Skip to comments.‘Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition’ by David Nirenberg
Posted on 04/29/2013 6:50:30 AM PDT by Cronos
..it was the Christians who refined anti-Judaism into a core theological and political ideology. Christianity had a particular problem: to show that it had overcome Judaism overcome its adherence to the laws of the old testament, overcome its tribal particularity with evangelical universalism. The idea of Judaism together with the fact that there were still people in the world who chose to remain Jews was an affront to that universalism.
...a struggle against the Jews. The quotation marks are especially important as his account moves beyond the medieval period, because between 1400 and 1600 Western Europe was more or less a world free of Jews. Banished from most countries, and existing only in the tiniest numbers through special exemptions, actual Jews were hardly ever seen.
Martin Luther brought this rhetoric to a fever pitch. In 1523 he accused the Roman Church of becoming more Jewish than the Jews, and as he grew older he tried to convince his contemporaries that so thoroughly hopeless, mean, poisonous, and bedeviled a thing are the Jews that for 1400 years they have been, and continue to be, our plague, pestilence, and all that is our misfortune. Dont believe in conversions, the aged Luther urged; the only way to baptize Jews was by tying millstones around their necks.
... He shows that many of the important conceptual and aesthetic developments in that culture from Saint John to Saint Augustine to Muhammad, from Shakespeare to Luther to Hegel depend on denigrating Jews.Thats whats so chilling: great cultural achievements built on patterns of scapegoating and hatred.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Luther was a pig
Arrest all the Lutherans.
Yes, Christians have caused trouble for Jews for centuries upon centuries. The problem Jews face now, though, is from Muslims, atheists and university professors.
Once again, current Moslem hatreds are compared to beliefs of Christians over 500 years ago in the moral equivalency game.
A lot of Jews are anti-Judaism.
What a disgraceful bunch of instigators the WP is...
Divide and concur is what fascist do...just like you,wapo!
Always single out the sect to paint the broad picture. Your point that a lot of jews are anti-judaism is a winner. The story is most likely written by an athiest.
While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.
The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.
If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.
The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.
Luther was probably thinking of the Jewish theocracy in place around the time of Jesus in comparing the Catholic Church to the Jews? Certainly the Jews in Luther’s time had no organizational structure at all, a trait that served us well except when it really really didn’t.
I am a CHRISTIAN and I will stand with Israel and my Jewish brothers and sisters whenever they need me to.
That was then and this is now. The Jews in Israel do not fear terrorism from the Christian Arabs living there. They do not have any expectation of rockets being fired at them from the Christians in Lebanon. The Jews in France are not in fear of any hostile actions from the Catholics there. Why doesn’t the author address the problems regarding the current persecutors of the Jewish people? As far as I know, some of the strongest supporters of the Jews tend to be conservative Protestants. I know first-hand that conservative Mormons tend to be very supportive as well. And conservative Catholics...Pope Pius XII is starting to receive due recognition for his role in saving European Jews during World War II. The current reality regarding who are friends and who are enemies to the Jews, does not coincide with the author’s desired narrative.
More anti-Christian propoganda. It was primarily the evangelical Christian “West” that rescued millions of Jews from the Nazi extermination plans. The “West” welcomed Jews with open arms also. We were fortunate to get many Jewish scientists who defected to the West.
Real Christianity was never anti-Judiasm. During the times when the New Testament was written, Christianity was considered one of may Jewish sects. Jewish Christians retained their Jewish identities and customs. Gentile converts to Christianity were not required to convert to Judiasm. Today we have this weird amalgamation of carry-over Judiased Christianity which tries to apply Jewish ceremonial law to Gentile Christians while simulteously disallowing Jewish Christians from keeping their Jewish heritage. We also split Christianity into ethnic groups which was unthinkable in the New Testament era.
Rather, most of the historical persecution was directed by Jewish leaders toward both Christ and His followers. Jewish leaders did everything in their power to stop the spread of Christianity both among Jews and Gentiles in the first century.
Today’s so-called “Jews” (mostly secular) continue to attack Christianity, whether it is the less open bigotry of Jews who run things in Hollywood, or the more direct assaults coming from groups like the ACLU, or the “Jews” in Obama’s administration. For yet another example, see...
And 'arrest all Lutherans' is a jest of course :)
Good post btw.
