STEALING JACOB’S CHAIR: PART TWO

In Bible/Theology, Blog by Ty Perry14 Comments

During one of my trips to Israel, as I was looking around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, I noticed a peculiar mural on one of the walls. Though dimly lit, I could just make out the ancient image of Jesus stretched out on the cross, the man who crucified him sitting by His head.

The scene itself was not unusual, considering its location. What was shocking to me was that the man with hammer and spike in hand was not a Roman soldier, as the Scriptures record, but a Jewish man.

Such a depiction in such a place serves as a stark reminder of the often subtle, yet strong animosity that has pervaded the church’s history and its theology throughout the ages, the present-day included.

When talking to those who hold to Replacement Theology, however, we are often accused of creating a strawman, a false argument set up to be defeated. We are told that Replacement Theology is not anti-Semitic and that the term Replacement Theology is a misnomer that does not accurately represent their views. Fulfillment Theology or Supersessionism are more accurate terms, we are told.

While it should be admitted that many of those who hold to Replacement Theology today are not anti-Semites, history proves that anti-Semitism was indeed a major motivation in the formation of Replacement Theology as a system of thought.

While it should be admitted that many of those who hold to Replacement Theology today are not anti-Semites, history proves that anti-Semitism was indeed a major motivation in the formation of Replacement Theology as a system of thought.

Many of the early Gentile church fathers, such as Dionysius, thought that the literal understanding of Scripture, especially concerning the Messianic Kingdom, was “too Jewish,” so they began interpreting Scripture allegorically, denying the traditional literal interpretation that Old Testament Jewish believers and the early church had held to for centuries.

For example, Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, in his Testimonies Against the Jews, wrote that he “endeavored to show that the Jews, according to what had before been foretold, had departed from God, and had lost God’s favour, which had been given them in past time, and had been promised them for the future; while the Christians had succeeded to their place, deserving well of the Lord by faith, and coming out of all nations and from the whole world” (emphasis mine).

Armed with this new way of interpreting Scripture and the deep-seated anti-Semitism many of its leaders held to, the church soon began pushing the nation of Israel off of is divinely-ordained “seat,” and started viewing itself as the “True Israel,” which took the place of “ethnic Israel” of the Old Testament, the majority of whom had rejected Jesus as their Messiah.

In his work, Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher & Martyr, with Trypho, the early church father Justin Martyr wrote “We, who have been quarried out from the bowels of Christ, are the true Israelitic race.”

While many such men contributed to the unseating of Jacob, it can be argued that personal and theological views of no single person caused so much destruction for the Jewish people as did those of Martin Luther.

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Luther originally looked upon the Jewish people kindly. In 1523, he penned That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew, a tract in which he criticizes some within the Roman Catholic Church for their anti-Semitic views and for trying to force Jewish people to convert to Christianity. “If I had been a Jew,” he wrote, “and had seen such dolts and blockheads govern and teach the Christian faith, I would sooner have become a hog than a Christian.”

His views devolved, however, after unsuccessful attempts to gently share the gospel with the Jewish people over a 20-year period. By 1543, his rather benevolent attitude toward Israel had turned downright anti-Semitic. In his pamphlet, The Jews and Their Lies, Luther made caustic remarks about the Chosen People of God:

“What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews?” he wrote. “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.”

Luther went on to advocate the destruction of Jewish homes and of Talmuds, forbidding their rabbis to teach anymore, limiting their travel, and forcing them into hard labor.

Such scathing remarks sound eerily similar to those of another German anti-Semite of a more recent age. Indeed, Adolf Hitler frequently quoted the revered Luther’s comments on the Jewish people, paving the haunting road to Holocaust.

With the sun setting on the last remaining survivors of Hitler’s so-called “Final Solution,” and as another generation of Jewish people is facing the rising tide of anti-Semitism throughout the world, may the phrase “Never Again” be the declaration not only of opposition to another Jewish genocide, but also of the church’s resolve never again to turn on those the Messiah calls His “brethren.”

If you missed Part 1 of this series, Click Here

If you would like to continue reading Part 3 of this series, Click Here

About the Author
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Ty Perry

Ty instructs and mentors young adults in ministry as part of The Friends of Israel's G'sherim Internship Program in Las Vegas, Nevada. He speaks in various venues educating Christians about the necessity of supporting Israel and the Jewish people.

Comments

  1. Read Isaiah. 53 and Jermiah 31 and tell me believers in replacement theology are right. It will not be long and they will stand befor my risen living Lord and Savior to tell HIM HE is a liar and. HE will say depart from me I never knew you.

    1. where they first went wrong was they forgot about GODS love and then learned to hate what GOD loves

  2. God will vindicate His ancient Jewish people. Anyone who reads His Holy Word, knows that a Christian is the wild vine that was grafted into the true vine. The Jewish people are our roots and we are forever indebted to them. They are the wife and we are the bride, is how I look at it.

  3. Thanks for this very illuminating piece! I’m shocked that Luther became antisemitic and actually advocated destroying Jewish temples! That’s horrible! We must totally reject that kind of thinking and embrace God’s chosen people, who, like everyone, need to be saved. May the Church be the all-inclusive, inviting people that God wants us to be!

