Jewish Marxist Atheist Has Vision of Jesus

Gottlieb - Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur

Image by Jim Trodel via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

Updated: June 5, 2011 Added another video.

April 27, 2008

Art Katz’ testimony.

Short Interview by Art Katz – Part 2


Art Katz’ Testimony

on Mar 28, 2009

More info: scroll down to Ben Israel: Odyssey of a Modern Jew

41 thoughts on “Jewish Marxist Atheist Has Vision of Jesus

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  18. i had a similar bolt out of the blue conversion experience in 1974 that has stuck with me since, and i can tell you this much: it has to be revealed to a person. it cannot come intellectually.

    i have seen all the christian phonies out there. and Art Katz is the one dude i always trusted. very rare i grant you. but he is the real thing. and he is NOT A ZIONIST.

    his book Ben Israel is an amazing existential diary that ends in conversion.

  19. I’d be careful with such accounts. Canada is pro-Israel and the extremist Zionist Israeli lobby has been gaining influential power in this country over the past several years, if not more.

    I take note of the fact that the man interviewed did not once mention the hellish Israeli gov’t and its constant and extreme aggression, etcetera, against Palestinians, as well as the population of Lebanon; and more. No Christian can whine about a hypothetical future fate of Jews being persecuted while disregarding the extreme plight of the Palestinians under hellish Israeli regime. But the man interviewed in this Crossroads program did not once even allude to the hellish Zionism of today; but he whiningly spoke of antisemitism.

    It could all be a put-on for deception, to deceptively try to get Canadian Christians to more fully and numerously accept the Canadian government’s criminal support of Israel, which is an extremely criminal thing to do against Palestinians.

    “Pretty”, nice, “wonderful”, … stories can easily be really meant for deceptively influencing people.

    • Be very wary of being deceived and deceptions won’t come with stories or promises that you would naturally reject. Remember President G.W. Bush’s words about what his administration and the U.S. military were going to do to and for Iraq with the war; supposedly bringing peace, justice, democracy, …? Many people believed those lies, but not all of us were fooled into believing they were anything other than lies.

      I don’t know if the man interviewed in the Crossroads program is lying or trying to deceive listeners or viewers, but it [could] be what he’s doing.

    • This interview was about Art Katz’ testimony, not politics in Israel. Art Katz was NOT a Zionist, that I know. I’ve read all of his books and stayed at his house in MN for several days along with many others for a conference. I met Palestinians while there. His wife is very connected to the Palestinian people and has gone there for many, many years.

      Art died in 2007 and I don’t know when this interview was made, but possibly before the war in Lebanon in 2006.

      My suggestion is to see these posts:

      and of course, check out his other sermons and writings:

      Here’s another one of his sermons and it’s on Israel and the church:

      • THANK YOU for the additional information, DS! And i will check the articles and video you provided. It’ll be a pleasure to read and view those resources.

        Re. the title you used for the video though, I didn’t quite notice Art Katz saying that he had a vision of Jesus, but did, at the start of part 2 (of 2) of the clips notice that he had wondered if the man who had picked him up while hitchhiking in Switzerland had been an angel, because the man, Edwin, couldn’t be found and no one there knew of him.

        Maybe he did literally say that he had a vision of Jesus and I happened to be momentarily distracted. It’s what I thought he was going to say at the start of part 2, based on what he described at the end of part 1, but the angel story, for Christians, certainly is an understandable perception. There is a passage in the Gospels that says that Jesus once taught to not turn away strangers who come to our doors looking for shelter or food, f.e., because they might actually be angels.

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  25. lib– people make the mistake of thinking in historical linear terms with the christ story instead of really listening to someone who has had their life changed by the living christ who was raised from the dead and has totally altered their lives.

    in answer to your question ….the reason why we who have been apprehended by him are obsessed is because he is no longer dead , but has been raised.

    what i find ironic about people who have posted responses to this, is that they most likely have not even listened to the remarkable journey of this great thinker and activist Art Katz and what happened to him. so much for open mindedness of most of the readers of this blog.

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  27. OK, I’ve never heard of a Jewish Atheist before now! I’m not sure you can put those two words together, its like creating a square circle. Also, why would Marxist be relevant? Was Jesus a capitalist? Let me put it this way, if it read “Jewish Capitalist Atheist has vision of Jesus” it would imply Jesus does not think highly of capitalism. But he added Marxist to the list of descriptions of how he used to be. Why is that?

