On Saturday, October 27, 2018, a gunman entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and murdered at least eleven people in what is being called the worst anti-Jewish attack in US history. The victims were observing the biblical commandments of Shabbat and a new baby’s brit milah (covenant of circumcision) when they were slaughtered. The murderer had reportedly published many antisemitic online posts, including this one claiming to quote the Bible: “jews are the children of satan. (john 8:44) – –- the lord jesus christ is come in the flesh.”

Anti-Jewish hatred and murder of this type are by no means new in history. As Joshua Trachtenberg wrote in a classic study, Christian literature of the Middle Ages expresses anti-Jewish hatred “so vast and abysmal, so intense, that it leaves one gasping for comprehension…. all [of Christian popular literature] painted the Jew as the fount of evil, deliberately guilty of unspeakable crimes.” He goes on to explain that, already in ancient times, Christian preachers insisted that “the Jews do not worship God but devils”; later preachers, writers, and artists portrayed Satan and the Jews as virtually identical, interchangeable, eternal enemies of the Church and Christianity. “New Testament” texts these medieval Christians cited to justify their anti-Judaism often included John 8:44 and Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 (The Devil and the Jews: The Medieval Conception of the Jew and Its Relation to Modern Anti-Semitism, 12, 20-21).

Such anti-Jewish hatred frequently led to horrific persecutions and murders in the Middle Ages as well as later. To give just one example among a myriad, in 1453 “Saint” John of Capistrano ordered dozens of Jews in his town stripped naked, tied to boards, and (according to a contemporary witness) “then at his command four executioners ripped out pieces of their flesh with atrocious iron spikes and threw the pieces into the cauldrons to burn there.”

In the Bible, the people of Israel are the children of God and his chosen nation (see, e.g., Exod 19:5; Deut 14:1-2; Jer 31:20; Hos 11:1; Amos 3:2). So how did we Jews come to be portrayed as “the children of Satan” in Christian preaching, teaching, literature, and art? Many books have been written on this topic, but the answer can be summarized in two words: translation and theology. Flawed and sometimes malicious translations and interpretations of the Bible described all Jews as “the synagogue of Satan” and “the children of Satan.” The original texts don’t actually say those things at all when understood in their proper linguistic and historical contexts, but to this day masses of people are still strongly influenced by those same mistranslations and misinterpretations.

These things represent one very sobering reason why we at the Israel Bible Center take issues of translation and interpretation seriously, devoting time and resources in an attempt to help remedy some of the errors of the past. Though often perceived as “quibbling over semantics,” in reality these are vital issues with fateful and often tragic real-world effects. Yet if we can somehow penetrate through all the accumulated mistranslation and misinterpretation of centuries, perhaps we can also find that ancient wisdom for which the Pittsburgh synagogue itself is named: “a tree of life to those who take hold of her” (Prov 3:18).

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

110 COMMENTS

  1. So sad but so true what you explain. We need to go deeper in the understanding of GOD’s Word. Thanks for all your efforts in this mission!

  2. It is very unfair and bigoted when Jews are single out as being complicit in the sins of the flesh when humanity as a whole is guilty as well. In his eye-opening book, “Israel and the Church: Two Voices For The Same God”, Dr. Jacques Doukhan stated that Christian anti-semitism started in the Roman Catholic Church which explains the deviant views and interpretations of the Bible which remains to this day even among Protestant groups. It is very encouraging and helpful that Messianic Jews are on the forefront to correct and remedy this gross injustice.

    • Thank you for pointing this out, James. I think that even many well-intentioned Christians (and others) who don’t consciously have any bigotry are nonetheless still influenced by the long tradition of Christian anti-Judaism. Hence it is important to try to explain the texts and the history anew…

  3. It is sad to see how people have been blinded by the “Enemy”. Hatred is not from our God nor from Yeshua our Savior.

    Our prayers go out to the families affected.

    Be Strong, Be Strong and Be Strengthen.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Name of God and Exploring Jewish Interpretation. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  4. If only more Christians and Jews accepted the notion as Dr Eli posits, primal Christianity was an expression of Judaism within the Judaisms of the time.

