Author Topic: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?  (Read 966 times)

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Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« on: October 19, 2017, 11:02:00 PM »
I've heard critics accuse St. John Chrysostom of being responsible for anti-semitism in Christendom, particularly that experienced in certain periods of the Byzantine Empire, as well as being a partial influence during the Spanish Inquisition. Though I have not delved deep into Adversus Judaeos , I'd like to hear your thoughts and responses to these critics.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 11:03:30 PM by Isaiah53IsMessiah »
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 01:47:40 AM »
Everyone who wrote polemics in the ancient world used the same time of scathing, hyperbolic and insulting language as Chrysostom. It is unfair to judge him alone for doing it, because everyone did it.
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Offline beebert

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 02:55:58 AM »
Everyone who wrote polemics in the ancient world used the same time of scathing, hyperbolic and insulting language as Chrysostom. It is unfair to judge him alone for doing it, because everyone did it.
1. Sources of EVERYONE doing it?
2. Lol. It is almost like saying that it is unfair to judge a nazi because "everyone" was a nazi during the second world war. Or that "everyone" in the US was a racist before, so why be hard on that 

No I dont agree with all this Christian hypocrisy; John Chrysostom had a criminal and unexcusable (remember that this man was himself an expert on calling out things as unexcusable) view on this point and that is the only way to view it.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 02:56:46 AM by beebert »
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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 09:05:41 AM »
Everyone who wrote polemics in the ancient world used the same time of scathing, hyperbolic and insulting language as Chrysostom. It is unfair to judge him alone for doing it, because everyone did it.
1. Sources of EVERYONE doing it?
2. Lol. It is almost like saying that it is unfair to judge a nazi because "everyone" was a nazi during the second world war. Or that "everyone" in the US was a racist before, so why be hard on that 

No I dont agree with all this Christian hypocrisy; John Chrysostom had a criminal and unexcusable (remember that this man was himself an expert on calling out things as unexcusable) view on this point and that is the only way to view it.

That's just not true.  Have you studied the historical demographics of the Church of Antioch, then and now?  Nearly all ethnic Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox were and are at least partially of Jewish descent; many have Jewish last names.  For example, Mar Dionysius Bar Hebraeus.  Many are named "Yohannan" or "Younan" or "Hanna" or "Zakka" instance,  Or Aramaicizations, Arabizations or Hellenizations of such names, e.g. Cohen becomes Khoury.  DNA studies on Antiochene Christians as well as on Ethiopian Christians have shown the Y chromosome.   St. John Chrysostom himself was probably ethnically Jewish.

Now, there is another aspect to this as well: St. John Chrysostom was objecting in his polemics to the active proselytization of the Christian, ethnically Jewish (therefore Halakhically Jewish) members of his congregation, who were attending the synagogue and participating in Jewish events like the blowing of the Shofar with increasing frequency.  Now, if you know anything about Judaism, you'll know that Jews as a rule do not proselytize; the limit of their actions in this respect consists of negative proselytization targeting Messianic Judaism and Christian missionaries, with a view to keeping Jews from converting to the Christian faith (this is commonly known as "anti-missionary activity.")  Many of the polemics and approaches contemporary Jews use for this are quite harsh and scornful, and to this day the Charedi and Chassidic Jews preserve a polemical tradition very much like that of the 4th century (one which is conducted via brief tractates posted on walls of buildings, known as Pashkevilim: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pashkevil

Now, I do not judge or condemn the Jews for any of this; I respect their religious tradition and I think a healthy culture of internal debate and polemic is probably a good thing.

However, from this, we can draw one of two possible conclusions: either the Jewish sect which St. John Chrysostom criticized was not the Rabinnical Judaism of today, but a now-extinct, aggressively proselytizing sect, very possibly a Judeo-Christian "Judaizing" sect such as the Ebionites, or alternately, the Jewish community in Antioch was engaged in the fourth century equivalent of "anti-missionary activity", trying to get Jewish Christians to abandon Christianity, in which case, St. John Chrysostom, as the bishop, had no choice but to respond in kind.

