Illustration: "The Woman Caught in Adultery"
Just to demonstrate once again that I am an equal opportunity iconoclast and that I don't just criticize the rabbis, I would just like to point out a very simple contradiction in the New Testament; one that even most Jews should be somewhat familiar with.....
As seen in the Mel Gibson film, and STILL re-enacted each year in most Catholic Churches, the Passion Plays tell the story of the Jews bringing Jesus to Pontus Pilate and demanding he be crucified.
An interesting aside to this story appears in the musical/film: “Jesus Christ Superstar” where Pilate is made to say in reference to Jesus:
"He's Herod's race, he's Herod's case”
While it is nice that the words: “race” and “case” rhyme, that fact is that Jesus and Herod were NOT the same race. Herod was an Edomite and Jesus was a Jew. In other words: Herod was the descendant of Esau, while Jesus was the descendant of Jacob.
Be that as it may, for our purposes the important point the rabbis like to focus on is that: the Jews did NOT kill Jesus. The Romans killed Jesus.
Basically, their argument is that crucifixion was a method of execution used by the Romans, not the Jews.....Period !!!
In other words: the rabbis don't want to discuss the narrative of the New Testament and the passion plays which clearly and unambiguously point the finger at the Jews for demanding the death of Jesus and for manipulating poor helpless Pilate into crucifying this “innocent” man.Basically, the rabbis don't want to get into the debate of whether or not the New Testament is the truth and nothing but the truth, so they just side step the whole issue and argue: "If Jesus was indeed crucified, then we didn't do it, because we don't crucify people....."
Jews also like to point out that there are dozens of historical documents showing that Pilate murdered or executed hundreds of people. Nevertheless, in my opinion, all these historical facts are really irrelevant, because, according to the story in the New Testament, Pilate's wife had a dream and he wanted to spare Jesus to appease her. Put another way: “Yes, Pilate was a murderer and cruel executioner, but he was also a superstitious man, and his wife's dream “spooked him” and in this one case he acted against his natural tendencies because he was afraid.
BUT, enough with the background information....
What's the connection between the Passion Plays and Paul of Tarsus?
What's the connection between the Jews demanding Jesus be killed and the adulterous woman?
It's elementary, my dear Watson.....
Pontus Pilate asks the Jews:Why don't they just kill Jesus themselves? The Jews are made out to reply:
"We don't have any laws which allow us to put him to death”.
Oh really? Then how did the Jews and Paul of Tarsus, who was at that time known as: Saul, kill “saint” Stephen ?
Of course, as we all know, Saul/Paul didn't actually kill Stephen, he just held everyone else's coats while they killed Stephen; nevertheless, the question remains:
If the Jews had no laws by which to kill Jesus, then where suddenly did the law appear by which they could kill Stephen?
The second story concerns the adulterous woman.
Here there are two issues:
1) Jesus NEVER says it is forbidden to kill the adulterous woman; NOR does he say that she is innocent of the crime.2) If someone had picked up a rock and killed her, he would not have stopped them, nor would any Roman have stopped them.
Therefore, what we see is that, even according to the New Testament, there were indeed laws in existence that allowed Jews to kill people BOTH before the crucifixion and after the crucifixion.
So to conclude, a little joke I heard related to this subject:
The people come to Jesus with a woman claiming they have caught her in the very act of adultery and they want to know:
Whether or not she should be put to death?
Jesus states: “Let the one without sin cast the first stone” and then he kneels down and starts to write something in the dirt with his finger.
Suddenly, a good size stone comes flying out of the crowd and hits the adulterous woman square in the forehead and kills her instantly.
For a moment, there is absolute silence as the stunned crowd waits to see how Jesus will react.
Jesus, stops writing in the sand, turns to look at the dead woman and slowly rises.....He searches amongst the faces in the crowd trying to determine who it was that threw the stone and then speaks out....
"Mom......I think you missed the point I was trying to make here.....”