Setting The Lie Straight: Jesus Was Not a Palestinian by Michael L. Brown for Ask Dr. Brown
Let’s set the record straight. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, not a Palestinian Muslim. He celebrated Passover, not Ramadan, and he was called “Rabbi” not “Imam.” His followers were named Yaakov and Yochanan and Yehudah, not Muhammad and Abdullah and Khalid. And he himself had one of the most common Jewish names of the day: Yeshua.
As for the name “Palestine,” it was not used in any widespread way to describe the land of Israel until 135 AD – in other words, more than 100 years after Yeshua’s death and resurrection. And it was renamed Palestine by the Romans to mock the Jewish people, thereby calling their ancient (and sacred) homeland the land of the Philistines.
But it is not only anachronistic to label Jesus a Palestinian. It is also misleading.
That’s because the word “Palestinian” today speaks of non-Israelites, of non-Jews. It speaks of a people who claim that the land of Israel belongs to them, not to the Jewish people. And it speaks primarily of Muslims.
That’s what comes to mind when someone says, “Jesus was a Palestinian.” And that’s why Palestinian activists have tried to recast Jesus in their own image.
Leading up to Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem last year, Fatah officials calledJesus “the first Palestinian.”
Five years earlier, in 2013, the PLO declared, “Every Christmas, Palestine celebrates the birth of one of its own, Jesus Christ.”
Back in 2005, the PA stated that, “We must not forget that Messiah [Jesus] is a Palestinian, the son of Mary the Palestinian.”
And Fatah even declared Jesus to be “the first Palestinian martyr (shahid)” in 2015.
Anything but declaring that Jesus, who is revered in Islam as a prophet (but not as the crucified Son of God), was a first-century Jewish rabbi.
Instead, Jesus is recast as a Palestinian freedom fighter, born of a Palestinian mother, at war with the evil Jews, and (through Islamic eyes) a prophet of Islam. God forbid that he is recognized as Rabbi Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel.
But it’s one thing when Palestinian activists and Muslim propagandists recreate Jesus in their own image, calling him a Palestinian.