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The international media are abuzz over Pope Benedict XVI's forthcoming book, which contains a brief section affirming that the Jewish people bear no collective guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Jesus of Nazareth II, the second volume of ...

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Displaying 1–32 of 32 comments

Krzysztof Ciuba

March 14, 2011  9:58am

1) Historically speaking: Pilat, the Chief Priest@mob -where the problem? 2) Matth's "blood on us" is just NT's truth of Gen 4:10 but it is the Principle referring to all time@all humankind= the bloodshed of innocent must be revenged by... God and not people.Look at the history of any nation@everyone's life: Socrates@Athens, Pitagoras@Somoza,.... 3) Does my sin (in 20th cent) kill Jesus? No:I was not among the mob in Jerusalem;Yes: if I commit a sin as in Matt 25: 42nn Consequently, for ex. killing unborn must bear consequences also in this life

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I LOve Jesus

March 10, 2011  12:03pm

It does't matter who killed Jesus! Jesus asked God to forgive them. Jesus died for us...that was God's plan...someone had to do it. It's irrelevant in regards to the reason Jesus died. We need to praise God that His plan cannot be thwarted and let go of things we can't understand and just give it to Him.

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Mark W

March 07, 2011  6:58pm

Maybe Luke's 2020 hindsight will help clarify this matter. Acts 4:27-28 (New International Version, ©2011) 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.

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Marianne Miller

March 07, 2011  3:36pm

Very wise for the pope to devote an entire book to clarifying the true Christian stance on the question of who killed Jesus. I remember hearing my own mother make that crazy statement about the Jews killing Jesus, and even though I was only about 10, I knew enough scripture to realize the untruth of pointing the finger at an ethnic group. But, some people probably still need to learn the facts, plus the Catholic Church needs to make this stand loud and clear due to past ambiguities.

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Dave S

March 06, 2011  1:57pm

This reminds me when people were trying to claim that "The Passion of the Christ" was anti-Semitic (although sadly it turned out Mel Gibson was) but the film itself I thought should have had Italians Americans more in an uproar then the Jews, it was far less flattering to the Romans.

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andrew gale

March 05, 2011  10:56am

It is strange that the talk about the crucifixtion of Jesus is always on the people who supposedly ask or demanded it. There is never any talk about who perpetrated the crucifixtion, the Romans. the first commandment of God jehovah is Thou shall not kill. The Romans violated this commandment yet point the finger at the Jews. All were guilty fo sin.

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Ed Lee

March 04, 2011  8:03pm

Pope Benedict XVI has consistently campaigned against anti-Semitism, so his new book is a continuation of his message that the hatred and violence of the Holocaust(Shoah) must never happen again. In 2009 he spoke on Holocaust Memorial Day and said:" In the face of the horror of Auschwitz there is no other response than the Cross of Christ: Love descended to the very depths of the abyss evil to save man in his core...May contemporary humanity never forget Auschwitz...where the Nazi regime attempted to eliminate God in order to replace him..." This speech can be seen on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRO1eRxfigl

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Carl Wiersum

March 04, 2011  10:39am

Who killed Jesus? Okay I guess we just don't get it. The proper answer is - I did. My sins held Him upon the cross - until the veil of the temple was rent in two. Yes, to the unbeliever it sounds ridiculous - but to those who have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb - it makes perfect sense. True, I was not there at the crucifixion but the fact of the matter is He paid the price once and for all for my sins. He also paid for the sins of Jew and the Gentile alike, if they believe His blood was shed for their redemption. Yes the crowds were singing Hosanna the previous week - but most of them were looking for an earthly King, and since Jesus did not fulfill that at that time- they were whipped into a frenzy by the Barrabas crowd and the Jewish leaders. The Barrabas crowd can be identified as Jews and Gentiles who were against the Roman rule, and they called for amnesty for Barrabas, basically choosing one who followed Satan versus Jesus the Divine Son of God.

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Dave Ambleton

March 04, 2011  4:33am

Roberto, PS - see the amazingly prophetic parable of the 'Wicked Tenants' or 'Wicked Husbandmen' and note Jesus' response to the actions of the tenant-husbandmen, in Matthew 21:41, Mark 12:9, Luke 20:16. These 'tenants' are the folk whom many evangelicals/ 'Christian Zionists' venerate, but who are going to be destroyed.

