Anti-Judaism and the Origins of Christianity

By David Turner, JPOST

“Anti-Semitism was long justified by passages like this one from I Thessalonians: the Jews “killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets.”

Introduction: The purpose of this blogstream is to investigate the historical foundations for the West’s Jewish Problem, how such a thing as the Holocaust could occur. Such an investigation must begin with the source of religious anti-Judaism in Christian scripture, which begins today. Future writings will trace anti-Judaism through centuries of theological interpretation and development and, eventually, its transformation to secular antisemitism.

First century Roman frieze depicting Titus victory over Judea (Wikipedia)

So long as Jew hatred remained within religion it victims might find relief through conversion. But with the 18th century Age of Reason; once Jewish identity was described by “science” by bloodline and genealogy; once, in other words, religious anti-Judaism morphed into secular antisemitism “conversion” not even religion would provide refuge.

When Gaius Pompeius Magnus conquered Judea in 63 B.C.E. he set off a century of uprisings to rid monotheist Judea of its pagan occupiers. According to Josephus tens of thousands of rebels suffered crucifixion, a slow and cruel death meant to discourage others from joining the rebellion. Those numbers would multiply many-fold when the disconnected uprisings coalesced into the First Jewish War, 66-70 C.E.

The presence of Pagan occupiers in Judea was more than a nation-on-nation struggle. It was an affront to the land of Judaism’s one God. Having only a century earlier cleansed the temple of the Hellenist Seleucid pollution celebrated in Hanukah, the Jews were not about to accept Rome’s legions roaming the countryside. The century of on and off desperate insurrections brought some successes against far superior military forces, a seeming miracle that raised the rebel leader to the status of possible messiah. All must have realized the hopelessness of defeating Rome’s legions, and the longer the conflict continued the greater the hope and expectation that God would, in the end, provide a messiah. It was this that brought together the leaders of the two largest militias, the hope and expectation that God would intervene to save Jerusalem and establish His reign on Earth, the Malchut Shamayim, “Kingdom of Heaven.” According to Isaiah, 59:19-20 the messiah will arrive:

“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him… and the Redeemer shall come to Zion.”

But the hoped-for messiah did not appear. And in 70 C.E. the Romans conquered and sacked Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and, according to Josephus, more than one million Jews died in the siege.

Paul and the emergence of Christianity: It was against this century-long background of desperation, hope and, finally, defeat that Christianity emerged. Why Christianity developed away from Judaism was due to the role assigned the messianic figure by Paul and his followers. Jewish tradition called for messianic intervention, a leader to provide salvation through victory, not consolation following defeat. Most Christian scholars writing today recognize that the “messiah” described by Paul and the gospels was a figure far closer to the pagan “mystery religions” than to Jewish tradition. And it was among the pagans that Paul attracted his converts.

Paul of Tarsus’ “conversion” and career as evangelist began several decades after Jesus’ assumed death and corresponded to the final decades of the Jewish struggle against Roman rule and pagan influence. Paul’s epistles, his letters to his communities of converts scattered across the eastern Mediterranean, appear to have inspired a literary form, the gospels, of which several dozen survive today but from among which four would be selected as canonical, likely in the forth century. Divergent and often contradictory the gospel stories describe the earthly mission, crucifixion and ascension to heaven of Jesus the messiah or, in Greek translation, Christos; in English, Christ.

Paul of tarsus as depicted on a chapel, (Wikipedia)

The salvational messianic sect of Judaism had little success attracting Jews living within or outside Judea for reasons outlined above. Where Christianity did strike root and begin to find acceptance was in the pagan world. Judaism always held attraction for some pagans who admired its ancient history, its invisible god, its day of rest. Conversion to Judaism even occurred within the emperor’s household. But due to its strict requirements of diet and circumcision Judaism, at least among the men, was more successful in attracting “partial” converts, or “god-fearers,” who followed rituals and participated in services and holidays, but declined formal conversion.

Paul’s success lay in eliminating the requirement of full conversion to Judaism: eliminating the need for circumcision removed a significant barrier for male converts. But eliminating full conversion and circumcision also brought him into conflict with the sect’s leadership, made up of temple-observant Jews, called today the Jerusalem Church. Testy and combative by nature Paul took the fight directly to the Jerusalem leadership.

In Romans 2:28 Paul argues that “the Jews” misunderstand the true meaning of circumcision: “circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter.” His frustration with the Jerusalem leadership is reflected in 1 Thessalonians 2:16where he chides them for, “forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved.”

But removing himself from the mission of the “Jerusalem church” presented serious problems for his self-defined mission as representative of the Jewish movement. He accuses “the Jews” of collective blindness, a veil covering their eyes, seeing as “through a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). He is the first to accuse the Jews of deicide, to suggest they are rejected by God, enemies of mankind: the Jews “both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove out us, and pleased not God, and are contrary to all men,” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-15). For these crimes God transferred his covenant to the “new” Jews, to Paul’s communities of converts. His accusations would become a theme that would reappear in the gospels, be expanded on by generations of theologians, set the stage for centuries of anti-Jewish animus and persecution.

