainly acts as H’s god whose will is to be served] . . . The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. [–> the racialist premise against mixing races, never mind the issue of hybrid vigour] Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings [–> note how racist and evolutionary thought are unified] would be unthinkable.

    The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. [ –> an intended measure of the “fitness” of those best fitted to survive and propagate] But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice [–> the basis for a social darwinist predatory view of relationships between races of humankind] . . . .

    In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb [–> i.e. natural selection as he understood it] , while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. [–> That is, Darwinian sexual selection.] And struggle is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development. [–> Notice the central concept of struggle, as in struggle for existence leading to the survival of the fittest]

    If the process were different, all further and higher development [–> evolution, again] would cease and the opposite would occur. For, since the inferior always predominates numerically over the best, if both had the same possibility of preserving life and propagating [–> note the focus on differential reprosuctive success], the inferior would multiply so much more rapidly that in the end the best would inevitably be driven into the background, unless a correction of this state of affairs were undertaken. [–> NB: this is a theme in Darwin’s discussion of the Irish, the Scots and the English in chs 5 – 7 of his second major work on Evolution, Descent of Man, 1871; H seems to be summarising a standard answer to the puzzle CRD posed] Nature does just this by subjecting the weaker part to such severe living conditions that by them alone the number is limited, and by not permitting the remainder to increase promiscuously, but making a new and ruthless choice according to strength and health [–> Note Nature as active, god-like agent] . . .

    It is no accident that these ideas from 1925 shaped the policies of Nazi Germany from 1933 – 45.

    This was not just window dressing, it is the very shaping frame of thought in summary.

    And as we read them, again and again, they draw on Darwin as his ideas were embedded in German culture.

    KF

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: It seems we need to remind on the sub-title of Origin: Origin of Species, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for existence. In that context, remarks on plant hybrids have but minor impact. Let us again note the shaping effect of Darwin’s discussion of the Scots, Irish and English in Chs 5 – 7, with the chilling significance of the quote above. Like it or lump it, Darwin was among the first social darwinists. And it is no accident that eugenics was founded by Darwin’s cousin Galton and thereafter strongly associated with Darwin’s family for decades, being shaped on darwinist principles shaped by the hope that understanding the underlying laws of nature wise nations could control breeding along the lines of engineering, to achieve desired, channelled evolution.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    Chs 5 – 7 of Descent of Man.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N to 42: I should note that a subtlety lies behind the Christian Zionist views on Zech ch 12.

    Namely, following Mt 24, there is a view of parallel gospel proclamation to the nations AND a rising tide of hostility to it. This tends to be seen in light of what we may summarise as hostility to the Judaeo-Christian tradition and a great falling away, even as the great global gospel missionary mandate is carried forward.

    This also points to pressure on Jews that pushes resettlement in the Jewish homeland, viewed as a place of refuge and protection. (NB: also prophesied in the OT, including reference to a second return from exile — seen as vindicated from the 1870’s on culminating at 1948 and ’67.)

    So, the nations envisioned in Zech 12 as gathering against Judah and Jerusalem, on this view, are expressing that hostility through aggression on some flimsy excuse or other. And thereby finding themselves in (patently futile and foolish) enmity against God.

    Ezekiel 35 – 39 is especially relevant in that light.

    Enmity against God is not exactly a desirable position for Christians.

    KF

  53. 53
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @Mung:

    We should not judge Hitler too harshly. It was all in his genes, after all.

    Who should we judge? The intelligent designer of his genes?

  54. 54
    News says:

    goodusername at 11/01 7:03: Yes, Darwin acknowledged what agriculture had long known: Too much inbreeding leads to magnification of faults. Of course, the fault may be tolerated by humans if the desired traits remain, otherwise breeding back (“intercrossing”) is a wise idea.

    Interestingly, less techologically developed peoples apparently knew this stuff quite well. Re the circumpolar Inuit peoples: “The neutering of all male dogs was an excepted practice, except for their best lead dogs for breeding purposes. The practice of neutering the majority of male dogs, made a family dog supply vulnerable though accident or death. In the event of an accident or death, a female dog on heat was left tied up to bred with by wolves. Only the most dog like of the litter was kept, as the wolf hybrids were considered very unpredictable. And the wolf coats did not repel the snow and were therefore unsuitable for working in the icy conditions, as ther snow would cling to their guard coat and turn to ice. The wolf hybrid would lick the ice off, this resulting in their guard coat falling out, and without their coat to protect them from the subzero temperatures they would soon die. mother nature made the decision, and overtime a certain dog prevailed.”

    http://www.icepaws.com/history-of-the-malamute.asp

  55. 55
    Mung says:

    The current existence of the State of Israel in Palestine populated by so-called Jews has nothing to do with the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

  56. 56
    Barry Arrington says:

    Querius @ 47: “Interesting article. I suspect that the support of evolution in Germany at that time was not that much different than in many other nations, the US included.”

    And your suspicions would be confirmed were you to investigate the matter. In his Liberal Fascism Jonah Goldberg does a masterful job of tracing the various threads in the totalitarian fabric that includes Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany, and Stalin’s Soviet Union and how the philosophical impulses behind each of those three threats to human freedom and dignity find their expression today in the “progressive” political movement.

  57. 57

    Hitler himself commented on creationism vs evolution, too bad I can’t find the quote again. He wrote that it confused him to learn one thing in religionclass, and then to learn something entirely different in biologyclass. Then he sai that it wasn’t his position to comment on it, and that in either scenario there would have been a first of any specie, so that, obviously implying, both creationists and evolutionists should support the nazi’s.

    Hitler’s beliefs are extremely rationalistic, rationalizing everything in terms of a struggle too survive. He rationalized love in terms of self-preservation. All to Hitler was a matter of fact, including beauty, love and goodness. It is just a classic case of knowledge of good and evil, original sin. The only room for opinion in this rationalization was that you can believe anything if it seems to help the struggle for survival. Nordic gods, Jesus the Aryan fighter, anything that seems to help.

    So you have this calculating in terms of survival going on without any emotion, the only emotion is in the freedom to believe anything which helps the struggle.

    Darwin shares blame, because Darwin too inclined to rationalize everything in terms of survival, including love. Darwin did not leave any room for subjectivity in his views. Mayhem, slaughter, should be expected when emotions become to be excluded. Noticeably Darwin complained a lot of “dark thoughts” while writing his book on emotions.

  58. 58
    Querius says:

    Hi Barry,

    Yes, I believe progressivism is neo-fascism. Fascism is fundamentally collective, elitist, and eventually totalitarian. It allows private ownership with state control.

    The ruling elite in any such regime believe that they’ve heroically achieved security, stability, and equitable distribution of goods and services.

    Thanks for the book suggestion.

  59. 59
    Querius says:

    Mung,

    I’ve heard that before, and even some Jews agree. But I’m not sure what “so-called” referring to Jews means. Ashkenazi? Aren’t they the ones that died in “so-called” concentration camps in WW2?

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung:

    Pardon, I am not here intent on multi-sided theological debates, which are not really proper for UD anyway. But as LT raised a general accusation against “Christianity,” that needs to be addressed.

    In that context, I ask that it be kept in mind that first I explicitly summarised the views of Christians who are Zionists. Those views are a matter of record and direct familiarity. That such widely held views exist immediately undermines any attempt to insinuate or suggest by invidious linkage to Hitler’s demonic folly and mass murder, that the Christian faith as a whole or its movements in toto, can be broad-brush characterised as hostile to Jewishness.

    Next, as there is a view that tries to disconnect today’s Jews from those of classical times, I note:

    1 –> Judaism c. C1, was a missionary religion (as is reflected in the remarks of Jesus on making proselytes in a context of a defective approach to religiosity, as well as the presence of the God-fearers that crop up so often in the NT).

    2 –> Jewishness, historically, is not only a matter of ethnicity, but of covenant. So, accession to the covenant makes one and one’s descendants who maintain that identity authentically Jewish. Even in the days of the Exodus, Caleb (one of the faithful two spies) was a Kenizite, i.e. an Edomite.

    3 –> It is also not a coincidence that David’s ancestry included both Rahab (a Canaanite woman) and Ruth (a Moabitess, who seems to have been close to the royal house of that nation). Likewise, Moses’ wife — possibly a second wife after the death of Zipporah — was a [dark skinned] Cushite — and in the record, God punished those who objected. (This sort of almost footnoted record is evidence of considerable mixing, and directly cuts across the racialist insinuations involved in accusations of “Genocide.”)

    4 –> So, even if there were good reason to take stories of the Kazar accession to the covenant seriously as dominating Ashkenazi Jews, that accession would be legitimate.

    5 –> But in fact, the Y-Chromosome summaries I have seen, indicate that the Ashkenazi Jews are closely related to Jews from the Middle East (known to derive from settlements and the exiles of 2600 years ago . . .), to Arabs, and to Kurds. That is, it seems there is such a thing as Y- Chromosome Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. (I have a personal suspicion that the Kurds, who come from the right region, may well be descended from some of the famously lost tribes, though there are obviously groups from as far away as India and China that have been acknowledged as having a claim, and there is a group from far to the south in Africa as well.)

    6 –> The suggestion I have seen from apparent lack of common female ancestors, is that circles of Jewish men settled in areas — perhaps as merchants or as refugees or even slaves. They took wives from local girls, then a covenantal community formed and continued.

    [NB: There was a HUGE wave of Jewish slaves post the AD 66 war, to the point where slave prices were apparently depressed. Also, some have argued that a part of the success of the Christian faith is that the AD 79 eruption that hit the playground of the Roman elites, was seen as divine punishment for the degrading enslavement of Jews, e.g. the prostitutes in the obscene wall pictures from Pompeii may very well have been Jewish captives.]

    7 –> On the other side of Jewish resettlement in Israel, we have continuity in part (there is apparently a village in Galilee that traces back to the classic times), and in part waves of irreconcilable refugees from the wider ME amounting to originally some 600,000. These Jews and their descendants are the core of the Jewish population of Israel. That status also grounds the legitimacy of Israel above and beyond the 1920’s – 1940’s League of Nations mandate and UN recognition, as a land of refuge in a context of an exchange of refugees. (The situation of Pakistan and India is a direct and concurrent parallel.)

    8 –> So, the all too common attempt to sever modern Jewry and the modern state of Israel from historic Jewish roots and roots in the land of Israel, are ill-founded.

    9 –> In that context, there is indeed a known and fairly widespread school of thought with significant and responsible study of the Scriptures behind it, that understands the prophetic scriptures of the Tanakh or Old Testament [substantially the same, just differently organised], to speak of a second exile and to speak of a return in the end of days culminating in the advent of Messiah. Which last is the reading of Zechariah 12 that I have highlighted above.

    10 –> That is, the Christian Faith, cannot properly be broad-brush dismissed as antisemitic and the root of Jewish persecution. (Thus, I have answered the issue raised by LT.)

    11 –> Now, in addition, I am aware of schools of thought that would take the prophetic texts and apply them instead to the Church, often described as “replacement theology” by Christian Zionists. And I am sure you are aware that such pre-millenial Christian theology advocates [onlookers, you may wish to look here on for a 101 level outline survey of that area of theology — pay attention to the diagrams adapted from Wayne Grudem] often warn that any school of interpretation of scriptures that opens the door to alienation of the Jews from the covenantal promises of the Bible, is an invitation to anti-semitism. Though, it in itself may and one hopes usually is not antisemitic.

    12 –> In response, I think the following remarks from Paul are worth noting, coming form the letter in which he lays out his theological differences with the Jewish leadership who have rejected the claims of Jesus to be messiah, as well as the unmistakable cry of his heart that hey come to know God in the face of Jesus through the gospel:

    Rom 1: 1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations . . . . 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

    16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” . . . .

    9: 1 I am speaking the truth in Christ-I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit- 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever . . . . 10: 1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved . . . .

    11: 1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace . . . .

    11: 13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

    17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you . . . .

    28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

    13 –> This is a man who literally states that he would willingly forfeit his own blessed state were that enough to see to the eternal welfare of his kinsmen, and who openly characterises his converts from the gentiles as grafted in wild olive shoots. In that context he warns us gentiles to beware or arrogance and falling away from God. He concludes that while there is enmity to God and to his move at this point, it is driven by want of knowledge and it is in the context of an ultimate restoration of a remnant. (Which BTW is the precise view of the OT prophets, time and again, not just Elijah who he explicitly refers to.)

    14 –> Yes, it is obviously possible to wrench some of this out of context to make anti-semitic claims, but that obviously falls under the warning given by the fellow apostle, Peter:

    2 Peter 3:15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

    15 –> Scripture-twisting is an evil indulged at peril, even if driven by ignorant folly. Arrogance in such error is definitely a sign that does not speak well of one’s spiritual health. And plainly, abuse of the NT (and OT) scriptures to foment hatred of Jews — or for that matter, as Ac 17 so plainly implies, Arabs and any other nation — is scripture-twisting.

    16 –> So, even if one were to for a moment entertain that replacement theologies [yes, I know that I am using the Christian Zionist term not the self-identification] have validity, that would not justify hostility to or persecution of Jews (or any other ethnicity for that matter).

    17 –> And, one has to reckon with the direct statement in Rom 11:29 that he gifts and calling of God are not taken back.

    Which means that while one may have a theological dispute as to whether the Zionist movement triggered resettlement of Israel has eschatological, scriptural significance, that is separate from any question that he Christian faith as a whole is hostile to Jews as such.

    Even someone as beset by out of control anger as Luther who said and wrote inexcusably intemperate things about Jews, cannot properly be viewed as characterising the Christian faith as a whole. Luther has some serious explaining to do, and probably would have been horrified as to the long term consequences of his intemperate and incendiary remarks, but his blunders are not to properly be seen as characterising the Christian faith from roots up.

    He was right on many things, but on this, he was utterly, inexcusably, wrong. And wrong in sadly obvious ways:

    Eph 4: 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

    In short, on both substance and tone, Luther was in gross error.

    We can only ask forgiveness that this was not sufficiently corrected in good time.

    KF

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Those wishing to understand the grounds for the core gospel message regarding Jesus as Messiah and Saviour, may wish to read here on in context. Here on specifically addresses “according to the {Hebraic] Scriptures.”

  62. 62
    LarTanner says:

    I see I am on the hook to bring out examples from that Greek Testament that are, as I said, sources of antisemitism. So I’ll bring the examples out.

    First, however, let me give appreciation to KF in comment 59 for calling out Mung’s stupidity in 55. Mung, you personally show why the term “IDiot” is not limited only to intelligent design creationism.

    But, KF, your point number 9 in comment 59 is flatly incorrect. You say that the Tanakh and the OT are “substantially the same, just differently organised.” The differences between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Old Testament are much broader and deeper than you have characterized. They are different altogether texts because the words, the punctuation, the mechanical features, and the interpretive apparatus of the OT all presuppose a Christological reading. The Hebrew Scriptures do not have this presupposition, although late-ancient and early medieval development of the Tanakh suggests to me that it was increasingly read in such a way as to limit potential Christology.

    To illustrate the difference between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian OT, look at the way the two traditions tend (or have tended) to present “law” in their English versions. English renderings of the Hebrew Scriptures will often give “the Torah” — meaning a specific set of instructions, narratives, and records — where the Christian OT give “the law” — a more abstract formulation. The theological and religious difference between Judaism and Christianity inheres in this very difference because the Christian argument is that Judaism errs by overvaluing, or even idolizing, the law. The Jewish argument is that Christianity has erred by rejecting that which has been given by God directly to all the Hebrew slaves and their descendants.

    So, contra KF, the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian OT must properly be understood as fundamentally different and irreconcilable texts. Their different number of books and different arrangements are only part of much more substantial conflicts.

    Next up: Sources of antisemitism in the Christian NT.

  63. 63
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner

    Next up: Sources of antisemitism in the Christian NT.

    Trumping up false charges of anti-semitism against the New Testament has nothing at all to do with the historical fact that Hitler was a Darwinist and was not a Christian.

  64. 64
    LarTanner says:

    You want sources of antisemitism in the NT? You got it.

    My earlier comment gave “law” as only one example showing how significantly different the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian OT are. We could add several more examples, but I really don’t wish to have an extended argument on this point. I feel, however, that Christians are well instructed to appreciate how divergent Judaism and Christianity are: these are not mere squabbles over Jesus or Torah but rather conflicting theories about God and history

    Now I’ll return to provide examples of passages in the Christian NT that were used to validate and justify centuries-long prejudice, policy, persecution, and violence against Jewish people. After you review all the examples, you may want to dispute that they are antisemitic, or that otherwise well-meaning people got Jesus’ message wrong, but in doing so you would deny history and then deny the power of Jesus’ message.

    People who learned of Jews from the texts and from their commentaries/commentators drew upon the passages I will cite as authoritative. It happened, and you cannot revise that. Yet if you accept that either the texts are unfortunately wrong or can be taken wrong, then you admit not only the fallibility of the NT (and its writers/readers) but also failure of whatever divine inspiration is supposed to be behind the NT. Remember, we have nothing in the NT that can be verified as “what Jesus actually said,” just as we have no verified facts about Jesus. These are the mysteries of faith, and perhaps they can simply be ignored as inconsequential.

    One more prefatory remark: In comment 38, Barry Arrington unbelievably states that sources of antisemitism in the NT are “Nonexistent.” In comment 41, CentralScrutinizer also wants to see some examples. CS also boasts of having better ancient Greek than I do. He might, except that as a scholar of early medieval literature and language Ancient Greek was part of what I needed to know — a little — to be able to assess the period in its context. I am no longer a professional scholar, but I say only in passing that I have a little familiarity with Greek, though I really have not seen an opportunity in this discussion to bring out my old textbooks and readers in Greek.

    On to the examples. This is not my own analysis but a composite; I mention this only to remind you that very many others with impeccable credentials are quite aware of the these examples. The usual responses are to deny that they are actually antisemetic, to assert that they are not (as) antisemitic in context, or to admit they are antisemitic and to explain that its a contextual instance and not a general condemnation of all Jews for all time. Pick your strategy as it suits you.

    The Gospel According to Mark contains about 40 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric, as follows:
    3:6, The Pharisees are said to have begun to plan to destroy Jesus
    7:6-13, Condemnation of the Pharisees for rejecting the commandments
    8:15, Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees
    10:2-5, The Pharisees are said to be hard-hearted
    14:55-65, The chief priests and council condemn Jesus as deserving death
    15:1-15, The crowd demands that Jesus, not Barabbas, be crucified.

    The Gospel According to Matthew contains about 80 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric:
    3:7c, The Pharisees and Sadducees are called poisonous snakes
    12:34a, The Pharisees are called evil poisonous snakes
    15:3-9, Condemnation of the Pharisees for rejecting the commandments
    15:12-14, The Pharisees are called blind guides leading the blind
    16:6, Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
    19:3-9, The Pharisees are said to be hard-hearted
    19:28, The disciples of Jesus will judge the twelve tribes of Israel
    22:18c, The Pharisees are called hypocrites
    23:13-36, The scribes and Pharisees are repeatedly vilified as hypocrites
    23:38, The house of Jerusalem is to be forsaken and desolate
    26:59-68, The chief priests and council condemn Jesus as deserving death
    27:1-26, The people demand that Jesus, not Barabbas, be crucified
    27:62-66, The chief priests and Pharisees request a guard at Jesus’ tomb
    28:4, The guards tremble and become like dead when the angel appears
    28:11-15, The chief priest bribe the guards to lie about their actions.

    The Gospel According to Luke contains about 60 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric:
    3:7c, The multitudes are called poisonous snakes
    4:28-30, The members of the synagogue in Nazareth try to kill Jesus
    7:30, The Pharisees are said to have rejected the purposes of God
    11:39-54, The Pharisees and Torah scholars are repeatedly condemned
    12:1b, Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy
    13:14-17, The ruler of the synagogue is condemned as a hypocrite
    13:35a, The house of Jerusalem is to be forsaken
    22:63-71, The chief priests and council condemn Jesus as deserving death
    23:1-25, The people demand that Jesus, not Barabbas, be crucified.

    The Gospel According to John contains about 130 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric:
    5:16-18, The Jews are said to have persecuted Jesus and wanted to kill him
    5:37b-47, It is said that God’s word and God’s love is not in the Jews
    7:19-24, It is said that none of the Jews do (what is written in) the Torah
    7:28d, It is said that the Jews do not know the One who has sent Jesus
    8:13-28, It is said that the Pharisees know neither Jesus nor the Father
    8:37-59, The Jews are said to be descendants of their father, the Devil
    9:13-41, The Pharisees and other Jews are condemned as guilty
    10:8, The Jews are said to be thieves and robbers
    10:10a, The Jews are depicted as those who steal and kill and destroy
    10:31-39, The Jews are said to have picked up stones to throw at Jesus
    11:53, It is said that the Jews realized that they would have to kill Jesus
    11:57, It is said that the chief priests and Pharisees wanted to seize Jesus
    12:10, It is said that the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus and Jesus
    12:36b-43, It is said that most Jews loved the praise of men more than of God
    16:2-4, (The Jews who) kill Jesus’ disciples will think they are serving God
    18:28-32, The Jews are said to have demanded that Pilate sentence Jesus to death
    18:38b-40, The Jews are said to be demanding that Jesus, not Barabbas, be crucified
    19:4-16, The Jews are depicted as insisting to Pilate that Jesus be crucified.

    The Acts of the Apostles has approximately 140 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric:
    2:23b, Peter tells the men of Israel that they crucified Jesus
    2:36b, Again Peter tells the men of Israel that they crucified Jesus
    3:13b-15a, Peter tells the men of Israel that they killed the originator of life
    4:10a, Again Peter tells the men of Israel that they killed Jesus
    5:30b, Peter tells the members of the Jewish council that they killed Jesus
    6:11-14, Some Jews are said to have brought false accusations against Stephen
    7:51-60, Stephen is shown as condemning the Jews for betraying and killing Jesus
    9:1-2, Paul is depicted as planning the arrest of disciples of Jesus
    9:23-25, Jews are said to have plotted to kill Paul
    9:29b, Jewish Hellenists are also said to have tried to kill Paul
    12:1-3a, It is said that the Jews were pleased when Herod killed James
    12:3b-4, Herod is said to have seized Peter also to please the Jews
    12:11, Peter is said to have realized that the Jews wanted to kill him
    13:10-11, Paul is said to have condemned the Jew Elymas as a son of the Devil
    13:28-29a, It is said that the Jews had asked Pilate to crucify Jesus
    13:39d, It is said that Jews cannot be forgiven by means of the Torah
    13:45-46, Jews are said to have spoken against Paul
    13:50-51, Jews are said to have encouraged persecution of Paul and Barnabas
    14:1-6, Many Jews opposing Paul and Barnabas and attempting to stone them
    14:19-20, Jews are said to have stoned Paul, thinking that they had killed him
    17:5-9, Jews are said to have incited a riot, looking for Paul and Silas
    17:13, Jews are said to have stirred up turmoil against Paul
    18:6, Paul said to have told the Jews, “Your blood will be on your own heads!”
    18:12-17, Jews are said to have brought accusations against Paul
    19:13-19, Jewish exorcists are shown to be condemned
    21:27-36, Jews are depicted as seizing Paul and as trying to kill him
    22:4-5, Paul says that when he was a Jew he had persecuted Christians
    23:2-5, Paul is said to have condemned the chief priest for striking Paul
    23:12-22, Jews are said to have plotted to eat nothing until they kill Paul
    23:27-30, Paul is said to have been nearly killed by the Jews
    24:9, The Jews are said to have accused Paul of many crimes
    25:2-5, Jews are said to have plotted to kill Paul
    25:7-11, Jews are said to have continued to bring accusations against Paul
    25:15-21, Jews are said to have spoken repeatedly against Paul
    25:24, All Jews are said to have shouted that Paul must be killed
    26:21, The Jews are said to have seized Paul and tried to kill him
    28:25-28, Paul is said to have condemned the Jews for never understanding God.

    It seems clear to me that antisemitic attitudes were written into the NT from the beginning. The question generated from the OP is whether these attitudes were part of Nazi ideology, and this also seems clear to me.

    Here, for instance, is an excerpt from the 24th principle of the Nazi party, from the Twenty Five Points (1920):

    We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility.

    The Party represents a positive Christianity. Indeed. I can provide additional quotes, but can I ask why we are denying that the Nazis drew upon and used Christianity in their personal and political practice? What is to be gained by revising history in such a way?

    These are rhetorical questions.

  65. 65
    StephenB says:

    kairosfocus

    Even someone as beset by out of control anger as Luther who said and wrote inexcusably intemperate things about Jews, cannot properly be viewed as characterising the Christian faith as a whole. Luther has some serious explaining to do, and probably would have been horrified as to the long term consequences of his intemperate and incendiary remarks, but his blunders are not to properly be seen as characterising the Christian faith from roots up.

    Correct. On the subject of anti-semitism. Luther was, not at first, but finally, guilty; St Paul was innocent from beginning to end.

  66. 66
    Mung says:

    LarTanner:

    First, however, let me give appreciation to KF in comment 59 for calling out Mung’s stupidity in 55. Mung, you personally show why the term “IDiot” is not limited only to intelligent design creationism.

    You didn’t understand what either I or kf wrote, but I’m the idiot. Right.

    You’re the one claiming the bible is anti-semitic, but I’m the IDiot. Right.

    Let me tell you what is anti-semetic. Anti-semetic is encouraging ‘Jews’ to emigrate to Israel while believing that there is another future holocaust far worse than what took place in Germany (and elsewhere) coming in the near future that will center upon that area of the world and that it will be the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

    That’s anti-semetic, and that is (as far as I know) a uniquely ‘Christian’ belief. So why not focus yourself on that?

    Next up: Sources of antisemitism in the Christian NT.

    I can’t wait. Anti-Semitism does not come from the New Testament, it comes from people. It’s like your Anti-Christianity, which doesn’t come from a book, it comes from you.

    But just for starters, will you be citing Jewish sources or Christian sources?

  67. 67
    Mung says:

    LarTanner:

    Next up: Sources of antisemitism in the Christian NT.

    Seriously? “It is said…”? “Are said to have…”?

    It’s like your source doubts the authenticity of the accounts.

    Does your source offer an opinion about the origin of each of these statements?

  68. 68
    LarTanner says:

    Oh boy, I think I’ve broken poor Mung….

  69. 69
    Mung says:

    LarTanner:

    These are rhetorical questions.

    Of course.

  70. 70
    Mung says:

    LarTanner, you left one out:

    For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision.

    – Rom. 2:28

  71. 71
    Mung says:

    LarTanner:

    Oh boy, I think I’ve broken poor Mung….

    To be honest, I expected better from you. I should have known better.

  72. 72
    Mung says:

    Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

    But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

    – Gal. 4:24-26, 30-31

  73. 73
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner, in an attempt to escape refutation of his false charges of anti-semitism in the New Testament, hopes to fill cyberspace with so many unexamained passages that no one can respond to the sheer volume of it all. Well, not so fast.

    In fact, not a single example qualifies. Rather than plunge in into the whole irrational mess, I will just take up a few examples:

    The Gospel According to Mark contains about 40 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric, as follows:
    3:6, The Pharisees are said to have begun to plan to destroy Jesus
    7:6-13, Condemnation of the Pharisees for rejecting the commandments
    8:15, Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees
    10:2-5, The Pharisees are said to be hard-hearted
    14:55-65, The chief priests and council condemn Jesus as deserving death
    15:1-15, The crowd demands that Jesus, not Barabbas, be crucified.

    This is hilarious. All the passages that have been cited here reflect history. It isn’t anti-semitic to report events as they happened. There is not a single rhetorical flourish in the bunch.

    At this point, I will just take one from each group:

    22:18c, The Pharisees are called hypocrites

    Well, duh, yeah, they were hypocrites. So said Jesus, who was JEWISH. Was Jesus, a Jew, an anti-semite.

    22:63-71, The chief priests and council condemn Jesus as deserving death

    Well, yes, of course, they did. As everyone knows, they plotted against Jesus and successfully arranged his death. You may recall (if you ever knew) that Pilate tried to find a way out and they wouldn’t give it to him.

    10:8, The Jews are said to be thieves and robbers</blockquote

    Who do you think Jesus ran out of the temple for unethical trading–Babylonians? This is incredible.

    It seems clear to me that antisemitic attitudes were written into the NT from the beginning.

    By whom? Which anti-semite Jew wrote them in?

  74. 74
    Mung says:

    If the intent is to smear Christianity, facts hardly matter.

  75. 75
    Mung says:

    LarTanner:

    10:8, The Jews are said to be thieves and robbers

    Liar

    John 10:1

    Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    The differences between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Old Testament are much broader and deeper than you have characterized. They are different altogether texts because the words, the punctuation, the mechanical features, and the interpretive apparatus of the OT all presuppose a Christological reading.

    Pardon, but this starts out on the wrong foot.

    First, Jewish scribal codices and manuscripts — often from Genizas of Synagogues — are routinely used by professional exegetes, and such certainly form the basis of modern English translation. Where of course a revolution in Biblical studies was triggered by the Dead Sea scrolls.

    Second, the principal early “Christian translation” of the OT was not actually Christian. That is, the Septuagint dates to probably C2 – 3 BC.