Now, as for the claim made by xOrthodox4Christx that this language was completely normal concerning Patristic polemics, this is completely accurate, and I can give you several examples: the writings of St. Augustine against Pelagius, who he mocks for his stature and refers to derisively as "Brito" owing to his British ethnicity, the polemics of St. Epiphanius of Salamis in the Panarion in which he likens each and every heretical sect or non-Christian religion that he reviews, inclusing Judaism, to a poisonous or venomous animal (the word Panarion literally means Medical Kit), the writings of St. Irenaeus of Lyons in which he openly mocks the belief system of the Valentinians and other Gnostic emanationists by replacing the supposed names of divine emanations in their beliefs with the names of various melons, the writings of St. Hippolytus which contain the same, and those of St. John Damascene, Origen, and of course St. Cyril of Alexandria, among others, and finally, in the Bible itself  the extremely polemical treatment of Paganism in the Old Testament, where Pagan sacred idols are mocked by St. Daniel the prophet, where the Pagan deities are called, in Psalm 95:5 LXX "devils" or "demons" (thats in the Septuagint or avulgate, your KJV will read differently on that verse), and most importantly, in the well known polemics against Christianity written by Roman authors, in which we are accused of orgies, or cannibalism and of child sacrifice (there was actually a horrific Gnostic sect in Syria called by St. Epiphanius the "Borborites" or "mud people," who, like some Gnostics, were basically devil-worshippers who engaged in those horrifying activities, and who dared to call their demonic practices "Christianity").

It must also be stressed this culture of polemics continued into the 18th century; it was only in the Enlightenment era where it partially was suppressed, although within the Eastern churches, there are still a few firery Bishops like Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus and Bishop Abanoub of Muqqatim who adopt a direct, forthright and polemical tone in their homilies, rather than the Pietist, Latitudinarian "nice-nice" culture which has allowed the mainline Protestant churches, and by and large, the Roman Catholic Church, to soften on doctrine, morality or praxis, in order to avoid confrontation.

Lastly, let us consider confrontation:  did any violence happen in Antioch as a result of St. John's polemics?  No.

In comtrast, many argue the polemical homilies of St. Cyril of Alexandria a few hears later pressaged sectarian conflict which ultimately led to the exile of Jews and Pagans from that city, or at least, the "incorporated" part of it, and also which some allege inspired the murder of the Pagan priestess Hypatia (I personally disagree on these points; there was severe provocation and violence coming from both sides in that conflict).

St. Epiphanius of Salamis wrote a scathing criticism of Judaism, Jewish sects and Judaizing Christians like the Ebionites in his Panarion at least a decade before St. John Chrysostom's homily "Against the Jews."  St. Epiphanius, being a Cypriot, is somewhat less likely to have been of Jewish descent than St. John Chrysostom.  St. Epiphanius was near the end of his life an enemy of St. John; he died en route to Constantinople in an attempt to depose St. John for embracing Origenism (actually, while in transit, he found out the reports that St. John had received Origenist monks were false and realized he was being manipulated as a political pawn, and in the process of turning around to head back to Cyprus he reposed in the Lord).

As noted earlier, this polemical approach continued well into the Protestant reformation.  The horrible things Martin Luther said about the Jews were far worse than anything any Church Father wrote about them.  For that matter, the polemics between Lutherans, Catholics, Calvinists and Anabaptists were of shocking vitriol even compared to St. Epiphanius.

Lastly, it must be stressed that these firery rhetorics in *no sense* compromised the saintliness of their authors, such as St. John Chrysostom, St. Epiphanius of Salamis, St. Hippolytus, St. Irenaeus, St. Augustine, St. Cyril, St. Severus, and so on; our Lord did warn us "I came not to bring peace but a sword," and our Lord is the Word of God, the very incarnation of Truth.  I am firmly of the opinion that in Christian apologetics, we should pull no punches defending the Orthodox doctrine against the lies of heretics and heathen, except to the extent that modern culture dictates and artificial, unnatural and misleading "sensitivity," for example, in inter-religious dialogue. 

For the same reason, I have no objections to Charedi Jews using polemical pashkevilim in order to talk about important matters of doctrine and praxis.  It seems to me more natural and a clearer form of dialogue, which Socrates showed us, can be a path to truth (in some cases, Orthodoxy represents the middle ground between two rival factions in the early Church, who attacked each other fiercely with polemics, for example, we are clearly in the middle ground between ultra-rigorist groups like the Donatists, and Universalists).

I hope you find this information helpful and illuminating.  God bless you.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:17:11 AM by Alpha60 »
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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 10:42:46 AM »
Arachne posted a link in the "Hell forever" thread that I think is worth reading here: https://orthodoxwiki.org/John_Chrysostom#The_Homilies_against_the_Judaizers
This pertains to John Chrysostom's so-called "anti-semitic" remarks.

