James P. Scullion, O.F.M., "Scripture and Preaching in the Aftermath of the Shoah," New Theology Review 11 (August 1998) 67-69

Abstract by Jerry Darring


Scullion writes to examine the interpretation of Matthew 27:25 and "to expose the perhaps unconscious negative portrayal of Jews in much contemporary preaching" (p. 67).

When preaching from Matthew 27:25, we should make clear the polemical context in which Matthew was written so that the listeners will not develop stereotypes of the Jews and the Pharisees. We also have a moral duty to make people aware of the limited notion of responsibility involved in the phrase, "His blood be on us and on our children."

In general, preachers should avoid making the Jews in general or the Pharisees in particular the negative example or foil in preaching. Scullion calls on his fellow preachers "to exercise great caution in the words and the images that we use to portray the Jews and their religious tradition in our preaching" (p. 69).