Number 21. Antisemitism in Church History
Hugh Wynne


Non-Jewish people know very little of the ugly history of anti-Semitism, and even less of the part played by the historical churches in this sad story because it does not appear in school history books. It is shocking and unpleasant to recall, but everyone who claims to believe that Jesus, a Jew, is who He said He is, the Messiah of Israel, should be aware of what has been done to His people even by so-called Christians.

Ancient Times

Antisemitism began in the Hellenistic culture a few hundred years before the birth of Jesus, or Yeshua as He was actually called in Hebrew. By this time, as a result of the Babylonian dispersion, Jewish communities had appeared in the pagan cities around the Mediterranean. In the clash of the two different cultures, there was more than the typical local distrust of foreigners.

Believing in the one true God and continuing to acknowledge Jerusalem as the Holy City, Jewish people avoided social contact with their heathen fellow citizens and lived separately in sections of the cities all their own. Greeks considered this refusal to accept common religious and social standards as aloofness and conceit.

In the struggle for economic existence, conflicts arose when natives competed with the intelligent people they regarded as arrogant Jewish foreigners.

After the Bible was translated into Greek and many Greeks were attracted by the high moral concepts of the God of Israel and converted to Judaism, Greek leaders, who were trying to hellenize the world, saw Judaism as a threat to their culture and to their multi-god pagan deities.

After the Maccabean victory over the occupying Seleucids, the Jewish nation launched a proselytizing effort against the Hellenistic wave that was threatening to engulf them. More Greeks converted to Judaism and proselytizers on both sides were attacked and sometimes killed. Based on the death of a Greek in one of these clashes, the story was exaggerated, and Greek orators made anti-Jewish speeches which included the false charge that every seven years the Jews seized a Greek, fattened him in their temple, and then killed him as a sacrifice. Similar stories were told and re-told. After the fall of Greece, they were picked up by Roman historians.

Rome was constantly threatened by rivals on its frontiers in the Middle East. If Rome lost control of Judea, enemies could easily march down Roman roads to Syria, Greece and the other Eastern provinces. Therefore Judea was kept under tight control and heavily taxed to support a large military garrison. Jewish people revolted several times. The Romans reacted severely because revolution in such a strategic area was an alarming threat to the security of the Empire. The troublesome Judeans were denounced in the Roman Senate, adding to previously established anti-Jewish attitudes.

The beginning of the Church

It was at this time that Yeshua ministered among the Jewish people and claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God. He was denounced by the religious leaders and handed over to the Romans for execution. This was the beginning of what was later called Christianity (from the Greek Kristos, meaning Messiah), but it was at first Messianic Judaism. And Christians today should be aware that its origin is totally Jewish.

For many years, before non-Jews, or Gentiles, ever came into the picture, all the followers of Yeshua were Jewish. Messianic Jews worshipped in the synagogues, in the Temple, kept the Sabbath and observed Passover and all other biblical holidays and customs of the times. It has been estimated that approximately one million Jews believed in Yeshua as Messiah, by the end of the first century. To these early Messianic Jews, it was simply a turning back to God, at a time of secularism and hypocrisy among many of their religious leaders - a reformed continuation of Judaism under the new covenant.

After the gospel was taken to the Gentiles, Jewish congregations and Gentile congregations developed within the loose body of Messianic Judaism. And as it rapidly grew, Gentiles began to outnumber Jews in many Jewish congregations. In the Greek New Testament, the passages condemning hypocrisy among religious leaders were seen by those Gentiles with inherited anti-Jewish attitudes as a condemnation of all things Jewish. Where John's Gospel said the Jews did this or that to Jesus, John was referring to the religious leaders, not the Jewish people as a whole. John himself was a Jew.

Several things happened to the original Messianic Jews after the destruction of Jerusalem. They were branded as traitors by their fellow Jews for not taking part in the defense of Jerusalem. But Messianic Jews were expecting Yeshua’s immediate return and were following His counsel to flee when they saw approaching armies, as recorded in Luke 21:20. Messianic Jews courageously fought Romans later in the revolt led by Bar Kochba,. But when Bar Kochba himself was proclaimed to be the Messiah, the Messianic Jews pulled out, and most were killed in Bar Kochba's elimination of all non-supporters.

