Scholars Group Issues Statement on Rethinking Christian Faith in Relation to Judaism
The Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations, an association of professors in U.S. colleges, universities, and seminaries, has issued a statement calling on Christians to embrace a view of Judaism and the Jewish people that acknowledges that 'God's covenant with the Jewish people endures forever.' The statement, entitled A Sacred Obligation, points to needed reforms in Christian teaching, worship, and practice to replace the age-old 'teaching of contempt' towards Jews with a new 'teaching of respect.' The group, which includes twenty-two Protestant and Roman Catholic scholars from across the nation, is associated with the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College. Prof. Joseph Tyson of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, is the current chair of the group, which was formerly known as the Christian Scholars Group on Judaism and the Jewish People.
'It is essential,' the statement asserts, 'that Christianity both understand and represent Judaism accurately, not only as a matter of justice for the Jewish people, but also for the integrity of Christian faith, which we cannot proclaim without reference to Judaism.'
Although not presented as a direct reply to Dabru Emet, the 'Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity' issued by a group of Jewish scholars in September, 2000, the new statement takes a similar form, presenting ten theses, each followed by a brief explanation. The statement is being released simultaneously on www.jcrelations.net in English and in German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Russian translations.
The ten theses are as follows:
1. God’s covenant with the Jewish people endures forever.
2. Jesus of Nazareth lived and died as a faithful Jew.
3. Ancient rivalries must not define Christian-Jewish relations today.
4. Judaism is a living faith, enriched by many centuries of development.
5. The Bible both connects and separates Jews and Christians.
6. Affirming God’s enduring covenant with the Jewish people has consequences for Christian understandings of salvation.
7. Christians should not target Jews for conversion.
8. Christian worship that teaches contempt for Judaism dishonors God.
9. We affirm the importance of the land of Israel for the life of the Jewish people.
10. Christians should work with Jews for the healing of the world.