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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Persecution of Israel and the Jews in the Middle Ages, in the 1940s, and Today

The Persecution of Israel and the Jews in the Middle Ages, 
in the 1940s, and Today

(Vandalized synagogue. Click for source.)
We are seeing today an increase of hatred against Jews and Israel. The vitriol is astounding. Pro-Nazi and pro-Hitler accounts are popping up all over social media and the number of "anti-Semitic" incidents, or instances of persecution against Jewish people, are increasing each year. 

This article is divided up into these following parts:

1. Introduction

2. Hatred of the Jews During the Middle Ages

3. Biblical Answers for an Accusation Against Jews

4. "Replacement Theology," a False Doctrine

5. God Makes a Promise to Abraham and His Sons

6. Persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany

7. Persecution of Jews Today

8. Conclusion

1. Introduction

I am writing as a Gentile follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught that we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves. There is no teaching of Jesus or of the Bible that agrees with the persecution of Jews. Persecuting the Jews is actually the very opposite of what God calls us to do. God wants us to love and care for others.

(Vandalized synagogue. Click for source.)

In Mark 12:31, Jesus said: "[31] And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Earlier, Jesus was saying to love God the Father with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, teaching that this was the first commandment.  

People claiming to be Christians have not obeyed what Jesus taught them in His Word. And, that is one reason why they have chosen to hate the Jews. Despising and hating Jews or Gentiles is against God's Word. The Apostle John wrote about this in the epistle of 1 John.

1 John 3:11-12 says: "[11] For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. [12] Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous."

1 John 3:15 says: "[15] Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."

2. Hatred of the Jews During the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the hatred of Jewish people came in the form of accusing Jews of "killing Christ" and despising Jews for not partaking in Catholicism. 
(Jews were required to
 wear pointy hats during the Middle Ages.
Click for source.)

In Medieval times, Jews were treated with disdain and ridicule. They were often required to wear pointy hats to identify them as being Jewish and were often made to live in Ghettos (which were decent areas to live in at the time). In general, they were not allowed to work in many occupations except for handling money and taxes. This later became a reason why many peasants sought to persecute them. 

Jews were tolerated in many parts of Europe for a long time, but as people saw some of them having relative wealth, money-lending businesses, tax-collecting offices, and the respect of the nobles, they became more and more mistrustful of the Jews. Others, owing lots of money, wanted some excuse not to have to pay their Jewish creditors.

Cyrus Adler wrote about the Medieval persecution of Jews in The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1. Here is a quote:

"For nearly three quarters of a century the Jews of Alsace were simply tolerated; but in the last decade of the thirteenth century their persecution began. In 1290 the people Mühlhausen rose against the Jewish usurers. One of them, a certain Solomon of Neuenburg, was beaten to death by the mob; and King Rudolph I. ... annulled all debts to the Jews..." [Adler, Cyrus. The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume (Orig. Date of Publication: 1901) {See page 455-456}] [End quote.] 

There were times of intense persecution against Jews in Europe, where wicked men would first accuse Jews of poisoning wells and then torture some of them to get so called "confessions." Generally, after a Jew "confessed," under torture, to have supposedly "poisoned" a well, he and many other Jews would be burned alive by an angry mob. Such terrible events took place in 1349 in Strasburg, Germany. Cyrus Adler describes these events. Here is a brief quote on page 457 from the same book:

(St. Mary Church {Strasburg, Germany}.
Click for source.)
"But a general uprising, instigated by the civic magnates and the neighboring nobles—possibly also the clergy itself—broke out in Strasburg in February, 1349. The councillor [i.e. a member of a counsel], Peter Swarber, and his two colleagues were deposed, ... Afterward the new communal authorities constituted [i.e. established or appointed] by this revolutionary movement decreed the extermination of all Strasburg Jews....  On St. Valentines day (February 14), 1349, the Jews in the city were burnt en masse on the site of their own cemetery." [Adler, Cyrus. The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1{See page 457}] [End quote.] 

1349 was also the year that the Black Plague reached many parts of Switzerland. During this same year, as the Black Plague began to spread through Switzerland, Jews were falsely accused of starting it by allegedly "poisoning the wells" and they were tortured into making a "confession". 