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 10:54:35 AM »
Everyone who wrote polemics in the ancient world used the same time of scathing, hyperbolic and insulting language as Chrysostom. It is unfair to judge him alone for doing it, because everyone did it.
1. Sources of EVERYONE doing it?
2. Lol. It is almost like saying that it is unfair to judge a nazi because "everyone" was a nazi during the second world war. Or that "everyone" in the US was a racist before, so why be hard on that 

No I dont agree with all this Christian hypocrisy; John Chrysostom had a criminal and unexcusable (remember that this man was himself an expert on calling out things as unexcusable) view on this point and that is the only way to view it.

beebert,

The forum rules restrict the participation of non-Orthodox in this section (Faith Issues) as well as prohibiting the posting of non-Orthodox opinions, beliefs, etc.  You are free to do that elsewhere on the forum, according to the rules governing the various sections, but you are not allowed to do that here.

I am being exceedingly lenient in letting this comment go with a warning not to repeat this behaviour.  Any further violation--any at all--will result in a severe penalty. 

If you would like to discuss this further (not that I think there is anything to discuss, the rules are clear), you may PM me.   

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 10:55:47 AM »
DNA studies on Antiochene Christians as well as on Ethiopian Christians have shown the Y chromosome.   

One should hope so.
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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 11:11:07 AM »
Everyone who wrote polemics in the ancient world used the same time of scathing, hyperbolic and insulting language as Chrysostom. It is unfair to judge him alone for doing it, because everyone did it.
1. Sources of EVERYONE doing it?
2. Lol. It is almost like saying that it is unfair to judge a nazi because "everyone" was a nazi during the second world war. Or that "everyone" in the US was a racist before, so why be hard on that 

Since I'm allowed to post my remarks here  :angel:, +1
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 11:18:45 AM »
Everyone who wrote polemics in the ancient world used the same time of scathing, hyperbolic and insulting language as Chrysostom. It is unfair to judge him alone for doing it, because everyone did it.
1. Sources of EVERYONE doing it?
2. Lol. It is almost like saying that it is unfair to judge a nazi because "everyone" was a nazi during the second world war. Or that "everyone" in the US was a racist before, so why be hard on that 

Since I'm allowed to post my remarks here  :angel:, +1

Nope.
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 01:33:45 PM »
Comparing Chrysostom to a Nazi is really stupid, and you should know better. Words and actions are not the same.
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Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2017, 05:27:49 PM »
Quote
For that matter, the polemics between Lutherans, Catholics, Calvinists and Anabaptists were of shocking vitriol even compared to St. Epiphanius.

Adding to this, Martin Luther wrote in his work, "On the Jews and Their Lies", Chapter 11:

Quote
I shall give you my sincere advice:

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

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

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

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office by holding the poor Jews captive with the saying of Moses (Deuteronomy 17:10) in which he commands them to obey their teachers on penalty of death, although Moses clearly adds: "what they teach you in accord with the law of the Lord." Those villains ignore that. They wantonly employ the poor people's obedience contrary to the law of the Lord and infuse them with this poison, cursing, and blasphemy. In the same way the pope also held us captive with the declaration in Matthew 16:18, "You are Peter," etc., inducing us to believe all the lies and deceptions that issued from his devilish mind. He did not teach in accord with the word of God, and therefore he forfeited the right to teach.

...
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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2017, 09:38:46 PM »
It is so horrific reading that, and nothing St. John Chrysostom or St. Epiphanius or any other saint wrote about the Jews or Samaritans, who were, in that era, much more powerful, much more interested in competing in the marketplace of ideas (recall the implied attempt by the Samaritans to proselytize Jesus and his disciples, "had they been going to Mount Gerizim," just before our Lord immediately quashed any kind of grudging resentment of the Samaritans among his disciples for the inconvenience by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan) and much less of a marginalized minority than the Ashkenazi of Germany were in Luther's era.

As I see it, what Luther wrote about the Jews was a product of his warped, egotistical mal-interpretation of the Christian faith, which by that point in his life was causing him to produce writings concerning the sacraments, and engage in actions such as unilaterally seeking to modify both the canon of the New Testament and the actual content of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, and utterances such as his famed "Sin boldly" remark, that was as cacodox and in opposition to the faith of St. John Chrysostom, St. Epiphanius and the other holy Fathers of the Holy Orthodox Church, as anything ever written by John Calvin.  In no sense can we say that Luther was merely expatiating on a point made by our beloved St. John, who was quite possibly, even probably, ethnically Jewish at least in part, because St. John didn't make any point that remotely resembled Luther's screed.  He was simply exhorting the Jewish Christian women of his congregation not to attend the synagogue but to fully commit themselves to the Christian faith.

