Salvation is from the Jews

The Image of Jews and Judaism in Biblical Interpretation, from Anti-Jewish Exegesis to Eliminationist Antisemitism

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“Unheil,” curse, disaster: according to German scholar Gerhard Kittel, this is the Jewish destiny attested to in scripture. Such interpretations of biblical texts provided Adolf Hitler with the theological legitimatization necessary to realizing his “final solution.”

But theological antisemitism did not begin with the Third Reich. Ferdinand Baur’s nineteenth-century Judaism-Hellenism dichotomy empowered National Socialist scholars to construct an Aryan Jesus cleansed of his Jewish identity, building on Baur’s Enlightenment prejudices. Anders Gerdmar takes a fresh look at the dangers of the politicization of biblical scholarship and the ways our unrecognized interpretive filters may generate someone else’s apocalypse.

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Anders Gerdmar, Th.D. (2001) in New Testament Exegesis from Uppsala University, was a researcher, senior lecturer, and author. His published works include Rethinking the Judaism-Hellenism Dichotomy (Almqvist & Wiksell, 2001) and Roots of Theological Anti-Semitism (Brill, 2009).
Contents
Foreword
List of Illustration

1 Introduction: Exegesis as Legitimation of Elimination
 On Theology, the Holocaust, and the Ethics of Interpretation
 1 Exegetical Legitimation of Replacement Theology
 2 Methodological Remarks and My Vantage Point
 3 Overview of the Chapters
 4 Concluding Remarks

2 “Salvation Comes from the Jews”
 Ideology and Exegesis in the Interpretation of John 4.22b
 1 The Ideological Tendency in the Exegetes’ Reception
 2 The Verse in the Overall Theology of the Fourth Gospel
 3 Summary

3 Baur and the Creation of the Judaism-Hellenism Dichotomy
 1 Baur and the Creation of the Judaism-Hellenism Dichotomy
 2 Revisiting the Textual Base
 3 The Jerusalem Church through Tübingen Spectacles
 4 Baurian Hermeneutics and the Emergence of the Judaism-Hellenism Dichotomy

4 Beyond Jewish and Hellenistic
 The Historical Background of Early Christianity
 1 The Judaism-Hellenism Dichotomy: A Background
 2 Some Areas in New Testament Exegesis Which Have Been Affected by the Judaism-Hellenism Dichotomy
 3 Beyond Two ‘Church Theologies’
 4 Conclusion: Early Christianity beyond the Judaism-Hellenism Dichotomy or “When Christians Were Jews”

5 Christology beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Dichotomy
 A Few Remarks on the History of Christological Scholarship
 1 From the Liberal Picture of Jesus to the School of the History of Religions
 2 Post-Holocaust Development
 3 Conclusions

6 Adolf Schlatter and die Ordnungen
 Schlatter between Christian and völkisch Ideology during 1933–1934
 1 Adolf Schlatter: A Background
 2 Schlatter’s Dialogue with völkisch Ideology
 3 Conclusion

7 A Germanic Jesus on Swedish Soil
 Swedish-German Research in a Racist Key, 1941–1945
 1 Germanic and Nordic in German Ideology
 2 Arbeitsgemeinschaft Germanentum und Christentum: A Germanic-Nordic Cooperation
 3 A Germanic Jesus on Swedish Theological Soil
 4 Conclusion: Germanic Inroads into Swedish Theology

8 Germanentum as Overarching Ideology
 Cooperation between German and Nordic Exegetes during the Third Reich
 1 Old Norse Culture, National Socialism, and Theology in Swedish Academic Salons
 2 The Bridge to Thuringia, the Brown Heartland of Deutsche Christen

9 “Luther’s Struggle against the Jews”
 A völkisch Reception of Luther’s View of the Jews
 1 Religious Legitimation of Antisemitism
 2 Luther and Race

10 The Abused Paul and the Jews
 1 Reception Analysis and Reception Ethics
 2 Conclusion

11 The Nazi Bible. “Another Jesus”
 The Gospels in the National Socialist Bible, “Die Botschaft Gottes”: Theological Legitimation of Antisemitism
 1 The Making of Die Botschaft Gottes
 2 Some Observations on Die Botschaft Gottes and Its Overall Message
 3 The Gospel of John in Die Botschaft Gottes
 4 Concluding Reflections: Theological Legitimation of Antisemitism

12 Concluding Remarks
 Exegesis and Legitimizing the Elimination of Jews and Judaism
 1 Exegetes Unaware of Anti-Jewish and Antisemitic Attitudes
 2 Historiography as Legitimator
 3 A Jewish Jesus—before and after the Holocaust
 4 A Dark Ecumenism Legitimating Antisemitism
 5 Final Reflection: Elimination of “Dangerous” Texts
 6 Has Modern Christianity Been De-Judaized?
 7 The Final Question
Index
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