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?
Growing up, I was taught exactly what Dr. McDermott believes—that God’s covenant with the Jewish people still stands. My parents felt a strong affinity for the Jewish people and were very supportive of the state of Israel. This that was informed largely by their reading of the Old Testament and knowledge of God’s covenant and love for the Jewish people. This course’s lesson on the history of antisemitism within Christian history was deeply sobering. While I knew this was a problem in church history, I did not grasp the breadth and scope of the issue. Silly as it sounds, my first exposure to antisemitism in Christianity was Fiddler on the Roof when a Russian official refers to Jews as “Christ-killers”. The phrase struck me as bizarre and horrifying, and when I learned more about antisemitism in Christian history, it was even more so. Bad theological ideas such as supersessionism undoubtedly fostered antisemitic feelings and actions. As Christians, our Biblical understanding of the Jewish people and the Holy Land matters. We must get this right.