How can you believe in the New Testament? Isn't it full of anti-Semitism and lies?

The New Testament--which simply means New Covenant--needs to be accepted for what it is, a Jewish book written almost entirely by Jewish people. Most of the concepts in the New Testament cannot be understood apart from their background in the Hebrew Bible. It was fashionable a few years ago to claim that the New Testament contained a large proportion of ideas which were not Jewish but Greek. More recently, though, archaeology has vindicated the Jewish origins of practically everything within the New Testament.

A glance at even a few verses from the New Testament shows the Jewish background involved:

A record of the genealogy of Messiah Jesus the son of David, the son of Abraham."

Matthew 1:1

"On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child..."

Luke 1:59

"Then came Hanukkah at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade."

John 10:22-23

"Then Paul said, 'I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.'"

Acts 22:2-3

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus the Messiah, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings."

James 1:1

That the New Testament is a Jewish book which stands alongside the Hebrew Scriptures is becoming increasingly recognized, even in Israel. The Israeli scholar Pinchas Lapide has reported an analysis of ten textbooks used in primary and secondary schools in Israel. He says that "six of the books quote a total of eighteen New Testament passages....Three books give detailed explanations of the historical, literary, and religious meaning of the four Gospels....In two books quotations from the Old Testament are juxtaposed with quotations from the New so as to point out similarities and affinities."1

As far as allegations of anti-Semitism go, remember that in the early days of Christianity, there were no Gentile believers. The whole question of whether Jesus was the Messiah was a family affair to be settled by the family of Jewish people. It is in this context that the tone of many passages depicting criticism of this or that segment of the Jewish people must be seen. The "harsh" passages in the New Testament resemble far more the moral exhortations of the prophets than they do the intolerant rhetoric of medieval sermons. Take this passage, for instance, referring to the Jewish people:

"Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption. They have forsaken the Lord, they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him."

Did you think this passage came from the New Testament? Perhaps you didn't recognize it as a quotation from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah.2 These kinds of words, recalling our people from sin, have always been a part of the prophetic tradition. The New Testament continues this tradition, alongside the tradition of elaborating on the positive side of Israel's relationship with God.

The real question to be dealt with is not, "Is the New Testament Jewish?" but rather, "Is it true?" When the same tests of historicity and validity are applied to the New Testament as to the Hebrew Scriptures, both will be seen to be equally true.

End Notes

  1. Lapide, Pinchas. Israelis, Jews and Jesus (Doubleday & Co., 1979,p. 49.)
  2. Isaiah 1:4

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So what if it was written by Jews. It was written by Jews who started up a completely new religion called Christianity. On at least three occasions in the New Testament, Jews are refered to as displeasing to God and as descendants of the Devil. Also the new testament is full of inconsistancies and sometimes contradicts the old testament when Christians claim is the basis of the new testament.


I am a Christian who questions the previous comment. Where in the New or Old Testaments are Jews referred to as as the commentator of September 2005 writes "descendants of the Devil"? To the contrary the Bible describes all people as children of God.


I agree with Robert. True bible-believing Christians know without any doubt who the Jews are. God's own chosen people, the apple of His eye, not spawn of the devil. Their behavior and their sins were admonished, but never were they refered to as this. Many times throughout the New Testiment, mostly by Paul, those in the early church were highly distressed because of their concern and love for their own people, the Jews. Any Jew who ever experienced hate or persecution of any sort by the hands of a one claiming to be Christian, then that person is no true Christian, he is a charlatan. Many through the ages have killed and persecuted the Jews in the name of God, under the banner of Christianity, and they will reap their own reward for the blood on their hands. bible Christians will tell you quickly how they feel about Israel and the Jews. We love them, and we pray for the peace of Israel. God bless Israel.


John 8:44. Jesus was talking to the pharisees specifically. This verse is the beginning of a very interesting study.

Godwins Akkub

Not 'descendants of Devil ' but 'a synagogue of satan' according to the scriptures . But this is speciifically pointing to those who claim they are Jews but are not. In otherwords, if one is truly a Jew or Jewess , (that is , a true descendant of Abraham) this won't apply to him or her whether Separdim or Ashkenazim .
Then comes the Dispersion experience of Jews to the diaspora - all the four corners of the globe - that has made definitive Jewry either a complex , or at best ,conjectural issue.