This is related to the country being founded by religious sectarians who themselves suffered enormous prejudice from the established churches and governing elites and were intent on creating a safe haven for dissenters of all stripes. Among most Protestant sects the emphasis on Biblical veracity and scholorship (both books) entirely alters the status of the Jews compared to pre-Reformation Church dogma. They also thrived in Protestant Holland and were welcomed back into Britain by Cromwell after the English Civil War. In the last century the Roman Catholic Church and other "established" Christian churches have also shed much if not all of their institutional antisemitism.
The broad statement that the Jews suffered under "Christianity" is the kind of half truth which Leftist Jews, many of whom are themselves Jewish in name and bloodline only, use to demonize all believing Christians of any type. It reeks of a divisive and deceptive political agenda on the part of the writer.
This article is hitting home at a time when I need clarity. I’m a member of a Lutheran church and our new associate pastor has invited pro-Palistine speakers, and shares posts from the “Activists Around the World for Palistine” facebook page. While I can see her point of view on the plight of the Arab-Christians in the area, I feel the rest is anti Isreal and realy anti American. I want to call her out on her “agenda” but I don’t want to destroy our church either.
Chrstian Arabs are more anti-Jewish and more anti-Israel than the moslems. It's also chrstian Arabs who make up the bulk of Communists in the Arab world. The chrstian village of Nazareth had a Communist mayor for years because the chrstians kept electing him.
Lebanon was originally every bit as anti-Israel as the other Arab states and took part in the Arab invasion in 1948. They've changed their tune somewhat because Israel rescued them from the PLO, but most Arab-American and Lebanese-American chrstians are fanatically anti-Israel.
American-style "Bible-believing" chrstians are a new phenomenon in the chrstian world and are unknown to the ancient churches. They are the chrstians who support Israel and their reward has been to be denounced as "not chrstian at all" by the Council of Middle East Churches.
"Real chrstianity" (pro-Jewish Fundamentalist Protestantism) is only some three hundred to four hundred years old. Historical chrstianity is rabidly anti-Jewish.
Of course, if you're one of those dogmatists who hold that the "original chrstianity" became corrupt and had to be "restored" later (under Luther, Calvin, Smyth, Wesley, Campbell, Smith, Russell, Hensley, etc.) then you can't admit this.
Excellent post! People raised in Judaeophilic American-style Biblicist chrstianity simply do not understand the rabid anti-Semitism of pre-Reformation chrstianity. It is a totally alien world.
“Rather, most of the historical persecution was directed by Jewish leaders toward both Christ and His followers. Jewish leaders did everything in their power to stop the spread of Christianity both among Jews and Gentiles in the first century.”
I know when the apostles were hiding in the upper room, they were specifically hiding out of fear of the Jews - and they were Jewish. Like the Crusades (in which Christians tried to TAKE BACK Christian lands), it is much more convenient to twist truth to fit an agenda.
“Pope Pius XII is starting to receive due recognition for his role in saving European Jews during World War II. The current reality regarding who are friends and who are enemies to the Jews, does not coincide with the authors desired narrative.”
ALWAYS speak up for the truth. If it divides your ‘church’, so be it.
Maybe somebody else will supply the needed context here, but I take it to mean that Catholicism is the most Jewish of all the Christian groups. Which I take as a compliment :o)
It all depends on what you mean.
If by "Jewish" you mean adherence to a legal/ceremonial/ritual system and a rejection of antinomianism, then I suppose the Catholic Church would be considered (lehavdil) "Jewish," and antinomian Protestants often accuse the Catholic Church of being a "Judaizer" for this reason. Furthermore, the Roman (as opposed to the other ancient churches) has a very legal mindset, so I suppose you could say it is more Jewish than (for example) the Eastern Orthodox, though naturally the Orthodox would disagree with that.
However, if by "Jewish" you mean a sentimental attachment to the Biblical/Jewish legal/ritual/ceremonial system and Jewish understandings of a "political" Messiah and a Judaeo-centric interpretation of the Prophets, then the so-called "Hebrew roots" people among the Fundamentalist Protestants are far, far more (lehavdil) "Jewish" than the Catholic Church, and sure enough, Catholics often accuse these people of being "Judaizers."
