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Author Topic: the church's teaching on the jews  (Read 52313 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jonathan Gress
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« on: April 06, 2009, 12:32:55 PM »

I think there have been threads on this before, but I thought I would lay down my own thoughts on the subject, and if I merely repeat earlier arguments, or say something untrue or misleading, please let me know.

I was basically brought up to believe that we as sinners are entirely responsible for Christ's death on the Cross, and that the the Jews were not really responsible for anything. Even the Jewish leaders who handed Him over to be executed were not representative of the whole people, and were in any case only the instruments by which God completed his plan of salvation. By no means are present-day Jews to be held to account for the Crucifixion.

However, when you study the services for Holy Week, or read patristic commentaries on the Gospel accounts of the Passion, it becomes clear that the Church doesn't let the Jews off so easy. At first, I was a little scandalized, because if Christ died for our sins, who are we worthless wretches to point the finger at the Jews?

Yet the liturgical texts indicate two things here. On the one hand, the Jews are in fact responsible for having their Messiah killed. On the other hand, Christ didn't just die for the Jews, but for the whole world, so we are all implicated in it somehow, not only because of our personal sins, but also because of original sin that we all inherit.

Here I believe I found a key to understanding what the Church is saying. There is a parallel between the collective responsibility of the Jewish people for Christ's death and the collective 'responsibility' of mankind for the original sin of Adam. Now before people start shouting at me for being scholastic, Anselmian or whatever, please hear me out.

The collective responsibility of the Jews derives from the curse which the Jewish crowd called down upon themselves 'His blood be upon us and our children'. The Church takes this curse seriously, and hence all Jews born into the world do in fact inherit this curse, this special mark of shame for what their ancestors did to Christ. In a similar manner, after Adam's sin, God cursed all of human nature, so that every man or woman born after him inherits the curse of sin and death. In both cases, there is an element of injustice. Although none of us are personally responsible for what Adam did, we still inherit his sin. Likewise, even if the Jews today are not personally responsible for Christ's death, they inherit the sin of their ancestors.

Now we ask 'well, what can the Jews do about this?' The answer, of course, is to repent of their error and come to Christ, at which point the special curse is lifted, along with the curse of Adam that they share with the rest of humanity. In a similar way, all of us when we accept baptism are delivered from the curse we inherited as men. Note that, in both cases there is again an element of injustice, but this time in our favor! This is because the deliverance from the curse is a free gift from God, having been paid for by Christ's sacrifice on the Cross.

We can now turn to the question of 'who has the right to point the finger at the Jews?' Now, while on the one hand, the Church consists of individual sinners, on the other hand the Church as a whole is the Body of Christ, pure and blameless. When we speak collectively in our services, we sometimes speak as a body of sinners asking God for mercy, but other times as the Body of Christ. In the latter manner we do have the authority to point an accusing finger at the Jews for their crime and refusal to repent.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

In Christ

Jonathan
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 01:13:15 PM »

Since you've made your understanding of original sin so foundational to your analogy regarding the Jews, I would like you to first show how the early patristic consensus supports your view that we have inherited the sin of Adam and Eve and the collective responsibility (guilt?) for it.
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 02:25:45 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.



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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009, 03:02:14 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.

There are a few problems with that, Father.  First, the Italian identity didn't exist until the 19th with the beginning of various liberal nationalist uprisings, etc.  And secondly, classical historians cannot even agree on the background of Pilate (most common is born in the Italian peninsula of Dacian ancestry), so besides Rome having authority over Palestine, a Roman from (insert anywhere in the Empire) could have performed the rest.  Thirdly, Constantinople was the successor to Rome, not the Italian Republic.  So if you are going to pass blame through blood, who knows who.  If you are going to pass blame through authority, well, the successor to Rome inherited that.
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009, 03:36:55 PM »

This was all done by Italians.

The Romans tended to use locals. They were likely Aramaic speakers - Syrians perhaps.
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 03:40:58 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.





And Romanians!  Tongue
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009, 04:09:58 PM »

If you are going to pass blame through authority, well, the successor to Rome inherited that.

You mean, the Russians?
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 04:38:10 PM »

If you are going to pass blame through authority, well, the successor to Rome inherited that.

You mean, the Russians?

No, the Holy Roman Empire, which became the Germans, which....well we all know what happened from there.
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2009, 05:12:09 PM »

Quit the tangent, please! - Cleveland, GM
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2009, 07:39:09 PM »

Since you've made your understanding of original sin so foundational to your analogy regarding the Jews, I would like you to first show how the early patristic consensus supports your view that we have inherited the sin of Adam and Eve and the collective responsibility (guilt?) for it.
Yes, I expected that part would be controversial. I would direct people to Vladimir Moss' booklet on the subject, "The New Soteriology", where he lays out the case for a proper understanding of the importance of justice, as well as love, in the Church's understanding of original sin, the sacrifice on the cross, and heaven and hell. You'll find some anti-scholastics, such as St Gregory Palamas, saying some surprisingly 'scholastic' things, at least if by scholastic one means a belief that we inherit actual sin, not only death (as Romanides and others would have it), and that Christ's sacrifice was indeed the perfect sacrifice restoring justice and allowing God to destroy sin and death in a just manner, conforming to God's own law. I would only add that St Athanasius' On the Incarnation of the Word is very supportive of this understanding. Here is a couple of nice quotations (courtesy of ccel.org):

