The Following Material Was Distributed in Conjunction with Today’s Sermon, Anti-Semitism, October 1, 2006.


Definitions and Usage

[The following definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary which cites the first usage of the word, anti-Semitism, in the English language.]

Semite: “A person belonging to the race of mankind which includes most of the peoples mentioned in Gen. x. as descended from Shem son of Noah, as the Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians, and Aramæans. Also, a person speaking a Semitic language as his native tongue.”

Anti-Semitism: “Theory, action, or practice directed against the Jews. Hence anti-Semite, one who is hostile or opposed to the Jews; anti-Semitic.”

1881 Athenæum 3 Sept. 305/2 “The author, apparently an anti-Semite.”

Ibid., “Anti-Semitic literature is very prosperous in Germany.”


The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

[The Following is from the United States Holocaust Museum.]

“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is the most notorious and widely distributed antisemitic publication of modern times. Its lies about Jews, which have been repeatedly discredited, continue to circulate today, especially on the Internet. The individuals and groups who have used the Protocols are all linked by a common purpose: to spread hatred of Jews.

“The Protocols is entirely a work of fiction, intentionally written to blame Jews for a variety of ills. Those who distribute it claim that it documents a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world. The conspiracy and its alleged leaders, the so-called Elders of Zion, never existed. “

“In 1903, portions of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were serialized in a Russian newspaper, Znamya (The Banner). The version of the Protocols that has endured and has been translated into dozens of languages, however, was first published in Russia in 1905 as an appendix to The Great in the Small: The Coming of the Anti-Christ and the Rule of Satan on Earth, by Russian writer and mystic Sergei Nilus.”

“Although the exact origin of the Protocols is unknown, its intent was to portray Jews as conspirators against the state. In 24 chapters, or protocols, allegedly minutes from meetings of Jewish leaders, the Protocols ‘describes’ the ‘secret plans’ of Jews to rule the world by manipulating the economy, controlling the media, and fostering religious conflict.”

“Beginning in 1920, auto magnate Henry Ford’s newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, published a series of articles based in part on the Protocols. The International Jew, the book that included this series, was translated into at least 16 languages. Both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, later the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, praised Ford and The International Jew.”

“Many school textbooks throughout the Arab and Islamic world teach the Protocols as fact. Countless political speeches, editorials, and even children’s cartoons are derived from the Protocols. In 2002, Egypt’s government-sponsored television aired a miniseries based on the Protocols, an event condemned by the U.S. State Department. The Palestinian organization Hamas draws in part on the Protocols to justify its terrorism against Israeli civilians.”


Martin Luther

Martin Luther is a man of much contradiction as can be seen by comparing two publications written twenty years apart: That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew, written in 1523, is a much kinder work than his 1543 book, The Jews and Their Lies, which is a shameful work that does not rise above the age in which Luther wrote.

[The following is from Martin Luther’s book written in 1523, That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew.]

“Therefore, I will cite from Scripture the reasons that move me to believe that Christ was a Jew born of a virgin, that I might perhaps also win some Jews to the Christian faith. Our fools, the popes, bishops, sophists, and monks—the crude asses’ heads—have hitherto so treated the Jews that anyone who wished to be a good Christian would almost have had to become a Jew. If I had been a Jew and had seen such dolts and blockheads govern and teach the Christian faith, I would sooner have become a hog than a Christian.” [Martin Luther, That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew, in Luther’s Works, Vol. 45, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1962), p. 199.]

“When we are inclined to boast of our position we should remember that we are but Gentiles, while the Jews are of the lineage of Christ. We are aliens and in-laws; they are blood relatives, cousins, and brothers of our Lord. Therefore, if one is to boast of flesh and blood, the Jews are actually nearer to Christ than we are, as St. Paul says in Romans 9:5.” [ibid., p 201. ]

“Therefore, I would request and advise that one deal gently with them and instruct them from Scripture; then some of them may come along. Instead of this we are trying only to drive them by force, slandering them, accusing them of having Christian blood if they don’t stink, and I know not what other foolishness. So long as we thus treat them like dogs, how can we expect to work any good among them? Again, when we forbid them to labor and do business and have any human fellowship with us, thereby forcing them into usury, how is that supposed to do them any good? If we really want to help them, we must be guided in our dealings with them not by papal law but by the law of Christian love. . . If some of them should prove stiff-necked, what of it? After all, we ourselves are not all good Christians either.” [Ibid., p. 229.]

[The following is from Martin Luther’s book written in 1543, On the Jews and Their Lies.]

“In this way the Jews would defame us Christians, by saying that we honor as the Messiah a person who was mentally deficient from birth, or some sort of demon. These most intelligent, circumcised, highly enlightened saints regard us as such stupid and accursed Goyim. Truly, these are the devil’s own thoughts and words!

