IN BRIEF. Why the church is now the heir to the promises of the Old Testament. S UMMARY. Called forth by an argument between a convert to Judaism and a. Cambridge Core – Theology – Adversus Judaeos – by A. Lukyn Williams. Look Inside Adversus Judaeos. I want this title to be available as an eBook. Adversus Judaeos A Bird’s-Eye View of Christian Apologiae until the Renaissance.
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For it was Isaiah who exclaimed: And again it was David who said: Paul did not search and pry into God’s very essence, but only into his providence; I should say rather that he looked only on the small portion of divine providence which God had made manifest when he called the gentiles. And Paul saw this small part as a vast and incomprehensible sea when he exclaimed: How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! I mounted to the heavens and gave you as proof the chorus of angels as they sang: Again, you heard the Seraphim as they shuddered and cried out in astonishment:.
For the rest, the proof was beyond dispute; there was great applause, the audience warmed with enthusiasm, you assembly came aflame. I did rejoice at this, yet my joy was not because praise was coming to me but because glory was coming to my Master.
For that applause and praise showed the love you have for God in your souls.
Tertullian : Adversus Judaeos
If a servant loves his master and hears someone speak in praise of that master, his heart comes aflame with a love for him who speaks. This is because the servant loves his master. You acted just that way when I spoke: For if the enemies of the truth never have enough of blaspheming our Benefactor, we must be all the more tireless in praising the God of all. But what am Asversus to do?
Another very serious illness calls for any cure my words can bring, an illness which has become implanted in the body of the Church. We must first root this ailment out and then take thought for matters outside; we must first cure our own and then be concerned avversus others who are strangers.
Jueaeos festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now.
My qdversus against the Anomians can be put off to another time, and the postponement would cause no harm. But now that the Jewish festivals are close by and at the very door, if I should fail to cure those who are sick with the Judaizing disease.
I am afraid that, because of their ill-suited association and deep ignorance, some Christians may partake in the Jews’ transgressions; once they have done so, I fear my homilies on these transgressions will be advrsus vain.
John Chrysostom, Against the Jews. Homily 1
For if they hear no word from me today, they will then join the Jews in their fasts; once they have committed this sin it will be useless for me to apply the remedy.
This is what physicians do. They first check the diseases which are adverus urgent and acute.
But the danger from this sickness is very closely related to the danger from the other; since the Anomians impiety is akin to that of the Jews, my present conflict is akin to my former one. And there is a kingship because the Jews and the Anomians make the same accusation. And what charges do the Jews make?
The Anomians also make this charge-I should not say they make this a charge; they even blot out the phrase “equal to God” and what it connotes, by their resolve to reject it even if they do not physically erase it. But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and miserable. When so many blessings from heaven came into their hands, they thrust them aside and were at great pains to reject them.
The morning Sun of Justice arose for them, but they thrust aside its rays and still sit in darkness. We, who were nurtured by darkness, drew the light to ourselves and were freed from the gloom of their error. They were the branches of that holy root, but those branches were broken.
We had no share in the root, but we did reap the fruit of godliness. From their childhood they read the prophets, but they crucified him whom the prophets had foretold. We did not hear the divine prophecies but we did worship him of whom they prophesied.
And so they are pitiful because they rejected the blessings which were sent to them, while others seized hold of these blessing and drew them to themselves.
Although those Jews had been called to the adoption of sons, they fell to kinship with dogs; we who were dogs received the strength, through God’s grace, to put aside the irrational nature which was ours and to rise to the honor of sons. How do I prove this? Christ was speaking to the Canaanite woman when He called the Jews children and the Gentiles dogs.
Paul said of the Jews: For we are the circumcision”. Do you see how those who at first were children became dogs? Do you wish to find out how we, who at first were dogs, became children? When there was need to observe the Law, they trampled it under foot. Now adverssu the Law has ceased to bind, they obstinately strive to observe it.
What could be more pitiable that those who provoke God not judawos by jufaeos the Law but also judaros keeping it? On this account Stephen said: For they failed to take up the yoke of Christ, although it was sweet and had nothing about it which was either burdensome or oppressive. Nonetheless they failed to take up the yoke because of the stiffness of their necks. Not only did they fail to take it up but they broke it and destroyed it. It was not Paul who said this but the voice of the prophet speaking loud and clear.
When he spoke juvaeos the advresus and the bonds, he meant the symbols of rule, because the Arversus rejected the rule of Christ when they said: You Jews broke the yoke, you burst the bonds, you cast yourselves out of the kingdom of heaven, and you made yourselves subject to the rule of men.
Please consider with me how accurately the prophet hinted that their hearts were uncontrolled. He did not say: It come from gluttony and drunkenness. When brute animals feed from a full manger, they grow plump and become more obstinate and hard to hold in check; they endure neither the yoke, the reins, nor the hand of the charioteer.
Just so the Jewish people were driven by their drunkenness and plumpness to the ultimate evil; they kicked about, they failed to accept the yoke of Christ, nor did they adversys the plow of his teaching. Another prophet hinted at this when he said: And still another called the Jews “an untamed calf”.
And this is what happened to the Jews: This is why Christ said: You Jews should have fasted then, when drunkenness was doing those terrible things to you, when your gluttony was giving birth to your ungodliness-not now.
Now your fasting is untimely and an abomination. Isaiah himself when he called out in a loud voice: But if you fasting was an abomination when you were striking your fellow slaves, does it become acceptable now that you have slain your Master?
How could that be right? But do you strike your fellow slaves? In Isaiah’s day they quarreled and squabbled when they fasted; now when fast, they go in for excesses and the ultimate licentiousness, dancing with bare feet in the marketplace. The pretext is that they are fasting, but they jufaeos like men who are drunk.
Hear how the prophet bit them to fast. But these Jews are gathering choruses of effeminates and a great rubbish heap of harlots; they drag into the synagogue the whole theater, actors and all. For there is no difference between the theater and the synagogue. I know that some suspect me of rashness because I said there is no difference between the theater and the synagogue; but I suspect them of rashness if they do not think that this is so.
If my declaration that the two are the same rests on my own authority, then charge me with rashness. But if the words I speak are the words of the prophet, then accept his decision. Many, I know, respect the Jews and think that their present way of life is a venerable one. This is why I hasten to uproot and tear out this deadly opinion. I said that the synagogue is no better than a theater and I bring forward a prophet as my witness. Surely the Jews are not more deserving of belief than their prophets.
Where a harlot has set herself up, that place is a brothel. But the synagogue is not only a brothel and a theater; it also is a den of robbers and a lodging for wild beasts. He does not simply say “of wild beast”, but “of a filthy wild beast”, and again: But when God forsakes a people, what hope of salvation is left? When God forsakes a place, that place becomes the dwelling of demons.
God forbid that I say that. No Jew adores God! The Son of God say so. But you neither know me nor do you know my Father”. Could I produce a witness more trustworthy than the Son of God? God is not worshipped there. From now on it remains a place of idolatry. But still some people pay it honor as a holy place. Three days ago-believe me, I am not lying-I saw a free woman of good bearing, modest, and a believer.