In his article published by National Review (19 April 2019) under the title “The Washington Post Prints Another Bizarre Attack on Ben Shapiro” David French maintains that it takes two minutes to read Romans 11 and thus to understand that Notre Dame is “a monument to Western civilization” and a mark of the West’s “Juedo-Christian heritage”. An entirely erroneous estimate which may account for the theological confusion David French is prone to –it is generally accepted that haste makes waste. It takes at least six and a half minutes to read this biblical text, whereas it may take anywhere from six hours to six years to pore over it, which is why we thought this mistake should be exposed due to the gravity of its implications, especially for one’s Hereafter. We know of course that this word is to be avoided everywhere on the social spectrum, or any other spectrum for that matter, but we must insist. If David French doesn’t mind being theologically confused, it is a matter of personal choice, but the general public has the right to decide for themselves. Therefore we recommend poring over the following quote (it takes much less than two minutes):
(65) People of the Kitab! Why do you dispute about Ibrahim (Abraham), when the torah and the injeel were not revealed till after him? Have you no understanding?
(66) You dispute in matters of which you have some knowledge! But why do you dispute in matters of which you have no knowledge? It is Allah Who knows the best option, whereas you cannot foresee the consequences of your actions!
(67) Ibrahim was not a yahud (Jew) nor yet a nasara (Christian), but a hanifa, the one who submitted. He was not of the idolaters. (68) Ibrahim’s next of kin are those who follow the same belief, this Prophet and those who believe with him. And Allah is the Protector of those who have faith.
Qur-an 3 – Ali Imran
Given the fact that the very title of the article is a mise en scene, we quote directly the relevant paragraph:
“Judeo-Christian” is a modern term that merely acknowledges the historical fact of Judaism’s connection to Christianity and Christianity’s dependence on Judaism. The term “Judeo-Christian” has been used to help educate Christians as to the roots of their own faith (read Romans 11, it takes two minutes) and to refute the utter irrationality and depravity of Christian anti-Semitism. It has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with two inseparably intertwined religious traditions that are multi-ethnic in their own rights.
“Judeo-Christian” is indeed a modern term or rather a modern contradiction in terms. It’s like saying “a very clever idiot” or “a fairly dead man”. This contradiction, although historical, precludes anyone from being educated by it. It might even be the reason why both Ben Shapiro and the civilization he preaches have problems.
Romans 11, mentioned by French, is about grafting. In order for a graft to be successful there must be compatibility or congeniality between the scion and the stem. For example, apple grafted on oak fails immediately; apple grafted on pear may grow well for one or two years but gradually weakens and dies. Grafts between species are often successful, between genera occasionally so, between families almost always failures. What Paul/Saul writes about is grafting “Christianity” onto “Judaism” –apparently for the benefit of both. Let us not beat about the bush. On account of its being a graft between families it was doomed from the very beginning. However, given the topic, certain amount of analysis and explanation is necessary –we are not dealing here with horticulture after all. Before we begin it should be noted that Paul does not mention either of the terms. Both “Christianity” and “Judaism” are modern concepts, never used in the Bible.
It is entirely unclear what “connection” or “dependence” David French can see in “Judeo-Christianity”. In point of truth, rather than grafting one onto the other, Paul amputates Christianity from Judaism by announcing that Christ is God. No wonder it sounded like a bolt from the blue (which it was):
Immediately he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. Then all who heard were shocked. (Acts 9:20-21)
And he makes it very clear in many other places, for example:
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.So then each of us will give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:10,12)
By establishing Christ´s divinity Paul cuts off “Christianity” he has just fashioned from Judaism and at the same time puts an end to Prophecy. Since God himself has descended on Earth, there is no further need for prophets. How can a prophet or anyone at all, except Paul, compete with God incarnate?
The conflict between Paul, who never met the Master and as far as can be checked was “converted” around 34-35, and the disciples was inevitable.
And there was such a disagreement between them that they separated from each other; Barnabas, taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus, and Paul, choosing Silas, was entrusted by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. (Acts 15:39-40)
Taking into consideration the fact of Christ´s divinity as proclaimed far and wide by Paul, it is shocking to see how little he cared about this God’s injunctions, for example he maintains that it is his mission to go to the Gentiles:
For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry. (Romans 11:13)
When the Master clearly indicated to the contrary:
These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. (Matthew 10:5)
But he answered and said: I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. (Matthew 15:24)
At the same time Paul was insistent that the law brought by Musa (Moses) was not only unnecessary but also contrary to what God himself had revealed to him:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. (Galatians 3:13)
But how can it be possible if Christ himself says:
Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18)
Clearly, Paul’s creed implies a total breakup; a surgical removal. As a result and in order to explain it somehow or at least to keep up appearances, Paul is constantly incurring in contradiction; every sentence he writes contains incongruity.