The definitive separation of Rabbinic Judaism and Messianic Judaism began in the year 80 when the Sanhedrin at Jabne sent letters to congregations throughout the world declaring that Yeshua was a charlatan and that His body had been stolen from the grave by His disciples. Reacting to what they saw as insults to the person of Yeshua, Messianic Jews turned farther away from the organized leadership and some Gentiles used the Sanhedrin letter to confirm their anti-Jewish feelings. Opposed by Rabbinic Judaism, which became the mainstream of Jewish religious thought and practice after the destruction of the Temple and alienated by many anti-Jewish Gentiles in early Christianity, Messianic Jews nevertheless endured until Muslims destroyed their communities in the seventh century.

When' the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, most of the remaining Jewish people were further scattered throughout the world. Again, their biblically correct refusal to accept pagan gods and associate with idol-worshipping heathens created resentment and suspicion wherever they settled.

Acceptance of Christianity by the Roman State

Messianic Judaism or early Christianity vigorously proselytized and rapidly grew in the first century. All believers in Yeshua as Messiah, Jewish and Gentile, were severely persecuted by the Romans. But, after three hundred years of unsuccessful attempts at obliteration, the Roman government, under Constantine, embraced, for political reasons, what was now known as Christianity. And here is where Christianity, mixed with paganism, turned radically anti-Jewish.

In order to make the new state religion acceptable to the Roman public, it was modified to fit pagan concepts Statues of saints replaced pagan idols. Pagan festivals became Christian holidays. The drunken festival celebrating the winter solstice around December twenty-fifth became Christmas. Worship of the pagan fertility goddess lshtar and its emphasis on the egg was modified to become Easter. Inherited anti-Jewish attitudes strongly influenced the new Roman religion. A corrupted and diluted form of what was originally Messianic Judaism was established in the Roman world. The following examples from anti-Jewish church leaders are just a few of hundreds that have been documented in books such as 'The Anguish of the Jews' by Flannery (a Roman Catholic), 'The Causes and Effects of Antisemitism' by Grosser and Halpern and others. All have extensive bibliographies that will lead you to the original documents, if you want to verify any of the sources.

In the year 325 Constantine convened the Council of Nicea which enacted several anti-Jewish church positions, including the false concept of Jewish responsibility for the Crucifixion. But if Yeshua, Jesus, was ordained by God to be offered as a sacrifice for mankind's sins, then mankind is responsible. The concept of Jewish or Roman responsibility is juvenile. The Council of Nicea also decided that the Resurrection would no longer be celebrated during Passover. 'For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals, we should follow the custom of the Jews. Henceforth let us have nothing in common with this odious people.'

Here is a quote from St John Chrysostom, the Bishop of Constantinople, who frequently attacked the Jews in his fiery sermons. “The Jews are the odious assassins of Christ and for killing God there is no expiation possible, no indulgence or pardon. Christians may never cease vengeance and the Jews must live in servitude forever, God always hated the Jews, so it is incumbent upon all Christian's to hate the Jews.”

St Augustine said: “The true image of the Hebrew is Judas Iscariot who sells the Lord for silver. The Jews can never understand the scriptures, and forever bear the guilt of the death of Jesus.”

Many other examples could be quoted.

The Council of Laodicea decreed that Christians could no longer observe the Sabbath because Jews kept the Sabbath. That is one reason why Gentiles go to church on Sunday.

The Council of Orleans commanded Christians not to take part in any Jewish feasts such as Passover, and Jewish people were not allowed to appear in public during the Easter season.

The Byzantine Emperor Leo the Third outlawed Judaism, and herded all Jews who refused to accept the Eastern Orthodox faith into their synagogues, where they were burned alive.

Pope Benedict the Seventh decided that an earthquake and a hurricane that struck Rome in 1021 were caused by local Jews who supposedly drive a nail through a communion wafer. After confessing under torture, they were burned alive. Excruciating, painful torture was the method of interrogation, so it should be no surprise that Jews and non-Jews confessed to any charge if enough torture was applied, no matter how untrue the charge may have been.

The concept of transubstantiation officially adopted by the church in the thirteenth century said that the wafer used at Mass was miraculously transformed into the body of Jesus. The incredible idea then arose that since the wafer was the living body of Christ, the host, would not the Jews, who had once crucified Him, wish to torture and kill Him again? People actually believed that wafers were stolen from the church and sold to Jews, who then pierced the wafer as part of their religious practice. This fantastic, false charge officially known as host desecration, resulted in the murder of thousands of innocent Jewish people.

