Jewish-Christian Relations in Light of the Church

In The Jerusalem Post:

As someone who works in the field of Jewish- Christian relations I recently  found myself with a meeting scheduled at a monastery in the Galilee. This  meeting just happened to come along at a time when my father was visiting from  Canada, so I urged him to come along, to see the extraordinary design and  architecture of the building and learn something about Christian life in Israel.  My father was unsure, as a man with a healthy degree of skepticism toward  religion generally, and some settled ideas about the Roman Catholic Church and  the Jews.

Some of this is my own fault. Because of my own years of  research and work, my father has become wellacquainted with evangelical- Jewish  relations and Christian Zionism, and the efforts underway in that corner of the  Christian world to develop better Jewish-Christian relations. As with my father,  I find many Jews today to be surprised and deeply skeptical of about relations  between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jews.

Increasingly there’s a  tendency, particularly in Israel, to see Christian support for Israel, Christian  efforts to combat anti-Semitism and Christian love for the Jews primarily  through an evangelical, Christian Zionist lens. For many Jews, Roman Catholic  priests taking Judaism seriously, celebrating Jewish holidays, honoring Torah  and learning Hebrew is a shock.

I do not mean in any way to minimize the  importance (and complexity) of evangelical Christian support for Israel and  efforts in building better relations between Christians and Jews. But it would  be a tragic mistake to forget the work underway in other expressions of  Christianity.

There are lovers of Israel and the Jews to be found among  all denominations, just as there are evangelical anti- Semites. It’s a mistake  for Jews in Israel and abroad to narrow our Christian conversation partners,  challengers and allies down to a single branch of Christianity…

Read on here.


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