LET’S LOOK BRIEFLY AT THE ORIGINS OF ANTI-SEMITISM
A. John discipled Polycarp the Presbyter of Rome 80-98AD, who discipled Ireneaus bishop of Gaul wrote “Against Heresies” in 180AD. This is an outstanding writing that validates the bodily resurrection and a literal Millennium in the future. Unfortunately, Ireneaus also allegorizes the restoration and regathering of Israel in that same writing to be Gentile nations, even from as obvious passages as Isaiah 26, and Ezekiel 37.
B. Next we have Hippolytus 199-217AD. He was discipled by Ireneaus. He was strongly opposed the teaching of Plato, who denied the future bodily resurrection of the wicked and the just, but Hippolytus also wrote what was called: “An Expository treatise against the Jews”, in which he said, “ye (Jews) have been darkened in the eyes of your soul with a darkness utter and everlasting.” Even though the apostle did not interpret the Psalm that Hippolytus claims to interpret in that way, as seen in Romans 11:7-13
C. Constanine 272-337AD.
1. Roman emperor from 306-337AD.
2. In 313 he declared an edict for tolerance of all religions in the Roman empire. and the canon of Scripture. He used the cross for a symbol on the shields of the army saying, “in this symbol shall you conquer.” He claimed to be a Christian, while at the same time promoting worship of other gods.
3. In 325AD he summoned the council of Nicea and the first Ecumenical Council. He also established the building and institution of the church and declared that a Julian-solar calendar be observed, as opposed to the Hebrew lunar calendar, including an ending of Passover meal observance on Friday nights leading into Sabbath.
4. He made Christianity the state religion declaring persecution illegal, thus weakening the church.
D. Muhammad begins receiving the Koran 610AD. In 613AD Muhammad begins openly preaching Islam. In 638AD Muslims take possession of Jerusalem.
E. The Crusades 1095-1291. Roman Catholic authorities began wars of slaughtering Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem, the Catholics claimed possession of Jerusalem as the ‘new Israel’ and were exterminating Jews and Muslims from the city.
F. Martin Luther
1. In 1516 wrote, “Many people are proud with marvelous stupidity when they call the Jews dogs, evildoers, or whatever they like, while they too, and equally, do not realize who or what they are in the sight of God”. In 1523, Luther advised kindness toward the Jews in That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew, but only with the aim of converting them to Christianity. When his efforts at conversion failed, he grew increasingly bitter toward them.
2. Luther’s other major works on the Jews were his 60,000-word treatise Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and their Lies), and Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (On the Holy Name and the Lineage of Christ), both published in 1543, three years before his death. Luther argued that the Jews were no longer the chosen people but “the devil’s people”: he referred to them with violent, vile language. Luther advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayer books forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews’ property and money, and smashing up their homes, so that these “poisonous envenomed worms” would be forced into labor or expelled “for all time”. In Robert Michael’s view, Luther’s words “We are at fault in not slaying them” amounted to a sanction for murder. Luther’s “recommendations” for how to treat the Jews was a clear reference to the “sharp mercy” of Deuteronomy 13, the punishments prescribed by Moses for those who led others to “false gods”.
3. Luther spoke out against the Jews in Saxony, Brandenburg, and Silesia Josel of Rosheim, the Jewish spokesman who tried to help the Jews of Saxony in 1537, later blamed their plight on “that priest whose name was Martin Luther—may his body and soul be bound up in hell!—who wrote and issued many heretical books in which he said that whoever would help the Jews was doomed to perdition.” Josel asked the city of Strasbourg to forbid the sale of Luther’s anti-Jewish works: they refused initially, but relented when a Lutheran pastor used a sermon to urge his parishioners to murder Jews. Luther’s influence persisted after his death. Throughout the 1580s, riots led to the expulsion of Jews from several German Lutheran states.
4. In his final sermon three days before his death on February 18 1546: Luther said, “we want to practice Christian love toward them and pray that they convert,” but also that they are “our public enemies … and if they could kill us all, they would gladly do so. And so often they do.”
Genesis 12:2-3, 18:22, 26:16, Exodus 1:9
G. John Calvin July 10th, 1509 – May 27th, 1564
1. was a supercessionist and argued that the Jews are a rejected people who must embrace Jesus to re-enter the covenant.
2. Most of Calvin’s statements on the Jewry of his era were polemical. For example, Calvin once wrote, “I have had much conversation with many Jews: I have never seen either a drop of piety or a grain of truth or ingenuousness – nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew.” In this respect, he differed little from other Protestant and Catholic theologians of his day. He considered Jews “profane dogs,” model evildoers who “stupidly devour all the riches of the earth with their unrestrained cupidity.”
3. Among his extant writings, Calvin only dealt explicitly with issues of contemporary Jews and Judaism in one treatise, Response to Questions and Objections of a Certain Jew. In it, he argued that Jews misread their own scriptures because they miss the unity of the Old and New Testaments. Calvin also wrote that the Jews’ “rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.”
H. The Church of England(Anglican). In1558 The Act of Supremacy declared that the church is both Catholic(a claim to be passed from the apostles to the Catholic church), and Reformed from the time of Luther and Calvin.
1. By the seventeenth century some Puritans broke from the church of England. Some of these ones even believed in a soon restoration of the true ethnic nation of Israel; believing God’s covenant with the Jewish people to still be in place.
2. Charles Spurgeon, Baptist preacher 1834-1892, was another advocate of the continuing covenant with Israel.
I. The Holocaust 1938-1945 (World War II 1939-1945).
1. In 1938 On November 7, 1938, Jewish minor Herschel Grünspan assassinated Nazi German diplomat Ernst vom Rathh in Paris. This incident was used by the Nazis as a pretext to go beyond legal repression to large-scale physical violence against Jewish Germans. What the Nazis claimed to be spontaneous “public outrage” was in fact a wave of pogroms instigated by the Nazi party, and carried out by SA members and affiliates throughout Nazi Germany, at the time consisting of Germany proper, Austria and Sudetenland.These pogroms became known as Reichskristallnacht (“the Night of Broken Glass”, literally “Crystal Night”), or November pogroms. Jews were attacked and Jewish property was vandalized, over 7,000 Jewish shops and 1,668 synagogues (almost every synagogue in Germany) were damaged or destroyed. The death toll is assumed to be much higher than the official number of 91 dead. 30,000 were sent to concentration camps, including Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and Oranienburg concentration camp, where they were kept for several weeks, and released when they could either prove that they were about to emigrate in the near future, or transferred their property to the Nazis. Coinciding with Kristallnacht was the November 11, 1938 passage of Regulations Against Jews’ Possession of Weapons, which made it illegal for Jews to possess firearms or other weapons (see The 1938 German Weapons Act). German Jewry was collectively made responsible for restitution of the material damage of the pogroms, amounting to several hundred thousand Reichsmarks, and furthermore had to pay an “atonement tax” of more than a billion Reichsmarks.
2. After these pogroms, Jewish emigration from Germany accelerated, while public Jewish life in Germany ceased to exist.