    Differences between MSS traditions and over interpretations are different from the claim you are making, two different books, with a fairly obvious subtext of, you Christians have twisted the text.

    KF

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The rendering, “the Law” or “the law of Moses” does carry in English the specific meaning the Pentateuch and the specific instructions therein; and it is to be noted of course that in professional work, the readings are going to be directly in Hebrew in any case. and it is simple to get a link back to the Hebrew. For instance, pulling a freebie Bible Study package on Josh 1:7, I see the law of Moses referenced and linked through Strong’s numbers: “H8451 ??????? ??????? towrah (to-raw’) (or torah {to-raw’}) n-f. 1. a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue or Pentateuch [from H3384] KJV: law. Root(s): H3384
    [?].” Precept of course means “1. A rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct.
    2. Law An authorized direction or order; a writ” — AmHD. That’s a reasonable rendering by your own admission, accessible to any serious Bible reader in seconds. (In the old days, I would have had to pull the old hard bound Strong’s and go to the Hebrew Dictionary, 3 – 5 mins work.) Where also, the works of the Pentateuch are patently sufficiently shot through with specific laws in the regulatory sense to make that a reasonable metonymy; somewhat as Holland often stands in for Dutch Netherlands in English. Likewise, “the law is a teacher,” is proverbial. With all due respect, this seems to be a case of looking for a difference and pushing it beyond reasonable limits. Yes, there are 2,000 year long differences of opinion and views, but there is no good reason to infer or suggest systematic manipulative distortion, as your own prime example shows.

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I guess we could expect WP to butcher Heb script.

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    Pardon, but this does not add up, especially given what was already cited from 2 Peter 3:15 ff above:

    I’ll return to provide examples of passages in the Christian NT that were used to validate and justify centuries-long prejudice, policy, persecution, and violence against Jewish people. After you review all the examples, you may want to dispute that they are antisemitic, or that otherwise well-meaning people got Jesus’ message wrong, but in doing so you would deny history and then deny the power of Jesus’ message.

    This is nonsense. As was already shown, the NT explicitly teaches the universal brotherhood of man, calls us to neighbour love, holds that per the Good Samaritan, neighbourliness extends across hereditary enmities, and explicitly warns gentile Christians against denigration of Jews. All of this was cited line by line from core ethical teachings.

    Let me now re-cite from 60 above, Peter’s warning against scripture-twisting (which is put in terms that would take in OT and NT):

    2 Peter 3:15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

    So, the NT affirms what should be obvious to common sense. People who are ignorant or willful can and do distort texts, and we unfortunately routinely ignore direct teachings to the contrary of our stubborn folly, rage or lust etc.

    That this happens is not the fault of text or teacher whose words are in the text, but of those who are willful in ignorance or misbehaviour.

    KF

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    I will take your very first example of alleged antisemitism and defamation as a case of a slice of cake with all the ingredients in it.

    First, your assertion:

    The Gospel According to Mark contains about 40 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric, as follows:

    3:6, The Pharisees are said to have begun to plan to destroy Jesus . . .

    But by simply reading the context, we can directly see:

    Mk 3: 1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

    7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him.

    In short, Jesus here is held in high regard by many ordinary people, specifically including people from Galilee and Judaea — presumably largely Jews. But, he was held an enemy and schemed against by members of two power elite groups, Pharisees and Herodians.

    When for instance Jeremiah the prophet had a falling out with the Jewish kings of Judaea after Josiah, was he viewed as an anti-semite? Was Elijah an anti-semite when he destroyed groups of king’s men who came after him on instruction of Northern kings?

    Likewise, at the birth of the Hasmonean uprising, I read in 1 Macc:

    1 Maccabees 2:

    . . . Mattathias the son of John, son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, moved from Jerusalem and settled in Mode’in [in the hill country of Judaea]. He had five sons, John surnamed Gaddi, Simon called Thassi, Judas called Maccabeus [i.e. “the hammer”], Eleazar called Avaran, and Jonathan called Apphus.

    He saw the blasphemies being committed in Judah and Jerusalem, and said, “Alas! Why was I born to see this, the ruin of my people, the ruin of the holy city, and to dwell there when it was given over to the enemy, the sanctuary given over to aliens? . . . ” And Mattathias and his sons rent their clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned greatly.

    Then the king’s officers [i.e. those of Antiochus Epiphanes, Selucid Greek ruler in Syria] who were enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Mode’in to make them offer sacrifice.

    Many from Israel came to them; and Mattathias and his sons were assembled.

    Then the king’s officers spoke to Mattathias as follows: “You are a leader, honored and great in this city, and supported by sons and brothers. Now be the first to come and do what the king commands, as all the Gentiles and the men of Judah and those that are left in Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons will be numbered among the friends of the king, and you and your sons will be honored with silver and gold and many gifts.”

    But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his fathers, yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers. Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances. We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.”

    When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar in Mode’in, according to the king’s command.

    When Mattathias saw it, be burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him upon the altar.

    At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. Thus he burned with zeal for the law, as Phinehas did against Zimri the son of Salu.[1]

    Then Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying: “Let every one who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!”

    And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the city. Then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to dwell there, they, their sons, their wives, and their cattle, because evils pressed heavily upon them . . .

    Were these worthies who struck down a fellow Jew anti-semitic?

    (And, what did Jesus say to Peter when at the arrest in the garden, he cut off the High Priest’s servant’s ear? How does what Jesus said resonate with the fate of 4 of 5 Hasmonean brothers in the above uprising? Does Jesus’ teaching provide grounds for Nazis to violently attack Jews, and others, or does it not warn rather against the path of the sword, much less that of aggressive war, murder and theft by those nmeans?)

    I have no doubt that some have distorted that hostility of elites in Mk 3:6 — which seems to be accurate history not defamation — into a general perceived enmity of Jews, but that is hardly John Mark’s fault or that of Peter whose testimony Mark records.

    The utterly strained, out of context nature of your citation does not commend your level of understanding of or familiarity with the NT, or that of the sources you seem to have used.

    Frankly, this one comes across as a mischievous, ill-informed, out of context, hostile misreading that does not even seem to recognise a commonplace of history: elites often retaliate against those who speak unwelcome truth to them.

    I think you need to go back and seriously think again about what led you to speak in terms of “Christianity” being responsible for Hitler’s behaviour.

    KF

    KF

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung: you forget the part of being hunted and fished, ending up seeking refuge back in Eretz Israel. In short, before we get to what sounds suspiciously like a UN war against Israel, the signs suggest persecution with Israel as refuge, even as other prophecies speak of Christians serious about the gospel being hated of all nations and persecuted. Israel is a land of refuge, and in that context I beg to remind of shiploads of Jewish refugees that no-one was willing to take in in the context of WW II, though I should note the commendable behaviour of the Dominican Republic. as long s Haifa and Tel Aviv exist, and of course the upgraded Lod airport, that will not happen again. Given that history, I frankly support a well armed, alert state of Israel and use of the veto in the UNSC to block hate-driven actions. I also think the blind eye to Iran and its obvious agenda is inexcusable. (While we are at it let us remember why in ’56 and ’67 Israel had to fight with junkyard tanks and mostly second line French equipment, though the Mirage and the 105 mm tank gun are major exceptions to that. Remember, how they had to cut that 105 mm down to fit junkyard Shermans. I say this to the shame of the USA.) KF

  82. 82
    Querius says:

    Nicely stated, kairosfocus. I’d like to add a few points:

    – Adolph Hitler did not want to fight against the Lutheran and Catholic traditions in Germany. He wanted to integrate the church into his program. However, Hitler would not tolerate independent leadership as demonstrated by his application of the Führerprinzip (leadership principle) to the church, and by his confrontation with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. For any of you who are interested, this history worth looking at in detail. Ultimately, Hitler was threatened enough to assert that Bonhoeffer was his “personal prisoner.” Bonhoeffer was imprisoned without further appeal, and was later hanged in a Nazi concentration camp shortly before the German surrender.

    – Rabbi David Stern, a Messianic Jew, created the Complete Jewish Bible partly to rectify the antisemitism in some translations, and partly to use Jewish terminology, pronunciations, and context. That the majority of Herodian Jewish religious authorities were vehemently against the teachings, rebukes, and miracles of a certain Yeshua Ha’Nazaret who was widely considered the Mashiach of long-standing prophecy is hardly surprising and certainly not antisemitic. After all, the prophets in the Tanakh were also persecuted and killed.

    – Even the Talmud, hardly considered antisemitic (lol) provides evidence of the miracles that occurred following the execution of Jesus. See http://www3.telus.net/public/k.....idence.htm for an excellent summary.

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    Q:

    Pardon, but a few years back, Nuremberg papers documenting intended and partly carried out persecution of Christians remaining faithful, came out.

    Of course, the Barmen Declaration from the 30’s, is also on that, as a counterblast to Nazi subversion of the church deemed a heresy.

    KF

    PS: FWIW, so long as countries like Jamaica and the like remain solidly Christian, Jews are more than welcome. Indeed Jews are the longest settled inhabitants of Jamaica save for the Spanish based Maroons, the Arawaks having partly died out and been assimilated. About 10% of Jamaicans reputedly have Jewish ancestry, reflected in names like Lindo, Henriques, DaCosta, DeSouza, DeLisser, Pinto etc. Sadly, so far as I know, I am not one — I have to settle for African, Indian, Scottish and Irish (and behind, Belgian). My Jewish Mom and bro are honorary.

  84. 84
    Mung says:

    Here’s antoher one missed by LT’s source(s):

    These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

    – Revelation 2:8-9

    By the way, the New Testament is not anti-semitic, it is anti-apostacy. There’s a difference. Not that LarTanner would have a clue. how does he justify his decision to cherry-pick from the NT and ignore the Old Testament?

  85. 85
    Mung says:

    Zechariah 13:

    7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
    Against the Man who is My Companion,”
    Says the Lord of hosts.
    “Strike the Shepherd,
    And the sheep will be scattered;
    Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
    8 And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
    Says the Lord,
    “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,

    But one–third shall be left in it:
    9 I will bring the one–third through the fire,
    Will refine them as silver is refined,
    And test them as gold is tested.
    They will call on My name,
    And I will answer them.
    I will say, ‘This is My people’;
    And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”

    Past or future?

  86. 86
    Mung says:

    “Christian Jew” is either redundant or an oxymoron, depending on how you’re using the terms.

    I don’t care to get into a discussion about who is or is not a Jew. Even ‘Jews’ can’t agree on it. LarTanner says I’m an IDiot for my post #55 but fails to recognize the allusions in it, so who’s the real idiot?

    kf highlights some of the issues involved

    Is it a matter of birth? Is it the mother, the father, or both? Is it a matter of religion? Some combination of birth and/or religion? In what sense is modern Israel even a Jewish state?

    How did Hitler’s followers decide who was a Jew?

    I’m more interested in claims that the modern state of Israel exists as a consequence of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. This is just pure bunk.

  87. 87
    Querius says:

    Yes, kairosfocus, the Confessing Church movement resisted Nazi control over the German Christianity. The German church was split as a result, with the compromising church willing to embrace Hitler and comform to Nazi doctrines.

    From our position of historical perspective and relative safety, it’s easy to distain the cowardice of the compromising church, but within context, one can see the pressure put on the church leaders. Oddly, the threat of losing ones retirement benefits was a more effective weapon against the German clergy than arrest and incarceration.

    And be sure to check out this link regarding the temple: http://www3.telus.net/public/k.....idence.htm.

  88. 88
    Querius says:

    Mung,

    “Christian Jew” is either redundant or an oxymoron, depending on how you’re using the terms.

    Yes, there are different interpretations, but the one that I ascribe to refers to a community of faith beginning with incluing pre-Jewish Abel, Abram, and non-Jewish Ruth, Rahab, and many others. The founding believers in Jerusalem were overwhelmingly Jewish. For years after Jesus rose from the dead, “Christianity” was almost exclusively a Jewish sect. According to the Bible, by faith, I’ve been grafted into this root of faith.

    How did Hitler’s followers decide who was a Jew?

    It was a decision based purely on race, not creed.

  89. 89
    Mung says:

    It was a decision based purely on race, not creed.

    I’m anti-racism. There is no “Jewish race.” There is no “white race.” There is no “Aryan race.”

    How did Hitler’s followers decide who was a Jew?

    Querius: It was a decision based purely on race.

    How so? There’s a racial test for “Jewishness”?

  90. 90
    Mung says:

    kairosfocus:

    9 –> In that context, there is indeed a known and fairly widespread school of thought with significant and responsible study of the Scriptures behind it, that understands the prophetic scriptures of the Tanakh or Old Testament [substantially the same, just differently organised], to speak of a second exile and to speak of a return in the end of days culminating in the advent of Messiah. Which last is the reading of Zechariah 12 that I have highlighted above.

    Yes, I’m well aware of this school of thought, and it is this school of thought that is wrong and anti-christian at it’s core.

    The authors of the New Testament clearly place “the end of days” in their own time. They also clearly interpret Zechariah 12 as being fulfilled in their own time.

    As for a “second exile” that is highly debatable. I assume the first exile was the Babylonian exile.

    The first challenge that your assertion presents is to identify the Old Testament passages that refer to a second exile. If they do not describe a second exile, how is it to be believed that they describe a return from a second exile?

    The second challenge that your assertion presents is how to tease apart those passages in the Old Testament that refer to the “first return from exile” from the “second return from exile.”

    The third challenge your assertion presents is to examine these passages and how they are interpreted in the New Testament.

  91. 91
    Mung says:

    kairosfocus:

    11 –> Now, in addition, I am aware of schools of thought that would take the prophetic texts and apply them instead to the Church

    Rejecting the characterization of “instead,” you mean like the authors of the New Testament?

    Would you likewise say that they took the prophetic texts and applied them “instead” to the Messiah?

    Take this text, for example:

    10 I took my staff Favor and cut it in pieces, to break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples. 11 So it was broken on that day, and thus the afflicted of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the Lord. 12 I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord.

  92. 92
    LarTanner says:

    Leafing through responses to my comment #64:

    72, Mung: Point is?
    73, StephenB: Extreme naivete: “All the passages that have been cited here reflect history. It isn’t anti-semitic to report events as they happened. There is not a single rhetorical flourish in the bunch.”
    74, Mung: This is just ear-plugging to drown out the unpleasant sound.
    75, Mung: Did you actually read 10:8?
    76, KF: The subtext you ascribe to me is explicitly not a point I am making. Everything before your charge is tangential piffle.
    77, KF: Another distraction.
    79, KF: A predictable, and predicted, argument. For centuries, people found that the gospels, etc. validated their anti-Jewish sentiment, and this is still the history. I understand that you believe that we now finally have the “common sense” Christianity formulated rightly. Better late than never, I guess.
    80, KF: Another predictable, and predicted, argument. KF, tell me in a simple yes or no: have people found in the NT support for anti-Jewish feeling?
    84, Mung: That Revelations quote certainly does qualify, thanks much. I have discussed the OT already in this thread. My position on it should be clear: it is the result of a certain approach to the Hebrew Bible; the Hebrew Scriptures are another approach. The Hebrew Bible, incidentally, is also the result of an approach. The Hebrew Bible predates both what I am calling the Christian OT and the Hebrew Scriptures, yet it represents a certain way of looking at ancient Israel’s library of texts.

    But back to the matter at hand. You all asked me to back up my claims, and I have done so. You dislike the back-up, and I certainly understand why, but please let it never be said that I did not include examples to support my position. I imagine Barry and others are preparing their apologies to me now.

    I also notice you all have failed to address the specific quote I included at the end of comment 64. Any thoughts on it?

  93. 93
    bornagain77 says:

    LT, do you personally hold that it is the “Christian” thing to do to be an anti-Semite or a racist in any regards? I personally, as a Christian who was miraculously touched by the grace of God at a low point in my life, find this racist/anti-semite claim of yours to be a very peculiar claim for someone to make against Christianity. Although I’m becoming less surprised by the outrageous claims of atheists nowadays since I’ve found that many dogmatic atheists will make any and all claims they can possibly imagine, no matter how ludicrous, simply to deny the reality of God and Jesus Christ in particular. For instance, Hitchens’s claim that Mother Teresa was a fraudulent fanatic (and those are the nice things he said about her). I’ve found, over and over, that atheists, though claiming to be ‘rational’, are the most irrational people that there are. Moreover Jesus’s own life testifies to the contrary. For instance,,,

    Jesus continually sought out marginalised people to befriend. An immense compassion drew him toward poor people, those with leprosy (who were regarded as outcasts) and tax collectors (who were loathed as traitors). Jesus had friends who would feel at home in a synagogue and others who would feel at home in a brothel. Women and children were treated with absolute respect, which was not expected in that culture. —
    Christian Enquiry Agency
    http://curtisnarimatsu.wordpre.....e-jesus-b/

    I simply cannot fathom where someone would get that it is OK to hate and kill your neighbors (‘if’ they are Jews) from Jesus’s teachings. If anything Jesus’s life, and teaching for us, is a example of self sacrifice to the point of death if need be in the service of love for our fellow man.

    Verse and Music:

    Matthew 5:43-48
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbori and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Love Take Me Over (Official Lyric Video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8DiZhNVu1I

  94. 94
  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    LT: You are clearly not listening. I now simply summarise for record that the very first example you chose Mk 3:6, shows that you and your sources have indulged the same out of context misinterpretation that 2 Peter 3:15 ff speaks to in solemn warning. That Jesus, like leading members of the Hebraic prophetic tradition, had differences with elites who plotted against him is utterly unsurprising and simply not evidence of antisemitism or fomenting of same. At the same time, from the outset, it is quite clear that the core NT teachings on ethics and on the brotherhood/ neighbourliness of man (I notice, you have never seriously responded to these) — directly derived from the Hebraic tradition cited as scripture — cut clean across the racism, aggression, murder and theft involved in Nazi aggression. That’s before we get to the clear spirit of false and idolatrous political messianism and blasphemy manifest in Hitler, exposing Nazism as utterly anti-Christ, not Christian. I therefore suggest, with all respect, that you seriously need to review and revise tour views and tone. KF

  96. 96
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung:

    Pardon, but I think you should take a look here on, with an eye to the principles of prophetic foreshortening, multiple [including partial] fulfillment due to the “history repeats or echoes itself” effect, veiling and ultimate completion of history.

    I think you also overlook the issue of mounting global hostility, the hunters and the fishers that lead to Israel as centre of refuge and protection in parallel with global eschatological hostility to the Judaeo-Christian tradition manifesting in a globally suicidal tribulation that would threaten to wipe out not only Jews and Christians but humanity “except those days be shortened.”

    That is, with Israel there, and well armed and supported by decent people and nations everywhere, we will not again see the sad spectacle of Jewish refugees with nowhere to go. And of course, decent people everywhere will welcome refugees, Jewish or otherwise; as the Dominican Republic shamed the world over in the days of Hitler. (And do I need to note how Israel took in Vietnamese boat people?) Sadly, the time envisioned in Zechariah is one where such decency will have been globally defeated, manifestly that of the eschatological son of perdition.

    I note also this direct allusion to Zech 12 (and to Daniel 7:9 – 14 as well as Ac 1:1 – 9 and Mt 24) in Rev 1 (which is discussed in the linked):

    Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

    Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

    To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail[c] on account of him. Even so. Amen.

    8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

    Also, cf the very text on which Jesus was accused of blasphemy in that night court of Sanhedrinists:

    Dan 7:13 “I saw in the night visions,

    and behold, with the clouds of heaven
    there came one like a son of man
    ,
    and he came to the Ancient of Days
    and was presented before him.
    14 And to him was given dominion
    and glory and a kingdom,
    that all peoples, nations, and languages
    should serve him;
    his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    which shall not pass away,
    and his kingdom one
    that shall not be destroyed
    .

    Plainly, this has not been fulfilled in history to date, but we have from Ac 17:29 ff assurance that the resurrection as witnessed by 500+ is a substance of things hoped for and evidence of what we do not yet see.

    In that context, I clip the referenced notes:

    As the example of Israel in C1 shows, one of the main challenges to interpreting Bible Prophecy — and one that we are warned about time and again in the scriptures — is that it is deliberately partially veiled and uses the principle of foreshortening. That means that, while we can get a general sense of our times and discover sufficient to discern our duty in our times, we will not be able to satisfy our itch to solve all puzzles.

    However, it is also clear that prophecy must (a) be relevant to those who first hear it, then (b) it must be applicable to the people of God in successive generations, and then — especially for prophecies connected to the end of days and the Day of the Lord — (c) it will have an ultimate fulfillment.

    From this (and bearing in mind also the veiled nature of prophecy), we may infer a three-fold principle of prophetic fulfillment, interpretation and application:

    I: Immediate relevance and authentication

    II: Continued relevance through partial fulfillment(s)

    III: Eschatological surprise, signs of the times and ultimate fulfillment

    Prophecy starts with the God who is there and is not silent, who redemptively covenants with men, selects spokesmen from — or even for — the covenant people, and speaks through these prophets. But in a world of many voices, we must know how to discern the sound from the deceptive. Thus, we see why there will be authenticating signs, and we can see as well across time how a body of well-tested and reliable prophecy reduced to writing become the scriptures that are a plumb-line to test new voices and views against.

    Hence, the significance of Luke’s commendation of the Jews of Berea, who: “were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” [Ac 17:11b] . . . . The people of God are strictly forbidden to resort to pagan sacrifices (especially human sacrifices) and mediums or other occult sources of divination. Instead they are to seek the voice of the prophet God raises up. And such a prophet will have as defining characteristics, that he calls people to respond to the God of covenant in light of the terms of covenant, and will thus call to holiness and repentance.

    In addition, such a prophet speaking from God will be accurate, showing the source of his visions to be God. And, once such a prophet is authenticated, the people are accountable to listen to his words, on pain of divine displeasure . . . . So, we are to heed authentic signs from the authentic tradition, and we are to pay no heed to those who prophesy falsely, or would pull us away from the service of God according to his Word . . . .

    Basic human nature is the same in all times and places, and the sorts of challenges we face will be similar to what has happened before. Sadly, we tend to forget this and make the same mistakes over and over, which is the root of the common saying as to how history tends to repeat or at least echo itself. So, by studying sacred history and the counsels of the prophets of the past, we may often be able to speak prophetically into our own time, once we discern the signs of our times . . . .

    as the end of days approach, just like birth pangs, certain painful signs — notice how the very first one is deception and apostasy from the Faith in service to deception — will come in waves, with accelerating frequency. As the pangs of a woman in the labours of childbirth build up to the breakthrough point, they will be more and more frequent and more and more intense, but it is never easy to predict the “just when” of the point of breakthrough.

    So, we can see how the ability to discern the signs of the times and apply prophetic revelation will in the end help the faithful in that generation to know that the end is coming, even as birth pangs presage the arrival of a new baby, through pain to joy . . .

    I hope it is sufficiently clear why a pre-mill theological view is not inherently anti-semitic, nor other significant views for that matter, in light of the clear scriptural teachings on neighbour love, harmlessness, the brotherhood of humanity and explicit proscriptions on hate, envy, selfish ambition, theft and murder etc. All of which, of course, Nazism wantonly disregarded.

    At this stage, it seems that all that can reasonably be done in a blog thread that has drifted far from the proper focus, is to speak for record, trusting to the decency of onlookers to see in light of what can be outlined in a blog thread, that the charges made are ill founded.

    And of course now that we have sufficiently addressed red herrings and ad hominem laced strawmen, it should be well worth noting that no-one has been able to substantially undermine the evidence above that Darwinism and linked social darwinism were material influences on Hitler and nazism.

    That needs to be squarely faced, not distracted from through toxic side tracks.

    KF

    PS: Following up on a note above, loss of pension etc as controlled by the state is of course a threat of impoverishment in old age in a context where one could literally freeze to death. We should take this as a warning on state control of major benefit funds. Financial control, direct or indirect, is control; and, in the hands of the ruthless can be devastating — in some ways worse than imprisonment as the effects are subtle. I wonder if we are willing to learn this lesson from history? Or, do we imagine that the lords of the state will always be oh so benevolent and just?

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I should note that, strictly, the whole concept of messiah and the spreading of good news to the nations in the power of the poured out Spirit — “in the last days says God, will I pour out my Spirit on all flesh . . . ” — is eschatological. I would actually argue that from the days of Daniel in which the prophetic 70 7’s clock was set a ticking, the Last Days have been at least in gestation. The time of culmination is the time of birth pangs of increasing frequency, not that of beginnings. And I should stress THE primary sign of the end from Matt 24: “14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Yes, there are waves of accelerating distress, but those are the side effects on which the counsel is to see to it that we be not distracted, deluded, intimidated or paralysed by fear. The main thing is the gospel and sound evangelisation including discipleship and the prophetic call to the nations to repentance, renewal, revival and reformation. Those who refuse to heed such may well turn on us in rage, hate and violence backed up by abuse of state power, but that is their fault. Our main job remains: the truth, in love, to all nations.

  98. 98
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius at 87, this may interest you:

    Who Am I? Bonhoeffer as a Historical Mentor in Prayer: Part 2
    http://blog.emergingscholars.o.....er-part-2/

  99. 99
    Brent says:

    LT @64,

    If you were going to bother posting this list of “anti-semitic” Bible verses from the NT, you could have helped your cause greatly by at least making the first one pass the ROFL test. I didn’t read any further.

  100. 100

    Brent @99:

    With you on that one. What a joke.

    The whole list seems to have been prepared by someone without a clue as to what the NT is about or who wrote it.

  101. 101
    LarTanner says:

    KF at 95,

    I am listening.

    You claim that in its proper context, Mk 3:6, which you offer as an illustrative example, does not constitute defamatory rhetoric against the Jews.

    Yet look at what you yourself say in comment 80:

    I have no doubt that some have distorted that hostility of elites in Mk 3:6 — which seems to be accurate history not defamation — into a general perceived enmity of Jews, but that is hardly John Mark’s fault or that of Peter whose testimony Mark records.

    Yes, “ome have distorted that hostility of elites in Mk 3:6” and in other verses too.

    Regardless of what you or I think about the NT, the historical fact is that it has (in some times and places) been used just as I said it has — to validate and support anti-Jewish enmity.

    So I understand that you want to declare again and again that Nazism goes against the grain of Christianity. It may go against the grain of your understanding of Christianity, yet others have found it going with the grain of their Christianity.

    On the other hand, you want to ensure that Darwin’s theory of life’s evolution on earth is seen as itself containing an endorsement of Nazism. So, in the case of evolution, the Nazis didn’t distort science; but in the case of Christianity, they did. That’s Barry’s argument, too.

    What you seem not to want to accept is that the Nazis did use Christianity just as they used the science of the day.

  102. 102
    LarTanner says:

    Brent and Eric, I guess a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary doesn’t qualify one of my main sources for the list. I’ll tell the old professor that two randoms on the internet think he doesn’t know the NT. He’ll be crushed, I’m sure.

  103. 103
    Brent says:

    LT,

    Eric and I agree on one thing, but not on something else. I do think the person, or persons, who made the list does know what the NT is about, and even Who wrote it; and that’s the real reason for the list. Being full of knowledge and being wise are two different things. Whoever made the list is an idiot (and I’m not talking about Mung, who apparently is ten years old, did you know?).

  104. 104
    StephenB says:

    SB: All the passages that have been cited here reflect history. It isn’t anti-semitic to report events as they happened. There is not a single rhetorical flourish in the bunch.

    LT:

    Extreme naivete.

    Is that supposed to answer the point. The four gospels are historical accounts of real events. If you want to deny the point, you need to provide some kind of rationale, such as the argument that the apostles made it all up or that someone else wrote those passages. Tell us why you think that the simple act of reporting constitutes anti-semitism.

    But back to the matter at hand. You all asked me to back up my claims, and I have done so.

    You simply copied and pasted reports in which Jesus or one of the apostles criticized the Pharisees or Chief priests and then tried to pass it off as anti-semitism.

  105. 105
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner

    I also notice you all have failed to address the specific quote I included at the end of comment 64. Any thoughts on it?

    Oh, you mean this?

    Here, for instance, is an excerpt from the 24th principle of the Nazi party, from the Twenty Five Points (1920):

    We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility.

    Obviously, you do not know what Hitler and the Nazi’s meant by “positive Christianity.”

    In 1937, Hans Kerrl, the Nazi Minister for Church Affairs, explained “Positive Christianity” as not “dependent upon the Apostle’s Creed”, nor in “faith in Christ as the son of God”, upon which Christianity relied, but rather, as being represented by the Nazi Party: “The Fuehrer is the herald of a new revelation”, he said. To accord with Nazi antisemitism, Positive Christianity advocates also sought to deny the Semitic origins of Christ and Bible. In such elements Positive Christianity separated itself from Christianity and is considered apostacy by Catholics and Protestants.

    Do you have any other passages that you would like to explore?

  106. 106
    LarTanner says:

    StephenB,

    I was not going to respond any more in the thread. The issues have been laid out well enough.

    But this is completely wrongheaded on your part:

    You simply copied and pasted reports in which Jesus or one of the apostles criticized the Pharisees or Chief priests and then tried to pass it off as anti-semitism.

    No, that’s not what’s happening at all.

    Really, do try and be more critical. Maybe try imagining what it’s like to be a Jew and to read the NT. At any rate, you don’t need to be so defensive.

