Letter: Judas Iscariot and the roots of Christian anti-Semitism

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The Independent Online
Sir: One can sympathise absolutely from a Christian viewpoint, with Hyam Maccoby's condemnation of Christian anti-Semitism: it is an ugly chapter in the Church's past that we need to remember, as Mr Maccoby rightly urges. But Mr Maccoby's thesis is undermined by an irrelevance: his cavalier use of the phrase 'in historical fact' to introduce rather wild claims such as that there was no betrayer of Christ, and that Christ's resurrection was, in effect, made up.

Undoubtedly this sort of fancifulness sells books (and newspapers). But it also distracts from the credibility of what Mr Maccoby has to say, which is not fanciful at all: which is that Christian history is, alas, riddled with anti-Jewish attitudes and atrocities, for which the present-day Church needs to ask the Jewish community to forgive us.

Yours faithfully,

T. D. J. CHAPPELL

Wolfson College

Oxford

6 April

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