--Brigitte Hamann, "Jews in Vienna," Hitler's Vienna: A Dictator's Apprenticeship
It is enough to say that Yeshua and his circle, whatever masks their writers gave them, would have fared less well in Germany between 1933 and 1945. In those days, the designation of the Jew as "vermin," found famously first in Matthew's "brood of vipers," was fixed, and even the intervention of Pope Pius XII could not have altered that designation of Yeshua's blood and racial identity, and his inevitable way to the chamber. His parents, brothers, sister, and messengers would also have been picked up in trucks and sent to the death camps as Jews. In the eyes of the master race, the identity of Yeshua as one of the Jews had no way out.
--Willis Barnstone, "Afterword:... A Gentleman's Agreement in the Gospels that Jews in the Yeshua Movement Not Be Perceived as Jews," The New Covenant: Commonly Called the New Testament
Responsible reading of the scriptures of Israel also calls for revisiting the ways in which racial constructs are imposed on the text. Israelite identity is, like all identities, a constructed identity; in its earliest formulation, it is a cultural rather than a biological identity. Yaakov, the Heel-Grabbing Sneak, who becomes Israel the God-Wrestler, is the grandson of Abraham the Chaldean in Gen. 11:28. His Caldean kinfolk would eventually evolve into the Babylonian Empire that decimated his descendants -- so the Israelites and Babylonians shared biology but not culture. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh shared African maternity because of Joseph's marriage to Asenat, the Egyptian in Gen. 41:45. Even Moshe, Moses, the Torah-Vessel, married non-Israelite women -- Zipporah the Midianite in Exod. 2:21 and an unnamed Nubian woman in Num. 12:1 -- meaning that some of the priestly community had multicultural heritage. A non-Israelite, mixed multitude accompanied Israel when they departed Egypt in Exod. 12:38 and became absorbed into the community. In 2 Sam. 22:51, David -- called "meshiach," or "messiah" in Hebrew, and "christos," or "christ" in Greek (although generally translated "anointed" in English) -- was the grandson of a Moabite woman named Ruth.
The multicultural nature of Israel is especially important to read over and against racialized constructions of Israel as ethnically and racially monolithic, and their construction as "white" in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The supposed whiteness of biblical Israel has been used to sanctify colonization of black, brown, and beige peoples around the globe, invoking the ahistorical "Conquest of Canaan" paradigm.
--Wil Gafney, "Reading the Hebrew Bible Responsibly:... Multicultural Israel," The Africana Bible: Reading Israel's Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora
Ruth was abducted into the messianic lineages of David and Jesus. But the text should not be read as an endorsement of abduction. It is in Ruth's power to choose where she will make her way in the world. She chooses her mother-in-law.... When Ruth gives birth, she is a surrogate for Naomi:
"Blessed be YHWH, who has not left you, woman, without redeeming kin this day; and may that name be proclaimed in Israel! That one shall be to you, woman, a restorer of life and a provider when your hair grays, woman; for your daughter-in-law, she who loves you, woman, she has given birth -- she who is more to you, woman, than seven sons." Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurturer. The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi." (Ruth 4:14-17, my [Wil Gafney's] translation)
--Wil Gafney, "Ruth," The Africana Bible: Reading Israel's Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora
images found at www.last.fm/group/Peace/journal