The words we use
"..these folks read more from the old testement than they do from the new testement.The reason being, the old testement has lot of hate and vengence in it.
A lot of the letters are less forgiving as well. The new testement is all about love and forgiveness and separation of church and state. For Christians the 10 commandments are replaced by 2: love god, love each other."- comments found on a liberal blog.
This comment was refering to the religious right. I'm sure it was well meant but I don't think they know how this sounds to Jewish folks. To discover that their scripture is filled with "hate and vengence" while Christians discovered love and forgiveness must be odd.
But it's not an uncommon view in the mainline church and in liberal circles outside the church. Problem is it assumes the "New Testament" is a higher revelation over, above, and against the "Old Testament" which is to say it presumes the idea of supersessionism.
The idea is that the Christian revelation has superceded that of the Jewish people. It's what got Ann Coulter into trouble and while I doubt the person making the above comment was thinking along these lines, the protrayal of these two scriptures feeds into such a view.
You can find variations on this theme. The use of the word Pharisee to mean legalistic and unloving while Jesus and the early church was loving and filled with compassion is not uncommon but it's a polemic against a religious group that is the source of modern Judaism.
Such views are untenable in terms of dialogue and making for peace among world religions, it doesn't make sense of the internal logic of the Christian faith, in particular how Paul describes the relationship of God and Judaism in the book of Romans.
And it doesn't make sense of the actual material. Paul doesn't speak of hell, the Gospels do. Yes there are conquests stories in the Hebrew scriptures, but there are also stories of love and mercy. The generalizations made fall apart by a cursory reading of these texts.
I suppose this is a call to examine the language we use. Does it deepen our understanding and appreciation of our own and other religious traditions or not? It's an issue we all need to be attentive to as we try to relate to increasing religious diversity and conflict.