The Crusades

Then the Crusades brought even more suffering. Though some Crusaders were spiritually motivated and followed the ideals of Knighthood, many took advantage of an opportunity for adventure, plunder, and an escape from death or bondage. The idea soon appeared that if it was God's will to kill infidels in the Holy Land, He would also want to punish those infidels at home and along the way. From January to July in 1096, over ten thousand Jewish women, children and men were slaughtered in Northern France and Germany by mobs aroused by the Crusades.

Later that same year, Count Emerick of Leiningen led German Crusaders on an anti-Jewish drive through the Rhine and Mosel valleys, where they slaughtered more than twelve thousand.

Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099. After all the Muslim defenders were executed, the Jerusalem Jews were herded into a synagogue which was set on fire. Crusaders then sang hymns while the screaming occupants were burned alive.

The Middle Ages

On the eve of Easter in 1144, the body of a young man was found in the woods near Norwich, England. The Jewish community was accused of enticing him into their synagogue where he was supposedly killed to commemorate the crucifixion. Ninety-eight innocent leaders of the Jewish community were hanged. This was another official church charge known as 'ritual murder'. This ridiculous accusation resulted in the slaughter of thousands. According to this incredible concept, Christians were ritually killed in synagogues and their blood was used for Passover.

The Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 forbade Jews to practice the same trade and occupations as Christians and ordered them to wear distinctive clothing and badges so they could be distinguished from Christians. Jews were forced to become pedlars, pawnbrokers and moneylenders. Christian theology of the time condemned money lending for an interest charge as an evil occupation, but with the growth of cities and the increasing number of city dwellers engaging in commerce, the lending of money was necessary for society to function. The huge cathedrals of Europe were built with capital furnished by the Jewish moneylenders. Many Jewish moneylenders charged exorbitant interest rates, further inflaming anti-Jewish passions, But can you blame the moneylenders for striking back in a small way at their oppressors?

The Council of Vienna ordered all Jews to wear horned hats to fit the false concept that they were offspring of the devil.

In 1298, a report of host desecration in Rottingen included the rumour that blood had spurted from the wafer. A small army marched through Bavaria, Austria and Franconia for six months, slaughtering more than one hundred thousand Jewish people in its path.

Between 1347 and 1350 the Bubonic Plague (or Black Death) killed a third of the European population. Now forced to live in ghettos, and abiding by dietary laws that dictated high levels of hygiene, Jewish people did not suffer as much from the plague. Thus they became suspects and were accused of poisoning wells and springs to exterminate Christians.

An entire Jewish congregation was burned alive in southern France. The same thing happened in Zurich. Three thousand were burned at the stake in Strasbourg, six thousand in Mainz, three thousand in Brealu. The list goes on.

After the plague passed from Europe, Jews along with non-Jews faced the fury of the Inquisition. Pope Nicholas the Fifth directed that particular attention be paid to the Jewish people.

A mob led by the clergy murdered the entire Jewish community of Nordligen, Germany. A mob attack on the Jewish community in Prague lasted twenty-four hours. Thousands were slaughtered. Approximately four thousand Jewish men were killed in Seville, Spain; the women and children were sold as slaves to Arabs.

It would take hours to name all such incidents, and it should be noted that not all church leaders were anti-Jewish. Some priests, bishops and popes were true men of God and tried to protect Jewish people from mob violence, but their efforts were unable to stop the wave of anti-Semitism that had been released in the world.

The Reformation

The Reformation of the 1500's, with Protestant interest in the Old Testament, helped to change the negative image of Jewish people in Europe. But Martin Luther, who was at first a defender of Jews against Catholic persecution, turned anti-Jewish in his old age. Among other things, he advocated that synagogues and Jewish homes be burned, rabbis be forbidden to teach, Jews not be allowed to travel or charge interest on loans to Christians, and that their properties be confiscated and that they be expelled from provinces where Christians lived.

In Eastern Europe

Jewish people who had moved East to escape the Crusades and Inquisition now faced even more terrible persecution in Russia and Poland. For a century, Polish kings and nobles has ruthlessly exploited the Ukrainian valleys of the Dnieper and the Deniester. The native population bore the intolerable burdens of forced labour and heavy taxation to support the estates of the Polish nobility. Stewards, many of whom were Jewish, administered and operated the estates, mills, dairies and distilleries, and collected taxes, further inflaming handed down anti-Jewish attitudes.