St. John also did resort to hyperbole in his sermons; he once threatened to erect a wall between the men and women in his parish due to their tendency to oogle and flirt with one another during the liturgy, a feature, which, by the way, all Orthodox Jewish synagogues lacking a gallery for the women, are required to have.  So we should also bear that in mind.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2017, 09:58:57 PM »
Arachne posted a link in the "Hell forever" thread that I think is worth reading here: https://orthodoxwiki.org/John_Chrysostom#The_Homilies_against_the_Judaizers
This pertains to John Chrysostom's so-called "anti-semitic" remarks.

This is extremely important, and everyone who reads this thread should click through to that article. Anyone who retains the anachronistic belief that St. John was anti-Semitic after reading that I can only pray for.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

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This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 10:51:37 PM »
As I see it, what Luther wrote about the Jews was a product of his warped, egotistical mal-interpretation of the Christian faith


It's actually even worse then that:

https://sites.google.com/site/luthersroseofabomination/

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2017, 11:42:01 PM »
You care way too much about a frail opressed minority for a self-styled Übermensch, beebert.

DNA studies on Antiochene Christians as well as on Ethiopian Christians have shown the Y chromosome.   
One should hope so.
lol!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 11:46:44 PM by RaphaCam »
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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2017, 12:35:33 AM »
Arachne posted a link in the "Hell forever" thread that I think is worth reading here: https://orthodoxwiki.org/John_Chrysostom#The_Homilies_against_the_Judaizers
This pertains to John Chrysostom's so-called "anti-semitic" remarks.

I have another link that is worth reading as it gets into the complexities of interpretation.
https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6-react.asp

It is long, but it is worth reading to the end.
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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2017, 12:38:37 AM »
As I see it, what Luther wrote about the Jews was a product of his warped, egotistical mal-interpretation of the Christian faith


It's actually even worse then that:

https://sites.google.com/site/luthersroseofabomination/

Ladies and gentlemen, Luther is not Orthodox, so let's not discuss him here.
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Jude1:3

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2017, 04:09:45 AM »
As I see it, what Luther wrote about the Jews was a product of his warped, egotistical mal-interpretation of the Christian faith


It's actually even worse then that:

https://sites.google.com/site/luthersroseofabomination/

Ladies and gentlemen, Luther is not Orthodox, so let's not discuss him here.


Sorry about that.

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2017, 12:15:57 PM »
Arachne posted a link in the "Hell forever" thread that I think is worth reading here: https://orthodoxwiki.org/John_Chrysostom#The_Homilies_against_the_Judaizers
This pertains to John Chrysostom's so-called "anti-semitic" remarks.

I have another link that is worth reading as it gets into the complexities of interpretation.
https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6-react.asp

It is long, but it is worth reading to the end.

Very good.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 12:17:18 PM by Alpha60 »
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

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This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2017, 12:19:41 PM »
You care way too much about a frail opressed minority for a self-styled Übermensch, beebert.

DNA studies on Antiochene Christians as well as on Ethiopian Christians have shown the Y chromosome.   
One should hope so.
lol!

That was an embarrassing typo.  I meant, the "y" haplogroup associated with Judaic ancestry.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 12:19:59 PM by Alpha60 »
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This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2017, 02:57:36 PM »
If Jews were the majority today, the Talmud and ancient Jewish “fathers” would be criticized for their violent opinions of Christians.  In fact, atheists are very conscious of this fact and take it a step further to rail against all religions of the past.

Unless St. John Chrysostom advocated terrorism and threats of Jewish people, criticizing and insulting ancient Jews does not equate today’s standards of anti-semitism.  This was a popular manner of polemical arguments against religions.  Even historical political debates have resorted to ad hominem without threats.  In fact, many of what St. John Chrysostom said about the Jews, the Talmud said about the Christians.  Practically no difference at all, but never did either Chrysostom or the Talmud advocate threats or terrorism.  The worst they hurled on each other in official teaching is what will happen on Judgment Day.