    Besides, the main objective behind everything I’ve discussed has been to suggest that Nazis and Nazism applied their own versions of both Christianity and ToE in building their ideology. They drew from many wells. You can’t responsibly lay the Nazis at Darwin’s feet –it’s not fair or right in any case — and not do the same for Christianity.

  107. 107
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    Pardon, but the matter is quite plain, and not in your favour or that of the sources you used.

    Whether one looks in OT — I cited Jeremiah — or NT, you will find clashes between elites and those who made prophetic or social critiques of the sort of things elites too often fall into. These are reports of incidents and are all within Judaism.

    The NT Gospels fall well within that pattern.

    The NT also explicitly sets core moral principles that cut across racist prejudice of all types.

    That — as the NT warns against! — some would come along and wrench principles and cases out of context has little to do with the core teachings or examples. That is obvious, too.

    Unfortunately, SB is manifestly right, you are acting as though any critique of a Jewish leader is an expression of racist hatred of Jews. Sorry, that is so outlandish that it simply will not wash.

    For instance, there are some very questionable incidents due to the action of modern Israeli leaders (try the things that led to massacres in camps in Lebanon) and individuals like was it Baruch Goldstein. If I were to criticise such leaders or individuals for their actions, it would not be reasonable to deem that anti-semitism.

    Likewise, I disagree with you in how you have handled the NT text and how you have tried to denigrate the OT, for cause. That does not make me antisemitic. (My honorary Jewish mom and bro would shake their heads at such a notion.)

    Frankly, at this point you are coming across like the foolishly blind supporters of Mr Obama who seem to imagine that any criticism of their leader must be motivated by racism.

    Sorry, it does not work that way.

    When it comes to Nazism and several other movements of that era, it is an easily shown historical fact that Darwinism, Social Darwinism, eugenics and the like were very important influences that had in them serious moral hazards. Nazism was an extreme case, but — save to one who wishes to turn Darwinism into a holy cow — the lines of influence are plain.

    We need to face those influences and make reforms that make it unlikely that similar problems will crop up again; and that extends across the whole domain of ethics of sci and tech. (Physics, let us never forget, was responsible for nuke weapons. Chemistry, for Chem weapons, and so forth.)

    Just as our civilisation as a whole needs to face its historic sins and address them. Don’t forget, I come from and live in a region whose history is shaped by 500 years of Western expansionism and oppression.

    It is time to face facts, and do something positive about them.

    KF

  108. 108
    bornagain77 says:

    LT: you state:

    “Really, do try and be more critical. Maybe try imagining what it’s like to be a Jew and to read the NT.”

    when StephenB stated the obvious:

    You simply copied and pasted reports in which Jesus or one of the apostles criticized the Pharisees or Chief priests and then tried to pass it off as anti-semitism.

    Maybe you should take your own advice and try to be a bit more critical? Why should a Jewish person be upset that Jesus’s main enemies were the religious leaders of his day? Indeed they were the ones who orchestrated his crucifixion! Clearly Jesus was castigating those who thought they had God all figured out, but, in reality, because of their lust for power, had missed God in the flesh, Jesus their Messiah, altogether.

    Luke 19:41-44
    And when he (Jesus) was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

    LT, for you to (purposely?) fail to make this important distinction between self serving religious leaders, and the Jewish people as a whole, is what is truly ‘not fair or right in any case’. Simply inexcusable for someone claiming to be reasonable!

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Pardon me for being direct, but — on the strength of the above — you come across as never having read the NT in any meaningful sense. Rather, you come across (remember, I come from a country where the same NT and OT were instruments of liberation in the hands of men like Liele and Knibb, Equiano, Wilberforce and Buxton, etc.) as having come to it with a chip on the shoulder looking for any trigger to unleash a seething anger. Yes, there is an obvious 2,000 year old theological dispute over messiah, with Isa 52 – 53 as the epicentre, which is not going to be settled until the event of Zech 12:10. Yes, there is a pretty sordid record of elite misbehaviour in both the NT and the OT, but that is par for the course of history: power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Yes, adherents of the Christian faith — despite the scripture and obvious ethical principles to the contrary — did some awful crimes that still have consequences. (On the history, Hitler was not one of these, he seems to have been neo-pagan- skeptical but perfectly willing to manipulate ill informed Christian people and gaol men like Niemoller or the like who objected, and he cut off the heads of the White Rose martyrs who exposed his evil in the name of God.) But none of that justifies your attempt above to indict the NT, imply willfully deceptive conspiracy to distort the OT, and pretend that Christianity — which on a reasonable understanding involves the core faith and its foundations — is antisemitic and responsible for Hitler’s behaviour. I strongly suggest you rethink.

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I think I need to underscore the response I made at 2 to this, from LT at 1 above:

    1 LarTanner November 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Page 552 [in Weikart’s paper]:

    Nazi racial ideology—and the many policies based on it—were profoundly shaped by a Darwinian understanding of humanity. Certainly many non-Darwinian elements were synthesized with Darwinism: Aryan supremacy, antimiscegenation, antisemitism, and many more.

    Christianity and Lutherian views of Jews being critical non-Darwinian elements mixed in as well.

    On seeing such, I noted:

    __________

    >> 2 kairosfocus November 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

    LT, From your choice of words, you evidently want to indict the Christian faith in general for Nazism.

    May I therefore beg to remind you of the key relevant foundational Christian ethical teachings?

    Ac 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]

    as even some of your own poets have said,

    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal [–> these two cover aggressive warfare and the like as carried out by the Nazis right there], You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    In short, all men per creation from a common ancestor are held to be brothers and sisters, and we are4 reminded that in loving neighbour as self, we ought not to harm that neighbour, where the Good Samaritan is forever the standard of neighbourliness.

    Whatever evils Hitler may have imbibed (whether via church leaders or otherwise), he did not gain this from the core moral teaching of the Christian faith. Where, that core moral teaching — which holds authority over any given Church leader past or present — has been repeatedly publicly taught, documented knowledge for the better part of 2,000 years. >>
    ___________

    It seems to me that such teachings have been record for nigh on 2,000 years, building on the Hebraic tradition that goes back many centuries beyond.

    No reasonable person can deny that these are in fact core Christian ethical teachings, echoing Jesus’ remarks in the Sermon on the Mount and the parable of the Good Samaritan, and more.

    It is quite obvious that those core teachings simply cannot be made in any wise compatible with the principles and practice of Hitler’s Nazism. Indeed, had they been heeded, Nazism would have got nowhere.

    Those are patent facts, and the remarks Peter made in warning against scripture-twisting and its perils are also facts.

    Yes, there have been adherents of Christian beliefs who have failed to live up to them, sometimes horribly.

    But it is not proper to equate distortion and disobedience — a challenge not exactly unknown in the accounts of the OT prophets — with easily shown core teachings and standards as though the distortion has the same validity as that which rebukes it.

    I think it is reasonable to expect you to be able to make that distinction, as simply an educated person.

    Kindly do so in future.

    KF

  111. 111
    StephenB says:

    SB: You simply copied and pasted reports in which Jesus or one of the apostles criticized the Pharisees or Chief priests and then tried to pass it off as anti-semitism.

    Lar Tanner

    No, that’s not what’s happening at all.

    You provided a list of passages with no other explanation, as if the anti-semitism speaks for itself. It doesn’t. You have yet to make your case. That is going to be difficult since there is no case to make.

  112. 112
    Querius says:

    Thank you for the link, bornagain77. Be sure to look at http://www3.telus.net/public/k.....idence.htm.

    And the only thing I’d add to the apparently futile attempt to educate LarTanner is that once people have made up their minds, especially in ignorance of the Tanakh and the B’rit Chadashah, and the experience of an encounter with God’s son, Yeshua HaMachiach, and who make the mistake of depending on the opinions of some ideologically contaminated academics, there is little hope that they would tear themselves away from the opinions they hold dear in spite of our testimony of a powerful, shared, life-changing experience with the love of God.

    LarTanner, using an appeal-to-authority argument sarcastically wrote:

    Brent and Eric, I guess a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary doesn’t qualify one of my main sources for the list. I’ll tell the old professor that two randoms on the internet think he doesn’t know the NT. He’ll be crushed, I’m sure.

    Yes, it will indeed be exactly as you said: a bitter old professor certainly will be crushed by the glory and love of the living God, before which everyone will eventually stand alone to answer for their willful selfishness and pride.

    Oh, and I’d be delighted to be called a “random” or anything else along with my brothers and sisters here!

    – Q

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    Q:

    It seems that part of this is that those who abuse authority as teachers have a lot to answer for.

    Indeed, I note that James 3 — though it applies to the matter of gossip, slander, over-talking, imprudent speech, foolish talk and jesting etc — is actually primarily and focally addressed to the responsibility of the teacher:

    James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness . . . . 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

    Too often, those in the seat of the educator, fail this test.

    The actual textual evidence such as Mark 3:6 in context, prevails over all systems and schemes, certifications and credentials, or Councils. Which was of course the point of much of the protestant reformation. (A point Luther, who came in for knocks above, got right.)

    KF

  114. 114
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius,

    Amen Brother! It is extremely funny for me to see atheists trying to prove God does not exist to people who know for a fact that He does exist because they have had a spiritual experience of and from Him.

    As to the ‘bitter old professor’, I think you may find this trailer of a forthcoming movie interesting:

    God’s Not Dead | Official Full Movie Trailer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMjo5f9eiX8

    ==============

    Of related note:

    The most radical, outrageous, claim of the Bible? That God, the creator of the universe, can be known personally by each of us!

    Temple Veil – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDNHoijNO2I

    God Can Be Personally Known and Experienced – Dr. Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWL5QhBQB30

    A Study From The Second Epistle of Peter, Chapter One by Lambert Dolphin
    Knowing God Personally and Intimately
    Excerpt: Can a person embark on a journey that leads to knowing God? The overwhelming claim of the Bible is yes! Not only can anyone of us know the Lord and the Creator of everything that exists, we are invited—even urged—each one of us, to know him intimately, personally and deeply.
    http://ldolphin.org/Eightfld.html

    There are millions upon millions of people in the world, including myself, who have personally experienced a miraculous touch from Jesus Christ in their lives when they have called on Him. Here is one such story in this following video (starting at the 6:40 minute mark):

    Have You Experienced Jesus – Episode 8 – video
    Excerpt: At the 6:40 minute mark of this video, Kay Sorenson a former Las Vegas Singer at the age of 46 had an amazing born again experience
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNcXkMxQjDU&feature=player_detailpage#t=400s

  115. 115
    Querius says:

    KF,
    Whether it’s harassing Christians, or promoting their own opinions, professors need to make an ethical distinction between a podium and a pulpit. This includes using their position of authority to intimidate students with tactics such as deep sighs, looking up, eye-rolling, and head-shaking to mock a student’s beliefs. I believe every educator should be required to watch the films, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and Stand Up and Deliver.

    BA77,
    Thanks for the links. How many Freshmen are equipped and mature enough to firmly but politely stand up against professors who abuse their position of authority? This is tough for even an adult to do, plus the professor always has the last word.

    One thing that would help is public debates between faculty members (these debates do not necessarily need to be on religious or political topics). Debates would tend to force professors to treat opposing views with a little more respect, and it would demonstrate to students that professors can and do vehemently disagree with each other. This would be a Good Thing in my opinion. It would help everyone to practice critical thinking, and not just accept whatever a professor says.

    Of course, the problem remains that many universities lack diversity of world views . . .

    -Q

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    Q:

    Abuse of power and intimidation are academic bullying, period.

    There should be academic ethics standards about such.

    (Sometimes there are, but who will bell the cat? [BA77’s movie trailer is about that. I now think we should give supplementary, parallel education to equip and support those who have to face the sort of atmosphere to be found too often on the college campus.])

    I think on matters of real controversy, there should be open debates and panels, or better yet, both. A debate, responded to by a panel, with comments then questions and then opened to the floor. But, such works only if there is willingness to admit that informed and serious people hold diverse views. The ad hominem laced strawmsn caricature stereotyping –> scapegoating and branding with a scarlet letter –> no true scotsman put-down game is all too common, and underlies Dawkins’ outrageously sophomoric dismmissals: ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.

    Unfortunately too much of the above from LT reeks of this attitude, and I don’t think he recognises how unnecessarily polarising and off-putting his behaviour is.

    (Ironically, today, Jews have ONE serious ally in the battles over world opinion, Bible-believing serious Christians; a point recognised by at least some key political and religious leaders; e.g. I think Mr Netanyahu does, whatever one may think of him in general. Yes, there are longstanding theological debates, such as on Isa 52 – 53 and “according to the scriptures” in 1 Cor 15:1 – 11. But, that does not excuse the blunder of projecting patently false accusations of antisemitism against the NT (with the similar insinuations that the OT in the vernacular is a case of dishonest translation of the Heb text . . . ) and pretending that the core ethical teachings and warnings against scripture-twisting, taken seriously, are not corrective. Yes, adherents of Christianity have done serious wrong, but — regrettably — realistically when it comes to movements that are broad and long enduring, that is to be expected: wheat and tares, cf. what the OT prophets had to say. A little discernment of one’s true friends would go a long way. As someone who comes from a history of oppression and injustice amounting to now acknowledged crimes against humanity that was sustained for centuries, and who learned the difference between wheat and tares, sheep and wolves in sheep’s clothing . . . or shepherd’s clothing, I think I have a right to say this without being unnecessarily saddled with ill-grounded accusations and suspicions that have little or no bearing on actual merits.)

    As for the Princeton prof-random commenter on the web attitude, that is a capital example of intellectual malpractice.

    Above, I showed — by dint of simply citing context in a credible translation — that the very first example of alleged antisemitic defamation in Mark, from 3:6 is nothing of the sort; in a context where one slice of the cake has in it all the ingredients.

    Yes, there is a clash with ruling elites and pointing to hypocrisy and dirty politics that came to a climax one certain Friday outside Jerusalem on a cross — that was Friday, but Sunday was coming . . . — where, at the same time, we see the common people of Galilee, Judaea (and even Jerusalem!) flocking to this new, refreshing . . . and patently, Jewish . . . voice. A pattern that should be instantly familiar from the careers of OT prophets, and which should be very familiar from the force of the saying on speaking unwelcome truth to power.

    If LT had the substance on the merits, it would have been easy for him to demolish my remarks from the context. For, there would have been facts and reasoning on facts to show defamation. Blanket demands to submit to the pronouncements of an un-named professor, without even outlining reasons simply disrespects our ability to reason. And to pretend that the fact not in dispute — that some have twisted cases like this in support of an existing attitude — does not suddenly confer on such equal warrant to what can be seen on a reasonable, generally informed common sense based reading. (Do I need to highlight that such texts on how elites, pagan and jewish alike abuse power and on the prophet’s duty to speak unwelcome reforming truth to such have given backbone to more than one voice? Do I need to explicitly point to Ezekiel 33 on this? Do I need to elaborate on the similar force of “that was Friday?”)

    There is need to move on beyond the sort of sophomoric exercise in out of context twisted proof texting that LT unfortunately indulged above.

    I don’t know if he is lurking, but it is necessary to speak here for record.

    KF

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77: The trailer is eye-opening. KF

  118. 118
    StephenB says:

    If LT wanted to make a case against the the Darwin-Hitler connection, he ought to have approached it this way.

    “No, the most profound influences on Hitler were Machiavelli and Nietzsche, both of whom were bed-time reading for the Fuhrer. The former taught him how to say one thing when he means another and the latter taught him to hate God. There was no bible reading during that formation period.”

    Now I could meet that objection, but at least it would be based on a reasonable and a rational argument. It would have some substance and basis in fact. It would reflect Hitler’s true intellectual orientation and it would explain his behavior.

  119. 119
    LarTanner says:

    This:

    I think on matters of real controversy, there should be open debates and panels, or better yet, both. A debate, responded to by a panel, with comments then questions and then opened to the floor. But, such works only if there is willingness to admit that informed and serious people hold diverse views. The ad hominem laced strawmsn caricature stereotyping –> scapegoating and branding with a scarlet letter –> no true scotsman put-down game is all too common, and underlies Dawkins’ outrageously sophomoric dismmissals: ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.

    Who have I scapegoated?

    Have I branded Christianity as responsible for Nazism? No. Have I said that Christianity leads to Nazism? No.
    Have I said that the New Testament is antisemitic? No.

    Have I said that Nazi ideology used Christianity? Yes.
    Have I said that Nazi ideology used scientific theories, practices and ideas, including the theory of evolution? Yes.
    Have I said that historically, Christian antisemitism has drawn upon the New Testament for scriptural justification for hostility toward Jews? Yes.

    I admit having a hard time seeing any of these positions above as controversial, but you all think the purpose of my earlier list of defamatory statements was an attempt to call the NT antisemitic. It wasn’t such an attempt but was rather — in addition to being my response to a call for examples/back-up — an illustration of the sources (the SOURCES) of Jewish stereotypes and suspicions.

    On the other hand, many Jewish people will be uncomfortable reading John and Acts. I think such discomfort is warranted. I also don’t particularly like the depictions represented by Shylock or Fagin.

    But, lest I be accused again of having little understanding or appreciation of the NT — which may be true, although I have read it many times in a few different languages — I will review my new purchase of the Jewish Annotated New Testament and post my commentaries of each book.

  120. 120
    Querius says:

    LarTanner,

    To be fair, also look at the Complete Jewish Bible by (Messianic) Rabbi David Stern. There are some outstanding additional sections in it that explain what he did and why. Stern also published his own commentary in a separate book.

    One “hot button” for Stern is references by Rabbi Saul/Paul to “the Law.” Paul is an expert on Torah, and not denigrating it. Stern translates this as “the legalistic misapplication of the Law” instead.

    On the other hand, many Jewish people will be uncomfortable reading John and Acts. I think such discomfort is warranted.

    And many Jewish people are also uncomfortable reading Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Zechariah 12, and Daniel 9 (in which the Messiah’s arrival is precisely predicted along with the fact that he will be killed, followed by the destruction of the temple).

    Other Jewish people and many Gentiles have made the decision to accept Jesus as the promised Messiah, and as God’s sacrifice for their (and your) sins!

    Christians who are familiar with the Bible recognize that God will never ever forget the Jewish people, and will give them extra honor for their suffering in maintaining the integrity of the Tanakh. They remember from the scriptures that anyone who harasses the Jews is putting their finger in God’s eye!

    Give it a chance.

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    Pardon, but you first need to distinguish a general problem in our increasingly polarised era that also is creeping into the College campus, for which I suggested a particular debate format with a panel of expert responders — one I have successfully used — and the particular issue for this thread. I did so in the direct context above of a BA77 link to a movie trailer on a professor abusing his authority as a teacher to intimidate students regarding his attempt to preach atheism in the name of philosophy. This is fictional, but it is notorious that the problem is real, and in fact resulted in a known case of suicide some years ago in the context of using Atheistical literature as reference material.

    So, too, while I note your list of bland denials above, I must secondly remind you of your list of alleged blatant cases of antisemitism in the NT in 64 above, beginning with this claim about Mark, which I responded to on the first alleged case of “defamat[ion]” in Mk 3:6, at 80 above on the one slice of the cake principle:

    The Gospel According to Mark contains about 40 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric, as follows:
    3:6, The Pharisees are said to have begun to plan to destroy Jesus

    Defamation is a very strong and specific word, which is specifically coloured in this context by the existence of a group known as the Anti Defamation League of B’nai B’rith which has a specific remit regarding antisemitism. So the language you used is loaded and has very direct implications, further multiplied by the context of the rise of Hitler.

    However, as the linked at 76 directly shows, this example, read in context, in fact simply shows that — as the OT prophets before him — Jesus confronted elites with their questionable conduct, and also that he drew a significant following from the common people of Galilee, Judaea (and even Jerusalem). As SB corrected you, it is improper to convert such speaking truth to power conflicts with elites — a common part of the prophetic role — into an accusation of defamation and antisemitism.

    Third, I have to again remind you of the original exchange when I saw your (successful) diversionary attempt at 1, which taxed “Christianity” as being a significant contributing factor to Hitler’s conduct. Let me again clip, reproducing 110 above 9which you side stepped as though it were not there):

    ========
    >>> I think I need to underscore the response I made at 2 to this, from LT at 1 above:

    1 LarTanner November 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Page 552 [in Weikart’s paper]:

    Nazi racial ideology—and the many policies based on it—were profoundly shaped by a Darwinian understanding of humanity. Certainly many non-Darwinian elements were synthesized with Darwinism: Aryan supremacy, antimiscegenation, antisemitism, and many more.

    Christianity and Lutherian views of Jews being critical non-Darwinian elements mixed in as well.

    On seeing such, I noted:

    __________

    >> 2 kairosfocus November 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

    LT, From your choice of words, you evidently want to indict the Christian faith in general for Nazism.

    May I therefore beg to remind you of the key relevant foundational Christian ethical teachings?

    Ac 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]

    as even some of your own poets have said,

    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal [–> these two cover aggressive warfare and the like as carried out by the Nazis right there], You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    In short, all men per creation from a common ancestor are held to be brothers and sisters, and we are4 reminded that in loving neighbour as self, we ought not to harm that neighbour, where the Good Samaritan is forever the standard of neighbourliness.

    Whatever evils Hitler may have imbibed (whether via church leaders or otherwise), he did not gain this from the core moral teaching of the Christian faith. Where, that core moral teaching — which holds authority over any given Church leader past or present — has been repeatedly publicly taught, documented knowledge for the better part of 2,000 years. >>
    ___________

    It seems to me that such teachings have been record for nigh on 2,000 years, building on the Hebraic tradition that goes back many centuries beyond.

    No reasonable person can deny that these are in fact core Christian ethical teachings, echoing Jesus’ remarks in the Sermon on the Mount and the parable of the Good Samaritan, and more.

    It is quite obvious that those core teachings simply cannot be made in any wise compatible with the principles and practice of Hitler’s Nazism. Indeed, had they been heeded, Nazism would have got nowhere.

    Those are patent facts, and the remarks Peter made in warning against scripture-twisting and its perils are also facts.

    Yes, there have been adherents of Christian beliefs who have failed to live up to them, sometimes horribly.

    But it is not proper to equate distortion and disobedience — a challenge not exactly unknown in the accounts of the OT prophets — with easily shown core teachings and standards as though the distortion has the same validity as that which rebukes it.

    I think it is reasonable to expect you to be able to make that distinction, as simply an educated person.

    Kindly do so in future. >>>

    ========

    In that light bland denials multiplied by rewriting concessions as though they were corrections does your credibility no good.

    I trust that in future, you will acknowledge the concerns we have had to highlight above.

    And one hopes that, even belatedly, this discussion can now actually address historical facts Weikart has brought to the table through this recent paper. His abstract, for instance summarises:

    Historians disagree about whether Nazis embraced Darwinian evolution. By examining Hitler’s ideology, the official biology curriculum, the writings of Nazi anthropologists, and Nazi periodicals, we find that Nazi racial theorists did indeed embrace human and racial evolution. They not only taught that humans had evolved from primates, but they believed the Aryan or Nordic race had evolved to a higher level than other races because of the harsh climatic conditions that influ – enced natural selection. They also claimed that Darwinism underpinned specific elements of Nazi racial ideology, including racial inequality, the necessity of the racial struggle for existence, and collectivism. 1

    He goes on to summarise his facts:

    the claim [–> made by certain historians] that the Nazis did not believe in the transmutation of species and human evolution runs aground once we examine Nazi racial ideology in detail. In this essay I examine the following evidence to demonstrate overwhelmingly that Nazi racial thinkers embraced human and racial evolution: 1) Hitler believed in human evolution. 2) The official Nazi school curriculum prominently featured biological evolution, including human evolution. 3) Nazi racial anthropologists, including SS anthropologists, uniformly endorsed human evolution and integrated evolution into their racial ideology. 4) Nazi periodicals, including those on racial ideology, embraced human evolution. 5) Nazi materials designed to inculcate the Nazi worldview among SS and military men promoted human evolution as an integral part of the Nazi worldview.

    Now, are these claimed facts so, and does Weikart substantiate reasonably?

    That, would seem to be a profitable onward focus.

    KF

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The following clip, regarding Hitler’s remarks in Mein Kampf which have been cited here at UD several times, seems a good place to begin:

    ************
    >> Evolution plays a central role in the chapter in Mein Kampf on “Nation and Race,” which was the only chapter published as a separate pamphlet, thus circulating widely to promote Nazi ideology. 19 In that chapter Hitler explains why he thinks racial mixing violates evolutionary principles:

    Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents. This means: the offspring will probably stand higher than the racially lower parent, but not as high as the higher one. Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life. The precondition for this does not lie in associating superior and inferior, but in the total victory of the former. The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher evolution of organic living beings would be unthinkable. 20

    A few lines later he continues:

    In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less deter-mined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher evolution.

    Thus, Hitler opposed miscegenation because it hindered evolutionary progress, which for him was the highest good. Since the whole point of this passage is to apply these principles to human racial relations, it is apparent that Hitler believed that humans had evolved and were still evolving. Hitler’s racial policy aimed at advancing human evolution. >>
    ************

    This seems a reasonable rendering and seems to provide a first level of warrant: a foundational book, from the sole chief leader of the party, separately published and widely disseminated to inculcate the ideology.

    In the bits Weikart does not specifically cite, Hitler goes on to create a rationale for predatory conduct and for dehumanising intended targets of aggression as inferior prey beneath empathy or concern.

    So, it seems there is substantial reason to be concerned on worldview implications, associations and influences of Darwinist thought, with this as a significant case study. Unpleasant and uncomfortable though it must be.

    But then, on such matters, I am of the declared opinion that we are only fitted for responsible roles in a world that presents major challenges if our hearts have lurched, deeply wounded.

    (And my example is the tragic and ambiguous figure, then Gen Petain, standing by the roadside at the Sacred Way, watching young men he is forced to send off into the face of a battle of attrition, throwing away a division every several days to buy time and space for the needed defences. Where his promotion had been retarded pre-war because he emphasised, against the tide, the need for the very defensive focus that was not there. And now he was responsible for a good part of the butcher’s bill to be paid. [With the fore-shadows of where he would be in the aftermath of defeat in 1940 already dimly looming.])

    History is painful, awfully painful, but we neglect its hard-bought lessons at our peril.

    KF

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    Q: I put down a few thoughts on Is 52 – 53 here and here on. It is interesting in the context of the “according to the scriptures” in 1 Cor 15:1 – 11, c AD 55. KF

  124. 124
    Querius says:

    Thanks, KF. There are so many facets to all of this—the Bible never ceases to astonish me!

    Thus, Hitler opposed miscegenation because it hindered evolutionary progress, which for him was the highest good. Since the whole point of this passage is to apply these principles to human racial relations, it is apparent that Hitler believed that humans had evolved and were still evolving. Hitler’s racial policy aimed at advancing human evolution.

    It’s not widely known that in the US, there were anti-miscegenation laws on the books until the US Supreme Court overturned them in 1967.

    Those who opposed inter-racial marriage on some vague religious arguments probably never read in the Bible what happened to Aaron’s sister who used the opportunity of Moses marrying a black woman as a reason to undermine his leadership. Yes, it’s there. God’s response is pointed an ironic!

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    Q: Indeed, the exemplary judgement — mercifully brief — was a sharp lesson that had it been heeded would have done much to correct racial prejudices. On balance, the evidence is, that scripture-twisting (often by Bible verse hopscotch that conveniently leaves out context and relevantly parallel cases providing key balances) that tickles itching ears with what they want to hear is far easier to indulge, than we may think. And soundness that cuts across what people wish to believe may well face what happened to Paul in Ac 17: prejudice-driven ill-advised, dismissive mockery by those who literally built a monument to their ignorance of the root of being who then turned around and refused to entertain evidence-backed enlightenment. Rather like how Plato speaking in Socrates’ voice spoke of how the denizens of the Cave [doubtless, a veiled reference to Athens] preferred their shadow-shows to reality. But, long run, it is soundness that counts, whether or not the taste of it is bitter or sweet. One hopes one will not be in the position of a Gen Petain knowingly sending men up the road into a meat grinder of a battle, to buy time to put a sounder approach in place. KF

  126. 126
    LarTanner says:

    KF at 121:

    OK, I will endeavor to “distinguish a general problem in our increasingly polarised era,” namely using the name of philosophy, science or reason to preach ideology. So, I frown upon preaching “atheism in the name of philosophy” just the same as preaching Christianity in the name of science. I assume you feel just the same.

    Next, you are setting up a polarizing strawman with this: “your list of alleged blatant cases of antisemitism in the NT.” Mark 3:6 is not a case – blatant or otherwise – of antisemitism. It-is-not-a-case-of-antisemitism.

    What is it, then? It is a source of antisemitism. It is a passage that allows a reading of the Jews (represented by the Pharisees) plotting to destroy God incarnate. It casts the Jews in the roles that become stereotypical: schemers, hypocrites, legalists, elitist, power-hungry, blind. So, my claim is that it, like all the other in the list I made available, is a source. The passage also presents a defamatory and rhetorical depiction of Jews in the figure of the Pharisees, in my opinion, but it is relatively tame compared to other passages inside the NT and outside. Nevertheless, you are right that “defame” is a strong word. Since neither of us can be certain of what, if anything, might have transpired between a real Jesus-figure and the local leaders, maybe we should just use the word “negative” to describe how Jews are portrayed in the NT. Is that acceptable to you?