“Do you ask what prompts them to write this, or what is the cause of it? You stupid, accursed Goy, why should you ask that? Does it not satisfy you to know that this is said by the noble, circumcised saints? Are you so slow to learn that such a holy people is exempt from all the decrees of God and cannot sin? They may lie, blaspheme, defame, and murder whom they will, even God himself and all his prophets. All of this must be accounted as nothing but a fine service rendered to God. Did I not tell you earlier that a Jew is such a noble, precious jewel that God and all the angels dance when he farts? And if he were to go on to do something coarser than that, they would nevertheless expect it to be regarded as a golden Talmud. Whatever issues from such a holy man, from above or from below, must surely be considered by the accursed Goyim to be pure holiness.” [Martin Luther, On the Jews and Their Lies. in Luther’s Works, Vol. 45, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971), p. 260]

“If you pastors and preachers have followed my example and have faithfully issued such warnings, but neither prince nor subject will do anything about it, let us follow the advice of Christ (Matthew 10:14) and shake the dust from our shoes, and say, ‘We are innocent of your blood.’ For I observe and have often experienced how indulgent the perverted world is when it should be strict, and, conversely, how harsh it is when it should be merciful. Such was the case with King Ahab, as we find recorded in I Kings 20. That is the way the prince of this world reigns. I suppose that the princes will now wish to show mercy to the Jews, the bloodthirsty foes of our Christian and human name, in order to earn heaven thereby. But that the Jews enmesh us, harass us, torment and distress us poor Christians in every way with the above-mentioned devilish and detestable deeds, this they want us to tolerate, and this is a good Christian deed—especially if there is any money involved (which they have filched and stolen from us).

“What are we poor preachers to do meanwhile? In the first place, we will believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is truthful when he declares of the Jews who did not accept but crucified him, ‘You are a brood of vipers and children of the devil’ [cf. Matt. 12:34]. This is a judgment in which his forerunner John the Baptist concurred, although these people were his kin. Now our authorities and all such merciful saints as wish the Jews well will at least have to let us believe our Lord Jesus Christ, who, I am sure, has a more intimate knowledge of all hearts than do those compassionate saints. He knows that these Jews are a brood of vipers and children of the devil, that is, people who will accord us the same benefits as does their father, the devil—and by now we Christians should have learned from Scripture as well as experience just how much he wishes us well.

“I have read and heard many stories about the Jews which agree with this judgment of Christ, namely, how they have poisoned wells, made assassinations, kidnaped children, as related before. [Cf, above, pp. 217, 242.]  I have heard that one Jew sent another Jew, and this by means of a Christian, a pot of blood, together with a barrel of wine, in which when drunk empty, a dead Jew was found. There are many other similar stories. For their kidnaping of children they have often been burned at the stake or banished (as we already heard). I am well aware that they deny all of this. However, it all coincides with the judgment of Christ which declares that they are venomous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, assassins, and children of the devil, who sting and work harm stealthily wherever they cannot do it openly. For this reason I should like to see them where there are no Christians. The Turks and other heathen do not tolerate what we Christians endure from these venomous serpents and young devils. [A misleading statement, inasmuch as during the medieval period Jews customarily enjoyed greater freedom under Islam than under Christianity. Cf. on this point H. Coudenhove-Kalergi, Anti-Semitism throughout the Ages (London, 1935), pp. 166 ff.]  Nor do the Jews treat any others as they do us Christians. That is what I had in mind when I said earlier [Cf. above, p. 217.] that, next to the devil, a Christian has no more bitter and galling foe than a Jew. There is no other to whom we accord as many benefactions and from whom we suffer as much as we do from these base children of the devil, this brood of vipers.” [Martin Luther, On the Jews and Their Lies. in Luther’s Works, Vol. 45, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971), pp. 276, 277.]

“First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly—and I myself was unaware of it—will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know. . .

“Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them the fact that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

“Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.

“Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. . .

“Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let them stay at home. I have heard it said that a rich Jew is now traveling across the country with twelve horses—his ambition is to become a Kokhba—devouring princes, lords, lands, and people with his usury, so that the great lords view it with jealous eyes. If you great lords and princes will not forbid such usurers the highway legally, some day a troop may gather against them, [Apparently Luther anticipates that the political authorities will find his proposals too severe. He envisions and perhaps even sanctions action against the Jews by a Reuterei, probably meaning a band of robber barons; Prof. Jacob R. Marcus, in citing this passage, identifies Luther’s ‘rich Jew’ with ‘the wealthy Michael,’ court-Jew of Joachim II of Brandenburg. Cf. Jacob R. Marcus, The Jew in the Medieval World: A Source Book (Cincinnati, Ohio: Sinai Press, 1938), p. 168.] having learned from this booklet the true nature of the Jews and how one should deal with them and not protect their activities. For you, too, must not and cannot protect them unless you wish to become participants in all their abominations in the sight of God. Consider carefully what good could come from this, and prevent it.

“Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess. . .

“Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen. 3:19). For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.” [Ibid., pp. 268-272)]

A Modern Example

Oval Office Transcript from a February 1, 1972, conversation between Billy Graham and Richard Nixon as printed in the Chicago Tribune on page 8, March 1, 2002