- Pathfinder

Reply To: In the first lecture, Dr. McDermott teaches that the Bible is one story, and that God upholds his covenant with the Jewish people to this very day. Was this what you were taught growing up? If not, how will this insight change the way you read the bible going forward?

Michael Caplan

Yes this was although perhaps not with great intentionality. As a cradle Catholic who listened to selections from the Old Testament every week at Sunday Mass, I was imbued from a young age with a sense of the profound linkage between God, the Jewish people, and the land of Israel. I remember attending religious education courses and being taught that the Jews were the Chosen People of God given a mandate over the ancient land of Israel to do God’s work. However, none of this meant that this connection remained even in the present day. Above all it was my mother who emphasized this special connection (she would not have known to call it a covenant) to me and stressed the eternal and still-living bond between God and the Jewish people. I am grateful for her delineation of this understanding because it has formed my mindset when I’ve approached the contemporary issues around Christian treatment of Jews and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have believed and feel affirmed through these lectures on the critical importance of Christians recognizing the covenant with the Jews that remains-per Pope Paul VI’s Nostra Aetate.