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Dave Ambleton

March 04, 2011  4:18am

Roberto - there were clearly two groups in Jerusalem, one which greeted Christ with 'Hosanna' and the other which bayed for His blood. The conventional view is that these were essentially the same people, which is totally absurd. The first group were true Israelite Judeans (citizens of Judea) /Judahites and the other were Edomite usurpers (Revelations 2:9, 3:9) whom Jesus called the 'synagogue of Satan'. 'You shall know them by their fruits' - Hollywood, Wall Street, communism, pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, 'liberal' controllers of violently racist, pro-zionist-apartheid, mendacious war-making US foreign policy. The widely-circulated pro-zionist Scofield Bible was sponsored by non-Christian or anti-Christian financiers, and too many evangelicals or their mentors and seminaries have been influenced by it. Google 'Cyrus Scofield' and see the crop of awkward facts which come to light. This 'other' group clearly currently have control of both US parties, the media and politics and war-making.

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Roberto Abril

March 03, 2011  10:50pm

Dave: you view is audacious. However, it completely exhonarated the Jewish elite and the mass of people. To do so will be too an easy way of total exhonarations of both the elite and the mob. Even if the Herodian were Edomites is conceded, where do you leave the mass of people?

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Ingrid F

March 03, 2011  2:52pm

TM, I am in agreement of that and as I pointed out to Kirk, bad things (sin) sometimes has to happen in order for good to come out of it. Does God allow sin to happen, yes. God was so intimate with King David and Solomon for example and yet let them sin. God does not will us to sin, he does not step in our way in fact He lets us do what we "feel" just like He let Israel do what they wanted, it was when they were broken that they would go to Him for help. God is there. You want to sin, knock yourself out. He will be there for you in the end. Kirk, If you believe God is responsible, then you would be no better than I, believing that before He saved my life('According to your warped theology I am no longer responsible for my sin......God is!!!"). And that is not what I said. Only a contentious heart would make such a comment.

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Greg Peterson

March 03, 2011  2:51pm

It is fairly clear, to me anyway, that in John (I recently read Rudolf Bultmann's Gospel of John), the religious authorities thought that their authority would be challenged by the growing number of Messiah believers. They had convinced themselves (with good reason) that they were protecting Israel from what the Roman authorities would do if Messiah believers should come to power...if the people believed that Jesus, instead of the Cesar, was the only legitimate king of kings. They also thought that they were punishing Jesus for what they thought were his sins; what they thought were his transgressions against God's Law, such as breaking the Sabbath by the work of curing the blind man (for which the formerly blind man was also punished. It even put his life in jeopardy. ). There was also the snob factor...how dare a carpenter's son from an insignificant village challenge their authority and knowledge on what is and is not God's Law.

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Dave Ambleton

March 03, 2011  2:40pm

A nation of people, the Edomites, utterly condemned by the major writing prophets, ‘became Jews’ just over a century before the birth of Christ. According to Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian who lived just after the time of Christ, 'They (Edom) were hereafter no other than Jews' (Josephus Antiquities of the Jews, XIII ix 1; XV vii 9). Yahweh the God of Israel, ‘hated Esau (Edom)’, a people ‘against whom he has indignation forever’ (Malachi 1:2-4). Ezekiel refers to Idumea (Edom, also referred to as Mount Seir) as taking possession of the land and heritage of Israel and Judah (Ezekiel 35:10, 11, 15; 36:2, 5). The Herodian dynasty at the time of Christ were Edomites, testifying to the takeover and the word 'Jew' had almost become synonymous with these evil people. They stated, 'His blood be on us and our children'. Isaiah 63:1-6 ‘Who is this who comes from Edom with garments spattered (with blood)’, “I have trodden the winepress.. their blood spattered my garments..” See Rev 19:11

Ingrid F

March 03, 2011  2:34pm

Kirk, with all humbleness, you sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. If you want to be taken seriously as a true Christian then tone down you exclamation, you do yourself more harm than good. You sound extremely contentious. We are talking about God allowing Jesus to die. Jesus was, is an never will be you and I. He did not die so that we continue to say that the Jews are to blame for his death. He died because he had to. That is for Gods glory and our sins. God willed it. If you don't like it there is nothing you can do to change history. God allowed it to happen. And yes, God does sometimes let bad things happen for good to come out of it, not to harm us think Jonah, King David, Solomon, etc etc. I do encourage you to go read the OT over and over again so that you not only memorize the stories but also understand the concept of suffering and why God allows it. And also to take away that contentiousness you carry. So you learn to speak humbly with humility.

