Lend Me Your Ears


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lend me your ears Roots of AntiSemitism




After learning about the Holocaust, I’ve asked myself many times how this could have happened.  Why would anyone believe it’s acceptable to massacre an entire people?  This is my reasoning for writing my paper on how Christian theology influenced anti-Semitism.  Much of the Holocaust appears to have it’s beginning with Christian theology.  I will begin my paper with the early writings of Christians and continue chronologically until after World War II.
The Apostle Paul was one the first people to criticize the Jewish people. At first, he tried to explain to the Christians not to adopt a superior attitude towards the Jews.
IF THE PART OF THE DOUGH OFFERED AS FIRST FRUITS IS HOLY, THEN THE WHOLE BRANCH IS HOLY; AND IF THE ROOT IS HOLY, THEN THE BRANCHES ARE ALSO HOLY…DO NOT BOAST OVER THE BRANCHES.  IF YOU DO BOAST, REMEMBER THAT IT IS NOT YOU THAT SUPPORT THE ROOT, BUT THE ROOT SUPPORTS YOU.
At one point this appeared to be Paul’s feeling towards the Jews and the Christians.  His sentiment appeared to change, according to Christian suppressionists.  In the text Romans, many of Paul’s statements were misinterpreted by those Christians to make themselves appear more superior to the Jewish people.
…INCLUDING US WHOM HE HAS CALLED, NOT FROM THE JEWS ONLY BUT ALSO FROM THE GENTILES?  AS INDEED HE SAYS IN HOSEA, "THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE I WILL CALL ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED I WILL CALL ‘BELOVED.’"  "AND IN THE VERY PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED CHILDREN OF THE LIVING GOD,"
…GENTILES, WHO DID NOT STRIVE FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, HAVE ATTAINED IT, THAT IS, RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH FAITH; BUT ISRAEL, WHO DID STRIVE FOR THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT IS BASED ON THE LAW, DID NOT SUCCEED IN FULFILLING THAT LAW… [ROMANS 9]
 "In proclaiming his Christian message Paul stressed that the Jewish nation had been rejected by God, and the new Covenant had superseded the old," said David Cohn-Sherbok, in his book The Crucified Jew.  "In these ways the New Testament laid the foundations for later Christian hostility to the Jewish nation…and served as the basis for the early Church’s vilification of the Jews." (Cohn-Sherbok)
Another early Christian writing which may have encouraged Jewish hatred is the Gospels of John.  Scholars believe John wanted to gain favor with the Roman Hierarchy.  Therefore, he emphasized the Jewish involvement in the death of Christ and minimized the Roman role.  "The Gospel of John contains some of the most hostile anti-Jewish statement in the Christian scriptures.  So sharp is the contrast in that gospel between Jesus’ exhortations to his followers to love one another and the hostile references to the Jews…John is ‘a gospel of Christian love and Jew hatred.’" (Charlesworth)
Some examples of John’s apparent sentiments towards the Jewish people include the following.
…THE JEWS REPLIED…[JOHN 18:31]
…MY FOLLOWERS WOULD BE FIGHTING TO KEEP ME FROM BEING HANDED OVER TO THE JEWS…  
…HE WENT OUT TO THE JEWS AGAIN…[JOHN 18:38]
…THE JEWS ANSWERED HIM, "WE HAVE A LAW, AND ACCORDING TO THAT LAW HE OUGHT TO DIE BECAUSE HE HAS CLAIMED TO BE THE SON OF GOD." [JOHN 19:7]
…THE JEWS CRIED OUT, "IF YOU RELEASE THIS MAN, YOU ARE NO FRIEND OF THE EMPEROR…"  
…HE SAID TO THE JEWS, "HERE IS YOUR KING!"  THEY CRIED OUT, "AWAY WITH HIM!  AWAY WITH HIM!  CRUCIFY HIM!…"[JOHN 19:14]
Many scholars believe the Jews and Christians were still worshipping together around the middle of the first century.  They discussed and acknowledged their differences, like a family fight.  Yet, towards the end of the first century their relationships deteriorated.  After the destruction of the second Temple in 70 CE, the Gentiles appeared to break away from the Jews.  Jewish leaders who remained faithful to the Mosaic Law, began excommunicating Christian Jews under Nero’s leadership, ending decades of relatively peaceful coexistence and shared worship. (Hauer)
The presumed superiority of Christianity started to influence Christian teachings.  The ‘Letters of Barnabas’ (late first century or early second) repeatedly proclaims this belief:  I found many passages in his letter regarding superiority.
"…HEAPING UP YOUR SINS AND SAYING THAT THE COVENANT IS BOTH THEIRS AND OUR.  IT IS OURS:  BUT IN THIS WAY DID THEY ... more