    Next, you say “I have to again remind you of the original exchange when I saw your (successful) diversionary attempt at 1, which taxed ‘Christianity’ as being a significant contributing factor to Hitler’s conduct.”

    Gee whiz, Gordon, if you just read what you quote of me you can plainly see that I do not name Hitler but rather am following from Weikart to discuss “Nazi ideology.” Yes, Christianity is part of Nazi ideology — this is exactly what I am saying. Not Hitler and not Hitler’s conduct. You must be better than this, so maybe you are the one trying “diversionary” tactics.

    And again, I am in no way blaming Christianity or the NT for the Nazis and for Adolph Hitler. I am in no way saying that the Nazis or Adolph Hitler were acting in a way that is consistent with what you present as Christianity’s core teachings. I cannot be any clearer than this.

    Can we also recognize that Jews were not legitimate human beings to the Nazis, and therefore not able by definition to be murdered? Christianity’s core ethical teachings are like many other ethical teachings from other traditions. The problem is often not the teachings themselves, but who they apply to and when.

    Finally, Weikart’s argument seems to be well-grounded concerning what the Nazis believed in the arena of evolutionary ideas. Is that what you want to discuss, what the Nazis believed? Is what the Nazis believed supposed to impeach what Darwin had written about in 1859?

    If so, I think that’s unfair and incorrect to do. It reminds me of humanities types, like myself, who use Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle as if it means we cannot really know about the world.

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    So that onlookers can see for themselves, let me roll the tape from 80 above where I responded to your list, citing your bolded heading and very first claimed example, Mk 3:6:

    =========

    >>> I will take your very first example of alleged antisemitism and defamation as a case of a slice of cake with all the ingredients in it.
    First, your assertion:

    The Gospel According to Mark contains about 40 verses of
    defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric, as follows:

    3:6, The Pharisees are said to have begun to plan to destroy Jesus . . .

    But by simply reading the context, we can directly see:

    Mk 3: 1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it
    lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The
    Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

    7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him.

    In short, Jesus here is held in high regard by many ordinary people, specifically including people from Galilee and Judaea {and Jerusalem} — presumably largely Jews. But, he was held an enemy and schemed against by members of two power elite groups, Pharisees and Herodians.

    When for instance Jeremiah the prophet had a falling out with the Jewish kings of Judaea after Josiah, was he viewed as an anti-semite? Was Elijah an anti-semite when he destroyed groups of king’s men who came after him on instruction of Northern kings?

    Likewise, at the birth of the Hasmonean uprising, I read in 1 Macc:

    1 Maccabees 2:
    . . . Mattathias the son of John, son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, moved from Jerusalem and settled in Mode’in [in the hill country of Judaea]. He had five sons, John surnamed Gaddi, Simon called Thassi, Judas called Maccabeus [i.e. “the hammer”], Eleazar called Avaran, and Jonathan called Apphus.

    He saw the blasphemies being committed in Judah and Jerusalem, and said, “Alas! Why was I born to see this, the ruin of my people, the ruin of the holy city, and to dwell there when it was given over to the enemy, the sanctuary given over to aliens? . . . ” And Mattathias and his sons rent their clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned greatly.

    Then the king’s officers [i.e. those of Antiochus Epiphanes, Selucid Greek ruler in Syria] who were enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Mode’in to make them offer sacrifice.

    Many from Israel came to them; and Mattathias and his sons were assembled.

    Then the king’s officers spoke to Mattathias as follows: “You are a leader, honored and great in this city, and supported by sons and brothers. Now be the first to come and do what the king commands, as all the Gentiles and the men of Judah and those that are left in Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons will be numbered among the
    friends of the king, and you and your sons will be honored with silver and gold and many gifts.”

    But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his fathers, yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers. Far be it from us to desert the law and the
    ordinances. We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.”

    When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar in Mode’in, according to the king’s command.

    When Mattathias saw it, be burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him upon the altar.

    At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. Thus he burned with zeal for the law, as Phinehas did against Zimri the son of Salu.[1]

    Then Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying: “Let every one who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!”

    And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the city. Then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to dwell there, they, their sons, their wives, and their cattle, because evils pressed heavily upon them . . .

    Were these worthies who struck down a fellow Jew anti-semitic?

    (And, what did Jesus say to Peter when at the arrest in the garden, he cut off the High Priest’s servant’s ear? How does what Jesus said resonate with the fate of 4 of 5 Hasmonean brothers in the above uprising? Does Jesus’ teaching provide grounds for Nazis to violently
    attack Jews, and others, or does it not warn rather against the path of the sword, much less that of aggressive war, murder and theft by those means?)

    I have no doubt that some have distorted that hostility of elites in Mk 3:6 — which seems to be accurate history not defamation — into a general perceived enmity of Jews, but that is hardly John Mark’s fault or that of Peter whose testimony Mark records.

    The utterly strained, out of context nature of your citation does not commend your level of understanding of or familiarity with the NT, or that of the sources you seem to have used.

    Frankly, this one comes across as a mischievous, ill-informed, out of context, hostile misreading that does not even seem to recognise a commonplace of history: elites often retaliate against those who speak unwelcome truth to them.

    I think you need to go back and seriously think again about what led you to speak {at 1 above} in terms of “Christianity” being responsible for Hitler’s behaviour. >>>

    =========

    When you used terms such as:

    The Gospel According to Mark contains about 40 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric, as follows:

    3:6, The Pharisees are said to have begun to plan to destroy Jesus . . .

    . . . there can be no question but that you intend to indict the NT as anti-semitic [hostile to Jews as a race] and in so accusing you used a specific and loaded term, DEFAMATORY.

    These terms are unjustified by the very evidence you listed, starting with the first case you listed “as follows” i.e. Mk 3:6. I took opportunity to show what was really going on and it is not defamation of Jews in general, but a very familiar clash with the elites in a context where the common Jewish people in material part supported and flocked to Jesus.

    The record speaks for itself, sadly, not to your credit.

    KF

  128. 128
    Querius says:

    LT,

    Yes, Christianity is part of Nazi ideology — this is exactly what I am saying.

    You are profoundly wrong in this statement. The Nazis were only interested in the Christian church as a political unit that must act in concert with the NDSAP. The teachings of Jesus are diametrically opposed to Nazi ideology at every level!

    I am in no way saying that the Nazis or Adolph Hitler were acting in a way that is consistent with what you present as Christianity’s core teachings. I cannot be any clearer than this.

    Well, considering your previously quoted statement, maybe you could have been just a teensy bit clearer. 😉

    Speaking of which, why don’t you you give it a shot and go directly to the source material to see whether it’s anti-semitic or anything that Hitler and his gang would have been interested in. This is what a scientist or researcher would do. Here’s a link. It’s an easy read and kind of fun.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/pa.....ersion=CJB

    The preface starts out like this:

    In the beginning was the Word,
    and the Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
    He was with God in the beginning.

    (In Greek, logos means an articulated concept, principle, or reason)

    -Q

  129. 129
    Barb says:

    The comments regarding anti-semitism in the NT are directed at two groups, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. When Jesus was on earth, Judaism was divided into factions, all competing for influence over the people. That is the picture presented in the Gospel accounts as well as in the writings of first-century Jewish historian Josephus.

    The Pharisees and the Sadducees appear on this scene as important voices, capable of swaying public opinion even to the point of rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. (Matthew 15:1, 2; 16:1; John 11:47, 48; 12:42, 43) However, there is no mention of these two influential groups anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Josephus first mentions the Sadducees and the Pharisees in the context of the second century B.C.E. During this period many Jews were succumbing to the appeal of Hellenism, that is, Greek culture and philosophy. The tension between Hellenism and Judaism peaked when the Seleucid rulers defiled the temple in Jerusalem, dedicating it to Zeus. A dynamic Jewish leader, Judah Maccabee, of a family known as the Hasmonaeans, led a rebel army that freed the temple from Greek hands.

    The name Pharisees is generally connected to the Hebrew root meaning “separate ones,” although some view it as related to the word “interpreters.” Pharisees were scholars from among the common people, of no special descent. They separated themselves from ritual impurity by a philosophy of special piety, applying temple laws of priestly holiness to the ordinary situations of daily life. The Pharisees developed a new form of interpreting the Scriptures and a concept later known as the oral law. During Simon’s reign they gained greater influence when some were appointed to the Gerousia (council of older men), which later became known as the Sanhedrin.

    Josephus relates that John Hyrcanus was at first a pupil and supporter of the Pharisees. However, at a certain point, the Pharisees reproved him for not giving up the high priesthood. This led to a dramatic break. Hyrcanus outlawed the Pharisees’ religious ordinances. As an additional punishment, he sided with the Pharisees’ religious opponents, the Sadducees.

    The name Sadducees is likely connected with the High Priest Zadok, whose descendants had held the priestly office since Solomon’s time. However, not all Sadducees were of this line. According to Josephus, the Sadducees were the aristocrats and wealthy men of the nation, and they did not have the support of the masses. Professor Schiffman comments: “Most of them . . . were apparently priests or those who had intermarried with the high priestly families.” They had thus long been closely connected with those in power. Therefore, the increasing role of the Pharisees in public life and the Pharisaic concept of extending priestlike sanctity to all the people was perceived as a threat that could undermine Sadducean natural authority. Now, in the final years of Hyrcanus’ reign, the Sadducees regained control.

    In other words, Pharisees and Sadducees were independent groups that broke away from traditional Judaism. The period of the Hasmonaeans, from Judah Maccabee to Aristobulus II, laid the foundation for the divided religious scene that existed when Jesus was on earth. The Hasmonaeans began with zeal for worship of God, but that deteriorated into abusive self-interest. Their priests, who had the opportunity to unite the people in following God’s Law, led the nation into the abyss of political infighting. In this environment, divisive religious viewpoints flourished. The Hasmonaeans were no more, but the struggle for religious control between the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and others would characterize the nation now under Herod and Rome.

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Time for some notes on selective but important points from LT’s latest remarks at 126 above:

    _____________

    >>I frown upon preaching “atheism in the name of philosophy” just the same as preaching Christianity in the name of science. I assume you feel just the same.>>

    1 –> Inappropriate attempted tu quoque

    >> Mark 3:6 is not a case – blatant or otherwise – of antisemitism. It-is-not-a-case-of-antisemitism.

    What is it, then? It is a source of antisemitism. It is a passage that allows a reading of the Jews (represented by the Pharisees) plotting to destroy God incarnate. It casts the Jews in the roles that become stereotypical: schemers, hypocrites, legalists, elitist, power-hungry, blind.>>

    2 –> The passage in question is not a SOURCE of antisemitism, it is a source on a known historical situation and shows conflicts among factions of Jews, with a clear indication that he abusive elites were not popular.

    3 –> It seems that LT needs here to look in a mirror on the subject of projecting broad-brush inappropriate stereotypes and strawmen.

    >>So, my claim is that it, like all the other in the list I made available, is a source. The passage also presents a defamatory and rhetorical depiction of Jews in the figure of the Pharisees, in my opinion, but it is relatively tame compared to other passages inside the NT and outside.>>

    3 –> Your accusation does not make it so, especially in a context that clearly identifies distinct groups and has ALL characters in play as Jews dealing with a fairly common problem of abusive elites.

    >>Nevertheless, you are right that “defame” is a strong word. Since neither of us can be certain of what, if anything, might have transpired between a real Jesus-figure and the local leaders, maybe we should just use the word “negative” to describe how Jews are portrayed in the NT. Is that acceptable to you?>>

    4 –> When one has falsely accused as you did there is need to acknowledge wrong and turn from it.

    5 –> The text and the wider Gospel in no wise portray any global abstract entity “Jews” as wholly evil or negative in accord with stereotypes. Instead it shows individuals and groups warts and all, in a realistic and credibly accurate historical situation.

    >> if you just read what you quote of me you can plainly see that I do not name Hitler but rather am following from Weikart to discuss “Nazi ideology.”>>

    7 –> You full well know that you have been asked not to use my personal name in web discussions for reasons of security and harassment. Kindly refrain in future.

    8 –> Hitler of course was the chief ideologue of Nazism, and to speak of one or the other is more or less equivalent, in terms of ideology.

    >> Yes, Christianity is part of Nazi ideology — this is exactly what I am saying.>>

    9 –> This, as has been shown to you repeatedly above, is a falsehood, one maintained now in the teeth of more than adequate correction, and one revealing of an underlying hostility to the Christian faith verging on hatred.

    >>Not Hitler and not Hitler’s conduct. You must be better than this, so maybe you are the one trying “diversionary” tactics.>>

    10 –> A silly turnabout and false accusation based on distinctions without a material difference.

    >>And again, I am in no way blaming Christianity or the NT for the Nazis and for Adolph Hitler.>>

    11 –> Directly false given your remarks in and from 1 above. We were not born yesterday.

    >>I am in no way saying that the Nazis or Adolph Hitler were acting in a way that is consistent with what you present as Christianity’s core teachings. I cannot be any clearer than this.>>

    12 –> Any reasonable and informed person would know and acknowledge that it is not a matter of what this particular individual portrays as Christianity’s core ethical teachings, but that which is easily and firmly ascertained to be so, from foundational documents that credibly trace to Jesus and the apostles.

    13 –> Just to note:

    a: the Sermon on the Mount clearly presents the frame of ethics as hanging from the principle of neighbour love.

    b: Jesus, in answer to a question on the greatest commandment, presents the two principles of love to God and man as neighbour as foundational to ethics, also

    c: teaching (In response to “who is my neighbour”) that neighbourliness goes across religious and ethnic lines by the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    d: His teachings also are characteristically creational, e.g. in Mt 19, he starts form creation order to discuss divorce.

    e: Paul, in Acts 17, is presenting the Christian core case to the leading lights of Athens, and in so doing starts form the altar tot he unknown god, then proceeds to proclaim the true God they are blindly groping for, on the principles of God as Creator and sustainer, who has made us of one man [Adam, by implication] and in that context sets the call to penitence and abandonment of the blindness of pagan idolatry and the like. This entails the fundamental equality that is the context for neighbourliness and neighbour-love.

    f: Romans, also from Paul, is the most theologically reflective work in the NT, and in Rom 13:8 – 10, Paul actually gives a sumary of the Neighbour-love principle informed by Jesus’ emphasis on this as summary and principle behind specific commands of the decalogue, and as well highlights the more philosophical point that love does not harm.

    g: Just to show how this has been used in historically pivotal contexts, let me cite how Locke in his 2nd essay on civil govt, quotes Hooker from Ecclesiastical Polity, in a context that grounds the ethics of liberty and justice in community towards what would become modern liberty and democratic self-government:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

    14 –> Thus it is entirely legitimate to note that when Paul underscores that the law forbids murder and theft, that cuts directly across Nazi aggression and tyranny.

    >>Can we also recognize that Jews were not legitimate human beings to the Nazis, and therefore not able by definition to be murdered? >>

    15 –> The Nazis may well have tried to dehumanise those they wished to murder, as I pointed out above in speaking of cats vs mice and fox vs geese from Hitler. This traces to Darwinist not Christian, Scriptural views, which would immediately recognise that Jews, Nordics, Japanese, Chinese, Blacks and the like are all obviously members of the human family descended form our common ancestor.

    >>Christianity’s core ethical teachings are like many other ethical teachings from other traditions. The problem is often not the teachings themselves, but who they apply to and when.>>

    16 –> So, we should be willing to understand cases of willful disobedience, whether in elites of the OT era who schemed against Jeremiah and put him in a broken muddy cistern to rot, or those who schemed against Jesus even on the Sabbath day, or those who schemed to mislead the German people into aggressive war, mass murder and worse.

    >>Finally, Weikart’s argument seems to be well-grounded concerning what the Nazis believed in the arena of evolutionary ideas. Is that what you want to discuss, what the Nazis believed?>>

    17 –> this happens to be the focal matter of the thread. And it is corrective to many who have tried to argue that what Weikart has documented is wrong.

    >>Is what the Nazis believed supposed to impeach what Darwin had written about in 1859?>>

    18 –> If anything it is more relevant to what Darwin wrote c 1871 in Descent of Man, especially chs 5 – 7, and as this then flowed on to shape science and thought in subsequent decades. There is a clear moral hazard in those chapters, as has been pointed out, one that needed to be taken far more seriously.

    >>If so, I think that’s unfair and incorrect to do.>>

    19 –> Strawman caricature, set up, preached against, knocked over.

    >> It reminds me of humanities types, like myself, who use Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle as if it means we cannot really know about the world. >>

    20 –> More of the same, in this case carrying an ad hominem circumstantial pivoting on my home discipline, Physics.
    ____________

    LT, do you understand the way you have come across over the life of this thread?

    Were I you, I would take a time out and seriously rethink the obvious hostility and distortion, twisted about and projected though strawman stereotypical caricatures.

    You can, and should, do a lot better than this.

    KF

  131. 131
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Where it comes to “impeaching” the Darwinian and/or Neo-Darwinian theories of macro-evolution that has to account for body plans, it is more than enough to point out that there is simply no observational warrant that such or similar mechanisms can account for the required functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information. There is but one empirically — and abundantly — warranted source for FSCO/I, design. Where also the analysis of the config space challenge for blind chance and mechanical necessity shows that the gamut of atomic and temporal resources held to be available are simply not materially different from zero relative to what would be needed; whether we speak of our solar system or our observed cosmos — the only observed cosmos. Until such an empirical basis is forthcoming, what we have is a theory able to account for some micro-level adaptations grossly and inappropriately extrapolated beyond the plausible limits for blind mechanisms to hit upon FSCO/I, i.e. 500 – 1,000 bits. So, there is no adequate empirical basis for the Darwinist account of the tree of life. The issue of Darwinist influences on Nazism runs down a separate line: history of ideas, and in this case the history of a moral hazard present in Darwinism from the 1870’s on that was seen as backed up by science and ended up as being a component of great evils, plural. (We must not forget eugenics and other evils.) Nor is identifying such a new thing, this exact concern was shouted from the house tops by H G Wells from the 1890’s in War of the Worlds and Time Machine. One wishes that his warning had been heeded. KF

  132. 132
    Mung says:

    LarTanner,

    Either you’re a liar, or your source is lying, or both.

    What steps did you personally take to ensure that you were not simply repeating lies? Or do you even care?

    Interesting how this thread has been allowed to turn from a charge against Hitler to a charge against Christianity.

  133. 133
    Mung says:

    Does Hitler fail to qualify as an anti-semite according to LarTanner?

    Will LarTanner provide a comparison of Hitler’s statements about Semites to statements about Semites in the New Testament?

    Will LarTanner provide a comparison of Hitler’s statements about Semites to statements about Semites in the Old Testament?

    Color me skeptical.

  134. 134
    Mung says:

    kairosfocus:

    Pardon, but I think you should take a look here on, with an eye to the principles of prophetic foreshortening, multiple [including partial] fulfillment due to the “history repeats or echoes itself” effect, veiling and ultimate completion of history.

    IOW, you’re asking me to believe that Jesus was just a precursor to yet another future prophetic fulfillment, ad infinitum. I reject that, for what I trust are obvious reasons.

  135. 135
    Mung says:

    Zechariah 13:8

    And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
    Says the Lord, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,

    Past or future? Or past and future? Or past and future and future?

    If future, who on earth can encourage the return of ‘the Jews’ to ‘the Land’ and escape the charge of anti-Semitism?

    Who could possibly, in good conscience, encourage ‘Jews’ to return to a situation in which two-thirds of them will be slaughtered, even if it’s “Bible Prophecy”?

  136. 136
    Querius says:

    Barb@129 – Nicely summarized, and I agree with your characterization of the gulf between the ordinary Jewish people of the time and the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    Mung@89,

    How so? There’s a racial test for “Jewishness”?

    I believe AH employed some so-called “experts” at that time in detecting racial impurity. There were even points awarded for Aryan physical characteristics. All a bunch of baloney.

    There are genetic markers associated with people of Jewish descent (not race), most famously the YAP- marker on the Y-chromosome of nearly all Kohanim (Cohens, priests). See
    http://www.cohen-levi.org/jewi.....dition.htm

  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung:

    Pardon me but there is such a concept as foreshortening in which the debate becomes one of Messiah ben Joseph and ben David as two individuals with separate fates. The first, on some accounts, falling in battle in defense of Israel. (I have already linked a discussion that touches on these themes.)

    By contrast, in light of the Passion, this was resynthesised in the Christian understanding (driven by especially Isa 53 and Zechariah) as one who is suffering servant and wounded healer who having ascended from Mt Olivet will return at eschatological crisis of ultimate fulfillment to the same point.

    I think you may need to revisit your thought.

    And on Israel, given trends the issue is a land of certain refuge, vs increasing hostility.

    I have already spoken of the situation in the 1930’s – 40’s of Jewish refugees with nowhere willing to take them, with exceptions like the Dominican Republic. Which materially contributed to the holocaust.

    I note that support for Israel is not at all equal to driving Jews out to Israel. I suggest to you that many people who support Israel also support Jews of the diaspora, and if they are Christians and Zionists, for much the same reason. Including, that if one fears widespread hostility and driving out (or worse), it makes sense to support a very strong centre of refuge that cannot be taken away at the whim of some new politician manipulating the electoral game and having support of the media spin meisters.

    In the context of the eschatological text you have brought up, it has already been points out that this looks like the end game of a global driving out, stopped in its course by decisive intervention. Whether the numbers are literal or symbolically echo things said regarding the Assyrian and Babylonian exile, I cannot determine for sure. But you better believe that the implication is that global hostility leads to attacking the last refuge in defiance of God, only to find out the hard way that God is perfectly willing to break through the ordinary course of the world at the eschaton.

    So, I think your suggestion that support for Israel by pre-millennialists as an expression of lack of concern for Jews, is off base. I think, it needs to be revisited.

    Now, normally, I would not discuss theology at UD, but this seems to be so toxic and loaded that some balancing is needed.

    The proper focus for this thread is the history of ideas influences acting through Darwinism as manifest in Herr Schicklegruber.

    KF

  138. 138
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Unfortunately, right from comment 1, there has been a sustained well-poisoning attempt. I think there is in this case sufficient of a lack of familiarity that some attention needs to be given to substantial correctives. It is also quite clear above from evidence given, that the lines of influence from Darwin’s thought to Hitler’s agendas is quite adequately documented. KF

  139. 139
    kairosfocus says:

    I must be tired, ARE. Subjects and verbs this morning. Pardon.

  140. 140
    LarTanner says:

    KF, you are full of it. You say in 128

    there can be no question but that you intend to indict the NT as anti-semitic [hostile to Jews as a race] and in so accusing you used a specific and loaded term, DEFAMATORY.

    Yet I have clarified that my intent was different, and I have made the same clarification a few times now. I have proposed alternate language. You keep beating dead horses, and I wonder why: methinks thou dost protest too much, eh?

    How about we hear about the Pharisees from a working scholar who understands the key texts and contexts much better than you do. The following is from a sidebar essay at Mark 2 in The Jewish Annotated New Testament (2011), edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, page 64:

    note here and in a number of passages in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Pharisees are contrasted specifically with tax collectors. This aspect is crucial for understanding the Gospels’ view of both Pharisees and tax collectors: they are both presented as symbolic as well as real. As a lay movement outside of the Temple administration, the goal of the Pharisees was to renew and extend the observance of Jewish practice in society. But while Mark and Matthew could allow for the existence of good scribes (Mk 12.28-34; Mt 13.52), they do not recognize the possibility of a good Pharisee (contrast Acts 15.5). The conflict between the Jesus of the Gospels and the Pharisees, as representatives of Judaism in daily life, has therefore set up an opposition that has been perpetuated in Christian attitudes toward Judaism to this day. [Emphasis added]

    This clearly vindicates my points as reasonable enough for consideration by serious people. I still am not claiming that the NT is antisemitic; neither are the editors of the fine volume I have cited.

    The record speaks, KF, and not to your credit.

    Moving to Querius in 128:

    The Nazis were only interested in the Christian church as a political unit that must act in concert with the NDSAP. The teachings of Jesus are diametrically opposed to Nazi ideology at every level!

    Sez you, and with no documentation and support. Telling. You apparently have intimate knowledge of the Nazi mindset and what their interests “really” were. You tell us that the Nazis were not True Christian Scotsmen. Yet, they called themselves Christian and seemed to admire the person on the gospels. They had an issue with Paul, as a matter of fact.

    Barb in 129:

    When Jesus was on earth, Judaism was divided into factions, all competing for influence over the people. That is the picture presented in the Gospel accounts as well as in the writings of first-century Jewish historian Josephus.

    Perhaps, but Josephus himself ain’t all that reliable. He’s often quite the liar and anything he says ought to be considered suspect or skewed. There are additional sources of information and perspective about the Pharisees, Sadduccees and Essenes. The Pharisees are a proto-rabbinic movement. They are more what I’d call blue collar compared to the Sadducees, who are associated with the high priesthood.

    You also say:

    In other words, Pharisees and Sadducees were independent groups that broke away from traditional Judaism.

    Be careful here. The Pharisees, as you can see earlier in this comment, are a lay sect, apart from Temple administration. I’m sure you do not mean to imply that Pharisaic Judaism is an illegitimate form for Judaism, do you?

    Then KF comes back in 130. Sorry, but I see nothing worth responding to until you give this howler:

    LT, do you understand the way you have come across over the life of this thread?

    Ask me if I care. The truth is, I have patiently tried to educate you and your comrades and correct your misreadings. I have been patient with you and endured your tireless whines. KF, if you are so concerned about image and reputation, you might give better care to reading what people actually say before attempting to jump on whatever imaginary persecution they level against you.

    131: Meh.

    Mung at 132: Sorry, you are a junior varsity bench-warmer here. You know neither what you are saying nor what you are talking about. All you can do is be hateful and vile. You have my pity, sir.

    You all continue to expose yourselves. Live with that.

  141. 141
    Querius says:

    LarTanner complained sceptically:

    Sez you, and with no documentation and support. Telling. You apparently have intimate knowledge of the Nazi mindset and what their interests “really” were. You tell us that the Nazis were not True Christian Scotsmen. Yet, they called themselves Christian and seemed to admire the person on the gospels. They had an issue with Paul, as a matter of fact.

    Yes, it’s as you say, I have a pretty good knowledge of the subject. Having read many books touching on the subject, and having had conversations with people who lived through the nightmare, I’m confident that my previous statements are accurate.

    For your benefit, here are a couple of easily verifiable references:

    http://prezi.com/l925nni351uc/religion-and-nazism/
    “The Nazi government also attempted to supplant Christian worship with secular Nazi party celebrations which adopted many symbols of religious ritual but instead glorified the party and the Führer” Form- Historical Article

    The Nazi Persecution of the Churches (c)1968 John S. Conway
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    You can read portions or all of the above book online—you’ll find that the descriptions are completely compatible with mine. Go ahead and read some passages.

    Now, a person honestly interested in the truth of the matter rather arguing for its own sake would happily submit a sincere expression of gratitude for the enlightenment provided.

    Are you such a person? 🙂

    -Q

  142. 142
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner @64

    The Gospel According to Mark contains about 40 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric, as follows:

    The Gospel According to Matthew contains about 80 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric:

    The Gospel According to John contains about 130 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric:

    The Acts of the Apostles has approximately 140 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish rhetoric:

    Lar Tanner #120

    I still am not claiming that the NT is antisemitic;

    Unbelievable.

  143. 143
    LarTanner says:

    Querius (141) – The Lauren Bout slideshow shows exactly what I have said: Nazism incorporated cultural and religious Christianity into their program. As for the second cite: Nazi persecutions targeted many people and institutions they considered undesirable. I have never indicated otherwise. Now, here is a link for you to check out: http://coelsblog.wordpress.com.....darwinism/. Let me know what you think.

    StephenB (142) – It would help you to read comment 126. Nevertheless, to say that the NT disparages Jews, often in symbolic use of the Pharisees, is not to say it is antisemitic. The writers setting down the gospel stories are wielding their rhetorical weapons. The sidebar quote I gave in comment 140 also tells something of the rhetorical strategy of the gospels:

    note here and in a number of passages in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Pharisees are contrasted specifically with tax collectors. This aspect is crucial for understanding the Gospels’ view of both Pharisees and tax collectors: they are both presented as symbolic as well as real. As a lay movement outside of the Temple administration, the goal of the Pharisees was to renew and extend the observance of Jewish practice in society. But while Mark and Matthew could allow for the existence of good scribes (Mk 12.28-34; Mt 13.52), they do not recognize the possibility of a good Pharisee (contrast Acts 15.5). The conflict between the Jesus of the Gospels and the Pharisees, as representatives of Judaism in daily life, has therefore set up an opposition that has been perpetuated in Christian attitudes toward Judaism to this day.

    The above is from page 64 of The Jewish Annotated New Testament (2011), edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler. So, again, I am not claiming the NT is antisemitic. Negative in attitude to Jews (especially in John), yes; antisemitic, no. I trust this closes the matter, unless you and KF have some violent hatred of dead horses and you must keep beating together.

  144. 144
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner:

    What is it, then? It is a source of antisemitism. It is a passage that allows a reading of the Jews (represented by the Pharisees) plotting to destroy God incarnate.

