Bible Murder Mystery

Today, Rachel showed me signs that said "Who Killed Jesus?" on Purdue's Memorial Mall. Upon seeing this I started to think about the broader intent of this message. I was somewhat confused. On one hand there was the Society of Non-Theists' recent events of the pirates and Blasphemy day. Then there was an event similar to the Blasphemy Day event by an intellectual Christian group.

Anyway, the sign itself was a white sheet with Red and Black writing. So it seemed very negative to me. Red and Black are very negative when used together, so I immediately began to think, what are they trying to tell me? In the back of my mind, I was a little concerned they were indirectly calling out other groups such as the Jewish Community. I went up to their stand, and asked a few questions. I asked about their intent with the board, the guy at their stand answered that it was to promote discussion about Jesus. I then asked "well you do know that the sign can be construed as anti-Semetic, implying that Jesus was killed by the Jews?". He then said, "oh no, it can't be because a lot of Jews have come up to us and asked about it". I then told him that they did because they were probably concerned that you had an anti-Semetic sign, more than the discussion. He then went on to to tell me that everyone killed him, and he died for everyone's sins.

Time out! Everyone killed Jesus and then he died for everyone's sins? Doesn't that negate itself? So everyone sinned and then killed him, but that's OK because it was for everybody's sins inclusively? So being thoroughly confused, I kind of began talking to Rachel and another guy who was actually at the table. This guy was trying to tell us that God showed him the way out of depression. I asked, "how did you know it was God, and not that you had experienced said consequences?", he didn't really have a clear answer, and seemed unsure himself. He was very kind and nice about it though. He then gave me a card which was an invitation to a Q&A session about Jesus on Friday, hosted by Purdue Bible Fellowship. This group to me seems like a Baptist, Campus Crusade for Christ (Which CRU, could be a whole another entry in itself). The Card also had a few quotes from the New Testiment.

So here's what I think the intent was by PBF: We want to provoke conversation about Jesus with our "Who Killed Jesus?" sign. We want to invite you to a Q&A forum we are putting on Friday.

Simple, yet I think some people saw more than that. Blaming Jesus' death on Jews was a belief of Christianity until not too long ago, and those in the Jewish Communities took offense to this. So, I think the people they did see who were Jewish were concerned for the intent of the sign. In a Jewish lens, I would be upset because they are possibly reinforcing old grudges that should have been at bay. Although this sign is not directly blaming the Jews, I can see how Jewish groups and individuals would be a bit weary about this.

Here's more information on the Jewish view of Jesus.

UPDATE 10/23 8:03pm Jen wrote an article about this event too. You can read it here

2 Response to "Bible Murder Mystery"

Liz said...


It certainly sounds like (and looks like, from the picture) the sign is inflammatory - meant to instigate more than to invite. I'm glad you challenged them on it, and pointed out that other Jews may have also felt the same way, hence their questions.

These students may not be aware of the history of Jewish/Christian relations regarding the death of Jesus, but if they aren't, they should be, and should know what kind of response their sign will provoke.


Uzza said...

There's nothing inflammatory about asking a simple question. Whatever it might instigate is the responsibility of the provokee.

Also, I fail to see any logic in Christians condemning Jews for killing Jesus, thus allowing their own religion to even exist, not to mention saving them all from Hell. They should be thanking the Jews.

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