When the Polish army was defeated by Cossacks and Tartars in 1648, mobs of peasants joined in to plunder Polish estates, murdering thousands along the way, especially Jews. Except for the Nazis, few examples in history can match the brutal tortures inflicted on Jewish people in 1648 and 1649 under the leadership of the Cossack, Bogdan Zeimovi Khmelnitzki. Eyewitnesses reported incidents where skin was ripped from living backs and fed to dogs. Hands and feet were chopped off. Children were split open like fish in front of their parents. And the bellies of pregnant women were cut open, the unborn babies killed, and live clawing cats were sewed up inside the still living mothers.

Between 1648 and 1656 an estimated three hundred thousand to five hundred thousand Jewish people were slaughtered in Poland and the Ukraine.

Violence against Jewish people diminished in the 1700's and 1800's, but hatred had been taught for centuries and anti-Jewish attitudes did not disappear.

Industrialisation and urbanisation presented many opportunities to enterprising Jewish people, who were now freed from the ghetto and skilled in all forms of commercial practice and the handling of money. Well accustomed to hard work and constant struggle against adversity, they quickly occupied prominent places in all walks of urban life, creating jealousy and resentment in much of the Non-Jewish population. Anti-Jewish attitudes continued to be passed on to succeeding generations.

In the infamous Dreyfus Affair, an honourable French Jewish officer was court-martialled for a security crime he did not commit, on the basis of evidence falsified by fellow anti-Semitic officers.

The Twentieth Century

In World War I, Jewish men were falsely accused of being poor soldiers, but Jewish men served their countries on both sides with honour. Captain Jack Schwabb, US Air Service ace, shot down ten enemy airplanes flying his little fighter plane in 1918. He was Jewish. Wilhelm Frankle was a courageous German aviator, who shot down nineteen allied airplanes before losing his life for the fatherland in 1917. He, too, was Jewish. Many other examples could be mentioned, and Jewish soldiers lost their lives on the battlefield just like everyone else.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict

In the Arab-Israeli conflict of today, anti-Jewish attitudes in much of the news media have frequently obscured the truth and have caused many people to reach erroneous conclusions. An examination of recent historical facts will reveal the truth of the situation. Many people question Israel's right to exist in that land, and take the position that it belongs to the Palestinian Arabs. It does not. No Palestinian Arab nation ever existed on the soil. And until the Zionist settlers made the land productive, no national claim was ever made by any group other than the Jews.

When Zionist settlers came in the late 1800's, Palestine, as it was named by the Romans, was a waste land, a derelict province of the decaying Ottoman Empire. After centuries of neglect, three feet of top soil had washed away leaving rocky hills, malarial marshes and sandy deserts. All the forests had been cut down. This is documented by the British Report of the Palestine Royal Commission, by Louis French, Director of Development for the British Government, and by the writings of archaeologists and others, who visited the Holy Land in the nineteenth century.

Malaria, the eye disease of trachoma, and crippling polio were widespread among the principal occupants of Palestine at this time; wandering Bedouin tribes and a few peasant farmers.

The Jewish settlers purchased uncultivated land that nobody else wanted at extremely high prices from wealthy landlords in Damascus, Istanbul and Cairo. This is verified by Granott in 'The Land System in Palestine' by Almon in 'Land Ownership in Palestine', 1882, 1948, and by other studies of that subject.

The Jewish settlers drained away the swamps, removed the stones, planted trees and made the deserted land that had been idle for centuries productive.

During World War I, the British agreed to help Arab leaders establish their own nation in return for Arab help in defeating the Ottoman Turks. Since Muslims trace a part of their spiritual heritage to this land, they wanted Palestine to be included. Britain also issued the Balfour Declaration which promised a national homeland for the Jewish people. The Ottoman Empire was dismantled after the allied victory in 1918. Borders were set and Britain governed Palestine. The French insisted on their share of the spoils, and a secret agreement gave France much of the area Britain has previously promised as an Arab State.

Feeling betrayed by the British and the French, and their claim to Palestine blocked by the Balfour Declaration, Arab leaders centered their fury on the Zionist settlers. During a riot in 1920, Jewish people were killed in the first of a long series of terrorist attacks.

In an effort to placate Arab leaders, and this is very significant, Palestine was partitioned in 1922 and more than 3/4 went to create a new Arab Palestinian country, Trans-Jordan.

Jewish immigration in TransJordan was strictly forbidden. Whenever the subject of a homeland for the Arab Palestinian people comes up, remember, the Arab Palestinians received more than three-fourths of Palestine as their own exclusive state in 1922, while native Jewish Palestinians who had lived there since Biblical times and Zionist settlers were left with less than one-fourth which was further divided later.

