Gathered in One: How the Book of Mormon Counters Anti-Semitism in the New Testament
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“His thesis is fresh, provocative, and rigorously argued. A signal contribution to Book of Mormon studies.” — Terryl Givens
“I recommend it to all who are interested in the history of Christian attitudes towards the Jews, as well as those working towards interfaith reconciliation and mutual respect.” — Yaakov Ariel
“I highly recommend this timely and important book.” — Richard D. Rust
“Thoughtful and powerful.” — Trevan Hatch
Part of our Contemporary Studies in Scripture series
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Since the Holocaust, a growing consensus of biblical scholars have come to recognize the unfair and misleading anti-Semitic rhetoric in the New Testament—language that has arguably contributed to centuries of violence and persecution against the Jewish people.
In Gathered in One, Bradley J. Kramer shows how the Book of Mormon counters anti-Semitism in the New Testament by approaching this most Christian of books on its own turf and on its own terms: literarily, by providing numerous pro-Jewish statements, portrayals, settings, and structuring devices in opposition to similar anti-Semitic elements in the New Testament; and scripturally, by connecting with it as a peer, as a divine document of equal value and authority, which can add these elements to the Christian canon (as the Gospel of John can add elements to the Gospel of Matthew) without undermining its authority or dependability.
In this way, the Book of Mormon effectively “detoxifies” the New Testament of its anti-Semitic poison without weakening its status as scripture and goes far in encouraging Christians to relate to Jews respectfully, not as enemies or opponents, but as allies, people of equal worth, importance, and value before God.
Praise for Gathered in One:
“Lacking a tradition of critically reading the scriptures, some Latter-day Saints will be surprised at Kramer’s exposition of New Testament anti-Semitism (and at the revelation that most Christian traditions are wrestling through that textual reality). More important, however, is Kramer’s argument that the Book of Mormon does important cultural work in rehabilitating and celebrating the role of the Jewish people in God’s Restorationist agenda. Not only does this scripture not mimic or extend a New Testament rhetorical tradition—it engages and re-writes it. His thesis is fresh, provocative, and rigorously argued. A signal contribution to Book of Mormon studies.” — Terryl Givens, author of By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion
“Gathered in One is a special book. It allows us to consider how the Book of Mormon differs from and serves as a correction to unfavorable attitudes of passages in the New Testament towards Jewish groups. Bradley Kramer has pursued a commendable mission in this book. He examines primary texts of the Mormon tradition with the aim of opening the gates to more amicable and appreciative relations towards Jews, Latter-day Saints, and others. Impressed by the book and its scholarship and attitude, I recommend it to all who are interested in the history of Christian attitudes towards the Jews, as well as those working towards interfaith reconciliation and mutual respect.” — Yaakov Ariel, professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Evangelizing the Chosen People: Missions to the Jews in America, 1880–2000
“Gathered in One is bold! Its approach is both thoughtful and powerful. In it, Bradley Kramer provides his readers not only with new insights into the Book of Mormon but familiarizes them with the nagging problem of anti-Semitism within Christianity. The solutions he finds in the Book of Mormon to this problem are refreshing—and timely.” — Trevan Hatch, author of A Stranger in Jerusalem: Seeing Jesus as a Jew
“Tragically (and mistakenly, in my opinion) many Christians have for centuries found support for anti-Semitic attitudes and actions in the New Testament. Gathered in One shows how some Christian scholars and ministers have in recent years fought against such a connection and demonstrates how the Book of Mormon contributes to this laudable effort by adding numerous pro-Jewish elements to the Christian canon in direct opposition to seemingly anti-Jewish elements in the New Testament. In this way, the Book of Mormon, according to Kramer, seeks to establish a more peaceful, more appreciative, more mutually productive relationship between Christians and Jews. I highly recommend this timely and important book.” —Richard D. Rust, author of Feasting on the Word: The Literary Testimony of the Book of Mormon
“Kramer demonstrates his devotion to the Book of Mormon in the pages of Gathered in One by offering a careful and respectful reading of the Nephite record in conjunction with other sacred texts. . . . As Kramer convincingly shows, the Book of Mormon is a powerful tool in the fight against anti-Semitic prejudice and is just as relevant today as it has ever been.” —Book of Mormon Central
“There's much more to this fascinating read. It addresses a harsh truth, which is that anti-Semitism clings to Christianity. However, without tarnishing the spiritual gifts of the New Testament, this problem can be addressed. The Book of Mormon serves as a guide to resolving this uncomfortable issue.” —Doug Gibson, Mormon History and Culture
About the Author:
Bradley J. Kramer holds an MA in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA in English from Brigham Young University with a minor in Near Eastern Studies. As the son of an LDS mother and a non-LDS father, he has had a life-long interest in interfaith dialogue. For the last several years, he has been a regular participant in Torah and Talmud classes at a local synagogue in Durham, North Carolina, and has helped arrange joint Mormon-Jewish study sessions and other educational exchanges. He is the author of Beholding the Tree of Life: A Rabbinic Approach to the Book of Mormon and has given several presentations to local and regional groups on the affinities between Mormons and Jews and is a regular speaker at comparative religion classes. Bradley has worked professionally as a writer and editor and is married to the former Nancy Lubeck. They have three children and three grandchildren.
ISBN 978-1-58958-709-0 (Paperback); 978-1-58958-710-6 (Hardcover)