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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Great Zionist Bible Conspiracy

Middle East Online has an amazingly paranoid article, written by a Maidhc Ó Cathail, that has to be seen to be believed:
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions for Palestine campaign should widen its scope to target non-Israeli companies who contribute significantly to the oppression of Palestinians. As part of this broader strategy, priority should be given to one of the most egregious offenders, the prestigious British publisher, Oxford University Press. As unlikely as it may seem, the world's largest university press is responsible for one of the greatest obstacles to justice for Palestinians – The Scofield Bible.

Since it was first published in 1909, the Scofield Reference Bible has made uncompromising Zionists out of tens of millions of Americans. When John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, said that "50 million evangelical bible-believing Christians unite with five million American Jews standing together on behalf of Israel," it was the Scofield Bible that he was talking about.

Although the Scofield Reference Bible contains the text of the King James Authorized Version, it is not the traditional Protestant bible but Cyrus I. Scofield's annotated commentary that is the problem. More than any other factor, it is Scofield's notes that induced generations of American evangelicals to believe that God demands their uncritical support for the modern State of Israel.
So here is his thesis: that Scofield's annotations to the Bible, published in 1909, somehow twists the Bible into making it into a more Zionist book than it already is.

How so? Here's an example.
Central to Christian Zionist belief is Scofield's commentary on Genesis 12:3. For the sake of clarity, Scofield's notes have been italicized in the following passage:

"'I will bless them that bless thee.' In fulfillment closely related to the next clause, 'And curse him that curseth thee.' Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew – well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle."

Drawing on Scofield's speculative interpretation, John Hagee claims, "The man or nation that lifts a voice or hand against Israel invites the wrath of God."

However, as Stephen Sizer points out, in his definitive critique, Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon? "The promise, when referring to Abraham's descendants speaks of God blessing them, not of entire nations 'blessing' the Hebrew nation, still less the contemporary and secular State of Israel."

Apparently unaware of this more orthodox reading, The New Scofield Study Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1984, enhanced Scofield's interpretation, by adding, "For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgment." Reading such tendentious comments, a bible-believing Christian could easily assume, for example, that God will punish the 114 countries which endorsed the Goldstone Report.
At least Cathail implicitly admits that anti-Zionism is usually a manifestation of anti-semitism!

Scofield's interpretation of the passage, which actually can be found at Genesis 15:18, is pretty straightforward, and the idea that God cannot be referring to groups of people or nations is a bit tendentious itself.

Anyway, once Cathail has established that Scofield was a horrible Zionist, he needs to explain not only that he was a scoundrel, but also that he was really manipulated by a Jewish Zionist, the real Jew force behind this Zio-Bible:
Being a "born again" preacher, however, did not preclude Scofield from becoming a member of an exclusive New York men's club in 1901. In his devastating biography, The Incredible Scofield and His Book, Joseph M. Canfield comments, "The admission of Scofield to the Lotos Club, which could not have been sought by Scofield, strengthens the suspicion that has cropped up before, that someone was directing the career of C. I. Scofield."

That someone, Canfield suspects, was associated with one of the club's committee members, the Wall Street lawyer Samuel Untermeyer. As Canfield intimates, Scofield's theology was "most helpful in getting Fundamentalist Christians to back the international interest in one of Untermeyer's pet projects – the Zionist Movement."

Others, however, have been more explicit about the nature of Scofield's service to the Zionist agenda. In "Unjust War Theory: Christian Zionism and the Road to Jerusalem," Prof. David W. Lutz claims, "Untermeyer used Scofield, a Kansas city lawyer with no formal training in theology, to inject Zionist ideas into American Protestantism. Untermeyer and other wealthy and influential Zionists whom he introduced to Scofield promoted and funded the latter's career, including travel in Europe."

Absent such powerful connections, it is hard to imagine "this peer among scalawags" ever getting a contract with Oxford University Press to publish his bible. Nevertheless, it remains a mystery why OUP chose to endorse such a sectarian work.
See? Those nefarious Jews didn't only give the Bible to the world...they kept manipulating it by controlling unsuspecting Christians and forcing them to write Zionist commentaries decades before the State of Israel was reborn!

How could Oxford University Press be so blind to have bought into this century-old Jewish conspiracy?