The following is an excerpt of a statement issued by the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies and signed by about 150 rabbis and other Jewish leaders.

In recent years, there has been a dramatic and unprecedented shift in Jewish and Christian relations. An increasing number of official Church bodies, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, have made public statements of their remorse about Christian mistreatment of Jews and Judaism. We believe it is time for Jews to reflect on what Judaism may now say about Christianity. As a first step, we offer eight brief statements about how Jews and Christians may relate to one another

  • Jews and Christians worship the same God. While Christian worship is not a viable religious choice for Jews, as Jewish theologians we rejoice that, through Christianity, hundreds of millions of people have entered into relationship with the God of Israel.
  • Jews and Christians seek authority from the same book--the Bible (what Jews call "Tanakh" and Christians call the "Old Testament").
  • Christians can respect the claim of the Jewish people upon the land of Israel. As members of a biblically-based religion, Christians appreciate that Israel was promised--and given--to Jews as the physical center of the covenant between them and God.

  • Jews and Christians accept the moral principles of Torah. All of us were created in the image of God. This shared moral emphasis can be the basis of an improved relationship between our two communities.
  • Nazism was not a Christian phenomenon. 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.

  • The humanly irreconcilable difference between Jews and Christians will not be settled until God redeems the entire world as promised in Scripture.
  • A new relationship between Jews and Christians will not weaken Jewish practice. An improved relationship will not accelerate the cultural and religious assimilation that Jews rightly fear.

  • Jews and Christians must work together for justice and peace. Although justice and peace are finally God's, our joint efforts, together with those of other faith communities, will help bring the kingdom of God for which we hope and long.
  • more from beliefnet and our partners
    Close Ad