Israeli Parliament member rips up New Testament

Calls book “abominable,” even though it was largely written by Jews.

Joel C. Rosenberg

(Jerusalem, Israel, July 19, 2012) — Please pray for Michael Ben Ari. He’s a member of the Israeli parliament (Knesset) who this week was given the gift of a Hebrew New Testament study Bible by the Israeli Bible Society but chose to rip it to shreds and throw it into the garbage and do so in front of the press. It was a reprehensible act and a childish temper tantrum and the controversy over what he did and why he did it has made headlines here in Israel and around the world. The good news is several leading Israeli officials condemned Ben Ari’s action and called for him to apologize. Personally, I’d like to see Prime Minister Netanyahu make a strong statement condemning Ben Ari’s action, as well. I’m not aware that the PM has yet done so.

At the end of this column, I post some of my thoughts about why I believe this controversy is important.

But first, here are the latest details: “MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union), a member of the Israeli parliament tore up a copy of the New Testament and threw it in the trash, an act that was apparently caught on camera,” reported Ynet News. “Ben Ari and several other Knesset members received by mail on Monday a copy of the New Testament, sent by the Bible Society in Israel, an organization that distributes religious books. In the letter sent with the book, director of the Christian organization Victor Kalisher wrote that the new edition ‘sheds light on the Holy Scriptures and helps understand them….We hope the book will help you and illuminate your way.’….However, while most MK’s chose to ignore the book or return it to its sender, the rightist lawmaker chose to term the book a ‘provocation,’ tore it up into shreds and then threw it out. ‘This abominable book (the New Testament) galvanized the murder of millions of Jews during the Inquisition and during [other] instances,’ Ben Ari said adding that ‘Sending the book to MK’s is a provocation. There is no doubt that this book and all it represents belongs in the garbage can of history.'”

“The religious and ultra-Orthodox Knesset members should honor those who want to read the book, Kalisher said,” noted the Times of Israel, “adding ‘it could help them expand their own knowledge.’ Kalisher also denied the notion of missionary activity, saying his organization studied and spread the holy scriptures, providing people with knowledge and study tools. There was no intention to ‘hurt the feelings of Knesset members,’ he said. ‘It’s a Jewish book, written by Jews. To better understand Judaism you need to study the New Testament.’

MK Ben Ari’s deplorable behavior was denounced by other Knesset members, including the Speaker of the Knesset Reuven Rivlin. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), to their credit, also called on MK Ben Ari to apologize for his behavior. I agree with the ADL and am encouraged by their statement, which I’ve posted on the blog.

That said, I would encourage all of the Members of the Israeli Knesset to ready and carefully study this Hebrew edition of the New Testament and to proactively study the life of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth. Indeed, my prayer is that all Israelis would read and study the New Testament and decide this question: Is Yeshua the Jewish Messiah foretold by the Hebrew prophets, or not? This is the most important question in all of human history, and the most important and urgent of questions that must be answered by each and every Jew and Gentile. Indeed, our eternal destiny depends on how we answer this question and what actions we take based on our answer. Thus, I’m grateful this controversy has been sparked. May it lead many to decide to obtain a copy of this Hebrew New Testament and study carefully it for themselves.

[To read these stories in full — and/or to read excerpts from IMPLOSION, and/or to find links to the latest news and analysis of events and trends in the U.S., Israel, Russia, and the Middle East — please go to: http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/.%5D

—————

ALSO ON THE BLOG:

* BUS BOMBING KILLS AT LEAST 7 ISRAELI YOUTH IN BULGARIA: Iran suspected

* MOFAZ QUITS ISRAELI GOVERNMENT: Why he did it, and what it means.

* SERMON IN HAIFA: “O GOD, IN LIGHT OF THE GROWING THREATS TO ISRAEL, OPEN OUR EYES” (2 Kings 6:8-23)

* INTERVIEW: IMPLOSION AUTHOR DISCUSSES “RAPTURE”

* IRAN LEADER: WE MUST PREP FOR THE “END TIMES”

* WILL AMERICA EXPERIENCE A THIRD GREAT AWAKENING? Listen to sermon online

* DOES BIBLE PROPHECY FORETELL THE DESTRUCTION OF DAMASCUS? (a look at Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49)

* TWITTER — I’ve become active on Twitter. Please join me @jcrflashtraffic.

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. I suppose the obvious fact to point out is that had Ben Ari done this with a certain other religious book, the reaction of that religion’s adherents would have been (if history is any guide) much more…uh…animated and exuberant (understatement of the century). However, Yeshua’s followers (I being one) are commanded to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. I will certainly be praying for Mr. Ben Ari, and I feel no animosity toward him at all– what a wonderful Savior we serve!

    Well, one day the Nation of Israel will mourn for Yeshua as “one mourns for his only son,” and Yeshua will save them! But until then:

    From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:

    “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

    “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”
    ~ Acts 28:24-28

    Thanks & Blessings.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s