Glenn Beck and the Eclipse of the Jews

After I posted on the topic of prophecy and the Syrian war, my friend Eric Thurman from Sewanee pointed out that this isn't the first result when you put "Bible" into the Google News search. The first result as of now is this mind-numbing piece of biblical and historical nonsense from Glenn Beck. There is a lot here to discuss, but I want to make one quick and simple point.

Beck draws a distinction between the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah during the time of the Israelite monarchy. (So far, so good.) However, he goes further to say that after Israel was defeated by the Assyrians, refugees migrated into Europe and became the "lost tribes" of Israel, while the southern kingdom of Judah developed into the Jews.

Claude Mariottini, in his post "The Myth of British-Israelism," has shown conclusively that this is a ridiculous historical argument. However, there is a theological problem here with huge implications.

Beck says, "Judah remained, but the tribes in the north, they were taken and they went throughout the Assyrian empire. The Kingdom of Judah was not scattered. This is where the term ‘Jew’ comes from – Judah." He goes on: "And they fled out of captivity through the Caucuses Mountains. The Caucusus Mountains are where you hear the word ‘Caucasian.'"

So, essentially he suggests that the Israelites morphed into white Europeans while the Judeans in Judah became the decimated stump of the Jews. In this way, he says, Western Civilization is based on this off-shoot of the Israelite kingdom, but separated in history, ideology, and race from the Jews themselves.

Here is my single observation: This anti-semitic theology is basically the strategy employed by German Christians during the Nazi era who wanted to salvage the Christian faith. As Susannah Heshel has shown in her book, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany, the Nazi theologians argued that since Jesus was from Galilee, he was not a Jew but an Aryan. He was, in other words, a member of the Caucasian European race that was always separate from the Judean Jews.

Benzion Chinn describes the situation in his review of Heshel's book:

German Christians insisted that Jesus was not really Jewish, but someone who fought against Judaism. Jesus was the Son of God so he was free of any Jewish biological taint. Alternatively, many argued that the Galileans were really genetic Aryans as opposed to the Judeans, who were genetic Jews. So the Jewish Judeans crucified the Aryan Jesus as part of their racial war against Aryans.

There are many subtleties here, and I am not suggesting that Beck's theology is Ayran Nazi. However, it is in my opinion an anti-semitic theology, since it entails a narrative in which white Europeans plunder from the Hebrew Bible everything of value while denying its essentially Jewish identity.