Christian anti-Semitism is self-defeating bad theology

This post first appeared on Kineti and is authored by Judah Gabriel Himango, one of Tabernacle of David’s teachers.

Over the last week, rapper Kanye West said some ugly things about Jews. Specifically, that Jewish people aren’t real Jews. In West’s view, black folks are the real Jews: 

 “When I say Jew, I mean the 12 lost tribes of Judah, the blood of Christ, who the people known as the race Black really are. This is who our people are.” 

This is the theology of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a fringe Christian group that promotes a conspiracy theory: that the Jewish people have conspired to hide the truth of who is an Israelite from the general public. In this conspiracy theory, Jews are fake Jews, and the real Jews are the black race.
West also made statements saying he’s going to war with the Jews:

“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE. The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”

 This also spurred some fringe Christian anti-Semites to show their support:

Social media and news sites reported anti-Semitic Christians showing support for Kayne West’s statements.

Christian anti-Semitism like this is muddled thinking. It’s self-defeating. Here’s how.

Jewish material, Jewish authors, Jewish King

First, the material they cite is Jewish.

In the photo above, they cite Revelation and John. But the author of both Revelation and the gospel of John is believed to be John the Beloved, a Jew writing about Jesus the Jew. Revelation ends with Jesus the Jewish King reigning from a restored Jerusalem. Virtually all the New Testament is written by Jewish authors, writing about Jewish material and a Jewish King. Jesus, the 12 disciples, Paul, the early church: all Jews

Indeed, Christianity was originally a sect of Judaism called הדרך HaDerech / The Way (see Acts 9), and the first 3,000 believers were all Jews (Acts 2). And those 3000 believers came to faith in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. They were there for the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which was commanded by God in the Jewish Torah to the Jewish people. 

Weak proof texts and arguments from silence

Second, Christian anti-Semites’ proof texts are weak and unstable. 

In John 8:44, Jesus disputes with other Jewish religious leaders and has harsh words for them, saying they are of the devil. Christian anti-Semites interpret this passage to mean all Jews are of the devil. But the text can’t mean that, because this would mean all of Jesus’ initial followers were of the devil. Including the 12 disciples. And Jesus himself. And the whole early church.

Some anti-Semites will claim a lesser form of this argument: that only Jews who reject Jesus as Messiah are of the devil. But the text again doesn’t say this. We have Jesus stating certain Jewish religious leaders were “white-washed tombs” — but nowhere does the New Testament condemn all Jews as being fathered by the devil.

Revelation 3:9 is another proof text of Christian anti-Semites. In it, God corrects those who “claim to be Jewish but are liars.” 

Christian anti-Semites think this passage has hidden meaning: that all Jewish people are not actually Jewish. But the text again doesn’t say that. It’s a form of argument from silence. And because there is no evidence for their case, one could just as well argue that it applies to Black Hebrew Israelites and anyone else who claims to be Jewish but is not.

If we’re charitable and say that perhaps Revelation 3’s words of correction was the Jewish people, even then we have God speaking to a specific church (see Rev 3:7 – just 2 verses before the proof text). This cannot mean all Jewish people. It’s directed to a specific church, and specific people within that church.

Contrary to the thrust of the New Testament

Christian anti-Semitism also fails because so much of the New Testament runs counter to it. Consider Romans 11: 

I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.

This text means what it says. It’s not hard to understand. This verse says that God hasn’t rejected the Jewish people. 

This passage even prevents us from wandering off the path; we cannot claim “Israelites” means anything other than the Jewish people who descended from Jacob. Paul says he’s from the tribe of Benjamin, and these Israelites are the people God knew from before.

Paul further goes on to say that God’s plan is that all Israel will be saved

It’s plain to see in the New Testament: God hasn’t rejected the Jewish people. 

This runs counter to what Christian anti-Semites claim their proof texts to mean.

Confused and inaccurate

The muddled thinking of Christian anti-Semites shows up in other ways. Notice in one of Kayne West’s statements he talks about the “12 tribes of Judah”:

“When I say Jew, I mean the 12 lost tribes of Judah, the blood of Christ, who the people known as the race Black really are. This is who our people are.” 

That doesn’t make logical sense. There are not 12 tribes of Judah. Judah was one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Maybe West misspoke. Or maybe he just has really muddied thinking here and doesn’t (yet?) know the Bible well.

If we interpret him charitably, we could say he meant the “lost 12 tribes of Israel”. Even that doesn’t make sense, as only parts of 10 tribes have been lost.

And what of West’s statement about “the blood of Christ, who are known as the race Black”?

This is racial superiority nonsense.

A thrust of the New Testament is that Jews and Gentiles are on equal footing before God; each needs to turn from sin, each needs forgiveness. Jews and Blacks both need God, and God does not show favoritism. 

The “blood of Christ” has nothing to do with races or racial purity. The blood of Christ speaks about the shed blood of Messiah, poured out for the forgiveness of sins. It has nothing to do with human bloodlines or racial superiority. As a lifelong student of the Bible, I can’t think of a single passage that would even hint at what West is claiming.


Christian anti-Semitism is self-defeating. It uses Jewish texts as its supporting material. Its proof texts are weak, out of context, and against the grain of the rest of Bible.
Christian anti-Semitism’s philosophy is muddled and contains strange non-sequiturs. It makes the Jewish Jesus out to be against his own people. It brings shame to the reputation of Messiah.
When Kanye West released his “Jesus Is King” album not long ago, I was happy to see he had come to know the Lord and declared it publcly. Many celebrities keep their faith private for fear of backlash from the secular culture. Not Kanye West. It’s wonderful to see someone with such influence in the secular world speak boldly about Jesus. But with his anti-Semitic comments, it’s clear he’s immature in his faith and misled by the Black Hebrew Israelite cult. 
I’ll be praying that he repents of these wicked views against Jesus’ own people, the Jewish people. I hope you’ll pray too, dear Kineti reader.

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