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  1 Luther, A Life 932

  2 The Life of Luther [Martin Luther 1483 - 1546] 933-937

  3 Martin Luther's 95 Theses 938-939

  4 Friedrich Nietzsche 940

  5 A Rationalist Encyclopaedia 941

  6 Luther and the Reformation 942

  7 Luther's Table Talk 943-947

  8 Luther Man between God and the Devil 948-951

  9 History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe 952

10 A History of Freedom of Thought 953-955

11 The Encyclopedia of Unbelief 956-957

12 The Jew in the Medieval World, A Source Book 958-959

13 Jews and Christians in Antioch 960-963

14 The Jewish Encyclopedia 964

15 Encyclopaedia Judaica 965

16 The History of Anti-Semitism 966

17 The Destruction of the European Jews 967

18 Ideology of Death 968-969

19 Antisemitism, The Longest Hatred 970-972

Page 930

20 Christian Antisemitism 973-974

21 Anti-Semitism 975-977

22 The Roots of Pagan Anti-Semitism in the Ancient World 978-981

23 Faiths of Man Encyclopedia of Religions 982

24 Anti-Judaism, A Psychohistory 983-988

25 The Roots of Anti-Semitism 989

26 Printing, Propaganda, and Martin Luther 990

27 The Jews and Their Lies [by Martin Luther, 1948 (1543)] 991-994

28 A Dictionary of International Slurs 995-996

29 The Jew in Christian Theology 997-1002

30 Luther's Last Battles, Politics and Polemics 1003

31 Luther, and the False Brethren 1004-1005

Subject Index

Jesus (Christ; Jesus Christ), 932, 934-935, 942-943, 948, 950-951, 956 [Luther on Erasmus on Jesus], 961-964, 967, 975, 982-987, 989, 992-993, 999-1002

New Testament, 957, 1000

Old Testament, 957, 964, 970, 975, 986-987, 999-1000

Paul, 942, 949-950, 991, 1004


Note: I thank K.D. (a Lutheran Sunday School Teacher), for his responses, and for redirecting my attention to Martin Luther.

I thank Fred L. Timm, for restimulating my interest in Martin Luther, and for the above references: 17, 27, 29, 30; and, for other ideas, from his Privately Published Article, Martin Luther: The Dark Side ("So many things discovered while researching for this essay were surprising and shocking, especially for me, since I was raised a Lutheran, and attended Lutheran grade and high school."), 1994 (first seen 4/19/99, in the Onslow Free Thought Society Newsletter, April, 1999 []).

Page 931


from: Luther, A Life, John M. Todd, Crossroad, 1982.

"A major part of the phenomenon of Luther [Martin Luther 1483 - 1546] is the extraordinary corpus of writings, over one hundred volumes in the Weimar edition. In most big libraries, books by and about Luther occupy more shelf room than those concerned with any other human being except Jesus of Nazareth. He translated the Bible and set a style for the German language. He has something more than a minor place in the history of music. More than 2500 of his letters have survived. Together with the Table Talk [Tischreden] they provide a lively picture of his life. But the heart of it all is religious and theological.

This religious content has boxed Luther off from a wide range of readers, not least because his friends and enemies in the subsequent centuries have made professional and technical capital out of his work. Religion, along with highlighted excerpts from the more ribald parts of the Table Talk, have tended to make a caricature of Luther, as though he might be some kind of a foul-mouthed Billy Graham. Certainly, it is not possible to avoid the technical content of his thought,...there has to be some theology. But in Luther it is lit with imagination, perception and humour. The power of the European Myth comes through. And Luther recognised his own penchant both for EXAGGERATION and for somewhat earthly language, often caricaturing himself." [xvi-xvii].

"Not many people have read the story of Luther [1483 - 1546] outside the ranks of theologians and historians. Yet he changed the face of Europe as radically as Napoleon [Napoleon Bonaparte 1769 - 1821]. And while Cromwell [Oliver Cromwell 1599 - 1658] put English history into a new gear, Luther ushered in a whole new way of life in Europe which had been struggling to birth for a century and more. Both Cromwell and Luther are difficult in that not only were they convinced of divine commission, but expressed that conviction. In Luther's case this has tended to make him seem some kind fanatic. One cannot evade the truth lying at the heart of such a suspicion; and he is sometimes touched with what may be called the psychopathology of genius. Yet, in many ways he was an ordinary man. The portrait at forty-two shows a notably human face. The letters and Table Talk reveal a man with ordinary family problems, a normal concern with sex, expressed with that half innocent openness so typically German. He had, too, a typical German attitude to those in authority, realistic and conscientious.

I have tried to give a picture of this man of gigantic accomplishment, a man, however, who was rather less than the hero and rather more than the mere villain of some older biographies...." [xviii-xix].

[See (search, etc.): Luther].

Page 932

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from: The Life of Luther, Written by Himself, Collected and Arranged by M. Michelet [Jules Michelet 1798 - 1874], Member of the Institute, Author of "History of France," etc., translated by William Hazlitt [1811 - 1893], London, George Bell and Sons, 1898 (1846 Hazlitt) (1835 Michelet).

[Note: this work is included for its authors, age, etc. Degree of historical accuracy? Research to corroborate, etc.].


"These memoirs," writes a critic in Blackwood's Magazine, for Dec. 1835, "are composed altogether of letters and papers written by Luther himself, and give us a complete picture of the man as he was in life. Hitherto, the too common idea of the great reformer's character has been that it was a mere compound of violence and ruggedness. These traits have been made so prominent, that the finer lines of his portrait have been completely shaded from sight. If, in fact, we knew nothing of Dr. Johnson but his occasional bursts of savage and uncouth manners, we should not have a more erroneous impression of him than is generally entertained of Luther. Another reason of our misconception is, that we too often honour mere daintiness of mind with the names of delicacy, sensibility, humanity, virtue; whilst the rough exterior and the passionate expression, smack, to the taste of drawing-room, fashionable, élite society, whence opinions are usually circulated, only of brutality and ferocity. Perhaps, however, the finest, richest, and most generous species of character is that which presents to the dainty the most repulsive surface. Within the rough rind the feelings are preserved unsophisticated, robust, and healthy. The noli me tangere ["touch me not"] outside keeps off that insidious swarm of artificial sentimentalities which taint, and adulterate, and finally expel all natural and vigorous emotions from within us [apologies and eulogies follow]...."' ["v"].

"The volume thus warmly commended by so orthodox an authority ["critic in Blackwood's Magazine" (see above)], I have done my best to render complete. Having found that M. Michelet's work, more especially in reference to the earlier portion of Luther's career, was comparatively bare of detail. I looked around me for materials with which to supply the deficiency, and I found nearly all that I needed in M. Audin's Histoire de Luther, (fifth edition, Paris, 1845,) a production of a high order of merit in a literary point of view, but uncompromisingly Roman-catholic in its principle and purposes. From the narrative portions of this work, I have adopted such additions as I considered it desirable to make for the purpose of giving completeness to the present volume....Besides Audin's book, I have referred as much as I could to the other authorities who have treated of Luther, and I think I may fairly state as the result, that the present Life of Luther is the most comple [te (printer's prank?)] that has yet appeared.

William Hazlitt.

Middle Temple,

April, 1846." [vii-viii].

Page 933

"Preface of the Author ["M. Michelet"].

The present work is not an historical romance, founded on the life of Martin Luther; nor is it a history of the establishment of Lutheranism. It is simply a biography, composed of a series of translations. Excepting in that portion of it which has reference to his childhood, and which Luther himself has left undescribed, the translator has rarely found occasion to make his own appearance on the scene. He has, in fact, scarcely done anything beyond selecting, dating, and arranging the scattered texts before him; it is almost invariably Luther himself who speaks; almost invariably Luther related by Luther...." ["ix"].

"Life of Luther."

'Birth and education of Luther-His ordination and temptationsC

His journey to Rome.

"I have often conversed with Melancthon [Philipp Melanchthon 1497 - 1560], and related to him my whole life, from point to point. I am the son of a peasant; my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather were all mere peasants. My father went to Mansfeldt [county, and, town (Oberman, 1989, 83)], and became a miner there. It was there I was born [born in Eisleben, 1483 (died there 1546)] ['From 1518 on he [Martin Luder] spelled his name "Luther"' (Oberman, 1989, 86)]. That I was afterwards to become bachelor of arts, doctor of divinity, and what not, was assuredly not written in the stars, at least, not to ordinary readers. How I astonished everybody when I turned monk! and again, when I exchanged the brown cap for another. These things greatly vexed my father-nay, made him quite ill for a time. After that, I got pulling the pope about by the hair of his head; I married a runaway nun; I had children by her. Who saw these things in the stars? Who would have told any one beforehand they were to happen?"1

[footnote] 1Tischreden (Table Talk) (Frankfort, 1568), 240. Cochlaeus [Johannes Cochlaeus 1479 - 1552, "RC [Roman Catholic] controversalist" (Ox. Dict. C.C.)], in his hostile life of the Reformer, gravely asserts that Luther was engendered by an incubus. An Italian Theatine [complex: Italian cleric, who combatted Lutheranism; etc.], Cajetano Vicich, in his poem called Thieudos, says that Martin was born of Megaera, one of the furies, and sent express from hell into Germany. Many of his opponents designate him, as a matter of course, son and disciple of the devil.

"When he was a monk," Cochlaeus adds, "he was suspected of having commerce [amusing!] with the devil. One day, when he was listening to the gospel, at the place where mention is made of a deaf and dumb devil, whom Christ compels to quit the body of a possessed person, Luther fell convulsively to the ground, exclaiming-Non sum, non sum! ["non sum qualis eram" = "I'm a different person today"] In one of his sermons, he tells the people himself, that he and the devil had known one another for a very long while; that they were in constant communication with each other; and that he, Luther, had eaten more than one grain of salt with Satan."-Cochlaeus, Life of Luther.

Page 934

Some Spaniards who were at the Diet of Augsburg (1530), seriously believed that Luther and his wife were destined to produce Anti Christ.-Luther's Werke, (1612,) i. 415....' ["1"-2].

'Music, indeed, was his favourite art. He cultivated it assiduously all his life, and taught it to his children. He does not hesitate to say that music appeared to him the first of the arts after theology: "Music is the art of the prophets; it is the only other art, which like theology, can calm the agitations of the soul, and put the devil to flight." He played both the guitar and the flute. It is probable that he might have been equally successful in the other arts, had he essayed them. He was intimate with the great painter, Lucas Cranach [1472 - 1533]. He had, moreover, it appears, a taste for mechanics, and could turn a lathe skilfully.

This inclination to music and literature, the assiduous cultivation of the poets, which he alternated with the study of logic and of law, presented no indication that he was at an early period to play so important a part in the history of religion....' [7].

"Assuredly, they who saw Martin Luther travelling on foot from Eisenach to Mansfeldt, on the third day of the Feast of Easter, in the year 1503, his sword on one thigh, his dagger on the other and wounding himself with his own weapons,1 [see footnote, below] had no conception that the awkward student before them was so soon to overthrow the domination of the catholic church throughout one-half of Europe.

In 1505, an accident gave to the career of the youthful Martin an entirely new direction. He saw one of his friends killed at his side by a stroke of lightning [this is one version, of this story]. He sent forth a cry at the terrible spectacle: that cry was a vow to St. Anne that he would become a monk, if he were himself spared. The danger passed over, but he did not seek to elude an engagement wrung from him by terror. He solicited no dispensation from his vow. He regarded the blow with which he had seen himself so nearly threatened, as a menace, as an injunction from Heaven. He only delayed the accomplishment of his vow for a fortnight. [see: 948, 950]

On the 17th July, 1505, after having passed a pleasant convivial evening with some musical friends, he entered the Augustine monastery at Erfurt, taking with him nothing but his Plautus [c. 254 - 184 B.C.E.] and his Virgil [70 - 19 B.C.E.]. ....

[footnote] 1It was while on his way to visit his friends that this accident happened to him; when just out of Erfurt, his knife or dagger fell from its sheath, and severed the crural [leg (femoral?)] vein. The Brother who was accompanying him took him on his shoulders, and carried him back to Erfurt, where the wound was cured.-Audin." [7-8].

Page 935


"Behold Luther in Italy.1 ["1He was deputed thither by his monastery, in 1510, to adjust some differences before the pope, which had arisen between it and the pope's vicar general."] It is a moment of ineffable joy, of boundless hopes, in which we begin the descent of the Alps, to enter for the first time that glorious land. And for Luther, there was the further aspiration to confirm his wavering faith in the holy city, and throw aside all the growing burden of uneasy doubt at the tomb of the apostles. Old Rome, too, the Rome of classic ages, was a powerful attraction to him, as the seat and sanctuary of the learning he had cultivated with such ardour in his poor Wittemberg.

He was received at Milan in a marble convent, and from that he visited one convent after another, or, rather one palace after another, for such they were. In each he found good cheer, sumptuous entertainment. The simple-minded German was somewhat astonished at all this magnificence of humility, at all this regal splendour of penitence. He once ventured to suggest to the Italian monks that they would do well, at least to abstain from meat on Friday; the impertinence was near costing him his life; it was with the greatest difficulty he got out of the hands of the offended epicures." [14].

'He went on his journey,3

[[footnote] '3His object in making all possible haste was to arrive at Rome by St. John's Eve; "for," says he [Luther], "you know the old Roman proverb. 'Happy the mother whose child shall celebrate mass in Rome on St. John's Eve.' Oh, how I desired to give my mother this happiness! but this was impossible, and it vexed me greatly to find it so."']

merely passing through Florence without stopping, and at length entered Rome, He proceeded to the convent of his order, near the Porto del Popolo.1 "On arriving, I fell on my knees, raised my hands to Heaven, and exclaimed: 'Hail, holy Rome! made holy by the holy martyrs, and by the blood which has been spilt here.'" In his fervour, he adds, he hastened to view the sacred places, saw all, believed all. He soon perceived, however, that he was the only person who did believe; Christianity seemed totally forgotten in this capital of the Christian world. The pope was no longer the scandalous Alexander VI., but the warlike and choleric Julius II. This father of the faithful breathed nothing but blood and ruin. We know that his great artist, Michel-Angelo [1475 - 1564], represented him overwhelming Bologna with his benediction. The pope had just at this time commanded the sculptor to prepare for him a funereal monument, as large as a church: of this projected monument, the Moses, with some other statues which have come down to us, were to have formed a part.

The sole thought that occupied the pope and Rome at this juncture, was the war against the French. Luther had manifestly slight chance of a favourable opportunity for discoursing of grace and the inefficacy of works, to this singular priest who besieged towns in person, and who only just before, had refused to enter Mirandola otherwise than by the breach he had made in its walls. His cardinals, apprentice-officers under him, were politicians, diplomatists, or, more generally, men of letters, upstart savans, who read nothing but Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.], and who would have feared to hurt their Latinity by opening the Bible....' [15-16].

Page 936


'The following is LUTHER'S WILL, dated 6th January, 1542:C

"I, the undersigned Martin Luther, doctor of divinity, do hereby give and grant unto my dear and faithful wife, Catherine, as dower to be enjoyed by her during her life, at her own will and pleasure, the farm of Zeilsdorf, with all the improvements and additions I have made thereto; the house called Brun, which I purchased under the name of Wolff; and all my silver goblets, and other valuables, such as rings, chains, gold and silver medals, &c., to the amount of about a thousand florins.

"I make this disposition of my means, in the first place, because my Catherine has always been a gentle, pious, and faithful wife to me, has loved me tenderly, and has, by the blessing of God, given me, and brought up for me, five children, still, I thank God, living, beside others who are now dead. Secondly, that out of the said means she may discharge my debts, amounting to about four hundred and fifty florins, in the event of my not paying them myself before my death. In the third place, and more especially, because I would not have her dependent on her children, but rather that her children should be dependent on her-honouring her, and submissive to her, according to God's command; and that they should not act as I have seen some children act, whom the devil has excited to disobey the ordinance of God in this respect, more particularly in cases when their mother has become a widow, and they themselves have married. I consider, moreover, that the mother will be the best guardian of these means in behalf of her children, and I feel that she will not abuse this confidence I place in her, to the detriment of those who are her own flesh and blood, whom she has borne in her bosom.

"Whatever may happen to her after my death, (for I cannot foresee the designs of God,) I have, I say, full confidence that she will ever conduct herself as a good mother towards her children, and will conscientiously share with them whatever she possesses.

"And here I beg all my friends to testify the truth, and to defend my dear Catherine, should it happen as is very possible, that ill tongues should charge her with retaining for her own private use, separate from the children, any money they may say I left concealed. I hereby certify that we have no ready money, no treasure of coin of any description. Nor will it appear surprising to any who shall consider that I have had no income beyond my salary, and a few presents now and then, and that, yet, with this limited revenue, we have built a good deal, and maintained a large establishment. I consider it, indeed, a special favour of God, and I thank him daily, therefore, that we have been able to manage as we have done, and that our debts are not greater than they are....

"I pray my gracious lord, duke John Frederick, elector, to confirm and maintain the present deed, even though it should not be exactly in the form required by the law.1

"Signed, Martin Luther.

"Witnesses, Melancthon, Cruciger, Bugenhagen."' [352-353].

Page 937

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from: Martin Luther's 95 Theses, With the Pertinent Documents from the History of the Reformation, Kurt Aland, editor, Concordia, 1967 (1965 German).

'In his reflection on the Reformation Luther always placed its beginnings in the time of the indulgence controversy.12 He never specifically referred to the Ninety-five Theses but only mentioned that in 1517 he had begun to write against indulgences, or against the pope.13 And one time 10 years later, when he was recollecting the events of 1517 in a sort of anniversary memorial,14 he did not speak of the Ninety-five Theses but of "the tenth year since the elimination of indulgences."15 The Ninety-five Theses were just a spark; much more important was the chain reaction activated by them. If Luther had just an inkling of the effect the theses were to have, he would have structured them differently, he said in 1518.16 It was the tremendous reactionary effect against the Ninety-five Theses and the attack they loosed against his person that motivated Luther to a thorough rethinking and documentation of the indulgence issue. At the time, 31 October 1517, indulgences were not yet strictly defined by the church. So it was thought to be permissible to debate freely on the subject. Luther could even think that his viewpoint would merit the thanks and recognition of the authorities in the church.17 In this he was deceived. The instructions given to the indulgence preachers were not distortions, as Luther had assumed, but represented official church teaching, a teaching that was then promptly and ceremoniously proclaimed in 1518. But behind it all-and this was the worst of it for Luther-there was a concept of the church, of the status of the pope, of justification, of the Christian faith in general that Luther felt he must oppose with all the power and zeal he possessed. This became clear to him in piecemeal fashion. It was only with reluctance that he yielded to it, so that later on he had a completely negative attitude toward his earlier writings. In them, he says, he did not see the issues clearly enough and was far, far too conciliatory to the pope.18 Despite his negative appraisal of the earlier writings, when he did include them-or better, let them be included-in the complete collection of his earlier works, they were to serve as warning examples.19 For Luther himself was a determined opponent of the collecting of his writings, for he wanted to let them perish in favor of exclusive Bible reading.' [9-10].

'Thus the Reformation began with the Ninety-five Theses. Of that there can be no doubt [DOUBT! (see: 941, etc.)]....

The posting of theses at that time was nothing unusual but rather a routine matter. In the academic community disputations were a prescribed part of the course, and for acquiring an academic degree they were even mandatory. Every disputation called for the presentation of theses to be posted according to specific regulations. In Wittenberg it was customary to post theses on the church doors. Since the Castle Church was also the university church, its doors served as the "bulletin board" of the university. Whenever a professor desired to speak on a topic of current interest or wished to reveal new results of his work, he could use the graduation or the doctoral type of disputation (the theses were always composed by the professor and not by the one to be advanced to a degree). Or else he could call for a special disputation, as Luther did with the Ninety-five Theses. In this case no date was set as in the other types. The opponents had to be called to battle first, accept the challenge, and prepare for the debate before it could take place. In normal disputations the

Page 938

opponents stood ready beforehand, and they were often taking part in a mere sham battle or a good show. This was a summons to a real contest. In a university town it often happened that the actual contest caused much more of a sensation than did the challenge. In the case of the Ninety-five Theses nothing happened; there was no one in Wittenberg who wanted to oppose Luther in debate. Tetzel [Johann Tetzel 1465 - 1519 ("German Dominican friar whose preaching on indulgences...sparked Martin Luther's revolt" (Encyc. Brit.))] selected the University of Frankfort on the Oder and the background of a private meeting of the Dominican order to defend his theses against the theses of Luther. Eck's [Johann Eck 1486 - 1543 ("Martin Luther's principal Roman Catholic opponent" (Encyc. Brit.))] wrath spent itself in annotations that never reached public print. If one of them or even a less prominent theologian had appeared for an actual debate on the Ninety-five Theses against Luther, Wittenberg and environs would have been a lively scene. Many visitors would have come to the city, and official records would have been written, and on and on. And we would know many significant details about the event. When Luther
-possibly about noon of 31 October 1517-posted ["nailed", is the description of dramatists] the theses on the door of the Castle Church, he did so on his own and did not have it done by the university proctor, as was the regulation according to the rules of disputations. In modern terms, Luther posted a notice about twice the size of a piece of typing paper on the bulletin board of the university.

