Jewish Leaders Make Statement on Christianity

September 8, 2000

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On September 8, 2000, The Baltimore Sun reported that a "group of Jewish religious leaders is about to release a provocative statement that challenges widely held views within the Jewish community about God, the Bible and the relationship between Christianity and Nazism...The statement, which is being released by the Baltimore-based Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies," was published on September 10th, in the local Baltimore paper and in the New York Times. "Titled 'Dabru Emet' (Hebrew for 'Seek the Truth'), the statement calls on Jews to acknowledge Christian efforts to confront their past mistreatment of Jews and Judaism. It also calls on Jews to re-evaluate how they perceive Christians and Christianity. It was signed by more than 160 Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist rabbis."

Some of the statement's main points include: "Christians and Jews worship the same God, a statement that might not sit well with Jewish theologians who consider Christian teachings on the incarnation (Jesus is God and man) and the Trinity (God is three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as idolatry...Jews and Christians seek authority from the same book, the Bible. Although there are points of agreement, it is common practice for many Christians to interpret what they call the Old Testament as an incomplete truth that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ...Nazism is not a Christian phenomenon, although it adds, 'Without the long history of Christian anti-Judaism and Christian violence against Jews, Nazi ideology could not have taken hold nor could it have been carried out...But Nazism itself was not an inevitable outcome of Christianity.'"