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Anti Semitism Essay

1736 words - 7 pages

John Chrysostom was one of the most influential minds of theology in the fourth century. After being exiled from his home in Antioch, he became the archbishop of Constantinople. Holding the position, archbishop of Constantinople, he was the senior bishop of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. He cleverly uses his power and position to fuel and spread anti-Semitic feelings in Christianity. This paper aims to enlighten its readers about John Chrysostom and his reasons for his anti-Semitic views. To make sure his anti-Semitic views are instilled in the minds of the followers of Christ, he finds it necessary to dichotomize Christianity and Judaism. With the help of the Gospel of Mark, Chrysostom supports his views on the separation of the two religions. His anti-Semitic views along with other reasons amplifies the hatred toward Jews, which is found in the twentieth century. In order to spread his message, Chrysostom justifies that Christianity supersedes Judaism and therefore Christians should shun the evil Jews who killed Jesus Christ.
Even in fourth century, Christianity has still not defined its division from Judaism. Christians still regarded themselves as Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah, but follow Jewish traditions like going to synagogues. His main goal was to bring in the people who belong to the spectrum of non-Jesus Jews and convert them to become non-Jewish Christians. By doing so, Chrysostom makes it clear that he wants to draw a clear line between Jews and Christians. Even though he acknowledges that Jesus was a Jew, he believed that Christianity dominated Judaism. Just as his name meant “the golden tongue”, his sermons were wildly popular, and one of his famous sermons addressed the difference between Christianity and Judaism. In his sermon, he preached, Jews “[f]rom their childhood they read the prophets, but they crucified him” (Chrysostom 5). For this reason, he believed in supersessionism. He used supersessionism to explain why Christians should not become Jews. The Jews crucified Jesus even after being prophesied multiple times about the coming of the Messiah, consequently they no longer deserve the Jewish covenants. By crucifying Jesus, they defied Yahweh, the scriptures and the covenants. Jesus came to the world to save the chosen people of God. The majority of the Jews clearly were not saved from their sins, nor were they willing to be saved. Since they did not listen to the prophesies at the right time, anything that belongs to God is now the rights of Christians. In addition to this reason, Jesus also rejected many of the Jewish laws and formed many on his own. This makes Christian laws superior than the Jewish laws. Chrysostom’s feelings were so strong that he even claimed that the Jewish people sacrificed Christian babies, in case his sermons did not provoke anti-Semitic feelings.
Since Christianity supersedes Judaism, he assumes Jews “…were (once) the branches of that holy root, but those branches were broken” (Chrysostom...

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