    The passage speaks for itself. The Pharisees did, indeed, plot to kill Christ in concert with the Sadducees and Chief Priests. It is not anti-semitic to report facts. By the way, are you ever going to tell us who you think this allegedly anti-semitic “source” was?

    In keeping with that question, you have changed your story several times:

    First, you said the the Gospels contain multiple examples of “anti-Jewish” passages.

    Then you said that the sources for these writings come from someone other than the authors, but you will not tell us who that someone is.

    Then you said that the Gospel writers were not anti-Semitic after all (after saying that they were anti-Jewish [which is the same thing]) but, nevertheless, were using “rhetorical weapons,” indicating that they were doing more than simply reporting events and that they were purposely trying to incite undue anti-Jewish sentiment.

    Now, you have changed your story again and suggest that the Jewish interpretation of the New Testament will illuminate the points of our discussion. But nothing you have presented will change the basic facts.

    It was not the responsibility of the Gospel writers to play down examples of malicious Pharisaic behavior or to eliminate it from the record in order to make sure that future zealots may not take it the wrong way? That some did is unfortunate, but that responsibility is rightly assigned to the zealots themselves.

    Nevertheless, to say that the NT disparages Jews, often in symbolic use of the Pharisees, is not to say it is antisemitic.

    Symbolic? Is that supposed to mean anti-historical? These are reports of historical events. The Jewish leaders (indeed, the vast majority of Jews) were given a choice to choose Christ or Barabbas. They chose Barabbas.

    The writers setting down the gospel stories are wielding their rhetorical weapons. The sidebar quote I gave in comment 140 also tells something of the rhetorical strategy of the gospels:

    Gospel stories? You mean you think they were making things up? Rhetorical weapons? You mean they were using incendiary language? Where do you get such nonsense?

    Each of the Gospel writers was speaking to a specific audience and designed individual presentations accordingly, but each approach was based on historical facts. You are trying to con people who are much more familiar with the Scriptures than you are.

    note here and in a number of passages in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Pharisees are contrasted specifically with tax collectors. This aspect is crucial for understanding the Gospels’ view of both Pharisees and tax collectors: they are both presented as symbolic as well as real. As a lay movement outside of the Temple administration, the goal of the Pharisees was to renew and extend the observance of Jewish practice in society. But while Mark and Matthew could allow for the existence of good scribes (Mk 12.28-34; Mt 13.52), they do not recognize the possibility of a good Pharisee (contrast Acts 15.5).

    Oh, please stop it. Everyone knows that Nicodemus was a good Pharisee and the great Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin. We receive that information from none other than the Gospels.

    The conflict between the Jesus of the Gospels and the Pharisees, as representatives of Judaism in daily life, has therefore set up an opposition that has been perpetuated in Christian attitudes toward Judaism to this day.

    That opposition was real and it persists to this day. Ninety percent of Jews are secularist and reject Christ. They prefer the Talmud over the Torah or interpret the latter in terms of he former. It has been that way ever since they were asked to choose between Christ and Barabbas.

    So, again, I am not claiming the NT is antisemitic. Negative in attitude to Jews (especially in John), yes; antisemitic, no.

    That is a silly statement. To have a “negative attitude” toward Jews is to be anti-semitic.

  145. 145
    Querius says:

    LarTanner suggested:

    Querius (141) – The Lauren Bout slideshow shows exactly what I have said: Nazism incorporated cultural and religious Christianity into their program.

    No disagreement then. The whole point of Hitler’s Führerprinzip was to incorporate ALL aspects of German society under a leadership hierarchy with Hitler at the top. Hitler indicated to his cronies that he could not oppose the German Christian churches directly (yet), instead, he chose to syncretize his program with a nationalized church, and pandered to cultural Christians. If you read any of the sermons published by the nationalized church, you will see the unrelenting glorification of Adolph Hitler as a common theme.

    Did you read sections from the book reference that I provided? It’s well researched, thorough, and accurate.

    As for the second cite: Nazi persecutions targeted many people and institutions they considered undesirable. I have never indicated otherwise. Now, here is a link for you to check out: http://coelsblog.wordpress.com…..darwinism/. Let me know what you think.

    Yes, I checked it out. Frankly I found Coel Hellier’s interpretation at odds with most historians, also my own discussions with people who were there (they’re dying off now). I find Coel Hellier’s referencing Ann Coulter bizarre.

    Do take the time to contrast your source of information with a more scholarly, mainstream one.

    – Q

  146. 146
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    Pardon, but you now force me to be pretty direct.

    Are you so blind to yourself, and what you have tried — and failed — to do? As in, from the very first comment designed to poison the well?

    Do you not see how revealing the kind of hostility you put on display

    (e.g. refusing to acknowledge that the core ethical teachings of the NT are exactly what they have long been generally known to be,

    e.g. 2 converting clashes between Jews — on both sides — over abusive behaviour of elites into some imagined SOURCE of racial hate of Jews,

    e.g 3, failing to appreciate what Messiah and Lion of the Tribe of JUDAH mean as applied to Jesus David’s-son imply)

    . . . is?

    Yes, certain Jews and certain gentiles come in for some very negative portrayals in the NT.

    Simon Peter, a loudmouth, impulsive, coward at times.

    Paul, a self-confessed murderously persecuting chief of simmers and trophy of grace.

    Several unjust Idumean, Jewish, and Roman rulers.

    Judges of the proud Roman Colony, Philippi, willing to whip men who have not been properly tried then toss them in the stocks and try to throw them out of town quietly the next day.

    A thinly veiled portrait of the Emperor Nero as an irresponsible, vicious pervert, typical of the ruling classes (as in, Read Rom 1 with historically informed eyes).

    And more.

    For that matter, read Josephus; not only on the Herods but incidents like the seizing of opportunity of a gap in governorship in AD 62 to put James the Just — both leader of the church in Jerusalem and a very zealous, evidently respected Jew [who happens to have been Jesus’ brother] — to death in ways that are simply dubious.

    Let’s see:

    Antiquities 20. 9.1 199-203
    The younger Ananus, who had been appointed to the high priesthood, was rash in his temper and unusually daring. He followed the school of the Sadducees, who are indeed more heartless than any of the other Jews, as I have already explained, when they sit in judgment. Possessed of such a character, Ananus thought that he had a favorable opportunity because Festus was dead and Albinas was still on the way. And so he convened the judges of the Sanhedrin, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, the one called Christ, whose name was James, and certain others, and accusing them of having transgressed the law delivered them up to be stoned. Those of the inhabits of the city who were considered the most fair-minded and who were strict in observance of the law were offended at this. They therefore secretly sent to King Agrippa urging him, for Ananus had not even been correct in his first step, to order him to desist from any further such actions. Certain of them even went to meet Albinus, who was on his way from Alexandria, and informed him that Ananus had no authority to convene the Sanhedrin without his consent. Convinced by these words, Albinus angrily wrote to Ananus threatening to take vengeance upon him. King Agrippa, because of Ananus’ action, deposed him from the high priesthood which he had held for three months and replaced him with Jesus the son of Damnaeus. (Louis Feldman translation)

    Is Josephus anti-semitic?

    Or, on your slip-slide version 2.0 with code words and dog whistles: making negative portrayals of Jews serving as a presumably intentional root source of anti-semitism?

    Or, does this not instead echo the same pattern of ruthlessly abusive elites and people who beg to differ that we see repeatedly in the NT? Or, for that matter, doesn’t this echo the NT pattern where consistently the ultimately more dangerous party is the Sadducees? (As in, c. 57, Paul of Tarsus appeals to his FELLOW Pharisees [as son of a Pharisee brought up as a student under Gamaliel] for support against the Sadducees in the Ruling Council! And gets it.)

    Wake up and smell the coffee, the key lesson here is not general hatred of Jews or stereotyping of Jews, but that power tends to corrupt over and above the basic moral hazard of being human. So, it is not wise to naively trust in princes, their promises, carefully cultivated charismatic aura and dealings.

    Power without effective accountability leads to corruption spreading like a disease. By and large, the powerful will not bear close moral scrutiny — even moreso than us ordinary folks. And yes I am rephrasing Acton in ways that allow us to get at what he was observing as a great historian.

    And, a prophetic critique that speaks truth to power is going to be less than flattering.

    Yes, men motivated by hostility have wrenched the NT in service to that hostility (e.g. Herr Schicklegruber’s failure to consider what Jesus would have done with a whip in his own office). But that is the point: to do so, they have wrenched, ignoring the core ethical teachings that start from our equality under God.

    And since you wish to accuse John, let’s hear him on the subject of ethics and its relevance to discipleship and responsiveness to the gospel:

    Jn 3: 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

    Jn 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought [to Jesus while teaching in the Temple] a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”

    6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.

    Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

    7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

    8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.

    10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

    And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

    Let’s see, the principle is God’s love and gift leading to the challenge and our response: do we turn in penitence to the light or scurry off into the darkness we prefer for fear of exposure of our evil?

    And, we see such in a well known case in point, a woman caught in the act of adultery — where was the MAN? — and dragged to Jesus.

    Used as simply a prop to a poisonous dilemma: yes stone her, and you are a rebel against Rome worthy of death. No, and you are in rebellion against Moses, an exposed blasphemer to be lynched. (Where of course, their own compromises as a colonised state were conveniently not on the table.)

    Yes –> dead.

    No –> equally dead.

    Literally.

    The ultimate gotcha.

    And yes, here we find the exact groups from Mk 3:6 who Peter reports through John Mark, as plotting Jesus’ death. And, manifest in the institutional centre of the religion of Judaism (which he probably had already cleansed once and was going to cleanse a second time at the start of passion week).

    Ruthless power elites weaving traps with clever words.

    Something that is abundantly familiar across the world and down the long march of history down to today.

    Notice Jesus’ answer, going through the middle by exposing hypocrisy. (He probably first scribbled the text of the law, that BOTH involved were liable, and a question, where is the other? Second time, probably a pointed sin list; written, so it could be read, but not announced to incite the crowd.)

    Then, he rises a third time and asks, where are your accusers? Gone.

    His response is then that of love for an obviously penitent sinner: you are forgiven, walk in a new life.

    To twist something like this into an accused source of antisemitism is blatant scripture-twisting driven by obvious and unjustified hostility.

    Which should stop.

    Forthwith.

    More from the pen of John:

    1 Jn 1: 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

    6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

    7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    1 Jn 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.

    8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

    9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

    11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.

    13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

    16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

    It is time to flush away hostility and scripture-twisting driven by hostility, then think again.

    KF

  147. 147
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: One issue I think needs a specific remark, attitude to Jews and to Judaism. In my case — and that of a lot of others, I am quite sure, there is respect, and recognition in light of the olive branch principle. There may be disagreements of various kinds, but that does not remove respect. And, when it comes to the sins of power elites and factions, I see the very like patterns to the concerns of OT and NT alike, in businesses, communities, institutions, countries and international relations. This reflects the moral hazard of being human, and the additional hazards of power. The key issue is repentance and reformation, not race — or for that matter, age or sex.

  148. 148
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Coel’s Blog — obviously a New Atheism site [i.e. a movement that lacks balance and depth] is not credible. What has been done is to snip out of context and balance to ptop up a pre-chosen position.

    Let’s go back to what Weikart pointed out from that pivotal passage in MK, which was published as a pamphlet, again, and ask, is there a willingness to face facts?

    Answer, no.

    Instead, side tracks and distractions.

    For instance the posing of a flag with a cross and a swastika in the middle says only one thing to someone like me the so-called German Christians were in idolatrous heresy [a particularly blatant and bas species of political messianism], exactly what the Barmen Declaration of 1934 denounced:

    8.01 The Confessional Synod of the German Evangelical Church met in Barmen, May 29-31, 1934. Here representatives from all the German Confessional Churches met with one accord in a confession of the one Lord of the one, holy, apostolic Church. In fidelity to their Confession of Faith, members of Lutheran, Reformed, and United Churches sought a common message for the need and temptation of the Church in our day. With gratitude to God they are convinced that they have been given a common word to utter. It was not their intention to found a new Church or to form a union. For nothing was farther from their minds than the abolition of the confessional status of our Churches. Their intention was, rather, to withstand in faith and unanimity the destruction of the Confession of Faith, and thus of the Evangelical Church in Germany. In opposition to attempts to establish the unity of the German Evangelical Church by means of false doctrine, by the use of force and insincere practices, the Confessional Synod insists that the unity of the Evangelical Churches in Germany can come only from the Word of God in faith through the Holy Spirit. Thus alone is the Church renewed . . . .

    8.07 We publicly declare before all evangelical Churches in Germany that what they hold in common in this Confession is grievously imperiled, and with it the unity of the German Evangelical Church. It is threatened by the teaching methods and actions of the ruling Church party of the “German Christians” and of the Church administration carried on by them. These have become more and more apparent during the first year of the existence of the German Evangelical Church. This threat consists in the fact that the theological basis, in which the German Evangelical Church is united, has been continually and systematically thwarted and rendered ineffective by alien principles, on the part of the leaders and spokesmen of the “German Christians” as well as on the part of the Church administration. When these principles are held to be valid, then, according to all the Confessions in force among us, the Church ceases to be the Church and the German Evangelical Church, as a federation of Confessional Churches, becomes intrinsically impossible . . . . 8.09 In view of the errors of the “German Christians” of the present Reich Church government which are devastating the Church and also therefore breaking up the unity of the German Evangelical Church, we confess the following evangelical truths:

    8.10 – 1. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14.6). “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. . . . I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved.” (John 10:1, 9.)
    8.11 Jesus Christ, as he is attested for us in Holy Scripture, is the one Word of God which we have to hear and which we have to trust and obey in life and in death.
    8.12 We reiect the false doctrine, as though the church could and would have to acknowledge as a source of its proclamation, apart from and besides this one Word of God, still other events and powers, figures and truths, as God’s revelation.

    8.13 – 2. “Christ Jesus, whom God has made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:30.)
    8.14 As Jesus Christ is God’s assurance of the forgiveness of all our sins, so, in the same way and with the same seriousness he is also God’s mighty claim upon our whole life. Through him befalls us a joyful deliverance from the godless fetters of this world for a free, grateful service to his creatures.
    8.15 We reiect the false doctrine, as though there were areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ, but to other lords–areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him.

    8.16 – 3. “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body [is] joined and knit together.” (Eph. 4:15,16.) [Barth et al]

    And, a plain intent to smear “Creationiosts” as would be totalitarian nazis.

    If LT is so hyp[er sensitive to any criticisms of some leaders of Jews from 2000 years ago, cannot he be at least concerned to get a reasonable balance about Christians, creationists and the like today? KF

  149. 149
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Particularly note how the Gospel of John is used to characterise the heretical leaders usurping the Church from gospel-anchored faith as robbers not true shepherds (with echoes from the prophets being well known). Barth, whatever one may say about his neo-orthodoxy, is a world class, famous exegete and author inter alia of a major systematic theology of was it 6,000 pp.

  150. 150
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Recall, 49 above:

    ========

    >>>> 49 kairosfocus November 2, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Q:

    Pardon, but we must let the beast speak, from his own mouth, Mein Kampf, Bk 1 Ch 1[0]:

    Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents . . . Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level.

    [–> Echoes a chilling remark in Darwin’s Descent of Man, ch. 6 cited at comment no 6 by BA: “At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes…will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.”]

    Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life [ –> an allusion to Evolution as a law of nature, and an indication of his own neopagan inclinations — “Nature” here plainly acts as H’s god whose will is to be served] . . . The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. [–> the racialist premise against mixing races, never mind the issue of hybrid vigour] Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings [–> note how racist and evolutionary thought are unified] would be unthinkable.

    The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. [ –> an intended measure of the “fitness” of those best fitted to survive and propagate] But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice [–> the basis for a social darwinist predatory view of relationships between races of humankind] . . . .

    In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb [–> i.e. natural selection as he understood it] , while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. [–> That is, Darwinian sexual selection.] And struggle is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development. [–> Notice the central concept of struggle, as in struggle for existence leading to the survival of the fittest]

    If the process were different, all further and higher development [–> evolution, again] would cease and the opposite would occur. For, since the inferior always predominates numerically over the best, if both had the same possibility of preserving life and propagating [–> note the focus on differential reprosuctive success], the inferior would multiply so much more rapidly that in the end the best would inevitably be driven into the background, unless a correction of this state of affairs were undertaken. [–> NB: this is a theme in Darwin’s discussion of the Irish, the Scots and the English in chs 5 – 7 of his second major work on Evolution, Descent of Man, 1871; H seems to be summarising a standard answer to the puzzle CRD posed] Nature does just this by subjecting the weaker part to such severe living conditions that by them alone the number is limited, and by not permitting the remainder to increase promiscuously, but making a new and ruthless choice according to strength and health [–> Note Nature as active, god-like agent] . . .

    It is no accident that these ideas from 1925 shaped the policies of Nazi Germany from 1933 – 45.

    This was not just window dressing, it is the very shaping frame of thought in summary.

    And as we read them, again and again, they draw on Darwin as his ideas were embedded in German culture. >>>>

    =========

    The clip of course is from the passage published as a pamphlet. It clearly lays out a darwinist, natural and sexual selection ideology, imbued with social darwinism. In it too are echoes of a sort of nature worship that seems to have been Hitler’s real religion.

    If there is a sustained failure to come to serious grips with this by any who try to project blame to the Christian faith, it is clear that they are not seeking truth but toxic diversion of attention.

    KF

  151. 151
    LarTanner says:

    KF (150): I am glad you want to bring in Hitler’s own words. Let’s read what the man himself said:

    My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. [Emphasis added]

  152. 152
    LarTanner says:

    That’s from a speech delivered at Munich, 12 April 1922. See Norman H. Baynes, ed. (1942). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939. Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 19.

  153. 153
    LarTanner says:

    Querius (145)

    The whole point of Hitler’s Führerprinzip was to incorporate ALL aspects of German society under a leadership hierarchy with Hitler at the top.

    Sure, that’s pretty much what I have claimed all along. Nazi ideology and policy was build from many available materials. They used a self-serving form of Christianity and a self-serving form of Social Darwinism.

    We agree, but folks like KF and StephenB don’t seem to be able to handle this and want us to proclaim that Hitler was No True Scotsman.

    Unfortunately, at the time Hitler thought he was a True Scotsman and very many other True Scotsman openly supported the Reich.

    Maybe they all failed to live up to the ideals of KF’s True Christianity. Maybe everyone except Lord Jesus fails. OK, but then maybe Lord Jesus could have been a shade more clear about what True Christianity was so that we wouldn’t have had to wait/waste all this time for Prophet KF to enlighten the world.

    These are the mysteries of the faith.

  154. 154
    kairosfocus says:

    LT: You have failed to notice that you cited a public speech meant to manipulate and using the propaganda technique Hitler was notorious for, the big and frequently repeated lie, indeed one that contributed to the rise of the heresy that he tried to substitute for genuine Christian faith — the strongest possible proof that he was not in any reasonable sense a Christian. That is what the Barmen declaration denounced, and rightly so; whatever reservations we may have about participants in it, on this they were right. (If you had cited from his table talk, his second book or the recently published Nuremberg papers on the intentions towards the Church which were already being implemented in some places that would be different.) And yes this was intended to draw all Germany under his absolute rule, making him an antichrist, a counterfeit messiah in the guise of a politician. Further to this, you Fail to acknowledge the core principles of Christian ethics, as usual. This is a case of stubborn insistence on corrected error, evidently motivated by deep seated hostility that is here resistant to plain and well documented truth. All you are managing to do is to further expose yourself as irrational on this subject, motivated by and to hostility that leads you to do things that were they done to you in turn you would cry to the highest heavens. KF

    PS: More later DV, when the effects of an antihistamine clear.

  155. 155
    kairosfocus says:

    LT: At this point you are also descending into personal abuse. I have taken time to point out objective and longstanding facts and documentation that you cannot confute so you are now trying Alinskyite sarcastic mockery. That speaks volumes about your attitude, motives and behaviour. That is sadly revealing. KF

  156. 156
    LarTanner says:

    KF, We have Hitler’s own words — public or not — we have the declarations of Nazi principles (as in the 25 points), and we have the overwhelming support of the Nazi regime by Christian leaders and churches.

    None of this is to indict Christianity but only to acknowledge the fact that Nazism found Christianity to be compatible or malleable enough to their warped worldview. Your denials and deflections of this fact are as hollow as they are frustrating. And revealing.

    If I mock it’s only to help you see how ridiculous you look in trying to deny the plain historical fact. Notice, too, that I have not once contested the historical fact that the Nazis sought to employ their own version of “Darwinism,” which is the subject of the OP.

    By the way, I have been reading the NT again. I have started with John. In reading it, it seems to me that the explicit references to Jews and Judaism are often (not always) hostile, and plainly so.

  157. 157
    Chalciss says:

    KF: Great posts,a very enlightening read.
    Hitler in his own words is anything but Christian.
    Nazism is a political ideology and/or Hitler has nothing to do with Christianity, to argue otherwise is extremely deceptive and mischievous.

  158. 158
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    In light of the above, it is sadly clear that you are so determined to invidiously associate Hitler with the Christian church that you are unable to listen to evidence that shows that his behaviour was indisputably antichristian, not only ethically but theologically. (I still shake my head over your unwillingness to acknowledge that the longstanding, long since well known ethical core of the Christian faith is what it is. The very fact that in our civilisation Jesus of Nazareth, in the Sermon on the Mount, is the source most strongly cited for/associated with the Golden Rule [which he explicitly cited as being from the Torah, i.e. as Mosaic . . . ], should give a clue or two on that, and the obvious fact that the NT holds that we are equally created in God’s image, should provide a clue, as to just what lies behind the major body of ethical teachings in the NT. The ethical core of the Christian faith is not in doubt — at least among those genuinely interested in dealing with facts on the merits.)

    That double anchorage is why the Barmen Declaration was cast in terms of a theological declaration against heresy.

    That is also why Hitler’s declarations from the political stump are patently deceitful and manipulative, as there is an objective standard that has both theological and ethical components, and he dismally fails both.

    Maybe it has escaped you that ever since Pliny the Elder’s investigations by torture and threats c 110 AD as reported to Trajan, it has been well known that genuine Christians have certain theological standards that will not be violated even at the cost of life, and similarly have certain ethical standards.

    If you don’t know that you don’t know enough to say anything of substance. If you do know such but wish to play rhetorical games in the teeth of truth you know or should know, you are being deceitful. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

    So much for your no true scotsman talking points.

    Hitler was simply not a Christian, whatever twisted “I am not a crook” or “I did not do X with that woman” or ” you can keep it” or ” Socialism is Christianity in action” rhetoric he may have used to pull wool over eyes.

    BTW, just on a historical note that shows just how poor was the research done by the sources you seem to favour, the God is with us belt buckles used by German Wehrmacht soldiers in WW II actually came down to them from Prussia in C19. (And would have been dubious even then.)

    Perhaps, for instance, it did not register with you that Barth [Swiss citizen — probably saved him], Boenhoffer [a martyr BTW] and Niemoller [a Confessor, BTW who suffered in concentration camps] et al had the better of the matter than Hitler and those he successfully intimidated? Where, Barth may have been the leading protestant theologian in the world at the time and Boenhoffer, the leading German one. Niemoller — Bishop as I recall — was simply a former hero U boat captain and a leading pastor. These are three key lights in the Barmen Declaration, which is seen as so significant that it is taken as having creedal force.

    At this stage it is clear that you are simply looking for and endlessly repeating rhetorical talking points to prop up hostility driven accusations of no substance.

    Ironically, in a campaign to accuse the NT of being a source of antisemitism, and to blame “Christianity” for materially contributing to Hitler — obviously meant to distract attention from serious issues and evidence over the role of darwinist ideas in the rise of Nazism — you have only managed to expose your own visceral anti-Christian bigotry and stubborn closed mindedness in the teeth of cogent correction.

    KF

    PS: Those genuinely wishing to understand the spiritual nature of Hitler’s Nazism, kindly cf here, noting onward linked discussions, especially the recently published Nuremberg papers linked here for eye-opening reading on his long term plan for the Christian church.

  159. 159
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: At this point it is also sadly clear that you are unfortunately approaching the NT with a jaundiced eye, in light of how you have mishandled key texts. Until that attitude is fixed, you will be unable to see objectively.

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Ezekiel on the Shepherds — leaders (with a spiritual not just a temporal remit) — of Israel:
    ===========

    >>Ezek 34: 1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD:

    Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?

    3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.

    5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts.

    6 My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.

    7 “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:

    8 As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:

    10 Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. >>
    ===========

    Is this, a negative view of Jews, and a source of antisemitism?

    Or, is it simply the same age old challenge that power has in it moral and spiritual hazards above and beyond those of simply being human? In a context of the covenantal nation of Israel.

    Which the prophet is speaking unwelcome truth to power about. (Never mind he had been warned that many would treat him as someone singing love songs, and pay him but little heed.)

    KF

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: And again, now God speaks through the prophet to the sheep:

    ==========

    >> Ezek 34: 17 “As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD:

    Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats.

    18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? 19 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

    20 “Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, 22 I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep.

    23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken. >>

    ==========

    Is this a negative view of Jews, and a source of anti-semitism?

    Or, is it the prophet speaking to the moral hazards of wealth and power unconcerned about and crushing of neighbours, as well as the general hazards of being human, in the context of being a covenant people?

    KF

  162. 162
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 3: Is Jeremiah speaking negatively about Jews, and a source of antise4mitism, here?

    ==============

    >>Jer 1: 11 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” 12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

    13 The word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.”

    14 Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the LORD, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah.

    16 And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you.

    Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.

    18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.” >>

    =============

    Sounds like Jeremiah contra mundum to me.

    KF

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 4: What about Moses and his prophetic song of warning:

    ================

    >>Deut 31: 24 When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, 25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD,

    26 “Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against you.

    27 For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD. How much more after my death!

    28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them.

    29 For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands.”

    30 Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:

    . . . . Deut 32:8 ????????When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
    he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.
    9 ????????But the LORD’s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.
    10 ????????“He found him in a desert land,
    and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
    he encircled him, he cared for him,
    he kept him as the apple of his eye.
    11 ????????Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
    that flutters over its young,
    spreading out its wings, catching them,
    bearing them on its pinions,
    12 ????????the LORD alone guided him,
    no foreign god was with him.
    13 ????????He made him ride on the high places of the land,
    and he ate the produce of the field,
    and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
    and oil out of the flinty rock.
    14 ????????Curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
    with fat of lambs,
    rams of Bashan and goats,
    with the very finest of the wheat-
    and you drank foaming wine made from the blood of the grape.
    15 ????????“But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;
    you grew fat, stout, and sleek;
    then he forsook God who made him
    and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
    16 ????????They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
    with abominations they provoked him to anger.
    17 ????????They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
    to gods they had never known,
    to new gods that had come recently,
    whom your fathers had never dreaded.
    18 ????????You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
    and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
    19 ????????“The LORD saw it and spurned them,
    because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
    20 ????????And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them;
    I will see what their end will be,
    For they are a perverse generation,
    children in whom is no faithfulness [Note Peter’s citation of this text at Pentecost Sunday in Ac 2].
    >>

    ================

    Is this Moses speaking negatively of Jews, and being a source of antisemitism?

    Or, is he not warning against the perversity of mankind, who will often turn away from the truth and right they know or should know to follow evil, and folly, also warning against consequences.

    KF

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 5: Finally for now, Jeremiah at the potter’s house:

    ==============

    >> Jer 18: 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:

    2 “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.”

    3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

    5 Then the word of the LORD came to me:

    6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.

    9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.

    11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem:

    ‘Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’ >>

    ==============

    That is in a promise of blessing there is a warning, and in a warning of judgement there is a hope of repentance and relenting or preserving of a remnant.

    The NT needs to be read in light of this very strongly emphasised dimension of the OT.

    KF

  165. 165
    jstanley01 says:

    Of course, as a politician, Hitler appealed both to Christianity and to Darwinism. Both held sway among the body politic in the Germany of his day.

    The question is, did the ideology which he claimed followed logically from the New Testament’s and Darwin’s writings actually follow logically from those writings?

    In the case of Darwin’s, the answer is yes. In the case of the New Testament’s, the answer is no. His convolutions of scripture in the citation @151 qualify it as Exhibit 1, that his ideology did not follow logically from the New Testament’s teachings at all.

  166. 166
    Querius says:

    LarTanner,

    As you agree, Hitler’s Führerprinzip established a pervasive leadership hierarchy with Hitler at the top. This is the opposite of Christianity. As proof, I would quote you the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 20:24 in response to an argument among his disciples as to who was the greatest.

    Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    This is about as opposite as you can get! That hierarchies were later established in many Christian denominations is typical of human institutions, but contrary to the teachings of the Jesus. And in Matthew 7, Jesus says

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    If you read the Gospel of John in the Complete Jewish Bible, you’ll notice that the places where it talks about “the Jews” is translated “the Judeans” (to contrast with the Galileans in the north). Rabbi Stern makes a strong historical argument for this choice of words. Starting with the book of Acts onwards, the word “Jew” (especially when addressing the diaspora) came to mean all Hebrews, not just those from southern Israel.

    Keep reading. 🙂

    – Q

  167. 167
    LarTanner says:

    KF, you say

    That double anchorage is why the Barmen Declaration was cast in terms of a theological declaration against heresy.