This rather commonplace act got little or not attention from anyone. If someone did stop to read the theses, his first impulse was either to write down the contents or to attempt to get a printed copy, if that were available. Those who received a copy from Luther20 passed it on to someone else. Printers and publishers from out of town got hold of this very popular item and reprinted the theses for rapid sale. Translations were prepared and disseminated in print.21 Thus the Ninety-five Theses began their victory march through Germany. Their explosive force lay in the subject matter and in the manner in which this was treated. What was of interest was their content, not the manner in which they were first made public. Two years later people seldom thought of them. For in the meantime the controversy had arrived at an entirely different stage. The Ninety-five Theses had been long outdated....'


Page 939

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from: #23, 484, 486 (Friedrich Nietzsche 1844 - 1900 ["His [Nietzsche] father and his two grandfathers were Lutheran ministers." (Collier's Encyc.)]):

"A German monk, LUTHER [1483 - 1546], came to Rome. This monk, with all the vengeful instincts of an unsuccessful priest in him, RAISED A REBELLION AGAINST THE RENAISSANCE IN ROME....Instead of grasping, with profound thanksgiving, the miracle that had taken place: the conquest of Christianity at its capital-instead of this, his hatred was stimulated by the spectacle. A RELIGIOUS MAN THINKS ONLY OF HIMSELF.-Luther saw only the depravity of the papacy at the very moment when the opposite was becoming apparent: THE OLD CORRUPTION, THE PECCATUM ORIGINALE, CHRISTIANITY ITSELF, NO LONGER OCCUPIED THE PAPAL CHAIR! Instead there was life! Instead there was the triumph of life! Instead THERE WAS A GREAT YEA TO ALL LOFTY, BEAUTIFUL AND DARING THINGS!...AND LUTHER RESTORED THE CHURCH: HE ATTACKED IT....The Renaissance-an event without meaning, a great futility!-....These Germans, I confess, are my enemies....For nearly a thousand years they have tangled and confused everything their fingers have touched;...they also have on their conscience the uncleanest variety of Christianity that exists, and the most incurable and indestructible-Protestantism....If mankind never manages to get rid of Christianity the Germans will be to blame...."

Page 940

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from: A Rationalist Encyclopaedia, A Book of Reference on Religion, Philosophy, Ethics, and Science, Joseph McCabe [1867 - 1955], Watts, 1950 (1948).

"Luther, Martin, D.D. (1483-1546)."

'He [Martin Luther] did not inspire the revolt against Rome, if he "hatched the egg which Erasmus [1466/9 - 1536] had laid." THE REVOLT had, as we show in many articles, simmered and repeatedly OVERFLOWED FROM THE ELEVENTH CENTURY ONWARD, and it was the corruption of the Papacy, the clergy, the monks, and the nuns, that counted most in its inspiration-not so much the vice itself, which shocked only a minority in so loose-living an age, as the hypocrisy of it in the clergy and their greed and parasitism. Books on Luther are either white (Protestant) or black (Catholic), and a portrait in half-tones is very desirable. Probably Prof. Mackinnon's Luther and the Reformation (4 vols., 1925-30) is the best now [c. 1948] available, though it lacks candour and is overloaded with Protestant theology.' [368].


"Reformation, The."

'Three points in connection with the Reformation are vital to an understanding of it:--

(1) Rebellion against the Church was not a new development of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It [Reformation] began with the awakening of Europe in the eleventh century....

(2) The corruption of the Church "in head and members" was so gross during the Middle Ages that it would be amazing if it had not provoked rebellion. One may wonder why a corrupt age should trouble to make corruption a ground of revolt; but even loose-living men could be moved to resent the disorders of Popes, priests, and monks, who extorted a very high proportion of their wealth for luxurious and loose living while they blandished Bibles and rosaries as their credentials....

(3) As the Church could now command even larger armies than those which had crushed the Albigensian, Lollard, and Hussite rebels....' [485-486].

Page 941

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from: Luther and the Reformation, Vindication of the Movement (1530-46), James MacKinnon, Russell & Russell, Vol. IV [of IV], 1962 (1930).

["Protestant theology" (see 941)].

'Even Luther did not always enthral. There are numerous complaints in the sermons and the "Table Talk" about lack of interest in the evangelical preaching, of luke-warmness in the cause of the Gospel and hostility towards the preachers, of the inconsistency of profession with practice.62 His weekly sermons in the parish church, when he acted as Bugenhagen's substitute in 1537-39, for instance, were not always well attended. In the winter of 1530, for reasons that are not clear, he was so out of touch with his congregation that he actually abstained for several months from preaching.63 "The nearer to Rome, the worse Christians," he says, in speaking of his Wittenberg audience. Like most preachers, he sometimes came down from the pulpit thoroughly unsatisfied with his performance and disgusted with himself, though it also happened on such occasions that he would be told that he had never preached better. Per contra, it would also happen that when he was most satisfied with himself, he had given least satisfaction to others.64 Moreover, the hearer might relish the sermon, but hesitate to put his hand into his pocket and give for the cause of the Gospel.65 No wonder that Luther sometimes gets tired of preaching the Gospel of grace, and threatens to preach the common law (Sachenspiegel) for the correction of evangelical evil-doers who practise Christianity with usury, robbery, and stealing. Luther, as in the case of Christ or Paul, did not succeed in preaching his hearers up to the level of his own ideals. He failed, in fact, at times to preach himself up to his own standard, or reflect in his own life in some respects the Gospel ideal, inasmuch as the Gospel is always far in advance of the man and the age. The failure as well as the success of both the man and his age is patent enough, but the marvellous results are there none the less. Luther and the Reformation, the preacher and his achievement, are the concrete evidence of them.66' [317-318]. [See: 960-963 (Chrysostom)].

Page 942

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from: Luther's Table Talk, A Critical Study, Preserved Smith [1880 - 1941], AMS, 1970 (1907 Columbia).

'the Table Talk is not a literary work, in the narrow sense of that term, at all. In an age of roughness and bad literary form it has not even the polish of Luther's written works, or of the dialogues or plays with which we have been comparing it. The first thing which strikes us on opening one of the sources (not Aurifaber) is the mixture of languages spoken by the company. Latin and German are so easily interchangeable that a sentence is often begun in one and ended in the other. "Christus is unzuverstehen, quia est deus";3 "Mein ganz Leben ist eitel patientia."4 It is almost superfluous to give examples of so common a phenomenon.

The reason of this was simply that both languages were equally familiar, and the attempt to discover any other reason is unnecessary. Wrampelmeyer1 is led by his patriotism to the discovery that German is the language used to express the main thought, an idea which seems to me fanciful. Lösche thinks Latin was used largely to spare the women's ears what they should not hear.2 This is a nineteenth-century idea, which would be entirely alien to the sixteenth. The precaution would have been useless, for Käthe [wife of Martin Luther], at least, knew enough Latin to keep up with the conversation.3 Then again Luther took no pains to avoid remarks to or about her which shock our fastidious decorum, though they certainly would not have appeared objectionable to the most cultivated taste of Luther's time.4

In general the students put down the sayings in the language in which they were uttered, as would usually be the easier thing to do, but sometimes they translated a German remark into Latin which they could write faster. For the same reason they would put all their own remarks in that tongue, and all matter supplied by them, such as details of time, place and occasion. One instance in which they clearly translated Luther's remarks is that in which he is represented as consoling his poor old dying Muhume Lehna in the learned tongue which must have been unfamiliar to her.5 Sometimes Greek6 and even Hebrew are introduced, though only by way of short quotations. One of these was made apparently to tease Käthe, who good humoredly responded: "Good Heavens! Who said that?"' [90-92].

'Luther's colloquial German is very racy, with marked dialectical and conversational peculiarities. He evidently took no such care in his oral as he did in his written language to adopt the purest idiom. All this, as well as the frequent anacoluthon and solecism found in the original notes is smoothed off and standardized, so to speak, in the collection of Aurifaber.2

It is perhaps partly because of the lack of literary form in the Table Talk that we get such a perfect picture of Luther in it. Here we see him in all the simplicity and naïveté of his large-hearted German nature. "God has commanded us" he says, "that we should be simple, open, and true."3 When Käthe was ill God made her well again, he who always gives what is best for his children and more than they can ask.4 How fresh is this picture:

On the Sunday after St. Michael's day he was happy in mind, and joked with his friends and with me (Mathesius [Johann Mathesius 1504 - 1565]), and disparaged his own learning: [Luther] "I am a fool," said he, "and you are cunning and wiser than I in economy and politics. For I do not apply myself to

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such things, but only to the Church and to getting the best of the Devil. I believe, however, if I did give myself to other sorts of business I could master them. But as I attend only to what is plain to view, any one can get the better of me, until, indeed, I see he is a thief, and then he can't cheat me."1' [92-93].

'Luther is as frank as he is simple; there is nothing in his own life, no opinion of men or books,2 no recess of religious feeling which he is not willing to talk about. His Table Talk outdoes Rousseau [1712 - 1778] in frankness, though it must always be remembered that Luther would never have thought of publishing the details of his life which Rousseau made the materials of his confessions. One passage, which also casts an interesting sidelight on Luther's marriage, is too good not to be quoted.

He spoke as follows [in 1538] of his own marriage: [Luther] Had I wished to marry fourteen years ago I should have chosen the wife of Basilius, Anna of Schonfeld. I never loved my own wife, but suspected her of being proud, as she is; but God willed that I should show mercy to the poor fugitive, and by his grace it turned out that my marriage was most happy.3

This must not be taken to indicate that Luther did not love his wife after their marriage; the Table Talk is full of instances of exemplary conjugal devotion and he told Dietrich he would not change Käthe for France and Venice.1

Sometimes this simplicity shows itself in a sort of naïveté and lack of the critical point of view.

[Luther] I would give the world [he says] to have the stories of the antediluvian patriarchs also, so that we could see how they lived, preached, and suffered....

I have taught and suffered too, but only fifteen, or twenty, or thirty years; they lived seven or eight hundred or more, and how they must have suffered!2'


"In oral discourse the Reformer showed a marked predilection for the sententious style. Apophthegm ["aphorism", etc.] and anecdote abound in the Colloquies. Many of those good stories current with us, whose origin is lost in the dimness of antiquity, appear in some form or other." [94].

'One of the pleasantest qualities of the Table Talk is the humor which is constantly appearing. Unfortunately most of the witticisms have been eliminated from the later collections, with their serious purpose of edification, and can only be read in the sources. Luther was naturally of a joyous disposition, "ein hurtiger and fröhlicher junger Gesell," as Mathesius calls him.3 Much of the exuberance of his high spirits, which had been crushed out in his youth by physical and mental suffering appeared fully in his later life.

[Luther] Joy and good humor with reverence and moderation is the best medicine for a young man-yea, for all men. I, who have passed my life with mourning and a sad face, now seek and accept joy wherever I find it.4


Page 944

His jokes were never "practical" or rough, but they were often personal, as when he compares Pommer's preaching to an underdone meal.5 He loved to poke good-humored fun at Käthe, who took it well and showed by her quick wit in repartee she did not get the worst of it.6 Her loquacity, real or imagined, was the subject of occasional jest; one day Luther recommended her to an Englishman who wanted to learn German as his tutor because "she is so copiously eloquent that she beats me all to pieces."1 Luther humorously recognizes that she is head of the household, comparing her to Moses and himself to Aaron.2' [95-96].

'LUTHER SPOKE OUT whether in describing the morals of the Italians,4 or his own ailments5 or in giving advice to one tempted.6 He spoke out too, in giving his opinions of his enemies and those of the Gospel IN LANGUAGE WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SURPASSED AND RARELY EQUALLED FOR INVECTIVE FORCE.7 These defects have been so elaborately apologized for by editor and translator that they have perhaps attained undue prominence. Whatever he was Luther was not vicious, and we never see that polisonnerie [polissonnerie: mischievousness, etc.] which is so plain in Erasmus, for example. We do not find Luther writing enthusiastically to a friend about the kisses he has enjoyed1 or wittily toying with the vicious propensities of mankind in the style of the Praise of Folly. Luther was considered remarkably pure in his own age. Mathesius relates that he never heard from him one shameful word,2 a judgment in which any fair-minded reader will concur; Luther was frank, but he was not prurient [Egregious! A classic apologetic "spin"!].

As to invective, Luther only gave as good as he got. He speaks sometimes of the revolting slanders circulated against him.3 Sometimes he showed an admirable, as well as a wise, self-restraint in this respect, as when, after reading the scurrilous attack of Cochlaeus he decided not to answer it. "I shall not answer Cochlaeus' book against me, and he will then be much angrier than if I did, for he will not get the honor he thought."4

It is hardly fair to judge a man by his confidential and casual utterances. What Luther meant only for his friends' ears was bruited over Christendom as loudly as his deliberate opinions, meant for the world. He was a man of frank, open nature, much subject to the impression of the moment, often self-contradictory, careless of his own reputation. He never paused to weigh his conversation in a company as sympathetic and indulgent as he was confidential.1 It is not fair to say, with a French writer,2 that Luther talked along after dinner "dans une demi-ivresse" [(my translation) half drunk!] but we can readily understand that the influences of digestion and malt liquor [wine? what else? (I am amused, to imagine the scenes (Great Movie!))] were not always conducive to an austere observance of the proprieties. On the whole, if we judge him by his words, making allowance, as we must, for the age he lived in, and the circumstances of his education, Luther offers very little indeed whereby he can be condemned [overstated!  see the Catholic critics of Martin Luther, et alia].3'  [96-98].

"Luther's enemies have always found in the Table Talk a trenchant weapon for attacking his character and doctrines. Even in his writings Luther is neither consistent nor temperate, much more in his private conversation is he careless and unguarded. By taking every thoughtless remark to a friend literally and with no attention to the

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context, the occasion on which it was uttered, and the cause which evoked it, it is easy enough to entangle Luther in a hopeless mass of contradictions and to asperse his character. This was done by Catholics and humanists as soon as the Tischreden were published, and subsequently has been undertaken more thoroughly by more scientific though equally hostile historians.1" [99].

'If, in a moment of despondency, Luther says the preaching of the Gospel only seems to make men worse, and that the converts to the new church abuse their liberty and commit all manner of sin, that is taken as a serious effort to sum up the effect of the reformed teaching and as a damning indictment against it.1 "It is a wonderful thing," says Luther again, "and a sad one (plena offendiculo) that as the Gospel flourishes the world becomes ever worse, for all turn spiritual liberty into license. For the reign of Satan and the Pope suits this world . . . in truth, it degenerates under the doctrine of grace."2 This of course is a full proof, to the enemies of Protestantism, that the Revolt had a bad moral effect. The same is shown still more clearly in Luther's impatient denunciation of the Protestant clergy as full of "faule, schädliche, schändliche, fleischliche Freiheit."3' [100].

"Protestant historians have used the Table Talk in a fairer and more amiable way, though it is true that they have occasionally been led by admiration of their hero to explain away what might damage his character. This has been done mainly by the editors; the historians proper have simply ignored the less admirable part of the Table Talk, or excused it all in a few general terms, while reserving their specific quotations for those sayings which show the brighter side of Luther's character. The editors, however, had to treat each saying by itself, and many of them have taken liberties with the text in the interests of piety. The first editor, Aurifaber, SUPPRESSED MUCH he thought unedifying, as we can see by comparing him with his sources, and the last editor, Kroker, has shown the same tendency in supporting a reading in Mathesius's Luther Histories, recorded so many years later, against one taken on the spot, all in the interest of Luther's reputation.2" [101].

"The unprincipled use of the Tischreden by Luther's enemies led to an early attempt on the part of those of his friends whose zeal outran their judgment, to deny their genuineness and to impute them to Catholic forgers.2 The attempt was so utterly preposterous that it was soon abandoned, and indeed is hardly worth mentioning. The authenticity of the Table Talk (making allowance for very slight editorial changes) is as indisputable as that of the Address to the Christian Nobility.

Another set of defenders admitting the authenticity of the work, have expressed their regret that it should ever have been published, and even suggested that the extant editions be suppressed-a proposal as impractical as injudicious.3 If their real defence, which, as has been stated, lies in a comprehension of the conditions under which they were spoken, be once understood and fairly applied, no partisan friend of Luther (needless to say no impartial historian) will regret their publication.

A very different question from the genuineness of the Table Talk is the question of its reliability. In using this source the historian should give to statements of fact only such weight as can be given to any oral testimony...." [102].

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"On his relations with his wife and children much may be gathered from the Table Talk, but the subject is already hackneyed. He may joke his wife about her womanly readiness in speech,2 or pun on her name, calling her his Cathena, or Chain, but we feel that it is all good-humored and affectionate. As we have seen Käthe was not always on the best terms with the students, and they undoubtedly retaliated for her jealousy by the depreciatory tone in which they refer to her.3

It is interesting to observe how much our appreciation of the comparative worth of the different sayings [of Martin Luther] has changed from that of Luther's contemporaries. To the first editors those sayings were most valuable which gave an authoritative exposition of some knotty point in theology, or an exegesis of some obscure text in the Bible. TO US THESE ONCE VITAL QUESTIONS HAVE SUNK INTO COMPARATIVE NEGLECT, and what Luther may have thought of the Judgment Day,4 or of Nebuchadnezzar5 is no longer decisive, hardly interesting. To all who know Luther, however (and who does not?), those stories and jokes, the familiar conversations which reveal so much of the man's heart and life, will have an ever fresh and abiding interest." [110] [End of main text].

Page 947

! ! !

from: Luther Man between God and the Devil, translated by Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart, Heiko A. Oberman, Yale, 1989 (1982 German).

'As early as 1529, Johannes Cochlaeus [1479 - 1552], Luther's first "biographer," had denounced Luther in Latin and German as the seven-headed dragon, the Devil's spawn. Slanderous reports that he had died a God-forsaken death, miserable and despairing, had circulated time and again. But now the end his friends had dreaded and his enemies had longed for was becoming reality. WHO NOW WOULD LAY CLAIM TO LUTHER AND FETCH HIM, GOD OR THE DEVIL?' [3].

[Illustration (earlier "pornography")] "Begetting the Antichrist. Woodcut from Der Antichrist, Strasbourg, ca. 1480." [61]. [See (Grien): Appendix VIII, 798; 950].

'Margaret and Hans Luder together educated their children-Luther ['From 1518 on he [Martin Luder] spelled his name "Luther"' (Oberman, 1989, 86)] left no doubt about this cooperation. Now it is of particular importance that in Luther's mind their style of education and upbringing-strict but not unfeeling-sparked the decision that was to change his life: "The serious and austere life they led with me later caused me to enter a monastery and become a monk; but they meant it very well indeed."11

Responsibility, experience with misbehavior, and subsequent punishment were all shaped into concepts which later became so central to the Reformer, and molded-or at least sharpened-young Martin's conscience. It was the way he was raised at home that brought him to the gates of the monastery-but not straightaway.

In the summer of 1505 Luther the law student started back to Erfurt after a visit with his parents. On July 2, with some four more miles to go, he was caught in a terrible thunderstorm near the village of Stotternheim. Hurled to the ground by lightning, he called out: "Help me, St. Anne; I will become a monk."12 [this is one version, of this story (see: 935, 950)] There is no reason to doubt that the unsuspecting traveler became terrified when confronted with sudden death. The situation as such can indeed lay claim to rarity [exaggeration?]; the reaction, however, cannot. A vow of this kind was neither exceptional nor proof of psychological instability; on the contrary, it was perfectly in keeping with the times and not abnormal for any young, unmarried man of tender conscience. This is not to deny young Luther's unmistakably individual decision; the vow to enter a monastery was not a necessary consequence of his upbringing and environment....' [92-93].

