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CHRISTIAN ANTI-SEMITISM

By Daniel Gruber

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 are being presented that the reader may gain similar benefit. Links to previous studies in the series may be found in our Library and Sound Doctrine pages.

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

Study 4

JUSTIN'S DIALOGUE WITH TRYPHO THE JEW

"Justin maintains that Gentiles 'who keep the commandments of
Christos, are, by virtue of Christos' also full members of Israel."

Justin's Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, dated about 160 A.D., also offers evidence of second-century beliefs. It is interesting as a seemingly transitional work. The dialogue apparently took place shortly after the Bar Kokhba Rebellion of 132-135 C.E., but was not written down for at least twenty years.

Justin points to the desolation of Israel and says to Trypho, "And therefore all this has happened to you rightly and well. For ye slew the Just One and His prophets before Him, and now ye reject, and, as far as in you lies, dishonour those that set their hope on Him, and God Almighty and Maker of the universe who sent Him, cursing in your synagogues them that believe on Christos. For you have not authority to raise your own hands against us, because of them who are now supreme. But as often as you could, this also ye did." (1)

Justin believed that the ekklesia was the true Israel, but not in the replacement sense later adopted. "For we are the true and spiritual
Israelitish nation, and the race of Judah and of Jacob and Isaac and Abraham, who when he was still uncircumcised received witness from God for his faith, and was blessed, and was called father of many nations - we, I say, are all this, who were brought nigh to God by Him who was crucified, even Christos . . . . (2)

"As therefore from that one Jacob, who was also surnamed Israel, your whole nation was addressed as Jacob and Israel, so also we who keep the commandments of Christos, are, by virtue of Christos who begat us unto God, both called and in fact are, Jacob and Israel and Judah and Joseph and David, and true children of God." (3)

Justin maintains that Gentiles "who keep the commandments of Christos, are, by virtue of Christos" also full members of Israel. He does not seem to believe that "the Church" has replaced the Jews, but rather that Gentiles who believe in Christos have been grafted into Israel through him. "When therefore God blesses, and calls this people Israel, and cries aloud that it is His inheritance, how is it that you do not repent, both for deceiving yourselves as though you alone were Israel, and for cursing the people that is blessed of God?" (4) *

"Trypho said: Do you indeed intend to say that none of us shall inherit anything in the holy mountain of God?"

And I replied: "I do not mean that. But they who persecuted Christos, and still persecute Him, and do not repent, shall not inherit anything in the holy mountain. While the nations [Gentiles] that have believed on Him, and have repented for all the sins they have committed - they shall inherit, with all the patriarchs and the prophets and the righteous men that have been born of Israel." (5)

According to Justin, it is not Jews only who are now Israel, but also Gentiles who believe in Jesus. For Justin, because the Gentiles who believe in Jesus are now part of Israel, they also, along with the righteous Jews, will inherit what God has promised Israel.

As for the nature of that inheritance, Trypho pointedly asks, "Do you acknowledge of a truth that this place Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and expect that your people will be gathered together and rejoice with Christos, together with the patriarchs and the prophets, and the saints of our race, or even of them who became proselytes, before your Christos came . . .?"

[Justin replies,] "I have acknowledged to you earlier that I and many others do hold this opinion, even as you also know well that this is to take place. But I also informed you that even many followers of Christos of pure and godly mind do not accept it. For I made it clear to you that those who are followers of Christos in name, but in reality are godless and impious heretics, teach in all respects what is blasphemous and godless and foolish. . . . For it is not men, or the doctrines of men, that I choose to follow, but God and the doctrines that come from Him.

"For even if you yourselves have ever met with some so-called followers of Christos, who yet do not acknowledge this, but even dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. . . . But I, and all other entirely orthodox followers of Christos, know that there will be a resurrection of the flesh, and also a thousand years in a Jerusalem built up and adorned and enlarged, as the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah, and all the rest, acknowledge. (6)

"And, further, a man among us named John, one of the apostles of Christos, prophesied in a Revelation made to him that they who have believed our Christos will spend a thousand years in Jerusalem, and that afterwards the universal, and, in one word, eternal resurrection of all at once, will take place, and also the judgment." (7)

For Justin, "all entirely orthodox followers of Christos" believed that Jesus would reign on the earth for a thousand years in a glorified Jerusalem. Those "so-called followers of Christos who yet do not acknowledge this . . . in reality are godless and impious heretics" who "dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

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* Shofar editor's note: For an examination of the belief that Gentile believers are added to Israel,
see links to studies on our Sound Doctrine page under the Replacement Theology heading and in the Concerning Israel series by Norman Manzon.

FOOTNOTES

1. Justin Martyr, The Dialogue with Trypho, translated by A. Lukyn Williams, S.P.C.K., London, 1930, Pp.33-34, Sec. 16.4 [In all quoted passages, the more accurate "Christos" and "followers of Christos" have been inserted.]

2. ibid., P.24, Sec. 11.5

3. ibid., Pp.256-257, Sec. 123.7-9

4. ibid., P.255, Sec. 123.6

5. ibid., P.52, Sec. 25.6-26.1

6. ibid., P.169, Sec. 80.1-5

7. ibid., P.172, Sec. 81.4

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Christian Anti-Semitism
Daniel Gruber

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Daniel Gruber's complete Anti-Semitism series may be read in its original form at http://elijahnet.net/.

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 http://elijahnet.net/store/index.php.

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


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