The Gospel of John is usually singled out as the chief culprit of the antisemitism which undoubtedly exists in the New Testament. This controversial book argues that Luke is just as much to blame. Professor Sanders shows how, for example, by separating the speeches in the Gospels and Acts, including the words of Jesus, from the narrative, which Luke was less free to manipulate, the Jews are shown as obstreperous, hostile to Jesus and the church, and foreknown to reject the gospel. Moreover, while Luke has reduced the amount of Pharisaic hostility from that in Mark and Matthew, he has added scenes of conflict that do not appear in the other two, so that the conflict between Jesus and the Jews is a monolithic one over behaviour. Other antisemitic features are brought out in a thorough study of Luke's writings. The last chapter reviews several theories that seek to explain why Luke portrays the Jews as he does and concludes that we have to let Luke, not speculation about what was going on in his time and place between church and synagogue, provide the answer.
`This important book exposes in clear and forthright style the antisemitism of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. The author's meticulous scholarship and analytical power enable him to solve many difficult problems and to reach the heart of the matter. This book is essential reading not only for New Testament scholars, but for all concerned with Jewish-Christian relations.' Hyam Maccoby