Friday, 5 August 2016
Oh God, What Next? - An Autobiography,
Hugh Montefriore, Hodder & Stoughton, 1995, page 2
Hugh Montefiore was a Jewish believer in Jesus (he would have said it that way) who served in India during WWII and was then ordained in the Church of England. Always a slightly controversial figure, he was the Bishop of Kingston and then the Bishop of Birmingham before he retired in 1987. In his autobiography, he describes the process of telling his family that he had become a believer:
It was simply out of the question for Jews to become Christians. It was difficult to explain to Gentiles how Jews feel about this. It was like treason; it was a spiritual betrayal, as Jews see it, of all that earlier Jews had lived and died for. No doubt there are folk memories of those Jews who had been baptised to escape persecution or to better themselves,as well as bitter feelings about the way that Christians have persecuted Jews ever since Constantine the Great gave them the power to do so. Jews, or at any rate the Jews among whomI was brought up, were intensely aware of their Jewishness. They formed a community of their own. Of course they had Christian friends but that was different. What would they think of me?