July 26, 2012 | 44 Comments »

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  1. “novices who should rather be offered professional guidance into a complicated part of historiography”

    You mean like those historians from the side of Christianity? Like Billy Graham, or Martin Luther and Augustine? When did Christians ever take the time to consider veridical history? Like Islam, Christianity is full of pendent fantasy, pathetic imitations of the Jewish experience of Mt. Sinai, which is to say, these respective belief systems exist today simply because a vast majority of humanity is foolish enough to believe such fantasy. Hence the Jewish proverb, “Der oilem iz a goilem.” The masses are asses. We Gentiles deserve this proverb. Judaism inspires and produces courage, Christianity and Islam only fear and a constriction of conscience. The Torah teaches that just because a majority of people hold a view as truth does not mean that same majority is a verification of that view being truth. Jews are a minority because they are not easily swayed by sciolism and witch doctors.

    Augustine used the term “our enemies the Jews.” That is religious hate speech, reminiscent of Paul of Tarsus. Turner is not using “religious hate speech.” He is simply pointing out examples of Christianity’s religious hate speech. Nobody wants to “pick on Christians” here, but watch out when these Christians begin attempting to presume to know better of the G-D of the Jews than the Jews themselves. “Iron sharpens iron.” This is also Judaism in action. “I hate them with the utmost hatred; they have become enemies unto me.” You’re barking up the wrong tree.

  2. @ Ted Belman:

    My point is that Turner’s reference to an ancient text is completely out of context, and offers no serious learning. This holds in particular for novices who should rather be offered professional guidance into a complicated part of historiography. As it stands, Turner’s article functions more like a missionizing statement, or even, in the worst case, as religious hate speech. Some of the comments here seem to confirm this view.

  3. @ yamit82:

    There are only 2 Biblical (The Jewish Bible) mandated religions. …

    This statement belongs to the realm of your personal theological belief. I have no opinion on your private matters. The question was whether David Turner’s reference to an ancient Jewish document is tenable. Nobody here has delivered proof of that, so far. I have only seen derogatory statements about something which apparently is believed to be Christianity and Jesus, and which is neither.

  4. Per Said:

    I’m afraid there is very little to learn from David Turner’s misunderstandings of what went on in Israel in the first century CE.

    There are many books about the first Century. Turner doesn’t cover a fraction of it but in my opinion is that it is worth reading for novices to the subject

  5. @ BlandOatmeal:
    Jews put no faith in the Christian texts at all. As a reflection of history they are unreliable. Our only recourse to them is to show how unreliable they are. My only interest is history. By that I mean, what happenned and why. If your remarks are directed to history bring them on but as I say we consider that the Christian texts have more to do with agenda than history so we don’t believe them. Just as we don’t believe Nazi, Communist or Palestinians propaganda.

    The Christian texts are a perversion of history. It is not my comments that are a perversion of Christian texts. So what do you hope to prove by quoting Christian texts. If you want to use them as a validation of Christianity, I am not interested. If you use them to in support the historical facts give it a try. But to point our that the Gospels say Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin or was crucified and therefore he was, is not sufficient proof of facts. Even the writings of Josephus as they pertain to the Jews or Jesus are not reliable because the writings of Josephus were preserved by the Christians and most scholars believe they amended to writings to accord with their narrative. Nevertheless most of what Josephus writes is accepted as truth.

    I would be interested in what you have to say about when and by whom the gospels were written or whether the Gospels as they now exist were the original writings or were edited well into the third ce3ntury.

  6. @ Ted Belman:
    Ted,

    It is you and the others here who are “shutting their eyes”. You straitly forbade Christians from posting anything from the scriptures here, either Old Testament or New; and with this post, you are posting your own cockeyed perversion of the New Testament. You told me plainly that you are not interested in the scriptures; and this just shows you up as a hypocrite. Say it plainly before all: Do you want preaching on Israpundit or no? And if you only allow Jewish preaching, aren’t you trying to convert Christians?

  7. Oh intellectually superior ones, If God is Spirit only, Who walked with Adam in the Garden? Who was Adam hiding from? If Torah and Gods Laws define Judaism, What is this “Oral Law” that contradicts Torah? Torah Demands you Proclaim the name of the lord! Why is it that no one knows for certain what that name is? Tenach Forbids adding to or changing Gods laws! So why have you? As far as Killing Prophets? That’s confirmed in the Old testament. And before you get offended, I’m just as harsh with Christians. I seek truth, That requires that I ask Questions.

  8. @ Emmanuel Godoy:

    Your Race superiority stance says it all – the reason anyone is so suspicious of Jews – arrogance.

    Ah now it’s Jewish arrogance? Pls. describe with example Jewish arrogance as a national or(racial) trait.

    Yes G-D chose a people (Hebrews) to represent Him, but not on their own merit; weaker than the Egyptians and stubbornly quarrelsome.

    I wouldn’t say we were weaker than the Egyptians. We are still alive and kicking and the Egyptians? I will sell you a shovel if you want to find them. Our individual merit was never part of the contract. That said, there were always some Jews who earned that merit. There were always some. No history of any other nation is as clear and defined as ours. Everything that happens to us already appears in regard to our three Patriarchs. Abraham stands under the banner: Lech lecha, “Get thee from thy country…” and under the banner of chesed, charity. Isaac is the passive, tragic image among our Fathers. The Bible refers to the Pachad Itzhak, the “fear of Isaac.” That is also part of our history. Again and again we are bound, and again and again saved.