    • Thank you, Luis. This understanding is now well-accepted within academic circles; however, that includes only a relatively small number of people. A large part of the work of IBC is to help bring the ideas and findings of scholars (Jewish, Christian, and other) to a larger audience.

  5. In John 8:44 Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees, not to the Jewish nation. If individuals look at the correct translation they will see. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
    I wish you would have corrected the statement from the murderer.

    • Thank you for the comment, Benny. I did mention that “the original texts don’t actually say those things at all when understood in their proper linguistic and historical contexts”; but unfortunately there wasn’t space to get into what I regard as more accurate readings of those texts. I will try to do so in future posts. Actually, I think that “the Pharisees” (as a whole) is probably not exactly the right way to understand that passage either. (It’s worth mentioning that many Pharisees apparently joined the Yeshua/Jesus movement in the first century.)

      • Yes, many Pharisees did accept Jesus – though there were also quite a few who did not! However, it was the Sadducees who really opposed Him: they strongly believed – like many modern “liberal” theologians – that “there is no Resurrection, neither angel nor spirit”, all of which were accepted by Jesus and the Pharisees alike. So when Saul of Tarsus was before the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees sided with him on the Resurrection of the dead, while the scribes belonging to the sect of the Sadducees went against him. See Acts 23:8 and Luke 20:27.

  6. The devil is deceiving a lot of christians with the “covenant theology” teaching that Jews are no more in God’s plans but the church have come to replace Isreal. Secret antisemitic documents are working underway for a coming holocaust that bring back the glory of Israel when the remnants come to receive Christ.

    • Thank you for commenting, Eugene. Several different forms of Christian theology have contributed to antisemitism through history.

  7. Dear Dr Gruber, Shalom!
    Thank you and all the many good people with you, who work tirelessly to bring home a better understanding of the Bible and the Torah. It is greatly appreciated, but your efforts shall be rewarded by the King when He comes! May I stress one aspect of our religion, or maybe two? Israel is and will always be the Lord’s chosen people. Since time immemorial, His Commandments have been explained against the backdrop of love, love for HIM our Father and for one another, our neighbours.
    Kind regards
    Schalk

    • Thank you, Schalk! If only it were the case that love has always been the backdrop to religious teachings (of any stripe)… I think we can agree that it should be.

    • We are glad that you are finding our articles enlightening. You’ve already started your path into Scripture, but there’s so much more that awaits you! Consider enrolling in our immersive online courses: The Name of God or Exploring Jewish Interpretation. We guarantee that they will deepen your understanding of Scripture and enrich your faith experience.

    • Thank you for the comment, Virgilio. Believe it or not, many people even today don’t know this (or somehow “forget” it)!

  8. So sorry about this happening in Pittsburgh, praying to Hashem to protect Israel and all people around the world, our heart is with you

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Name of God and Exploring Jewish Interpretation. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  9. And that is why I won’t and can’t be a literalist reading the Hebrew and Christian Scripture. I’ve read enough theological discourse and historical opinions to learn about the persecution, torture, and execution of God’s chosen people and so-called Christians were and sadly are the worst perpetrators. I despise the heinous acts against God’s people

  10. In my Christian walk and learning the bible, I was always instructed to love Israel and to pray for peace on Jerusalem. I visited your beautiful land and feel much connected. I hate all the evil attachs against your people and the horrible attach in USA this past week. So sorry. I am praying for your peace and Gods blessing on you all. From Canada.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Name of God and Exploring Jewish Interpretation. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  11. I am so grateful for the work you all are doing. It is sooo necessary. I run into “Christians” today who willfully choose to believe the lies brought on through wrong interpretations. Even when given the truth, it is almost impossible to get them to acknowledge it simply because they don’t want to rock the traditional boat. So, my prayers are with you. The Synagogue killings are a stain on this nation and deep sadness fills my heart.

  12. My and my family hearts are anguished upon hearing such an atrocity. We offer our heartfelt condolences and we repent of and ask for forgiveness of any antisemitism that ever was in any heart of any or our ancestors.