So no, St. John is not responsible for anti-semitism.  That’s a silly anachronistic accusation that has no basis on any foundation other than warped agendas or pure ignorance.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 03:11:17 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2017, 02:59:24 PM »
Double post by accident
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 02:59:55 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Luke

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2017, 04:08:36 PM »
Yeah.   John Chrysostom is such a tough nazi that he wrote a prayer we sometimes say before communion:

"Third Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

Lord Jesus Christ my God, remit, forgive, absolve and pardon the sins, offences and transgressions which I, Thy sinful, useless and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour, whether with knowledge or in ignorance, whether by words or deeds or intentions or thoughts, and whether by habit or through any of my senses. And through the intercession of her who conceived Thee without seed, the immaculate and ever-virgin Mary Thy Mother, my only sure hope and protection and salvation, make me worthy without condemnation to receive Thy pure, immortal, life-giving and dread Mysteries, for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life, for sanctification and enlightenment and strength and healing and health of soul and body, and for the blotting out and complete destruction of my evil reasonings and intentions and prejudices and nocturnal fantasies of dark evil spirits. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honour and the worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen
." from http://www.stspyridon.org.au/ourFaith.php?articleId=73&subMenu=Prayers
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 04:09:07 PM by Luke »

Offline beebert

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2017, 04:55:31 PM »
Yeah.   John Chrysostom is such a tough nazi that he wrote a prayer we sometimes say before communion:

"Third Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

Lord Jesus Christ my God, remit, forgive, absolve and pardon the sins, offences and transgressions which I, Thy sinful, useless and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour, whether with knowledge or in ignorance, whether by words or deeds or intentions or thoughts, and whether by habit or through any of my senses. And through the intercession of her who conceived Thee without seed, the immaculate and ever-virgin Mary Thy Mother, my only sure hope and protection and salvation, make me worthy without condemnation to receive Thy pure, immortal, life-giving and dread Mysteries, for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life, for sanctification and enlightenment and strength and healing and health of soul and body, and for the blotting out and complete destruction of my evil reasonings and intentions and prejudices and nocturnal fantasies of dark evil spirits. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honour and the worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen
." from http://www.stspyridon.org.au/ourFaith.php?articleId=73&subMenu=Prayers
What on earth has that got to do with anything?
'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2)

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2017, 11:47:34 PM »
My modern (bleeding heart liberal) soul finds some of the words of St. John difficult to read in the homilies against the Jews. Having said that, I'll add two thoughts to the thread...

First, others have pointed out that St. John could be very pastoral and kind-hearted, preaching tolerance and love. This is important when considering St. John in isolation, but also when considering people in later times as they relate to St. John (it was this latter question that was specifically asked about in the OP). When people who persecuted the Jews used St. John for inspiration or justification, were they truly appealing to or thinking of St. John, or were they cherry picking a handful of his words out of a very prolific body of work? It seems based on what I've read of him, that if they had considered St. John more generally, they would have approached things with more sobriety, and focused on the force of words and setting a personal example, rather than the force of arms. To give just one example: when St. John was once sent into exile he asked his supporters to not start riots or otherwise turn to violence in his name, something quite likely to have happened in such a situation and which could have been easily justified as a protest against an unfair decision.

Second, it should be considered that many* who would point the finger at St. John would also point the figure at other saints, including in some cases the New Testament writers. This is not to make of it some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card, but I do think it indicates that the place they are viewing things from, and their methods for 'uncovering' hateful remarks, can be sometimes flawed and selective. For such people this stuff involves anachronistic judgments, as was mentioned, but it also often involves a fundamentally different reading of history. Such people generally see someone like St. John in a position of authority in civilization--seeing 'the Catholic Church' as having settled in to a cozy and powerful place in society--but in actuality St. John had to worry about exiles, death, persuading emperors to not kill tens of thousands of people, persecution by semi-Arian authorities (right up to the emperor), mobs and riots, personal grudges against him, and so on. This is quite different from history as presented by, for example, Elaine Pagels (whose book 'The Origin of Satan' is about anti-semitism in the NT, and who has written on gnosticism and the early Church); for her Christianity had already been bullying and marginalizing people for hundreds of years by the time St. John came along, so by that time Christianity was just the fat cat with imperial backing who didn't even try to live up to the best ideals of Jesus. It's the difference between a good man doing the best he can with a rotten situation, versus some religious elite sitting pretty in his cathedral, persecuting religious opponents and ignoring the vulnerable.