The Fundamentalist Judaeo-Protestant attachment to Jewish rituals/holidays etc. seems to be out of Biblical sentimentalism, since they all reject the notion that human behavior has anything to do with "salvation." To them, while Jewish ritual does not good, it also does no harm. The Catholic Church OTOH while insisting on the necessity of laws, ceremonies, rituals, calendars, etc., positively forbids the Jewish ones and insists that others have taken their place. Thus it is probably truest to say that no version of chrstianity is "more Jewish" than any other.
...or... as I understand it -— Gentiles who save Jews from attempted genocide.
There's certainly tremendous zekhut in doing so, but I don't know if that by itself makes one a Chasid 'Ummot Ha`Olam. Rambam ruled that a non-Jew who comes to Noachide principals through rational thought without acknowledging and submitting to the authority of Moses and his successors in the Rabbinate is not a "pious" but a "sage," the reward for whom is not as great.
Perhaps someone else knows for certain. I do not.
...The term Righteous Among the Nations (Chasidei Umot HaOlam) was taken from the Jewish tradition from the literature of the Sages.
A number of explanations of the term exist, such as: non-Jews who came to the aid of the Jewish people in times of danger; in other cases it is used to describe non-Jews who observe seven basic tenets set down in the Bible including the prohibition of bloodshed.
The [Israeli] lawmakers took the existing term and added new meaning to it. The Yad Vashem Law went on to characterize the Righteous Among the Nations as those who not only saved Jews but risked their lives in doing so. This was to become the basic criterion for awarding the title...
But this concept of "successors to Moses in the rabbinate" is interesting. Is there an approved line of succession?
Personal note: a good friend of mine, Shmuel, is a member of a Conservative synagogue. He himself is repulsed by abortion and gay sexual relations, and very much a supporter of the traditional pro-life, pro-family, pro-morality ethic, keeps kosher, plus he's very pro Israel--- but I understand the Conservative Jews are officially quite otherwise:
Incomprehensible to me.Conservative Jews Allow Gay Rabbis and Unions - New York Times
Dec 7, 2006
Gay Rabbis Approved In Israel, Conservative Judaism Makes Decision
by Jay Michaelson
Apr 20, 2012 JERUSALEM The Conservative Jewish seminary in Israel says it will allow gays and lesbians to become rabbis, overcoming years of ...
I mean, not in terms of individual sinfulness--- that I can understand, believe me! --- but in terms of official rabbinical approval.
Which rabbis are considered true successors? And which not? And in what manner do they have authority?
(Sincere questions: I'm looking to understand.)
Thanks for that explanation. I find remediation of my ignorance a lifelong task!
God has always had a remnant of those who believed Him. This was and is true in Israel. This is true within Christendom.
Real Christianity is defined by what the Bible teaches which is a record of what Christ and the apostles taught and practiced (in the New Testament). From the very beginning there was the corruption you mentioned. Even during Christ’s earthly work there were enemies from within, particularly Judas. Later, there were many false teachers who attempted to hijack the movement whith their own ideas and teachings. This has gone on continuously since the beginning and is recorded in the New Testament.
Paul had to defend himself against the acusations you are bringing up... namely that he had rejected his Jewish heritage and that he hated Jewry.
Neither Paul nor Peter nor any of the apostles ever attemped to stir up war or persecution against the Jewish people. On the other hand Jewish leaders were constantly trying to murder them and wipe out the Christian movement. But it could not be stopped. These Jewish leaders went so far as to alter the Masoretic text to hide and conceal what was prophecied about Christ from the Jewish people. It was this constant attempt by Jewsish leaders to hang onto their power and influence that led them to attack Christ, His followers and ultimately led to the war in 70 A.D. that destroyed the temple and scattered the Jews from their promised homeland.
There has been a long history of false teaching in the name of Christ which blames Christianity for bad relations between Jews and Christians. For example, replacement theology teaches that the church replaced Israel and is entitled to the things promised to Israel. This is false and not based on the teachings of Christ or the apostles.
God has supernaturally preserved and protected His earthly people, the Jews. Yet this same God has repeatedly punished Israel from the days of Moses until now for her contually rebelling against Him. It is also this same God that has supernaturally protected and preserved a true remnant of believing Christians for the past two thousand years which, unlike the false gods which were exposed in Egypt during the Exodus, and the false gods of the Philistines and other enemies of the Jews which God destroyed, He has done no such thing to the God of the New Testament because He is the same God.