'Luther's purpose is not to spread fear but to strengthen the resistance of the faithful. LIKE CHRIST, THE DEVIL IS OMNIPRESENT. He acts and reacts, is drawn and challenged by anything that smacks of Christ and true faith. Here is found a radical deviation from the medieval concept of the Devil, according to which the evil one is drawn by the smell of sin, the sin of worldly concern. In Luther's view, it is not a life dedicated to secular tasks and worldly business that attracts and is targeted by the Devil. On the contrary, WHERE CHRIST IS PRESENT, THE ADVERSARY IS NEVER FAR AWAY: "When the Devil harasses us, then we know ourselves to be in good shape!"30

Many of these stories come from Luther's Table Talk [Tischreden], the collection of his conversations with dinner guests. At the table in the former Augustinian monastery in Wittenberg, God and the world were debated, current

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affairs discussed, and memories exchanged. Luther's recollections do not have the function of self-glorification, nor do they look back to the "good old days" of a man who is getting on in years. As a rule they have a point to make: the reporting of battles past is to instruct and prepare the younger generations for the prospect of the fierce opposition which will always threaten the preaching of the Gospel.' [106].

"God's Word in Filthy Language"

'Overlooked has been the fact that even as a young professor and monk, Luther, discussing the Devil at length for the first time, did not hesitate to use explicitly scatological language [see #3, 92, 94]-and at a highly official affair at that. Luther had been designated to preach the ceremonial sermon before members of his order on May 1, 1515. This illustrious occasion was the assembly of the chapter, the decision-making body of the Augustinian Observants in Gotha. Luther had chosen a theme with which the Brethren were familiar, since it was treated in the constitutions of the order (chapter 44). The sin of slander, in this case called back-biting, was described in the handbook as a work of the Devil.

[Luther] A slanderer does nothing but ruminate the filth of others with his own teeth and wallow like a pig with his nose in the dirt. That is also why his droppings stink most, surpassed only by the Devil's....And though man drops his excrements in private, the slanderer does not respect this privacy. He gluts on the pleasure of wallowing in it, and he does not deserve better according to God's righteous judgment.34 When the slanderer whispers: Look how he has shit on himself, the best answer is: You go eat it.35

It cannot be established whether Luther held his sermon before or after the election which put him in charge of ten monasteries in Thuringia and Saxony. But even if he had expressed himself this way before being elected district vicar, it would hardly have jeopardized the outcome. After all, the monks knew all about the Devil's affinity to cesspool and toilet. Though the sermon about the slanderer, whether monk or Devil, is drastic, it is by no means a Freudian slip by an old man with childish complexes. Considered in the light of his times, Luther's choice of words is neither striking nor offensive; such was the language used for the subject, and not only inside the monasteries. In 1521, in Luther's presence, the cardinal of Mainz and chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire acknowledged that he himself was "shit": "I know very well that without God's grace there is nothing good in me, and that I am as much a piece of useless, stinking shit as anyone else, if not more."36 The cardinal may have been alluding to St. Paul (Phil. 3.8), but he was being more Pauline than the Apostle.' [107-108].

'Sociohistorical research clarifies a further aspect of Luther's idiom, or at least of its impact. THE FILTHY VOCABULARY OF REFORMATION PROPAGANDA WAS AIMED AT INCITING THE COMMON MAN. A figure of respect, be he Devil or pope, is effectively unmasked if he can be shown with his pants down.39 Luther was certainly more than just a spokesman for a social class which hitherto had no voice. The "ass the Devil pinches" is more than a drastic phase serving agitational ends. He was not merely trying to appeal to "the people" but the Devil himself when calling his

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words a "pack of stinking lies."40

Luther used a great deal of invective, but there was method in it. As he explained in his election sermon of 1515, the Devil drags God's name and His works of justification through the mud. Here lies the otherwise incomprehensible link between Devil, "Great Swine," "Papal Ass," and "Antichrist." It is with the shocking and provocative passion of youth, not the important rage of old age, that Luther advocated the only appropriate retort to the Devil's dung: "You go eat it!"41

We find here far more than upbringing and environment. Inclination and conviction unite to form a mighty alliance, fashioning a new language of filth which is more than filthy language. Precisely in all its repulsiveness and perversion it verbalizes the unspeakable: the diabolic profanation of God and man. Luther's lifelong barrage of crude words hurled at the opponents of the Gospel is robbed of significance if attributed to bad breeding. When taken seriously, it reveals the task Luther saw before him: to do battle against the greatest slanderer of all times [the Devil!]!' [109].

[Illustration] 'Hans Baldung Grien [see: Appendix VIII, 798 (Grien); 948], The Conversion of St. Paul, ca. 1505-07: "Suddenly there shone round him a light from heaven" (Acts 9.3). Luther's conversion [after the lightning (thunderbolt)] sometimes was interpreted thus by Augustinians.' [126]. [See: 935, 948].

[See: Young Man Luther, A Study in Psychoanalysis and History, Erik H. Erikson, Norton, 1962 (1958), 91-94].

'In his most scathing tract against the Jews, Of the Jews and Their Lies (1543), Luther did not attempt to diminish this fear of the criminal offenses of the Jews. But the vehemence of the diatribe arises not from the warning against possible crimes of individuals but from his unrelenting attitude toward collective Judaism, which endangered Christians not only by deeds but also by words. That is why Luther advised the authorities to burn synagogues as schools of lies, to confiscate rabbinical books or-if no other means worked-to expel those Jews who would not be converted.73 Because Jewish "blasphemy" was beginning to have effects, measures to protect Christianity had become necessary.' [295].

'THE TERRIBLE TRAGEDY OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JEWS AND CHRISTIANS IN WORLD HISTORY CAN BE STUDIED IN CONCENTRATED FORM IN THE HISTORY OF THIS ONE MAN [LUTHER]. As a Reformer he was "a product of the Jews," more precisely of his reflections on Israel as the people of God and repudiator of Christ. He saw in the Jews' resistance to the Reformation, to the rediscovered Gospel, an obstinately persistent estrangement from God75 and thus a newly formed alliance of all the forces inimical to God.76 In his tract Of the Jews and Their Lies, and summarized again in his final Admonition (part of an untitled sermon given in Wittenberg, 1546), the concept of a tolerance that leaves room for conversion is certainly retained. But his imminent expectation of the Last Judgment lets him interpret and evaluate the "signs of the times" so as to keep his tolerance within very narrow bounds, as it is the very last chance to avert expulsion. Luther's Reformation unquestionably did nothing to improve the political and social lot of the Jews.

Page 950

Though his attitude toward the Jews remained medieval, even in the last phase of his life he [Luther] never took over that medieval hatred for the Jews as "murderers of Christ" which subjected them "in a Christian spirit" [see 989] to the rage of the mob....' [296].

'Luther and the Art of Language

Luther and his friends could often be found at the table in Luther's home, the former Augustinian monastery, discussing the events of the day and exchanging reminiscences. Many of these conversations "at table" were recorded and later published. The Luther of these conversations likes to speak as an experienced elder statesman in the service of God, but always in such a way as to disclose his weaknesses and errors of judgment as well. His table talk [Tischreden] is living proof that it was never his intention to make his public persona as an Evangelist into a monument for posterity.' [304].

'Apart from theology, music is God's greatest gift. It has much in common with theology because it heals the soul and raises the spirits. Luther had already enjoyed singing and making music as a youth. Without music man is a stone, but with music he can drive away the Devil: "It has often revived me and relieved me from heavy burdens."18 Cards, music, and company-they are divine gifts.' [310].

"A psychiatric analysis would rob Luther of whatever chances he had left of teaching at a present-day university. The diagnosis would be persuasive-Paranoia reformatorica-but the grounds for it must remain irritatingly uncertain, ranging from neurosis to psychosis, from Oedipus complex to mother fixation. Fear of the Lord and abhorrence of the Devil are indicators of disturbed childhood development." [314].

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! ! !

from: History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, W.E.H. Lecky [1838 - 1903], Introduction by C. Wright Mills, George Braziller, 2 volumes in 1 volume, 1955 (1865 (the author was 27)).

["Witches"] "ALMOST ALL THE GREAT WORKS THAT WERE WRITTEN IN FAVOUR OF THE EXECUTIONS WERE WRITTEN BY ECCLESIASTICS. Almost all the lay works on the same side were dedicated to and sanctioned by ecclesiastical dignitaries. ECCLESIASTICAL TRIBUNALS CONDEMNED THOUSANDS TO DEATH, AND COUNTLESS BISHOPS EXERTED ALL THEIR INFLUENCE TO MULTIPLY THE VICTIMS. In a word, for many centuries it was universally believed, that the continued existence of witchcraft formed an integral part of the teaching of the Church, and that the persecution that raged through Europe was supported by the whole stress of her infallibility.2

Such was the attitude of the Church of Rome with reference to this subject, but on this ground the Reformers had no conflict with their opponents. THE CREDULITY WHICH LUTHER MANIFESTED ON ALL MATTERS CONNECTED WITH DIABOLICAL INTERVENTION, WAS AMAZING, EVEN FOR HIS AGE ; and, when speaking of witchcraft, his language was emphatic and unhesitating. 'I WOULD HAVE NO COMPASSION ON THESE WITCHES,' he exclaimed, 'I WOULD BURN THEM ALL!'1" [vol. 1, 32-33]. [See: #24, 528].

'No single feature was more clearly marked in his [Martin Luther] character than an intense and passionate sense of sin. He himself often described, in the most graphic language, how, in the seclusion of his monastery at Wittenberg, he had passed under the very shadow of death, how the gates of hell seemed to open beneath his feet, and the sense of hopeless wretchedness to make life itself a burden. While oppressed by the keenest sense of moral unworthiness, he was distracted by intellectual doubt. He only arrived at the doctrines of Protestantism after a long and difficult enquiry, struggling slowly through successive phases of belief, uncheered for many years by one word of sympathy, oscillating painfully between opposing conclusions. Like all men of VIVID IMAGINATION who are so circumstanced, a theological atmosphere was formed about his mind, and became the medium through which every event was contemplated. He was subject to numerous strange hallucinations and vibrations of judgment, which he invariably attributed to the direct action of Satan. Satan became, in consequence, the dominating conception of his life in every critical event, in every mental perturbation, he recognised Satanic power. In the monastery of Wittenberg, he constantly heard the Devil making a noise in the cloisters [cloister: "place of religious seclusion", etc.]; and became at last so accustomed to the fact, that he related that, on one occasion, having been awakened by the sound, he perceived that it was only the Devil, and accordingly went to sleep again. The black stain in the castle of Wartburg still [freshened?] marks the place where he [Martin Luther] flung an ink-bottle at the Devil....' [vol. 1, 82-83].

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! ! !

from: A History of Freedom of Thought, J.B. Bury [John Bagnell Bury 1861 - 1927 (see: Dict. Nat. Bio., 1922-1930, 144-147)], with an Epilogue by H.J. Blackman, Second Edition, Oxford, 1957 (1913).

"The principal cause of the Reformation was the general corruption of the Church and the flagrancy of its oppression. For a long time the PAPACY had had no higher aim than to be a SECULAR POWER EXPLOITING ITS [PRESUMPTIVE] SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY for the purpose of promoting its worldly interests, by which it was exclusively governed. All the European States based their diplomacy on this assumption. Since the fourteenth century every one acknowledged the need of reforming the Church, and reform had been promised, but things went from bad to worse, and there was no resource but rebellion. The rebellion led by Luther was the result not of a revolt of reason against dogmas, but of widely spread anti-clerical feeling due to the ECCLESIASTICAL METHODS OF EXTORTING MONEY, particularly by the sale of Indulgences, the most glaring abuse of the time. It was his study of the theory of Papal Indulgences that led Luther on to his theological heresies.1" [58].

[footnote] 1"Luther seems from the first to have been more interested in attacking the doctrine than the life, and says so. In the Leipzig debate with Eck, Indulgences are a minor issue, it is the foundation of the faith that is in question. 'I want to believe freely and be a slave to the authority of no one, whether council, university, or pope. I will confidently confess what appears to me to be true, whether it has been asserted by a Catholic or a heretic, whether it has been approved or reproved by a council.' R. Bainton, Here I Stand, p. 119. But Luther's revolt undoubtedly brought back fanatical religion into a corrupt and easy-going Church, and made it less favourable to secular interests.-H.J.B. [see 940 (Nietzsche)]." [58].

"It is an elementary error, but one which is still shared by many people who have read history superficially, that the Reformation established religious liberty and the right of private judgement. What it did was to bring about a new set of political and social conditions, under which religious liberty could ultimately be secured, and, by virtue of its inherent inconsistencies, to lead to results at which its leaders would have shuddered. But NOTHING WAS FURTHER FROM THE MINDS OF THE LEADING REFORMERS THAN THE TOLERATION OF DOCTRINES DIFFERING FROM THEIR OWN. They replaced one authority by another. They set up the authority of the Bible instead of that of the Church, but it was the Bible according to Luther or the Bible according to Calvin. So far as the spirit of intolerance went, there was nothing to choose between the new an the old Churches. The religious wars were not for the cause of freedom, but for particular sets of doctrines; and in France, if the Protestants had been victorious, it is certain that they would not have given more liberal terms to the Catholics than the Catholics gave to them.

LUTHER WAS QUITE OPPOSED TO LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE AND WORSHIP, a doctrine which was inconsistent with Scripture as he read it. He might protest against coercion and condemn the burning of heretics, when he was in fear that he and his party might be victims, but when he was safe and in power, he asserted his real view that it was the duty of the State to impose the true doctrine and exterminate heresy, which was an abomination, that unlimited obedience to their prince in religious as in other matters was the duty of subjects, and that the end of the State was to

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defend the faith. He held that Anabaptists should be put to the sword. With Protestants and Catholics alike the dogma of exclusive salvation led to the same place [?]." [58-59].

"Thus the Reformers, like the Church from which they parted, cared nothing for freedom, they only cared for 'truth'. If the mediaeval ideal was to purge the world of heretics, the object of the Protestant was to exclude all dissidents from his own land. The people at large were to be driven into a fold, to accept their faith at the command of their sovran....

Nor did the Protestant creeds represent enlightenment. The Reformation on the Continent was as hostile to enlightenment as it was to liberty; and science, if it seemed to contradict the Bible, had as little chance with Luther as with the Pope. The Bible, interpreted by the Protestants or the Roman Church, was equally fatal to witches. In Germany the development of learning received a long set-back [see 940 (Nietzsche)].1" [60-61].

[footnote] "1It was humanism, said to have found in Germany a second home, which prepared the way for the Reformation and helped to disintegrate mediaeval scholasticism, and the supporters of Luther were the pupils of the humanists. But Reformation and Counter-reformation both meant a check to Renaissance interests. Between the neo-scholastic Protestants and the Catholic Jesuits there was little room for the spirit of Erasmus [1466/9 - 1536 (see: Oxford Dict. C.C., 1997, 556-557)]. -H.J.B." [61].

"the intellectual justification of the Protestant rebellion against the Church had been the right of private judgement, that is, the principle of RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. But the Reformers had asserted it only for themselves, and as soon as they had framed their own articles of faith, they had practically repudiated it ["religious liberty"]. This was the most glaring inconsistency in the Protestant position; and the claim which they had thrust aside could not be permanently suppressed. Once more, the Protestant doctrines rested on an insecure foundation which no logic could defend, and inevitably led from one untenable position to another. If we are to believe on authority, why should we prefer the upstart dictation of the Lutheran Confession of Augsburg or the English Thirty-nine Articles to the venerable authority of the Church of Rome? If we decide against Rome, we must do so by means of reason; but once we exercise reason in the matter, why should we stop where Luther or Calvin or any of the other rebels stopped, unless we assume that one of them was inspired? If we reject superstitions which they rejected, there is nothing except their authority to prevent us from rejecting all or some of the superstitions which they retained. Moreover, their

Page 954

Bible-worship promoted results which they did not foresee.1 The inspired record on which the creeds depend became an open book. Public attention was directed to it as never before, though it cannot be said to have been universally read before the nineteenth century. Study led to criticism, the difficulties of the dogma of inspiration were appreciated, and the Bible was ultimately to be submitted to a remorseless dissection which has altered at least the quality of its authority in the eyes of intelligent believers. This process of Biblical criticism has been conducted mainly in a Protestant atmosphere and the new position in which the Bible was placed by the Reformation must be held partly accountable. In these ways, PROTESTANTISM WAS ADAPTED TO BE A STEPPING-STONE TO RATIONALISM, AND THUS SERVED THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM." [62-63].

Page 955

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from: The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, Gordon Stein, Editor, Prometheus, 2 Volumes, 1985.

["Devil, Unbelief in the Concept of the. Etymology."] 'Current research is well acquainted with the line of historical development of the great tradition of Christian didactic literature and the ascent of the Devil in the 16th century to a position of virtual omnipresence or ubiquity, especially as a result of widespread popularizations of LUTHER'S SATANOLOGY. As already indicated, the Devil was really supposed to be the source of all mischief in this world and the cause of every human misfortune. Even natural tempests, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other catastrophies [sic] were regularly attributed to his tricky power and evil will. So were otherwise inexplicable "miracles" claimed by followers of other faiths. But while folk beliefs about the Devil may have been more or less humorous and amusing, the official medieval view of the Devil was grimly earnest, constituting the cornerstone of the Inquisition and leading to widespread witchhunts, persecutions, and suffering.

As a matter of fact, all denominational outsiders, including the Manicheans, the Jews, and many others, were brutally persecuted as more or less directly "inspired" by the Devil....

Before laying the subject of the Devil to rest, let us by no means forget the Hebrew tradition about Lilith, Adam's assertive first wife, a concept that developed in ancient religious folklore from Mesopotamian ideas about the formidable and seductive goddesses Lilitu and Ishtar. The beautiful Lilith, a tragically unhappy female figure-proud, independent-minded, a protofeminist, who was divorced from Adam for incompatibility-is supposed to play with children and make them smile in their sleep. She is often treated as a sort of She-Devil and is popular with certain segments of the women's liberation movement.

The demonology of the Devil began to unfold fully only at the beginning of the postmedieval period [apparently, "16th century"] with the well-known charges and outrages against "heretics" and "witches," alchemists, astrologers, the Knights Templar, and many others. It should be observed, in passing, that the most intense persecution of "witches" occurred during the Renaissance and the Reformation and that thousands were put to death over a period of some 200 years.'

[Volume One, 147-148]. [George V. Tomashevich].

["Netherlands, Unbelief in the."] 'Besides Erasmus' [1466/9 - 1536] ethics and Spinoza's [Benedictus de (also, Baruch) Spinoza 1632 - 1677] philosophy there was a third, typically Dutch source of unbelief, rooted in the exegesis of the Bible. Erasmus had edited the Greek text of the Bible and included critical notes. He [Erasmus] was suspected not to have believed wholeheartedly in what had been written about Jesus in the Gospels. To quote the much devouter Martin Luther: "ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM REGARDS THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION AND ITS DOCTRINE AS A COMEDY OR AS A TRAGEDY, IN WHICH THE EVENTS DESCRIBED NEVER TRULY HAPPENED BUT HAD BEEN INVENTED IN ORDER TO TEACH THE PEOPLE VIRTUOUS CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE."

Page 956

Spinoza had not stated his opinion about the New Testament, but his criticism of the Old Testament was the first scholarly disavowal of its "truth." He wrote: "THE SO-CALLED WORD OF GOD IS FALSE, MAIMED, FALSIFIED AND IN CONTRADICTION WITH ITSELF." And he showed numerous errors, myths, legends, and misinterpreted statements....

The principal Dutch scholars following Hegel's [1770 - 1831] thought were G.J.P.J. Bolland (1854-1942) and G.A. van den Bergh van Eysinga [1874 - 1957], who wrote penetrating books on the origin of Christianity in a pagan world.' [Volume Two, 476].

[Anton L. Constandse].

Page 957

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from: The Jew in the Medieval World, A Source Book, 315-1791, Jacob R. Marcus, The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Cincinnati @ 1938.

"Julian and the Jews"

'Christianity was for the first time tolerated by the Roman Emperors in 311. The only serious attempt made to hinder its progress after this time was by the Emperor Julian (361-363) [Julian 332 - 363] who had left the Christian fold. Although apparently in favor of freedom of religion, he was in reality unjust to the Christians but rather partial to the Jews. In a famous Greek letter to the Jews, (selection one below), he abolished the special taxes paid to the Roman government and sought also to stop the payment of a tax paid by Jews for the support of the Jewish patriarchate in Palestine. In this same letter he [Julian] also encouraged the rebuilding of Jerusalem and, we may assume, of the Jewish Temple. Had this attempt been successful it would have meant the reestablishment of the Jewish state with its sacrifices, priests, and more important, its Sanhedrin or Senate....