    • Thank you, Yvonne. The comments on this page show that many others also feel as you do, which is something that shouldn’t be overlooked when we speak of such evil horrors.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Name of God or Exploring Jewish Interpretation. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  13. So sad that today so many people lack such important part of our life such as education , lack of knowledge and understanding of the basic of all religion . Jesus our savior was Jewish , Mary that I love ,respect and thank for the most precious gift. Let pray for all those innocents souls lost to one very evil sad lost human being…. let’s ask our Lord for forginess fur all.

    • Thank you for commenting, Emmanuel. Unfortunately, as mentioned, some think the opposite — that Satan is behind “the Jews”… Do you think there is any way to change their minds?

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Name of God or Exploring Jewish Interpretation. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  14. This is more a question than anything else…. There is not doubt of the antisemitism of early Christianity. The question is: Since much of early Christianity was influenced by Roman Catholicism — The declining Roman empire, how many prejudices carried from the Imperial Roman traditions? Next, in current times, much antisemitism comes from secular (post Karl Marx) groups who also often show great hate for Christians as well… In Christian mythology, Hashem is G*d of all things yet here on earth there is an ancient one trapped that is two-faced with a heart bent toward the destruction of all good.

    • Thank you for these reflections, John. Regarding your question: I do think that some prejudices probably carried over from Imperial Roman times, an important factor. Another big point to consider is that when non-Jewish Christianity developed in the Roman Empire (i.e., as a separate religion, outside of and opposed to “Judaism”), a great deal of extreme reinterpretation of the Jewish Bible took place in order to make the new system seem plausible. The Jewish Bible was obviously very focused on the nation of Israel, hence the perceived need for anti-Judaic “replacement theology,” etc.

  15. Western Christianity is religion… religion is not of God. Need I say more. Many will fall away when left behind… many called few chosen. Take God’s Word literally or be left behind.

    • Thank you for commenting, Brian. It’s interesting that you see this as a reason to take the Bible “literally,” while another commenter saw it as a reason not to be a “literalist.” Without getting into that particular debate (or the reasons why those two views aren’t always opposites, in fact!), I’ll just point out that together your comments underline the essential role of interpretation in any reading. We are always reading through some interpretive “lens,” and translation (which is itself one type of interpretation) adds another layer to that lens.

  16. Thank you for the advice David. Please advise me if there is any current version of the Bible that has taken on board the important considerations that you have just mentioned.

    • Eremasi, a good Bible I would strongly suggest is the “Complete Jewish Study Bible” by David Stern for a good Messianic Jewish literal/dynamic reading of both the Old and New Testaments. Even the glossary in the back of the Bible makes it more worth having. The only shortcoming I find with it is it should have included a pronunciation of every Hebrew word listed in there. I find it very helpful in my studies and its a good start in learning the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. Please go to http://www.messianicjewish.net for more information.

  17. I would rather say that these “saints” are of the devil and not of the “true Israel” – hearts transformed by the Holy Spirit cannot have such views.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Name of God and Exploring Jewish Interpretation. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  18. If you read more than just one verse you see that Messiah was addressing his adversaries, the people that wanted to kill Him. the Bible needs to be read. If you just read a verse or part of a verse you can say just anything “the Bible” teaches. Read more, a chapter or a book. You have 66 to read to Meet Messiah in the whole Bible.

    • Thank you for commenting, Henrik. A big part of the problem is that most people understand a verse or chapter or book based on what they are told by interpreters (translators, preachers, pastors, rabbis, etc.). This was necessarily true, of course, in the times before widespread literacy; but I think it still holds today. In general, I think you are endorsing a slogan of IBC: “The Bible needs to be reread!”

  19. I am deeply grieved and heart broken by this wickedness. I continue to see the turning of Christianity into a State religion by Constantine as the greatest misfortune ever to strike the “church” and the consequential and ongoing persecution of the Jewish people reinforces my belief! My deepest sympathy to my Jewish brethren, I am so sorry!