    Yet even the Barmen makes no explicit statement against antisemitism, as even Weikart admits in his critique of a book on Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas:

    Metaxas also claims that the Barmen Declaration, which was the doctrinal statement of the Confessing Church, rejected anti-Semitism. In reality, the Barmen Declaration does not mention anti-Semitism at all, and many scholars have criticized it for this.

    Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely admire Barmen, and Barth and Boenhoeffer too. I do not and have never said that there was a unified Christianity behind the Nazis. Very many Christians saw Nazism as incompatible with the core teachings of the faith. But others have not seen it so. As I have indicated at least once before, the substance of Jesus’ ethical teachings — insofar as they have been related to history through later writings — have never been the issue I have focused on here so much as to whom and when such teachings applied.

    You say of me that I am —

    determined to invidiously associate Hitler with the Christian church that you are unable to listen to evidence that shows that his behaviour was indisputably antichristian, not only ethically but theologically.

    I have listened to the evidence, and I have been aware of it for some time. In some respects I agree with you, but you also have a clear bias yourself: understandably, you in no way want Hitler’s Christianity to find any legitimacy as Christianity.

    Unfortunately, you cannot have this. Let’s imagine that Hitler’s program arises in 1097 instead of 1933 and following. In 1097, at the dawn of what R.I. Moore calls a persecuting society, Jews become a target of religiously motivated violence. Many seek to protect the Jews, on economic, religious, and fellow-feeling grounds. In some ways the period from 1097 to 1944 has a troubling consistency when it comes to the Jews and Judaism: ambivalence to full acceptance of Jews and ambivalence to hostility against Jews.

    KF, I have in this thread sought to engage your arguments and clarify and refine to find common ground. StephenB called it “changing my story,” but I backed off of the stronger “defame” for “negativity” when it came to written perceptions of Jesus’ conflict with the Pharisees. I have incorporated Barmen into our wider discussion.

    Have you even conceded the existence — ever — of Christian negativity against Jews and Judaism? Have you acknowledged that the New Testament has been a source of validation for some hostility, even if to you such validations have been misreadings or misinterpretations of the text? Maybe you have indeed made such a concession and acknowledgement, but to me it seems like you insist on explaining all the bad stuff away.

    Yet I also wish to be fair: So tell me, what are the true sources of antisemitism?

  168. 168
    LarTanner says:

    Querius,

    The meaning of the Greek hoi Ioudaoi in John can in some cases be “the Judeans.” It varies by context. But in John particularly there is a relentless repetition of hoi Ioudaoi that has, I think, an unmistakable effect of making the Jews appear to be a homogeneous group (they weren’t) and violently hostile to Jesus (we don’t really know). The Jews are the people who reject Jesus (1.11), persecute him (5.16), seek his death (8.40), expel believers from the synagogue (9.22), plot Jesus’ death (9.49-52) and persecute Jesus’ followers (16.2).

    How does Stern address 8.44?

  169. 169
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    It is quite clear that the Barmen declaration targets Nazism and nazification of the churches as heresy. Such would by immediate implication call Nazified thought under the correction of scripture, which includes its antisemitism, political messianism, attempt to subvert the Christian faith in Germany, and the imposition of Hitler as another lord in opposition to Jesus.

    It also very explicitly commits to the Lordship of Christ only and reformation based on his teachings. (Or, have you forgotten that Christians under pagan Rome were accused of and executed for disloyalty as they would not go to a pagan altar and toss in a pinch while saying “Caesar is lord.” That echo is just beneath the surface of the Declaration.)

    Yes, there is no programmatic declaration on any and all topics, the document is primarily (and perhaps too narrowly) theological. Though it must be reckoned that that was the strength they had and could stand on.

    There is indeed a strategic blunder in the wider context (I suspect c 1934 no-one realised just what they were dealing with; we have the benefit of hindsight). Niemoller is after all is said and done, the one who after surviving the camps said that his silence when they came for unionists, communists and Jews is what opened the door that when they came for him there was no one left to speak up for him.

    Notice, however the actual implication of the focus:

    8.01 The Confessional Synod of the German Evangelical Church met in Barmen, May 29-31, 1934. Here representatives from all the German Confessional Churches met with one accord in a confession of the one Lord of the one, holy, apostolic Church. In fidelity to their Confession of Faith, members of Lutheran, Reformed, and United Churches sought a common message for the need and temptation of the Church in our day. With gratitude to God they are convinced that they have been given a common word to utter. It was not their intention to found a new Church or to form a union. For nothing was farther from their minds than the abolition of the confessional status of our Churches. Their intention was, rather, to withstand in faith and unanimity the destruction of the Confession of Faith, and thus of the Evangelical Church in Germany. In opposition to attempts to establish the unity of the German Evangelical Church by means of false doctrine, by the use of force and insincere practices, the Confessional Synod insists that the unity of the Evangelical Churches in Germany can come only from the Word of God in faith through the Holy Spirit. Thus alone is the Church renewed . . . .

    8.14 As Jesus Christ is God’s assurance of the forgiveness of all our sins, so, in the same way and with the same seriousness he is also God’s mighty claim upon our whole life. Through him befalls us a joyful deliverance from the godless fetters of this world for a free, grateful service to his creatures.

    8.15 We reject the false doctrine, as though there were areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ, but to other lords–areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him.

    8.16 – 3. “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body [is] joined and knit together.” (Eph. 4:15,16.) [Barth et al]

    This intentionally creedal confession rejects as heresy the nazification of the church and the nazi party behind it, and underscores that genuine renewal is biblical and in line with the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of the truth in love.

    As long since shown above [never overthrown, just rudely mocked via ad hominem], anti-semitism is directly and explicitly contrary to the core ethical and theological teachings of the NT, and the wider Bible. Wherein 39 of 66 books as Protestants group it, are the hebraic OT.

    And in the NT, in Romans — Barth’s major stomping grounds! [in the most strongly theological book in the NT] — we may again read this on relations and attitudes between Jews and Gentiles:

    Rom 11: 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.

    That is, Paul here echoes a theme of fruitfulness vs unfruitfulness that Jesus built on from Isa 5, in Jn 15 — root-stock and fruitful/ unfruitful branches. Though, Paul shifts the species from the Vine to an Olive tree to bring in a further point.

    Namely, we Gentiles must always remember that if a branch refuses to bear genuine fruit through the Spirit because of unbelief [i.e. willful disbelief leading to rejection of the life giving sap], it will be removed. And if the natural ones were so removed, the grafted in wild olive branches even moreso . . . as is so plainly happening in Europe and North America today; a trend that may make Heinie’s prophetic comment from 1830 sadly relevant again.

    And as a bonus, as a didactic device Paul has an imaginary, rhetorical conversation with a Christian antisemite.

    One of correction.

    So, in context of known NT teachings on the matter, and contrary to your source, Barmen does demonstrably directly imply rejection of antisemitism as contrary to the Lordship and Spirit of Christ, in light of Scripture. And, the reference to renewal by the Word implies that where Christians have fallen down, we are to get back up through the sanctifying action of listening to and heeding said Scriptures.

    The proper Christian attitude to unbelieving Jews is therefore, per direct teaching, respect, concern (thus, by direct implication, prayer) and expectation of eventual restoration in good time by the grace of God. Not rage, contempt or hate.

    Exactly 180 degrees out of alignment with the attitude of Nazism.

    No great surprise there.

    And, BTW, if you read in context, Q’s point on a contrast between Galilean and Judaean Jews has a point. Jesus’ primary base of support is clearly Galilee and the centre of opposition is Jerusalem and environs. It is after Pentecost in Jerusalem that there is an evidently conscious shift of focus to Jerusalem. Though, a later Roman Emperor would interrogate descendants of Jesus’ family who per the report were farmers in the Galilee.

    It is of course noteworthy that you have studiously avoided direct parallels to the prophetic critiques of elites and people in the OT that I have sampled. Let me now go to the prince of the prophets, Isaiah, in Chs 5 and 53:

    Is 5:1 ????????Let me sing for my beloved
    my love song concerning his vineyard:
    My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
    2 ????????He dug it and cleared it of stones,
    and planted it with choice vines;
    he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
    and hewed out a wine vat in it;
    and he looked for it to yield grapes,
    but it yielded wild grapes.
    3 ????????And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
    and men of Judah,
    judge between me and my vineyard.
    4 ????????What more was there to do for my vineyard,
    that I have not done in it?
    When I looked for it to yield grapes,
    why did it yield wild grapes?
    5 ????????And now I will tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard.
    I will remove its hedge,
    and it shall be devoured;
    I will break down its wall,
    and it shall be trampled down.
    6 ????????I will make it a waste;
    it shall not be pruned or hoed,
    and briers and thorns shall grow up;
    I will also command the clouds
    that they rain no rain upon it.
    7 ????????For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
    is the house of Israel,
    and the men of Judah
    are his pleasant planting;
    and he looked for justice,
    but behold, bloodshed;
    for righteousness,
    but behold, an outcry!
    8 ????????Woe to those who join house to house,
    who add field to field,
    until there is no more room,
    and you are made to dwell alone
    in the midst of the land.

    This of course builds up to:

    Isa 5: 20 ????????Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    21 ????????Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!

    22 ????????Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
    23 ????????who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!
    24 ????????Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
    and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
    so their root will be as rottenness,
    and their blossom go up like dust;
    for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

    25 ????????Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,
    and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,
    and the mountains quaked;
    and their corpses were as refuse
    in the midst of the streets.
    For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.
    26 ????????He will raise a signal for nations far away,
    and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
    and behold, quickly, speedily they come!
    27 ????????None is weary, none stumbles,
    none slumbers or sleeps,
    not a waistband is loose,
    not a sandal strap broken;
    28 ????????their arrows are sharp,
    all their bows bent,
    their horses’ hoofs seem like flint,
    and their wheels like the whirlwind.
    29 ????????Their roaring is like a lion,
    like young lions they roar;
    they growl and seize their prey;
    they carry it off, and none can rescue.
    30 ????????They will growl over it on that day,
    like the growling of the sea.
    And if one looks to the land,
    behold, darkness and distress;
    and the light is darkened by its clouds.

    In short, judgement by defeat and exile for apostasy, unbelief and unfruitfulness that inverts right and wrong, true and false. (The echo in the fate of Germany is not a coincidence, as Heine — BTW, a Jewish Christian — foresaw c 1830.)

    But all of this is preliminaries.

    We now come to — note discussion here — one of the main prophetic bones of contention between Jews who saw Jesus as Messiah and those who rejected him as such:

    Isa: 52:13Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
    he shall be high and lifted up,
    and shall be exalted.
    14As many were astonished at you—
    his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
    15so shall he sprinkle many nations;
    kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
    for that which has not been told them they see,
    and that which they have not heard they understand.

    Isa 53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
    2For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
    he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
    3 He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief
    ;
    and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

    4 Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
    yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
    5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his stripes we are healed.
    6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
    and the LORD has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

    7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
    like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
    8By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation,
    who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people
    ?

    9And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
    although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.
    10Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
    when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days
    ;
    the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

    11Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
    by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.

    12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
    because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors
    .

    700+ years before Jesus of Nazareth.

    The roots of the Christian theology of the Atonement are not hard to discern, nor why in the earliest Christian creed — c. 35 – 38 AD — we may see the appeal to fulfillment of prophecy as a major focus [ cf. here on on that in light of attempts to read in a very different way], namely:

    1 Cor 15: 1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you-unless you believed in vain.

    3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

    Thus, the explicitly Hebraic and scriptural roots of the gospel are plain, as is the anchorage in 500+ witnesses (~ 20 identifiable by name) in an official declaration that can readily be dated to AD 35 – 38, in an Aramaic circle [Note how the nickname is rendered Cephas, not Peter]. That is, Jerusalem.

    There is a theological division between Christians [whether Jewish or Gentile, whether C1 or C21] anf Jews, but it is equally explicit that this is a debate in the context of a common life-giving holy rootstock, with branches — whether Jewish or Gentile — accountable for fruitfulness, and even after being broken off on account of willful unbelief there is the concern and hope of restoration.

    Which echoes a consistent theme from Moses forward that identifies a tendency to drift off from roots.

    As we look on examples from Moses on, we find that the critiques of elites and their followers in the NT are entirely consistent with the OT prophetic tradition. Indeed, such critiques are consciously within that tradition, of Jews speaking to Jews in the name of God and calling to repentance in light of looming judgement.

    For instance, observe the very first recorded Christian Sermon not preached by Jesus, Peter at Pentecost:

    Ac 2: 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

    17 ????????“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
    that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
    and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;
    18 ????????even on my male servants and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
    19 ????????And I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
    20 ????????the sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
    before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

    21 ????????And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

    22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know- 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it . . . .

    32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing . . . .

    36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
    37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

    Yes, Peter addresses his fellow Israelites with an emphasis on the issue that yet again the nation has killed none of its prophets, showing itself crooked [a direct echo of the song of Moses]. Yes, in so doing he speaks of the Gentiles involved as lawless men. Yes, he highlights prophetic scriptures including that of pouring out the Spirit — which drew the crowd. Yes, he calls attention to Jesus as not just a prophet but the promised messiah, who was unjustly crucified by the Gentile overlords with the connivance of leaders and crowd alike in Jerusalem.

    To wrench such out of context and export them to a context of projected racial hostility to Jews as a people is scripture-twisting.

    Such should cease.

    And instead of steady drumbeat repetitionjs of unsubstantiated accusations that “Christianity” is to blame for Hitler, we should recognise that insofar as Christians were caught up in antisemitism or nazism, that was in disobedience to Scripture, NT Scripture. Indeed, in the case of the German Christian movement, genuine Christians enmeshed were demonstrably caught up in a movement of heresy.

    Something to be regretted among the sins of Christendom, but reflective of precisely the inclination to apostasy warned against by the apostle.

    After this, we can now determinedly walk back from this distractor to the material facts being distracted from, i.e. derailment of a discussion must not be allowed to succeed.

    KF

  170. 170
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Jn 8:44 in context (and bearing in mind both the OT prophetic rebukes to Israel and the underlying context fr Ch 6 of former disciples who had turned against Jesus):

    Jn 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

    34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.

    39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. [–> I.e. this is, are you about to try killing a prophet authenticated to you by adequate signs and by speaking in accord with already acknowledged revelation preserved in Scripture, yet again?] This is not what Abraham did. [–> Exploits the characteristically Hebraic thought that “Son of X” reflects the characteristics of X] 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father-even God.” [–> An implication and insinuation that he was born of adultery, rather than the prophesied birth of a virgin, and yes there is a debate, with the Septuagint rendering underscoring the legitimacy of the reading, Virgin.]

    42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? [–> in context, blasphemy worthy of death] If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

    In short the issue, as usual is that of hearing and heeding the voice of God, vs the sad pattern of killing the prophets who brought unwelcome correctives.

    Reading out of context allows injection of an alien one, racial hatred of Jews.

    In short this is all cut from the same cloth as the wrenching of Mark 3:6 as was already pointed out and studiously ignored.

    Enough of correction on a side track [the corrective point has been more than adequately made], time to return to focus as highlighted in the OP.

    KF

  171. 171
    Querius says:

    LarTanner asserts:

    there is a relentless repetition of hoi Ioudaoi that has, I think, an unmistakable effect of making the Jews appear to be a homogeneous group (they weren’t) and violently hostile to Jesus (we don’t really know).

    No, in context, the text is referring to *Judean* Torah teachers and pharisees, not Jews in the sense that you’re using the term.

    LarTanner asks:

    How does Stern address 8.44?

    Paraphrasing Stern, in 8:44, Jesus is through with these self-righteous Judean religious leaders who claim Abraham as their genetic father. In response to their veiled accusation that Jesus was illegitimate, Jesus counters that being a genetic descendent is inconsequential compared to being a spiritual descendent.

    “But as for me, because I tell the truth you don’t believe me. Which one of you can show me where I’m wrong? If I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God listens to what God says; the reason you don’t listen is that you don’t belong to God.”

    The Judeans answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying you are from Shomron and have a demon?” Yeshua replied, “Me? I have no demon. I am honoring my Father. But you dishonor me. I am not seeking praise for myself. There is One who is seeking it, and he is the judge. Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever obeys my teaching will never see death.”

    Palestine was divided at that time into Galilee, Samaria (Shomron), and Judea. Jesus spent most of his time in Galilee, traveled through Samaria, and was in intense conflict with the Judean religious leadership, especially around the Judean town of Jerusalem.

    Here’s a link to the Complete Jewish Bible translation: http://www.biblegateway.com/pa.....ersion=CJB

    – Q

  172. 172
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: One of the most important responses to those who insistently and toxically side-track a discussion is to refuse to be distracted; even, in cases where the side-track — for want of easy access to corrective information — requires some attention. Let us therefore remind ourselves of the focal issue from the OP and its significance. Namely, that, per Weikart’s abstract:

    Historians disagree about whether Nazis embraced Darwinian evolution. By examining Hitler’s ideology, the official biology curriculum, the writings of Nazi anthropologists, and Nazi periodicals, we find that Nazi racial theorists did indeed embrace human and racial evolution. They not only taught that humans had evolved from primates, but they believed the Aryan or Nordic race had evolved to a higher level than other races because of the harsh climatic conditions that influ -enced natural selection. They also claimed that Darwinism underpinned specific elements of Nazi racial ideology, including racial inequality, the necessity of the racial struggle for existence, and collectivism. 1

    The key significance of this is that it shows an important lesson of history about how a scientific enterprise influences social, ethical and political thought. Also, here, showing a moral hazard of the scientific thought. Which raises the issue of the dangers of scientism.

    The moral hazard in question comes out in root documents, for instance we see how Darwin wrote in his 1871 The Descent of Man, ch 6:

    Man is liable to numerous, slight, and diversified variations, which are induced by the same general causes, are governed and transmitted in accordance with the same general laws, as in the lower animals. Man has multiplied so rapidly, that he has necessarily been exposed to struggle for existence, and consequently to natural selection. He has given rise to many races, some of which differ so much from each other, that they have often been ranked by naturalists as distinct species . . . .

    At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

    Darwin was addressing fossil gaps, and did not seem to recognise the serious moral hazard just exposed or that it demanded a serious and immediate response. Doubtless he would have been shocked by what happened only seventy years later, driven by the onward development of the social darwinism just laid out in outline.

    Similarly in 1881 he wrote a Mr Winston Graham as follows:

    I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilization than you seem inclined to admit. Remember what risk the nations of Europe ran, not so many centuries ago, of being overwhelmed by the Turk, and how ridiculous such an idea now is! The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.

    This is a full decade on, and it is even more clear that he was speaking of conflicts between “races” of man, of the white races as the more civilised and superior, and of the wiping out of “lower races.” Again, the consequences loom.

    As we come back to Weikart, let us notice, again, where this went to in Germany (noting that at the same time it gave rise to a eugenics movement with which Darwin’s family was involved with for many years). Clipping 122 above — studiously ignored above — of course:

    ************
    >> Evolution plays a central role in the chapter in Mein Kampf on “Nation and Race,” which was the only chapter published as a separate pamphlet, thus circulating widely to promote Nazi ideology. 19 In that chapter Hitler explains why he thinks racial mixing violates evolutionary principles:

    Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents. This means: the offspring will probably stand higher than the racially lower parent, but not as high as the higher one. Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life. The precondition for this does not lie in associating superior and inferior, but in the total victory of the former. The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher evolution of organic living beings would be unthinkable. 20

    A few lines later he continues:

    In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less deter-mined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher evolution.

    Thus, Hitler opposed miscegenation because it hindered evolutionary progress, which for him was the highest good. Since the whole point of this passage is to apply these principles to human racial relations, it is apparent that Hitler believed that humans had evolved and were still evolving. Hitler’s racial policy aimed at advancing human evolution. >>
    ************

    In the lines Weikart did not cite, we find:

    The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice . . .

    Immediately, we see an attempted justification as following the alleged law of higher development through survival of the fittest [and extinction of the allegedly unfit to live — life unworthy of living . . . ], of a predatory mentality which in ideational context leads straight to aggressive war to wipe out and replace inferior races. Such as the Poles etc. With of course Jews being involved; the Jews of Poland are half the Jewish holocaust already, and another 2 million Poles — overwhelmingly Catholic, Christians — died at the hands of Hitler and co. (Pope John Paul II was a survivor of that war.)

    But it is not just Nazism that is implicated.

    We can see how rapidly and deeply eugenics triumphed among elites in the name of science, becoming embedded in national policy and law for decades. And the logos for the Eugenics conferences bear a telling definition:

    Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution

    With roots being in fields such as: genetics, biology, medicine, psychology, psychiatry, geology, statistics, law and politics.

    In short we see here a science in society issue that was intended to shape policy and be embedded in law.

    Evolutionary materialist scientism and its fellow traveller ideologies have potential — and, if we will listen to the ghosts of the past, historical — consequences and lessons that reach far and wide that we had better understand and respond to appropriately.

    So, we must hear with concern declamations such as this from Richard Lewontin:

    To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [[–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [[–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [And if you think this cite from a well known NYRB article of Jan 1997 is quote mined — the usual attempted accusatory side-track, read here.]

    As well as this from Dawkins:

    In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference . . . . DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. [“God’s Utility Function,” Sci. Am. Aug 1995, pp. 80 – 85.]

    That is we see ideological impositions dressed up in the lab coat, that would inject into our general thought, education systems, public policy etc a view that is question-begging, openly dismissive of other views and utterly amoral. Such opens the door to the sort of nihilism and domineering destructive factions Plato warned against 2350 years ago in The Laws, Bk X:

    [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them . . . After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily “scientific” view! Notice also, the trichotomy of causal factors: (a) chance/accident, (b) mechanical necessity of nature, (c) art or intelligent design and direction.] . . . .

    [[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless tyranny], and not in legal subjection to them.

    Ideas plainly have consequences, and in this case potentially destructive ones. We have a right to be concerned and critical. Nor should we be intimidated by the dressing up of these ideas in a lab coat.

    To argue for common descent is one thing, to question-beggingly insist on censoring scientific thought by imposed a priori materialism dressed up in the lab coat is another. And to lead on from such materialism (whether or not dressed in a lab coat) to its logical consequence, amorality, is yet another.

    So, we must be prepared to reflect on worldview and methodological issues, evaluating whether or not such an imposition is reasonable or censoring of alternatives that would otherwise be seriously considered. We must also be prepared to deal with moral hazards implicated by these ideologies and presented in the guise of consequences of science.

    In that, the case study of Darwinism, social darwinism and its historical consequences through not only Nazism but eugenics and more, is vital. At least if we are willing to face the issue that understanding the truth about hard-bought lessons of history gives us a guide for being prudent as we try to build our own future.

    KF

  173. 173
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Lead to Wikipedia on Hitler’s religious views,following up from SB at 25 supra:

    Adolf Hitler was raised by an anticlerical, sceptic father and a devout Catholic mother. Baptized and confirmed as a child in Austria, he ceased to participate in the sacraments after childhood. In adulthood, Hitler became disdainful of Christianity, but in seeking out and in trying to retain power in Germany, he was prepared to set aside his views on religion out of political considerations. He repeatedly stated that Nazism was a secular ideology founded on science.[1] It is generally accepted by historians that Hitler’s post war and long term goal was the eradication of Christianity in Germany.[2][3] The adult Hitler did not believe in the Judeo-Christian notion of God, though various scholars consider his final religious position may have been a form of deism. Others consider him “atheist”. [–> a vague pantheistic view with occultic influences — don’t forget his court astrologer — seems more like it to me] The question of atheism is debated, however reputable Hitler biographers Ian Kershaw, Joachim Fest and Alan Bullock agree Hitler was anti-Christian. This view is evidenced in sources such as the Goebbels Diaries, the memoirs of Albert Speer, and the transcripts edited by Martin Bormann which are contained within Hitler’s Table Talk, an influential translation of which was completed by historian Hugh Trevor-Roper. During his early career, and for a variety of reasons, Hitler made various public comments against non-Nazi atheistic (i.e. “Bolshevik”) movements, and in favour of so-called positive Christianity (a movement which purged Christianity of its Jewish elements and instilled it with Nazi philosophy). Once in power, the Hitler regime sought to reduce the influence of Christianity on German society, though by 1939, and with the encouragement of the Nazi Party, only around 5% of Germans had declared themselves neo-pagan deists (gottglaubig) or atheists.[4] The majority of the three million Nazi Party members continued to pay their church taxes and register as Christians.[5] [–> speaks volumes — none of it good — on their ignorance of core Christian theology, ethics and the scriptures]

    In his semi-autobiographical Mein Kampf, Hitler makes religious allusions, but declares himself neutral in sectarian matters and supportive of the separation between church and state, while criticising political Catholicism. He presents a nihilistic vision, in which the universe is ordered around principles of struggle between weak and strong, rather than on conventional Christian notions long prominent in Germany. [–> as in what has been repeatedly cited and which stands in the Darwinist view of human evolution as widely held at the time] While campaigning for office in the early 1930s, Hitler offered moderate public statements on Christianity, promising not to interfere with the churches if given power, and calling Christianity the foundation of German morality. [–> so, we are right to identify big lie tactics] In power, the Hitler regime conducted a protracted Struggle with the Churches. [–> as in, now that I have power . . . especially after panicking the parliament to grant him 7 year dictatorial powers after the Reichstag fire] Hitler moved to eliminate political Catholicism, while agreeing a Reich concordat with the Holy See which promised autonomy for the Catholic Church in Germany. Hitler then routinely violated the treaty, moved to close all Catholic organisations that weren’t strictly religious, and permitted a persecution of the Catholic Church. He launched an effort to co-ordinate German Protestants under a unified Protestant Reich Church under the Deutsche Christen movement [–> The German Christians targetted by the Barmen Declaration] , but the attempt failed and was resisted by the Confessing Church. [–> In short, the attempt in the blog to smear Christianity in general with the follies of that movement is at best ill-informed and at worst a cynical lie and slander] He angered the churches by appointing the neo-pagan Alfred Rosenberg as official Nazi ideologist, and generally permitted or encouraged anti-church radicals such as Himmler, Goebells and Bormann to conduct their persecutions of the churches. [–> Notice the already linked on long term plans] Smaller religious minorities faced far harsher repression, with the Jews of Germany expelled for extermination on the grounds of racist ideology and Jehovah’s Witnesses ruthlessly persecuted for refusing military service, and any allegiance to Hitlerism.

    Kershaw wrote that few people could really claim to “know” Hitler – “he was by temperament a very private, even secretive individual”, unwilling to confide in others.[6] In Hitler’s Table Talk Hitler often voiced stridently negative views of Christianity. Bullock wrote that Hitler was a rationalist and materialist, who saw Christianity as a religion “fit for slaves”, and against the natural law of selection and survival of the fittest.[7] [–> Consistent with the cited] Richard J. Evans wrote that Hitler used a Nazi variant of the language of Social Darwinism to persuade his followers that what they were doing was justified by “history, science and nature”. [–> Note the cite again] Biographer John Toland, while noting Hitler’s antagonism to the Pope and Catholic Church hierarchy, drew links between Hitler’s Catholic background and his antisemitism.[8] Steigmann-Gall saw a “Christian element” in Hitler’s early writings; and wrote that while use of the term “positive Christianity” in the Nazi Party Program of 1920 is commonly regarded as a tactical measure”, he himself believes that it was “more than a political ploy for winning votes” and instead adhered to an “inner logic” [–> Yes, subvert and corrupt what you cannot immediately directly overthrow] – though anti-Christians later fought to “expunge Christian influence from Nazism” and that the movement became “increasingly hostile to the churches”, but never quite “uniformly anti-Christian”.[9] [–> Political messianism, becoming a lord in contention with God etc are all anti-christian, and to disguise it in a heresy raises the other meaning of the term: counterfeit] Following meetings with Hitler, General Gerhard Engel and Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber wrote that Hitler was a believer. Kershaw cites Faulhaber’s encounter as an example of Hitler’s ability to “pull the wool over the eyes of even hardened critics”. Laurence Rees concludes that “Hitler’s relationship in public to Christianity – indeed his relationship to religion in general – was opportunistic. There is no evidence that Hitler himself, in his personal life, ever expressed any individual belief in the basic tenets of the Christian church”.[10]

    In short it is not well substantiated to view Nazism as Christian in character, and it is utterly irresponsible or cynically deceitful to suggest that such is the case in the teeth of evidence so strong that Wikipedia (which is notoriously ideological and largely anti-Christian itself) has to concede as above.

    KF

  174. 174
    LarTanner says:

    Querius (171) —

    No, in context, the text is referring to *Judean* Torah teachers and pharisees, not Jews in the sense that you’re using the term.

    Well, there are very many different contexts in John, some of which seem to support “Jew” better than “Judean.”

    But let’s say we agree that all and everywhere the text really means “Judeans” instead of “Jews.” Would you agree that it has taken a long, long time to get people to see what the proper interpretation ought to be? Or are you saying that all along clerics and laity alike have known the proper interpretation “Judeans” and somehow only recently people have become confused?

    Finally, as a messianic Jew Stern is ideologically committed to converting Jews into Christians. Do you think it’s possible he’s looking for ways to make the NT as palatable to Jews as possible?