I. Julian Proposes to Rebuild Jerusalem, 362-363-To The Community of the Jews

[Julian] In times past, by far the most burdensome thing in the yoke of your slavery has been the fact that you were subjected to unauthorized ordinances and had to contribute an untold amount of money to the accounts of the treasury. [Ever since Vespasian, about 72 C.E., the Jews had been paying the Romans special Jewish taxes, like the Fiscus Judaicus.] Of this I used to see many instances with my own eyes, and I have learned of more, by finding the records which are preserved against you. Moreover, when a tax was about to be levied on you again I prevented it, and compelled the impiety of such obloquy to cease here; and I threw into the fire the records against you that were stored in my desks; so that it is no longer possible for anyone to aim at you such a reproach of impiety. My brother [cousin] Constantius of honored memory [in whose reign 337-361, severe laws were enacted against the Jews] was not so much responsible for these wrongs of yours as were the men who used to frequent his table, barbarians in mind, godless in soul. These I seized with my own hands and put them to death by thrusting them into the pit, that not even any memory of their destruction might still linger among us.

And since I wish that you should prosper yet more, I have admonished my brother Iulus [Hillel II, d. 365], your most venerable patriarch, that the levy which is said to exist among you [the taxes paid by world Jewry for support of the Palestinian patriarchate] should be prohibited, and that no one is any longer to have the power to oppress the masses of your people by such exactions; so that everywhere, during my reign, you may have security of mind, and in the enjoyment of peace may offer fervid prayers for my reign to the Most High God, the Creator, who has deigned to crown me with his own immaculate right hand. For it is natural that men who are distracted by anxiety should be hampered in spirit, and should not have so much confidence in raising their hands to pray; but that those who are in all respects free from care should rejoice with their whole hearts and offer their suppliant prayers on behalf of my imperial office to Mighty God, even ["even"?] to Him who is able to direct my reign to the noblest ends, according to my purpose ["according to my purpose"! Fascinating! seemingly, Julian is the ultimate God (see 1005)].

Page 958

This you ought to do, in order that, when I have successfully concluded the war with Persia, I may rebuild by my own efforts the sacred city of Jerusalem [closed to the Jews since Hadrian, 135 C.E.], which for so many years you have longed to see inhabited, and may bring settlers there, and, together with you, may glorify the Most High God therein.' [8-9].

[Julian "....thought to grieve the Christians by favoring the Jews...." [10]].

"I. Wright, Wilmer Cave, The Works of the Emperor Julian, New York, 1923, III, Letter 51, pp. 177-181." [469].

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from: Jews and Christians in Antioch in the First Four Centuries of the Common Era, Wayne A. Meeks and Robert L. Wilken, Scholars Press, 1978.

"Table of Contents"

"Chapter V

John Chrysostom's Homilia Adversus Judaeos 83

Homily 1 Against the Jews (PG 48.843-856) 85

Homily 8 Against the Jews (PG 48.927-942) 105

[105 to 126]." [V].

"Chapter V

John Chrysostom's Homilia Adversus Judaeos

John Chrysostom [Greek: "golden mouth"], later to become bishop of Constantinople, was born in Antioch ca. 349 C.E. [d. 407] As a young man he joined the church and was ordained to the presbyterate in 386 C.E. by Flavian, one of the catholic bishops in the city. During his years as presbyter in Antioch (386-398) he preached regularly in the churches there. Most of his sermons from this period are homilies [homily: "instruction", etc.] on the books from the Bible, festive addresses on days honoring the saints and martyrs, or sermons for liturgical feasts. During the first two years of his presbyterate, however, he preached several series of polemical sermons directed at the Arians, who continued to wield influences within the city, and the Judaizers ["Jewish Christians", etc.] among the Christians. In August 386 he had begun to preach against the Arians,1 but several days later he interrupted this series and began to preach against the Judaizers. These sermons were prompted by the imminence of the Jewish festivals, specifically Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkoth. Some Christians in Antioch celebrated the festivals with the Jews and John hoped to dissuade them from doing so. After the Jewish festivals were passed he returned to his sermons against the Arians. But early in the following year during the Quadragesima ["the 40 days of Lent", etc.], and again in the fall, in each case prior to the celebration of Jewish festivals, he preached against the Judaizers. In the course of fourteen months he preached eight sermons on the Jews and Judaizers. Some dispute exists about the precise chronology of the sermons, but they appear to have been preached as follows: Homily 1 and 2 in autumn 386; Homily 3 in late winter 387 (dealing with the Pasch); Homilies 4-8 in autumn 387.2 We have translated the first of these sermons preached prior to Rosh Hashannah in 386 and the last preached after Sukkoth in 387." [83].

[John Chrysostom]

'3. I know that many have high regard for the Jews and they think that their present way of life is holy. That is why I am so anxious to uproot this deadly opinion. I said that the synagogue is no better than the theater and I submitted proof from the prophet. The Jews are not more trustworthy than the prophets. What did the prophet say? "Yours was a harlot's brow, and you were resolved to show no shame"

Page 960

(Jer 3:3). A place where a prostitute offers her wares is a house of prostitution. But the synagogue is not only a house of prostitution and a theater, it is also a hideout for thieves and a den of wild animals. "Your house has become for me a hyena's den" (Jer 7:11). But it is not simply the den of wild animal but of an unclean one at that. Further, "I have forsaken my house, I have cast off my inheritance" (Jer 12:7). When God leaves, what hope of salvation remains? When God forsakes a place it becomes a dwelling place for demons.

Surely they say that they worship God. Away with such talk! No Jew worships God. Who says these things? The son of God. "If you knew me you would know my father as well. You know neither me nor my father" (John 8:19). What testimony can I offer that is more trustworthy than this one?

If they are ignorant of the Father, if THEY CRUCIFIED THE SON, and spurned the aid of the Spirit, can one not declare with confidence that the synagogue is a dwelling place of demons? God is not worshipped there. Far from it! Rather the synagogue is a temple of idolatry. Nevertheless some go to these places as though they were sacred shrines. I am not imagining such things. I know them from my own experience....' [89-90].

'6. That you may learn that books do not make a place holy and that the disposition of those who gather there defiles it, let me tell you a story from ancient history. When Ptolemy Philadelphus [King of Egypt 285 - 246 B.C.E. (308 - 246 B.C.E.)], who was collecting books from all over the world, learned that among the Jews there were books which philosophized about God and the best way of life, he sent for men from Judaea and commissioned them to translated these books. Ptolemy placed the books in the temple of Serapis. He was a Greek and this translation [Septuagint?] of the prophets is in use to this very day. Now then, are we to consider the temple of Serapis holy because of these books? Of course not! While books do have a holiness of their own, they do not impart it to a place if those who frequent it are defiled. You should think about the synagogue in the same way. Even if there is not an idol there, demons inhabit the place....

If someone condemns my audacity in speaking this way I condemn his utter madness. Tell me, if demons dwell there, is it not a place of impiety even if there is not a statue of an idol standing there? WHERE CHRIST-KILLERS GATHER, the cross is ridiculed, God blasphemed, the father unacknowledged, the son insulted, the grace of the Spirit rejected. Indeed is not the harm even greater where demons are present? In a pagan temple the impiety is open and obvious and can hardly seduce or deceive one who has his wits about him and is soberminded. But in the synagogue they say that they worship God and abhor idols. They read and admire the prophets and use their words as bait, tricking the simple and foolish to fall into their snares. The result is that their impiety is equal to that of the Greeks, but their deception is much worse. They have an altar of deception in their midst which is invisible and on which they sacrifice not sheep and calves but the souls of men. In a word, if you admire the Jewish way of life, what do you have in common with us? If the Jewish rites are holy and venerable, our way of life must be false. But if our way is true, as indeed it is [note: this is Christian presumption, fiat, etc.], theirs is fraudulent. I am not speaking of the Scriptures. Far from it! For they lead one to Christ. I am speaking of their present impiety and madness.' [96-97].

Page 961

'7. What more can I say? Rapacity, greed, betrayal of the poor, thefts, keeping of taverns. The whole day would not suffice to tell of these things. But you ask, "Aren't their [Jews] festivals holy and venerable?" Even these they have made impure. Listen to the prophet, or rather, listen to God who is repelled by their festivals: "I hate, I spurn your feasts" (Amos 5:21). GOD HATES THEM [JEWS] AND YOU HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THEM. Furthermore, he did not say this feast or that one, but all of them. Don't you realize that he [God] hates worship by means of kettledrums, and lyres and psalteries and other musical instruments? "Spare me the sound of your songs," he says. "I cannot endure the music of your lutes" (Amos 5:23). God says "Spare me" and you run off to hear trumpets. Are their sacrifices and offerings not an abomination? "If you offer me wheat cakes they are useless; the reek of sacrifice is abhorrent to me" (Isa 1:13). How can the reek of sacrifices be abhorrent and the place not be abhorrent? When was it abhorrent? Before they committed the height of iniquity, before THEY KILLED THEIR LORD, before the cross, and before THE ABOMINATION OF KILLING CHRIST.' [98-99].

"....If I see you putting into effect the advice given you today, I will attend to their healing with high enthusiasm, and both you and they will profit more. Don't make light of what I say. Women should go after women, men after men, slaves after slaves, freemen after freemen, children after children. In a word--let everyone join with diligence in the hunt for those afflicted with this disease and then return to our next service to receive our praise. But you are worthy of more than my eulogies for you will deserve a splendid and ineffable reward from God, a reward which far exceeds the labors of those who are successful [a classic Christian, ignominious, "sales pitch"!].

May we well earn this reward by the grace and loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom and with whom be glory to the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever, to ages unending. Amen."

[104] [End of "Homily 1 Against the Jews"].


"How then can you got into a synagogue? If you make the sign of the cross on your brow, the evil power which dwells in the synagogue flees. But if you do not make the sign of the cross, at once you put aside your weapons at the doors. Finding you naked and unarmed, the devil will afflict you with countless evils. But why do we insist on saying these things? It is apparent from the way you enter the synagogue that you realize it is a terrible sin to go into that evil place. You are anxious to escape notice when you go there [synagogues], and you ask servants and friends and neighbors not to say anything to the priests, and if someone squeals on you, you are angry." [123].

'....if you only hold on to the things we have said and make nothing out of them, I am afraid you will receive the same condemnation that the man received who buried the talent ["a unit of money", etc.] in the ground. For this reason his hands and his feet were bound and he was cast into outer darkness [more, "Christian love"! (see 989)]. He did not offer to others what he had heard. That we might not suffer the same things, let us imitate the one who received five talents, and the one who received two

Page 962

talents, whether it be words or goods or physical exertion or prayer, or whatever must be expended for the salvation of the neighbor. Let us not hesitate so that each of us, multiplying the talent God has given in his own way, may be able to hear that blessed voice: "Well done my good and faithful servant. You have proved trustworthy in a small way. I will now put you in charge of something big. Come and share your master's delight" (Matt 25:21). May this happen to all of us by the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom and with whom be glory and power to the Father together with the Holy Spirit, to ages unending.'

[125-126] [End of "Homily 8 Against the Jews"]. [See: 942 (Luther)].

_____ _____ _____


from: The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Edited by F.L. Cross, Third Edition edited by E.A. Livingstone, Oxford University Press, 1997.

"Chrysostom, St John (c. 347-407), Bp. of '*Constantinople and *Doctor of the Church'. He was educated for the law under the great pagan orator Libanius [314 - 393] at *Antioch, where he studied theology under *Diodore of Tarsus, the leader of the *Antiochene School. He early felt a call to the monastic life. As the care of his widowed mother Anthusa prevented the immediate fulfilment of this desire, he lived for some time under rule at home, and later became a hermit (c. 373-c. 381), following the *Pachomian Rule with austerities which undermined his health. He was made deacon in 381, and served at Antioch under the bishop Flavian, who ordained him priest in 386....

Against his wish, Chrysostom was made Patr. [Patriarch] of Constantinople in 398, and immediately set about the work of reforming the city, where the corruption of court, clergy, and people alike had been encouraged by the complaisance and self-indulgence of his predecessor, St *Nectarius.

His combination of honesty, asceticism, and tactlessness, esp. in relation to the Empress Eudoxia, who with some reason took all attempts at moral reform as a censure of herself, was sufficient to work his ruin....Chrysostom was condemned on 29 charges....He was exiled at first to near Antioch, and when it became clear that in spite of his enfeebled health he would not die there soon enough, he was moved to Pontus, and finally deliberately killed by enforced travelling on foot in severe weather...." [342].

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from: The Jewish Encyclopedia, The History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, Prepared by More than Four Hundred Scholars and Specialists, Funk and Wagnalls, Volume VIII, MDCCCCIV.

"Luther, Martin*: German church reformer; born at Eisleben Nov. 10, 1483; died there Feb. 18, 1546." [213].

"In Luther's attitude toward the Jews two periods have to be distinguished. During the earlier, which lasted until 1537 or shortly before, he is full of compassion for their misery and enthusiastic for their conversion to Christianity; in the later, toward the end of his life, he denounces them in unmeasured terms, saying that it is useless to convert any Jew, and accusing them of a relentless hatred of Christianity and of all the crimes which their enemies ever charged them with-well poisoning, ritual murder, cowardly assassinations of their patients, etc. He wishes the princes to persecute them mercilessly and the preachers to set the mob against them. What caused this change of attitude is not exactly known. Luther himself speaks of polemical works written by Jews in which they blasphemed Jesus and Mary, of the propaganda which they made among Christians and which caused quite a number of Christians in Moravia to embrace Judaism, and of three Jews who had come to him to convert him." [213].

'Two books published by Luther in 1544 [1543] are especially marked by bitterness-"Von den Juden und Ihren Luegen [On the Jews and Their Lies]" and "Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi [see 1001]," both printed in Wittenberg (ib. xxxii. 99-358). The occasion for writing the first book was, as he states, the audacity with which the Jews attacked the Christian dogmas and especially the Christological exposition of the Old Testament. The bitterness noticeable in the writings of his last years and which was due to disappointment at the slow progress of his followers, and, not the least, to his physical ailments, is evident to a degree which is grievous to his most ardent admirers....

He [Martin Luther] advises [feel the following] that their houses be torn down, their books taken from them, their rabbis prohibited from teaching; that no safe-conduct be granted them; that their usury be prohibited; that their public worship be interdicted; that they be forced to do the hardest labor; and he admonishes everybody to deal with them in a merciless manner, "even as Moses did, who slew three thousand of them in the wilderness." THE INVECTIVES WHICH HE [MARTIN LUTHER] USES AGAINST THEM ARE VILE EVEN FOR SIXTEENTH-CENTURY STANDARDS. After admonishing his readers not to have the slightest intercourse with the Jews, he says: "If that which you already suffer from the Jew is not sufficient strike him in the jaw." The most fanatic statement is the following: "If I had power over them I would assemble their most prominent men and demand that they prove that we Christians do not worship the one God, under the penalty of having their tongues torn out through the backs of their necks" (ib. xxxii. 257).' [214].

"Bibliography: Luther's Sämmtliche Werke, 67 vols., Erlangen and Frankfort-on-the-Main. 1826-57 (the edition used for the references given in the text)...." [215].

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from: Encyclopaedia Judaica, Jerusalem, Keter, "Corrected Edition", Volume 8, 1996.

["History"] 'The *Reformation in Christianity from 1517 broke up the unitary and constricted frame of Catholic uniformity surrounding the Jew in most of Europe. He was now no longer the only nonconformist in a culture of total agreement. The failure of both the Reformation camp and the Catholic to achieve decisive victory in their common bid to reestablish Christian uniformity created the first hesitant appearance of tolerance. Jews were as yet not thought of in this connection, but the very notion was to create, later on, modern conditions for their existence. On the other hand, the Reformation-in particular, in the style set by the German Martin *Luther-unleashed popular furies and made mass passion and violence the main instrument of religious innovation. This raised the problem of the status of the Jews, not only for change toward betterment of their lot, as Luther intended in his missionary zeal and hopes in 1523; it also opened roads toward exacerbating the lot of Jews and radical vulgar propaganda to extirpate their existence, as the disappointed rancorous [see 940] ex-monk [Luther] proposed in 1543:

What shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews? Since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing, we cannot tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy...We must prayerfully and reverentially practice a merciful severity...Let me give you my honest advice...

There follows a detailed seven-point program of arson, expropriation, abject humiliation of, and hard physical labor for, the Jews.

If, however, we are afraid that they might harm us personally...then let us apply...[expulsion]...and settle with them for that which they have extorted usurously from us, and after having divided it up fairly, let us drive them out of the country for all time (from his Von den Juden und Iren [Ihren] Luegen, 1543).

Short of Auschwitz oven and extermination, THE WHOLE NAZI HOLOCAUST IS PRE-OUTLINED HERE. The Reformation had unleashed situations and attitudes with regard to the Jews as well as many other matters, open in all directions and for all comers, toward human relations with and better treatment of the Jews, as well as toward increased enmity and destruction. This openness and struggle between extremes were to become later one of the hallmarks of "the Jewish question" in modern history....' [692-693].

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from: The History of Anti-Semitism, translated from the French by Richard Howard, Léon Poliakov, Vanguard, Volume One (of 4 vols.), 1965.

[Note: for "Goy", "Goyim", see: 966, 972, 1001, 1002, 1009].

'A few months later another [after: "Against the Jews and Their Lies", 1543] pamphlet appeared: Schem Hamephoras [Hamphoras], in which Luther's curses became even more frenzied. Here he is not concerned with the Jews' usury and graft, but only wit their captious reasoning, and their witchcraft. This is, then, a theological polemic, but in what a tone! In the preface, Luther specifies that he is not writing to convert the Jews but merely to edify the Germans: " that we Germans may know what a Jew is....For it is as easy to convert a Jew as to convert the Devil. A Jew, a Jewish heart, are hard as wood, as stone, as iron, as the Devil himself. In short, they are children of the Devil, condemned to the flames of hell...." Later he contrasts the apocryphal gospels of the Jews, which are specious and false, with the four canonical Gospels whose truth is evident. His exegesis is interspersed with remarks of this kind:

"Perhaps some merciful and holy soul among us Christians will be of the opinion that I am too rough with these poor and pitiable Jews, mocking and deriding them. O Lord, I am much too feeble to mock such devils. I would do so, but they are much stronger than I in raillery, and they have a God who is a past master in this art; he is called the Devil and the wicked spirit...."

In other passages Luther indulges in obscene buffoonery: "...Cursed goy that I am, I cannot understand how they manage to be so skillful, unless I think that when Judas Iscariot hanged himself, his guts burst and emptied. Perhaps the Jews sent their servants with plates of silver and pots of gold to gather up Judas' piss with the other treasures, and then they ate and drank his offal, and thereby acquired eyes so piercing that they discover in the Scriptures commentaries that neither Matthew nor Isaiah himself found there, not to mention the rest of us cursed goyim...."' [219].

'To understand Luther's complete reversal between 1523 and 1543, we may note primarily that his propaganda met with no success among the Jews. Although he had some discussions with them,3 there were very few who "came to him" and accepted conversion, and most of these seem to have recanted subsequently.

"If I find a Jew to baptize, I shall lead him to the Elbe bridge, hang a stone around his neck, and push him into the water, baptizing him with the name of Abraham!" he [Luther] sneered one day in 1532. "These dogs mock us and our religion!"....' [222-223].

Page 966

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from: The Destruction of the European Jews, Revised and Definitive Edition, Raul Hilberg, Holmes & Meier, 3 Volumes, 1985.

"To summarize: Since the fourth century after Christ there have been three anti-Jewish policies: CONVERSION, EXPULSION, and ANNIHILATION. The second appeared as an alternative to the first, and the third emerged as an alternative to the second." [vol. 1, 8].

"The picture of the Jew we encounter in Nazi propaganda and Nazi correspondence had been drawn several hundred years before. Martin Luther had already sketched the main outlines of that portrait, and the Nazis, in their time, had little to add to it." [vol. 1, 15].

[Nürnberg trials 1945 - 1946] '....When Streicher was asked whether any publication other than his Stürmer had treated the Jewish question in an anti-Semitic way, he replied:

[Streicher] Anti-Semitic publications have existed in Germany for centuries. A book I had, written by Dr. Martin Luther, was, for instance, confiscated. Dr. Martin Luther would very probably sit in the defendants' dock today, if this book had been taken into consideration by the Prosecution. In the book The Jews and Their Lies, Dr. Martin Luther writes that the Jews are a serpent's brood and one should burn down their synagogues and destroy them.41 ["41Testimony by Streicher, ibid., XII, 318."]

In constructing their defense, the accused were evidently reaching beyond the tribunal to address the whole world. Even so, they knew that they could not ward off the end.