    The Kabbala says of Jacob that he is Tifereth, glory, a compromise between or mixture of the chesed of Abraham and the din of Isaac. He is known by his name Israel, one who struggled with God; and also famous for his ladder. No other symbol so expresses the principles of the outlook of Israel.

    He was faithful as were the prophets – but not the masses enmasse. The light was to come through the Jewish people, but not just for the Jewish peoples, but for those who were chosen by election (as Paul considers through his theological letters to the churches).

    Despite all efforts by the gentiles to destroy the Jewish people we are still here. Who is still here? Jews that are still faithful to the covenant or whose grandparents and great grandparents were, with chains of of descent going back at least to Moses and there are many proven lines or chains of descent. When asked by King Louis 14th for proof of G-d Pascal said “The Jews Sire The Jews” No Paul or Jesus included in such proof.

    No, I am not a Zionist, or Messianic per sé, and neither am I a Christian dispensationalist. I don’t believe in Israel as a spiritual state, but support the nation of Israel as a legitimate political entity.

    What does “per sé,” Mean?

    You seem to be a very intelligent and insightful person – I wish you would pursue the possibility of a power ouside of yourself and out of the bounds of mere human reasoning.

    I would call this a not so veiled attempt at proselytisation. Good Luck. 😛

  9. @ Per:

    There are only 2 Biblical (The Jewish Bible) mandated religions.

    Judaism and the rest who follow the Laws of Noach which preceded Judaism and Jews. There is none other ( acceptable) according to Jewish world view.

    I think Devolin would agree That:

    http://www.rosenblit.com/Same_God.htm
    Christianity seeks to know God, not only through the Hebrew Bible, but also through the “New Testament”; and, in cases of conflict between the two Scriptures, the “New Testament” prevails in the eyes of Christians simply because that Scripture is deemed by Christianity to be the corrective and final Word of God. Consequently, to the extent that the Christian Bible distorts the Nature, Message and Expectations of the God of Israel it does not describe our God at all but another deity entirely — and it is this deity that Christianity recognizes and to which Christians pray.

    we do not accept:

    that Humanity is born with the stain of “Original Sin”; or

    that a righteous person might be denied God’s Love; or

    that the New Testament is a Scripture of the God of Israel; or

    that Christianity has superseded Judaism as the Revelation of the God of Israel; or

    that the God of Israel impregnated a human female (whether or not a virgin), and did so for the purpose of causing His Offspring to be born as a human being, only to be captured, tortured and murdered, in order to redeem Humankind from its collective sins ( — in that, the practice of human sacrifice, especially to appease a deity, is abhorrent to the God of Israel — ); or

    that, after the death of Jesus, the God of Israel has decreed that the sins of a Jew can be forgiven only by accepting Jesus as his Savior ( — in that, the God of Israel, before, during and after the time of Jesus, without employing any intermediary, Himself forgives an individual’s forgivable sins, but only after that individual has repented, and thereafter modifies his thoughts and behaviors in order to avoid repeating those sins — ); or

    that the God of Israel gave Jesus the Power to abrogate the Divine — and thus unalterable — Commandments of the Torah which God Himself bestowed upon the Jewish people; or

    that the God of Israel decreed that the Jewish people be murdered or otherwise persecuted as punishment for their refusal to accept Jesus as their Savior and King; or

    that the God of Israel decreed that Jews are the Children of the Devil (or even that there exists such a supernatural creature which vies with God for Supremacy over the Universe); or

    that the God of Israel created demonic creatures, and permits them to enter human beings and to possess their souls; or

    that the God of Israel instructs the Jewish people, as proof of their faith in Him (through Jesus), to cast out demons, speak gibberish, handle deadly snakes, ingest poison, and heal the sick without seeking medical intervention; or

    that the Jewish people bear collective and perpetual guilt for the Crime of Deicide ( — as if it were actually possible to kill the Creator of all Existence — ).

    Consequently, we cannot possibly accept the postulate that the deity depicted in the “New Testament” and the God of Israel are one and the same — or that, after so thorough a baptism in the falsehoods of the “New Testament”, Christians (even those who do not worship Jesus as a god) nevertheless pray to the God of Israel.

  10. The delineation the New Testament gives of the identity of “Jesus” is not Jewish, is far from Jewish. The Jesus of the NT (and there is no other) is not my “religious brother”–not even close.

    “And speaking about Jews in a derogatory way has always been an indicator of anti-Semitism.”

    Now I’m an antisemite? I won’t even honour such chin music with a response. “Cavil will enter at any hole.”

    I’m done with this conversation.

  11. @ Michael Devolin:

    “Jesus is yours”

    I am a Noachide, not a Christian.

    So you admit that you are a close religious brother of Jesus, whom you seem to despise. Jesus was not a Christian, he was a Temple observant Jew. And speaking about Jews in a derogatory way has always been an indicator of anti-Semitism.