    Modern Judaism teaches that God spoke directly to Israel, gave them the Torah, and taught Moses the instructions for proper interpretation–a chain of transmission that remained unbroken from Moses to modern rabbinic Judaism. Do you contend that Modern Judaism is in error on these teachings?

  175. 175
    LarTanner says:

    KF (172), Oy.

    One of the most important responses to those who insistently and toxically side-track a discussion is to refuse to be distracted; even, in cases where the side-track — for want of easy access to corrective information — requires some attention.

    I am not trying to side-track discussion. From comment #1, I added an important and true clarification to Weikart’s text. After all these comments, what you have neither refuted not acknowledged is the simple truth that Nazi ideology incorporated Christianity.

    Did the Nazis twist Christianity? Yes? Did they violate much of its ethical core? Yes. Did they attack other Christians and Churches (something not uncommon among different Christian denominations, by the way)? Yes.

    We are in agreement over virtually everything except for the idea that Christian beliefs and institutions were part of the materials the Nazis used in building their ideology. I already showed you their Principle 24 of the Twenty-Five Points (1920):

    We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility.

    It simply will not do, KF, to try barricading “positive Christianity” by saying it’s not True Christianity, as this is a classic No True Scotsman attempt. The plain and incontrovertible fact is that some Christians have and do apply the core teachings differently than you would like.

    This is not to besmirch or tarnish Christianity, nor is it meant to reduce Christianity to one time, place, and people. But If we are going to talk about Nazi ideology then for sake of completeness and accuracy there is a Christian element to contend with. That’s a fact, and I think I have enough of having to repeat this. So I’ll stop now.

    But let’s move on. When you quote Weikart —

    Historians disagree about whether Nazis embraced Darwinian evolution.

    This statement should tell you that this topic is controversial, unsettled, and open to various interpretations. The same is true of the Nazi embrace of Christianity.

    When you, KF, say —

    The key significance of this is that it shows an important lesson of history about how a scientific enterprise influences social, ethical and political thought. Also, here, showing a moral hazard of the scientific thought. Which raises the issue of the dangers of scientism.

    I agree. And science is not alone in influencing “social, ethical and political thought.” Religious beliefs, controversies, and institutions also have influence. There are many other influential forces besides; the greater point is not only the dangers of scientism but rather the dangers of dogma and orthodoxy in all forms.

    Surely you can agree with this last bit? For every Darwin quote you have on “the savage races” I have Pope Nicholas V, with his Dum Diversas (1452)

    we grant to you full and free power, through the Apostolic authority by this edict, to invade, conquer, fight, subjugate the Saracens and pagans, and other infidels and other enemies of Christ, and wherever established their Kingdoms, Duchies, Royal Palaces, Principalities and other dominions, lands, places, estates, camps and any other possessions, mobile and immobile goods found in all these places and held in whatever name, and held and possessed by the same Saracens, Pagans, infidels, and the enemies of Christ, also realms, duchies, royal palaces, principalities and other dominions, lands, places, estates, camps, possessions of the king or prince or of the kings or princes, and to lead their persons in perpetual servitude, and to apply and appropriate realms, duchies, royal palaces, principalities and other dominions, possessions and goods of this kind to you and your use and your successors the Kings of Portugal.

    And Romanus Pontifex (1455)

    The Roman pontiff, successor of the key-bearer of the heavenly kingdom and vicar of Jesus Christ, contemplating with a father’s mind all the several climes of the world and the characteristics of all the nations dwelling in them and seeking and desiring the salvation of all, wholesomely ordains and disposes upon careful deliberation those things which he sees will be agreeable to the Divine Majesty and by which he may bring the sheep entrusted to him by God into the single divine fold, and may acquire for them the reward of eternal felicity, and obtain pardon for their souls. This we believe will more certainly come to pass, through the aid of the Lord, if we bestow suitable favors and special graces on those Catholic kings and princes, who, like athletes and intrepid champions of the Christian faith, as we know by the evidence of facts, not only restrain the savage excesses of the Saracens and of other infidels, enemies of the Christian name, but also for the defense and increase of the faith vanquish them and their kingdoms and habitations, though situated in the remotest parts unknown to us, and subject them to their own temporal dominion, sparing no labor and expense, in order that those kings and princes, relieved of all obstacles, may be the more animated to the prosecution of so salutary and laudable a work.

    Again, my point is not to indict Christianity or to ignore the great and many humanitarian/civil equality struggles that people of all faiths and non-faiths have taken on, but rather to agree with you on the moral hazards of many an -ism.

    I agree wholeheartedly that “Ideas plainly have consequences,” and that we ought to remain vigilantly “concerned and critical.” In many regards you and I have the same mission.

  176. 176
    Chalciss says:

    KF & Q: Fantastic posts & great scriptural references. Kudos!
    This person LarTanner is basically trying to inflict guilt on Christianity by quoting Nazism. Time and again Hitler has renounced Christianity and has been open about his hatred such as this one:”The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. All that’s left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic. When understanding of the universe has become widespread, when the majority of men know that the stars are not sources of light but worlds, perhaps inhabited worlds like ours, then the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.”

    — Adolf Hitler, from Hitler’s Table Talk (1941-1944)

    Apparently this poster ‘LArTanner’ is engaging in sophism and is deceitful, has not divulged its own religious views, and sounds like a pantheist/polytheist trying to argue Abrahamic religions.

    Keep up the great work in speaking the truth in the gospels to the lost!

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    LT: Pardon, but your track record in this thread speaks loud and clear, and not to your advantage. Since we can all scroll up and see, I leave it at that for now. I guess it is time for a second clip from the Weikart article, on substance. KF

  178. 178
    LarTanner says:

    That’s fine, KF, but please do remember that Weikart is not the only scholar on the subject and his view is not definitive. Are you interested in reading others on the same subject?

    A fair review of the present thread shows that you keep trying to characterize my argument, as when you suggest in 173 that my claim amounts to “Nazism as Christian in character.”

    When you say things that are so flagrantly opposite what I have actually said — much like what you accuse Nazism as having done to Christianity — and that can be easily verified above, I struggle to determine whether you are a liar or just hopelessly ideological.

    I always taught my students to read first what a writer actually says before trying to establish what s/he means. You would do well to heed this lesson.

  179. 179
    LarTanner says:

    Speaking of alternative views, here is a brief quote from pp. 196-7 of Robert Richards’ (U. Chicago) new book, Was Hitler a Darwinian?:

    The strategy of those attempting to show a causal link between Darwin’s theory and Hitlerian ideas about race runs, I believe, like this: the causal relation of influence proceeding from Darwin to future Nazi malevolence justifies regressive epistemic and moral judgments running from the future back to the past, thus indicting Darwin and individuals like Haeckel with moral responsibility for the crimes of Hitler and his minions and thereby undermining evolutionary theory. Now the validity of this kind of moral logic might be dealt with straightaway: even if Hitler had The Origin of Species as his bedtime reading and clearly derived inspiration from it, this would have no bearing on the truth of Darwin’s theory or directly on the moral character of Darwin and other Darwinians. Mendelian genetics became ubiquitous as a scientific foundation for Nazi eugenic policy (and American eugenic proposals as well), though none of the critics question the basic validity of that genetic theory or impugns Mendel’s moral integrity. Presumably Hitler and other party officials recognized chemistry as a science and utilized its principles to exterminate efficiently millions of people. But this hardly precludes the truth of chemical theory or morally taints all chemists. It can only be rampant ideological confusion to maintain that the alleged connection between Hitler’s ideas and those of Darwin and Haeckel, ipso facto, nullifies the truth of evolutionary theory or renders these evolutionists, both long dead before the rise of the Nazis, morally responsible for the Holocaust. [Emphasis added]

    Richards demonstrates that Hitler and his minions rejected evolutionary biology. What’s more, Richards shows, the Nazis used sources who themselves rejected Darwin in building a specious racial theory.

    Richards addresses claim after claim and, going back to the primary sources (including, of course, Mein Kampf), shows that the influence of Darwin on Nazism and Nazi eugenics was negligible at best.

  180. 180
    kairosfocus says:

    FYI: More on the debate and Weikart’s argument in outline:

    =========

    >> How is it possible to embrace social Darwinism, while rejecting Darwinism and human evolution? Anne Harrington suggests that the Nazis liked some elements of Darwinism, especially the struggle for existence, but not human evolution. 6 Robert Richards agrees, claiming that Nazi racial ideas “were rarely connected with specific evolutionary conceptions of the transmutation of species,” even though they bandied about the term “struggle for existence.” 7 In another essay Richards went further, arguing that Hitler and the Nazis completely rejected biological evolution. 8 The notion that the Nazis could embrace racial struggle without believing in evolution seems plausible at first, especially since Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a forerunner of Nazi racial ideology, embraced this position.

    However, the claim that the Nazis did not believe in the transmutation of species and human evolution runs aground once we examine Nazi racial ideology in detail. In this essay I examine the following evidence to demonstrate overwhelmingly that Nazi racial thinkers embraced human and racial evolution: 1) Hitler believed in human evolution. 2) The official Nazi school curriculum prominently featured biological evolution, including human evolution. 3) Nazi racial anthropologists, including SS anthropologists, uniformly endorsed human evolution and integrated evolution into their racial ideology. 4) Nazi periodicals, including those on racial ideology, embraced human evolution. 5) Nazi materials designed to inculcate the Nazi worldview among SS and military men promoted human evolution as an integral part of the Nazi worldview. >>

    =========

    In short the game plan is to suggest a picking from a smorgasbord of ideas, so blame can be spread around, tainting as it goes. Then, rhetors will be able to come along and divert attention to preferred targets should anyone be so uppity as to suggest that something like Hitler’s statements in the Nation and Race chapter show a significant history of ideas root.

    Tut tut, you didn’t do your homework, it’s really CHRISTIANITY and Lutheranism to blame. So there.

    Why do I put it so strongly?

    Because the decisive evidence is not so hard to find, Hitler co-wrote a book that said it in so many words and turned the pivotal chapter into a pamphlet. So, if there is not a willingness to face the moral hazard in Darwinist thought that led to Social Darwinism, eugenics and some pretty sordid behaviour in a lot of places, then something is wrong. Seriously wrong.

    If over the years, I had found that responsibility and sobriety, I would take a different track. But, that is not what I have seen, over and over again.

    So, I am in the mode, not by preference, of confronting advocates over their unmet challenge of social and moral responsibility. (Don’t forget, my home discipline is in some ways responsible for worse — nukes; which came too near to blowing up the world at least twice. A sober responsibility to be learned from.)

    That is why I think it is important to listen carefully to Weikart, not try to club him down or trash him or dismiss him.

    I find that H G Wells — a student of Huxley — was at least concerned, as we can see from opening remarks from War of the Worlds, which inverted the superior race game and put the matter in sharper focus by setting the “Saxons” of England as the inferiors targetted for destruction:

    No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water . . . No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us . . . . looking across space with instruments, and intelligences such as we have scarcely dreamed of, they see, at its nearest distance only 35,000,000 of miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and grey with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas.

    And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. Their world is far gone in its cooling and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that, generation after generation, creeps upon them.

    And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?

    I can respect this, at least it recognises the problem and warns.

    Would that we had heeded the warning, which is repeated in Time Machine and with a focus on Science out of ethical control in The Island of Dr Moreau (IIRC).

    But it seems few were paying serious attention. (Let us not forget the impact of Dickens’ novels.)

    KF

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    C: Thanks. UD is not really a proper venue for a largely theological debate, but I thought this is an issue where there is a lack of familiarity that calls for more than a short dismissal. KF

  182. 182
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: More to follow, it is not this prof vs that one or some “random” bloggist, but documented facts. For instance, ponder the implication of the warning on raw evo given by Wells above, then think of Time Machine as an exercise on critiquing Eugenics and making a further point on elitism with the twist that the lower classes turn the upper classes of England into sheep bred for slaughter. Remember, Wells is by and large before the worst excesses happened so he foresaw the problem and shouted a warning. So, what should we be saying after the fact What ARE vwe actually saying? Why? (Also, for enjoyment and significant details with key illustrations, have a look at the Lecture embedded here as a FYI.)

  183. 183
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner quoting Richards

    It can only be rampant ideological confusion to maintain that the alleged connection between Hitler’s ideas and those of Darwin and Haeckel, ipso facto, nullifies the truth of evolutionary theory or renders these evolutionists, both long dead before the rise of the Nazis, morally responsible for the Holocaust.

    In the first instance, no one has argued that Hitler’s behavior “nullifies” evolutionary theory. In the second instance, it doesn’t matter a whit whether or not whether Darwin or Haeckel was dead or alive when Hitler was being influenced by their “scientific” views. Your writer is very confused.

    Lar Tanner

    Richards demonstrates that Hitler and his minions rejected evolutionary biology. What’s more, Richards shows, the Nazis used sources who themselves rejected Darwin in building a specious racial theory.

    How could Richards demonstrate something that isn’t true. Show me how he demonstrates it. You cannot show it because he does not demonstrate it.

    Richards addresses claim after claim and, going back to the primary sources (including, of course, Mein Kampf), shows that the influence of Darwin on Nazism and Nazi eugenics was negligible at best.

    Ridiculous.

    From Chapter 11.

    Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings would be unthinkable.

    In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development.”

    “. . . since the inferior always predominates numerically over the best, if both had the same possibility of preserving life and propagating, the inferior would multiply so much more rapidly that in the end the best would inevitably be driven into the background, unless a correction of this state of affairs were undertaken. Nature does just this by subjecting the weaker part to such severe living conditions that by them alone the number is limited, and by not permitting the remainder to increase promiscuously, but making a new and ruthless choice according to strength and health.”

    . . . the rigid law of necessity and the right to victory of the best and stronger in this world.

    This is pure Darwin, both the ideas and the technical terms. Hitler is here using Darwinian “science” to justify his genocidal program.

  184. 184
    Querius says:

    Chalciss – Thanks for the kudos, also the very appropriate table talk quote.

    kairosfocus – Great overview and summary . . . and for the focus.

    While this long discussion has focused on Darwinism (and Eugenics) on Adolph Hitler’s program and the embodiment of his ideas and prejudices into public policy, the more pertinent issue is the potential impact of current and future scientific philosophy. In my opinion, without a strong moral anchor, any number of Draconian measures can be considered imperative. For example

    – The environmental impact of the relentless expansion of the human population is a clear threat to life on the planet.

    – The human genome has been compromised by an expanding number of defects that would ordinarily have been eliminated by natural selection.

    – Scientists have gained the ability of genetic modification and a planned scientific selection process that includes genetic screening; this ability suggests an overarching biological mandate to do so.

    As a result of these observations, there are scientific conclusions that will be made, which will be implemented as public policy by politicians with political goals in mind.

    – Q

  185. 185
    Querius says:

    LarTanner,

    First of all, please know that I appreciate good observations and intelligent questions.

    But let’s say we agree that all and everywhere the text really means “Judeans” instead of “Jews.” Would you agree that it has taken a long, long time to get people to see what the proper interpretation ought to be?

    It’s actually even worse than that. I think most Christians are still unaware of who the Judeans were, much less the origin of the term “Jew.”

    Before running across Dr. Stern’s translation, I thought the references to “the Jews” meant something like self-identified SuperJews(tm) . . . with PhDs. 😉 It would otherwise be nonsensical that Jesus, who was a Jew along with all his disciples who were Jewish, after preaching and teaching an audience that was predominantly Jewish, would then have a confrontation with (drumroll) “The Jews” (gasp).

    Know that as a Christian, I believe that the Jews were and still are God’s chosen people, who were entrusted with the oracles of God. Even if many Jews are atheists, God has a special love for them, will never ever abandon them! As it is written by the prophet Isaiah (chapter 49, CJB)

    Sing, heaven! Rejoice, earth!
    Break out in song, you mountains!
    For Adonai is comforting his people,
    having mercy on his own who have suffered.

    “But Tziyon says, ‘Adonai has abandoned me,
    Adonai has forgotten me.’
    Can a woman forget her child at the breast,
    not show pity on the child from her womb?
    Even if these were to forget,
    I would not forget you.
    I have engraved you on the palms of my hands,
    your walls are always before me.”

    It is also my belief as a Christian, that any empire, ruler, politician, or petty bureaucrat who tries to harm Jewish people as a group is from the devil and is trying to thwart the writings of the prophets and the promises of God. As such, the enemies of the Jewish people are promised swift destruction, as has happened repeatedly in history.

    As far as the translations are concerned, I believe they were rendered in good faith, albeit in partial ignorance of the complexities of the culture of the time. Dr. Stern attempts to address these issues on several levels.

    Finally, as a messianic Jew Stern is ideologically committed to converting Jews into Christians. Do you think it’s possible he’s looking for ways to make the NT as palatable to Jews as possible?

    Technically, he wants to bring the light of God’s love and salvation to convert unatoned Jews (and Gentiles) into completed, Messianic JEWS. But, answering your question directly, I’d say yes, he does, but he must hold himself to the highest ethical standards. When I first read the Complete Jewish Bible, the translation of “the Jews” to “the Judeans” made me highly suspicious for the same reason that you mentioned. After studying the subject, I came to the conclusion that the translation was reasonable and not forced.

    Modern Judaism teaches that God spoke directly to Israel, gave them the Torah, and taught Moses the instructions for proper interpretation–a chain of transmission that remained unbroken from Moses to modern rabbinic Judaism. Do you contend that Modern Judaism is in error on these teachings?

    Great question!

    In the Tanakh, you see an unbroken succession of covenants and dispensations that included Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. Furthermore, there are prophetic references to a mysterious personage named “Messiah.” These are facts. The covenants were different, and seem to progress in some fashion.

    Then Jesus came along and said some pretty surprising things, which you’ve perhaps read. For example, what do you think that Jesus meant when he said,

    “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P’rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” Matthew 5:17-20 (CMJ)

    Then, when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans about 40 years after Jesus was crucified (the Roman method of execution), there was another remarkable change, a “fork in the road” so to speak. Some Jews embraced the “new” covenant, others held to a new form of Judaism, one without a temple or sacrifices, called Rabbinic Judaism. Both of these Jewish sects were derived from and a dramatic deviation from the earlier form of Judaism. So the question becomes which fork to take, and for what justification.

    Regarding “anti-judaism,” you might be interesting in reading this link:
    http://orthodoxmessianic.blogs.....ction.html

    – Q

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N:

    Weikart continues, in a context of noting that this is — obviously — not the sole line of influence involved in the rise and actions of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP, aka Nazis):

    ===========

    >> Not only will my analysis help us understand better the rationale behind Nazi racial policies, which were intended to improve the human species biologically, but it will also help illuminate the interaction between German science and Nazi ideology.

    Despite many recent studies showing the close rapport of the Nazi regime and Ger-man scientists, and despite many recent works rejecting the notion that Nazi ideology was pseudoscientific, as most historians used to think, even today some scholars are still loathe to entertain the idea that key elements of Nazi ideology could have been in harmony with the thinking of leading German scientists.

    Indeed the Nazi embrace of Darwinism in their racial ideology demonstrates the influence of science on Nazi ideology. Nazi racial ideology was largely consistent with the scholarship on race taught at German universities. This makes even clearer why so many German anthropologists and biologists supported Nazi racism—they were already committed to it before the Nazis came to power.

    If this is so, why have some historians mistakenly argued that Nazis denied human evolution?

    First, we need to recognize that this issue has not received much atten-tion.

    Many historians mention the Nazi embrace of social Darwinism, but they do not explore the scientific underpinnings of it. Paul Weindling points this out, stating that “historians have been loath to engage with the biological sciences. Historians of Nazi Germany have curiously not seen race within a scientific framework. . . . The biology of race remains relatively unexamined.” 10 This may seem odd in light of a spate of recent works arguing for the primacy of biology and race in the Nazi worldview and the many recent studies of scientists under Nazism. However, even if Weindling is overstating the case a little, he is largely correct: the study of Nazi racial ideology and of German biologists under the Nazi regime have not connected sufficiently.

    Nonetheless, some historians have noticed the importance of human evolution in Nazi racial ideology. Christopher Hutton argues that Darwinism was a crucial element of Nazi racial ideology. 11 Uwe Hoßfeld’s and Thomas Junker’s important work on biologists and anthropologists under the Nazi regime also helps illuminate the connections between evolutionists and the Nazi regime, though their emphasis is on the scientists more than on Nazi ideology. 12

    One reason some historians (such as Mosse and Bowler) have erred is because of a mistaken belief that the Nazi insistence on hard heredity entailed a rejection of evolution. Hard heredity—the idea championed by German biologist August Weismann—is the idea that environmental influences cannot affect hereditary traits. Weismann rejected the Lamarckian idea that organisms can evolve by pass-ing on acquired characteristics to their progeny. The Nazis continually insisted that heredity cannot be directly affected by the environment, charging that Lamarckism was a Marxist doctrine. The Nazis’ embrace of hard heredity is not antievolutionary, however, since Weismann was a leading evolutionist.

    When the Nazis occasionally claimed that the Nordic race had been unchanged for thousands of years, they were not claiming that it had been immutable over geologic time.

    Walter Gross, head of the Nazi Racial Policy Office, clarified this point in an essay on “The Racial View of History.” After bashing Lamarckism, he reminded his readers that even though racial traits do not change over historical time, “selection and elimination” (“Auslese und Ausmerze,” a phrase often used by German evolutionary biologists to mean natural selection) do alter racial traits. 13 Most Darwinists admitted that as far as we could tell, humans had not changed significantly during the past several thousand years. The evolutionary anthropologist Otto Reche admitted that human races had not changed significantly in the past 20–30,000 years. 14 By rejecting Lamarckism and insisting on hard heredity, Nazi racial theorists were consistent with the best science of their day (in this case).

    Another reason some historians have erred is because they think Nazis would have rejected a common ancestor for the various human races, because a common origin would imply human equality. This is an anachronistic view, for in the early twentieth century, most German Darwinists emphasized racial variation and inequality, not racial equality. Haeckel and many other Darwinists saw evolution as evidence against human equality, not supporting it. As I will show, many Darwinian biologists, such as Konrad Lorenz and Hans Weinert, argued that Darwinism supports racial inequal-ity. Nazi racial theorists believed that the Nordic race had diverged from other races far enough in the past that it had diverged considerably from other races. They also explained that natural selection was the process driving the evolution of the allegedly superior Nordic race [–> traced to particularly severe selection pressure in a harsh environment, presumably that of the ice age and beyond]. >>

    ===========

    So, here Weikart addresses key misconceptions that would lead to a misreading of for instance the pivotal text in Mein Kampf. We would also be well advised to recall that the original subtitle of Origin was or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for existence. A pattern of thought that Darwin clearly extended to human varieties.

    We need to appreciate that race — almost, sub-species on the way to species — was seen as an index of fitness, and that elimination of the allegedly less fit was expected, most plainly by Darwin in Ch 6 of Darwin’s 1871 Descent of Man as already cited:

    Man is liable to numerous, slight, and diversified variations, which are induced by the same general causes, are governed and transmitted in accordance with the same general laws, as in the lower animals. Man has multiplied so rapidly, that he has necessarily been exposed to struggle for existence, and consequently to natural selection. He has given rise to many races, some of which differ so much from each other, that they have often been ranked by naturalists as distinct species . . . .

    At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

    These words clearly set a frame in which the line of thought Hitler tapped into developed in Germany. And, frankly given Eugenics and the like, elsewhere also. Let us never forget that early Nazi “race hygiene” laws were rooted in American antecedents, in I think California.

    The moral hazard involved swings into play long before we come to the gates of death camps.

    We need to face the history, not play games to divert its lessons.

    While I am at it, I am in no wise using these moral hazards of Darwinism to undermine the theory. That has long since fallen of its own weight as an account of origin of body plans due to a 150 years long want of adequate, empirically substantiated mechanism that can account for the functionally specific complex organisation and associated information (much of it CODED — as in, language) required to form new body plans by incremental steps driven by blind chance variation and differential reproductive success. That is multiplied by the systematic absence of the implied intermediates in the fossils, and again by the Lewontinian ideological imposition of question begging a priori materialism that indeed implies something like darwinism but only prevails because serious alternatives are ruled out a priori. To which, we must add the utter absence of a credible explanation for the origin of cell based life, which requires a solution to the same FSCO/I problem. So, the whole tree of life icon — the first one of evolution, collapses from root to trunk to branches and sub branches.

    So, the actual issue on the table is history of ideas and their consequences, which has little to do with whether or no an idea is actually sound. Many a ridiculously fallacious ideology has had major impact on history. Too often, devastating.

    So, that strawman can be set aside.

    The issue at stake is the links from Darwin’s thought as a dominant intellectual and cultural influence, multiplied by a receptive situation and associated moral hazards, to Hitler.

    And the reason for it is the simple one that we had better learn from appalling history lest we repeat it or even echo it.

    In a context where — tracing to the lingering dominance of the same basic ideas on origins and associated worldviews — there seems to be considerable resistance to learning from the history. Or even refusal to acknowledge that well substantiated facts are facts.

    Which is an obvious red flag issue.

    KF

  187. 187
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Let us (again) document that embrace of Darwinism as related to human evolution, in the strategic context of education:

    ==========

    >>Evolutionary biology had been well entrenched in the German biology curriculum long before the Nazis came to power (this is why it was so influential on Nazi ideologists).

    The Darwinian explanation for evolution was the most prominent theory taught in German schools, though it was not uncontested. The biology curriculum under the Nazi regime continued to stress evolution, including the evolution of humans and races. The Nazi curriculum and texts espoused Darwinism and rejected Lamarck-ism, which it sometimes castigated as Marxist, because it flew in the face of the Nazi stress on hard heredity.

    In 1938 the Ministry of Education published an official curriculum handbook for the schools. This handbook mandated teaching evolution, including the evolution of human races, which evolved through “selection and elimination.” It stipulated, “The student must accept as something self-evident this most essential and most important natural law of elimination [of unfit] together with evolution and reproduction.” In the fifth class, teachers were instructed to teach about the “emergence of the primitive human races (in connection with the evolution of animals).”

    In the eighth class, students were to be taught evolution even more extensively, including lessons on “Lamarckism and Darwinism and their worldview and political implications,” as well as the “origin and evolution of humanity and its races,” which included segments on “prehistoric humanity and its races” and “contemporary human races in view of evolutionary history.” 22

    The Ministry of Education’s 1938 biology curriculum reflected the biology cur-riculum developed by the National Socialist Teachers’ League in 1936–37, which likewise heavily emphasized evolution, including the evolution of human races. The Teachers’ League document, authored by H. Linder and R. Lotze, encouraged teach-ers to stress evolution, because “The individual organism is temporary, the life of the species to which it belongs, is lasting, but is also a member in the great evolution of life in the course of geological times. Humans are also included in this life.”

    Thus evolution was supposed to support the Nazis’ collectivist ideals—the importance of the species or race over the individual. This biology curriculum called for teaching plant and animal evolution in classes three and four and human evolution in class five. Of the ten topics required for biology instruction in the upper grades, one was evolution and another was human evolution, which included instruction on the origin of human races. 23

    All the biology texts published in Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s needed official approval of the Ministry of Education, and all provided extensive discussion of evolution, including the evolution of human races. Jakob Graf’s 1942 biology textbook has an entire chapter on “Evolution and Its Importance for Worldview.” Therein Graf combated Lamarckism and promoted Darwinian evolution through natural selection. He claimed that knowing about human evolution is important, because it shows that humans are not special among organisms. He also argued that evolution substantiates human inequality. In the following chapter on “Racial Science” Graf spent about fifteen pages discussing human evolution and insisted that humans and apes have common ancestors. 24 >>

    ==========

    You can bet that if this is what was embedded in the schools, it was there for a strategic ideological/worldview reason and was intended to dominate the society, shaping it in the way the leadership — ultimately der Fuhrer — wanted.

    When this is multiplied by what we can see in Mein Kampf and what we saw from Darwin, the lineage is plain and the intent is even plainer.

    There is a moral hazard in Darwinism that has to be faced, even before we get tot he issue of the patent amoralit6y of evolutionary materialism that has been warned about as long ago as Plato in The Laws Bk X.

    And given the responsibilities of scholarship on such a vital piece of history, this alone is decisive. What is embedded in schools is an instrument of state policy, especially in a totalitarian regime.

    This has to be squarely faced, acknowledged and soberly addressed, not resisted derided and dismissed.

    The best context for that in my mind is that we need tot each basic principles of right reason, critical thinking skills, core ethics and in that context address both the strengths and weaknesses of science methods in achieving useful knowledge, and the responsibilities of science in society with key case studies — which should include Chemical warfare in WWi and since, biological warfare, the Nazi and eugenics etc movements, and the nuke weapons issue, , in an age that looks to science for guidance.

    Sorry, but one sided indoctrination on “climate change” is not good enough, not by a long shot. Indeed the above may well serve to rebalance that one too. (As in, for just one instance, computer simulations and models are not equal to empirical reality, nor can they replace it in scientific investigations.)

    KF

  188. 188
    LarTanner says:

    Querius (185:)

    It’s actually even worse than that. I think most Christians are still unaware of who the Judeans were, much less the origin of the term “Jew.”

    And maybe even worse still: If one expression from a fraction of the total work is open to misinterpretation, then how must we view the total work? After all, this is not a matter of a textual variant. Surely, we should probably (reasonably and appropriately) be cautious about any interpretation of the text.