For God has not only made us out of nothing; but He gave us freely, by the Grace of the Word, a life in correspondence with God. But men, having rejected things eternal, and, by counsel of the devil, turned to the things of corruption, became the cause of their own corruption in death, being, as I said before, by nature corruptible, but destined, by the grace following from partaking of the Word, to have escaped their natural state, had they remained good. 2. For because of the Word dwelling with them, even their natural corruption did not come near them, as Wisdom also says: “God made man for incorruption, and as an image of His own eternity; but by envy of the devil death came into the world.” But when this was come to pass, men began to die, while corruption thence-forward prevailed against them, gaining even more than its natural power over the whole race, inasmuch as it had, owing to the transgression of the commandment, the threat of the Deity as a further advantage against them.

and again:

For this cause, then, death having gained upon men, and corruption abiding upon them, the race of man was perishing; the rational man made in God’s image was disappearing, and the handiwork of God was in process of dissolution. 2. For death, as I said above, gained from that time forth a legal hold over us, and it was impossible to evade the law, since it had been laid down by God because of the transgression, and the result was in truth at once monstrous and unseemly. 3. For it were monstrous, firstly, that God, having spoken, should prove false—that, when once He had ordained that man, if he transgressed the commandment, should die the death, after the transgression man should not die, but God’s word should be broken. For God would not be true, if, when He had said we should die, man died not. 4. Again, it were unseemly that creatures once made rational, and having partaken of the Word, should go to ruin, and turn again toward non-existence by the way of corruption. 5. For it were not worthy of God’s goodness that the things He had made should waste away, because of the deceit practised on men by the devil. 6. Especially it was unseemly to the last degree that God’s handicraft among men should be done away, either because of their own carelessness, or because of the deceitfulness of evil spirits.

Now many misunderstand inherited sin to mean the belief that we are all personally responsible, or guilty, of the sin of Adam. This is not quite right. Unbaptized infants have no personal sins; yet we baptize them. Why do we do this if they have nothing to be cleansed of? So in fact this sin of Adam is the sin of our cursed nature, which can only be redeemed through baptism.
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2009, 07:54:37 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?

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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2009, 08:04:18 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?


Uh, Cleveland just said three posts ago, "Quit the tangent," so let's follow his directive and quit this tangent.  The topic of this thread is Jonathan Gress's question regarding the Church's teaching on the Jews, NOT who is to blame for killing the Christ.
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2009, 10:41:13 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?


Uh, Cleveland just said three posts ago, "Quit the tangent," so let's follow his directive and quit this tangent.  The topic of this thread is Jonathan Gress's question regarding the Church's teaching on the Jews, NOT who is to blame for killing the Christ.

..I believe that my post addressed the topic at hand.
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2009, 01:02:38 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?


Uh, Cleveland just said three posts ago, "Quit the tangent," so let's follow his directive and quit this tangent.  The topic of this thread is Jonathan Gress's question regarding the Church's teaching on the Jews, NOT who is to blame for killing the Christ.

..I believe that my post addressed the topic at hand.
Actually, I think this is more relevant than it seems. Remember how Christ foretold his own death 'the Son of Man must be handed over to the Gentiles'. Peter describes the Lord's passion in similar words in Acts. It is true that both Jews and Gentiles were involved in Christ's death. But whereas the Gentiles eventually repented and turned to Christ (when Rome became Christian), the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2009, 01:06:01 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?


Uh, Cleveland just said three posts ago, "Quit the tangent," so let's follow his directive and quit this tangent.  The topic of this thread is Jonathan Gress's question regarding the Church's teaching on the Jews, NOT who is to blame for killing the Christ.

..I believe that my post addressed the topic at hand.
Actually, I think this is more relevant than it seems. Remember how Christ foretold his own death 'the Son of Man must be handed over to the Gentiles'. Peter describes the Lord's passion in similar words in Acts. It is true that both Jews and Gentiles were involved in Christ's death. But whereas the Gentiles eventually repented and turned to Christ (when Rome became Christian), the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.

I know lots of Gentiles who have "remained stubborn". It's not as if Gentiles en masse suddenly became Christian.

And who knows how many Jews over the years have turned to Christ? But since they became Christian, nobody counts them as "Jews" anymore.
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2009, 02:33:52 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?


Uh, Cleveland just said three posts ago, "Quit the tangent," so let's follow his directive and quit this tangent.  The topic of this thread is Jonathan Gress's question regarding the Church's teaching on the Jews, NOT who is to blame for killing the Christ.

..I believe that my post addressed the topic at hand.
Actually, I think this is more relevant than it seems. Remember how Christ foretold his own death 'the Son of Man must be handed over to the Gentiles'. Peter describes the Lord's passion in similar words in Acts. It is true that both Jews and Gentiles were involved in Christ's death. But whereas the Gentiles eventually repented and turned to Christ (when Rome became Christian), the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.