Mr Anthony Cotton

I used to be a Roman Catholic. I am 63yrs old,and something profound happened to me to when i was 62yrs old this is the reason i left the Roman Catholic Church. You could say i am a born again Christian. I find now it is very hard to believe in the Catholic Church,and the Jewish Religion, because the Catholic church makes things up has they go along. The Jewish religion only believes in the first 5 books in the old testament called the Torah. I have just watched a video on YouTube,and i could not believe in what i saw,and heard. I look at it this way if i saw a man hurt,and bleeding,and nobody was doing any thing.I would help this man,and call an ambulance. I could not give two hoots what religion he was. He is my brother.


What YouTube video are you referring to? I would like to watch it.

Scott Calvin

The New Testament is very clear on some of these misunderstandings.

Jesus calls the Pharisees sons of the devil. Just as Satan was a liar and murderer from the beginning, so too are those who do not believe what Jesus said. And the people Jesus was speaking to were about to murder him, so that's why he used that appropriate analogy.

Also, in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Jesus refers to real Jewish people who worship in real synagogues who persecute His followers (both Jew and Gentile) in Smyrna and Philadelphia. He calls them a synagogue of Satan and that they are not Jews, but liars. The reason is because, according to Jesus and the rest of the New Testament, a real Jew--a True Jew is a child of Abraham. And Abraham is the father of all who believe. To Jesus, only those who believe in His Name are really Jews.

Rich Robinson

Given the history of anti-Semitism over the centuries, it's important to note that these conversations within the New Testament were "in the family." Jesus called those who opposed him -- which were not all Pharisees, e.g. Nicodemus -- by these names, as those who authored the Dead Sea Scrolls also did similarly with those with whom they sharply disagreed.
I also need to take issue with your statement that all who believe are "true Jews" or "really Jews." The New Testament continues to make a distinction between Jews and Gentiles (witness Paul's addressing his audience in Romans as "you Gentiles" - believing Gentiles). He never calls Gentile Christians "Jews." In the section of Romans addressed to Jews in the early chapters, he does say that a true Jew is one who is Jewish inwardly, not just outwardly. He is pointing out that to be true to the name "Jewish" means to follow the God of Israel. But he does not conflate Jewish and Gentile believers.
The Revelation passages (2:9 and 3:9) probably indicate some activity of Jewish synagogue attenders against Jewish followers of Jesus. But it is not denying that Jews who don't follow Jesus are not Jews. In 1 Cor, 9:20 Paul calls Jews who are not yet believers "Jews" and Romans 9:1-15 and 10:1 indicate the place of the Jewish people, even as not followers of Jesus, in God's plan and in his heart. See all of Romans 9-11 for the full unpacking. So Revelation is a particular circumstance, not a key verse in unlocking the meaning of "Jewish."

Scott Calvin

I am slightly taken aback by the views you hold whom some might label "separationist."

And I'm glad you brought up Romans 9-11, where Paul draws up the analogy of one cultivated olive tree made up of Jew and Gentile branches on the same tree. We all are the true circumcision, and we worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. We are all one in Christ, who brought down the dividing wall of hostility that separated us (Jew and Gentile) and has made one new man in place of the two, and has reconciled us both in one body through the cross, killing the hostility. Now there is one flock with one shepherd.

All believers are all brothers and will never be separated, either in this age or in the age to come.

Rich Robinson

Yes absolutely we are all one in Christ and are part of the same body, one body and one shepherd. What I was saying is that you cannot appropriate the label "Jewish" and apply it to all believers. Maybe I misunderstood you. Within the diversity of the one body, the New Testament still distinguishes Jewish followers of Jesus and non-Jewish or Gentile followers.

pam weinstein

the word from derived from Judah--Jew is used in certain OT and NT places but remember it is a praise as first used by Leah to


yes, the real question is --is it true and is God true and is
God the Father author of the whole Bible? One is
negligent if the question of this type are avoided.It
is given so that we have to use it to find out if this is so.
Unless we are sure God exists we cannot seek him and
we cannot know him so he gave us this to know him.
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