He maintains that “we are one body in Christ” (Romans 12:5) and at the same time proclaims that he is “an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” (Romans 11:1) –so much for being “multi-ethnic”. If Christ saved us all by his death on the cross, does it matter anymore of which seed anyone is? Unless Paul proposed levels of salvation depending on the DNA transmission, of course. Furthermore, he is far from convincing when telling us about how his own conversion happened:
I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows); such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know: God knows); how he was caught up into Paradise, and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one will I glory. (2 Corinthians 12:2-5)
Although Paul was travelling in company of other men (Acts 26:13) and there must have been many other people present (Damascus being a busy city and trade centre), his is the only testimony to the portentous vision he had had which changed his mind so dramatically. Yet, no-one else deemed it worthwhile to mention it in any way. Paul heard the words which were “inexpressible”. Yet, he dedicates many pages to express them, the fact which converted him, rather than any of the disciples, into a rocky rock on which the institution of Church had been built –his writings occupy almost half of the New Testament.
Paul sincerely hated the first “Christians”, whom he had persecuted for many years until he discovered, or someone discovered it for him, that his mission was to the Gentiles. In this sense he was the first and the fiercest “anti-Semite” (another modern term without any reliable foundation). The followers of Christ, the first “Christians” (another non-biblical term) were sincere believers, whereas Paul was an opportunist –a politician:
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews. To those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law. To those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law. (1 Corinthians 9:19-21)
Hear! Hear! And all this “for the Gospel’s sake” (as he claims several lines below), which he constantly contradicts. Clearly, Paul can hardly be considered a source which could “help educate Christians as to the roots of their own faith”.
The most important issue to be taken into consideration is the true mission of Isa (Jesus), which was that of ending the relationship of the House of Israel with Prophecy.
Jerusalem! Jerusalem! You kill the Prophets and you stone those who are sent to you! How many times I wanted to gather your children, like a hen gathers its chicks under its wings, but you did not want to! Here is your house completely deserted for you. (Luke 13:34-35)
Also in Isaiah we find the announcement of the divorce:
Thus said the Lord: What is of the letter of repudiation of your mother, with which I repudiated her? Or who are my creditors, to whom I have sold you? Behold, because of your wickedness you are sold and for your rebellions your mother was repudiated. (Isaiah 50:1)
(124) And when your Lord put Ibrahim to the test with words that he fulfilled, he said to him: I am going to make you a guide and an example for men.He said: And will you do it also with my descendants?He said: My Covenant does not extend to the unjust.
Qur-an 2 – al Baqarah
And thus at a certain point in time the Prophecy was to depart from the House of Israel, the fact also announced by Yaqub (Jacob, not Israel) on his deathbed:
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes. And to Him shall be the obedience of the people. (Genesis 49:10)
“Christians” interpret “Shiloh” as a reference to Isa (Jesus, an impossible analogy from the linguistic point of view), in which case they should immediately insist that the Jews convert to Christianity. For the Jews it should mean that one day, when “Shiloh” comes, instead of grafting, they will simply have to relinquish both the scepter and the lawgiver. For all the reasons mentioned above the term “Judeo-Christian” is an incongruity, a contradiction and a fallacy.
This is confirmed furthermore by Musa (Moses) himself:
The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear. (Deuteronomy 18:15)
Then the Lord replied to me: They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. (Deuteronomy 18:17-19)
For a prophet, nabiy, to be “like Moses” it is necessary that he should also be a messenger –rasul. According to Qur-an 19:51 Musa (Moses) was both. He was a prophet in that he received Inspiration. He was a messenger in that he had a Book of Revelation and an ummah, an organized community, for which he received laws. Thus, he was also a statesman. Furthermore, for a prophet to be “like Moses” the following conditions must be fulfilled:
1) his birth and death should take place in the usual or normal way; 2) he should be a family man; 3) he should be forced to emigrate; 4) he should have military encounters with enemies on battlefields; 5) the Revelation he has received should be written down in his lifetime; 6) his teachings should be of spiritual and legal kind; 7) he should be rejected, and eventually accepted by his people.