I know lots of Gentiles who have "remained stubborn". It's not as if Gentiles en masse suddenly became Christian.

And who knows how many Jews over the years have turned to Christ? But since they became Christian, nobody counts them as "Jews" anymore.
Regarding Jews who convert, that of course is entirely the point. And when the Fathers contrast the Church of the Gentiles with the former Church of the Jews, it goes without saying that not all Gentiles are included. These terms should be understood symbolically.
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« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2009, 11:45:22 AM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of decide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?


Uh, Cleveland just said three posts ago, "Quit the tangent," so let's follow his directive and quit this tangent.  The topic of this thread is Jonathan Gress's question regarding the Church's teaching on the Jews, NOT who is to blame for killing the Christ.

..I believe that my post addressed the topic at hand.
Actually, I think this is more relevant than it seems. Remember how Christ foretold his own death 'the Son of Man must be handed over to the Gentiles'. Peter describes the Lord's passion in similar words in Acts. It is true that both Jews and Gentiles were involved in Christ's death. But whereas the Gentiles eventually repented and turned to Christ (when Rome became Christian), the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.

But that is a narrow definition of "The Jews"
The Lord himself was a Jew
All of the Apostles were Jews ( Peter and Paul were Jews..etc)
The Theotokos was a Jew
The 70 disciples many of whom became the first Bishops were Jews

Etc.

So the very foundation of Christianity was laid by Jews. That is rarely acccounted for in the Christian World View because of various historic and political reasons that we are all familiar with. But the fact remains that before one single gentile had the opportunity to repent ( as mentioned above) it was necessary that some Jews took faith in Jesus as the Christ, establish the fledgling Church and then evangelize to Gentiles.....
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« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2009, 02:54:13 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of decide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?


Uh, Cleveland just said three posts ago, "Quit the tangent," so let's follow his directive and quit this tangent.  The topic of this thread is Jonathan Gress's question regarding the Church's teaching on the Jews, NOT who is to blame for killing the Christ.

..I believe that my post addressed the topic at hand.
Actually, I think this is more relevant than it seems. Remember how Christ foretold his own death 'the Son of Man must be handed over to the Gentiles'. Peter describes the Lord's passion in similar words in Acts. It is true that both Jews and Gentiles were involved in Christ's death. But whereas the Gentiles eventually repented and turned to Christ (when Rome became Christian), the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.

But that is a narrow definition of "The Jews"
The Lord himself was a Jew
All of the Apostles were Jews ( Peter and Paul were Jews..etc)
The Theotokos was a Jew
The 70 disciples many of whom became the first Bishops were Jews

Etc.

So the very foundation of Christianity was laid by Jews. That is rarely acccounted for in the Christian World View because of various historic and political reasons that we are all familiar with. But the fact remains that before one single gentile had the opportunity to repent ( as mentioned above) it was necessary that some Jews took faith in Jesus as the Christ, establish the fledgling Church and then evangelize to Gentiles.....
When the Church speaks of the Jews (e.g. in the reproaches during Matins on the Great Sabbath), clearly they don't mean the Jews who believed, but the Jews who did not. By reserving the name 'Jew' for the unbelievers alone, the Church is making the point that, after accepting Christ, Jews cease to be Jews in any meaningful theological sense, since baptism does away with the old covenant. As St Paul says "in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female". The other side of this is that when Gentiles accept baptism, they are 'grafted on' to the old Israel, that is, they become partakers of the promises that were formerly made to the Jews alone, but are now available to all who accept Christ by faith.
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2009, 05:00:12 PM »

The church does not have any specific teaching on the jews as a people that differs from other nationalities who do not believe in Christ, after the ressurection their role has ceased, the jewish race and the gentile believers should have been One fold, which is the Church, but most jews were seeking after a different kind of messiah. The church has always acknowledged that the messiah is born via the hebrew-jewish race, and that Jesus was a jew, that the jews played a major role in the historical events of Christ's ministry. That the majority of them rejected him (He came to his own and his own recieved him not). That the hymns speak of recompensing the jews for their deeds and their role in the crucifixion. This is a veiled reference of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 a.d., Christ visited them im judgement and His prophecy filfilled, they have been 'recompensed',

As for the jews saying "Let His blood be on us and our children", Jesus on the cross prayed, "Forgive them for they know not what they do". And this is enshrined in the chant of 'the praises' on Holy Thursday evening. 

As for the biggest culprit in the crucufixion of Jesus as found in the holy week texts is none other than Judas Iscariot. A predominant theme is the betrayer Judas and the 30 pieces of silver as the price. As Christ taught you cannot serve 2 masters, money had a role in it as well. From the various chants which are the subject of Judas actions, one can conclude it is better to never have believed than believed then become an apostate.

Of course many of the Fathers do believe that many of the jews will convert at the end times, thru the preaching of the 2 witnesses.
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« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2009, 12:07:07 AM »

Please define jew? One can be a jew in religion, which includes Sammy Davis Junior.
One can be an ethnic jew but secular. And one can be a jew simply based on ancestry
and face persecution regardless of present religosity or cultural identity.

