Jew/Gentile Relations Posts
January 17, 2011 by Jason Hood
Metaxas doesn’t have the space to take advantage of every opportunity to embed Bonhoeffer in the cauldron of racial hyper-consciousness of pre-WW II Germany. Fodder for Nazi racial ideology could be found in German academic theological works; EM is not as hard-edged here as he might be.
Bonhoeffer did his doctoral dissertation under the tutelage of Reinhold Seeberg. Seeberg was aggressively pro-German, favoring the expansion of German borders as much as possible during World War I.
Moreover, in 1918 Seeberg penned a seminal essay, ‘Die Herkunft der Mutter Jesu’. In it he argued that, given the Gentile makeup of much of Galilee, Matthew included four Gentile women in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus so that readers would conclude that ‘[d]ie Mutter keine Jesu war Jüdin oder wenigstens keine Jüdin reinen Blutes’ (‘the mother of Jesus was not Jewish or at least not a Jew of pure blood’).
Nazism was not Christian, but it needed compliance from Christians in order to thrive or even survive. Long before Hitler, German anti-semitism sought as much coherence with Christianity as possible. Seeberg paved a way to sell believers on the doctrine of racial purity and superiority.
Combine Seeberg’s argument for a non-Jewish Mary with a virgin birth and you get a purely Gentile Jesus.