  12. “Jesus is yours”

    I am a Noachide, not a Christian.

    “…and your way of dealing with him is telltale.”

    And what way would that be?

  13. @ Michael Devolin:

    “…nationalistic macho propaganda that is being maitained in the dark corners of society.”

    Perhaps you can clarify (or probably deny), but is your reference above to Zionism and the Jewish people?

    It has an obvious reference to individuals who miss no opportunity to speak about other people in derogatory terms (like anti-Semites with oposite sign). They are no light, neither for the nations nor for anything else. And, by the way, there is no “my Jesus.” Jesus is yours, and your way of dealing with him is telltale.

  14. Michael Devolin Said:

    ‘To anyone who knows Jewish history, it comes as no great surprise that the Holocaust could and did take place in the heart of Christendom. The Nazis’ “final solution” cannot be divorced from the attempts to get rid of the Jews throughout church history — first by forced conversion, then by expulsion, then by extermination.’

    The above statement is why I have nothing but a fearful respect for Yamit. I know I said I wouldn’t post for a while, but I have to say something here, especially when these Christians are unctuously “instructing” Jews as to what should be their “interpretation” of Christianity, as though Jews couldn’t make their own decision on the matter. There is more genius in the fingertip of one observant Jew than can be found in the mountain of bullshit all sects of Christianity have piled up over two millennia.

    As a Noachide I must tell these Christians how it works: the Jews tell the non-Jews who is the Moshiach and not the other way around, as your sophist Paul of Tarsus shamelessly taught you. You don’t come here and presume to instruct these Jews about how they shouldn’t view Christianity as “anti-Semitic” even as you unctuously inform them that Christians are “grafted in” (yes, I know your lingo and your theology as I was formerly a Christian). What you’re not telling them is how your Paul of Tarsus (not mine any more, thank G-D!) proclaimed to the non-Jewish world that the Torah (what Paul was referring to when he used the term “Law”) was dead. The Jewish sages rejected your Jesus, that’s all you need to know. If the Jews rejected him as the Moshiach, that is the end of your argument, whether you like it or not. The choices remaining for you is either to remain an idol-worshipper or else become a Noachide (observant of the 7 Laws of Noach) as I did. Every Gentile is born as a Ben Noach, but not every Ben Noach chooses to worship the G-d of the Jews (as defined by the Jews and their Tanach).

    “There is nothing in the Christian gospels that supports persecution of the Jews.”

    You are biased, not the Jews who post here. Jesus wept over Jerusalem? Why? Tell these Jews the reason your New Testament (not mine) gives for Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Why? As you have pointed out: “Jesus’s gospel was offered first to the Jews, and then after their leadership rejected it, to the Gentiles.” The first punishment pronounced upon the Jews by the Christian god: the destruction of their holy city for not accepting the Christian “messiah”.

    Here’s a question for the “doctor”: Why would the god of the Christians (definitely not the G-D of Israel) have sex with a “betrothed” Jewish women when the Torah of the Jews prohibits adultery? Ludicrous.

    If you are going to “missionize” these very tolerant and courteous Jewish bloggers, then it’s better you go to another blog–”to the Gentiles” would be more appropriate for you. Jews don’t need your “messiah”. Nor do I.

  15. @ Gavin:
    Gavin,
    The Jews who were burned in their homes and synagogues in Germany, England, France during the crusades were minding their own business just being servants of their G-d. They had nothing to do with the Islamic hordes that were spreading over North Africa, Middle East or in southern Spain.

    Christian crusaders marched to free Jerusalem from the Muslims because the Muslims were not believers in Jesus. And on the way out of Western Europe, they murdered defenseless Jews only because the Jew was not a Jesus believer and because the Church had gone at great length to propagate anti Jewish images of demon spawned, demonic Jews, etc. The Christian soldiers were doing their duty to destroy and rape all non Christians peoples. Jews were murdered in Western Europe during the Crusades for being Jews of the ‘Old Testament’ NOT because they “sided with Moslems” as you erroneously state.

  16. Michael Devolin
    Your Race superiority stance says it all – the reason anyone is so suspicious of Jews – arrogance.
    Yes G-D chose a people (Hebrews) to represent Him, but not on their own merit; weaker than the Egyptians and stubbornly quarrelsome.
    Abram was a moon worshipper (pagan) drawn to the real truth by G-d himself.

    He was faithful as were the prophets – but not the masses enmasse. The light was to come through the Jewish people, but not just for the Jewish peoples, but for those who were chosen by election (as Paul considers through his theological letters to the churches).

    No, I am not a Zionist, or Messianic per sé, and neither am I a Christian dispensationalist. I don’t believe in Israel as a spiritual state, but support the nation of Israel as a legitimate political entity.
    You seem to be a very intelligent and insightful person – I wish you would pursue the possibility of a power ouside of yourself and out of the bounds of mere human reasoning.

  17. “…nationalistic macho propaganda that is being maitained in the dark corners of society.”

    Perhaps you can clarify (or probably deny), but is your reference above to Zionism and the Jewish people?