Once this so-called "confession" was made, the word spread, and the Jews of Basel were burned, by a mob, on an island in the Rhine river (See ReferencesThe Jewish Ency. ... Vol. 11). According to The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 11, this event took place on January 9, 1349. In Zurich, the Jews were tortured and burned by another mob in spite of authorities trying to restrain them. And, sporadic incidents of Jews being tortured and murdered by hate-filled, fearful mobs continued throughout the 14th century (The Jewish Ency. ... Vol. 11).

(The burning of Jews during the Black Plague. Click for source.)
Superstitious and fearful people accused Jews of poisoning wells, murder, desecrating Catholic rituals, and other outrageous claims. Because they were usurers, or money lenders, and tax collectors, people despised them and, at times, angry mobs would rise up against them. 

During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church taught its members that it was sin to lend money with interest (i.e. usury), so Jews were allowed to do that work and to collect taxes. These occupations were later excuses for name-calling and anti-Jewish rhetoric throughout the centuries, in Europe. 

[Note: It is likely that the powers-that-be (i.e. Satan and his minions) arranged it that way to stir up persecution against the Jews and prepare the way for the Hitler's holocaust.]

The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1  continues to speak of the intense persecution of Jews under Pope Paul IV, who was pope from 1555-1559. This book says:

"Under Paul IV. (1555-59) the Jews were subjected to further oppression. By his direction they were deprived of valuable franchises, enclosed within the ghetto, subjected to further taxation, limited in their commerce to old clothing, ... 

"... Paul IV. practised [sic] cruelty toward the Portuguese Jews; he sent an inhuman commissioner, a certain Cesare Galuaba, to Ancona with orders to incarcerate all who did not accept baptism and to condemn them to the stake. Thus terrorized, sixty-three renounced their faith. Twenty-three men and one woman, ... preferred death to apostasy [referring to Jews leaving Judaism], and these were all hanged together and afterward burnt on the Piazza della Mostra..." [Adler, Cyrus. The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1.) {See page 572}] [End quote.]

As we have seen, some members of the Catholic Church murdered Jews for simply being Jewish. This goes completely against the Bible (which includes all the teachings of Jesus, such as loving others as one would love himself or herself). (See Matthew 5:44-47.) 

3. Biblical Answers for an Accusation Against Jews

Accusation against Jews (#1): Some people say that Jews are "Christ-killers."

The truth is that Pontius Pilot and the Roman soldiers were participants in the death and suffering of Jesus. Some Jewish leaders hated Jesus, but so did the Roman soldiers who mocked Him and beat Him (See "Endnote"). Roman soldiers of their own volition (or will) beat Jesus, flogged Him, crowned Him with thorns, mocked Him, and crucified Him (Mark 15:16-20). But God foreknew that this was necessary for Jesus to take all the sins of the world upon Himself so that He could pay for all our sins and give us the opportunity to receive Him as our personal Savior and Lord. 

(An artistic rendering of Jesus. Click for source.)

In John 12, Jesus spoke of His death that He knew He would have to receive. 

John 12:30-33

"[30] Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. [31] Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. [32] And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. [33] This he said, signifying what death he should die."

In John 10:17-18, Jesus said: "[17] Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. [18] No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

Jesus knew full well that He would die for our sins, and He willingly lay down His own life, and He also of His own power rose from the dead. Jews and Gentiles are given the opportunity to make Him their personal Savior and Lord because He went through the crucifixion and agony for us. There is nothing we have to go through in order to be saved because Jesus paid for our sins with His own blood (Romans 5:6-11) and we will be saved if we believe this. 

4. "Replacement Theology," a False Doctrine

Accusation against Jews (#2): Some people wrongfully say that Israel (Jews) has been replaced by the Church, and that the blessings for Israel now exclusively apply to the Church.

This is a false and very dangerous belief. It is completely unbiblical and opens the door to persecution against Jewish people. It is also in alignment with the teachings of the Nazis. 

(The so-called "Saint" Jerome wrongfully
 described Jews as being "... serpents,
wearing the image of Judas, their
psalms and prayers
are the braying of donkeys."

"Replacement Theology" started with men, (as early as A.D. 160) who appeared to be Christians, who taught against the Jewish people. One such man was Justin Martyr who (in A.D. 160) told a Jew these unrighteous words: "The Scriptures are not yours, but ours." (Wagner) This ungodly belief was echoed by other so-called "early Church fathers". 