Upstairs from me a group of Charismatics waited one morning until the local Chabbad Rebi and family came walking by to temple. They raced out, blowing a ram's horn and babbling on restoring the temple  that would be precursor to the second coming. I walked out and diplomaticaly told the Charismatics to stop intruding on their sabbath. They sort of slunked back inside.

Rebi invited me to walk with them to temple. His little boy Avi was looking at me a little strange and finally asked ' poppa, is Chris a jew? '  Rebi replied 'No, he's a Christian. But us Orthodox got to stick  together!'
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2009, 02:42:43 PM »

[/quote]
When the Church speaks of the Jews (e.g. in the reproaches during Matins on the Great Sabbath), clearly they don't mean the Jews who believed, but the Jews who did not. By reserving the name 'Jew' for the unbelievers alone, the Church is making the point that, after accepting Christ, Jews cease to be Jews in any meaningful theological sense, since baptism does away with the old covenant. As St Paul says "in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female". The other side of this is that when Gentiles accept baptism, they are 'grafted on' to the old Israel, that is, they become partakers of the promises that were formerly made to the Jews alone, but are now available to all who accept Christ by faith.
[/quote]



I think this is a very helpful explanation,  it sets out what is the ideal. It practice however , especially in the Orthodox Church, Greeks certainly remain Greeks and Serbians , Serbs and Russians Russian. What is further confusing is the modern overlay of racist formula's used by the Nazi's to define a Jew.

So in the Worldly sense yes, the Apostles no longer had a spiritual connection with the Old Covenant . But to say they were no longer "Jews" is a bit much while allowing Romans to remain Romans and Greeks left to be Greek etc. It also (inadvertently to be sure) plays into certain anti-semtic formulations that that either deny the Lords ethnic identification as a Jew ( producing Blond Haired, Blue Eyes depictions) or conjectures that the Jews back then were "different" than the Jew's of today.
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« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2009, 02:53:43 PM »

One could easilly argue the  jewish rebi Yeshua was the FULLFILLMENT of the old covenant.
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« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2009, 10:10:13 PM »

Also, we recall the Spanish Inquisition where the Latins persecuted Jews who had converted to the Roman Catholic Church. Clearly, in the eyes of Rome at least, they remained "The Jews". 
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2009, 01:50:38 PM »

Also, we recall the Spanish Inquisition where the Latins persecuted Jews who had converted to the Roman Catholic Church. Clearly, in the eyes of Rome at least, they remained "The Jews". 
The problem here was that many Jews accepted baptism in appearance only, while continuing to practice Judaism in secret. The Spanish rulers saw these crypto-Jews as a political as well as a religious threat. Bear in mind that the Latin church by this time had considerably blurred Church-State distinctions, so that the Inquisition was at the same time an ecclesiastical body and a department of State.
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2009, 09:45:11 PM »

Also, we recall the Spanish Inquisition where the Latins persecuted Jews who had converted to the Roman Catholic Church. Clearly, in the eyes of Rome at least, they remained "The Jews". 
The problem here was that many Jews accepted baptism in appearance only, while continuing to practice Judaism in secret. The Spanish rulers saw these crypto-Jews as a political as well as a religious threat. Bear in mind that the Latin church by this time had considerably blurred Church-State distinctions, so that the Inquisition was at the same time an ecclesiastical body and a department of State.

Yes, that is my understanding also. They forced Jews to convert and then were suspicious when it didn't take. There are stories that they would watch Jewish homes to see if smoke came out of the chimney on the Sabbath. If not, they may have been refraining from work and thereby carted off to get their finger nails pulled out....etc.

Still, Pagan Greeks were free to remain Greeks in identity after Baptism but Jews somehow cease to be Jews once Baptised.. The ideal of, there are no Greeks or Jews in Christ, does not seem to be what has been done in practice
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« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2009, 03:55:40 PM »

Also, we recall the Spanish Inquisition where the Latins persecuted Jews who had converted to the Roman Catholic Church. Clearly, in the eyes of Rome at least, they remained "The Jews". 
The problem here was that many Jews accepted baptism in appearance only, while continuing to practice Judaism in secret. The Spanish rulers saw these crypto-Jews as a political as well as a religious threat. Bear in mind that the Latin church by this time had considerably blurred Church-State distinctions, so that the Inquisition was at the same time an ecclesiastical body and a department of State.

Yes, that is my understanding also. They forced Jews to convert and then were suspicious when it didn't take. There are stories that they would watch Jewish homes to see if smoke came out of the chimney on the Sabbath. If not, they may have been refraining from work and thereby carted off to get their finger nails pulled out....etc.

Still, Pagan Greeks were free to remain Greeks in identity after Baptism but Jews somehow cease to be Jews once Baptised.. The ideal of, there are no Greeks or Jews in Christ, does not seem to be what has been done in practice
Actually 'Greek' used to be synonymous with 'pagan'; the Greek-speaking Orthodox referred to themselves as Romans (a political rather than an ethnic identity) or simply as (Orthodox) Christians, up until the rise of Greek nationalism, when there was a conscious effort to return to the Hellenic (i.e. pagan) roots.

