Passion Plays and Oratorios, 'Christ Killers,' and the Magic Trick of 'Deus Ex Machina'

April 20, 2015 7:05 PM

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"Crucify him, crucify him!" shouted the multitude of Jews when Pontius Pilate asked them what he should do with Jesus.

These few harsh words, which appear in the Gospels (Mark 15:12-13; Luke 23:20-23; John 19:14-16; Matthew 27: 22-23), had by the Middle Ages become a mantra in Christian society. Led by that battle cry, untold numbers of Jews throughout history were labeled "Christ Killers" and slaughtered.

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