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Martin Luther:

The Jews and Their Lies  

(1543)

With the words herein shown - Luther essentially destroys everything he ever worked for, or rather that men thought he worked for, since luther - being a son of the devil - acted according to his own nature, that of the devil himself.  

And while many thought to have benefited from the lightning and the thunder that came by way of him - to see the light to the faith of God - from the gross idolatry of the roman catholics, and from the malice of the Jews, it does not appear to have served Luther himself.  And it remains a stain upon all those that are foolish enough to call themselves by his name.

I now said “by means of him”,  for the One and only Teacher to have taught any and all of the sons and daughters of God, is Christ Jesus, in as He said; “The Counselor.   The Lord then uses many means whereby the brings His sons to the awareness and conviction of His faith.  This is foremost by His own trusted servants, but many have come to the light of God by means of hirelings, and many other ways,

Balaam for example blessed Israel yet himself was not blessed.  And will the same apply to Luther?  The Lord will reveal this on His day of judgment!.

In the persecution of the Christians, the Jews were first to not only persecute the Christians themselves, but as Justin pronounces to Trypho, "They send forth persons to the pagan nations to stir them up against the Christians as well".  The second enemy then were the pagans, who not only persecuted the Christians after the advent of Christ, but who persecuted the Jews before the birth of Christ for the very same faith for which they persecuted the Christians afterwards.  And how ironic for Israel to go to their own persecutors, to stir them up against the people of their own nation along with the Gentiles.

The next major enemy of the Christians were of course the roman catholics. And the fourth are the protestants along with the romans in all of their conglomerations, and denominations.

At this point I wish to insert that which was spoken by the originators of the abstracts who compiled these passages of Luther, from his writings.  And though I have only partially verified their abstracts, I no longer have any doubt that they are correct.   I did not insert all of the extracts, only some, others I omitted. But first a foreword of the person from whom I copied these:

 

At the beginning of his career, Luther was apparently sympathetic to Jewish resistance to the catholic church. He wrote, early in his career:

The Jews are blood-relations of our Lord; if it were proper to boast of flesh and blood, the Jews belong more to Christ than we. I beg therefore my dear papist, if you become tired of abusing me as a heretic, that you begin to revile me as a Jew.

But Luther expected them to convert to his purified Christianity. When they did not, he turned violently against Jews.

It is impossible for modern people to read the horrible passages below and not to think of the burning of synagogues in November 1938 on Kristall-nacht. Nor would one wish to excuse Luther for this text.

A number of points must, however, be made. The most important concerns the language used. Luther used violent and vulgar language throughout his career....We do not expect religious figures to use this sort of language in the modern world, but it was not uncommon in the early 16th century. 

Second, although Luther's comments seem to be proto-Nazi, they are better seen as part of tradition of Medieval Christian anti-Semitism. While there is little doubt that Christian anti-Semitism laid the social and cultural basis for modern anti-Semitism, modern anti-Semitism does differ in being based on pseudo-scientific notions of race. 

The Nazis imprisoned and killed Jews who had converted to Christianity: Luther would have welcomed them.

None of this justifies what follows, but it may help to comprehend what is happening. In 1994, the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America rejected Luther's anti-Semitic writings.

 

Martin Luther: The Jews and their Lies

(extracts)

I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. 

I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Jews into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God's word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen.

***

He did not call them Abraham's children, but a "brood of vipers" [Matt. 3:7]. Oh, that was too insulting for the noble blood and race of Israel, and they declared, "He has a demon' [Matt 11:18]. Our Lord also calls them a "brood of vipers"; furthermore in John 8 [:39,44] he states: "If you were Abraham's children ye would do what Abraham did.... You are of your father the devil. It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham's but the devil's children, nor can they bear to hear this today.

***

Moreover, they are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury. Thus they live from day to day, together with wife and child, by theft and robbery, as arch thieves and robbers, in the most impenitent security.

***

However, they have not acquired a perfect mastery of the art of lying; they lie so clumsily and ineptly that anyone who is just a little observant can easily detect it. But for us Christians they stand as a terrifying example of God's wrath.

***

If I had to refute all the other articles of the Jewish faith, I should be obliged to write against them as much and for as long a time as they have used for inventing their lies­­ that is, longer than two thousand years.

***

...but then eject them forever from this country. For, as we have heard, God's anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!

