Monday, July 14, 2008

Letter to Evangelicals Now on behalf of the BMJA

[In response to this review]


Many things could be said in response to Alec Motyer's review of Israel, God's Servant by David Torrance and George Taylor in July's EN. However we are particularly troubled by Dr Motyer's assertion that he "still cannot find any 'Jews' in the Old Testament". It is disturbing that a man of Dr Motyer's calibre can make such a statement. It seems to us, from the context of the whole review, that by 'Jews' Dr Motyer does not simply mean "rabbinic Judaism", but that he means "the Jewish nation" as a whole. If he does not find 'Jews' in the Old Testament, whom does he find?

It is a worrying development for Messianic Jews amongst many others to read such statements from a respected leading theologian. We know some will accuse us of being hysterical for bringing up the Holocaust; however the truth is that in Nazi Germany, it became common place for theologians to argue that the characters and writers of the Bible were not Jewish. For example, German Protestants established the Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Church Life, where Jesus himself was turned into an Aryan. A dejudaized hymnbook Grosser Gott Wir Loben Dich was published in 1940 and was commercially successful, followed by Die Botschaft Gottes, a dejudaized New Testament. 100,000 copies of each were published in the first edition. An ethnically-cleansed catechism, Deutsche mit Gott: Ein deutsches Glaubensbuch was also published.

We are sure that Dr Motyer's phrase does not spring from the same hateful motivation and we are not accusing him of antisemitism; it is nevertheless unfortunate. We have members of our Alliance who escaped Nazi Germany who therefore find such comments chilling and deeply offensive - as do we.

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