  20. Well Anti-Semitism is a very serious form of hatred, it is used even in my country South Africa to attack not only in political circles but in churches, media. For me discussions among ourselves are a begining of awareness efforts, but the biggest platforms are the very same places of open public spaces. This is where we need to stand on God’s side, that is standing with Israel should no longer be a matter of talking but a matter of doing, because by so doing we will be doing the word of Yeshua.
    Very sorry for the loss of lives

  21. Three common errors are (1) misquoting the Bible (2) misunderstanding the Bible (3) mis-applying the Bible, whether Hebrew Bible or New Testament. 2 Pt 3.16 is true today, and for more than Paul. Much harm is doe by ignoring context — it is often not the translation that is at fault, but the individual’s reading, understanding, mis-application, and in general a world-view that is at variance with that of the Bible, Hebrew and Greek parts.

    • Thank you for commenting, Ronnie. I think you raise a good point about 2 Pet. 3:16. To read and understand any text at such a great distance of time, culture, and language — and with imperfect knowledge of the context — is a big challenge. We should be conscious of this difficulty when we read (and therefore, perhaps, less certain about our preferred interpretations).

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Name of God and Exploring Jewish Interpretation. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  22. I’m sorry but as a Bible believing Christian I find this article most offensive. Neither I nor any of my friends are in any way anti Semitic or in any way racist. The dear Lord Jesus who we love and serve was Jewish. The Scriptures we adore is given through Israel. Scripture teaches that ALL (Jew and Gentile are sold under sin) But in Jesus Christ is forgiveness for ALL who come to Him in repentance and trust in Him alone for salvation. That is Jew and Gentile alike. Its true that anti Semitism exists but not among True Christians.

    • Thank you for commenting, Colin. I wonder what it is exactly that you find offensive about the article? I think it’s hardly plausible to call historical Christian preachers, authors, and rulers “not Christian.” You may of course disagree with their version of Christianity — and in the case of antisemitism, I am very glad to hear it! But are you suggesting that we call John Chrysostom or Martin Luther “not Christian”? In that case the word “Christian” loses its function in language, making historical discussion impossible (and, by the way, you could do the same with any word or label).

      • My comment was that most God fearing Christians such as CH Spurgeon etc are in no way racist. I have regularly attended the Metropolitan Tabernacle London and many black people attend no racism there. The assistant pastor is I think Arabic and what a lovely speaker he is. As I read the article it seems that you are tarring all Christians with the same brush which is nonsense. I do not wish to be offensive or rude and I have read many useful articles on this sight for which I am grateful. Space doesn’t allow further comment. Shalom.

        • Thank you for continuing the discussion, Colin. The article in no way characterizes all Christians as racist, nor do I think that would be accurate or justifiable (please see my responses above to James and Yvonne and below to Bill). However, probably all Christians should be aware of what some — in fact, very many — historical Christians have taught and practiced. They should also, in my view, reflect on how these things affect them today, even if they themselves hold no prejudice or bigotry. Translation and theology still influence. Your community sounds lovely. Shalom!

        • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Name of God and Exploring Jewish Interpretation. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

        • PS — It may also be helpful here to note the distinction between antisemitism (a kind of racism/bigotry held by individuals) and theological anti-Judaism (widespread translations and interpretations that denigrate the Jewish people). The two are not the same, even if they do overlap.

  23. It’s not only misunderstanding the scripture that’s the problem. Many of us have studied Hebrew and Greek. the Roman Church has murdered as many Christians as Muslims have; and then fortunately the Reformation happened. Yet people refer to the Roman church as the biggest “christian church” in the world — the problem it’s not a Christian church. Muhammad murdered quite a few Jews and Christians — we have to take into consideration the biblical storyline as well to get the full picture. And not all of us are sitting here in complete biblical ignorance.

    • Thank you for commenting, Mark. Indeed, it’s obviously our goal here at IBC to study as much as we can ourselves and help others to do so. That’s why we write such articles. Personally, I don’t find it plausible to revise language in the way you propose, i.e., calling the Roman Catholic Church “not a Christian church.” I would say the same as in my response to Colin just above: You may disagree with version X of Christianity, and I hope you do object to antisemitic versions of Christianity. But are we to call Chrysostom or Luther “not Christian”?