The trial ended on October 1, 1946. The sentences imposed by the judges and the extent to which the destruction of the Jews was noted in the judgment may be seen in Table 11-2....' [vol. 3, 1068-1069].

[Julius Streicher 1885 - 1946 ("sentenced to death by hanging")].

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! ! !

from: Ideology of Death, Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany, John Weiss, Chicago Ivan R. Dee, 1996.

'More than any of the catastrophes of history, the Holocaust raises agonizing questions of moral culpability about highly charged matters of ethnicity and religion. I believe, therefore, that the reader should know the ethnic and religious backgrounds of those who write about it, if only to be alerted to possible intellectual manipulation in the service of a hidden agenda. This applies to me more than most, I think, because I stress the strong influence of Christian anti-Judaism on modern secular racism, and because my name will lead many to assume I am Jewish and thus may harbor a distorting antagonism toward Christianity.

I am neither Jewish nor of Jewish origin, although in the United States the name Weiss indicates the opposite. My father was a Catholic born in Austria, where Weiss is often a Christian name indicating neither Jewish origins nor past family conversion. Indeed, a few well-born Nazis bore what Americans assume to be Jewish names: Alfred Rosenberg was the chief Nazi ideologist, Wilhelm Weiss was an editor of the official Nazi paper, Martin Weiss was one of the commandants of Dachau. As for me, my father was a Catholic follower of the popular Detroit radio priest and anti-Semite, Father Charles Coughlin; my mother was a Protestant of English peasant stock; and I was raised as a member of the Presbyterian church. I grew up in a Protestant (Slavic-German) working-class neighborhood where there were no Jewish families and where anti-Semitism was more or less taken for granted. Finally, I was a student of Henry Ford Trade School from 1941 to 1944. This was long after Ford had been forced to mute his famous anti-Semitism, of course, but Jewish boys were not welcome in his school.

I am bothered by the assumption of many scholars that an interest in anti-Semitism indicates Jewish origins, and the companion idea that it is somehow not a "normal" historical topic for mainstream historians of Europe, Jewish or not. Anti-Semitism was far too powerful and successful to be, as it is, only briefly noted in general accounts of European history before the Nazis. As for me, if I have gained anything from the misperceptions of others, it is some slight awareness of the ambivalent position of Jewish intellectuals among a Christian majority. Even with the best of intentions, others often do not take one's views at face value and regard them as conditioned by ethnic or religious considerations. Be that as it may, I hope I have not bent over backward or forward to compensate. I do not believe I have exaggerated the role of German and Austrian Christianity in modern anti-Semitism. If I have, it is not because I am Jewish and bitter, it is because I am wrong....' [x-xi].


John Weiss is professor of history at Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was born in Dearborn, Michigan, and grew up in Detroit. After serving in the navy in the Pacific theatre during World War II, he studied at Wayne State University and Columbia University, as well as in Austria and Germany. A former Fullbright scholar, he has written widely on European anti-Semitism and fascism. His other books include The Fascist Tradition, Nazis and Fascists in Europe, and Conservatism in Europe, 1770-1945."

[last printed page of book].

Page 968

'....By 1931-1932 the elected lay councils of the Evangelical ["Evangelical-Lutheran" (Hilberg, vol. 1, 179)] church regularly returned large Nazi majorities. In turn, DURING THEIR CAMPAIGNS THE NAZIS GLEEFULLY PUBLISHED LUTHER'S ANTI-SEMITIC OBSCENITIES, including his well-known admonitions to outlaw Judaism, seize Jewish property, burn the synagogues, and drive the Jews from the land-all accompanied by dark hints of slaughter. LUTHER'S DOCUMENT "THE JEWS AND THEIR LIES" WAS EXHIBITED IN A GLASS CASE IN NUREMBERG DURING NAZI PARTY RALLIES. Significantly, the few Protestant clerics who opposed Nazi anti-Semitism, men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer [1906 - 1945 (executed)], Martin Niemoeller [1892 - 1984], and Martin Dibelius [1883 - 1947], came from the Calvinist wing of the German Evangelicals, who had been commanded by the king to merge with the Lutherans in the Evangelical Protestant Union of 1817.' [34].

! ! !

from #3, 61:

307. "To understand the horrors that were inflicted by Europeans and white Americans on the Indians of the Americas it is necessary to begin with a look at the core of European thought and culture--Christianity--and in particular its ideas on sex and race and violence."

308. "All the killers were Christian....The Nazi system was the consequence of a movement of ideas and followed a strict logic; it did not arise in a void but had its roots deep in a tradition that prophesied it, prepared for it, and brought it to maturity. That tradition was inseparable from the past of Christian, civilized Europe.14" [Elie Wiesel].

Page 969

! ! !

from: Antisemitism, The Longest Hatred, Robert S. Wistrich, Thames Methuen, 1991.

"At first sight, the rise of rationalist thinking in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries appeared to be a positive development for Jews, for it attacked the foundations of the Christian religion and the unified Christian state which had excluded or oppressed Jews for reasons of creed. It was partly from the rationalist assumptions of the German Enlightenment that the Habsburg Emperor Joseph II [1741 - 1790] derived his Toleration edicts of the 1780s; that Moses Mendelsohn [Moses Mendelssohn 1729 - 1786] felt empowered to build a bridge between traditional Jewish and modern German cultures; that his friend Gotthold Lessing [1729 - 1781] immortalised a more positive image of the Jew in his famous play, Nathan the Wise. Without the philosophy of the Enlightenment, the Prussian bureaucrat Christian Wilhelm Döhm [1751 - 1820] would never have written his tract 'Über die bürgerliche Verbesserung der Juden' ('Concerning the Civic Amelioration of the Jews') in 1781, an indictment of the responsibility of the Christian world for the degradation of the Jews....

There was, however, a darker, more complex and ambivalent strand in rationalist thought about the Jews and Judaism which first surfaced in English deism of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Here, for the first time, radical thinkers who put forward the notion of 'natural religion' as an alternative to the 'revealed' truths of Christianity, critically examined Judaism from a rationalist standpoint. The paradoxical result 'was a denial of all religious value to Judaism, which was presented as an obscurantist prejudice hostile to human reason. The extreme language of the English deists and the French materialists of the eighteenth century in their attacks on Jews and Judaism revived the hostility towards Jews and renewed the force of the old negative stereotypes.'1 For the English deists and French materialists, the Old Testament was no less obnoxious than the Gospel, the Synagogue no less offensive to reason than the Church, and rabbis as much imposters as priests.2 Indeed, those rationalists who were sworn enemies of the Church were often disposed to see the source of its intolerance, fanaticism and superstition in the Hebrew Bible and the teachings of Judaism.

Their return to the sources of classical Antiquity for inspiration, if anything reinforced this inimical disposition to Judaism. For in the writings of the French Encyclopaedists one can find clear traces of early Graeco-Roman literary anti-semitism [see 978-981], whose ideas and phraseology passed into the mainstream of Enlightenment thinking...." [43-44].

"In his entry 'Juifs', written for the Dictionnaire Philosophique, Voltaire [1694 - 1778] echoes the familiar litany of insults drawn from classical pagan antisemitism. 'In short, we find in them [Jews] only an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long united the most sordid avarice with the most detestable superstition and the most invincible hatred for every people by whom they are tolerated and enriched.'5 Not only did Voltaire repeat the pagan canard that Jews were the 'enemies of mankind', but he even justified the long history of persecutions and massacres to which they had been subjected.6

These diatribes cannot be convincingly explained by Voltaire's personal psychology or by disappointments that arose out of business dealings with individual Jews. For they were largely shared by other prominent thinkers of the French

Page 970

Enlightenment like Diderot [1713 - 1784], the atheist Baron d'Holbach [1723 - 1789] (for whom the Jews were also the vilest nation on earth) and to a lesser degree by Jean-Jacques Rousseau [1712 - 1778]. Rather they should be seen as a philosophical expression of the crisis of religious belief, in which a war conducted against the very roots of the Christian faith led logically to an assault on its Jewish origins. Conducted in the name of progress, renewal and freedom of thought, it ["war conducted against the very roots of the Christian faith"] paradoxically PERPETUATED THE HOSTILE HISTORICAL IMAGE OF JUDAISM HANDED DOWN BY THE CHRISTIAN CULTURE ON WHICH THESE PHILOSOPHICAL SCEPTICS AND RADICALS HAD BEEN NOURISHED.7" [45-46].

"In post-revolutionary France the impact of this tradition can clearly be seen in the thinking of the great French historian Jules Michelet [1798 - 1874], especially after the spiritual crisis which he underwent in the early 1840s. Henceforth, he began to level sharp criticism against the Judeo-Christian enslavement to an arbitrary, capricious God who bestowed his favours without justice or reason. Naturally, Michelet rejected completely the notion that Israel had been chosen by God as an exclusivist principle which discriminated against those who had not been chosen. More significantly, he objected to the fact that the choice had fallen on so undeserving an object as the small, scattered and weak Jewish people-whose horizons were limited and whose stubborn particularism was anathema to his own universalist credo. For Michelet, Judaism was utterly lacking in grandeur or noble ideals; it had always supported reaction and above all its historical connection with Christianity made it viscerally repugnant to him.8" [46]. [See: 933 (Michelet)].

"The influential French scholar Ernest Renan [1823 - 1892], though by no means an antisemite or accepting all of Michelet's conclusions, did agree that it was Israel which had brought forth Christianity and 'the conversion of the world to monotheism'. At the same time he decried the exclusivist tendencies and fanaticism of the Jewish intellect, character-traits which had become 'a stumbling block in the march of humanity after having been the cause of its great progress'.9 Renan saw in this exclusivism and self-imposed isolation of the Jews, exacerbated by the teachings of the Talmud and by an ingrained complex of superiority, the ultimate cause of the detestation with which they were widely regarded. The intolerance of the Jews was a function of their monotheism but it was also, in his view, a trait of the 'Semitic peoples' in general, including Arabs.

In the 1850s Renan, along with the German scholar Christian Lassen [1800 - 1876], would be one of the first thinkers in Europe to popularise the racial concept of 'Semites' in contrast to the Indo-Europeans or 'Aryans', whom he placed at the top of the ladder of human civilisation.10 Renan argued that Semites lacked creative ability, a sense of discipline and the capacity for independent political organisation. The 'Semitic' race, so he claimed, had 'no mythology, no epic, no science, no philosophy, no fiction, no plastic arts, no civic life; there is no complexity, nor nuance; an exclusive sense of uniformity'.11 Nor surprisingly after this catalogue of negative qualities, Renan could only conclude that Semites 'represented an inferior combination of human nature'.12 Renan attributed all of these 'Semitic' faults to the ancient Hebrews as well, who were of a narrow horizon, essentially primitive, and whose limited creativity was ultimately confined to their simple, religious conceptions. His

Page 971

view of contemporary Jews was a little more nuanced but still riddled with antisemitic clichés emphasising their egoism, clannishness, worship of Mammon and their leading role in modern revolutionary movements. Yet in spite of his racist outlook, Renan never drew the practical conclusions from his theories that French and German antisemites were wont to do, clearly opposing any political manipulation of the racial principle towards the end of his life. He [Renan] openly admitted that his concept of a 'Semitic' race was basically erroneous, that it could not be meaningfully applied to modern assimilated Jews and that national identity was based on voluntary choice, not on racial determinism.13" [46-47].

"Goyim: In Hebrew, the term refers to all the nations of the world, except Israel, i.e. the 'Gentiles'. The word 'Goy', (singular of Goyim) that is to say any non-Jew, acquired a pejorative association for many Jews as a result of relentless persecution over the centuries at the hands of the Gentile nations. This was especially the case in Eastern Europe, where the gulf between Jews and non-Jews was more persistent and saddled with bitterness. Thus a 'Goy' was frequently assumed to be an antisemite, unless proof to the contrary was available." [312-313]. [See: 966].

Page 972

! ! !

from: Christian Antisemitism, A History of Hate, William Nicholls, Aronson, 1993.

'People often wonder how Marxism in its Soviet Communist form could have turned out to be so antisemitic, since they regard Marx [Karl Marx 1818 - 1883] himself as a Jew. Moreover, his theory had apparently left no place for racial distinctions. Doubtless the main reason is simply paranoia transmitted from the Christian past, still powerfully influencing the minds of the masses in the Communist states, as well as those of the Marxist intellectuals themselves.

However, we cannot absolve Marx himself of responsibility for providing ideas to justify the inherited paranoia. Marx was not in fact a Jew, except by descent. If anything, he was a Christian. Unless we share nineteenth-century assumptions about the all-importance of race and breeding, we should not think of him as a Jew in any sense that throws intellectual light on what he thought about Jews or anything else.2

Karl Marx's father, Herschel Levi, early embraced the diffuse and free-thinking religion of the Enlightenment. After the setbacks to emancipation following on the Congress of Vienna, he found it necessary for career reasons to adopt Lutheranism, a year before the birth of his son Karl. Herschel was hardly more than a conventional Christian, before or after joining the Church, but given his Enlightenment views, "conversion" was not an important issue for him. He changed his last name to Marx, from one of his father's given names, and he took the Christian name of Heinrich. Karl Marx's mother was a Philips, of the same family as the founders of the present Dutch electronics giant.3

Karl was the descendant of learned rabbis on both sides of his family, but he received no Jewish education and apparently not much of a Christian one, though some of his high school essays did deal with Christian topics. He was baptized in the Lutheran church at the age of five and brought up in the family as a Christian in the liberal tradition of the Enlightenment. His father would read to him from the works of Voltaire [1694 - 1778] and Racine [Jean-Baptiste Racine 1639 - 1699]. As we have seen, Voltaire [1694 - 1778] was no friend of the Jews; his writings are full of unfavorable references to Jews...' [317].

"Marx and Bauer [Bruno Bauer 1809 - 1882] [see #4, 130, 437.] were in very sharp theoretical disagreement, and it is therefore particularly instructive to observe the assumptions they shared. These are presumably at least the legacy of Hegel [George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel 1770 - 1831], and in all probability the common view of the society they both belonged to. Both assume almost without argument that in order for the Jews to be emancipated they must cease to be Jews. Both also believe that Jews, although not yet emancipated, already exercise disproportionate power in society through the control of financial institutions.

These are very familiar ideas in the outlook of the traditional antisemite and neither of the two has learned to criticize them, empirically or theoretically. For Marx, the Jew is the essential capitalist. His religion is money. The abolition of capitalism and the abolition of Judaism are essentially identical.

The two differ, however, mostly because Marx is the more radical thinker of the two, carrying ideas Bauer begins to formulate to their logical conclusion. Bauer believes that Jews are incapable of emancipation while they remain Jews, and that likewise Christians are incapable of giving emancipation to them while they remain Christians. Jews lag behind the development of history, and in order to be

Page 973

emancipated they must first become Christians, though the Christianity that they should embrace is one already in process of dissolution. Like the new post-Hegelian theologians, of whom Bauer himself was one, they should study historical criticism and take part in the radical criticism of Christianity.

BOTH JEW AND CHRISTIAN MUST COME TO SEE RELIGION AS SIMPLY AN OUTMODED STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE HUMAN MIND, A SNAKESKIN TO BE SLOUGHED OFF. Ultimately, the political emancipation of both the Jew and the Christian will come about through the ABOLITION OF RELIGION, which will be effectuated when the connection between the state and religion [see #1, 12, 93. (Paine)] is thoroughly broken and religion becomes a purely private matter...." [319].

Page 974

! ! !


from: Anti-Semitism, Jerusalem, Keter Books, 1974. "This book is compiled from material originally published in the Encyclopaedia Judaica". [Excellent Bibliography].

'The Reformation. The Reformation had important complex and even contradictory repercussions on the evolution of anti-Semitism. One branch of Protestantism, namely Calvinism and the sects or movements influenced by it, proved less judeophobic than Catholicism until the 20th century. The other branch, Lutheranism, became increasingly anti-Semitic. How may this divergency be explained? It is as difficult to give a complete answer as it is to establish the exact relationship, a problem posed by Max Weber [1864 - 1920]18 and his school, between the "Protestant ethic" and "the capitalist spirit" or modern mentality. From the outset Calvinism and its derivatives emphasized individual responsibility, embracing social values and energetic moral action. To Lutheranism, on the other hand, justification by faith implied a renunciation of civic responsibility, and hostility to active faith (or "salvation through works"), which Luther himself described as juedischer Glaube ("Jewish faith"). At the end of his life the German reformer vilified the Jews in violent pamphlets which could not fail to exert their influence. Conversely, the role played by the Old Testament in Calvinism led the Puritan sects to identify themselves with the Jews of the Bible and reflected favorably on their attitude toward contemporary Jewry. The French Calvinists were a special case: themselves persecuted until the French Revolution, their sympathies were traditionally pro-Jewish, an outlook retained to a considerable extent to the present day.

An immediate consequence of the Reformation was to aggravate the position of the Jews in regions which remained Catholic. The popes of the Counter-Reformation were determined to restore ecclesiastical usages and the strict application of canon law. One result was that from the second half of the 16th century ghettos were introduced, at first in Italy and afterward in the Austrian Empire. This segregation then served as a convenient additional demonstration of the error of Judaism: "A JEWISH GHETTO IS A BETTER PROOF OF THE TRUTH OF THE RELIGION OF JESUS CHRIST THAN A WHOLE SCHOOL OF THEOLOGIANS," declared the 18th century Catholic publicist G.B. Roberti. In France, the celebrated Bossuet had expressed analogous views in the 17th century. With the advent ["coming or arrival"] of the Counter-Reformation, therefore, the theses of Augustine [354 - 430] and Thomas Aquinas [1225 - 1274] regarding the Jews were applied to the letter. However, in the Low Countries, which had been freed of Spanish domination, the Jews could settle freely. They also began to settle in Great Britain and its colonies, and in particular North America, from the time of Cromwell [Oliver Cromwell 1599 - 1658 ("head (Lord Protector) of the Commonwealth (1653-58)")].' [22-23].

Page 975



3rd century. B.C.E.

Manetho [validity?], Greco-Egyptian historian, says Jews were expelled from Egypt as lepers.

38 B.C.E.

Anti-Jewish riots in Alexandria (Egypt); many Jews were killed, and all the Jews were confined to one quarter of the city.

19 C.E.

Emperor Tiberius expels the Jews from Rome and Italy.


Massacre of the Jews of Alexandria (Egypt) in which 50,000 were killed.

1st cent. C.E.

Apion of Alexandria surpasses other Hellenistic anti-Semites in the crudeness of his fabrications.


Tertullian, Church Father, writes his anti-Jewish polemic in Latin Adversus Judaeos.


After the ecumenical council, Nicàea, the Christian Church formulates its policy toward the Jews: the Jews must continue to exist for the sake of Christianity in seclusion and humiliation.


John Chrysostom, Church Father in the East, violently anti-Jewish, delivers eight sermons in Antioch.


Theodosius II, Roman emperor of the East, legalizes the civil inferiority of the Jews....



Massacre of thousands of Jews in 146 localities in southern and central Germany led by the German knight Rindfleisch....



Inquisition established in Spain.


Torquemada appointed inquisitor general of Spanish Inquisition....



Expulsion from Spain.


Expulsion from Sicily.


Expulsion from Lithuania.


Expulsion from Portugal: mass forced conversion.


Massacre of Marranos in Lisbon.

Page 976


Expulsion of Jews from Brandenburg (Germany).


Venice initiates the ghetto, the first in Christian Europe.


Inquisition established in Portugal.


Jews of Tunisia expelled and massacred.


Expulsion from the kingdom of Naples. Expulsion from Prague and crown cities.


Martin Luther, German religious reformer, attacks the Jews with extreme virulence.


Expulsion from Genoa (Italy).


Expulsion from Bavaria.


Burning of the Talmud in Rome....



Pope Pius VI issues a severe "Edict concerning the Jews," in which he renews all former restrictions against them....



Wilhelm Marr, German agitator, coins the term anti-Semitism....



Germany surrenders (May 8, 1945) estimated Jewish victims in the Holocaust 5,820,960....



Jews of Egypt expelled.

....' [203, 205, 206, 207, 208, 212].

! ! !

Page 977

from: The Roots of Pagan Anti-Semitism in the Ancient World, J.N. Sevenster, Brill, 1975.

