History can not be rewritten

30th April 2004 at 01:00
Sidney Brichto is very selective in his explanation of Jesus's crucifixion and criticism of Mel Gibson's film The Passion.

He claims "no one had a reason to kill" Jesus - which begs the question: why did they?

My understanding, as a Christian, is that the Jewish authorities called for Jesus's death on account of his alleged blasphemy - claiming to be God as well as man. St Mark makes this quite clear (14:60-64).

Unable to impose the death penalty themselves they handed Jesus over to the Romans, emphasising the political charge against him, namely his claim to be the Messiah, King of the Jews - a potential challenge to Caesar.

Mr Brichto suggests we should not lay the blame for Jesus's death at the door of the Jewish authorities. History is full of unpleasant lessons.

Germans must wish that the Holocaust had never happened - but it did and it would be wrong to deny it. Later generations, however, cannot be held responsible for the deeds of some of their ancestors.

I understand that, as a practising Jew, Sydney Brichto must deny the Christian interpretation of the crucifixion - the alternative would be unthinkable.

History, however, should not be re-written to suit present-day sensibilities. Likewise, the forgiveness Jesus came to preach must never be overlooked - that is what the Redemption is all about.

John de Waal 6 Briar Avenue Norbury, London SW16

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today