  24. I am truly saddened by the deaths of the innocent people who were gathering to worship in obedience to God’s command for keeping Sabbath. I see a heightened amount of hatred fueled attacks since the new administration has been in office, and the white nationalist have marched more frequently than usual. I also need to say that, I do not understand how someone could distort the words of the Bible, and can claim that they are justified to hate Jewish people no more than they used it to justify the slavery of Africans and slaughter them and their children!

    • Here are a few reasons that one is not in the list. 1) I was giving examples (clearly marked “e.g.”), not a comprehensive inventory. 2) 1 Peter is quoting from the Hebrew Bible — actually the first passage that I cited. 3) Interpretation of the quotation in Jewish-Greek 2 Peter is somewhat complex and controversial (and I didn’t want to get into those issues here).

  25. I love the Jews. I have ancestors who were Jews. But Jewish hatred started when false teachers taught that the nation of Israel crucified their own Messiah and the Christian’s Savior. The Jews have paid for it ever since. We all need to remember that Jesus paid the penalty of our sin (Jews & Gentiles) by dying as the Lamb of God who took away our sin. (John 1:29; Isa. 53:5-11).

    • Thank you for the comment, Bill. In 1965 the Catholic Church repudiated the teaching that “the Jews killed Christ.” That’s a good (if late) start! But it’s not easy at all for such proclamations to change long-standing mindsets and beliefs, even among practicing Catholics (and then there are also all the other kinds of Christians, each with their own traditions and teachings).

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Name of God or Exploring Jewish Interpretation. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  26. Yes there seems to be a lot of hate here in this country. It is not only AntSemitism there is hate in Native American people, The African American. The big problem is too that it come from both sides. With people that read the Bibles and Then think they are right only takes one verse and that is the way it is. But like in Acts 10 If you read the whole chapter it gives the whole meaning of what is being said. People have learned this from there Pastures just reading the one verse.

  27. When I read I will read above and below that verse and sometimes read the whole chapter. This is why I think that this class is very important plus We need to have an open mine to beable to learn what it is saying. May people are so closed minded that they will not listen to what is being said to beable to learn. They think that they are right and no one is. I believe this way What goes around comes around. If treat with love it will come back to you.

  28. To shine His light into the darkness, to this we as the followers of Yeshua(Jesus) have been called. To mourn with those who mourn…and to pray for our enemies. May shalom envelop all affected by this horrible tragedy. May God’s love( ahavah, agape) wrap each descendant of father Abraham. Also, we must not forget to pray that the blinded eyes be opened, and hard hearts replaced. The Living Word of God (the bible) has been misinterpreted often throughout all history, how I wish this were not so. Still, every promise of God is true, and Israel, God’s chosen people. Shalom

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Name of God or Exploring Jewish Interpretation. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  29. Yes, most Christians, unfortunately do not have a correct interpretation of scriptures and have been taught wrong or even more have not studied themselves as scripture so blatantly says to do! So, just like a herd of cattle going off a cliff, there they go. How they don’t even realize that Yeshua was a Jew and loved his bretheren..there is the synagogue of Satan for all men who fall short of the glory of God who do not pledge their allegiance to Yeshua. I pray continuously for the body of Christ to WAKE UP..study the scriptures yourselves to see…

    • Thank you for commenting, Joann. Of course, “synagogue of Satan” (in Rev. 2 & 3) is a misleading, tendentious, and inconsistent translation! The group in question are specifically termed “not Jews.”

  30. There is also a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding, bigotry and hate against Catholics. Yes, some Catholics and also Protestants were indeed bigots. But if you take the time and effort to read the words and learn of actions of other saints, bishops, popes and lay Catholics both before, during and the Middle Ages, you will find many loved and supported Jews. Whether you make this effort or not will show whether you are bigots or not also.

    • Thank you for commenting, Kathleen. Please see my responses above to James, Yvonne, Colin, and Bill (and below to Valirie).

