Arutz Sheva: Pope Francis is being urged by experts to take greater care when referring to “hypocritical” Pharisees, a stereotype that fueled centuries of bad blood between Catholics and Jews.
Catholic-Jewish relations blossomed after the Second Vatican Council — which in 1965 finally urged respect for Judaism — and Francis is a clear friend of the Jews, insisting the Church continue to seek pardon for anti-Judaism.
But for centuries, Jesus’s Jewish origins were obscured and the Jews were held collectively responsible for His death.
And the pontiff’s tendency to quote directly from the New Testament, where Jesus slams members of the small religious and political group as “hypocrites,” has been troubling rabbis concerned about anti-Semitism.
Some 400 Jewish and Christian bible scholars gathered in Rome last week to exchange research notes on the Pharisees, a group which little is known about historically but which came to represent all Jews. more …
Opinion: While it is Biblically correct that no group of people received as harsh a treatment from Jesus as the Pharisees, there is much more to the Biblical account.
“You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” Matthew 12:34.
Matthew 23 devotes the whole chapter to this group who call themselves Jews.
Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men …”
Matthew 23:14 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.”
Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves …”
Matthew 23:16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform …”
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters …”
Matthew 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion …”
Matthew: 23:27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly …”
Matthew 23:29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous …”
Eight times! The Hebrew word woe (οὐαί) means an exclamation of grief, wrong or evil.
So who were these people? And from what tribe or bloodline did they come? If we work backwards from the time of Jesus to 586 BC, we find evidence of the eternal enemy of the Jewish people helping the Babylonian army destroy Solomon’s temple and take the Jews into captivity.
Obadiah 1:1-18 identifies these people as Edomites, descendants of Esau who took his wives from the Hittite tribes, thereby mixing Jewish and Gentile blood.
(Antichrist: The Search for Amalek) Excerpt:
At the same time the Israelites were being carried off, the descendants of Esau were pushed out of their ancestral homeland in Mt. Seir, southern Jordan, by a tribe known as the Nabateans.
Unable to go due west to take on the more powerful Egyptians, the Edomites traveled northwest and settled in the lush pasturelands of Judea during the Babylonian captivity of the Jews. Due to the preponderance of Edomites, the Greeks and Romans later named
the area to the south of Judea “Idumea.”
“For again the Edomites had come, attacked Judah, and carried
away captives.” 2 Chron. 28:17
At the trial of Jesus, two distinct groups of Jews can be seen.
1. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes who were from Judea
and part Jewish/part Gentile (Edomite), stirred the people of Judea to call for the
release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus at the hands of Pilate.
2. There were multitudes of Jews, mainly from the north in
Galilee, who had followed Jesus throughout His ministry
and called Him Messiah on Palm Sunday, saying, “Blessed
is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 21:9).
“But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel” Romans 9:6.
The prophet Malachi 1:1-3 provides further clarity.
See our video “The First Terrorist” here
Reminder: Editor and I are leaving for Israel this morning for 2 weeks. We are planning to post pictures of the trip at the end of each day and Vason has volunteered to keep up daily headlines.