'The Jews were one of those peoples of the ancient world who were attacked by all sorts of writers. Several Roman authors who expressed their opinions about the Jews in one way or another did the same about other peoples at the same time, sometimes in the same work and with no less contempt and animosity. This is particularly true of Tacitus [c. 55 - 120 C.E.]. Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] passes severe judgment on the Jews in his defence of Flaccus, who was accused of having misappropriated large sums of "Jewish gold" in 62 A.D. [62 B.C.] while propraetor of Asia. He says in his defence plea that he will speak in a low voice (summissa voce), so that only the jurors may hear. He knew that the case would be tried at a place where the Jews could congregate in large numbers, and it was well known how they stick together, how influential they are in informal assemblies. Those are not wanting who would incite them against him and against every respectable man. He shall not help them to do this more easily. Cicero says in praise of Flaccus that "to resist this barbaric superstition was an act of firmness, to defy the crowd of Jews when sometimes in our assemblies they were hot with passion, for the welfare of the state was an act of the greatest seriousness". To the prosecutor [Laelius] Cicero emphatically says: "each state, Laelius, has its own religious scruples, we have ours. Even when Jerusalem was standing and the Jews were at peace with us, the practice of their sacred rites was at variance with the glory of our empire, the dignity of our name, the customs of our ancestors". But now, Cicero adds, "how dear that nation was to the immortal gods is shown by the fact that it has been conquered, let out for taxes, made a slave".77

Here Cicero brings all his rhetoric art into play to defame the Jews. He enumerates their bad qualities, knowing this will appeal to a particular section of his audience. He wields the weapons of irony and sarcasm skillfully. All this, naturally, fitted in well with his line of defence, for the issue was the gold which that despicable people, who always stick together and so always form a pressure group, annually sent to Jerusalem to support the centre of that barbara superstitio which evidently had not endeared them so very much to the gods after all. So we see Cicero pouring forth his contempt over the Jews, but Jews as a nation, people who are always closely linked together and have their own particular superstition. What he [Cicero] does not do is to speak of them as a distinctive race with destructive external or internal characteristics. He would certainly have done so in this instance, if these had formed contributing factors to the contempt and scorn of the Jews.' [50-51].

Page 978

"What he [Cicero] says closely accords on many points with what his teachers had said before him. Cicero does not literally quote his teacher Posidonius [c. 135 - c. 51 B.C.E. ("Cicero studied under him in 78-77" (Encyc. Brit.))], who called the Jews the only people to reject all social contact with other peoples as being enemies, who considered them godless and hated by the gods, who accused them of misanthropy and said they would never sit at table with another nation nor display any goodwill towards him; nevertheless these do echo very clearly in Cicero's extremely original sarcasm the anti-Semitic themes of Posidonius. [I prefer: "nevertheless" "the anti-semitic themes of Posidonius" "do echo very clearly in Cicero's extremely original sarcasm".] The same applies to Apollonius Molon [1st century B.C.E. ("Teacher at Rhodes, particularly of Cicero and Caesar" (Webster's New Bio. Dict.))], where he says of the Jews that they were godless and haters of men and reproaches them for not receiving in their midst people who held different opinions about the godhead and for not having any intercourse with those who adopted a different way of life than they.81

Consequently Cicero's pronouncements cannot be set aside as merely the tricks of trade of a lawyer which have little validity as evidence of anti-Semitism in ancient days. He must definitely be seen within this framework and, as will appear below, he fits in there exceptionally well. It has rightly been pointed out that the Jews were far from being the only target for attack in Cicero's court pleadings. Cicero directed his attacks against diverse nations, depending on how it suited his defence pleas. In the case of Flaccus, he aimed his rhetorical weapons at the Jews, in his defence of Fonteius at the Celts.82 In another lawsuit the Sardinians were the opponents, whom he called a tribe so utterly worthless that they imagine that freedom is to be distinguished from slavery only by the licence which it gives for the telling of lies.83" [52].

"Evidence can be found in the works of other Roman authors to show that the Jews shared with other peoples the hatred, contempt and ridicule of the Romans....

Juvenal [55 - 60? - c. 127] fulminates against others as well as the Jews in his satires, and often more fiercely and at greater length. He detested the Greeks intensely, since they intruded into many circles of Roman society and with their fine talk managed to brush aside the true Romans. They are masters of flattery, ferret out the secrets of the house, play up to all the female members of the household, even the grandmother if necessary. They oust their rivals with a drop of their national poison. No matter whether the Romans have served their master long and faithfully, they have to go. The Greeks are greatly in fashion in Rome; ladies of high society say and do everything in Greek. They are cunning men, those Greeks, for whom Juvenal expresses his deepest contempt in the diminutive: omnia novit Graeculus esuriens, III.77f. He cannot bear to see how all of Rome is Graecised by those beings, the race which is most dear to our rich men (gens divitibus nostris acceptissima, III.58), but which he avoids like the plague.86" [52-53].

'Juvenal's philippic against the Greeks was obviously prompted by jealousy. The way those clever foreigners worked their way into every profession distressed him. He says this in so many words: "There is no room for any Roman here, where some Protogenes, or Diphilus, or Hermarchus rules [Lewis Evans, 1901, has: "reigns supreme"] the roast [roost?]".87 However, there is more to it than just personal

Page 979

rancour and envy. It annoyed him to see Rome gradually being inundated by an alien people with their alien manners, customs, language, way of thinking and beliefs. In the end nothing would remain of the real Roman way of life and thinking. This vexation is probably at the back of his mind when, in his 15th satire, he speaks with possibly even more contempt of the Egyptians than the Greeks, At length he fulminates against their monstrous idolatry, which he had learned of during a stay in Egypt and probably therefore could describe in detail. No word is vehement enough to scourge those absurd superstitions, that lunatic adoration of crocodile, ibis and ape, the criminal acts of cruelty perpetrated in the name of superstition.88 If something is known of all those atrocities in Egypt, how is it possible that even the slightest vestige of the Egyptian culture is tolerated, indeed welcomed with enthusiasm in Rome.' [53-54].

"The basic, recurring motif in Juvenal is thus the threat that the ways of life and thought of alien people will supplant those of Rome. Other writers also show concern for the proselytising of the Jews. Reference has already been made above (p. 37) in a different context to Strabo's [c. 64 B.C.E. - c. 23 C.E.] remark, as recorded by Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100], about that people [Jews] who are to be found everywhere throughout the world and who have made their power felt.90

Seneca is of the opinion that the practice of that damned people [Jews] has become so prevalent that it has already been adopted in all lands. The conquered have given laws to their conquerors.91 In suchlike words Rutilius Namatianus [fl. c. 417 (Roman poet)] concludes a few sarcastic remarks about the Jews after having been treated unpleasantly by a Jewish innkeeper, who spoiled a beautyful day for him: that plague which seemed to have been eradicated so thoroughly by the arms of Pompey [Pompey the Great 106 - 48 B.C.E.] and Titus [39 - 81 C.E. (Emperor 79 - 81)], has spread its pollution even further. The conquered people oppress the conquerors.92 It is a continual source of vexation that all sorts of cults, and especially the Jewish, win adherents in Rome and that therefore the innate character of Roman society is in constant danger. It is clear that this vexation was not really confined to the Jews, that they were not hated because of their race. Besides, it is precisely the hostility directed against the proselytes belonging to completely different nations which proves that the motif of racial prejudice did not play a role.93" [54-55].

Page 980

[Tacitus (paraphrase)] "....Similarly in Britain are to be found the Gallic ceremonies and Gallic religious beliefs (superstitionum persuasiones).100 After the Roman conquests, the groves consecrated to the savage cults of the Druids (saevis superstitionibus sacri) were cut down.101

In his [Tacitus c. 55 - 120] brief, trenchant delineation of the province Egypt occur these words: "given to civil strife and sudden disturbances because of the fanaticism and superstition of its inhabitants".102

So we see that in Tacitus there is fundamentally little difference between the charge of superstitio against the Jews and that against other peoples. Occasionally he mentions the Jews in the same breath as others regarding this matter. Under Tiberius [Emperor 14 - 37 C.E. (42 B.C.E. - 37 C.E.)] both the Egyptian and Jewish cults were banished simultaneously from Rome. By decree of the senate, 4000 people of the class of libertini who were tainted with that superstition (ea superstitione infecta) were exiled to Sardinia. In his comment on this event, Suetonius [c. 69 after 122] also mentions both the Egyptian and the Jewish rites. That Tacitus is not here referring to the Jewish race, not even to the Jews as a people, would be even more manifest if he used the term libertini generis to refer not merely to the emancipated Jews and the term superstitione infecta to indicate that he had proselytes in mind, as Radin [Max Radin 1880 - 1950] believes.103 Whatever the case may be, the fact that here Tacitus and Suetonius bundle both the Jewish and the Egyptian cults, as a matter of course, under superstitio, is indeed proof that the Jews were judged not as a race, but as a people, as a given community of faith and morals, in the same way as any other peoples. It is well-known that both these writers used the same expression when mentioning the Christians.104 [see footnote, below]


[footnote] "104Tacitus, Ann. XV. 44: exitiabilis superstitio; Suet. Nero XVI. 3: superstitio nova et malefica; Pliny the Younger [62 - 113 C.E.], Ep. X. 96: superstitio prava, immodica." [56].

Page 981

! ! !


from: Faiths of Man Encyclopedia of Religions, J.G.R. Forlong [1824 - 1904], Introduction by Margery Silver, University Books, In Three Volumes, Volume 2, E-M, 1964 (1906).


'....Since the fall of the Jewish temple in 70 A.C., the Jews have everywhere suffered persecution. More civilised nations hated and despised them, scorned their circumcision, and detested their exclusiveness, and their assertion that they were a "chosen people." The Jews naturally retaliated when they were able. In Cyprus, in 117 A.C., they are said to have massacred 250,000 persons; upwards of a million of them are supposed to have perished during the war against Vespasian [Emperor 69 - 79 C.E. (9 - 79)], and half a million in the revolt under Bar-KÇkeba in 135 A.C. They had been banished from Rome by Claudius [Emperor 41 - 54 (10 B.C.E. - 54 C.E.)], and now they were forbidden to enter Jerusalem, even to weep over their ruined temple. In our 5th century they were banished from Egypt [see 976, 977], and in the 6th a Jewish revolt in the East cost another half million of lives. Some of their fiercest persecutors [Christians] were those who believed in their Yahveh, and called a Jewess the "Mother of God." Throughout the Middle Ages their history is one of wrong and massacre in all parts of Europe, and of undying belief in the appearance of Messiahs (see under Christ). They were plundered and banished; and some states-such as France-recalled them and again robbed and expelled them, when they became rich. In Spain a million were forced to become renegades, and three quarters of a million, including helpless women and children, were driven out, having no land to which to flee. Dr. Goldschmidt (History of Jews in England, 1886) thinks that they entered Britain before the Norman Conquest, some even in Roman times. Many French Jews came with William of Normandy, and Henry II allowed them a burial ground. They were "the King's Jews"; but a Jewish oath or deed was not valid against Christians. They were however protected, and even friendly to the monks of Canterbury besieged by the sheriff, until the accession of Richard I (1189 A.C.), when terrible massacres followed false accusations, and excitement about his crusade. Greed and fanaticism embittered their fate, till they were banished by Edward I, and only again allowed to settle freely in England by Cromwell. For some generations now the abatement of ecclesiastical tyranny, and increased education have led to greater tolerance towards English Jews; and since December 1847 they have been allowed all rights of British subjects. Alien marriages have consequently increased, and are increasing; and the advance of thought among educated Jews shows us that, when left to themselves, they produce many amiable humanitarians, moralists, and theists; though Renan [Ernest Renan 1823 - 1892] bitterly says of them that: "they who gave God to a world now believe in him least." ....' [216-217].

Page 982

! ! !

from: Anti-Judaism, A Psychohistory, Ernest A. Rappaport, Perspective, 1975.


[Ernest A. Rappaport, M.D.] 'The author feels that by writing this book he is contributing an important service to community psychiatry. As a former captive of the concentration camp Buchenwald, he also feels it is his personal duty to utilize his full professional knowledge to offer a comprehensive study of a collective disease which culminated in the massacres committed in the sign of the hooked cross, the Swastika (in hoc signo vinces).

According to Otto Fenichel[2] anti-Judaism is a paranoiac form of schizophrenia and its epidemic outbreak represents a mass psychosis regardless of whether this acute epidemic crisis or panic is economically, politically, or otherwise socially motivated. As a psychosis, it is grotesque in its irrational concepts, is under the spell of delusions, and strictly defies reality testing. A major source of anti-Judaism is Christianity. The anti-Jew and the anti-Christ owe their identities to each other-it is a paranoid situation which should not need to persist. People who try to turn Christians Judaeophilic often raise the question, "Was Jesus a Jew?" and expecting an affirmative answer then try to convince them of the inconsistency of their Jew hatred. The question itself is wrong-it should be: "Is the legend of Jesus Christ a Jewish legend?" Only the messianic content of the legend is Jewish. THE PARANOID SADOMASOCHISTIC AND NECROPHILIC MATERIAL INVOLVING THE CROSS AND THE CRUCIFIXION IS NOT JEWISH. There is no doubt that it is only this part of the legend which has supplied the unrestricted aggressive destructiveness of anti-Judaism whenever it appeared as a mass psychosis....

In this book the well known sufferings of the Jews are elucidated and fully appreciated, but the principal emphasis is placed on the much less understood anguish of the Christians afflicted with Christophobia and its accompanying compulsions, delusions and doubts. Confronted daily with the tree of death, the crucifix, the Christians are unable to deal effectively with the anxiety surrounding death....

This book, Anti-Judaism: A Psychohistory, is a scientific investigation of the primary source of a particularly virulent form of hatred.' [ii].


"Judaism, or we should rather say Hebraism, as the predecessor of Judaism, created numerous myths and legends but it makes no difference to Judaism if they are believed as actualities in toto, partially, OR NOT AT ALL; in contrast ANTI-JUDAISM OR CHRISTIANITY IS BASED ON ONE SINGLE LEGEND AND STANDS OR FALLS WITH THIS ONE LEGEND. Since anti-Judaism developed out of Judaism it is not surprising that as a reductionist movement it exploits most of the Hebrew legends to authenticate its one but indispensable legend. It results in the paradox that A MOVEMENT HOSTILE TO JUDAISM IS FORCED TO DEFEND, FOR ITS OWN SURVIVAL, THE PREHISTORIC MYTHOLOGICAL HERITAGE OF JUDAISM...."


Page 983

"So far [in this religious history] Christian mental fixation to the Cross was dependent on Jewish willingness nolens volens ["whether willing or not", etc.] to be persecuted for the maintenance of this fixation. Maybe it was the persecutions on which Jewish identity depended, but the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto and the State of Israel's victory in three wars has created a Jewish identity which no longer depends on persecutions.

We have to recognize only two basic human longings, the desire for immortality or godliness and the wish for a messiah to come and to salvage humanity from the chaos that it had established by the force of its own STUPIDITY. If people would only accept a modicum of modesty, not to speak of so-called Christian humility, they could give up the megalomanic desire for immortality, but could still look forward to a Messiah to come and to fulfill their greater or lesser utopian wishes, but at any rate there should be no need for the Cross which cannot be made non-violent.

Of course, this sounds so awfully reasonable, HOW CAN YOU EXPECT HOMO SAPIENS TO BE REASONABLE? Besides, the cross is too much inter-woven into the basic fabric of Christianity to be relinquished. But, maybe, as a compromise, at least the crucified Christ's scapegoat function need no longer be projected upon the Jews and persistently acted out on the Jews as a collective unity. It is outrageously unfair and shameful to all Christians with humane feelings to blame contemporary Jewry for a MYTHICAL DEICIDE ["Jesus"] two thousand years ago [the setting, of the fiction]. Pope John XXIII already denounced this unfairness, thus, it can be acknowledged by the Church." [36] [End of chapter 2].

"....A patient reported that as a child when she was sitting next to somebody who just had communion, she felt so awed by the person who had God inside her that she believed that she was sitting next to God. On the other hand, she often was plagued by the doubt whether God's body inside her could turn into excrement." [113].

[See: #3, 93-94 ("is Christ defecated?")].


"7 The Mad Monk [Martin Luther] and His Victims"

"Education in these days was intertwined with religion and completely under the authority of the Church which on the one hand claimed to have pioneered education, but on the other hand had taken literally the prohibition of knowledge implied in the tale of the curse of condemnation resulting from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Humanism had just started to make some small inroads into the ecclesiastic educational monopoly." [119].

"LATIN was the last reminder of the literary heritage of the Roman Empire of polytheism and tolerance. However, Latin was and still is also the language which has been USURPED BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH FOR HER ARROGANT CLAIM TO BE A CONTINUANCE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. Therefore, Luther's doubts about the usefulness of a classical education were a cover-up for his doubts about the usefulness of Catholic teaching...." [119-120].

'Undeterred by the defeat of the knights the peasants prepared now for a general uprising. They were also convinced of Luther's moral support and their

Page 984

Twelve Articles were fashioned after Luther's ninety-five theses, but not as grandiose in numbers and quite modest in content. [feel the following] They asked for free choice in the selection of their pastors, for freedom from serfdom, abolition of taxation in excess of the traditional tenth of the crop, repeal of the prohibition to share the wild game, fish in the streams and lumber in the woods with their lords. They asked that the ruinous death tax by which the best of everything the deceased possessed, sometimes amounting to half his entire worldly goods, went to the lord, should be done away with. "For widows and orphans are left destitute, and God will not have it so." The peasant uprising was called Bundschuh, the tie-shoe, being the footgear for the common man, because it was a Bund, alliance, of all those in the same shoe.

The amicable demands of the peasants and their Christian prayers fell, of course, on deaf ears, just as much as Luther's admonition to the nobles to listen to the people's fair complaints; and so the peasants armed themselves with scythes, pitchforks, axes, mallets, knives, flails, and any other improvised weapons to which they added the more professional contents of the armories they stormed. In March 1525 the Swabian peasants were revolting, the peasants of Franconia and the Oden-Forest joined them and at the end of April three hundred thousand peasants were in revolt....In this decisive, historical moment Luther stepped in with his vicious tract, Against the Murderous and Thieving Hordes of Peasants. [see #24, 528]

He incited his new intimates, the nobles to "stab, smite, throttle, slay these rabid mad dogs without mercy, with a good conscience to the last ounce of strength, for nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful or devilish than a rebel. He that shall be slain on the side of law and order is a true martyr before God, earning eternal bliss; he that perishes on the side of rebellion is doomed eternally to hell. Such times are these that a prince shall win heaven by bloodshed sooner than others by prayer..." It was the rage of a paranoid individual whose prior edict of the Pope of his own election had been thwarted by the disobedient peasants [?]. He had then told the peasants that Christians might never take the law into their own hands under no matter what provocation, that there was absolutely no excuse for violence under any circumstances, that IN DEMANDING THE ABOLITION OF SERFDOM THEY SHOWED A DEPLORABLE MATERIALISTIC SPIRIT, SINCE THOUGH SERFS IN THE FLESH THEY WERE FREE IN CHRIST, and that refusal to pay tithe was tantamount to highway robbery.' [138-139].

'Luther's encouragement to massacre the peasants was certainly welcomed by the nobles. They had not been idle and with their substantial monetary resources had hired mercenaries on horseback and by foot and trained them in the use of the modern cannons and muskets. Thomas Münzer [c. 1489 - 1525 (see: Oxford Dict. C.C., 1997, 1125)], the peasant leader with the most nimbus ["halo"; "aura of splendor"; etc.] who had scorned Luther as "the spiritless, soft-living flesh at Wittenberg" now committed his fatal error; instead of ambushing the enemy and then skillfully retreating as in a successful guerilla war, he awaited the enemy's approach in full force accepting battle in the open valley of Frankenhausen. He had conscripted in a few days and straight from the fields an army of thirty-five thousand enthusiastic men and women but there were not enough halberds to go around and precious few good swords; a handful of arquebusiers manned the flimsy wagon-fort which was Münzer's citadel. He had some cannon, but had no gunpowder. The peasants intoned hymns

Page 985

as the guns of the allied princes opened fire on them and in a frightful carnage the battle ended almost as soon as it had begun. There were not many prisoners taken and not many of those fleeing got away. Münzer and others were tortured to death....

The aftermath of the peasant war in which all in all one hundred thirty thousand peasants were killed was starvation and pestilence in a devastated Germany. Luther was materially well provided for, his reformed church was accepted all over eastern Germany. Now he could enjoy "indulgence" himself having even his own court painter, Lucas Cranach [1472 - 1533], but he felt that his charisma had waned....' [139-141].

'These god-forsaken Jews! He [Martin Luther] had told the papists, you are foolish to treat the Jews awfully and to expect them to come to Jesus. You will see how they will come running to Jesus if they will be treated as human beings and he [Martin Luther] wrote a tract in 1523 entitled: Jesus Christ was born a Jew. He also ordered that in his reformed churches the Jews should be invited politely to attend the services and to listen. Some Jews really came and listened but very few accepted Jesus. How frustrated he felt. The more he thought of it the more he worked himself up into a temper tantrum. He sat down and wrote his blast of 1543 Against the Jews and Their Lies.