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T M

March 03, 2011  2:29pm

ingrid, though i do not approve of kirk's aggression in his recent post, I must agree with him that those who sin will be accountable, like Judas who betrayed Jesus was condemned. However, just as you imply, Jesus himself prayed that those who killed him and tortured him should be forgiven because they d not know what they are doing. He did though, to the women of Jerusalem point out that aggression and cruelty are bad, but that they would get worse for the human race. (Women do not weep for me...weep fpr yourselves...If these things happen like what is happening to me when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?).? Cruelty and agression are a sign of the times.

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Kirk Morris

March 03, 2011  2:17pm

Thank you Ingrid for restating what I said then morphed it into something you wanted to disprove. Do you feel better now that you think you "got one over on me"? I am stating fact, not emotion or "anger, resentment"! I have read the Old Testament! Do you have anymore advice for me!??? Maybe I should get daily suggestions from you as to the proper way to walk w/ God or read the Bible!? According to your warped theology I am no longer responsible for my sin......God is!!! He allows it to exist, He wills people to sin, He is to blame for abortion, rape, murder, child molesters, cheaters, homosexuality, liars, the prideful, demonic activity!!!!? He encourages us to sin so He can be glorified!!!!! Now that I think about it, I don't like your version of God. People are responsible for their own sin whether or not God allowed it to happen, of this there is no debate!

Larry Colyar

March 03, 2011  1:58pm

Jesus's appeal to the Jewish common folk caused fear and unrest among the Jewish High Priest and his allies. They were trying to protect their turf and keep the peace with Rome. The Roman governor might have gone after the priestly class if a revolutionary movement involving Jesus had broken out. But, in the final analysis, only the Roman governor had the authority to execute anyone. Pilate's action seemed directed toward getting rid of the problem as quickly as possible as he did not want trouble with his bosses in Rome. He chose the easy way out by just doing away the Jesus. Jesus was indeed sacrificed by both the High Priest and by Pilate to keep as many "important" people safe in their respective jobs as possible. Just politics.

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Ingrid F

March 03, 2011  1:33pm

Kirk, My statement was not made as an appeasement. The Jewish people have suffered greatly for "sin(s)". I make a suggestion to you, go take the time to go read the Old Testament to see how the Jews suffered because they did not walk with the Lord. Your statement: "Just because Jesus needed, chose, and was predestined to die does not and never will excuse those who put the ultimate innocent man to death. Jesus was murdered". All I can say is that you speak as one that does not forgive of those that did as God willed it. Like Jesus taught, forgive otherwise you carry anger, resentment for something you have no control over.

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T M

March 03, 2011  1:10pm

i have always been taught that Jesus did not satisfy those who felt it was right to judge him, especially regargding his failure to be a rebel against the Romans and his failure, then, to be a warrior king like his ancestor King David. This backs up the pope's analysis that the Jewish authorities judged Jesus as unworthy and also that those crowds who backed a rebellion against the Romans would reject Jesus too. Jesus in the meantime was making war on sin, dying as the holy lamb of God rather than the rejected useless king the crowds judged him as and the fakethat the Jewish authorities assumed he was. The question is even today, who judges Jesus as a fake?

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Kirk Morris

March 03, 2011  1:07pm

Ingrid F, Your assertion that God "probably did not care" who killed His son is an idiotic appeasement statement. The Jewish people have suffered greatly for their sin. Study history!!! Just because Jesus needed, chose, and was predestined to die does not and never will excuse those who put the ultimate innocent man to death. Jesus was murdered however, the good news is that we can be forgiven for our own sins. BTW m reynolds I have been forgiven for many things but, your accusation that all are guilty of "taking a swing at the nails" is by itself a phony theological argument.

