The Jews

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
This could be just me, but I've always wondered why we hold the Jews [who were around Jesus' time] in such a negative manner.

Granted, they were stubborn hypocrites, who refused to notice that Jesus was God, but in my opinion they refused to accept Him as a savior because they were sticking to their fathers' faith.  It's what they knew to be true.

I understand they should've known their scriptures, [and the prophesies] but putting myself in their shoes, I really doubt a person of with a 'less than normal' spiritual level would have been able to accept our Lord Christ as the Messiah .  Not to mention, that when it comes to religion, everyone is defensive of his own. 

For the sake of clarity, I'm not agreeing with the Jew's stubborness and refusal to accept the Light.  I'm just wondering if we modern-day Christians, hold them in a negative light, more than we should.

If I have at all erred, please do NOT refrain from correcting me.


  • (Correct me if I am wrong) That was a good question, but we shouldn't have any "negative" thoughts, or "manners" against them, because, the bible teaches us to love our brothere's and sister's no matter what. So, it is a matter of personal preference and human corruption -none of us are perfect. And if we dislike our brothers the jews for what they belive in shouldn't we also dislike our brothers the muslims, who also believe we are in the wrong? Some Christians would go against jews becuase they crucified our Lord, but in truth we all crucified him! For the whole world was against him first.
  • There are a couple different reasons for why the jews in Christ's time are criticized so highly of their stubbornness. First off, the idea of someone performing miracles or wonders without the help of God, was quite rare and almost nonexistent. Also, Christ performed miracles in ways in which there could be almost no doubt that the phenomenon they were observing was indeed a miracle and not a false one. For example, when Christ opened the eyes of the blind man in the gospel of St. John, it was clear that he was well known throughout the town and people recognized him as "the one who sat and begged." Until today, modern medicine has failed in curing the blind, yet Christ was able to do so back then. Can you imagine the awe that people must have felt, seeing a man born blind seeing for the first time, while they live in such a primitive society? Also, most of the criticism is aimed towards the priests and scribes, who in reality, cared more for their positions and ranks rather than the actual faith. A good portion of the simple jewish community was baptized even before Christ's crucifixion upon seeing the signs he performed and hearing his teachings, which they were able to plant in their hearts because they gave him a chance. To clarify, i'll provide another example. When the jews in the gospel of St. John chapter 8 began to debate with Jesus, they responded to him saying, Abraham is our father. One interesting commentary I heard about this was how it seems that they are in a verbal war with Christ to make themselves seem greater than him. He says, "I speak with what I have seen from MY father." So the jewish officials in response try to make their father seem greater than his so they say, "Abraham is our father" (because they do not know yet that when Christ says father, he speaks of God). Then, Christ again attacks them again saying "You do the deeds of your father" so they jump back in and say "We have one father-God". Again, they say this to make themselves look greater to try and win this verbal battle going on, in an attempt to make themselves look greater. In the end, Christ just tops it all and says, "Before Abraham was, I AM." I AM is the historical name for God in the old testament, making him God. Obviously now, there is no way for them to win this verbal battle so they take up stones to throw at him because there is nothing left for them to respond with. It's all about pride and dignity. Obviously, there are many more things that can be added to this list but I will only give one more example. Caiaphas is another individual who clearly set his rank before all. It was clear that the Holy Spirit enlightened him in saying that it "was expedient for one man to die for the people" (John 18:14). Not only is this a prophecy, but it shows you that Caiaphas indeed understood what was required for salvation. How about Christ on the cross? How could he see the Only Begotten One on the cross and not even thinking that this may be the one whom HE JUST SPOKE OF saying that one should die for all? The earth trembled, the curtain was torn from top to bottom, the sun obscured it rays, how much more does he need? Just how hardened do your mind and heart have to be for you to see all of this and not even think twice of it? Basically, in a nutshell, it's the stubbornness that they met Christ with that they remain guilty of. I hope I answered your question, even a little bit.

  • Gregory,
                I think you pose a really good question. I am not sure if Orthodox, specifically Coptic Orthodox, have a deep hatred for Jews or anything of that sort. I am not sure if they look at them negatively. I think the jews of the bible, the ones who rejected Christ, were not necessarily sticking to their fathers faith so much as their own selves. They seemed to love themselves and their authority, and not Christ's. Jews and atheists are no different in my eyes, and I dont mean that to sound harsh or mean, or even that I look down upon both. I hope that none of us hold them in a negative light, we are all human after all.
  • I like Ioannes answer because it is short and non derogotory.. and he is not adding to the words of christ

  • It is an extension of the indoctrination that goes on in the Egyptian School Systems.  It starts from day #1.  Not to mention the TV, newspapers, and other propaganda media in Egypt.
  • So my question then would be, why in "Agios Athanatos Nai Nan" on Bright Saturday do we call them "stiff-necked"?

  • Check out this search for "stiff-necked" in the Bible:


    That goes in pretty much hand-in-hand with what I posted before.

  • Let's keep liturgical texts out of this post. most texts about jews in our church normally go back to the Bible because in this aspect we would be just proposing the words of God (the Bible) and not our own judgments....even though they might be true till now.
  • Alright, but did I use the bible improperly in my first post? What did I say that was incorrect or contradicting of the bible?

  • [quote author=PopeKyrillos link=topic=9323.msg115151#msg115151 date=1275759177]
    Alright, but did I use the bible improperly in my first post? What did I say that was incorrect or contradicting of the bible?


    i didn't say you did.....i actually didn't read it that close to judge. my response we general about the whole discussion. let's just be careful with taking verses out of the Bible without context and applying them to our time.
  • Mina,

    We're not applying anything at all whatsoever to our time. If you look at the original question, Gregory was entirely referring to the jews of Christ's time, as was I.

  • Well the main thing here is that by saying "Jews" we are using a term that is very broad. There are those Jews who consider themselves Jewish only in ethnicity. There are Jews that consider themselves Jews by both religion and ethnicity. I have some personal beliefs based on some sources outside of the bible, on some Jewish figures or specific groups of Jewish people, not ALL Jews. But I feel it is best not to dwell on these things and concentrate more on salvation and keeping our Orthodox brothers and sister strong, especially in times like these. If we refer to the Jews who directly rejected Christ in scripture, yes they were stiff necked. But there are more than just Jews today who are stiff necked and reject Christ.
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