“You are of your father, the devil,” states Martin Luther. Anything from the crucifixion of Jesus to the crusades, show the many times in history when the Jews were troubled. There are many things in Christianity, throughout time, that account for the change in Christianity from anti-Judaism to Anti-Semitism.
The Gospel of Matthew states: “And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.” This is Judas, a Jew, saying this to the others. This is an indirect blame for the crucifixion of Jesus. This section means that Jews wish harm upon Jesus. This chapter lays out Jesus as being a powerful but humble son of God.
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Another part of the Gospel of Matthew that needs to be addressed in Chapter 26, Verse 51.
And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.
Jesus’ decibel was most likely a Jews. A Jew cutting of the ear of a Catholic. This is a direct statement of violence towards the church.
Then in 407, “Saint Jerome anticipated modern anti-Semitic propaganda by predicting the emergence of an infernal Jewish conspiracy for global dominion.” There were many Saints that had problems with Jews. These Saints had denounced Jews in many meetings and many laws. This happening from the beginning of Christian time(1 A.D.)
The Medieval period, a very bad time for Jews was a major source of anti-Semitism in Christianity. Saint Thomas Aquinas was the creator of many ideas that later became laws. He was one of the many that decided that Jews shouldn’t marry or “exert authority over Christians.” This was during the late 11th century.
The call for the first crusades began in 1074. Evidence for this is found in the letter from Gregory VII, “bishop, servant of the servants of God.” In his letter he states “they had slain many thousands of Christians as if they were but sheep.” 6 It is not clear which peoples were doing the slaying.
During their journey to return the Holy Land to Christian rule, they traveled through many Jewish cities. During the sack of Emico, May, 1076 A.D., many Jews were misled and killed. “’Look! They have opened up the gate for us. Now let us avenge the blood of ‘the hanged one’ [Jesus];” the Rhineland soldiers had said.
“Riots, massacres, and forced conversion began in 1189 and continued through the rest of the century.” During the Second Crusade the conversion of Jews was taken into account. The conversion was never trusted. Jews continued to practice Jewish traditions; keeping the house Kosher, and practicing the Sabbath. This was major account for the anti-Semitism in Christian Europe after the Crusades. Spain played a major role in this with the beginning of the Spanish inquisition in the late 14th century. In 1391, there were many mobs of Jews massacred with in Spain. A Spanish Jew had two options, convert or leave. There was, as before, many suspicions about converted Jews.
“…changing into clean personal linen on Saturdays and wearing better clothes than on other days; preparing on Fridays the food for Saturdays, in stewing pans on a small fire; who do not work on Friday evenings and Saturdays as on other days; who kindle lights in clean lamps with new wicks, on Friday evenings; place clean linen on the beds and clean napkins on the table; celebrate the festival of the unleavened bread, eat unleavened bread and celery and bitter herbs…who do not wish to eat salt pork, hares, rabbits, snails, or fish that have not scales; who bathe the bodies of their dead…if any know that in any house, people congregate for the purpose of carrying on religious services, or read out of bibles in the vernacular or perform other Judaic ceremonies…” – Edict of Faith issued in Valencia in 1519 by Inquisitor Andres de Palacio (Roth, p. 77/79)10
These suspicions were sometimes correct, resulting in the banishing or slaying of the Jew.
Throughout time there have been many occurrences that prove that Christianity has been a form of popular anti-Semitism. I end with a quote:
“Should the Catholic Church ever become the only Christian Church, as she was during the middle ages, then beware of the Auto-da-Fe (Act of Faith), a solemn religious ceremony that the uninformed and the misleaders hold to have been a place of torture and burning at the stake.”
Martin Luther: The Jews and Their Lies
Gospel of Matthew (26:49)
Gospel of Matthew (26:53)
Gospel of Matthew(26:51)
Jaher, A Scapegoat In The New Wilderness; Pg. 30
Jaher, A Scapegoat In The New Wilderness; Pg. 61
Medieval Source Book, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/g7-cde1078.html
Medieval Source Book, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1096jews-mainz.html
Jaher, A Scapegoat In The New Wilderness; Pg. 50
The Incisition, http://www.mindspring.com/~robertcjones/inq/inqcont.htm
The Truth About The Spanish Inquisition, http://www.trosch.org/for/inquisition.html