Is the Apostle Paul Antisemitic?

Cards on the table: I desperately want the answer to this question to be “no.”

Since the beginning of this year my church has been doing a deep dive into Galatians. Every Sunday the sermon is on a part of the text of Galatians. Then every Monday night there is a deep-dive webinar presentation, following up with historical and theological questions raised by the text from the sermon. Then every Wednesday night my small group gets together to discuss the Sunday sermon, the Monday deep-dive, and the text of the week from Galatians. There is “homework” to be done in advance of each of these three gatherings each week. It’s a lot of Galatians.

And until now I haven’t found the “no” I was looking for in any of these readings, homework exercises, sermons, webinar presentations, or small group discussions.

It was getting increasingly frustrating. And depressing.

Then I found an interesting scholarly article about Paul. The article is by Pamela Eisenbaum, published in the winter of 2000-2001, titled, “Is Paul the Father of Misogyny and Antisemitism?” Her answer is “no” – but the way she gets there is fresh and thought-provoking.

It’s absolutely an egg-head scholarly article. If you don’t like those, best to skip it. But if you do like that kind of reading, I highly recommend it.

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