  4. My Irish Catholic mother used to say, “we are completed Jews.” And she loved allJews deeply as Gods chosen people and so do I. I pray every day for the peace of Jerusalem. Maura Kennedy

  5. People who embrace Replacement Theology just haven’t studied God’s Word.
    It’s as simple as that.

  6. Several years back, I read a book by Dr. Barry Horner, titled ” Future Israel.” I had to stop many times and put
    it down because I was so disturbed by what I was reading, and I had to weep. It is all about church history going
    way back mentioning the churches “greats,” like Augustine and Martin Luther. I spoke with Dr. Horner who told
    me that it was 10 years of research that went into the book before it was released. Now, how could this be? I could understand anti-Semitism in the world, but not in the church of Jesus Christ. At Nuremberg, when questioning
    Hitler’s S.S. guards; those men stated that they were just doing what Father Martin Luther taught them to do !!
    Did they not see their own guilt ? Is not ALL of mankind guilty of the slaughter of God’s Lamb ! Jesus said, “In that
    day many will say to Me, Lord, Lord, and I will say, depart from Me, for I never knew you. ” I was saved by His amazing
    Grace back in 1975 and I knew the Jewish people were very much loved by God. He married them ! Over and
    over, the Holy Spirit showed me verses of God’s love for His nation Israel. I LOVE Ezekiel 36 ! The “I WILL’S”
    of God. God is all about restoration !!! God will keep every promise to Israel and to the “true” church. God does
    not break blood covenants !!! For me as a Gentile, I will be most honored to serve God during the millennium and
    serve the Jewish (“head”) nation as well. Isaiah Chapters 60-62. What a glorious time that will be !!!

    1. Amen and Amen!

      Esp. Is. 63 where Jesus is going to Petra to p.u. the Jews(His brethren) at the end of the tribulation.

      63 Who is this coming from Edom,
      from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?
      Who is this, robed in splendor,
      striding forward in the greatness of his strength?
      “It is I, proclaiming victory,
      mighty to save.

      Jesus robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength?

      I love tht stmt. of fact. Jesus robed in splendor.
      But first the Rapture.
      Where Jesus will be crowned with royal diadems
      and we lay r crowns,( tht HE enabled us to get), at HIS feet -the Alpha and Omega-

      Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

      Jesus is mighty to save and He will accomplish everything according to HIS WORD.

      I am presently studying the book of Zechariah.
      We r definitely living in the time of the “cup of trembling”

      What exciting and sorrowful times that we live in.

      U can almost hear the hoof beats of the 4 horsemen of the book of Revelations.
      Almost hear the trumpet sound.
      Almost hear the voice of the LORD, who will descend,

      16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise.
      17After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord

      We live in such a time as this.

      Simply amazing.

      Blessings

      In Christ

  7. Hi Ty, Thanks for the history about Dionysius , Martin Luther etc. I never knew that. Martin Luther didn’t read Lk 9:56 …I came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them. Course neither did the Catholics either. The disciples had wanted to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritans for not accepting Christ, and Jesus said that. Hope to read more of this book.
    Typo in para. 8, 2nd line, is should be its. Can’t stop being a teacher, sorry.
    Thanks, Karen Cox

  8. I agree whole heartedly. It’s so refreshing to hear a young person who knows what really happened in church history with these views on Israel. Thank you Mr. Perry.

  9. I never even knew what the term “REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY” meant, and I became a born-again-from-above Christian in circa 1964. It’s news to me that a person whom I admired so much as MARTIN LUTHER was so out of touch with what the Prophets (I re- read Nancy’s cited above Ezekiel 36 as well as her citation of Isaiah Chapters 60-62 to better inform myself.) From early childhood on up I have loved and done all in my power to support the JEWS, GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE. I love my Creator, LORD, God, and Savior JESUS the CHRIST with all my heart, mind, and soul. He was born and lived bodily as a JEW. His earthly mother was a JEW. He came unto His own, and His own knew Him not. His first Apostles were JEWS and were sent to witness of HIM to the JEWS. Then Saul was struck on the Road to Damascus, and the LORD JESUS spoke to Saul from heaven. Saul was blinded and went forth as commanded by JESUS, led by the hand by others, to a street named “Straight” to “a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias,” (Acts 9:10). “And Ananias went his way and entered into the house, and putting his hands on him {Saul] said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” (Acts 9: 17-18) Of course, we all know that Jesus changed Saul’s name to Paul and that Paul was appointed by Jesus to be the Apostle to the Gentiles.

    I love “The Friends of Israel” and know that I have gone astray of the topic introduced by t he Lord’s servant, Ty Perry, the devoutly Christian young man who “… instructs and mentors young adults in ministry as part of The Friends of Israel’s G’sherim Internship Program in Las Vegas, Nevada.” I beg your and the commenters’ pardon for having strayed from the topic at hand. I am an old lady nearing (Lord willing) soon the age of 87. I love my LORD JESUS CHRIST with all my heart. The writings of the Apostle Paul minister to me in great magnitude! Love to all in the Precious Name of our Saviour, Jesus the Christ, Nancy

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