Incidentally, Arab hopes for a nationalist empire have been fulfilled in the form of twenty-one separate Arab states covering five million square miles; while Israel has had to fight four devastating wars just to exist in a tiny portion of the Middle East, about one-fifteenth the size of California.

Dependent upon Arab oil and with many military bases in Arab territory, Britain began to restrict Jewish immigration into Palestine, while allowing Arabic people to move in freely.

Prior to the partition in 1922, the Arab population of Palestine had been declining. But as the Zionist settlers produced prosperity, jobs and better health conditions in their remaining portion of original Palestine, thousands of Arabs moved in from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan and Egypt. This fact is well documented by the British Royal Palestine Commission Report of 1937, and by 'Arab Immigration Into Pre-state Israel 1922-1931' by Fred Gothiel. Instead of forcing Arabs out, Jewish settlers provided prosperity that caused more Arabs to move in.

On August 23rd, 1929, more than a thousand Arabs attacked any Jew they could find in Jerusalem. The violence quickly spread, one hundred and thirty three Jews were killed, three hundred and thirty nine were wounded; in Hebron over 10% of the Jews lost their life. Violence erupted again in 1936. Farms were burned, buses and schools were bombed, Jewish people were ambushed and murdered. Zionist settlers demanded retaliation, but after a stormy debate among their leaders, a policy of self-defence and non-retaliation prevailed.

The British recommended partition in 1937. Jewish leaders reluctantly accepted this further division as a way to halt the violence, but it was rejected by Arab leaders.

Violence erupted again in 1937 and continued through 1939. The British sought to severely restrict Jewish immigration and land purchase in Palestine. Many European Jews who would otherwise have escaped the Nazis were doomed.

The Holocaust and After

Don't ever let anyone tell you the Holocaust did not exist, or that it was even exaggerated. Actually it has been understated. It is impossible to describe with words or convey through pictures that much horror.

Liberating allied troops saw it first hand. Accounts of the survivors, records and photographs kept by the Nazis are proof of the lowest depths of human cruelty; the most hideous atrocities of all time.

In 1947 the United Nations sent an eleven nation commission to investigate the Palestinian situation. It recommended termination of the British Mandate and partition of the area into two separate states. The Jews, again, reluctantly accepted this further division of their less than one-fourth of original Palestine. The Arabs rejected it and immediately attacked Jewish settlements all over the land.

Local fighting between Jews and Arabs continued until May 15th, 1948, when the establishment of Israel was proclaimed by Ben Gurion. Then six Arab armies invaded the new State of Israel. Israel won the war, but approximately five hundred thousand Arab Palestinians, who fled from Israel during the fighting, were now homeless. Jewish leaders had encouraged all Arab Palestinians to stay and play their part in the development of the new state.

Another half million Arab Palestinians did remain and are now fully fledged citizens of Israel with their own representatives in Israel's parliament, the Knesset. Those who fled were told by the Arab leadership in 1947 and 1948 to seek temporary shelter in neighbouring countries and return in the wake of victorious Arab armies to claim their share of abandoned Jewish property.

Israel offered to repatriate one hundred thousand Arab refugees, but the Arabs refused to accept the offer. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency proposed resettling Arab refugees in Sinai, Jordan and Syria, but the Arab governments refused. The unfortunate Palestinian refugees, who originally numbered about five hundred thousand and were not forced out by the Israelis, were not accepted by any Arab country.

Another refugee problem of that same time is never mentioned. During 1947 and 1948, more than seven hundred thousand Jewish residents of Arab countries, who had lived there for many centuries did not volunteer to leave, but were forced to abandon their homes and all properties, and leave Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Yemen. They arrived in Israel destitute, but you hear no more about them because they were absorbed into Israeli society and became an integral part of the nation.

Between 1951 and 1956, nine hundred and sixty seven Israelis were killed by raiding terrorists. A large number of terrorist raids came from Gaza and the Sinai. Egypt sealed off the Israeli port of Eilat by blockading the Gulf of Aquaba. Israel launched a full-scale military attack into the Sinai. Pressure from the UN and the United States forced Israel to withdraw. Terrorist raids from bases in Egypt, Syria and Jordan continued.

In 1967 Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan moved more than one hundred thousand troops and thousands of tanks and heavy guns to the borders of Israel. Outnumbered three to one, Israel struck first and won the Six Day War.