    • We are glad that you are finding our articles enlightening. You’ve already started your path into Scripture, but there’s so much more that awaits you! Consider enrolling in our immersive online courses: The Name of God or Exploring Jewish Interpretation. We guarantee that they will deepen your understanding of Scripture and enrich your faith experience.

  31. My condolences to the families . It is a definite wake up call as to how active Satan has become. The liar is bolder and really has any target that opposes him..It makes your posts ever more necessary because we must put on the full armour of God and with a full understanding of His word, it is not possible to do so. Thank you for sharing knowledge and love. Shalom

  32. The translation is a just one problem (a literal reading@not understanding properly). There are plenty New Testament passages supposed to be anti-Semitic , the mentioned J8:44,Ap 2:9,3:9 or the most famous Matthew 27:25 (His/Jesus’s blood on us and our children”). In the whole Bible in general one has anti-Semitic or anti-goim passages like for an example “Moses” killing his own brothers (Ex 32:28) or the Prophets calling their own nation (Isaiah 1:4)”race of evildoers”).The authors warn@teach the others that an injustice is punished by YHWH (Gen 4:10). This paradigm refers to any nation (ex. Socrates’ or Joanna d’Arc’s murder)

    • Thank you for joining the discussion, Krzysztof. These examples certainly point to the importance of reading carefully, understanding the context as best as possible, and also trying to grasp the style of writing (not just isolated words).

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Name of God and Exploring Jewish Interpretation. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  33. A couple of years ago, I picked up a book by Dr. Michael Brown entitled, “Our Hands are Stained with Blood.” I was horrified to read the history of what the church has done to the Jewish people. I was raised in the Assembly’s of God denomination and was taught that Israel becoming a nation was prophecy in action. The Bible college I went to was very clear about the Jewish nature of Christ and His teachings, do I truly fail to understand anti-semetic beliefs. I’m praying for peace to those who lost their loved ones.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience, Valirie. Yes, thankfully many Christian groups have by now moved far away from the anti-Judaism and antisemitism of the past. However, as you point out, it’s still very important even for those ones to understand the past history — which even today exerts a major influence on many Jews, Christians, and others — as well as the fact that some other Christians continue to hold to those anti-Jewish views.

  34. A Christian nation that is unaccountable for the atrocities against the native people and all the people of color who were enslaved and abused. A great nation of power and wealth but never great for it’s harsh abusive nature. Love doesn’t live where the lukewarm thrive…

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Name of God or Exploring Jewish Interpretation. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  35. I was upset after reading CONSTANTINE’S SWORD by Jame Carroll, a history of anti-antisemitism spawned by my own Roman Catholic Church. I also was ashamed that practicing Catholics & Lutherans facilitated the Holocaust! Only in my lifetime did the Second Vatican Council eliminate the Holy Week prayers for “the perfidious Jews.” How long will it take for the Christian churches to apply the universal “law” of loving all our brother/sisters?

  36. As a Christ-follower, the things that I hold most dear are all Jewish in origin–my Bible, my Messiah, and my inheritance as a believer in Y’shua. It’s not possible to be a credible Christian without loving the people through whom all these blessings came. In my opinion, those who persecuted Jews down through the ages may have been religious, but not true Christians. Thank you for your insightful comments

    • Thank you, Brent. It’s certainly good to hear these things. My only additional comment would be that one should also acknowledge what “Christianity” as a whole has encompassed and in fact still encompasses. (You may want to look at my responses to Colin and Mark above.) The same principle would apply, in my opinion, to any religion.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Name of God and Exploring Jewish Interpretation. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  37. I have believed for many years that Israel was Lo Ami or blinded so that the gentiles could have a place. But they were and are and always have been Gods’ chosen people for this planet. In the New Testament, the gospel (good news) was sent to the Jew first, then others, and then Paul the apostle was sent to the gentiles. No true follower of our Lord Jesus Christ could ever harm, persecute or kill the Jewish people because on the cross our Lord Jesus Christ said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

    • Thank you, Maree. An important point to keep in mind is that the same texts actually say that Jesus/Yeshua (a Jew) was followed and honored by huge numbers of his fellow Jews. The Gospels claim that the rulers disliked him but were even afraid to arrest him because he was so popular (for example, Matt. 21:46, 26:5; Luke 24:18-20). According to the story, these rulers (collaborators with the Romans) therefore arranged a plot to arrest him secretly at night and get him executed by the Roman authorities before the Jewish people could do anything about it. Translation/theology have often distorted this picture.

