When I hear the word “Judeo-Christian” I reach for my revolver

Posted by 2 on January 12, 2007
Judaica, When I hear the word...

It is often thought, to borrow from Shaw, that Christianity and Judaism are two religions separated by a common book. But nothing could be further from the truth. The book of Christianity is, of course, the Bible consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Many believe the same holds for Judaism, minus the New Testament. But, in fact, Judaism’s most important book is not the Torah, but the Talmud. It is the Talmud that the rabbis study and pay little attention to the actual text of the Old Testament.

The Talmud is a difficult work to summarize. It is a huge work (the Soncino edition of the Babylonian Talmud consists of 27 volumes) written and compiled by numerous rabbis over several centuries. It is filled with legends, petty regulations of every aspect of life, and sophistic reasoning. H. L. Mencken undertook the arduous task of reading it in its entirety. Here is his summation.

“I am one of the few Goyim who have ever actually tackled the Talmud. I suppose you now expect me to add that it is a profound and noble work, worthy of hard study by all other Goyim. Unhappily, my report must differ from this expectation. It seems to me, save for a few bright spots, to be quite indistinguishable from rubbish. If, at its highest, it is genuinely worth reading, then at its lowest it is on all fours with the Koran, ‘Science and Health’ and the Book of Mormon.”

Apart from this, the Talmud is one of the most anti-Christian books ever published. It teaches that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a harlot (Sanhedrin 106a), that Jesus is in hell burning in “hot excrement” (Gittin 57a), that Jesus was a sorcerer (Shabbos 104b), and that he lusted after women (Sotah 47a).

Though shocking, such vitriol is not surprising when we consider that it comes from those who rejected the Son of God. What is surprising is how the majority of American Christians came to believe that there is some fundamental commonality between Judaism and Christianity – the “Judeo-Christian Tradition.” That story is an interesting one. And one I will reserve for a future post.

61 Comments to When I hear the word “Judeo-Christian” I reach for my revolver

  • Joshua (#47) — in an odd sort of way, I think if people took up more interests in something outside themselves — if not opera, even stamp-collecting, or knitting — it would actually go far to mitigating some of the problems you are highlighting. Especially if the “movers and shakers” would do so.

    (And, I’m going to have a lot of good to say about Italian opera also, and will even throw an occasional bone to the frogs.)

  • I thought that was your purpose for encouraging opera, but you merely announced that I was right.

    Please expalin how getting the movers and shakers to take up a constructive hobby will mitigate the problems I am highlighting.

    [Joshua — I’m taking this digression to the padded room. T.]

  • The problem is, you people read some stuff online without understanding what it means instead of talking to a rabbi about these issues. I’m no rabbi, but hopefully I can make some points that will lead you to do further research.

    It is forbidden to kill anyone, Jew or Gentile, except for self defense.
    The Talmud sayings of various Rabbis are often outdated and no longer used. Special people decide which rules are in use and which are not. For instance, one of the rabbis said “To teach your daughter Torah is to teach her an obscenity.” Clearly this is not followed, as all religious Jewish women are taught Torah for many years. I am sure many of these sayings you posted fall into that category. Also, most of these sayings are about the pagan Romans, the destroyers of the Temple, not fellow monotheists.
    There are plenty of rules that show that, while Jews and Gentiles have different missions in life (Jews 613 rules, Gentiles 7 rules) both are made in God’s image and thus are precious. For instance, a Jew must rise and give up his seat for an elderly person, whether that person is Jewish or not Jewish. This rule comes from the Torah, which is the ultimate authority, not the Talmud. “Be kind to the stranger.” This is why Israel is now helping refugees from Darfur, even though they are Muslim.

  • In other words, I have to call up Rabbi Lipshitz in order to know what the Talmud says.

    Oh, and thank you for the reminder of Israeli benevolence. A few token bucks given to Sudanese surely says more about the true Israel than what is currently happening in Gaza.

  • Amy, I think MB’s point is that the interpretation of a text needs to be done in the open. Of course a rabbi will tell a goy, in the secrecy of the conference room, that he no longer follows the bit about how it’s ok to trick goyim. Let the rabbis meeting in official assembly publish this new view to the world. That would be the first step toward credibility.

  • Amy:
    What the Talmud says about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is so terrible that we cannot even discuss it. For that reason I totally discount anything anyone says in favor of the Talmud. Each person will be judged in terms of what he believes about Christ. Piddling discussion about which person the Jews say it’s OK to kill is peanuts compared what the Talmud says about our Lord.

  • Eliza — of course I agree with your prioritization. Yet, we must also realize that we are both Christians and citizens. As citizens, we can object to persons who allow themselves to be parasites on the nation, and trick or deceive their “fellow citizens” with impunity, and cover each other while doing it. The blasphemy is the worst thing, and worthy of death, but I would not say that the other is merely piddling.

  • Daniel — There are two senses I suppose someone might define the “judeo” part of the term by: (1) affirming substantial ethical continuity in the transition from Judaism to Christianity, such that a common basis can be appealed to when making ethical or legal claims. (2) Affirming that Christianity receives the OT and everything in it and is thus judaism come into its own.

    (1) is absurd, since the biblical law proferred by Christianity, though based on the very “Torah” kissed but ignored by the hebishkeit, is diametrically opposite to the Talmud that it is actually based on. (2) is absurd for the same reason. Christianity embraces the OT in contrast to the hebishkeit, not in common with them.

    It would be both more intelligent and honest for people like Sproul to speak of Moseo-Christianity, or Abrahamic-Christianity, or even Hebreo-Christianity. But none of these terms would stick, because they are redundant, and, while creating confusion, would also fail to deliver the gold ring of political correctness and immunity from attack from the ADL and other of our ruling factions.

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