How mind boggling the lethal consequences for Jews over the centuries of the charge "Christ Killers" if indeed only a scant number of Jews called for the crucifixion, while far more embraced him, and most never heard of him. Only if you read the Gospels through the eyes of hatred can you conclude that the Jews killed Jesus.
So how can the code for hatred be broken? Only when we all fully grasp the Jewish foundations of Christianity.
That's why I've organized an art exhibit, "Putting Judaism Back in the Picture:Toward Healing the Christian/Jewish Divide." The massive number of Medieval and Renaissance artworks conditioned the way Christians and others perceived Jesus and Jews over the centuries. Moreover, they have placed a wedge between Christians and Jews by depicting Jesus as exclusively Christian, without a hint of his Jewish origin. Their legacy continues to reverberate today, as in the Harvard newsletter.
In vaporizing Jesus' Jewish identity these artworks have falsified biblical history. Jesus and his family typically appear as blond fair-skinned Northern Europeans living in palatial Romanesque settings surrounded by Medieval and Renaissance Christian saints and other anachronisms. This imagery has fed the illusion that Jesus and Jews were of different religions and ethnicity---and were in conflict. These false implications run counter to the depiction of the thoroughly Jewish Jesus in the Gospels.
For this exhibit, artists are invited to submit artworks that restore Jesus' Jewish identity and introduce balance by presenting the two sides of the Jesus story: Jesus the faithful Jew and Jesus whose life and teachings inspired a new religion that developed after the crucifixion. The premise of the exhibit is that the historic alienation of Christianity and Judaism will not be healed until Jews look at Jesus and see a faithful Jew (even if not accepted as the Messiah) and Christian look at an orthodox Jew and see Jesus.
Bernard Starr is a psychologist, college professor and journalist. He is the author of Jesus Uncensored: Restoring the Authentic Jew. Website: click here.