Without some serious study on your part most likely you will not be able to understand when I say that the Gospels are tales combining myths and facts, dogmas and historical data. They affirm the goodness and wisdom of Jesus and at the same time, in some instances, the pestilent stupidity of Jews. That being the case I would ask you to stop and "think" for a moment that if that depiction of the Jews is true then how stupid is God the Creator to entrust them with Divine Revelation for the world and call them a Holy Nation and a Royal Priesthood which is to shed it's light upon the nations! Upon some investigative study into antisemitism and the truth behind the New Testament and it's creation one finds that the wheels of such tragic denigration of the Jews turn by the force of the hatred by the Gentile for the Jew and his religion. The stories in these Gospels resemble morality plays with fixed and stylized roles assigned to each character. Romans, centurions, and Gentiles, together with the Christians themselves, are "the good guys." Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, priests, and teachers of the Law are the villains. Despite disparate loyalties and beliefs among these Jewish parties, they are lumped together under one pejorative heading called "the Jews." And of course, this term "the Jews" was given a negative connotation by the early Gentile Church and done so in the name of a supposed Apostle (John). It amazes me that John, a Jewish apostle of Jesus, could have been antisemitic!
The four Gospels relate what early Christians believed about the life, teachings, and death of Jesus. However, certain crucial facts vary from one narrative to the next. From Jesus' genealogy to his attitude toward his coreligionists, to the time, place, and circumstances of his trial, the four books record conflicting versions and sentiments. The ambivalence and contradictions reflect a tension between the Jewish background and identification of Jesus on the one hand, and the Gentile milieus and antisemitism of the authors narrating the events on the other.
The Gospels have three currents running through them. At times Jesus' Jewish origins and allegiance are easy to perceive; often the evangelists' Gentile orientation and misinformation about Judaism are evident; and frequently the authors' audacious accusations and unconcealed animosity for Jews are manifest. All of this is woven into the image and portrayal of these Gentile writers of the New Testament in their depiction of Jews in the New Testament. It is in investigating such conflicting portrayals of Jesus and the Jew as found in the New Testament that it is hoped that a clearer picture of Jesus and the events in his life will emerge so that the myths can be separated from the facts.
This separation is particularly important in light of the Gospels' inconsistent and often contradictory portrayal of Jesus. Here are some paradoxes which should be borne in mind as the various currents or influences in the Gospels are discussed:
In the course of our study and in future articles on this site we shall try to distinguish between the voice of Jesus and the words of the evangelists.
The evangelists seem to have shared the views of the apostles who preceded them. All the writers of the Gospels and Book of Acts expressed Paul's ideas that Jesus was divine and that obedience to the Torah was replaced by faith in Jesus. They furthered Paul's denunciation of the Law and slander of Jews and embroidered upon his basic message by adding stories and legends. The verses in the Gospels and Acts, like those in the Epistles, are strewn with personal insults and false accusations against Jews. These scurrilous attacks become more understandable when seen in the context of the authors' backgrounds and perspectives. To begin this examination, let us look at who were the evangelists and writers of the Gospels and Acts and why these documents were written. We will do so in the following article.