    The big gaping hole that we are identifying here is our lack of ability to assert confidently the meaning that the original tellers intended to convey to their historical audience.

    It would otherwise be nonsensical that Jesus, who was a Jew along with all his disciples who were Jewish, after preaching and teaching an audience that was predominantly Jewish, would then have a confrontation with (drumroll) “The Jews” (gasp).

    No, I don’t think it would be nonsensical. John makes use of duality fairly often, so the contrast of Jesus and the Jews/Judeans seems par for the course. An illustrative analogy: American Democrats have confrontations with American Republicans, even though they are all Americans. Even now, within the GOP, the Tea Party has become a distinct sect that has some choice words about the Republicans. Maybe in the span of time (decades) from the Roman execution of Jesus to the emergence of the Johannan version of events, a similar kind of break had already irrevocably occurred.

    You say —

    As far as the translations are concerned, I believe they were rendered in good faith, albeit in partial ignorance of the complexities of the culture of the time.

    Hmm. Do you take the text to be inerrant but the interpretation of that text to be fallible? Wouldn’t a truly inerrant text — if one is to go to the trouble of making it inerrant — also be open to only one, true interpretation at all times?

    Finally, this:

    Some Jews embraced the “new” covenant, others held to a new form of Judaism, one without a temple or sacrifices, called Rabbinic Judaism. Both of these Jewish sects were derived from and a dramatic deviation from the earlier form of Judaism. So the question becomes which fork to take, and for what justification.

    Well, I think an orthodox Jew would say that part of your statement above could be expressed differently:

    Some Jews embraced the “new” covenant, others held to a [refinement in the] form of Judaism, one without a temple or [animal] sacrifices, called Rabbinic Judaism.

    Rabbinic Judaism asserts itself to be not a derivation or “dramatic deviation” of earlier Judaism but a necessary evolution brought by the destruction of the Second Temple, diaspora events, the development of formal talmudic and midrashic practice, and the emergence of Christianity.

    I appreciate your attempt to make Judaism and Christianity children of the same parent, but it cannot be so. Are you familiar with the thirteen principles of faith by Maimonides?

    1. Belief in the existence of the Creator, who is perfect in every manner of existence and is the Primary Cause of all that exists.

    2. The belief in G-d’s absolute and unparalleled unity.

    3. The belief in G-d’s non-corporeality, nor that He will be affected by any physical occurrences, such as movement, or rest, or dwelling.

    4. The belief in G-d’s eternity.

    5. The imperative to worship G-d exclusively and no foreign false gods.

    6. The belief that G-d communicates with man through prophecy.

    7. The belief in the primacy of the prophecy of Moses our teacher.

    8. The belief in the divine origin of the Torah.

    9. The belief in the immutability of the Torah.

    10. The belief in G-d’s omniscience and providence.

    11. The belief in divine reward and retribution.

    12. The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.

    13. The belief in the resurrection of the dead.

    Rabbinic Judaism sees itself, in my opinion, as a formalization of what Judaism has always believed and been. Much as KF asserts an unshakable ethical core to Christianity, I think Rabbinic Judaism sees the 13 principles as the eternal core of Jewish belief.

  189. 189
    Querius says:

    LarTanner,

    This is an enjoyable discussion regardless of whether we come to agreement. I promise that I will answer your questions and issues as carefully and honestly as I can.

    And maybe even worse still: If one expression from a fraction of the total work is open to misinterpretation, then how must we view the total work? After all, this is not a matter of a textual variant. Surely, we should probably (reasonably and appropriately) be cautious about any interpretation of the text.

    Your kal v’chomer argument is acknowledged, and yes, you’re right. While the p’shat is often clear, there are many facets and pitfalls in the Word of God. Sometimes there is no exact word match between languages, sometimes there is a cultural, historical, or textual context to be aware of, or a rendering of an aphorism, adage, or colloquial expression to understand. Thus, sometimes a paraphrase is more accurate than a word-for-word translation. I often find myself referring to other translations (you can compare them at http://www.biblegateway.com). I also look at Hebrew usages and context in the Tanakh to help me understand the range of meaning in a Hebrew word. This is often very difficult.

    The big gaping hole that we are identifying here is our lack of ability to assert confidently the meaning that the original tellers intended to convey to their historical audience.

    Yes. And I believe in the living Word of God that requires reverence, wisdom, and humility to discern, and the guidance of the Ruach HaKodesh to apply it to our lives.

    Maybe in the span of time (decades) from the Roman execution of Jesus to the emergence of the Johannan version of events, a similar kind of break had already irrevocably occurred.

    Yes, this is very possible. I understand that there are many untranslated letters from this time that might shed more light.

    Hmm. Do you take the text to be inerrant but the interpretation of that text to be fallible?

    Both the translation and the interpretation of the text is fallible. And some people twist the Word of God to the harm of many and to their own destruction.

    Wouldn’t a truly inerrant text — if one is to go to the trouble of making it inerrant — also be open to only one, true interpretation at all times?

    Not necessarily. First of all, in Jewish tradition, there is the PRDS—different levels of meaning. Then, there are the “riddles of the wise,” as mentioned in Proverbs, and finally, I believe there are reasons why God intended the Word of God to be spiritually rather than intellectually unlocked in our hearts.

    Some Jews embraced the “new” covenant, others held to a [refinement in the] form of Judaism, one without a temple or [animal] sacrifices, called Rabbinic Judaism.

    Ok. If God raised up Moses to provide the complete details of Torah, built on a legacy of earlier covenants sealed with blood sacrifices, how much more would God provide a prophet or the Messiah if the temple and the atoning sacrifices were to be changed!

    I appreciate your attempt to make Judaism and Christianity children of the same parent, but it cannot be so.

    No, I’m really not attempting to do this. Sorry for offending anyone, but I believe that God’s desire was to see Judaism become Messianic Judaism, and not be superseded by a new Gentile temple and priesthood in Rome, or any other equivalent.

    Rabbi Sha’ul, also known as the Apostle Paul, describes the humility required of the Gentiles in his letter to the Roman church (chapter 11, start at verse 16):
    http://www.biblegateway.com/pa.....ersion=CJB

    You may well ask “What happened?”

    Regarding The Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith, I will tell you as honestly as I can what I believe in regarding each one:

    Belief in the existence of the Creator, who is perfect in every manner of existence and is the Primary Cause of all that exists.

    I believe this with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

    The belief in G-d’s absolute and unparalleled unity.

    There is one and only one God as the Shema says. Notice that the Shema uses the word echad for unity, not yachid. I have a spirit, soul, and body, but there is only one of me. Jews understand that the Ruach HaKodesh is God, not a second God.

    The belief in G-d’s non-corporeality, nor that He will be affected by any physical occurrences, such as movement, or rest, or dwelling.

    Jesus said “God is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.” This is what I also believe. But is it impossible for God to walk in the garden of Eden, or to have lunch with Abraham?

    The belief in G-d’s eternity.

    God created time, thus He is eternal.

    The imperative to worship G-d exclusively and no foreign false gods.

    I believe in all 10 commandments—none have passed away.

    The belief that G-d communicates with man through prophecy.

    Yes, and through the conviction or inspiration of the Ruach HaKodesh as certainly was the case with the prophets.

    The belief in the primacy of the prophecy of Moses our teacher.

    Yes, until Messiah comes. Moses said, “Adonai will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yourselves, from your own kinsmen. You are to pay attention to him. (Deuteronomy 18)

    The belief in the divine origin of the Torah.

    They are the oracles of God entrusted to the Jews. (Romans 3)

    The belief in the immutability of the Torah.

    Jesus said, “Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened.” (Matthew 5:18) I believe this too.

    The belief in G-d’s omniscience and providence.

    This appears throughout the scriptures, and I trust it as well.

    The belief in divine reward and retribution.

    Yes. Everyone must appear before God, but no one can stand without atonement for sin.

    The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.

    Yes, as is affirmed in prophecy—Messianic Judaism. For example, in Daniel 9, it says that Messiah will come before the temple is destroyed.

    The belief in the resurrection of the dead.

    Yes, even as David also affirmed.

    Much as KF asserts an unshakable ethical core to Christianity, I think Rabbinic Judaism sees the 13 principles as the eternal core of Jewish belief.

    Which of these 13 were not believed by Moses and the Patriarchs, or by Jesus and his talmidim?

    Kind regards,

    – Q

  190. 190
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Given a clear intent evident all around not to see unwelcome facts, it is unfortunately necessary and even vital to hammer home the facts and clench over the nails, to firmly anchor our understanding. That is, if we refuse to learn the lessons of history we will be doomed to repeat or echo its worst chapters. So, though often painful, we must take a clear-eyed look at what its sobering facts teach us from the mistakes, errors, crimes and blunders of the past. (And yes, that specifically includes learning from the sins and errors of Christendom, cf. here on to see how I think this should shape a basic systematic theology study.)

    Major premise: we neglect, ignore, reject or dismiss such hard-bought, soundly rooted lessons at our peril.

    So, painful though it be, I insist on continuing on the main topic from the OP.

    For, these lessons teach us what we need to learn about science, education, policy influence of science, science and ideology, and ethics.

    Thence, frankly, reformation.

    Let us therefore now see how Weikart speaks of Hitler’s views, and why:

    In his writings and speeches Hitler regularly invoked Darwinian concepts, such as evolution (Entwicklung), higher evolution (Höherentwicklung), struggle for existence (Existenzkampf or Daseinskampf ), struggle for life (Lebenskampf ), and selection (Auslese). In a 1937 speech he not only expressed belief in human evolution, but also endorsed Haeckel’s theory that each organism in its embryological development repeats earlier stages of evolutionary history. Hitler stated, “When we know today that the evolution of millions of years, compressed into a few decades, repeats itself in every individual, then this [modernist] art, we realize, is not ‘modern.’” 18 In his view, then, modernist artists were atavistic individuals who remained at a more primitive stage of evolution. [p. 541] . . . .

    Hitler clearly thought the Nordic race had evolved, as he explained in a 1920 speech, “Why We are Anti-Semites.” The Nordic race, Hitler averred, had developed its key traits, especially its propensity for hard work and its moral fiber, but also its physical prowess, due to the harsh northern climate. He was not arguing that climate directly caused a change in biological traits (because he embraced hard heredity). Rather he thought that in the harsh climate only the strongest, hardest-working, and most cooperative individuals could survive and pass on their traits. The weak and sickly, as well as those who refused to labor diligently, perished in the struggle for existence. This struggle made the Nordic race vigorous and superior to races that evolved in more hospitable climes. 21 Clearly, then, Hitler did not think the Nordic race had always existed or was created in some pristine, unchanging state. [p. 542]

    Between these cites, Weikart discusses the clip from the Nation and Race chapter in Mein Kampf, translating key terms as indicated. (And even if one softens “evolution” to “development” the context makes the matter utterly clear — evolution and onward higher evolution of especially the Nordic race through natural selection, sexual selection by women choosing acceptable mates, and — ominously — the fox having no pity on geese and the cat having none for mice.)

    In short, regardless of other influences and their sources, it is quite evident that:

    1 –> Nazism, in general reflected the general views in Germany on darwinist (as opposed to Lamarckian . . . the alternative that seemed to be around) evolutionary origins of life and of humans in particular.

    2 –> This is specifically true of the principal leader and ideologue, Hitler.

    3 –> This was entrenched as a premise in political speeches, key books, and pamphlets drawn from such.

    4 –> It was embedded in state controlled education, which actually aimed to have students imagine that darwinist core principles of survival of the fittest and ELIMINATION of the unfit by contrast were “self-evident.” Citing again:

    In 1938 the Ministry of Education published an official curriculum handbook for the schools. This handbook mandated teaching evolution, including the evolution of human races, which evolved through “selection and elimination.” It stipulated, “The student must accept as something self-evident this most essential and most important natural law of elimination [of unfit] together with evolution and reproduction.” In the fifth class, teachers were instructed to teach about the “emergence of the primitive human races (in connection with the evolution of animals).”

    5 –> This is of course a case where the appeal to self-evidence is being used fallaciously, reflecting a still too commonly encountered tautological and question-begging formulation of the concept of natural selection.

    6 –> This is then reinforced by loaded conceptions as to what “fitness” means that take on menacing proportions when it is blended with the notion of Nordic superiority and elimination of the allegedly unfit.

    7 –> In this context, the attack on mixing of races as frustrating the yet higher evolution of the superior seen as the will of nature, takes on a demonically mystical cast.

    8 –> Where also, we must not overlook that breeding and selection to breed the best is set in a specifically evolutionary context, that is attempts to use this to divert from the darwinist context are misinformed, at best.

    9 –> Let us therefore again — with clearer eyes — read the excerpt from the Nation and Race chapter (Bk I Ch 11 I believe) in Mein Kampf as Weikart cites and comments on it, again clipping 122 above:

    Evolution plays a central role in the chapter in Mein Kampf on “Nation and Race,” which was the only chapter published as a separate pamphlet, thus circulating widely to promote Nazi ideology. 19 In that chapter Hitler explains why he thinks racial mixing violates evolutionary principles:

    Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents. This means: the offspring will probably stand higher than the racially lower parent, but not as high as the higher one. Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life. The precondition for this does not lie in associating superior and inferior, but in the total victory of the former. The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher evolution of organic living beings would be unthinkable. 20

    A few lines later he continues:

    In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less deter-mined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher evolution.

    Thus, Hitler opposed miscegenation because it hindered evolutionary progress, which for him was the highest good. Since the whole point of this passage is to apply these principles to human racial relations, it is apparent that Hitler believed that humans had evolved and were still evolving. Hitler’s racial policy aimed at advancing human evolution.

    In short, it is quite plain — once we cease from reading into the text to avoid what it plainly teaches, goes out of its way to emphasise in fact.

    We need to face the facts, recognise the moral hazards in darwinism, and address the ethical and worldview issues that such hazards raise in light of such horrific living recollection history.

    And, let us determine to do so before that now elderly generation moves off the scene.

    KF

  191. 191
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: It seems, there is a continued argument that requires some attention to core Christian ethics and theology.

    On ethics, it is indisputable that the charter statement is the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Mt 5 – 7 , given by Jesus in Galilee, given as a rabbi teaching his disciples on their expected manner of life, standing foursquare in the hebraic tradition.

    Let me excerpt certain particularly illuminating parts that lead up to and illuminate what Jesus highlighted as the pivot of Biblical morality, the Golden Rule (which he of course draws from Moshe):

    The Sermon on the Mount

    Mt 5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
    The Beatitudes

    2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

    5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

    6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

    7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

    8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

    9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.

    10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    Salt and Light

    13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

    14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

    Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Anger

    21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[c] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[d] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[e] of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift . . . .

    Retaliation

    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[h] let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
    Love Your Enemies

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect . . . .

    6:7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:

    “Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name.[j]
    10 Your kingdom come,
    your will be done,[k]
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    11 Give us this day our daily bread,[l]
    12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.[m]

    14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses . . . .

    7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

    6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you . . . .

    The Golden Rule

    12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[q] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

    A Tree and Its Fruit

    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

    I Never Knew You

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

    Build Your House on the Rock

    24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

    It is quite plain that this is the intentional touchstone of Christian ethics, to the point where to neglect these words is viewed as suicidal folly. And, it is a commentary on core scriptural principles of ethics found in the OT, going on to emphasise inner transformation and helping one another in growth. The premise is that we are children of a common Father, our Lord and God, the only Lord and God. The further premise is that his word must guide us and must be fulfilled in our lives in light of Christ’s commentary and the underlying teachings. Further to this, we are to make God’s holy, loving, caring perfection our target.

    And more like that.

    In this light, we can hear again — there seems (sadly) to be a great reluctance to accept what should be patent, and what any fair minded reading would immediately yield — the great messianic rabbi Paul, teaching the gentiles (in accordance with Isa 52 – 53 which envisions: “so shall he sprinkle[c] many nations . . .”) as represented by the Athenian elites and the obviously present onlooking crowd of ordinary people eager to hear the latest ideas:

    Ac 17:22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

    24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

    26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]

    as even some of your own poets have said,

    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

    29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” [He was interrupted at this point . . . ]

    And again, in his most extensively theological letter, we read — let me use the AMP instead of the usual ESV:

    Rom 13:8 Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].

    9 The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill [–> sense being, murder], You shall not steal [–> this cuts clean across Nazism and its darwinism rationalised aggression, grand theft and genocide right there], You shall not covet (have an evil desire) [–> no coveting so-called Lebensraum], and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.

    10 Love does no wrong to one’s neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.

    The context in light of the Sermon on the mount is obvious, and the onward Hebraic scriptural frame and anchorage in our being equally made in God’s image as neighbours should be patent. Save, frankly, to those too stirred up and hostile to see or hear straight.

    It is time that that regrettable warping be corrected and fully acknowledged as corrected.

    Beyond, I need only mention, that Jesus taught by the parable of the Good Samaritan that our brotherhood and neighbourliness do and must extend across racial, theological, religious and hereditary enmity divides.

    Let me be plain: Nazism is completely at odds to core Christian moral principles and precepts, as should be evident to anyone who has taken trouble to simply read the major ethical teachings of the NT. In that context, Jesus’ warning against wolves in sheep’s clothing as cited is specifically and highly relevant.

    Christianity as represented by its foundational ethics is utterly antithetical to nazism. Those who have misrepresented it as though it is a major root of what Hitler et al believed and taught are in grave error and need to definitively retract and repudiate such assertions and insinuations.

    And yes, in the long history of Christendom, too many have failed to live up to such principles, and some have even taught in contravention to them. The same can be said of those corrected by the OT prophets. And indeed, any movement, institution, party, nation or civilisation can be said to have its fair proportion of moral failings, wrongs and crimes. That reflects the moral hazard of being human, which is the exact reason why we need to be restrained by the inner governance of principles and it is why we need governance in community, which itself must be restrained by justice as a guiding star.

    And, it is why we must mark teachings, ideas, worldviews and theories that embed moral hazards that undermine sound morality, and it is why we must handle such with extra caution and vigilance lest they let loose great evils.

    I dare to say, this plainly includes both classical and modern forms of Darwinism as a grand theory of origins, and it especially includes scientism and evolutionary materialism.

    That is part of why it is necessary to make a sober study of Nazisn, as a case of just how bad it can get.

    KF

  192. 192
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: When it comes to core Christian theology, perhaps the best general summary is the Nicene Creed of 325 and 381 — yes, it was re-issued and reinforced after fifty years of debates and issues:

    We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

    And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen

    (A summary on the point by point scriptural basis is here.)

    The hebraic, scriptural roots are obvious.

    Indeed, it pivots on 1 Cor 15:1 – 11 in light of Isa 53 [and with Genesis in the background], with support materials addressing Creation, the Christian understanding of the complex unity nature of the one true, living God [cf. here on], and also the culmination of history.

    But, kindly note, this is for record, not to entertain more and more distractive side tracks led away to strawmen soaked in toxic ad hominems and inviting the spark of polarising words.

    KF

  193. 193
    Querius says:

    KF,

    It’s interesting to contrast the belief-based creeds with the behavioral requirements of the early Messianic community. Ya’akov (James) says the following:

    “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” Acts 15:19 (NIV)

    A very different outlook in my opinion.

    – Q

  194. 194
    kairosfocus says:

    Q,

    Since this thread seems to have acquired a definite theological cast, I will make some observations on James’ remarks.

    (NB: I do so very reluctantly as this provides grist for the mill of those who will ruthlessly use such to provide pseudo- justification for their notion and toxic talking point that design theory is simply creationism dressed up in a cheap tuxedo, and thus in their minds a trojan horse for Christo-fascist right wing theocratic totalitarian nazi-like tyranny. That is the real underlying rhetorical context for ever so much of what is going on above. This first neglects that nazism and broader fascism are actually starist ideologies, i.e. of the LEFT, indeed Nazi can be properly expanded as National Socialist German Workers/labour Party. Mussolini was of course a man of the left. Fascism is right only in the sense that it is not as far left as communism, in a world that c 1920 – 30 saw socialism as the wave of the future. It was men like Schumpeter, Mises and Hayek who pointed out no. Second, the accusations that Creationism points to right wing theocracy — also a deliberate echo of Islamist radicalism and terrorism — refuses to attend to the actual history of the major contribution of Bible rooted Christian faith, thought and people to the rise and spread of modern liberty and democracy. It consistently refuses to acknowledge the core of Christian ethics, as I have again had to underscore as I am not satisfied that LT has done more than a tactical retreat here rather than accepting that his notions about Christianity and Christian ethics are radically wrong to the point of irresponsible and willfully divisive and polarising defamation. And that is before we get to the point that the attempt to conflate design theory with creationism is founded, frankly on calculated lies — they plainly believe in Big Lie agitprop tactics — from the NCSE/ACLU etc, and vicious ill intent to smear design thought with the results of an earlier successful smear of Creationism. That ill-intent has been embedded in ill-grounded and unjust court decisions, and policy. FYI, design theory is about the question, as to whether there are reliable empirical signs of design in the natural world, ranging from the physics of the cosmos to origin of life to origin of body plans, the molecular biology of the cell, and more; with functionally specific complex organisation and associated information as the pivotal exhibit. What objectors cannot answer on observational evidence, is the point that, reliably, such FSCO/I traces to design, and on analysis of configuration spaces and search challenges in the gamut of time and atomic resources for solar system to observed cosmos, there is no plausible way blind chance and mechanical necessity can or do give rise to such FSCO/I. But, design routinely produces FSCO/I. Under such circumstances, ruthless [or even amoral or nihilistic], ideologically committed advocates will often resort to distractive toxic red herrings led away to strawmen soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, poison, confuse and polarise the atmosphere, so that he original question is lost in the poison, quarrelling and confusion. That is the context in which LT tried to smear “Christianity” from comment no 1 above, whether or not he will admit it. (And insofar as there are religious or atheistical teachers or advocates and the like who in zeal to smear the Christian faith have spoken in terms like LT raised above, they have gone far wrong and need to retract, correct, and frankly apologise then abandon such toxic, slanderous talk.) Remember, too, in recent months I have been falsely accused of being a nazi, and the design movement and this site have also been similarly accused in sites set up to oppose UD. And, serious actions have had to be taken at length in response. So, please understand some of why I keep on saying that UD is not a proper place for extended theological- hermeneutical- exegetical- doctrinal debates, especially multiple sided scriptural debates. I will do as I will below only because it seems necessary to clear up an already existing exchange that may leave dangerous polarisations and misunderstandings in its wake.)

    Okay, let me try to clear matters up a bit, on grounds that this is sufficiently unfamiliar that it is worth the risk of the above to provide some perspective.

    In Ac 15, there is an internal debate over what is to be done with Gentiles. The unauthorised party from Jerusalem argued they have to be come Jews in order to be saved, Paul and Barnabas argued no, on justification by faith; backed up by their recent journey and its results.

    That was in Antioch, Syria (Paul’s missionary base and a church that was of mixed Jewish and Gentile character having been founded c 3 – 35, and strengthened c 45 – 47, sending missionaries c 47 – 48 . . . onward being a major Christian base for centuries [one of five main patriarchates]), after they returned from their first major Missionary Journey.

    A delegation was sent to Jerusalem [c. 48 – 49], and we ended up with the first church council, with the college of apostles and elders hearing both sides and coming to a decision, stated by James.

    The focal issue was not ethical as such, but on the nature of justification.

    Accordingly, let us note Peter’s decisive input, based on his then fairly recent experience with Cornelius the Centurion, his family and friends, where he had gone to preach to them under a vision, as Ac 10 – 11 records. He describes the circumstances under which the Spirit was poured out on them in power then draws theological conclusions and infers to the issue of whether Gentiles need to become Jews in order to be saved.

    First, backdrop:

    Ac 15:1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. 3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.[a] 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. 5 But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

    In Jerusalem the, council gathers:

    15:6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.

    Peter’s input based on actual experience of the Spirit poured out, not debate points:

    15:7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.

    8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9 and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.

    Notice the timing in the actual event, in Caesarea:

    Ac 10:30 And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour,[d] and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

    34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

    Notice what happens just then, and the aftermath. Namely, the heavenly interruption — for, all heaven breaks loose:

    44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.

    Notice the timing, even as Peter was speaking about the consequences of trusting in Christ, and being forgiven as a consequence. The reaction & response show the depth of prejudices that had had to be broken through:

    45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God.

    Then Peter declared, 47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

    After they returned to Jerusalem, there was a challenge to explain themselves, and Peter responds:

    11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers[e] who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party[f] criticized him, saying, 3 “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” 4 But Peter began and explained it to them in order: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision . . . ”

    . . . . 11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’

    15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

    17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”

    18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

    So, let us see how Peter applies this lesson by direct demonstration of the timing of and thus conditions for justification, in the Council of Ac 15, as he continues speaking:

    Ac 15: 10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

    So, the rest is summing up and conclusion:

    15:12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

    After this, James sums up and discusses the issue of unity and not causing unnecessary offence in so doing:

    15:13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

    16 “‘After this I will return,
    and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
    I will rebuild its ruins,
    and I will restore it,
    17 that the remnant[b] of mankind may seek the Lord,
    and all the Gentiles who are called by my name
    ,
    says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’

    19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

    In short, gentiles do not need to become Jews in order to be saved. Similarly, as there are certain particular matters that are known issues or points likely to cause alienation, we underscore:

    (i) there must be a clear separation from all idolatry and things tainted thereby (e.g. idol feasts for trade guilds)

    (ii) Sexual ethics must be in accord with Creation Order, i.e. “Heb 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

    (iii) No unnecessary offence should be caused to Jews by abusing freedom in Christ: “Rom 14:14 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. [–> meat may easily have been slaughtered at temples to idols, so only vegetables are utterly “safe’] 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him . . . . 13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”

    In short, these are applications of core moral principle, argued out based on them, when they need to be argued out.

    We must realise that the overarching principle and premise is relationships of pure love to God and man, from which we get principles of ethics and from which detailed precepts and steps of wisdom and self restraint where abuse of liberty may harm another, apply.

    But at the same time, the one who would bind others unduly, should realise there are such things as areas of freedom, which are quite extensive. (I think here of e.g. those who would say that as NT texts do not mention use of a musical instrument, such is forbidden and against the will of God in worship. With all due respects to those who under certain traditions have come to think this is from God: nope!)

    KF

  195. 195
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: A further clip from Weikart, illustrating attitude to Creationism and to core Christian ethics in academic-scientific nazi circles:

    Der Biologe, which from 1935 to 1939 was an official organ of the National Socialist Teachers’ League, before being taken over in 1939 by the SS Ahnenerbe, published many articles attacking creationists, both before and after the SS took it over. One such article was by Konrad Lorenz, who expressed amazement that anyone could doubt evolutionary theory. He argued that evolutionary theory is the best antidote for belief in human equality and thus buttressed Nazi racial thought. Lorenz also argued that the Christian command to love your neighbor as yourself is an evolutionary imperative, too: “Since for us the race and Volk are everything and the individual person as good as nothing, this command is for us a completely obvious demand.” [–> The confusion in this remark boggles the mind, if the individual is as nothing to love one’s fellow ZERO as one loves oneself as a ZERO, means that one can act as one pleases as the individual has no value, only the superior race as a self-preserving breeding group.] Lorenz clearly believed that evolutionary theory reinforced Nazi racial doctrines, including racial inequality and racial solidarity (collectivism). 63 In 1939 the journal carried a chart showing the areas of research undertaken by the SS Reich League for Biology. The first category listed was phylogeny, and anthropology was included as a specialty under this category. 64 Thus evolution, including human evolution, was front and center in their research program. [pp. 548 – 9]

    Nazism is simply not in accord with a creation anchored ethic that sees us as made in God’s image, loved by God, valued enough to be redeemed at astonishing cost, and commanded to love one’s equals in nature as one loves oneself even across racial, religious and ideological divides.

    And, frankly, if man is the product of time, chance and the impersonal, through a cosmos that happens to throw up carbon chemistry self replicating automata, which then by blind chance and mechanical necessity somehow vary and self-improve, ending up at us, for the moment, what value does the individual have? What worth or rights beyond might and manipulation make ‘right,’ and so it is struggle for power that determines how one should be treated?

    On evolutionary materialism, ethics is dead, and man is dead. So is mind.

    Yet more reasons to look twice, nay thrice, ten times and more . . . before we blindly leap.

    KF

  196. 196
    Querius says:

    KF,

    Yes. Very nicely put into context and articulated!

    Pulling this all back into the orbit of the original topic, one can see the attempt by AH to justify and combine his antisemitism, nationalism, and socialism under a consistent idealistic philosophy, which included Darwinism for scientific support.

    This philosophy was antithetical to Judeo-Christian beliefs, but pandered to German loyalties and tradition.

    All humans, not just Germans, look for these “from first principles” methods for constructing value systems—Japanese Bushido and Enlightenment Deism immediately come to mind. It reminds me of the following passage in Scripture:

    My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)

    Nowadays, the fashionable blend seems to be Environmentalism, Socialism, and Neo-Darwinism (although the US seems to have embarked on a new, world crusade for sexual tolerance). The new trinity will once again usher in (pun intended) statist oppression in the name of these ideals.

    Even to the end, many Germans believed that Hitler was an idealist and visionary, but that some of his supporters went to extremes.

    Who will be the next visionary?

    – Q

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