*I'm not speaking of all who are troubled by the words and ask about them; as I said I'm troubled myself when I read some of it
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 11:51:16 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2017, 07:39:12 AM »
Yeah.   John Chrysostom is such a tough nazi that he wrote a prayer we sometimes say before communion:

"Third Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

Lord Jesus Christ my God, remit, forgive, absolve and pardon the sins, offences and transgressions which I, Thy sinful, useless and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour, whether with knowledge or in ignorance, whether by words or deeds or intentions or thoughts, and whether by habit or through any of my senses. And through the intercession of her who conceived Thee without seed, the immaculate and ever-virgin Mary Thy Mother, my only sure hope and protection and salvation, make me worthy without condemnation to receive Thy pure, immortal, life-giving and dread Mysteries, for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life, for sanctification and enlightenment and strength and healing and health of soul and body, and for the blotting out and complete destruction of my evil reasonings and intentions and prejudices and nocturnal fantasies of dark evil spirits. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honour and the worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen
." from http://www.stspyridon.org.au/ourFaith.php?articleId=73&subMenu=Prayers
What on earth has that got to do with anything?

How about rebutting your assertion that St. John Chrysostom was "literally Hitler"? That could be a start.
This profile is defunct as of 11/8/2017. I created it before Orthodoxy, and have used it after Orthodoxy.

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Offline beebert

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2017, 09:43:44 AM »
Yeah.   John Chrysostom is such a tough nazi that he wrote a prayer we sometimes say before communion:

"Third Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

Lord Jesus Christ my God, remit, forgive, absolve and pardon the sins, offences and transgressions which I, Thy sinful, useless and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour, whether with knowledge or in ignorance, whether by words or deeds or intentions or thoughts, and whether by habit or through any of my senses. And through the intercession of her who conceived Thee without seed, the immaculate and ever-virgin Mary Thy Mother, my only sure hope and protection and salvation, make me worthy without condemnation to receive Thy pure, immortal, life-giving and dread Mysteries, for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life, for sanctification and enlightenment and strength and healing and health of soul and body, and for the blotting out and complete destruction of my evil reasonings and intentions and prejudices and nocturnal fantasies of dark evil spirits. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honour and the worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen
." from http://www.stspyridon.org.au/ourFaith.php?articleId=73&subMenu=Prayers
What on earth has that got to do with anything?

How about rebutting your assertion that St. John Chrysostom was "literally Hitler"? That could be a start.
Never said he was Hitler. Only that he would probably have been a nazi, which I believe is probable. And Hitler never planned to fry billions of People in a fire more burning and tormenting than any fire on earth, as John's God seems to plan
'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2)

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2017, 10:56:20 AM »
Thread locked pending review.
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2017, 12:58:07 PM »
Yeah.   John Chrysostom is such a tough nazi that he wrote a prayer we sometimes say before communion:

"Third Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

Lord Jesus Christ my God, remit, forgive, absolve and pardon the sins, offences and transgressions which I, Thy sinful, useless and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour, whether with knowledge or in ignorance, whether by words or deeds or intentions or thoughts, and whether by habit or through any of my senses. And through the intercession of her who conceived Thee without seed, the immaculate and ever-virgin Mary Thy Mother, my only sure hope and protection and salvation, make me worthy without condemnation to receive Thy pure, immortal, life-giving and dread Mysteries, for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life, for sanctification and enlightenment and strength and healing and health of soul and body, and for the blotting out and complete destruction of my evil reasonings and intentions and prejudices and nocturnal fantasies of dark evil spirits. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honour and the worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen
." from http://www.stspyridon.org.au/ourFaith.php?articleId=73&subMenu=Prayers
What on earth has that got to do with anything?

How about rebutting your assertion that St. John Chrysostom was "literally Hitler"? That could be a start.
Never said he was Hitler. Only that he would probably have been a nazi, which I believe is probable. And Hitler never planned to fry billions of People in a fire more burning and tormenting than any fire on earth, as John's God seems to plan

beebert,

I warned you above regarding your posts and posting style in this section, yet you have doubled down on your inappropriate behaviour.  I am therefore constrained to impose a severe warning on you for violating the rules re: non-Orthodox participation in this section and for blasphemy, both of which you have been warned for in the past. 

Eighty (80) points, to be distributed in two parts, sixty (60) today and the remaining twenty (20) after your warning level drops enough to ensure that you are not inadvertently muted but remain on post moderation. 

If you would like to appeal this warning, please PM Dominika, the global moderator overseeing this section. 

Mor Ephrem, moderator
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: St. John Chrysostom responsible for anti-semitism?
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2017, 12:59:35 PM »
Thread unlocked.  If I have to intervene even one more time, I will lock this thread permanently after warning whoever forced my hand.
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).