What are Texas students learning about Judaism in their public school Bible courses? Often these courses present Judaism as flawed and incomplete — incomplete without Jesus. Even worse, perhaps, are those courses that portray — intentionally or not — Jews as responsible for the death of Jesus. Such portrayals were long used to justify the persecution of Jews in Christian society.
Here’s an excerpt from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund’s new report, Reading, Writing & Religion II: Texas Public School Bible Courses in 2011-12 by Prof. Mark Chancey at Southern Methodist University in Dallas:
(T)he deicide motif is explicit in an essay distributed to students in Dalhart ISD. A handout taken from raptureready.com attempts to incorporate Daniel 9:24-27 into detailed calculations about history’s steady progression towards the end of the age. “No prophecy in all of Scripture is more critical to our understanding of the end times than these four verses,” according to the article. Expounding on Daniel’s 9:26’s reference to the “messiah” being “cut off,” it explains:
“It wasn’t the killing [of] the Messiah that put the Jews at odds with God. After all He came to die for them. No. It’s that in killing Him, they refused to let his death pay for their sins so He could save them. This had the effect of making His death meaningless to them. That’s what severed the relationship.”
The writer attributes the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple by the Romans and the scattering of Jews around the world as a result of Jesus’ crucifixion but assures that when Jesus establishes his kingdom on earth, “Israel will finally have her Kingdom back and will live in peace with God in her midst forever.”
The TFN Education Fund’s new report includes many other examples of serious flaws in Texas public school Bible courses. You can read a short overview of the report here. Read what some Texas courses teach about race and how they portray the Bible as “one of the most accurate history books in the world.”