The Orthodox attitude to Greek philosophy was to take what was compatible with Christianity and leave the rest. Similarly, what was best about the Jewish law was kept (e.g. the Ten Commandments), but the rest was left behind.
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« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2009, 04:34:59 PM »

Also, we recall the Spanish Inquisition where the Latins persecuted Jews who had converted to the Roman Catholic Church. Clearly, in the eyes of Rome at least, they remained "The Jews". 
The problem here was that many Jews accepted baptism in appearance only, while continuing to practice Judaism in secret. The Spanish rulers saw these crypto-Jews as a political as well as a religious threat. Bear in mind that the Latin church by this time had considerably blurred Church-State distinctions, so that the Inquisition was at the same time an ecclesiastical body and a department of State.

Yes, that is my understanding also. They forced Jews to convert and then were suspicious when it didn't take. There are stories that they would watch Jewish homes to see if smoke came out of the chimney on the Sabbath. If not, they may have been refraining from work and thereby carted off to get their finger nails pulled out....etc.

Still, Pagan Greeks were free to remain Greeks in identity after Baptism but Jews somehow cease to be Jews once Baptised.. The ideal of, there are no Greeks or Jews in Christ, does not seem to be what has been done in practice
Actually 'Greek' used to be synonymous with 'pagan'; the Greek-speaking Orthodox referred to themselves as Romans (a political rather than an ethnic identity) or simply as (Orthodox) Christians, up until the rise of Greek nationalism, when there was a conscious effort to return to the Hellenic (i.e. pagan) roots.

The Orthodox attitude to Greek philosophy was to take what was compatible with Christianity and leave the rest. Similarly, what was best about the Jewish law was kept (e.g. the Ten Commandments), but the rest was left behind.

Thanks for being so clear.
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« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2009, 04:58:05 PM »

Actually 'Greek' used to be synonymous with 'pagan'; the Greek-speaking Orthodox referred to themselves as Romans (a political rather than an ethnic identity) or simply as (Orthodox) Christians, up until the rise of Greek nationalism, when there was a conscious effort to return to the Hellenic (i.e. pagan) roots.

Not exactly.  There is evidence of a widespread movement in the last centuries before the Ottoman Invasion to refer to the Eastern Romans as Greeks; not only by the Western Romans, who did so out of contempt, but also by many of the Easterners themselves, who were hearkening back to history and politically happier times.  It didn't have to do with paganism and the philosophers until later (the nationalist movement that you mention).
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« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2009, 02:11:36 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?


Uh, Cleveland just said three posts ago, "Quit the tangent," so let's follow his directive and quit this tangent.  The topic of this thread is Jonathan Gress's question regarding the Church's teaching on the Jews, NOT who is to blame for killing the Christ.

..I believe that my post addressed the topic at hand.
Actually, I think this is more relevant than it seems. Remember how Christ foretold his own death 'the Son of Man must be handed over to the Gentiles'. Peter describes the Lord's passion in similar words in Acts. It is true that both Jews and Gentiles were involved in Christ's death. But whereas the Gentiles eventually repented and turned to Christ (when Rome became Christian), the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.

This should settle the question:  Acts 2:36 - Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2009, 02:52:14 PM »


I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.







And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?

Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?


Uh, Cleveland just said three posts ago, "Quit the tangent," so let's follow his directive and quit this tangent.  The topic of this thread is Jonathan Gress's question regarding the Church's teaching on the Jews, NOT who is to blame for killing the Christ.

..I believe that my post addressed the topic at hand.
Actually, I think this is more relevant than it seems. Remember how Christ foretold his own death 'the Son of Man must be handed over to the Gentiles'. Peter describes the Lord's passion in similar words in Acts. It is true that both Jews and Gentiles were involved in Christ's death. But whereas the Gentiles eventually repented and turned to Christ (when Rome became Christian), the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.
Really? I see a lot of Gentiles who remain pagan.  And a lot of Jews have "repented," Fr. Men', all the first bishops of the Mother Church of Jerusalem and the original generation of Christians, including those 3, 120 at Pentacost come to mind.
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« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2009, 11:47:17 PM »

The priest who was at my GOA parish a few years back made it a particular point to teach that the "Jews" referred to in the Lenten chants refer to the Jewish religious establishment at that particular time period. This does not refer to all Jews, or Jews throughout time.

Although the Jews in the Passion accounts did say "'His blood be upon us and our children'", God is not bound by their self-destructive desires. God will hold accountable whom He wishes.

The quote that "hence all Jews born into the world do in fact inherit this curse, this special mark of shame for what their ancestors did to Christ." is erroneous teaching!

The Russian Orthodox Church has specifically come out against this. A few years back, it issued a statement that Christ's death and resurrection had the power to save all men from sin. Thus, the concept of inherited blood guilt is alien to the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2009, 08:17:51 PM »

The Church teaches us that jews come from the breakaway sect of Pharisees that fell away from God, became His killers and called down upon themselves and their descendants the blood of the Son of God Whom they crucified (Mt. 27,25).

