Disgusting Illustrations Distract from Worthy Content!

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I must say that I was greatly offended by your last issue [No. 51]. The biblical content was worth studying and reading carefully, yet on so many pages there were offensive and horrific pictures which were distracting from the data presented.

Comment from Dot Olsen (Auburn, California, U.S.A.) that was published in the “Readers’ Perspective” column of Jerusalem Perspective 52 (Jul.-Sept. 1997): 11.

I must say that I was greatly offended by your last issue [the reader refers primarily to the issue’s major article, “Anti-Jewish Tendencies in the Synoptic Gospels,” Jerusalem Perspective 51 (Apr.-Jun. 1996): 20-35, 38]. The biblical content was worth studying and reading carefully, yet on so many pages there were offensive and horrific pictures which were distracting from the data presented. I would suggest that in the future such material be perhaps grouped together on one or two pages, so as not to make study so difficult. These matters certainly need to be exposed and explored, but the pictures create such an atmosphere of disgust, they certainly detracted from the presentation of your written material.

 

David Bivin responds:

Thank you for your compliment regarding the contents of the last issue. I agree that the illustrations accompanying Dr. Notley’s article, “Anti-Jewish Tendencies in the Synoptic Gospels,” are disgusting and horrifying. I do not agree that they are out of place. Since these anti-Semitic caricatures and church art were produced by Christians who, we can assume, had read the New Testament, Christians of this generation must seek an explanation for the artists’ hatred of Jews. We also must resolve to do everything in our power to eliminate Christian antisemitism.

Please note that Dr. Notley had no part in selecting the illustrations that accompanied his article. I am responsible for the anti-Semitic illustrations’ inclusion. I also am responsible for the article’s “kicker” (p. 21), and for the inclusion of the anti-Semitic statements by Martin Luther, Bailey Smith and several church fathers, which were imbedded in the article as “call-out quotes.”


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