St. Peter's Orthodox Church


Blood Libel Illustration


By Daniel Gruber

"When it comes to the relationship of Jew and Gentile, the major thrust of all traditional Church theology is separation."


* Each item is linked for your convenience *


Christian Anti-Semitism is a series of articles that examines the historical development of the anti-Semitism that has proceeded from the church. This reader, for one, has found the series quite informative, and select articles from it will be presented that the reader may gain similar benefit. We will begin with three of Daniel's offerings in this Shofar, and continue with the series in future Shofars.

In 1 Corinthians 14:15, Paul said, I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also (ASV). It is the prayer of the Shofar board that the reader may grow in understanding in this matter and pray accordingly. ~ Editor



By Daniel Gruber


When it comes to the relationship of Jew and Gentile, the major thrust of all traditional Church theology is separation. (It is also the thrust of all traditional rabbinic theology.) God's major thrust, on the other hand, is reconciliation - to take two and form them into one new creation. As in the marriage of a man and a woman, so in the Biblical joining of Jew and Gentile: God's purpose is neither subjugation nor the annihilation of the individual, but rather mutual strengthening, service, and fruitfulness.

Theology that sets "the Church" in opposition to "the Jews" is "anti-Judaic" theology. Anti-Judaic theology arose as a response to the "chosenness" of the Jewish people.

There was an anti-Judaic tendency that began very early. Paul addresses it in his letter to the Romans. We will examine his comments in detail later. The Council of Nicea, in 325 C.E., was a distinct turning point in the history of the Church. Since that time, all accepted Church theology has been built upon an anti-Judaic foundation. The theological changes embraced at Nicea made it impossible for the Church to be faithful to its God-given mission. These institutional changes were fundamental and monumental. They were sevenfold:

1. The rejection of the literal meaning of Scripture in its context.
2. The subjugation of Scripture to the authority of a Church hierarchy.
3. The determination that Church doctrine and practice would be in opposition to the Jews.
4. The establishment of compulsory conformity in practice.
5. The acceptance of the State and the sword as the means of maintaining purity in the Church. (The cross was transformed from a means of victory over sin for the individual to a means of victory over sinners for the society.)
6. The acceptance of the sword of the State - instead of the Sword of the Spirit, the blood of the Lamb and the blood of the believers - as the means of triumph in the world.
7. The acceptance of State support of the Church in exchange for Church support of the State. (The Church surrendered its own prophetic message toward the State.)

These are not insignificant alterations. They are major adulterations. The Church became the Imperial Church of Constantine, rather than the Messiah's congregation.

The theological shift that took place was basically this: The Church became identified as the "new Israel," replacing the Jews. As the "new Israel," the Church itself was equated with the kingdom of God, since it was the kingdom of Israel that God had promised to restore. Because God had entrusted the sword to the kingdom/nation of Israel, the "new Israel" also picked up the sword.


70 CE: Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Titus. 1,100,000 Jews were killed and 97,000 taken into slavery and captivity.

115: Rebellion of the Jews in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Cyrene and Cyprus. Jews and Romans inflicted many barbaric atrocities on each other, causing the death of several hundreds of thousands of Romans and Jews.

132-35: The Bar Kochba rebellion (Bar Kochba was a false Messiah). After the revolt was defeated, religious persecutions began, and many died for their faith. Thousands were killed, sold into slavery or taken into captivity.

135: Roman Emperor Hadrian commences persecution of the Jews: Jerusalem established as a pagan city; erection of Jupiter temple on temple mountain (Moriah) and temple to Venus on Golgotha. Jews were forbidden to practice circumcision, the reading of the Law, eating of unleavened bread at Passover or any Jewish festival. Infringement of this edict brought the death penalty.

315: Constantine the Great established "Christianity" as the State religion throughout the Roman Empire; Issued many anti-Jewish laws.

379-95: Theodosius the Great expelled Jews from any official gate position or place of honor. Permitted the destruction of their synagogues if, by so doing, it served a religious purpose.

613: Persecution of the Jews in Spain; all Jews who refused to be baptised had to leave the country. A few years later the remaining Jews were dispossessed, declared as slaves and given to pious "Christians" of position. All children 7 years or over were taken from parents and given to receive a "Christian" education.

628-638: King Dagobert expelled all Jews from France.

694-711: Jewish property confiscated, Judaism outlawed, and Jews enslaved by Visigothic rule in Spain.

795-816: Pope Leo III introduced public disputations between Jews and Christians, resulting in forced conversions to Christianity.

632-633: The Roman Emperor Heraclius I forced Jews to be baptized or face death in Byzantine Empire.

1012: Henry II of Germany expelled the Jews from Mainz.

1096: Bloody persecutions of the Jews at the beginning of the First Crusade in Germany. Along the cities on the Rhine River alone, 12,000 Jews were killed. The Jews were branded second only to Moslems as the enemies of Christendom.

1099: Crusaders entered Jerusalem, and massacred Jews and Muslims living there.

1121: Jews driven out of Flanders (now part of Belgium). They were not to return nor to be tolerated until they repented of the guilt of killing Jesus Christ.

1130: The Jews of London had to pay compensation of 1 million marks for allegedly killing a sick man.

1145-1153: Second Crusade. Jews purchased protection in fortified castles of noblemen, but were betrayed to mobs.

1170: Third Crusade. Jews were accused of blood libel and massacred.

1198-1216: Fourth Crusade, against Jews. Pope Innocent III demanded that Christian rulers make the Jews atone for the sin of deicide.

1290: Jews were expelled from England.

1306 and 1322: Jews were expelled from France.

1370: Jews were blamed for having defiled the "Host" (wafer used in the Mass) in Brussels. The accused were burned alive. Again, all Jews were banned from Flanders and until the year 1820, every 15 years a feast was kept to celebrate the event.