    • Atheists can be born from parents from any religion. There are many secular Jews in the world (non-religious Jews), but even if they don’t personally believe in God they are still Jews. Just like any other religion, not all offspring believe the same as their parents do. There are many families with more than one religion. When I taught Sunday School there was a family that had 2 children, one going to the synagogue and being raised Jewish and the other sibling going to a Christian church and being raised Christian. Who knows if either child (now young adults) believes in God?

      The title is from how Art Katz described himself before his conversion. Many (perhaps most?) Marxists are also atheists and/or agnostic, that’s why it’s relevant. It’s not to say that Jesus is/was a Capitalist.

      I do understand what you are saying, though.

      Katz formed a community in Northern MN, so they lived rather communally.

    • Erkd, this is something I would not recommend lightly but I do recommend that you watch Art Katz give his testimony of his conversion.

      I’m very particular and skeptical of most conversion stories, but I can tell you without reservation that this one is the real thing.

      Art Katz’ ministry has been one of the very few I’ve ever seen that is on the level.

      In regards to the Jewish Marxist Atheist thing, this happens to be important because of its uniqueness in regards to Art’s personal existenitial struggle. Everything that Jesus represents ran in the exact opposite of what he was as a Jewish Marxist Atheist. This makes his testimony even more potent because of his shift in Messianic impulse from Marx to Christ without the capitalist baggage. And Art was one extremely intelligent Atheist.

      Give it a listen.

      • OK, I see both your points.

        To Lo: Its odd that this is the only faith that I know that one would classify themselves as a both a ethnic group and a religion. As in, I have never heard of a Muslim Atheist or a Christian Atheist. Even Buddhists who have a atheist religion don’t say Buddhist Atheist. Anyways, I just thought the phrase was strange, perhaps its used more often and I never noticed it.

        To both Rocket and Lo regarding Marx: His stance was a lot more nuanced then most people generalize. For example his religion is the “opium of the masses” did not mean that religious people are deluded, people took opium for pain as medicine at the time (like Marx himself), he meant that religion gives people comfort. The problem was the source of the pain, his contention is that when people are being oppressed or exploited or economic injustice they turn to religion. So in his context, problems in religion are a symptom of a larger disease in society. He was not anti-religion because he was a atheist.

        • Erkd, Art Katz’ testimony is not religious, he dedicates the beginning of his book to those “who choose truth above convenience”. Katz did not settle for an opiate. As a matter of fact, when you watch the videos you will see that it is the exact opposite. His entire ministry of 40 years, he received nothing but rejection from the Jewish community and the Christian community and the secular Atheist community. Katz chose confrontation with himself first, and then with everyone else next.

          When a person hears Art Katz they are never the same.

        • Erkd, just watch the 2 short videos. Listen first hand from Art Katz, instead of us telling you what he said.

          From my experience and readings, Jews can believe in anything or nothing at all, but not in Jesus, at least with Reform Jews.

    • I think the difference being distinguished is between being *religiously* Jewish & *culturally* Jewish

      Just a thought.

      … & that Book wasn’t good enough for you Christians… was it?… “ – Lewis Black (Me of Little Faith – Aspen isn’t to be missed!)


      … tolerance of intolerance is cowardice…” ~ Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
      “We, two, form a Multitude” ~ Ovid.

      Violence can only be concealed by a Lie, & the Lie can only be maintained by Violence.” … “Any man, who has once proclaimed Violence as his Method, is inevitably forced to take the Lie as his Principle” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

      Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire.

      We, two, form a Multitude.” – Ovid.

      • Thanks for your comment and links (1st and 3rd are the same comedy routine by Lewis Black). However, this isn’t what the post is about. It’s not about secular vs religious Jews. It’s about a life changing experience of a man who used to be an Atheist.

        Did you watch the videos?

  28. In 1974 right after my conversion to Christ I was going to this huge church where a bunch of mealy-mouth preachers came to teach and preach their smooth talking man-pleasing sermons. I didn’t know any different because I was a young Christian until … Art Katz appeared.

    Art Katz spoke about the Spirit of Truth uncompromisingly and courageously and put everyone on notice including the elders of the church and the pastor concerning the nature of deception. When the smoke cleared, the 2,000 people in the audience including me were in shock. I was hooked and followed Katz’ ministry for the next 35 years. Naturally he was rejected by the words he spoke and the elders immediately drove him to the airport to get rid of him. Such is the fate of a true prophet.

    And right after that I read his existential masterpiece of a diary called Ben Israel: Odyssey of a Modern Jew.

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