Kirk Morris

March 03, 2011  12:40pm

Slice it anyway you want and split hairs to get the answer you need!!! Jesus Christ was put to death by The Jewish people of His day facilitated by the Romans. That is the historical fact of the New Testament. It does not excuse antisemitism. This great sin continues to haunt the Jewish people to this day! God will judge and the Truth of history is unchangeable!

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m reynolds

March 03, 2011  12:36pm

Man-kind killed Jesus. We all have taken a swing at the nails. It had to happen for man-kind to be saved.

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Ingrid F

March 03, 2011  12:33pm

I may not be so eloquent in writing scripture but one thing I have learned is that Jesus' death was going to happen regardless of the Jewish people telling Pilate to do it or not. Jesus was going to die. And when it comes down to it, God killed Jesus. If God did not have control then He is not the God we think He is. Therefore, it had to be as it was for us to open our eyes. He died for all of our sins and God made it so for that reason. Did God care if it was Jew or Gentile that killed him? I doubt it. We have to learn to accept that and stop giving counter points about the Book says this and that. The fact is that God allowed it, so if you want to blame anyone, you blame GOD. GOD is in control. Then, now and forever.

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Dave Leigh

March 03, 2011  12:20pm

We are all guilty. And we are are forgiven in Christ. Let's not crucify him again with hatred, prejudice, and antisemitism. Hurray for this pope making these statements!

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Do not make excuses for your sin.

March 03, 2011  11:31am

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” Matthew 27:24 In making no decision, Pilate made the decision to let the crowds crucify Jesus. Although he washed his hands, the guilt remains. Washing your hands of a tough situation doesn't cancel your guilt. It merely gives you a false sense of peace. Don't make excuse - take responsibility for the decision you make.

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Chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Barabbas released.

March 03, 2011  11:12am

So why should an evangelical listen to the pope?, the Word of God says (Mark 15:9-11): "But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. " The chief priests represent the Jewish people, therefore there is collective guilt of the Jewish people, sin has consequences - because of this collective sin, God had the temple and Jeruesalem destroyed in 70 AD. The guilt of the Jews does not excuse our own individual sin against God, nor does it excuse anti-Semitism.

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Hank Hank

March 03, 2011  11:09am

Great article. I love how some people argue that they're more theologically sophisticated than the Pope. I may not be Catholic, but Pope Benedict is a really smart, well thought out kinda guy. For him to say this, for him to theologize on this issue, is a really big freaking deal.

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Timothy Law

March 03, 2011  9:19am

It's nothing special...the pope just used the specific to dismiss John's words, ultimately God's words. When we say Jews in that sense in the Bible, it is due to the threat on the jewish culture. Just as God's holiness and just is a threat to all human cultures. The Jews thought they had done right with God, Jesus proved them wrong. We have walked in ways we thought is right, but is wrong. Simple as that.

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joe clayton

March 03, 2011  9:12am

In the main, the Pope's analysis is right. There is, however, another consideration. The people who shouted for the release of Barrabas, instead of Christ, were like many today who are unduly influenced by their leaders, and become a malicious "mob." A second consideration is that it was the destiny of Christ to die for our sins, as purposed by God. The Pope is right in saying that our sins are the real cause for Christ's death, and every sinner, whether Jew or Gentile, Black, White, or brown bears equal guilt with the so-called Temple Aristocracy.

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archae ologist

March 03, 2011  3:17am

who is the pope to do such a thing? he has no authority to make such declarations

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Greg Peterson

March 02, 2011  8:42pm

The Pope is more or less in accord with my Methodist upbringing. I was taught that historical and intratextual contexts and the light of the Golden Rule are vitally important in reading the Bible morally. We are to project "what ifs." What if we had lived then? What if Jesus were an American today? It is "the people," ordinary people such as myself, "the religious authorities," fear of the unknown and the unknowable, the cynical, pragmatic "powers that be" which unjustly crucified Jesus, and could again today. --That said, when read as a pamphlet, the Gospel of John reads like an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory by someone trying to justify his self-hate. As near as my limited self can see, only when read as I have been taught could the Gospel make moral sense to me. Speaking of John, I recently read most of Bultmann's Gospel of John (accidentally lost it, another on the way). Would that more of us, in Bultmann's time and now, take his little lesson on tolerance to heart.

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