[Luther] "...What now shall we Christians do with this unregenerate, damned people? To suffer them in our midst means laying ourselves open to indoctrination by their lies, curses, and blasphemies. It seems we can neither extinguish the inextinguishable wrath of God against them nor convert them. We must indeed with prayer and with the fear of God before our eyes exercise a sharp compassion towards them and seek to save at least some of them from the flames of hell. Avenge ourselves we dare not..."

but in Christian self-protection as well as sharp compassion he went on to propose that the Jewish schools and synagogues where their doctrines were disseminated, be burnt down; that their books should be taken away by force, all prayerbooks and talmud copies and copies of the Old Testament as well. Praying and pronouncing the name of God should be forbidden under threat of the loss of life, and their rabbis should be prohibited from teaching. They should be prevented by the authorities from traveling and barred from the use of the roads, dispossessed so as to live together "in one barn or stable like Gypsies," in hope that thus they might at last learn their lesson. From their [Jews] money a treasure should be collected from which the Jews should be supported who have been converted to Christianity. The strong Jews and Jewesses should be retained by the authority for forced labor so that they earn their bread by the sweat of their brow and not eat it in laziness, in feasting and in pomp. He concluded his pamphlet with a fiery exhortation to drive out the Jews altogether unless they would desist from slander and usury and become Christians. This is Martin Luther, the anti-Jew. LUTHER [1483 - 1546] PRESENTS MANY SIMILARITIES TO ADOLF HITLER [1889 - 1945] IN HIS BIOGRAPHY AS WELL AS IN HIS VIOLENT ANTI-JUDAISM. This has been recognized especially by Erikson [Erik Erikson (see 950)], but makes it to a bizarre paradox if one reads that Erikson also compares Sigmund Freud with Luther and thus with Hitler, which puts psychoanalysis

Page 986

undeservedly into extremely bad company regardless if we call this ego psychology or what else. Luther's megalomania started in infancy and by his obstinate will power, his insistence to triumph over the impossible and a series of lucky circumstances was materialized in his position as a NEW POPE. Of course, throughout his life he found willing sponsors who pushed him out of his frequent standstills and dead-end positions. "He taught that authority must be respected and obeyed except when it must be absolutely disobeyed for prohibiting the Gospel of Luther." Like most anti-Jews he was a disaster to his country. He perverted Humanism into his Reformation which delayed the unification of Germany for four hundred years and also split Germany permanently into two halves, the Protestant East and the Catholic West. The Reformation induced the Counter-Reformation which led to the THIRTY-YEARS WAR from 1618 to 1648 in which THE POPULATION OF GERMANY WAS REDUCED FROM 20 MILLION TO 2 MILLION PEOPLE. There was, of course, one thing that Germany definitely had no need for, that was a second church and a second pope [see 940]. But Luther, having presented a unified German Reich, offered a vernacular German liturgy, he also offered the communion under "both kinds" by distributing to the communicants in addition to the body of Christ in the wafer also the blood of Christ in a sip of red wine. He sharply objected to Zwingli's [1484 - 1531] abolition of the doctrine of transubstantiation and he still felt enough of a monk to keep the monastery free from feminine invasion and though he ended the celibacy of priests he held on tenaciously to the dogma of the holy trinity.' [142-143] [End of chapter 7].

'THE WHITE CHRISTIANS, LACKING ANY EVIDENCE FOR THEIR CHRIST, EXPLOIT THE HEBREW OLD TESTAMENT AS A TESTIMONIAL FOR HIM [see #1, 11, 88.; etc.]. The Blacks do the same but they have also appropriated the Hebrew Old Testament history as a substitute for their own lack of history. They were freed from slavery by a black Moses and now demand impatiently without special effort and at once the same rights and privileges which the Jews have acquired slowly and by merit. They envy the Jews for the short-lived sympathy which they gained on account of Hitler's genocide and claim that the Jews and the other white racists by advocating birth control are guilty of genocide of the Blacks. Stokely Carmichael, the prime minister of the Blank Panthers who coined the phrase "Black Power" declared that the white man he admired most was Adolf Hitler.[16] The Black Muslims have identified with the Arabs and having completely fused with them feel persecuted by the Jews and respond with aggression against the Jews, though Jewish liberals for years have deplored the atrocities of white racism. What have the Arabs done for the Blacks? From the north of Africa, through the Sahara and the Sudan and from Zannibar, Arab slave traders have penetrated the Congo and as far as the west coast of Africa. Arab slave hunters burnt down whole villages and dragged the Black inhabitants to the coast from where they were shipped to American slave markets.' [293].

Page 987


'"Memento mori" ["remember that you must die"] does not mean that we should increase the sale of crucifixes. We have too many of them already. It does not mean contemplating the last judgment, we have no time to waste. It means that we should initiate the prophylaxis of collective sado-masochism. Mankind is indeed very close to extinction, but not beyond the point of no return. There is, however, one statement to be kept in mind; it was not made by an apostle, saint, or prophet, but by the Greek classic dramatist Euripides [c. 484 - 406 B.C.E.]: 'Whom the gods destroy, they first make mad.'' [297] [End of text].

Page 988

! ! !

from: The Roots of Anti-Semitism, In the Age of Renaissance and Reformation, translated by James I. Porter, Heiko A. Oberman, Fortress [a Lutheran publisher], 1984 (1981 German).

["Notes"] "114. But see also the summary in WA 42: 448, 25-42; 451, 1-34. It is in the Genesis commentary (1535-45), even more than in the writings explicitly devoted to the Jews, that we find his [Martin Luther] arsenal of arguments against the Jews fully stockpiled." [62-63].

'Three days prior to his death, Luther appended to his last sermon (15 February 1546) the tract An Admonition Against the Jews, in which both viewpoints are once again blended into a single perspective: Jews are our open enemies. They do not desist from blaspheming our Lord Christ. They call the Virgin Mary a whore, and Christ a whoreson. "And if they could kill us all, they would fain do it, and often do so too."101 And yet, "we ought to practice CHRISTIAN LOVE [CHRISTIAN LOVE! the most heinous phrase in the English language? (see 951, 962, 1000, 1026, etc.)] toward them and beg them to convert...."102' [120-121].

'Notes to Part Three

1. See, for example, William L. Shirer, Aufstieg und Fall des Dritten Reichs (Cologne, 1961), 232. The following passage is significantly edited from the German translation: "It is difficult to understand the behavior of most German Protestants in the first Nazi years unless one is aware of two things: their history and the influence of Martin Luther. the great founder of Protestantism was both a passionate anti-Semite and a ferocious believer in absolute obedience to political authority. He [Luther] wanted Germany rid of the Jews and when they were sent away he advised that they be deprived of 'all their cash and jewels and silver and gold' and, furthermore, 'that their synagogues or schools be set on fire, that their houses be broken up and destroyed...and they be put under a roof or stable, like the misery and captivity as they incessantly lament and complain to God about us'...

LUTHER EMPLOYED A COARSENESS AND BRUTALITY OF LANGUAGE UNEQUALED IN GERMAN HISTORY UNTIL THE NAZI TIME" (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1960], 236). Karlheinz Deschner, one [two years (by dates)] year later, is even less reserved: " the later years, Luther became a raving anti-Semite...and Hitler brought anti-Semitism to a grisly perfection" (Abermals krähte der Hahn. Eine Demaskierung des Christentums von den Evangelisten bis zu den Faschisten, 3d ed. [Hamburg, 1972; 1st ed., 1962], 457f.). Just how speculative and very likely beholden to the Nazi propaganda this shibboleth is, is made clear by the lamentations within the Nazi camp about the forgotten Luther: "It is an intolerable state of affairs that this manifesto [On the Jews and Their Lies] of the great Reformer [Martin Luther], which is both an important outburst of national religious sentiment and utterly relevant to the present day, is known among practically all Germans, but by the name alone, and read only by a very few" (Luther Kampfschriften gegen das Judentum, ed. W. Linden [Berlin, 1936], 7).' [125].

Page 989

! ! !

from: Printing, Propaganda, and Martin Luther, Mark U. Edwards, Jr., University of California, 1994.

["Preface"] "Finally, this is a book about Martin Luther. Luther is not simply one publicist within a larger constellation. Rather, he was the dominant publicist. And he dominated to a degree that no other person to my knowledge has ever dominated a major propaganda campaign and mass movement since. Not Lenin, not Mao Tse-tung, not Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, or Patrick Henry. Hence an examination of his role in this phenomenon of Reformation printing and propaganda gives us a more secure grasp on the larger whole than the study of any other figure could. He is far from the whole, but the whole would make no sense without him, since he played an inordinate role in its creation and shaping." [xii].

'It is a recurring theme of this book that the printing press played far more than just an assisting role in this many-sided contest over authority. It broadcast the subversive messages with a rapidity that had been impossible before its invention. More than that, it allowed the central ideological leader, Martin Luther, to reach the "opinion leaders" of the movement quickly, kept them all in touch with each other and with each other's experience and ideas, and allowed them to "broadcast" their (relatively coordinated) program to a much larger and more geographically diverse audience than had ever been possible before. Yet, paradoxically, printing also undermined central authority because it encouraged the recipients of the printed message to think for themselves about the issues in dispute, and it provided the means-printed Bibles especially-by which each person could become his or her own theologian.' [7].

"As Luther's Catholic critics realized, the decision taken by Luther and his fellow Evangelical publicists to use the press to reach as large an audience as possible put the Reformation debate on a whole new footing. The thousands of small, relatively inexpensive vernacular pamphlets circulated rapidly through the German-speaking lands, inviting people to enter into a debate that heretofore would have been the prerogative of a tiny fraction of even the ruling elite. To engage in this ideological contest even the 5 percent of the population thought to be literate at the time was itself a revolution. As people were asked to take sides if only in their own heads as they read or heard the publicist's argument, it was inevitable that opinions would diverge and multiply. Scripture was only the most prominent text that came to be understood so variously [pause] as it ["scripture"] gained through print a much larger readership. Printing, propaganda, and Martin Luther together ushered in an age that saw the repeated splintering of Western Christianity." [173] [End of text].

_____ _____ _____


a reference: Catalogue of a Collection of Fifteen Hundred Tracts by Martin Luther and his Contemporaries, 1511-1598, J.P. Edmond 1850 - 1906, Burt Franklin, "150 Copies printed", "oversize", "1964" (1903).

! ! !

Page 990

from: The Jews and Their Lies (Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen), by Dr. Martin Luther, Los Angeles: Christian Nationalist Crusade, 64 pages, 1948 (1543).

[Note: Fred L. Timm (see 931) demonstrates (dramatically), that this English translation, from the German, is softened].

"This translation is the first and only English language edition of the Great Reformer's treatment of one of the world's most serious problems in human relations. This treatise by Dr. Martin Luther of the Jewish problem has been virtually hidden from the American people and promises to shake, shock and alert Christian America in a sensational manner." [front cover].


In preparing to read this book you are about to view some of the most sensational and thought-arresting language ever to be put in print.

The publishers of this treatise by Dr. Martin Luther, the pioneer of Protestantism, do not necessarily present this work as an accurate expression of their opinion. The chief reason for its publication is to give the reader an accurate translation of Luther's treatment of one of the most delicate and dangerous subjects for a public man to discuss-the Jews.

This translation is not presented as a sectarian work or a partisan treatise. When we set out to find the book in its original language and when we proceeded to have it translated, we were shocked and amazed at the interference we encountered from a wide variety of sources. Two different translators were made the victims of intimidation, and only after a rather dramatic experience were we able to complete its translation in spite of its brevity.

In effecting the translation of this work we became increasingly convinced that a well organized plot to keep this book hidden exists.

Luther's experience with the Jews was very disappointing. He spent many years trying to convert them. Like St. Paul, he gave the Jews the first chance at the gospel, but concluded in later years, as the reader will soon see, that his efforts in this direction were futile.

This book is published only in the interest of accuracy. If it falls into the hands of a highly technical student of the 16th Century German, the Publishers will appreciate any correction which might improve the next edition of this work. The demand for this little book is so great that we expect it to go into numerous editions. We find among sincere Christian people a deep resentment over the fact that the work of one as prominent as Martin Luther has been kept so scientifically and so deliberately away from the eyes of his millions of admirers.

Some of Dr. Luther's language will shock the reader, but it is our business to give to you the words of the Reformer jut as he wrote them, and not on the basis of our agreement or disagreement.

Regardless of any other purpose that this translation may serve, it will serve one fundamental purpose; namely, this generation is not the first generation which has faced a Jewish problem. Yes, it will serve a second purpose; namely, an alertness to the Jewish problem does not necessarily indicate that the individuals who are alerted are depraved or un-Christian.

The Publishers.

Page 991

Note: The readers of this work are warned not to conclude that the Luther viewpoint concerning the Jews is necessarily Protestant. Numerous Popes used language as strong, if not stronger, than the language used by Dr. Luther. In fact, the ghettos were established by Papal edict, and the segregation of Christian communities from Jewish communities originated in edicts coming out of Rome. The purpose of this note is to warn the readers that the problem has never been uniquely Protestant or Catholic or in any way sectarian. Men of all faiths have agreed with Luther and men of all faiths have disagreed with Luther.

Attention, Doubters: Some individuals will doubt that these writings originated with Martin Luther. For the information of the reader the original language may be found in Martin Luther's works in the Congressional Library, Washington, D.C., and in any one of several accredited Lutheran seminaries. Numerous clergymen of all denominations are aware of the existence of this work. They are also aware of the fact that this is the first English translation to be published in the United States-so far as we are able to ascertain. [apparently, "the first English translation"-anywhere!]

Note: This published work by Luther was among the last of his writings. Luther, it will be recalled, died in the prime of life, having lived only to the age of 63."

[3-6] [End of Introduction].


"The Jews and Their Lies" ["7"].

[Martin Luther]

"I had decided not to write anymore, neither of the Jews, nor against the Jews. Because I have learned, however that those miserable, wicked people do not cease trying to win over to themselves us, that is, the Christians also, I have permitted this booklet to go forth that I might be found among those who have resisted such poisonous undertaking of the Jews, and have warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have thought that a Christian would permit himself to be fooled by the Jews to share their exile and misery. But the Devil is the God of the world, and where God's word is not, he has easy sailing, not only among the weak, but also among the strong. God help us. Amen.

Martin Luther." [8].


'Grace and Peace in the Lord!

Dear Sir and Good Friend:

I have received a treatise of a Jew carrying on a conversation with a Christian in which the Jew has the audacity to pervert and misconstrue, the passages of Scripture (which we use for our faith, of our Lord Christ, and of Mary, His mother) whereby he means to overthrow the foundation of our faith.

To this I give to you and to him this answer.

Page 992

It is not my intention to quarrel with the Jews or to learn from them how they interpret and understand the Scriptures. I have known all that before. Much less do I intend to convert the Jews. For that is impossible. Nor does it do any good among the Jews everywhere, and they have generally become worse. Also, because they became so hardened to visitations that they do not want to become conscious of the terrible dilemma, that they have now been in exile for over fourteen hundred years, and cannot yet see an end or a definite time (of relief) through fervent, eternal crying and screaming to God (as they suppose). (I say) If visitations do not help, we might as well figure that our talking and interpreting will help much less.

No Use to Quarrel

Therefore, a Christian should be satisfied and not quarrel with the Jews. But if you think you must or desire to talk with them, do no say more than this: "Do you hear, Jew, do you know that your principality together with the temple and priesthood are destroyed now for 1460 years! For this year, as we Christians write after the birth of Christ 1543, it is exactly 1469 years, and is thus going on 1500 years since Vespasianus and Titus destroyed Jerusalem and expelled the Jews from it." On this little nut let the Jews bite and dispute among themselves as long as they want to.

For such terrible wrath of God is sufficient proof that they certainly must be in error and doing wrong; even a child can grasp that....' [9-10].

"Liars and Bloodhounds"

[Editor] "[Here Luther uncovers the deepest cause of the ever-recurring persecution of the Jews: their own fault and overbearing pride....]" [17].

"Dishonest with Scripture"

[Editor] "[Here follow many proofs from the Bible which are accompanied by detailed theological, scientific, and therefore in general not understood, citations, which cannot be restated here because of their volume, although they are powerful and correspond with Luther's German essence and often strike the nail on the head in a preciously forward manner....]" [26].

"A Bitter, Poisonous Enemy"

"....For the Jews, as foreigners, certainly should have nothing; and what they have certainly must be ours. They do not work, do not earn anything from us, neither do we donate or give it to them. Yet they have our money and goods and are lords in our land where they are in exile." [30].

Page 993


"Talmud Worse than Heathen Philosophy

The heathen philosophers and poets write much more honourably; not only about God's government and future life, but also about temporal virtues. They write that man is by nature obligated to serve others, also to keep his word to enemies, and be true and helpful to them especially in need, as taught by Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] and his like. Yea, I maintain that in three fables of Aesop [? ("6th century BC" (Encyc. Brit.))] there is more wisdom to be found than in all the books of the Talmudists and Rabbis and more than ever could come into the hearts of the Jews." [32-33]. [See: 1001-1002 (Talmud)].

[Note: there are many harsh statements ["Hate Literature" (includes Anti-Christian statements)] in the Babylonian Talmud (other Talmuds?)


[I thank Acharya S (see: "Links"), for this reference])].

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Page 994


from: A Dictionary of International Slurs (Ethnophaulisms), With a Supplementary Essay on Aspects of Ethnic Prejudice, by A.A. Roback, Sci-Art Publishers, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass., 1944.

Reprint: Maledicta Press, c1979. General Editor: Reinhold Aman (

[394 pages. "Jews": 185-205 ("National Slurs in Proverbs"), 272-279 (part of the essay: "Aspects of Ethnic Prejudice")].


"Aspects of Ethnic Prejudice"

"The Jews

Thus we come to the chief of scapegoats in history-the Jews. For two thousand years this People has been singled out almost in every country of their sojourn as deserving of special contempt....

What is it that is held against the Jew? First of all, he is a nonconformist in religion; then he is shrewd in business and not too fastidious in his methods, resorting to ingenious ruses in order to circumvent the law. Usury had been his mainstay for centuries; and he is said to thrive upon exploitation. Socially he is supposed to be a bounder, and politically he has been rocked in a revolutionary and subversive cradle." [272-273].

'Prejudice against the Jews is not confined to the masses alone. I have come across Nobel Prize men and scientists, who pride themselves upon their objectivity, liberalism, and broadmindedness, investing the Jews with dubious qualities-among them aggressiveness in a collective sense, ethnocentricism, clannishness, a superiority attitude, etc. On the other hand, there are many thousands of common folk who either overrate or at least do not saddle the Jews with all sorts of vague faults.

When an intellectual, therefore, once, playing his trump, called out that after all the whole world could not be wrong, that the Jews must be guilty of some of the charges levelled at them, the answer is that the whole world is not accusing the Jews. Comparatively few have set down their bill of generalities, or are responsible for the ethnophaulisms [slurs] detrimental to the Jews. The crowd has simply picked them up as it would a popular song or any catch-phrase. It would be too much to expect children to examine critically the slang terms they employ in their daily vocabulary. If someone, perhaps even a Jew, coins the expression "Jewish perfume" for "gasoline", the chances are that such Schadenfreude ["malicious pleasure", etc.] would appeal to the majority of the youth, and though fifty million people should utter this phrase, there is still no valid reason for the coinage, except that it serves to work off some exuberance; and the Jews, many of whom own automobiles, make a good target. In other words fifty million times zero is still zero....' [275-276].

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"The Genesis of a Proverb"

"In his book Megalomania Narodowa (National Megalomania), the Polish sociologist and folklorist, Jan St. Bystron [Jan Stanislaw Bystrón 1892 - 1964], ascribes the attitude toward other peoples to a sort of popular megalomania, which he identifies with imperialism. EVEN PRIMITIVE TRIBES, according to him, REGARD THEMSELVES AS THE CENTRE OF THE WORLD, while all others are in the periphery. It may be added that each nationality thinks of its own language as an expressive, articulate medium, while members of other nations jabber, babble, or stammer, or speak barbarously.

The exaggeration of one's national ancestry leads people to believe that they are descended from the gods or from some universal heroes. The nationalization of God is a further consequence of this megalomania. Thus God favors their particular nation and will assist them to overwhelm their enemies; and if God is on their side, then their group must be not only dear to Him but sacred, too. Thus all laws and virtues are subordinate to the objectives and needs of that particular group and the state which it forms....