  38. Thank you very much for all your efforts and the interesting articles. Occasionally I will put them into my facebook via a link. Blessed be He.

  39. The well-known Church reformer, Martin Luther , was finally seduced by all the anti-Jewish propaganda of his time. Although in his earlier ministry Luther sympathetically acknowledged the shameful way the Church had treated the Jews and urged kind treatment of them, in later life he was to write that Jews should be killed. It might be worth noting that from 1937 to 1941, Germany was between approximately 75% to 80% Protestant (Lutheran). One wonders what these people were being taught in Church about the Jews prior to the Holocaust, and did it spill over to their views.

  40. Luk 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
    Luk 21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
    The non Christian descendants of Israelites, resented and felt that Christians had betrayed them when they obeyed Christ and left the City of Jerusalem during the break in the siege before seventy A.D.

    • This is an interesting point, Thomas. Do you know if there is specific historical evidence of that, or is it speculation based on the verses you quoted?

    • We are glad that you are finding our articles enlightening. You’ve already started your path into Scripture, but there’s so much more that awaits you! Consider enrolling in our immersive online courses: The Name of God or Exploring Jewish Interpretation. We guarantee that they will deepen your understanding of Scripture and enrich your faith experience.

  41. Shalom. Many years ago I realized the Chruch I belonged to was not teaching what I thought was the truth. That is why I came out of it. I know that the Isralites and Jews wrote the Torah and the Bible and that is why I think they should be the ones to translate and interpret it. I am enjoying my studies with you.

  42. I could be completely out to lunch with this comment, but wasn’t most of the Bible that these folks are using as their bases for persecuting the Jews in such heinous ways, written by Jews? Certainly my understanding is that the first written scriptures came to us through the Jewish Christ followers. Am I wrong in this assumption Dr.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Name of God or Exploring Jewish Interpretation. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  43. As a believer in Yeshua ha Messiach and a Jew, why do even the two Messianic Churches near me hold to the false doctrine of the trinity or three god persons that make one god. My understanding of the bible tells me that G-d is One Person, the Elohim (singular plurality). That G-d (the Shema) is One who manifests as a Father, Son and His Spirit. The lunacy of a separate person as the Holy Spirit standing around in Heaven separate from G-D Himself is mind-boggling. I cannot find a place to worship without false doctrine.

    • Victor Steven Rosenberg, the doctrine of the Trinity is not a false doctrine. The term is best called “Triunity” Because it’s the simple meaning three in one. One meaning unity. You contradicted yourself when you stated that God is a “singular plurality”. Genesis 1:26-27, 2:24, 11:7, Romans 8:27.

  44. What happened was horrific and still weighs in my mind heavily. My heart goes out to the ‘Tree of Life’ people. I have always stood with Israel and Her People. They ARE and EVER will be HIS CHOSEN Nation and People. It will NEVER change^^^ GOD CHOSE them, they are HIS and HE will defend them^
    This kind of teaching Dr. Eli is exactly what is needed. The Hebrew expressions make everything so much clearer and exposes much error in translations. Thank you.
    GOD Bless Israel and Her People forever^^^

  45. I feel there is a great wickedness in the world, but also sadness. Only last Friday, 15 March 2019 there was the murder of 50 people in Christchurch, New Zealand. Previously there was the shooting at the AME church in Charleston. The world has gone mad. These acts were totally evil and despicable in any right-minded view. Hate against innocent people has no place in any civilized society.

  46. What you just wrote is important not only for the sake of Jews but also for several evils perpetrated when texts are not well handled, interpreted and applied. We should start now. Thanks.

  47. I enjoyed this article as i have come to the conclusion that satan used translations in the bible to destoy the relationship between the Christ followers and the messiah (Jeshua) folowers even if we worship the same God. Thank you for your efforts.

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