Moses believed God and spoke with Him face to face. The multitudes of Israel saw the manifestation of God’s glory in a cloud by day and fire by night. Many heard His voice like thunder. In spite of this and His great deliverance from the gods of Egypt, many did not believe and the desert is filled with their carcasses. Soon we will see this same visible glory of God in the sky again, but whether you believe is up to you.
You are really offensively wrong in the first two paragraphs of your post.
Jews were not welcomed with open arms, they had to be vouched for by other Jews and by the late 30s the doors had closed altogether, not only in the US but all over non-Nazi Europe.
Paragraph 2, let’s just start with the Inquisition, but we could go on for about a thousand pages. The rest of paragraph two is just an insane jumble of nonsense from a clearly addled brain.
After that ridiculous nonsense, there’s not much point in critiquing the rest, although you are right it is clearly true that the first century Jewish governing bodies were not happy about what they saw as a breakaway sect, but by 80 AD, that whole governing body had been destroyed by Rome anyway.
But to some up 2000 years of history by analysing the first 80 and then saying the rest was more of the same, is pretty spectacularly stupid.
“really offensively wrong”
You are supposed to be offended. You should get really, really angry and look in the mirror for the cause. Truth can make you free, but it will probably make you angry first.
“Jews were not welcomed with open arms, they had to be vouched for by other Jews and by the late 30s the doors had closed altogether, not only in the US but all over non-Nazi Europe.”
The majority of Americans are not and never were antisemitic. The USA has been since the beginning of this great nation, the least antisemitic place on the planet which is due entirely to the evangelical protestant influence of its earliest founders. We have always had bad apples, but so has every other nation including Israel.
Further, millions of Jews immigrated here in the twentieth century. At the same time, millions of evangelical, protestant Christians paid the ultimate price to stop the Nazi’s, including their Satanic drive to massacre the Jews. In my family and church as a child, people like Corrie Ten Boom’s family were held up as models of how Christians should live. They rescued Jews, not to convert them, but simply due to love and compassion for their fellow human beings. Resultantly, that family died at the hands of Nazi’s except Corrie, who survived the concentration camps to retell her story.
There are millions of Christians being imprisoned, murdered, raped, kidnapped and pillaged TODAY who cannot get asylum in the USA. Instead, the current regime is funding the enemies of Christians around the globe. Is that YOUR fault? Is America anti-Christian? I want to know what specific actions you have taken to welcome these persecuted Christians with open arms. Then I will be interested in hearing about how America mistreated the Jews in the past century.
It gets old hearing how all white people are to blame for black slavery, how conservatives are to blame for the consequences of liberal policies, and how Christian evangelicals are not true friends of Jewish people.
I think it could be accurately said that persecuted Christians are welcome here with open arms even if there is a tremendous amount of anti-Christian sentiment here as well.
“Paragraph 2, lets just start with the Inquisition”
OK. Start there. Do you have a clue? The criticism I have leveled on this forum against Catholic lies would have led me to be burned at the stake by the psuedo-Christian Inquisition. Have you ever read the Hebrew scriptures? When Elijah accused his own nation, Israel, of killing all of God’s prophets, were the true Jewish people of faith contemporary to Elijah all being indicted? No. There was a remnant of believing Jews who did not apostacise and turn to Baal worship.
“But to some up 2000 years of history by analysing the first 80 and then saying the rest was more of the same, is pretty spectacularly stupid.”
Really? For me to “some [sum?] up” this way is “spectacularly stupid”? What is “spectacularly stupid” is the inability to grasp a simple concept. Christianity was hijacked by people who did not believe or practice its core tenets. It is really not that hard to follow.
Through the centuries there have been believing Jews and non-believing Jews that were part of the nation of Israel and also those among the ethnically Jewish people exiled throughout the world. Many, many times ethnically Jewish people abandoned their Judaic traditions to worship other gods and practice foreign religions. These people do not indict Judiasm because they are not practicioners of it.
