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What are the forms of European anti-Semitism?
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Antisemitism can trace its roots back to the early days of Christianity. While early Christians were disdainful towards the Jewish religion, that disdain quickly turned to hatred with the crucifixion of Christ, which has been considered one of the most significant examples of enduring Christian hostility towards the Jewish people.[1]

The Argument

Early days of Christianity saw the earliest signs of conflict between the Christians and the Jews. The Christians perceived themselves as superior and defined their religion by separating themselves from that of the Jewish religion. Because Christians viewed their religion as the superior of the two, they also held strongly to the belief that the Jewish religion needed to disappear and that the only option for the Jewish people was to convert to Christianity. However, the Jewish people refused to convert, which left the relationship between the Christian faith and the Jewish faith in a precarious position. The two religions did share a common heritage, the most notable one being the Jewish Bible with words purported to have been inspired by God. This contention has led to a never-ending cycle of disagreements over the meaning of the Bible and what the word of God means to both the Christians and the Jews. [1] Because of the ongoing disagreements over the interpretations of the Bible and the word of God, the Christian sense of superiority over the Jewish religion, and the refusal of the Jews to convert to Christianity, many Christians considered the Jews traitors and it was that status as traitors that would enable Christians to blame Jews for the crucifixion of Christ. One of the most compelling aspects of the concept that the Jews are responsible for the death of Christ is that this belief is not just limited to Jews in biblical times. According to this component of antisemitism, every single Jewish person who was born following the crucifixion of Christ was also responsible for the death of Christ. The idea that contemporary Jewish people are responsible for the death of Christ is based in the idea that contemporary Jews believe that Christ is the messiah no more than their biblical ancestors. In the eyes of the Christians, all the Jews implicated themselves in the death of Christ through their denial of Christ as the messiah. The denial of Christ as the messiah meant to many Christians that not only were the Jews of biblical times responsible for the death of Christ, but their descendants could be capable of similar crimes in the future because of this continued denial. [1] Another forum that provides insight into the accusation of the Jews having been the ones responsible for the crucifixion of Christ comes from the Bible itself, specifically the New Testament. The New Testament tackles the question over the Jewish involvement in Christ’s execution in two ways. First, it places Jewish leaders who has owed their positions to the Romans to conspire with them to have Christ executed. In addition, it mentions that an unruly mob from Jerusalem had called for Christ’s crucifixion, however the number of people in this mob and their motivations have never been verified. While modern scholars have been uncovering evidence that it was solely the Romans responsible for the crucifixion of Christ, early Christians had absolved them of that responsibility because many had converted over to Christianity. It was this willingness to convert that let the Romans off the hook, leaving the Jews to be condemned based on their unwillingness to convert and to not believe in Christ as the messiah. [2]

Counter arguments

All four of the canonical gospels depict a Jewish crowd calling for the death of Christ as well as Jewish authorities spearheading efforts to have Christ arrested and convicted. Both the Gospels of Matthew and John emphazise the role that the "people" , and by further extension "the Jews", played in orchestrating Jesus's execution. According to Matthew, the Roman governor asked the people if they would rather see Jesus released or a common criminal released. When the people called for the criminal to be released, the judge washed his hands of any responsibility over the fate of Jesus Christ. The people were saddled with the responsibility of driving the events that led to Christ's execution. [3]


Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 10 Jul 2020 at 17:40 UTC