In the biblical passages of the Passion, we can clearly see how these unbelieving jews plotted against Our Lord and God Jesus Christ, deceived their fellowmen, and used the Government of the Roman Empire to destroy Him by proxy.

In the Acts of the Apostles, Protomartyr Stephen, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit describes the jews as prideful with a bad heart and deaf ears, who continue to do what their fathers did before the coming of our Lord and God Jesus Christ: betray God, break His Law and persecute and murder His true servants the prophets, and others.

For exposing them, Saint Stephen was taken out of the city and stoned by the jews, becoming thus, the first Martyr after the coming of out Lord and God Jesus Christ.

The Church, by preserving the memory of the Holy Martyrs murdered by jews, reminds us the teachings of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, concerning the Pharisees, whom we now call jews, and reveals how until this very same day, they continue to do what their fathers did when our God and Lord Jesus Christ came down to earth.

Holy prophets martyrs of the Old Testament,  Protomartyr Stephen, Holy Child Martyr Gabriel of Zabludov, Holy Martyr Matrona of Salonica, and all the Holy Martyrs tortured and murdered by the jews, pray to God for us, and expose the members of the synagogue of satan.







 







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« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2009, 01:53:19 AM »

"Pravoslav" wrote:

"The Church teaches us that jews come from the breakaway sect of Pharisees that fell away from God."

I know of no such church teaching. Which "church" are you referring to?

"...expose the members of the synagogue of satan."

Ah. I'm sure Himmler and Goebbels would agree with you!  Seig Heil!
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« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2009, 03:31:30 AM »

Don`t forget salvation comes from jews and the parents and the promises . We all crucified Jesus with our sins before He came , the nations first , then Israel . We all turn away from God and work inquity , we were like lost sheep , but He made our blame to fall on Him . Because of Israel turn away from God , we received Salvation . A way is made in desert , the lame , the blind , the orphans , and the deff became His people , the deff hear , the lame walk , the sick are healed , and the blind see , those who were orphans are adopted . Every mountain shall fall and every valley shall be filled .  The desert land became full of waters . Israel seeking those of the law did not believe in Him , and those to whom where given the law broke it, and there circumcision became uncircumcised, but those who were uncircumcised kept the law , and the law was written in their hearts and their uncircumcision became circumcision and those believed in Him . These are the people who seek God with all their heart , the people who love light , who love righteouss and seek for the truth.People who worship Him in truth and spirit , this is what the prophet said "I will call my people , those who were not my people" . So us wich were pagans should not be hateful and proud against the jewish nations  , cause we were like them and wild olive tree , but we were instituated to the good roots , thanks to grace and mercy . But they will also be instituated on this roots and we will all be one , they will be instituated on our roots as us were on theirs . So if their turning away from God , earned the nations the Salvation , their coming back will be a resurrection from the death . But Israel will be sowed in Izreel and will be one nation and one God upon all earth . Remmeber Salvation comes from jews , and we earned Salvation thank to God`s big grace and mercy , and as we resurrected from death so will they .The Roman Empire became later all Europe and a part of Asia and Africa afaik , and from "the Roman Empire(Europe)" America was colonised . So between those who killed Jesus were the jews and the Romans , the romans represents in this case all nations . He died for us , to redeem earth from damnation .
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« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2009, 09:02:55 AM »


Although the Jews in the Passion accounts did say "'His blood be upon us and our children'", God is not bound by their self-destructive desires. God will hold accountable whom He wishes.


While growing up Catholic, our priest pointed out the inconsistency of that phrase when remembering all the Jewish kosher laws and their particular feelings concerning blood. He said, no Jew would call down blood on themselves or their children.
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« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2009, 09:40:54 AM »

Seeing some reactions here against what Our Lord Himself teaches about jews, what is described in Acts 14 comes to my mind. The unbelieving Jews continue to stir up the people of God, and turn christians against their own brethen.

There is a prophecy in the Church that says just before the second coming of Christ, the two witnesses, (Prophet Ellijah and Moshe) will come again to preach the Gospel again, and some jews will repent and convert.

The Church teaches us to speak up the truth, love everyone, and do good to all, we should not in any wise hate anyone, nor do evil to anyone, and the more, we must pray for our enemies, bless them in the name of the Lord, and do good to them.

While the Church condemns the jews for their evil deeds and false doctrine, She lovingly calls them to repent, to know the truth and come to the One Saviour and God, our Lord Jesus Christ, the door and the path to heaven.

True descendants of Abraham, are christians, who do the works of the Father, which are, believing in the One He sent. God is indivisible, and it's impossible to believe in the Father, and deny Christ the Son at the same time.

Love without truth is hatred, while truth without love cannot stand.
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« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2009, 03:51:18 PM »

The Church teaches us that jews come from the breakaway sect of Pharisees that fell away from God, became His killers and called down upon themselves and their descendants the blood of the Son of God Whom they crucified (Mt. 27,25).

