3 debates surrounding the crucifixion

1. “The Jews” killed Jesus

For centuries in church history, the notion that “the Jews,” broadly speaking, were the ones who crucified the Lord has been a recurring anti-Semitic theme among professing Christians. It’s also a myth.


“It was the Temple establishment, not the Jews generally, who conspired with the Romans. Bad translations of John’s gospel have contributed to this fake news,” Gerald McDermott, Anglican Chair at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, clarified in an email to The Christian Post Wednesday.

McDermott is the author of Why Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently About the People and the Land. His most recent work is Everyday Glory: The Revelation of God in All of Reality.

“The same word in Greek is used there for both ‘Jews’ and ‘Judean leaders’—Iudaioi,” he said, noting that most English translations read “the Jews” when they ought to distinguish in most places in John’s gospel and specifically say “the Judean leaders.”

Moreover, it is unlikely that the same crowd that shouted “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday cried “Crucify him!” later in the week, McDermott noted, adding that “the crowds who hailed him on Palm Sunday probably never switched their allegiance.”

“It was members of the Sadducean party and political hacks in the Temple establishment who were in the crowds that cried for crucifixion.” The Sadducees and Temple establishment political hacks of that era are comparable to the party activists in Washington, D.C., whereas the Jewish populace is the regular residents of the U.S. capital, he explained, drawing an analogy.

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