***

I brief, dear princes and lords, those of you who have Jews under your rule­­ if my counsel does not please your, find better advice, so that you and we all can be rid of the unbearable, devilish burden of the Jews, lest we become guilty sharers before God in the lies, blasphemy, the defamation, and the curses which the mad Jews indulge in so freely and wantonly against the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, this dear mother, all Christians, all authority, and ourselves. Do not grant them protection, safe-conduct, or communion with us.... .With this faithful counsel and warning I wish to cleanse and exonerate my conscience.

***

Let the government deal with them in this respect, as I have suggested. But whether the government acts or not, let everyone at least be guided by his own conscience and form for himself a definition or image of a Jew.

***

However, we must avoid confirming them in their wanton lying, slandering, cursing, and defaming. Nor dare we make ourselves partners in their devilish ranting and raving by shielding and protecting them, by giving them food, drink, and shelter, or by other neighborly

***

What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. 

With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames.  We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengeance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. 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. 

(Luther as the forebear to Hitler)

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 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. (remainder omitted)

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 ff.]) 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.

Fifth, I advise that safe ­conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let they stay at home. (...remainder omitted).

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess. Such money should now be used in no other way than the following: 

Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred florins, as personal circumstances may suggest. With this he could set himself up in some occupation for the support of his poor wife and children, and the maintenance of the old or feeble. For such evil gains are cursed if they are not put to use with God's blessing in a good and worthy cause.

Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]}. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.

***

But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews' synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God's name? They will still keep doing it in secret. If we know that they are doing this in secret, it is the same as if they were doing it publicly. for our knowledge of their secret doings and our toleration of them implies that they are not secret after all and thus our conscience is encumbered with it before God.

***

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is:

First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulfur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire. That would demonstrate to God our serious resolve and be evidence to all the world that it was in ignorance that we tolerated such houses, in which the Jews have reviled God, our dear Creator and Father, and his Son most shamefully up till now but that we have now given them their due reward.

***

I wish and I ask that our rulers who have Jewish subjects exercise a sharp mercy toward these wretched people, as suggested above, to see whether this might not help (though it is doubtful). They must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in, proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did in the wilderness, slaying three thousand lest the whole people perish. 

They surely do not know what they are doing; moreover, as people possessed, they do not wish to know it, hear it, or learn it. There it would be wrong to be merciful and confirm them in their conduct. If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs, so that we do not become partakers of their abominable blasphemy and all their other vices and thus merit God's wrath and be damned with them. I have done my duty. Now let everyone see to his. I am exonerated."

***

My essay, I hope, will furnish a Christian (who in any case has no desire to become a Jew) with enough material not only to defend himself against the blind, venomous Jews, but also to become the foe of the Jews' malice, lying, and cursing, and to understand not only that their belief is false but that they are surely possessed by all devils. May Christ, our dear Lord, convert them mercifully and preserve us steadfastly and immovably in the knowledge of him, which is eternal life. Amen.

From Luther's Works, Volume 47: The Christian in Society IV, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971). pp 268­293.

What is my reply to these statements of Luther?

If you know Hitler, and the time before and during world war two,  Luther in all essence is Hitler's forebear,

(Leonard) My reply? ....  How is it possible that these could have been spoken by a Christian?   They are indeed dishonorable and blasphemies against God and His Christ.  

Luther reminds me of what Enoch said:  "And I saw another thing regarding lightning, how some stars arise and become lightning, yet cannot dwell with the rest".  Only Luther was not anything like a star, except an evil one.

As for my readers; - Don’t blame it on the century, nor on the language, or the style or the norm of that day.  And as for vulgarity - this day is no better or worse than it was in the sixteenth century.   No I do not condone all that he said, wherefore it stands condemned. But I wish to add a few words in distinction as food for thought.

Let me ask you; Will you condemn Luther for calling Jews vipers-brood - when the Lord Himself called them vipers-brood?  But the Lord did not call "Israel" by that term, nor the "Jews" as such, (for He took twelve of them as His Apostles, giving them the highest rank after Himself), but He cursed the hypocrites from among them.  While Luther, judging from his wording, makes no distinction, but generalizes the whole of them.

He then should have realized that "the same" can be said about "any nation," and that the "good" can be spoken of in "any nation", inclusive "the Jews", if not more in the Jews than in other nations, for there are many righteous ones among them. And are not all the heads out of Israel, as the Lord said: " Out of them shall come the Cornerstone, out of them the tent peg, out of them the battle bow, out of them every ruler."