In AD 177, the Bishop of Lyon, named Irenaeus, wrongfully said: "Jews are disinherited from the grace of God." (Wagner)

The so-called "Saint" Jerome wrongfully described Jews as being "... serpents, wearing the image of Judas, their psalms and prayers are the braying of donkeys." (Wagner)

This is blatant anti-Semitism by those claiming to be Christians, or followers of Jesus Christ, who was Himself both a Jewish man and God (Colossians 2:6 and 2:9). This hatred against the Jews spread to the belief system these alleged "Christians" had. As time went on, they began to teach false doctrines about the Jews no longer being Israel. They taught that Israel was replaced by the Church and that the teaching about Israel were to be "spiritualized". This meant that all the teachings in the Old and New Testament about Jewish (or Hebrew) people returning to the land of Israel were to be somehow applied to Gentile Christians. 

In so doing, they ignored the fact that when God made a covenant (such as the one with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) that it is forever and cannot be broken. So, these alleged "early-Church fathers" were teaching something contrary to the clear teachings in the Bible.

5. God Makes a Promise to Abraham and His Sons

In Genesis 35, God appears to Jacob (I am certain this appearance would be Jesus prior to being incarnated into his human body). God repeated the promise to Jacob (whom He named Israel) that He had made to Isaac and Abraham.

Genesis 35:9-12

(Abraham. Image source.)

"[9.] And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.

10. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

11. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

12. And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land." 


In Genesis 26, God appeared to Isaac, Jacob's father, telling him an identical promise that He had made to Abraham, and later to Jacob. 

Genesis 26:1-5

"[1.] And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. 

2. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 

3. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 

4. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 

5. Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." 


God made an oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. He cannot go back on His Word, for that is against His Nature. To Israel, God said these words in Malachi 3:6: "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (Emphasis added).

God cannot change, and His promises do not change that He made to Israel or to anyone. God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9). So, we Gentile Christians must not despise Jewish people; nor their land; nor their nation; nor their land, the land of Israel. After all, God told Abraham, the grandfather of the Jewish people, these words in Genesis 12:1-3. 

Genesis 12:1-3

"[1.] Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

[2] And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

[3] And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."


6. Persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany

Riding on the backs of anti-Semitic "early Church fathers," the Nazis built their belief system of Jew-hatred on the foundation of anti-Semitism that already existed in Europe. They told people that Jews were "Christ-killers." The Nazis even revived the Medieval lie of "blood libel." This false belief was that Jews supposedly killed European children for their Passover observance. It was utter nonsense taught during the Middle Ages that found its way into Nazi propaganda. 

(Persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. Click for source.)

The Nazis also accused the Jews of causing Germany to lose World War 1 and accused them of illegally obtaining their wealth during the depression or recession that followed the first world war (Kinser). Many Germans were unemployed and suffered from malnutrition, high inflation, and poverty. Many Jews did not suffer during this post-war period due to the fact that they were money lenders (which was one of the few occupations that Jews were allowed to do during the Middle Ages). 

(Adolph Hitler. Click for source.)

The accusations that Jews were stealing money morphed into accusations that Jews were trying to destroy Germany, and take over the world, and that they were responsible for the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (Kinser). These myths were designed to create a scapegoat that the German people could unite against. 

Hitler needed to have a single cause by which he could create a unified Germany. Mistrust and hatred for the Jews was one central point he strongly pushed in order to have the German people on his side. After all, his Nazi party had only gotten 33 percent of the votes in the German parliament—the Reichstag—during the 1932 elections ("Nazi Germany..."). President Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor in 1933 with the idea that Hitler would lead Germany out of its financial woes ("Nazi Germany..."). 

With his propaganda machine slowly moving the German people more and more in the favor of the Nazi belief system about Jews and about the so-called "master race," Hitler was able to get the German people to allow the Nazis to increase the persecution of the Jews to the point where Jews were placed in prisons called "Ghettos." Then, eventually, Jews were removed to death camps, like Auschwitz.

7. Persecution of Jews Today

(Vandalized Jewish cemetery. Click for source.)
The Nazis, the so called "early Church fathers," and teachings of men down through the centuries have produced fuel for the modern hatred of Jews that exists today. 