Another use of this mechanism ["national exaltation" (Nationalism!)] is to stave off assimilation among minorities through intermarriage (with members of the dominant nationality in a country) as well as other environmental factors. The Jews have had to constantly harp on the Chosen People string in order to offset the attractiveness of apostasy and its advantages in a Christian or Mohammedan state...." [303-304].

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! ! !

from: The Jew in Christian Theology, Martin Luther's Anti-Jewish Vom Schem Hamphoras, Previously Unpublished in English, and Other Milestones in Church Doctrine Concerning Judaism, Gerhard Falk, McFarland, 1992.

'Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.], writing in De Natura Deorum, argues at one point that the word religion is derived from "relegere," to read again and again. Yet he also uses the word as if derived from "religare," to bind together. These original meanings do indeed give us some idea as to the function of religion. However, sociologists have identified a number of the anticipated consequences of religion so that a summary definition of religion could be stated thus: Religion is a systematic explanation of the relationship of man to man and man to the universe. Such a definition would of course include such religions as pure Buddhism, which has no god, as well as the god-centered religions such as Judaism and Christianity.4' [4].

"We touch here on the Principle of Legitimacy.7 All religions seek to legitimize their views by claiming a higher authority. Such authority for a belief is not always derived from a deity as not all religions have a deity. Tradition can legitimize many beliefs, as can group cohesion or agreement concerning conduct as well as beliefs or suppositions.

Since the early Christians were either Jews themselves or were well aware of the Jewish origin of their own faith, it was important to them to delegitimize Judaism by declaring that God had rejected that mode of worship and had rejected the Jews accordingly...." [5].

'In an earlier essay, Of True Religion, Augustine [354 - 430] had written, "It [the Catholic Church] makes use of the nations as material for its operations, of heretics to try its own doctrine, of schismatics to prove its stability, of the Jews as a foil to its own beauty."' [16].

'While Chrysostom [c. 347 - 407] preached his anti-Jewish sermons [see 960-963] after the death of Julian (353 [363]), the dangers of "Judaizing" were by no means alleviated as far as the Christian leadership could see. In fact, this need to defend against reputed Jewish ensnarements continued to the time of Luther (1483-1546), and is met again in the speeches of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), 400 years later.' [17].

'In sum, then, we see that Erasmus [1466/9 - 1536]-like Zasius, Reuchlin, Bucer, Eck and Luther [1483 - 1546]-was a son of his times. Like Nicholas Cusanus [1401 - 1464], yet another "great thinker of the late middle ages,"19 Erasmus limited his humanism to Christians. Although he was able to critique his church and call for charges in morals and thought among his European contemporaries, he could not and would not rise above the most abject bigotries of his and every age since the beginnings of Christianity. He thereby became one of the unwitting contributors to the legitimization of the Holocaust.

That Erasmus had a tremendous influence on Luther, the founder of all that may be called Protestant Christianity, is best understood by noting that when Martin Luther was excommunicated in 1520, the papal nuncio (ambassador) Jerome Aleander ["Aleander, Girolamo (1480-1542), humanist scholar. Educated at Venice and

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Padua, at the suggestion of *Erasmus in 1508 he went to seek his fortune in Paris, where he gave lectures on Greek...." (Ox. Dict. C.C.)], who posted the bull of excommunication, accused Erasmus of being the hidden fomenter of Luther's revolt and threatened him with the same possible penalty.20

Nevertheless, Erasmus never went as far as Luther in his militancy against the Catholic Church, which Erasmus never abandoned, or in his violent outbursts against the Jews which earned Luther the reputation of being the forerunner of Nazi bloodshed and the supporter of religious hate such as the Christian world had not seen before [overstated?].' [54-55].


"Martin Luther (1483-1546)


The contributions of Martin Luther to Christian history and theology are so vast and of such importance that the literature concerning him and his work encompasses entire libraries in every European language, particularly in German. For Luther was not only a major figure in the history of Christianity, but also surely a principal and dominant shaper of German history. Any discussion of the fate of the European Jews must therefore include the views of Luther concerning them, in particular since there are those who believe that the mass murder of the European Jews between 1933 and 1945 was the direct outcome of Luther's teaching and that IT IS POSSIBLE TO TRACE A LINEAR CONNECTION FROM LUTHER TO HITLER.21" [55].

'It is of course a grave mistake to attribute to any one person, however influential, a solitary power to define the events of his time or subsequent events, entirely because of his own personality or his own abilities. On the contrary, as Leo Tolstoy [1828 - 1910] contends in the epilogue to his monumental novel War and Peace, "the wielder of power" cannot alone determine the outcome of history.24

Luther, of course, had no power. He had instead a tremendous influence. Yet influence is circumscribed by the same limitations which restrict the power to coerce the behavior of others, namely the culture base.

The phrase culture base refers to the history of a people to the present. Thus, Christian and German history to the day of Luther not only influenced his thinking and his deeds, but made it possible for him to lead the Protestant movement of his day and to prescribe the treatment of the Jews both in his own time and thereafter.

A leader obviously, is someone who has followers. Followers in turn are those who have reason to think that the leaders says and does something that is in agreement with their interests and their beliefs. Anyone whose views are not in accordance with at least the major contentions of his day cannot expect to lead his followers into new ways of thinking because his arguments will go unrecognized and will therefore be rejected....

social inventions such as the Reformation needed a culture base in order to succeed. This is best illustrated by the fate of John Wycliffe (1320-1384) who translated the Latin version of the Bible into English a hundred years before Luther and who was posthumously condemned by the Church because, like Luther, he denied absolute papal authority and even rejected the doctrine of transsubstantiation [sic].

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These examples serve to illustrate that the conduct and the writings of Luther concerning the Jews found so much favor among his followers in both the sixteenth and the twentieth centuries because the ground had been well prepared to permit the growth of these hatreds. Thus Luther in some respects did not differ from his Christian predecessors, contemporaries or progeniture [offspring, etc.] in his anti-Jewish attitude.' [56, 57].

"Anti-Judaism was not Luther's only message concerning the Jews. In his early career, he proposed friendship with the Jews of his day and even objected to the treatment they had received.

Let us see what that earlier message was, and how Luther came to change his mind in his later years so that he [LUTHER] IS NOW WIDELY CHARGED WITH BEING A FORERUNNER OF THE NAZI SPIRIT.27" [57].

'It is important to keep in mind here, that Christian writers to this day frequently fail to recognize that many of the terms and much of the language used by them in relationship to Jews are of Christian making and are unknown in Judaism. One of these terms is "Old Testament." There is no "Testament" in Judaism either old or new. The Latin word testament, derived from the two words for witness and hand refer to the ancient practice of swearing by the male reproductive glands. Thus, the word "testis" means both "witness ["] and "testicle."36' [59]. [See: #7, 190].

'Luther himself made every effort to prove to the Jews of his time that Christianity was true and Judaism false. His arguments were several. He insisted that Isaiah 7:1 predicted that Jesus would be born of a virgin, and therefore insisted that the Hebrew word "Almah" did not mean "young woman" as the Jews have consistently maintained, but "virgin." This issue of translation is of course very important to all who use the Bible as a source of religious inspiration, since translation is indeed interpretation.

Luther knew this very well. He was accused in his own time of deliberately neglecting or denying Jewish interpretations of the Bible which he translated from the Hebrew into the German. Yet "Luther never mastered Hebrew, having a deep-seated distaste for Hebrew grammar, which he asserted was a concoction of the Rabbis, studiously to be avoided; not a knowledge of grammar, but of 'holy things' is necessary, he says, to translate the Hebrew Scriptures."47

In making his translations, Luther chose only passages in the Bible which were in accord with his own views. This is of course what translators have always done, although all of them did not necessarily admit as Luther did that their translations were more the product of belief than of accuracy. Despite these admissions, however, Luther accused the Jewish critics of his translations of "wishing for a second time to obscure the text."48

Luther's principal purpose in translating the Old Testament into German was his hope to convert the Jews. He interpreted the Hebrew Bible christologially and "saw all promises by God in...the Hebrew Bible as referring to Christ."49' [62].

'Although Luther was weak in Hebrew grammar, he believed that he nevertheless understood the true meaning of the Hebrew better than those who knew the language very well. He believed that he already knew the sense of the Old

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Testament no matter what a grammatically correct translation may have meant. For him "words follow sense." Therefore he [Luther] translated with the idea that "without the New Testament you could not understand the Old and that therefore all Hebrew texts really foretold the coming of Christ."51

Since the Jews evidently did not convert to Christianity despite Luther's efforts, his conduct toward them appeared to change dramatically with the publication of several tracts which dealt with Luther's view of the Jews, culminating in 1542 [1543] in his pamphlet Über die Juden und Ihre Lügen (About the Jews and Their Lies). He continued his anti-Jewish attacks in another pamphlet published the following year, Vom Schem Hamphoras.52' [63].

'Every age and every society rests upon the culture base of all that preceded it. It would therefore be both unjust and impossible to believe that Luther should have had anything but anti-Jewish attitudes, since as a Christian he and all of Christianity of his day and all preceding him had always been taught the principal tenets of Christian belief, the two pillars upon which Christianity had always rested: Love [sic! (see 989)] for all mankind and hatred for the Jews2." [64].

'Although Luther knew very well that Jews were forced to lend money at interest because they were forbidden most other occupations (see That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew), he recommended that Jews be prohibited that occupation also and underscored his arguments by referring to the Law of Moses which he claimed the Jews were violating at all times.

He [Luther] next recommends that Jews be forced into physical labor. This recommendation was also carried out by the Nazi government in innumerable concentration camps during the years 1933-1945 when considerable number of Jews were worked and starved until they died. This served to reinforce the myth that Jews had theretofore never worked but, in Luther's words, "idled away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christian by means of our sweat...."71

Luther continues ranting against the Jews for yet another 100 pages. As William Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich-himself a Protestant-has said, "THE GREAT FOUNDER OF PROTESTANTISM [MARTIN LUTHER] WAS BOTH A PASSIONATE ANTI-SEMITE AND A FEROCIOUS BELIEVER IN ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE TO POLITICAL AUTHORITY."72 [see 989 (Shirer)]

It is legitimate to ask here why it was that despite the undoubted anti-Jewish attitudes which exited in all of Europe for so long, it was particularly Germany which gave rise to Hitler and organized the mass murders which finally came to be known as the Holocaust.

The answer to this riddle was given by the famous German author Thomas Mann [1875 - 1955], himself a Lutheran, in his essay "Deutschland und die Deutschen" ("Germany and the Germans"), delivered in Germany as a speech after the end of the Second World War. Said Mann:

"[He], Luther, understood nothing about freedom. I do not mean the freedom of a Christian, but POLITICAL FREEDOM, THE FREEDOM OF THE CITIZEN; this not only left him [Luther] cold, but their movements and demands were deeply disgusting to his very soul."73

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Thus Luther supported authoritarian government and helped as much as anyone to make Germans followers of authoritarians and dictators so that some would have it that in that respect Luther was again an example in word and deed of all that which made the Nazi movement possible. Bonis exemplis, magis impetramus, quam bonis verbis-"A good example achieves more than good words." And so does a bad one....' [71].



Vom Schem Hamphoras und

vom Geschlecht Christi

(of the Unknowable Name and

the Generations of Christ)

[by Martin Luther]

Introduction to the English Translation

Written in 1543, this book, now published in English for the first time, must seem difficult if not impossible to understand. Not only is the English usage confusing and ungrammatical, but the thoughts and views of the author, Martin Luther, seem so foreign to our thinking.

The original German is of course even more difficult. The reasons for this are not hard to find. In the first place it must be remembered that prior to Luther, literate Germans (indeed all literate Europeans) used Latin to write almost anything, especially something as serious as theology. Luther's failure to be grammatical and use a consistent style is explained by the fact that there was no German grammar in 1543, any more than there was an English grammar. Thus, anything went. Luther mixed tenses in the same sentence, jumped from one thought to another in the same paragraph, rushed from the singular to the plural and back, had no consistent punctuation and spelled any way at all...." [163].

[footnote] '13. The Hebrew word goy means nation. Thus, "Goy Israel" means the nation of Israel. However, in the Yiddish language, a form of medieval German mixed with Hebrew and Slavic phrases and used by Eastern European Jews, the word goy came to mean "non-Jew," that is, a nation other than Israel. Goyim is the masculine plural form of that word. In the Hebrew language, the ending -im refers to the masculine plural as in Elohim ("Gods," derived from El, "God") [?]. This is a remarkable matter because the third word in Genesis is Elohim thus leading to the exact translation of the first sentence in the Bible to mean: "In the Beginning the Gods created...."' [172]. [for "Elohim", see Appendix IX, 814-825]. [See: 966].

[footnote] '28. The word Talmud is Hebrew and means "Instructions." It is derived from the Hebrew word Limad to instruct. The Talmud consists of 34 large volumes in its English translation. (The Babylonian Talmud, I. Epstein, ed., London, Soncino, 1935-1948.) It took several centuries and numerous authors to write this vast literature which may be compared to the publication of all the lectures ever given at Harvard University on all subjects ever taught there during the 350 years of the

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existence of that institution. Thus, the Talmud deals with a vast body of knowledge affecting every phase of Jewish life. During the Middle Ages copies of the Talmud were repeatedly burnt by the Christian authorities who believed that the Talmud contained anti-Christian messages or that the Jews would convert to Christianity if only the Talmud were no longer available to them.

Today, the Talmud is still studied by a small group of interested scholars. It has now been published in English in several editions and can be seen in most university libraries.' [182]. [Compare: Palestinian Talmud, etc. (Ox. Dict. C.C.)].

[footnote] '32. The myth of Jewish power was and continues to be widely believed. Such forgeries as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, concocted by Russian monks at the end of the nineteenth century, claimed that an international Jewish world government exists and that this hidden conspiracy controls all finance and all politics on earth. Similar beliefs concerning the power of the pope have been circulated among non-Catholic Christians.' [184].

[Luther] "84. Here ["why the two apostles ["St. Luke and St. Mark"] have told the story of the origins of the family of our Lord Jesus Christ so differently" (190-191)] everyone is involved, particularly the Jews, and thereafter the emperor Julian and his heathens.46 [see footnote, below] In fact, many of the old teachers and not a few of the new; they need to better understand this and other wonders as to whether our Christian belief is wrong here, or uncertain or totally in the dark. That is why we want to talk about this a bit but with permission, if I may, that we are happy to let anyone do it better." [191]. [See: 958-959 (Julian)].

[footnote] '46. This refers to Flavius Claudius Julianus (331-363). He was called the Apostate (from a Greek word meaning "rebel"), a label he earned in Christian history because he deserted the Christian religion and sought to reestablish the pagan Roman religion. He also promised the Jews that he would rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. When he died suddenly at the age of 32, Christians viewed this as a sign that God did not wish the temple rebuilt because, according to Christian theology, it had been destroyed as punishment for the crime of deicide [(according to the fiction) killed "Jesus"].' [191].

[Luther] "157. Damned goy that I am, I cannot understand where they [Jews] got such great ability, unless, I must believe, that when Judas Sharioth hanged himself, his intestines burst, and, as happens to the hanged, his bladder burst: perhaps the Jews had their servants there with gold and silver jugs and basins which caught the Judas-piss (as it is called) together with the rest of the holy things, thereafter they mixed it into the excrement and ate it among each other and drank it so that they developed such sharp eyes, so that they see such comments in the scripture, which neither Matthew nor Isaiah himself, nor all the angels, let alone we damned Goyim [see 966] can see. Or they looked up the behind of their God, Shed,79 and found this written in that impossible place. It is not in the scripture, that is certain; therefore, it cannot be taken from there." [214]. [one classic by Luther].

[Keep in mind: the antecedents of Luther; the times; the places; the exaggeration of Luther; the Christian persona of Luther; etc.].

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! ! !

from: Luther's Last Battles, Politics and Polemics, 1531-46, Mark U. Edwards, Jr., Cornell, 1983.


"....The older Luther was a man who saw the world engaged in a metaphysical struggle between good and evil. He was a man gripped by apocalyptic hopes and fears; a man who had given his name to a movement that had taken, for him, a painful and frustrating direction. He was a man deeply involved in the politics of his time, as an advisor to his prince and coreligionists, as an indirect participant in colloquies between Protestants and Catholics, as a worried observer of wars and threats of war, and as the most influential publicist within Protestantism. Through compromise and accommodation to political realities, he tried to maintain his influence in order to preserve his central insights into Christian faith. But opponents and circumstances, and even the action of allies and friends, disappointed his hopes and marred his efforts. Not infrequently, he found himself mired in petty disputes that brought neither him nor the movement any credit. He found himself misunderstood and held responsible for actions that he himself deplored. So as his own death neared, bringing with it both promised relief and fear for the fate of the movement after his death, he [Luther] became ever more pessimistic, praying not only for his own release but for the end of the world [see 940].

Still, he [Luther] remained involved and productive to his death. Sustained by his faith, his trust in God as the author of history, and by his robust sense of humor, he continued to learn and grow, especially in his study of history. He was vulgar and abusive when he wished to be, moderate and calmly persuasive when it suited his purposes. And all the treatises of his old age, even the most crude and abusive, contained some exposition of the Protestant faith. Luther could never just attack. He always had to profess and confess as well." [208] [End of main text].

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from: Luther, and the False Brethren, Mark U. Edwards, Jr., Stanford, 1975.


'....When we turn to Luther's supporters we find evidence of a belief that God had sent Luther for the renewal and preservation of the gospel. One of the most striking expressions of this belief occurs in a passage from Melanchthon's [Philipp Melanchthon 1497 - 1560] oration at Luther's funeral in 1546:

The Son of God, as Paul observes, sits at the right hand of the Eternal Father and gives gifts unto men, namely, the gospel and the Holy Spirit. That He might bestow these He raises up prophets, apostles, teachers, and pastors, and selects from our midst those who study, hear, and delight in the writings of the prophets and apostles.

Then after listing the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and church fathers, Melanchthon concluded:

To that splendid list of most illustrious men raised up by God to gather and establish the Church, and recognized as the chief glory of the human race, must be added the name of Martin Luther. Solon, Themistocles, Scipio, Augustus, and others who established or ruled over vast empires were great men indeed; but far inferior [see #23, 484-485] were they to our leaders, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Paul, Augustin, and Luther.13

Even allowing for the nature of the occasion and for the EXAGGERATION COMMON TO THE AGE, it would seem from this passage that at least some Lutherans believed Luther to have been a special instrument in God's hands. Such a conviction could well be a further reason why Luther's opponents deferred to him and why men followed him. And if the conviction was widely held, as the complaints of Luther's opponents suggest, it could have been one source of LUTHER'S ENORMOUS AUTHORITY.

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The face that Luther turned toward his evangelical opponents was not a pretty one. With a monumental sense of certainty and self-righteousness, he abused and condemned men who, to all appearances, were sincerely searching for the truth and ardently desired to find agreement with the Saxon reformer. But his followers accepted and supported Luther despite his intemperance and severity; they accepted his faults and excused them. Melanchthon's words spoken at Luther's funeral probably summed up the feelings of these evangelicals who, though they winced at Luther's unrestrained attacks, nonetheless followed and defended him through the long years of controversy:

Some by no means evil-minded persons have complained that Luther displayed too much severity. I will not deny this. But I answer in the language of Erasmus: "Because of the magnitude of the disorders God gave this age a violent physician." When God raised up this instrument against the proud and impudent enemies of the truth, He spoke as He did to Jeremiah: "Behold I place My words in thy mouth; destroy and build." Over against these enemies God set this mighty destroyer. In vain do they find fault with God.14'

[204-205] [End of text].


Excursus: from: Freethought History, Edited by Fred Whitehead-Box 5224-Kansas City, Kansas 66119, U.S.A.-#25/1998-$10/year [received 6/10/99].

"An important transitional figure, between Hegel and Marx, was Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872). His book The Essence of Religion (1841) advanced the key idea that RELIGION must be understood anthropologically, and that it LARGELY CONSISTS OF A PROJECTION OF OUR OWN HUMAN WISHES. That is, WHEN WE SAY GOD WANTS SOMETHING, WE ACTUALLY MEAN THAT WE WANT IT...."



[See: Addition 12, 910-913 (Feuerbach) (God); 958].

[See: (I thank Daniel Noriega, 8/16/99, for this reference) ("What is Theism?" "Sophistry: Logical and Rhetorical Fallacies; Faulty Reasoning." Includes exposés of sophistries, of Christian apologists [see Appendix I, 675-676]. Etc.)].

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