MEL GIBSON’S MOVIE — HOTLY DEBATED
As Zenit reported on April 8, “Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ broke all box office records for a first night showing in Italy… The film took 1.22 million euros ($1.5 million) Wednesday, beating the 1.11 million first-night takings for ‘Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.’… In Germany, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leaders have made a joint statement to warn the film could fan anti-Semitism.”
The Austrian magazine, “Profil,” quoted a Jewish author, as follows: “Now comes Mel Gibson, the son of a notorious Jew hater and a dissenter of the Second Vatican Council, and he does, what he and the likes of him have been accusing the Jews of for the last 2,000 years.”
At the same time, as Zenit reported, “Four Anglican churches in Kent gave away $37,000 of tickets hoping to attract people back to Christ.”
Germany’s Die Welt am Sonntag published an article, titled, “The godless republic.” It noted that only 15% of the people in western Germany and 11% in eastern Germany regularly go to church, stating, “Germany is becoming a country of religious illiterates.” It pointed out that fundamental questions, such as why God allows evil to happen, are regarded as insignificant. People are only interested in a god, according to the paper, that will get them through the world comfortably. The paper stated that schools are finding it more difficult to teach the history of Christian beliefs because many children from immigrant families have little knowledge of Christianity.
AMERICAN INTERNMENT CAMPS
The BBC reported this week on the forgotten history of German Americans who were detained in American Internment Camps during World War II. The paper pointed out:
“Crystal City [in Texas]… was, during World War II, the site of a vast internment camp for Germans and German-Americans alleged, by the US authorities, to be Nazi sympathizers.” The paper quoted eyewitnesses, stating that a “family could be taken to a concentration camp, that’s what it was, for no reason other than because [the] father was German.”
The paper continued: “A growing number of campaigning German Americans are now asking for — at the least — recognition from the American government for what happened to them. That has not so far been forthcoming. People of Japanese nationality or descent held at the same camp during the war have had a full and public apology. A monument records that on the site. There is no equivalent marker for the Germans held… Altogether 10,905 Germans and German Americans were interned in the US during World War II.” Others, according to the paper, were deported to wartime Germany, a country which some of them had never visited before (!). Others were sent back to Germany, although they had left Germany when Hitler came to power (!).
The paper concluded: “For these proud Americans, there is a part of their past that they feel is denied by their own government.”
WHO IS GOD?
As Der Stern reported on March 30, 2004, a new German Bible translation is being prepared, scheduled to be published by 2006. The proposed title of the translation is: “The Bible in a Just Language.” More than 50 male and female theologians are involved in the project that is sponsored by the Protestant Church in the states of Hesse and Nassau. One of the stated goals is to replace the words “LORD” and “Father” with terms that are “less masculine.” It is claimed that there were female apostles (!), and that Paul’s admonition to women to be silent in the churches was an unauthorized addition by a later “Church father.” The incredible and appalling consequence of the project is, for instance, to translate the Biblical statement, “And God saw every thing that he had made,” as, “And God saw every thing that she had made.” When the Bible speaks of “Father,” the new translation adds the word “Mother,” or it changes it to “Origin” or “Eternal” — but in German, the word “Eternal” can be male and female, depending on the context.
In addition, the project wants to eliminate all Biblical statements that might be viewed as “anti-Semitic” (note the following article).
IS THE NEW TESTAMENT ANTI-SEMITIC?
If one wants to believe Pofil, an Austrian magazine, it is the Bible, and mainly Jesus Christ, Matthew and John, who are responsible for anti-Semitism. In its April edition, the magazine claims that only the Romans were responsible for the death of Christ, but that John changed the facts to make it appear as if the Jews had something to do with it. The magazine states that especially the records of Matthew and John are “problematic.” Jesus is charged with “blatant” anti-Semitism, when He says to his audience, in the gospel of John, that “Ye are of your father the devil.” It is claimed that John recorded this statement, as he allegedly did not want to be viewed any longer as a Jew. Profil points out that Jesus Christ does not play any role in Judaism. “The crucifixion, as it is being portrayed in the gospels, is unfortunately the central background for Christian Anti-Semitism and therefore the root of modern Anti-Semitism.” The magazine continues to claim that Jewish scholars have presented a modified version of Christ’s crucifixion, thereby dismissing portions of the gospel accounts as being inaccurate and “contradictory.”
We can only encourage our German readers and the German people in general to hold on to their current German translations (see last article), and to BELIEVE the Bible — not human reasoning and interpretations, which are inspired by ulterior motives and agendas. While no translation is perfect, some of the good and basically accurate current German translations of the Bible are: The Revised Luther Bible of 1984; The Revised Elberfelder Bible of 1987; The Revised Menge Bible of 1994; and The Zuercher Bibel.