In the biblical passages of the Passion, we can clearly see how these unbelieving jews plotted against Our Lord and God Jesus Christ, deceived their fellowmen, and used the Government of the Roman Empire to destroy Him by proxy.

In the Acts of the Apostles, Protomartyr Stephen, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit describes the jews as prideful with a bad heart and deaf ears, who continue to do what their fathers did before the coming of our Lord and God Jesus Christ: betray God, break His Law and persecute and murder His true servants the prophets, and others.

For exposing them, Saint Stephen was taken out of the city and stoned by the jews, becoming thus, the first Martyr after the coming of out Lord and God Jesus Christ.

The Church, by preserving the memory of the Holy Martyrs murdered by jews, reminds us the teachings of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, concerning the Pharisees, whom we now call jews, and reveals how until this very same day, they continue to do what their fathers did when our God and Lord Jesus Christ came down to earth.

Holy prophets martyrs of the Old Testament,  Protomartyr Stephen, Holy Child Martyr Gabriel of Zabludov, Holy Martyr Matrona of Salonica, and all the Holy Martyrs tortured and murdered by the jews, pray to God for us, and expose the members of the synagogue of satan.










Wow..Congratulations..That may be the most anti-semitic post on the entire Internet. You should win some kind of award...Nice work.  Get help
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« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2009, 04:02:14 PM »

While growing up Catholic, our priest pointed out the inconsistency of that phrase when remembering all the Jewish kosher laws and their particular feelings concerning blood. He said, no Jew would call down blood on themselves or their children.

So, your Catholic priest was busy pointing out factual errors in the Holy Scriptures?
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« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2009, 11:03:26 PM »

While growing up Catholic, our priest pointed out the inconsistency of that phrase when remembering all the Jewish kosher laws and their particular feelings concerning blood. He said, no Jew would call down blood on themselves or their children.

So, your Catholic priest was busy pointing out factual errors in the Holy Scriptures?

Was there really a tower of Babel?

Did Jonah really get swallowed by a Whale ?
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« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2009, 01:40:19 AM »

Was there really a tower of Babel?

Did Jonah really get swallowed by a Whale?

Did you really ask me those questions?

Comparing ancient mythos with the Gospels seems a bit different to me.  I think we have to assume that the degree of reliability of the Gospels is a bit higher, but whatever.  We're all just making up our own personal religions as we go anyway, are we not?  I ignore plenty of things that I don't want to see in the Holy Scriptures, so I suppose I can't fault that presbyter anymore than I am at fault.  It just seems a little brazen even to me to openly preach to your congregation that something recorded in a Gospel is not "true" and also never happened.  Because with the mythos the question of "truth" is never violated; the stories are true even if they aren't facts.  In those cases, the point of the stories is the spiritual truths they convey, not the "scientific" details. 

But eagerly profess that the Gospels contain falsehoods, well that would be incredibly damning (for the Gospels) to say the least.  That quote by the Jews is meant to convey a truth.  It's included for a reason.  So perhaps a better question would be why that presbyter thought the passage was included in the gospel, if it clearly would not have happened and if there is no greater truth to convey to the reader?  Ought we strike it from the Scriptures?
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« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2009, 09:03:53 PM »

Did you really ask me those questions?

I am truly curious about what people accept in Scripture as "Factual" and what they don't. I remember sitting next to a very nice fellow during the trapeza meal who was trying to place the tower of babel in history, when it actually happened.



Comparing ancient mythos with the Gospels seems a bit different to me.  I think we have to assume that the degree of reliability of the Gospels is a bit higher, but whatever.

But that isn't really the teaching of the Church either.. Where is the line when we get to pick and choose?


We're all just making up our own personal religions as we go anyway, are we not?

Oh I don't really think so if you are participating in the Church with effort.

I ignore plenty of things that I don't want to see in the Holy Scriptures, so I suppose I can't fault that presbyter anymore than I am at fault.  It just seems a little brazen even to me to openly preach to your congregation that something recorded in a Gospel is not "true" and also never happened.  Because with the mythos the question of "truth" is never violated; the stories are true even if they aren't facts.  In those cases, the point of the stories is the spiritual truths they convey, not the "scientific" details.

Yes...That is pretty much my thinking too. We have trouble separating the words "factual" and "True". Everything in Scripture is there for a reason. And while some things in the Old Testament are clearly symbolic, it is just as true that there were no tape recorders during the Life of Christ. Therefore one must exercise a modicum of caution when we use passages such is as the "Blood Libal" as an excuse for burning Jewish towns, and hearding them into death camps. One must see the bigger picture of Love and living for others, even those we may think of as our enemies. Any Scripture that evokes hatred and murderous thoughts is being misused.   


