In the Otago Daily Times:
“What happens in the first and second and third century in Rome is that the Christians begin to separate themselves (from the Jews).
“They write into their own writings anti-Semitic stuff. They cosy up to the Romans.”
Bruce partially blames the gospels for inciting one of the worst horrors of wartime history — the Holocaust in which six million Jews were killed by Nazis.
It was the bias that was cemented into Christian teachings that influenced people such as Adolf Hitler, he said.
“It wasn’t a singular thing that led his Nazi party to do those terrible things, but in a sense it legitimised it.”
Hitler and his military commander Heinrich Himmler were able to use those teachings to justify their actions, he said.
His conclusions have generated criticism, mostly from the conservative sectors of Christianity.
“The liberal Christians have no problem with my book at all because it’s all about historical Jesus and liberal Christians don’t have their faith tied to a literal interpretation of the gospels,” he said.
“It’s the Evangelicals and the conservatives that have issues with my book because it…takes the gospels apart and asks how reliable they are.
“I think the hardest challenge for Christians…is the way that anti-Semitism of the gospels led to the Nazi death camps. How do you account for the fact that the theology of hate is built from a gospel of love?”
Bruce hoped that after seeing the documentary Christians would start to debate what happened to Jesus.
“Because every Easter Christians tell a story that isn’t true, and they have to comes to terms with that.”
Radio interview on Kiwi FM:
“Jesus: The Cold Case” is showing on New Zealand’s TV1, 24 July 2011, 8:30pm.