Let us examine what the New Testament teaches and how the
true message of Yeshua is antithetical to antisemitism.
Is the New Testament Antisemitic?
First, it is important to point out that the New Testament is
a Jewish book, written by Jewish people, about the life and
teachings of the Jewish Messiah. Yeshua is Jewish. His disciples
and most of His early followers were Jewish, as were the writers
of the New Testament, with the possible exception of Luke.
They observed the Law, worshipped in the Temple and
synagogues, and celebrated the Jewish holidays. Nevertheless,
some have misconstrued certain passages in the New Testament
to encourage antisemitism.
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. The charge of antisemitism in the Gospel
of John usually involves negative statements about “the Jews.”
John 5:16, 18, and 7:1 refer to “the Jews” seeking to kill Yeshua.
Other examples include “the Jews” showing opposition and even
hostility toward Yeshua. But John, being Jewish himself, was not
talking about all Jewish people at all times. He was referring to a
specific subgroup of Jewish people at a specific time.
John used the term Jews about seventy times, and not all
references have negative connotations. John 2:6 uses the word
to explain a Jewish custom. John 4:22 says, “salvation is from
the Jews,” and John 4:9 identifies Yeshua as a Jew. John 11:45
and 12:11 report that many Jewish people believed in Yeshua.
The most common use of the term refers to the Jewish
leadership, whom Yeshua rebuked for corruption, hypocrisy,
and their rejection of Him. This opposition was a “within the
family” dispute because those on both sides were Jewish.
And not all Jewish leaders were presented negatively. John
presented Nicodemus (3:1–21; 7:50) and Joseph of Arimathea