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July 27, 2003

Were Jew There When They Crucified My Lord?

Daniel Radosh

My friend Leon Zitzer is an amateur Bible scholar with a compelling case that, contrary to what Mel Gibson would have you believe, an accurate reading of the Gospels shows absolutely no Jewish hostility toward Jesus of Nazareth. You'll find only cryptic hints about Leon's evidence on his web site (he believes, erroneously I've told him, that spreading his discovery is not worth the risk of someone stealing it; any publishing types interested can ask him for his much more coherent 10-page summary). Of course, denouncing Gibson's antisemitism is becoming increasingly popular. But Leon points out the hypocrisy: "Gibson could defend himself by saying that he is only offering a poetic rendition or extrapolation of what is in the work of most scholars and churches. Everyone gives lip service to the idea that we should not blame Jews for Jesus' death, but then they turn around and blame Jews far more than they do Romans." Elsewhere he notes the irony of Gibson, as a self-described Traditional Catholic, writing his movie in Aramaic, given that the old Church didn't like to admit that Jesus spoke anything but Latin.

Like any good blogger, Leon's a bit of an eccentric crank. Unlike any good blogger, he has absolutely no understanding of even the most basic conventions of blogging. Whether this is refreshing or appalling is up for grabs.

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