In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Racial Prejudice in the Bible

Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith, by Charles Templeton

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In Sunday school when I was a child our teacher opened her Bible and read a verse from the New Testament, John 3 Verse 16.

"This," she said, "is the best-known and best-loved verse in the Bible· It has been called the Gospel in a Nutshell"

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

It did not occur to me until years later that, perhaps better than any other verse in the Bible, John 3 verse 16 makes it clear that the Christian God is not the God of all the world.

If God's love encompasses the whole world and if everyone who does not believe in him will perish, then surely this question needs to be asked: When, after two thousand years, does God's plan kick in for the billion people he "so loves" in China? Or for the 840 million in India? Or the millions in Japan, Afghanistan, Siberia, Egypt, Burma ·.. and on and on?

Why would a God who "so loved the world" reveal his message only to a tiny minority of the people on earth, leaving the majority in ignorance? Is it possible to believe that the Father of all Mankind would select as his Chosen People a small Middle Eastern nation, Israel, reveal His will exclusively to them, fight alongside them in their battles to survive, and only after their failure to reach out to any other group, update His plan for the world's salvation by sending His "only begotten son," not to the world but, once again, exclusively to Israel?

One should recognize the evident fact that Yahweh in the Old Testament and Jesus of Nazareth in the New were not concerned about the world as a whole. Throughout Israel's history Yahweh showed no interest in any people but his Chosen People, the Jews. Indeed, his only contact with the other Middle Eastern nations of that time was actively to help the Israelites conquer them in war.

It is difficult for Christians to acknowledge this, but it is the clear message of the scriptures: Yahweh was not the God of all mankind, he was a parochial deity and racially prejudiced. He was the God of Israel and the enemy of anyone and everyone who stood in their way. And the same was true of Jesus. Jesus directed his message not to the whole world but exclusively to the Jews. Having chosen his twelve apostles (all Jews) and having given them what has been called the "Great Commission," he added these specific instructions:

Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans; but go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel and preach as you go, saying: 'The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.'

And his actions matched his words. When Jesus was preaching in the district of Tyre and Sidon:

And behold, a Canaanite woman from the region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us." He answered. "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." He answered, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.' Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly.

It is a profoundly troubling passage. If Yahweh is, in Job's phrase, "the breath of all mankind," and if he "so loved the world," why did he evidence such bias - sending his message of life to Israel only and then, through Jesus of Nazareth, almost exclusively to Jewish Christians? Indeed, he seems to have been completely indifferent to the needs of the majority of the people on earth.

{God in Islam (submission) is the God of the whole world , of all the people, and for all the people. Quran teaches that God never made Himself an exclusive God for the Jews or for any specifice group, they made such false claims when they corrupted their scriptures.}

It is clear: Jesus' mission was to the Jews and, with only rare exceptions (the much-married Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar and a Roman centurion who sought him out on behalf of his sick servant), he made no effort to reach non-Jews. After his death, his disciples did broaden their mission to include those they described as "the uncircumcised. And this exclusivist attitude has not changed with the years. Contemporary Jews will accept Christians only if they are converted to Judaism and Christians will accept Jews only if they convert.

{see God in Islam (submission) :

  1. Who is your God?
  2. Our One and Only Savior, according to Judaism, Christianity and Islam}