06 August 2009

The Tendency of All

After spending the afternoon listening to Jacob Neusner bemoan the unfortunate bad rap the Pharisees have received at the hands of Christian interpreters (in this book), it was refreshing, as it often is, to spend some time with Schreiner who puts things in the right perspective.

Jesus often castigated the sins of the religious leaders, particularly the Pharisees. Such strong indictments have raised the issue of anti-Semitism, especially when we consider the history of Christian mistreatment of the Jews. NT writers, however, never intended these indictments to provide a platform for the maltreatment of others. The religious leaders represented the tendency of all human beings when they rise to the top of a religious or social structure. Hence, what Jesus said to the religious leaders serves as an indictment of all who fail to repent and reveals what is naturally in the heart of every human being, Jew or Gentile.

--Tom Schreiner, NT Theology (Baker 2008), 511

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