But eagerly profess that the Gospels contain falsehoods, well that would be incredibly damning (for the Gospels) to say the least.  That quote by the Jews is meant to convey a truth.  It's included for a reason.  So perhaps a better question would be why that presbyter thought the passage was included in the gospel, if it clearly would not have happened and if there is no greater truth to convey to the reader?  Ought we strike it from the Scriptures

We should strike nothing. However, "Christian Hatred" should be an oxymoron. No?
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« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2009, 02:04:10 PM »

The more I consider the matter, the more it seems to me that the reproaches against the Jews in the Holy Week texts really has to be compared with the lamentations of the Old Testament prophets like Jeremiah. A major theme that comes up again and again is how Christ was betrayed by his _own_ people. Similarly, the prophets were reproaching their own people for their sins. Certainly, there is also a definite sense that the Jews are the 'other', to use that hackneyed phrase, since we talk of ourselves as the Church of the Gentiles, in contrast with the OT Church of the Hebrews. But we are also the New Israel; we believe in Christ because he fulfills Moses and the prophets. We are like Jacob, and the Jews are like Esau, since they were 'first', but they forfeited their inheritance. We used to be disinherited, but now we have come into the inheritance.

Of course, a Jew can always come over from Esau to Jacob. The curse has no power over that (as St John Chrysostom says in the 86th homily on Matthew's Gospel). It seems the primary reason for talking about a curse is what happened to Jews during and after the revolt, when the Temple was destroyed and the Jews were either killed or expelled from Judaea. Those events were primarily symbolical of the Jews refusal to repent and accept Christ (since they continued to hope for an earthly Messiah, and still do).
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« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2009, 09:44:15 PM »

The more I consider the matter, the more it seems to me that the reproaches against the Jews in the Holy Week texts really has to be compared with the lamentations of the Old Testament prophets like Jeremiah. A major theme that comes up again and again is how Christ was betrayed by his _own_ people. Similarly, the prophets were reproaching their own people for their sins. Certainly, there is also a definite sense that the Jews are the 'other', to use that hackneyed phrase, since we talk of ourselves as the Church of the Gentiles, in contrast with the OT Church of the Hebrews. But we are also the New Israel; we believe in Christ because he fulfills Moses and the prophets. We are like Jacob, and the Jews are like Esau, since they were 'first', but they forfeited their inheritance. We used to be disinherited, but now we have come into the inheritance.

Of course, a Jew can always come over from Esau to Jacob. The curse has no power over that (as St John Chrysostom says in the 86th homily on Matthew's Gospel). It seems the primary reason for talking about a curse is what happened to Jews during and after the revolt, when the Temple was destroyed and the Jews were either killed or expelled from Judaea. Those events were primarily symbolical of the Jews refusal to repent and accept Christ (since they continued to hope for an earthly Messiah, and still do).

In fairness it should be noted that from the Jewish perspective the reason for not accepting Jesus as the Christ is not because they are waiting for an "earthly Christ". That is the Christian analysis of their position. They would tell you that if you hold Jesus to the standard set in scripture, he failed to meet it. If you check off all of the ways we are to know the true Messiah he met some of them but not all. Christians reply that the remainder will be fullfilled after the seconded coming, an argument that can fall a bit short if you are not preaching to the choir.
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« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2009, 09:59:54 PM »

All right, so how did Christ fail to fulfill the prophecies? We're all ears.
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« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2009, 11:45:49 PM »

All right, so how did Christ fail to fulfill the prophecies? We're all ears.

Here is a sort of "laundry list" that gets passed around the internet, but I haven't taken the time to go through them all.  Some of them were fulfilled in ways they did not expect, others are yet to come, and others are problematic:

Quote
Your Jesus left these Messianic prophesies unfulfilled:

- the end of sin
Ezek 36:25, 33, 37:23-24, Zeph 3:13, 3:15, Job 3:17, Isa 69:21, Jer 50:20
- the end of suffering
Isa 65:19
- peace and tranquility
Isa 2:4, 9:6, 11:6-9, 65:19, 25, Zech 9:10, Micah 4:3, Hosea 2:18
- one creed and one religion
Isa 2:2, 14:1, 45:14, 22-24, 52:1, 60:2-6, 14-6, 66:23, Zech 8:23, 14:9 Psa 86:9, Mal 1:11, Joel 3:17, Jer 31:34
- one kingdom and one king
Isa 11:12, 43:5-6, 60:11-12, Dan 2:44, 7:27, Ezek 37:21-22,39:28, Zech 14:9
- the resurrection of the dead
Isa 26:19, Dan 12:2, Deut 32:39
- the abolishment of idolatrous images and false prophets
Isa 2:18, 42:17, Zeph 2:11, Psa 97:7
- the gathering of the ten tribes under a Davidic king
Ezek 37:21-22
- the battle between Gog and Magog
Ezek 38, 39
- the cleaving of the Mount of Olives
Zech 14:4
- the building of the future temple
Ezek 40-46
- the issuing of living water from the site of the temple
Ezek 47:1-2
- the renewal of the Covenant as sanctification for the Israelites
Ezek 37:26-28
- the going up of the remnant of the nations to Jerusalem to worship
Zech 14:16
- Jerusalem being safely inhabited
Zech 14:11
- the messiah being desired by all nations
Hag 2:7
- the wicked being slain
Isa 11:4
- the messianic nation stretching from sea to sea
Zech 9:10, Psa 72:8, Dan 7:14
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Tags: Messianic Judaism 
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