Likewise, when the popular movement of Christianity does not believe or practice the teachings and example of Christ, they are Christian in name only. There have always been a minority of true, practicing Christians who cannot be blamed for the Inquisition or any other evil that was done in the name of Christianity. These true Christians would have been the first to be executed by the so-called Christians, even before any Jews were.
Just in case the post you found offensive was misleading about my view of collective guilt, I want to be clear that my remarks about Hollywood and ACLU “Jews” is not directed at Jews in general whether religious or non-religious. Every person is responsible for his or her own actions and will be accountable to God for such. My point is there are many who identify as being Jewish who do not follow either the beliefs or practices of the Jewish patriarchs. Some who identify as ethnically Jewish are rabidly anti Christian, such as Rahm Emanuel. Of course, wise Jews would beware of trusting leaders of his ilk as he would sell them out just as quickly as he would the Christians.
One definition of insanity is arguing with a crazy person, so I will take my leave of you.
You have to use reason and words to argue. All you did was throw insults. That speaks volumes about you. Ignorance and even being “crazy” might be correctable with a little effort. Malice, not so much. So, sure, move on to your next hit-and-run.
Your hypothesis was that Christianity had never done anything evil to the Jews. I suggested the Spanish Inquisition as one obvious counter-argument, and you completely ignored it. You may well be possessed by evil spirits. Or you are crazy.
I did not ignore your suggestion that the Inquisition proves Christianity did evil to Jews. I am pointing out that the Roman Catholic church was not and is not a Christian entity despite its assertion to be the only true church of Christ. Therefore it is unreasonable to lay blame upon my faith based on what impostors did in the name of Christ.
Christ clearly warned His followers that this exact thing would happen. “Many will come”, He said, “in My name...” but would be impostors.
Are there true Christians in the Catholic church? Yes. But it is in spite of Catholic doctrine rather than because of it. Have true Christians ever done evil to Jews? Yes. Christians can and do fail to live up to the teachings and example of Christ. And some, like Paul, became Christians after doing great harm to Jews. (Of course Paul was Jewish himself, and those he persecuted were Jewish Christians.)
My point is that it is wrong to blame Christians, who have no more in common with the Inquisition than do modern Jews, for the crimes of the Inquisition. It is morally equivalent to blaming all Jews for what Judas did to Christ or what the Jewish leaders did when they turned Jesus over to Pilate. Judas is responsible for his actions. The Jewish leaders of Christ’s day are responsible for their own actions.
And I am not possessed by evil spirits. You would be wise not to trifle with things you do not understand or have the power to defend yourself against. Satan does not have any ownership rights over me since I have been purchased by the payment Christ made on my behalf.
Ahh, I see.
Jesus said, For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind. Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, Are we blind also? Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, We see. Therefore your sin remains. (John 9:39-41)
Sixty or seventy years ago, Muslims in the Middle East were generally very inward-looking, pre-modern, non-Western. Arab Christians, on the other hand, had been exposed to Western ideas, like nationalism. Some of them turned towards Communism. Others became leaders of Arab nationalist movements.
But that's not really the case any more. The Muslim world has become politicized and militant or extremist movements abound. Among the remaining Christian Arabs, you don't find the same strong political passions. You'd be really hard-pressed to find Arab Christians as fanatical as Hamas or Hezbullah.
If you still Christian Arab Communists in Palestine in recent years (it's harder and harder to find Christian Arabs at all there now), it's because the alternatives were militant and extreme Muslim parties, but I'm pretty sure that the bulk of the leadership and membership of the successor party today are largely Muslim.
Lebanon was originally every bit as anti-Israel as the other Arab states and took part in the Arab invasion in 1948. They've changed their tune somewhat because Israel rescued them from the PLO, but most Arab-American and Lebanese-American Christians are fanatically anti-Israel.
Is it really surprising that there was animosity to Israel among Christian Arabs in the early years? Since then, Lebanese Christians are hardly going to be as fanatically pro-Israel as some people, but they're also hardly as "fanatically anti-Israel" as their Muslim countrymen.
You're playing a shell game here, making out that those who don't share your views are all equally fanatical, when that may not be the case. The relationship between Lebanese Christians and Israel may be based on common enemies, but such relationships aren't uncommon in politics.
The poster's original comment that it's not Arab Christians that Israel has to fear most is a valid one. There may not be much love lost, but their isn't the kind of zealotry that there is among the Muslims.