And while some of the high-priests in Israel received the term vipers-brood, there were many righteous ones also.  And looking at Germany, Luther in these statements of him did not lend any beauty to that nation, and showed himself as hypocrite and vipers-brood. And co-incidentally some centuries later - that nation did practice such atrocities.

And as for terminating any person, the Lord told us "to turn the other cheek" rather than to put a blade through them.   And while king Josiah of Israel killed the false prophets,  and Elijah slew the priests of baal, and Levi the inhabitants of Shechem, it warrants us to hear what the Lord said by Zechariah;  “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubabel, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of host.”

We don’t need to do any killing, even though they may be like demons, for the demons do enough of that to us.  Nor need we harm any one, the wicked do enough of that to the righteous.

Or how are we to glorify God by giving ourselves as sheep to the slaughter at the hands of the wicked, if we were to eliminate the wicked?  It is far more glorious to suffer and/or die righteously, than to live in peace with the wicked.  

Does it not read somewhere:  "Blessed is he that let ox and ass wander freely, or feed freely"?  And did not David say;   "Blessed is the man who doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers".

 The  Lord said somewhere regarding Israel,  "I will set My eye for evil, and not for good".   Why then did you Germans, as it may apply to all,  have no mercy on them?  Or do you think that you are any better than the Jews, better than Israel?  Do you wish to contend that you would have done better in their place?  For that sort of conceit, O you foolish ones, you will suffer some severe torment.

If the Lord did not love His people Israel He would not have given these six million souls of late into the hands of the Germans.  And such as survived that Holocaust (as I have seen) are truly to be pitied along with the Germans.   But who is able to comprehend the wisdom of my speech? Let him be blessed that is so able.

It is a shame yes, nor is he alone, for the one that I reproved in my “Info” pages, is also well knowledged in the letter of faith, in the milk of understanding, but lacking love. And how many more provide lip service, but do not keep the law, the precepts of the Lord?  "Not he that says Lord! Lord!, But that keep My word, are they that love Me"

But now another thing; someone will remark to me - as they are so fond of doing in their ignorance of heart - why I make judgment, and not rather to leave judgment to the Lord?   In the first place you have not read my words too well, secondly, silence is judging all the same.  If I went to your churches and just sat there without throwing the whole lot of you out of it, then I would be as guilty as you.  For in not opposing you, in my silence,  I am judging your vile doings as just.  And that my dear people is an unrighteous judgment, for which I deserve to go to hell.

But if I reprove you, I am judging a righteous judgment, for which the Lord will reward me accordingly.  And so it is with any writing that I place before the eyes of men, to be silent (not to judge) about an error is to condone or justify it.   Let me than judge a righteous judgment as often as I must, for to speak or be silent - all is judging.  Even with his eyes, or the expression of his face one makes judgments, and why then did you not obey the Lord you who are contentious with me?

In conclusion I am adding some extracts by Peter Wiener, a schoolteachers whose complete record may be found at:   http://www.tentmaker.org/books/MartinLuther-HitlersSpiritualAncestor.html

In quotation to the words of Luther:

Quote: “Whenever you see or think of a Jew, say to yourself `Look, that mouth that I see before me has every Saturday cursed, execrated, and spat upon my dear Lord Jesus Christ Who redeemed me with His precious blood, and has also invoked maledictions on my wife and child and all Christians that they might be murdered and perish miserably. 

So the Reformer continues throughout his writings. “The Jews are malignant snakes and imps”. “Whoever would like to cherish such adders and puny devils—who are the worst enemies of Christ and us all—to befriend them and to do them honor simply in order to be cheated, plundered, robbed, disgraced, and forced to howl and curse and suffer every kind of evil, to him I would commend the Jews. 

And if this be not enough, let him tell the Jews to use his mouth as a privy, or else crawl into the Jew's hind parts, and there worship the holy thing, so as afterwards to be able to boast of having been merciful, and of having helped the Devil and his progeny to blaspheme our dear Lord.”

These few samples taken at random must be sufficient to give you a true idea of what the Reformer saw in the Jews.  I could continue for many pages to cite much worse passages. I think, however, that I have already spent too much space on the subject, but I thought it necessary to let the Reformer speak again for himself, and to prove that I have not chosen some isolated cases, but that, as far as the Jews are concerned, he stuck to his views for the greater part of his life. To comment on such exclamations and sayings is really not necessary. It seems to me a much more impressive method if I leave the reader to draw his own conclusions. Unquote.