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Aradia




  If  the reader has ever met with the works of the learned
folk-lorist G. Pitre, or the articles contributed by
"Lady Vere de Vere" to the Italian Rivista or that of
J. H. Andrews to Folk-Lore, he will be aware that there are
in Italy great numbers of Strege, fortune-tellers or witches,
who divine by cards, perform strange ceremonies in which
spirits are supposed to be invoked, make and sell amulets,
and, in fact, comport themselves generally as their reputed
kind are wont to do, be they Black Voodoos in America or
    But the Italian Strega or sorceress is in certain respects
a different character from these.  In most cases she comes of
a family in which her calling or art has been practiced for many
generations.  I have no doubt that there are instances in which
the ancestry remounts to mediaeval, Roman, or it may be Etruscan
times. The result has naturally been the accumulation in such
families of much tradition.  But in Northern Italy, as its literature
indicated, though there has been some slight gathering of fairy tales
and popular superstitions by scholars, there has never existed the
least interest as regarded the strange lore of the witches, nor any
suspicion that it embraced an incredible quantity of old Roman minor
myths and legends, such as Ovid has recorded, but of which much escaped
    This ignorance was greatly aided by the wizards and witches
themselves, in making a profound secret of all their traditions,
urged thereto by fear of the priests.  In fact, the latter all
unconsciously actually contributed immensely to the preservation of
such lore, since the charm of the forbidden is very great, and
witchcraft, like the truffle, grows best and has its raciest flavour
when most deeply hidden. Hopiter, and Venus and Mercury, and the Lares
or ancestral spirits, and in the cities are women who prepare strange
amulets, over which they mutter spells, all known in the old Roman time,
and who can astonish even the learned by their legends of Latin gods,
mingled with lore which may be found in CATO or THEOCRITUS.  With one of
these I became intimately acquainted in 1886, and have ever since employed
her specially to collect among her sisters of the hidden spell in many
places all the traditions of the olden time known to them.  It is true
that I have drawn from other sources, but this woman by long practice has
perfectly learned what few understand, or just what I want, and how to
    Among other strange relics, she succeeded, after many years, in
obtaining the following "Gospel", which I have in her handwriting.
A full account of its nature with many details will be found in an
Appendix.  I do not know definitely whether my informant derived a part
of these traditions from written sources or oral narration, but believe
it was chiefly the latter.  However, there are a few wizards who copy or
preserve documents relative to their art.  I have not seen my collector
since the "Gospel" was sent to me.  I hope at some future time to be
    For brief explanation I may say the witchcraft is known to its
votaries as la vecchia religione, or the old religion, of which DIANA
is the Goddess, her daughter Aradia (or Herodius) the female Messiah,
and that this little work sets forth how the latter was born, came down
to earth, established witches and witchcraft, and then returned to heaven.
With it are given the ceremonies and invocations or incantations to be
addressed to Diana and Aradia, the exorcism of Cain, and the spells of
the holy-stone, rue, and verbena, constituting, as the text declares,
the regular church-service, so to speak, which is to be chanted or
There are also included the very curious incantations or benedictions
of the honey, meal, and salt, or cakes of the witch-supper, which is
curiously classical, and evidently a relic of the Roman Mysteries.
    The work could have been extended ad infinitum by adding to it the
ceremonies and incantations which actually form a part of the Scripture
of Witchcraft, but as these are nearly all - or at least in great number -
to be found in my works entitled Etruscan-Roman Remains and Legends of
Florence, I have hesitated to compile such a volume before ascertaining
whether there is a sufficiently large ... more

lend me your ears

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