If the Christian apostle Paul ever made a truthful statement, it surely was the following one from his letter to Titus (chapter 1:10-14 from the New Revised Standard version of the Bible): (10) There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; (11) they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what is not right to teach. (12) It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said, “Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.” (13) That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in faith, (14) not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth.
Now let me first deal with a common source of ridicule for this passage. If this is read with absolutely strict literalness, it presents an absurd contradiction. Paul quoted a Cretan ‘prophet’ who said “Cretans are always liars”, and Paul said the statement was true. If the (literally interpreted) statement is true, then that means that the Cretan ‘prophet’ was himself a liar and always spoke lies; therefore the statement must be a lie! One can ‘have fun’ with that kind of absurdity; but in reality it just points out that we shouldn’t be overly ‘literal’ in understanding what we read. While the ‘prophet’ (and Paul) obviously intended the statement as a generalized characterization of people from Crete, it did not mean literally that every Cretan is a liar, or that no Cretan ever says anything truthful – any more than Paul and others meant literally every Jew when they in general terms castigated “the Jews”.
Having pointed that out, notice that when Paul was warning against people who are rebellious, ‘idle talkers’, and deceivers, he singled out ‘the circumcision’ (Jews) as being especially guilty in that regard; and when he spoke of becoming “sound in faith”, he said that in order to attain to that soundness it was essential not to pay attention to “Jewish myths”.
I recently came across an article concerning an “Israeli” Jewish man named Miko Peled who has become an outspoken critic of modern Jewish myths. (Actually, he calls them “Zionist” myths or lies rather than “Jewish” myths/lies – insisting that “Zionism” and “Judaism” are completely different things. On that point I disagree with him, although at one time I also fell for that falsehood.)
Miko Peled was born in Jerusalem, the son of famous “Israeli” General Matti Peled, and grandson (if I remember correctly what he said) of a signer of the “Israeli” Declaration of Independence. The article I linked to gives excerpts from a talk he presented in Austin, Texas; and also provides the link to the video of the complete talk (60 minutes).
In this talk, Miko presents the sharp and complete contrast between the “Zionist” and Palestinian narratives of the Zionist endeavor which culminated in “the Jewish State of Israel”. He was raised on the “Zionist” narrative, and fully accepted it – with the exception that he always found troubling a story his mother told of being offered a house in Jerusalem (in 1948) just after the Palestinians had been driven out. His mother was just 22 years old at the time, and living with her mother in Jerusalem. Miko’s mother refused the house because she found it morally wrong to take the house of another family who had been driven out by the “Israeli” military. Miko couldn’t understand his mother’s moral dilemma, since the Zionist narrative left no apparent ground for such a dilemma.
While he found his mother’s story troubling because it ‘poked holes’ in the Zionist narrative on which he was raised, he nevertheless didn’t seriously question that narrative for a long time. In 1997, though – while he was living in the USA – he received word that his sister’s 13 or 14 year old daughter (in “Israel”) had been killed in a suicide attack. He immediately flew to “Israel”, only to find that his sister was outspokenly blaming the “Israeli” government for her daughter’s death, and said she completely understood what led the Palestinians to carry out such attacks. (That of course created quite a furor, since her father was the famous General Matti Peled). This is what finally caused Miko to reexamine the Zionist narrative. The result of his personal examination and study was that he completely rejected the Zionist mythology and sided with the Palestinian cause.
He now believes that the “two-State solution” is simply not viable. There are only two possible “solutions” to the “Israel”/Palestine controversy: either (1) one “Jewish State” of “Israel” embracing the whole land currently divided between “Israel” and “Palestine”; or (2) one democratic and ‘secular’ State of Palestine – embracing the whole currently divided land – in which all citizens, of whatever race or religion, are fully equal. Miko Peled wholeheartedly embraces solution 2, as do I. And he exposes the Jewish (or Zionist) myths and lies which underlie the “Jewish State of Israel”. I highly recommend the article and video.