Only the prophet Muhammad fulfills all these conditions: 1) he was born of a man and a woman, delivered in a usual way; he died after a short illness; 2) he was married and had several children; 3) he was forced to emigrate from Mecca to Madina; 4) he was a military commander and on numerous occasions battled against the pagans; 5) several of his companions put in writing the Revelations he was receiving, up to the last word, before he died; 6) the Qur-an is a book containing the highest spiritual guidance and detailed jurisprudence regarding all matters –commercial transactions, marriage and divorce, inheritance, delinquency and crime, and in general what is permitted or forbidden; 7) several attempts were made on his life as all Arab tribes were against him, but eventually he and his message were accepted and followed.
Finally, Muhammad fulfills the Deuteronomic condition –“from your brethren” –he was a descendant of Ismail, who was from Ibrahim’s (Abraham) family (Ishaq’s uncle).
This is the testimony given by John (the Baptist) when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” (The Gospel according to John 1:19-21)
Thus the Jewish high priests were expecting “the prophet” but at the same time and above all they were expecting to maintain their position and privileges –their comfortable status quo. Therefore they denied Yahya (John the Baptist), arguing that he was not mentioned in their books; they denied the masih (Messiah) –Isa (Jesus), whom they tried to assassinate; and they denied “the prophet” (Muhammad), on whose life they made several attempts. And they have pretended until this day not to know who “the prophet like Moses” was. They have been waiting for thousands of years now. Who, then, is “the prophet”? How much longer are they prepared to wait? Or are the Deuteronomy and the Gospel wrong?
Islam was revealed to clarify the theological mess. It explains the whole prophetic narration, confirms and accepts all prophets and rejects the idea of any of them having been divine, Isa (Jesus) included.
(75) The masih, the son of Mariam, was no more than a messenger. Many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth and they both had to eat their food. Look how Allah makes the verses clear to them, yet see how they are deluded away from the truth.
Qur-an 5 – al Maidah
This truth must be and will be available until the Hour is established; otherwise accountability in the Hereafter would be impossible.
(113) The yahud (Jews) say: The nasara (Christians) have no base. And the nasara (Christians) say: The yahud (Jews) have no base. Yet they read the same kitab (register). The same is said by the ignorant, those who have no knowledge at all. Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment.
Qur-an 2 – al Baqarah
It is yet another contradiction to maintain that there are three monotheistic religions. Christianity cannot be called monotheistic since it is founded on the concept of Trinity; the concept untouched by the Reformation which reformed hardly anything.
The term “Judeo-Christian” is the greatest incongruity of them all; it is a matrimony based on hatred. There has never been a trace of congeniality, compatibility or harmony between the two. Judaism cannot and will not accept (quite naturally) that Isa (Jesus), a Jew according to the Bible, is God. It does not even accept that he was the masih (Messiah). Christianity cannot accept the fact that Judaism rejects his divinity –the very basis of the Christian creed (both Protestant and Catholic) – and denounces him as an impostor; not to mention the fact of his crucifixion, for which the Jews are blamed and which, in fact, did not take place. History is full of examples of prosecution, harassment and annihilation of the Jews at the hands of “Christians”, and it is a fact that when expelled, the Jewish would preferably move to Muslim countries.
Paul’s “graft” was meant to make Islam, revealed to “the Prophet” for whom the Jewish were waiting, look outlandish and out of place. The final result, as can be seen nowadays, is that, on the one hand, there is an incongruous “Judeo-Christian” civilization and on the other hand the real “new song”, truly multi-ethnic (Isaiah 42). The real “Shiloh” (Islam), brought by “the Prophet” (Muhammad), has been covered up and dismissed as the religion for the Arabs, founded by the genius of his imagination –the ultimate incongruity. But prophets are not sent to “found” new religions, no matter their genius. Prophets are sent to abolish new religions –“grafts” founded by the clergy of all sorts and colours, and re-establish the old religion –the deen of Allah, one and the same since the time of the prophet Nuh (Noah).
A civilization based on contradictions must be by definition contradictory and incongruous. David French shouldn’t be surprised that there are people like Tharoor, Lavin or Spencer; that there is far-left and alt-right; that there is progressive anti-extremism and extreme progressivism. This is the inevitable result of a civilization without guidance. Yet, “mainstream conservatives” will not and cannot set anything right.
Finally, we formally request of David French a clarification as to what a “mainstream conservative”, is (this is the term he uses); and how he is different from a “fringe conservative” or a “fundamental conservative” or a “plain conservative”. The danger is National Review might be coining another contradiction in terms.