The Unity of Christianity and Judaism

Arena

The beginning of the twentieth century is signalized by a great discovery. It is not the perception of any single mind, but a truth that is dawning upon the consciousness of all enlightened minds; namely, that the principles of Christianity and the principles of Judaism are not antagonistic. They are in their essence identical and sympathetic. Ideal Christianity and ideal Judaism are one. The error arose from confounding principles with personality. "The Jews killed Jesus, our Redeemer." This slogan was sufficient to kindle and keep alive the deepest prejudices and most intense hatred of an age of ignorance and superstition. And one utterance of the mob at Jerusalem has unfortunately confirmed and intensified the antagonism.

What has Judaism contributed to the treasures of the world's thought and life? The question may be answered categorically: (1) Monotheism; (2) Divine Fatherhood; (3) Human Brotherhood; (4) The Ten Commandments, embodying a perfect system of ethics. This catalogue shows at a glance the impossibility of any real antagonism between the Hebraic and Christian systems of thought and standards of life when rightly understood. Now that the theological mist is rising, and the smoke of controversy is clearing away, the Messianic principle (which is simply love revealed and manifested) is beginning to be recognized as something distinct from ritualism on the side and from the theological formulations on the other. Hence, many of the Jews are beginning to say, with Rabbi Kaufman Kohler of New York City: "The beautiful tales about the things that happened around the lake of Galilee show that there was a spiritual daybreak in that dark corner of Judea of which official Judaism had failed to take sufficient cognizance." Words and acts of sympathy and comity between churches and synagogues are becoming common. A Presbyterian minister, writing on the subject, says: "I have often spoken against the anit-Jewish spirit. We are more indebted to them than to any other race. Jesus said, 'Salvation is of the Jews.'" A Christian publishing house is bringing out at vast expense a Jewish encyclopedia, which will not only have a great historic value, but will serve as a bond of mutual respect between the Jew and the Christian.

May 22, 1902
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