In November of this year, new dated was released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which reveals that there were a significantly larger number of anti-Semitic incidents, in the U.S., in 2017 than in the previous year ("ADL Data..."). The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said this statement on their website (

"ADL, in its latest Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, reports that from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 there were 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States, including physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions. That total represents a 67 percent increase over the same period in 2016 and already exceeds the 1,266 incidents reported all of last year. Of the incidents reported, there has been a disturbingly high number of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism incidents in K-12 schools and college campuses across the U.S." [End quote] ("ADL Data...")

Simon Barrett from Revelation TV's Middle East Report interviewed Ambrosine Chetrit from Campaign for Truth. She spoke of the increase of incidents in the news and on social media of vicious hatred and vitriol against Israel and against Jews. She also spoke of a rise in the number of Nazi and pro-Hitler accounts on Twitter. 

Simon then shared a clip of a video which spoke of a dramatic increase in the number of "anti-Semitic incidents" taking place during the year 2016, which was more than over previous years. This amounted to over 1,300 just in the U.K. ("Confronting the rise...")

Also, news websites (such as The Guardian) are reporting that the number of Jews leaving European countries to travel to Israel has increased. This may be partly due to an increase of Muslims entering Europe and also due to an increase in persecution against Jews by indigenous Europeans. 

According to Quartz, there are, on average, over 43 anti-Semitic posts per hour that are being published on social-media websites (Kozlowska). Hanna Kozlowska from Quartz wrote:

"Another report, to be released in full on April 25, quantifies internet anti-Semitism. The World Jewish Congress found that in 2016, 382,000 anti-Semitic posts appeared on social-media platforms, making the average “more than 43.6 posts per hour, or one post every 83 seconds.” The posts did not include those that simply are critical of Israel." [End quote] (Kozlowska

This hatred toward Israel and the Jews is an ancient hatred and it is illogical. It resulted in a massive genocide of innocent people, including children, during the Nazi holocaust. As we showed earlier, God condemned anti-Semitism (or hatred toward Jews) back in Genesis 12:1-3. 

Genesis 12:1-3

"[1.] Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

[2] And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

[3] And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."


8. Conclusion

God's warning is very clear. If we curse Israel (Jewish people and the nation of Israel), we must repent. God will only bless those who bless Israel. God cannot bless those who despise or hate the Jews (or Hebrews). 

The Church needs to repent from its poor treatment of the Jews and from its poor treatment of the nation of Israel. Israel is not perfect. It has its flaws, but it is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It is a chosen nation and a people who God gave his oracles (scriptures) to, to share with the world. 

Jesus Christ was a Jewish man (while also being God) and He set our example by His life. He told us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44-47), and to bless and not curse (Luke 6:27-29Romans 12:14). He told us to do to others what we want done to us (Matthew 7:12). Let us (who claim Jesus Christ as our Savior) follow His example, and obey His Word, and love the Jewish people, and respect their right to have the promised land. 

The closer we are in our personal fellowship with Abba Father God, the more we will feel His heart of love for others, including Jewish people. We will also feel His great love for us, on a personal basis (1 John 3:1). May God bless you as you seek God's will and do it. 

If you would like to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and be saved from sin, and have eternal life, click here.



Mark 15:16-20

"[16] And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, 18. And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19. And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him."


Adler, Cyrus. The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1 (Orig. Date of Publication: 1901)

Adler, Cyrus. The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume (Orig. Date of Publication: 1907) {See page 611}

"ADL Data Shows Anti-Semitic Incidents Continue Surge in 2017 Compared to 2016." Anti-Defamation League.

"Confronting the rise of Jew Hatred on Social Media." Revelation TV. Youtube. (March 20, 2017).

Kinser, Kathryn. "Nazi Propaganda: Effective in Two Ways". The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. (2010)

Kozlowska, Hanna. "There are more anti-Semitic posts on Twitter than Facebook, Instagram and YouTube combined." Quartz Media LLC. (24 April 2017)

"Nazi Germany 1933-1939: Early Stages of Persecution" My Jewish Learning.

Wagner, Clarence H., Jr. "The Error of Replacement Theology."

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