1391: Persecutions in Spain. In Seville and 70 other Jewish communities, the Jews were cruelly massacred and their bodies dismembered.

1394: Second banishment of Jews from France.

1453: The Franciscan monk, Capistrano, persuaded the King of Poland to withdraw all citizensí rights of the Jewish people.

1478: The Spanish Inquisition directed against the Jews.

1492: The banishment of Jews from Spain. 300,000 Jews who refused to be "baptized" into the Church of Rome left Spain penniless. Many migrated to the Muslim country, Turkey, where they found tolerance and a welcome.

1497: Banishment of the Jews from Portugal. King Manuel, generally friendly to the Jews, under pressure from Spain instigated forced baptism to keep the Jews. 20,000 Jews desired to leave the country. Many were ultimately declared slaves.

1516: First Ghetto established in Venice.

1540: Banishment of Jews from Naples and 10 years later, from Genoa and Venice.

1542: Martin Luther wrote "Against the Jews and Their Lies", which called Jews children of the Devil.

1670: Jews expelled from France.

1794: Restriction of Jews in Russia, Jewish men were forced to serve 25 years in the Russian military. Many hundreds of thousands of Jews left Russia.

1846-78: All former restrictions against Jews in Vatican State reinforced by Pope Pius IX.

1903: Renewed restrictions of Jews in Russia. Frequent pogroms (massacres): general impoverishment of Russian Jewry.

1933: Commencement of persecution of Jews in Hitler Germany. Inception of the systematic destruction of 6,000,000 Jews throughout Nazi-occupied Europe.

1946-1952: Jews still killed in Poland (1946), Libya (1948), and Prague (1952). USSR accused 9 doctors (mostly Jewish) of plot to assassinate Soviet leaders.

1956: Jews were deported from Egypt.

1979-1989: Anti-Semitism in America, with more than 6,400 acts of anti-Semitic vandalism, bombings, attempted bombings, arsons, attempted arsons, cemetery desecrations, and harassment. These were committed by the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi groups, and Skinheads.

1990: Pamyat, a nationalist movement in Eastern Europe began, its sole purpose to eliminate Jews and Jewish influence from the Russian empire.

* This list was derived from a chart compiled by David Levy, and other sources.


St. Justin: "For the circumcision according to the flesh, which is from Abraham, was given for a sign, that you may be separated from other nations and from us, and that you alone may suffer that which you now justly suffer, and that your land may be desolate and your cities burned with fire, and that strangers may eat your fruit in your presence and not one of you may go up to Jerusalem."

St. Hippolytus: "Ills . . . will befall them in the future age on account of the contumacy and audacity which they exhibited toward the Prince of Peace."

Origen: "Their rejection of Jesus has resulted in their present calamity and exile. We say with confidence that they will never be restored to their former condition. For they committed a crime of the most unhallowed kind, in conspiring against the Saviour."

St. Gregory: Jews are "slayers of the Lord, murderers of the prophets, enemies of G-d, haters of G-d, adversaries of grace, enemies of their fathers' faith, advocates of the devil, brood of vipers, slanderers, scoffers, men of darkened minds, leaven of the Pharisees, congregation of demons, sinners, wicked men, stoners, and haters of goodness."

St. Jerome: " . . . serpents, haters of all men, their image is Judas . . . their psalms and prayers are the braying of donkeys . . . ."

St. John Chrysostom: "I know that many people hold a high regard for the Jews and consider their way of life worthy of respect at the present time. This is why I am hurrying to pull up this fatal notion by the roots . . . . A place where a whore stands on display is a whorehouse. What is more, the synagogue is not only a whorehouse and a theater: It is also a den of thieves and a haunt of wild animals . . . not the cave of a wild animal merely, but of an unclean wild animal . . . ."

"When animals are unfit for work, they are marked for slaughter, and this is the very thing which the Jews have experienced. By making themselves unfit for work, they have become ready for slaughter. This is why Christ said, "Ask for my enemies, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them to here and slay them before me."

St. Augustine: "Judaism is a corruption. Indeed, Judas is the image of the Jewish people. Their understanding of the Scriptures is carnal. They bear the guilt for the death of the Saviour, for through their fathers they have killed the Christ."

St. Thomas Aquinas: "It would be licit to hold Jews, because of their crimes, in perpetual servitude, and therefore the princes may regard the possessions of Jews as belonging to the State."

Martin Luther: "If we are to remain unsullied by the blasphemy of the Jews and do not wish to take part in it, we must be separated from them, and they must be driven out of the country."

Adolf Hitler: "I believe that I am today acting according to the purposes of the Almighty Creator. In resisting the Jew, I am fighting the Lordís battle."


Christian Anti-Semitism
© Daniel Gruber


Daniel's complete Anti-Semitism series may be read in its original form at

Daniel Gruber has taught in numerous countries on five continents with a focus on the intersection of government and faith including Judaism, Christianity, and contemporary international law. His latest book is a unique annotated translation of the Jewish-Greek of the Messianic Writings (Matthias through Revelation). He has authored six books, some or all of which have been translated into Hebrew, Polish, Dutch, Spanish, German, and Russian. They are: The Messianic Writings: The First-Century Jewish Scriptures that Changed the World; The Children of Abraham; The Church and the Jews: The Biblical Relationship; The Separation of Church and Faith, Vol 1: Copernicus and the Jews; Torah and the New Covenant; Rabbi Akiba's Messiah: The Origins of Rabbinic Authority. Daniel's books are available at

All articles that appear in The Shofar have been reviewed and approved by the AMC Board. Inclusion of an author
does not imply approval of all views of that author, some of which may be unknown to the Board.
~ AMC Board


Return to Home Page