    As for Christianity, you miss the point altogether: the Jews are the “light unto the nations”; they tell the non-Jew who the Moshiach is and not the other way around. Regardless of all historical documents, and no matter what YOU believe otherwise, the Jewish people have rejected your Jesus (no matter whether he had angels flying out of his ass) and his claims to being the Moshiach. That is the end of the debate for you and for me. Proclaiming the Jewish Moshiach is a perceptual experience reserved for and exclusive to the Jewish people. If non-Jews are too cowardly to accept and trust in the G-D of the Jews as defined by Judaism and the Jewish sages, that is not a Jewish problem or a fault of the Jews, it is a Gentile problem. The Jews have nothing to prove to you, whether historical data or otherwise: they rejected your Jesus and that’s the end of it. But “Fools live in earnest” as the Jewish American poet Louis Simpson wrote, and people like you obdurately persist in presuming to know better than the Jewish sages about who is and who is not the Jewish Moshiach.

    “Stupidity consists in wanting to reach conclusions. We are a thread, and we want to know the whole cloth.” -Flaubert 1850

  18. @ yamit82:
    “My NT” does not exist. The NT is a late compilation of documentation from many independent ancient sources. Research on such documents may be difficult, but should not be dismissed for that reason.

    I agree that the preservation of the texts of the Tanach through the millennia is impressive. This, however, does not invalidate other sources of historical knowledge. It would seem utterly improbable that the Temple observant Jewish rabbi Yeshua and his likewise observant Jewish followers have not existed, given the existing mass of ancient testimonies to the contrary. An interesting detail of the early documents is that they do not describe the effects of the rebellions of the first and second centuries, and the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 CE. Regardless what you otherwise believe, this is a peculiar fact that testifies to the age of their originals.

    It is a challenge of all historical research that ancient documents exist in many different recensions, but this problem does not invalidate History. You mention archaeology which is heavily dependent on written sources (good and bad). You mention an article in the Jewish Virtual Library which again talks, albeit mistakenly, about writings of “church fathers” in the first century.

    I believe History is too interesting and important to fall prey to nationalistic macho propaganda that is being maitained in the dark corners of society.

  19. @ Per:

    “Christianity” is an invention, first of all by the Byzantine state church, as organized by the pagan emperor Constantine in the 4th century.

    We agree on this point but I am willing to concede Christianity began or was invented at the end of the 3rd century.

    I think it is a bit risky to reject everything as forms of hearsay. What may save your argument is the fact that Yeshua and his followers regarded themselves and each other as orthodox Jews.

    Here again your primary source for this is your NT. A very unreliable source for accuracy and factual truth.

    Let’s assume for the moment that you are correct and the early followers of j were Jews. If so, and there is no proof that this is so except that your scriptures say so, the basic logic is that for Jews : there was only in that time ONLY Jewish orthodoxy. There were many sects and sectarianism but there was only one Judaism- (orthodoxy) in our modern use of the term.

    RELIABILITY OF YOUR PRIMARY SOURCE MATERIAL, The NT.

    Christian scholar Rt. Rev. George Arthur Butterick, in The Interpreter?s Dictionary of the Bible, a book written by to prove the validity of the New Testament, states:

    “A study of 150 Greek [manuscripts] of the Gospel of Luke has revealed more than 30,000 different readings.…

    It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the New Testament in which the [manuscript] is wholly uniform.”

    “There are 304,805 letters (approximately 79,000 words) in the Torah. In the over 3,000 years since Moses received the original Scripture from Mt. Sinai and wrote the 13 copies (twelve of which were distributed among the Tribes), spelling variants have emerged on a total of nine words — with absolutely no effect on their meaning. The Christian Bible, in comparison, has over 200,000 variants and in 400 instances, the variants change the meaning of the text; 50 of these are of great significance”.

  20. ‘To anyone who knows Jewish history, it comes as no great surprise that the Holocaust could and did take place in the heart of Christendom. The Nazis’ “final solution” cannot be divorced from the attempts to get rid of the Jews throughout church history — first by forced conversion, then by expulsion, then by extermination.’

    The above statement is why I have nothing but a fearful respect for Yamit. I know I said I wouldn’t post for a while, but I have to say something here, especially when these Christians are unctuously “instructing” Jews as to what should be their “interpretation” of Christianity, as though Jews couldn’t make their own decision on the matter. There is more genius in the fingertip of one observant Jew than can be found in the mountain of bullshit all sects of Christianity have piled up over two millennia.

    As a Noachide I must tell these Christians how it works: the Jews tell the non-Jews who is the Moshiach and not the other way around, as your sophist Paul of Tarsus shamelessly taught you. You don’t come here and presume to instruct these Jews about how they shouldn’t view Christianity as “anti-Semitic” even as you unctuously inform them that Christians are “grafted in” (yes, I know your lingo and your theology as I was formerly a Christian). What you’re not telling them is how your Paul of Tarsus (not mine any more, thank G-D!) proclaimed to the non-Jewish world that the Torah (what Paul was referring to when he used the term “Law”) was dead. The Jewish sages rejected your Jesus, that’s all you need to know. If the Jews rejected him as the Moshiach, that is the end of your argument, whether you like it or not. The choices remaining for you is either to remain an idol-worshipper or else become a Noachide (observant of the 7 Laws of Noach) as I did. Every Gentile is born as a Ben Noach, but not every Ben Noach chooses to worship the G-d of the Jews (as defined by the Jews and their Tanach).

