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
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
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
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.
II. HISTORY OF PERSECUTION
70 CE: Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by
Titus. 1,100,000 Jews were killed and 97,000 taken into slavery and
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
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
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
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
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
1946-1952: Jews still killed in Poland (1946), Libya (1948), and Prague
(1952). USSR accused 9 doctors (mostly Jewish) of plot to assassinate
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
III. A HISTORY OF
"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."