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The Christian debt to Judaism

Sidney Brichto expresses concern about anti-semitism in the story of the Passion and how this might "sow the seeds of hatred" in the classroom. From reading the Gospels and, indeed, from watching the Mel Gibson film, my understanding is that Jesus and, at this time, most of his followers, were also Jewish.

Perhaps a gospel "truth" is masking an historical "truth".

It is certainly time for the Jewishness of the historical Jesus to come centre stage in RE lessons. Nor should it be forgotten that, without the crucifixion, there would not have been a resurrection. And without the resurrection there would not have been either "salvation" or Christianity.

In a sense, therefore, Christianity owes a debt to those few Jews who decided a fellow-Jew must die. And is the hand of God not somewhere to be found at work in this train of events?

Chris McGovern Director, The History Curriculum Association Windover Punnetts Town Heathfield, East Sussex

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