    “There is nothing in the Christian gospels that supports persecution of the Jews.”

    You are biased, not the Jews who post here. Jesus wept over Jerusalem? Why? Tell these Jews the reason your New Testament (not mine) gives for Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Why? As you have pointed out: “Jesus’s gospel was offered first to the Jews, and then after their leadership rejected it, to the Gentiles.” The first punishment pronounced upon the Jews by the Christian god: the destruction of their holy city for not accepting the Christian “messiah”.

    Here’s a question for the “doctor”: Why would the god of the Christians (definitely not the G-D of Israel) have sex with a “betrothed” Jewish women when the Torah of the Jews prohibits adultery? Ludicrous.

    If you are going to “missionize” these very tolerant and courteous Jewish bloggers, then it’s better you go to another blog–“to the Gentiles” would be more appropriate for you. Jews don’t need your “messiah”. Nor do I.

  21. @ yamit82:

    I do not know what sources of knowledge you have to sbstantiate your points of view, but the scientific discussion about the early Jewish-Christian documents has gone for centuries and has produced kilometers of litterature. I think it is a bit risky to reject everything as forms of hearsay. What may save your argument is the fact that Yeshua and his followers regarded themselves and each other as orthodox Jews. “Christianity” is an invention, first of all by the Byzantine state church, as organized by the pagan emperor Constantine in the 4th century.

    As to the early Jewish documents considered “Christian,” you may find some simple information at the website below. To dismiss it as hearsay I think is a bit risky, scientifically speaking. Science is not like a football match where you are for or against someone.

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_was_the_first_Gospel_Written

  22. @ Per:

    Can you produce any Christian document authenticated as First century CE?

    Most of what we know of the Early Christian is 2nd and 3rd hand hearsay at best. That would include your synoptic gospels as well.

    Usually but not always what is accepted as Jewish traditional beliefs can be taken to the bank as pretty credible and I am speaking from the position of hindsight based on archeology and other disciplines. I am not saying you are wrong and I am biased towards Jewish sources and against Christian ones, So I will stick with the Jewish understanding until proven false.

  23. @ yamit82:

    Good article, but not quite precise where it says:

    Nonetheless, as early as the first centuries C.E. we find church fathers voicing the claim that the Jews curse the Christians in their prayers.

    Although a couple of the very first non-Jewish church fathers may have been born towards the end of the first century, their writings stem from the second century and later. The statement which is discussed in Turner’s article, deals with phenomena which occurred long before their time. There is therefore still a factual problem connected to his characterization of this statement as anti-Semitic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Fathers#Clement_of_Rome

  24. I posted this and will post the follow-up articles as I believe there is great interest in the subject and Jews and Christians alike would benefit from a little learning on the subject. But I will not permit any attacks,

    I’m afraid there is very little to learn from David Turner’s misunderstandings of what went on in Israel in the first century CE. There was indeed persecution in those days, but only the Roman part of it could reasonably be called anti-Semitic. The internal struggle among Jews was serious, as the quoted (actually misquoted out of context) statement from 1. Thessalonians indicates, but all this happened among Jews at a time before “Christianity” was organized and spread to the goyim. Turner’s way of dealing with historical matters is rather unfortunate, as he appears to practice anti-Semitism turned upside down.

    It would be better, I think, to discuss these issues from a more professional and intellectually honest and academically serious way by, for instance, taking Allan Nadlers article as a point of departure, and not Turner’s, as this might reveal som insights into what the matter was all about: http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/4489/features/jews-curse-christians/

  25. I have read at least a dozen books on the first century and found Turner’s article to be quite correct so I posted it. I suggest that those who want to shut their eyes and ears to it are losing a great opportunity to hear from the other side.

  26. So where did all those darn churches in Jewish Israel come from?

    There is no direct proof that jesus ever existed (all the proof we have is indirect). There is no physical trace of his existence. There is no evidence he was born in Bethlehem (the gospels describe events not consistent with known history). Jesus’ presence in Nazareth is even stranger. The existence of Nazareth is never mentioned in any historical source (Jewish or otherwise). There is no trace of christians in Israel until 300 years after jesus’ death. And it is impossible that jesus was ever buried in the center of densely inhabited Jewish Jerusalem.

    So where do all those churches come from? The original Jewish followers of jesus in Jerusalem quickly vanished without a trace (they were killed by Jews, Romans, or fellow christians). Since Jews believe that G-d is One, and not three, that G-d has no physical body and exists independent of the physical world, and that man is merely a being created by G-d, and who is infinitely inferior to G-d, jesus died leaving no impression on his fellow Israeli Jews.

    Christianity developed in Greek Turkey, Syria and Egypt among Greek Jews with little knowledge of Judaism and Greek pagans. Meanwhile, Jewish Israel was being destroyed by the Greco-Roman pagans. Jewish Jerusalem was totally razed, and Jews (and circumcised christians) were banned from the rebuilt pagan city.