Terrorists continued to kill and maim innocent civilians in Israel and around the world along with non-Jewish bystanders.

On Yom Kippur in 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack against the Israelis. On the defensive at first, Israel was able to repulse the invaders and eventually carry the war into Egypt and Syria. At this point the UN Security Council, which failed to act when fighting was proceeding favourably for Egypt and Syria, stepped in to obtain a cease fire.

In June 1982, after enduring years of bloody attacks from the PLO in Southern Lebanon, Israel launched its Operation Peace for Galilee. No army in the history of warfare ever took such pains to prevent civilian casualties, as did the Israeli Defense Forces. Israeli soldiers knowingly brought additional casualties upon themselves by announcing safe areas for the evacuation of civilians, thereby giving away the element of surprise, and revealing their battle plans to the enemy. But, an anti-Jewish bias appeared in the news media. Cynical newsmen told you that Israel was waging a brutal war against civilians. At the same time, they promoted Yasser Arafat and the PLO terrorists as heroic freedom fighters.

The Lebanese city of Damour was destroyed by the PLO in the 1970's while the PLO was in the process of trying to conquer Lebanon, but biased newsmen following the Israeli Defense Forces in 1982 took a quick look and told you that Damour had been destroyed by the Israelis.

Whenever pictures of Prime MinisBegin were published he was always portrayed in a negative manner - angry, shouting, pounding the podium. On the other hand, Yasser Arafat was always positively portrayed as kind, smiling and victorious.

Captured weapons and documents revealed that Syria and the PLO were planning a joint invasion of Israel. The Soviets had given the PLO enough weapons, tanks, ammunition and supplies to equip a one million man army. The PLO retreated into West Beirut, where several thousand terrorists burrowed in among several hundred thousand terrified civilians. PLO weapons were located above and below civilian-filled apartment buildings, next to hospitals, schools and homes. Most news sources portrayed the Israeli assault on West Beirut as brutal and the Israelis as barbarians, while sympathising with PLO terrorists, who were hiding behind human civilian shields.

After Israeli troops withdrew and Muslim militants, Christian militia, Syrians, pro-Arafat Palestinians and anti-Arafat Palestinians attacked each other with a new ferocity. Pro-Arafat groups again retreated into a civilian filled city, this time Tripoli. But when Syrians and antiArafat Palestinians poured rockets and artillery fire on the civilians Arafat and his terrorists were again hiding behind, the news media reported it, but with very little condemnation. Why?

Conclusion

Anti-Semitism is alive and well, but it is not based on truth. It comes from ignorant emotion, false propaganda and sinful hatred. If you get to know Jewish people, you will find that are no different from any one else. You will find a few bad ones - the same as in any other group - but the majority of Jewish people are highly moral, kind and compassionate, loyal to whatever country they settled in. They are not all wealthy, many are poor, and in a recent listing of the four hundred richest people in America by Forbes Magazine, less than ten percent were Jewish.

Anti-Semitism still exists in the Church. Many immature Christians still hold the Jews responsible for the crucifixion. Many seminary professors, pastors and Bible teachers follow the false theological concept that God turned His back on the Jewish people around 32 AD, and now the Church is the New Jerusalem, the spiritual Israel, God's new chosen people. But that is a manmade, highly rationalized medievally influenced concept, resulting from a shallow skimming of the scriptures. An indepth study of God's Word from Genesis 12:2-3, Genesis 17:7-8, Deuteronomy 7:6-8, Psalm 89:30-34, Isaiah 44:21 Isaiah 49:15, Jeremiah 32:37, Romans 11:1-2 and many others contradicts that concept.

No other cultural group from ancient history that existed at the time of Abraham remains today, except the Jews. Where are the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Moabites and so forth? The Jews are still here, in spite of continual brutal persecution, the longest and lowest of all human evils found in history.

Yes, the Jews have endured just like the Bible said they would. They have returned to their land and have made the desert to blossom, just as God's Word said they would. And remember, the disciples, Rabbi Shaul or Paul and the first several hundred thousand believers in Yeshua, or Jesus as the Messiah, were all Jews. And Yeshua, Himself - no one knows what He looked like, but while He was on this earth, He wore a prayer shawl, observed Passover and all other Biblical holidays and customs of the times, worshipped in the synagogues and in The Temple, and was a devout Jew who loved His people.

(Reprinted from Tishrei Vol 1, No 3, Antisemitism, Spring 1993)