    Paganized Greek christianity evolved, and took control of the Roman empire three hundred years after jesus’ death. The first thing they did was move into Israel and establish churches in sites they insisted were associated with jesus.

    Then, a strange blip in history occurred. Just fifty years after Constantine the great established christianity as the official Roman religion, his grand-nephew (Julian) became Emperor, and restored the status of paganism, persecuted christians, and made an alliance with the Jews.

    He was killed after just two years. The christians retook power, and set out to make sure they would never lose it again. Over time, they forcibly converted the remaining pagans. And, in order to punish the Jews, they continued to ban Jews living in Jerusalem, and refused to restore the names Judea and Israel, maintaining the pagan name Palestine for Israel.

    Lastly, they set out to christianize Jerusalem and Israel once and for all, building churches like crazy on every hilltop.

    If christians had had their way, there would be no Jews in Jerusalem. And certainly no Jewish State of Israel. But Hashem sent the muslims to defeat the christians, and allow at least a few Jews back in Jerusalem. Of course, when the christians (catholic crusaders) retook Jerusalem in 1099, they mercilessly slaughtered every Jewish man, woman and child living in the city, and forbid Jews to re-enter Jerusalem for the 200 years the christians held it (this was a preview of the Holocaust the european christians would inflict on the Jews a thousand years later).

    Theodor Herzl asked the catholic pope in 1904 to “bless” the Jewish return to Israel. The pope’s representative replied that “so long as the Jews denied the divinity of christ, he could not see how the catholic church could allow the possession of the Holy Land by the Jews.” However, if the Jews would convert to catholicism, he might reconsider.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  27. This story by David Turner is twisted.

    The moslems exported their hate to the west, for centuries they were the ruling power, not the Christian West. Jew hate originates from islam, and they passed it on to Christians. The Mufti was a collaberator with Hitler. They both plotted the Holocaust and Hitler said he admired Islam.

    Don’t swallow liberal lies. Christianity as exemplified by the Lamb of God is innocent.

  28. Your perception of Christianity as anti-Semitic saddens me. After what the Jewish people have endured over the centuries, I can understand this perception to a certain extent, but your article appears particularly biased. So I am going to respond as best I can as a Christian who strongly supports Israel and believes that the Jews are God’s chosen people and that Christians are adopted into that family by faith in Jesus Christ.

    First of all, the Christian Scriptures are not anti-Semitic. Jesus was born into a Jewish family and all of his apostles, including Paul, were Jewish. Luke 19:41-44 describes how Jesus wept over Jerusalem as He prophesied its destruction. Jesus’s gospel was offered first to the Jews, and then after their leadership rejected it, to the Gentiles. For discussion, see here: http://users.stargate.net/~ejt/Abraham9.htm.

    Some of the distrust between Jews and Christians arose from the persecution of early Christians in Israel. For a brief backgroound, see http://www.allaboutreligion.org/early-christians-faq.htm. Before his conversion, Paul himself persecuted Christians. Acts 8:1-3 describes how after approving the death of Stephen, Paul went from door to door, dragging Christian men and women from their houses and imprisoning them. Paul was the first apostle to reach out to the Gentiles.

    There is nothing in the Christian gospels that supports persecution of the Jews. Those who have done so, sometimes in the name of the Christian religion, were violating the teachings of Christ and his apostles. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian truly is. The devil uses men under the cloak of religion to carry out his destructive mission against mankind and in particular the Jews and Christians.

    It is better that Christians and Jews draw together as brothers and sisters than perpetuate the animosity that has existed among some (certainly not all) over the centuries. Our true enemies would eliminate us, so we need to stand together.

  29. Dr Fay is right on the mark. Christianity is not anti Judaism it completes Judaism.

    The Crusades were a response to moslem aggression against Christians. moslem imperialism and their genocidal allah, who commanded the warlord mohammed to massacre christians and jews, was the cause of the Crusades. Jews who got massacred in those Crusades were massacred only because they sided with the moslems. Robert Spencer has written about this, he exposes the revisionist history taught at at the elitist leftist universities and academia, about the so called tolerance of islam. It’s lies, cooked up by islampandering leftist academia in bed with the muslim brotherhood, and promoting stealth jihad.

    Do you really think it is wise to repeat these age old somewhat exaggerated claims when both Jews and Christians have a common enemy in moslems?

    Islam is Anti Judaic and anti Christian. They worship a moon god, not the God of Israel, the eternal one. Islam’s goal is to eradicate Judaism and Christianity.

  30. Your perception of Christianity as anti-Semitic saddens me. After what the Jewish people have endured over the centuries, I can understand this perception to a certain extent, but your article appears particularly biased. So I am going to respond as best I can as a Christian who strongly supports Israel and believes that the Jews are God’s chosen people and that Christians are adopted into that family by faith in Jesus Christ.

    First of all, the Christian Scriptures are not anti-Semitic. Jesus was born into a Jewish family and all of his apostles, including Paul, were Jewish. Luke 19:41-44 describes how Jesus wept over Jerusalem as He prophesied its destruction. Jesus’s gospel was offered first to the Jews, and then after their leadership rejected it, to the Gentiles. For discussion, see here: http://users.stargate.net/~ejt/Abraham9.htm.

    Some of the distrust between Jews and Christians arose from the persecution of early Christians in Israel. For a brief background, see http://www.allaboutreligion.org/early-christians-faq.htm. Before his conversion, Paul himself persecuted Christians. Acts 8:1-3 describes how after approving the death of Stephen, Paul went from door to door, dragging Christian men and women from their houses and imprisoning them. Peter was the first apostle to reach out to the Gentiles.

    There is nothing in the Christian gospels that supports persecution of the Jews. Those who have done so, sometimes in the name of the Christian religion, were violating the teachings of Christ and his apostles. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian truly is. The devil uses men under the cloak of religion to carry out his destructive mission against mankind and in particular against the Jews and Christians.

    It is better that Christians and Jews draw together as brothers and sisters than perpetuate the animosity that has existed among some (certainly not all) over the centuries. Our true enemies would eliminate us both, so we need to stand together.

  31. The war on anti-Semitism is not over

    “The speech given by French President Francois Hollande on the 70th anniversary of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup (a Nazi-decreed raid and mass arrest in Paris by the French police in 1942), in which 13,152 French Jews were captured and sent to concentration camps, was a historic address.”

    The president stressed that the criminal roundup “was committed in France, by France.” The recognition of this terrible truth is significant.

  32. @ Andrew:

    David_Turner • 5 days ago

    By way of explanation to my Christian readers:

    My purpose in these writings is to describe through reference to serial historical events a continuing threat to Jewish survival. Obviously, since that threat is an outgrowth of the Jewish people’s existence in the Christian West, Christianity is a central and unavoidable actor in this terrible history of victimization and persecution.

    To some my writings appear anti-Christian. They are not, and I am not. Neither are they intended to lecture Christianity on reforms necessary to correct structural anti-Judaism, a self-created barrier to its stated ideal as a religion of love, acceptance and forgiveness. Clearly, as expressed over its past 2,000 years victimization of the Jews, the ideal is yet to be realized. Both Jews and Christians choose not to recognize the permanence of Western anti-Semitism and the continuing danger it represents. But anti-Semitism is in the very sinews of Western society and culture. Far from “mysterious” or “exceptional,” the Holocaust represents only the most recent effort by the West to solve its millennial Jewish Problem. And since that problem remains yet unsolved, the threat to Christendom as perpetrator and the Jewish people as victim, remains.

    My personal critique of Turner’s essay and project to follow later

  33. A startling revelation for a few out there!
    In the once good old U.S.A.being a Christian meant one is not a Jew, a wild Indian, Hindu, or a follower into Hell of a anti-Semitic!
    Their is about a 2% chance of spending eternity with the Lord at ones death and a 98% of not! When a person, denomination or any group is anti-Semitic they are included in the 98% bunch!
    When one died a Jew he will be judged on a personal basis not a religious basic, as Christians will so please cool it each of us will receive their just reward!

  34. @ Andrew:


    The Church’s False Witness Against Jews

    by Carl D. Evans
    The negative concept of Jews and Judaism begun in the New Testament, and developed further in the writings of the church fathers, created an entire adversos Judaeos tradition. The titles of the tracts by themselves often indicate the nature of the writings: An Answer to the Jews (Tertullian), Expository Treatise Against the Jews (Hippolytus), Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews (Cyprian), Eight Orations Against the Jews (John Chrysostom), Tract Against the Jews (Augustine), and many more.

    The sermons of the great orator John Chrysostom offer perhaps the most offensive examples of these patristic diatribes. A single passage from his preaching is all that is needed to make the point:

    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 a cave of wild animal merely, but of an unclean wild animal. .. The Jews have no conception of [spiritual] things at all, but living for the lower nature, all agog for the here and now, no better disposed than pigs or goats, they live by the rule of debauchery and inordinate gluttony. Only one thing they understand: to gorge themselves and to get drunk [Eight Orations Against the Jews 1, 3, 4].

    To anyone who knows Jewish history, it comes as no great surprise that the Holocaust could and did take place in the heart of Christendom. The Nazis’ “final solution” cannot be divorced from the attempts to get rid of the Jews throughout church history — first by forced conversion, then by expulsion, then by extermination.

  35. @ Shy Guy:

    First explain to him what are Tefilin.

    He lives in the boonies of Wisconsin. Maybe not as Boony as Mt. horeb, but the state itself is the boonies. Munich in North America?

    Besides Beer, Cheese, Cranberries and GB Packers what is there?

  36. It looks as though Ted is all too eager to initiate divisive religious discussions, but can’t tolerate responses to them. Are you trying to convert Christians here, Ted?

  37. No worries Ted. Sorry for any offense caused. Just the whole Christianity = anti-semitism, drives me crazy.

  38. I posted this and will post the follow-up articles as I believe there is great interest in the subject and Jews and Christians alike would benefit from a little learning on the subject. But I will not permit any attacks ,

  39. Here we go again – and again – and again.

    Paul makes the definitive statement in Romans 9,10 & 11 about Jews and the gospel. ie They won’t convert. They don’t need to convert. And an explicit warning about anti-semitism.