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Against the Jews

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Tallguy88, Oct 22, 2015.

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  1. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    What is the Orthodox position on St John Chrysostom's homilies against the Jews? A lot of Christians disavow them as anti-semetic.
     
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  2. Yeshua HaDerekh

    Yeshua HaDerekh Men can dream of truth, but then cant live with it

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    He was a product of his time...
     
  3. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

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    It was written in polemical style and uses the inflammatory approach of those times when confronting an enemy religion. Martin Luther's criticisms of Judaism are worse imho, but our Father Among the Saints is right in much of what he says, and he was illumined. Judaism is an incomplete religion, no doubt. It is the religion that killed Christ, Chrystostom says. He's not wrong. And the Judaism of the day was a legalistic disaster. Jesus Himself shows us that. And the way the Jews treated Christians was shameful. Eventually, Judaism became the minority. Is the stuff anti-semitic? Absolutely. But I understand the context, the polemic, and the times. I also agree that Christians need to be more critical of Judaism and less in bed with it. In the past 30 years I've watched Evangelicals jump into the sack with the Israelis and Judaism and they're obsessed with this Jewish-Christian connection. Some Christian groups consider Jews "good to go" despite rejecting Jesus because "they had God first," etc. I look at Judaism like Islam---possessing kernels of truth but fundamentally lacking and legalistic and empty on many levels. Jews SHOULD be converted, not considered honorary Christians because God picked them first.

    I don't read St. John Chrysostom's polemic on this because I don't need it in my life. But I understand it and don't see it as a stumbling block.
     
  4. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    I think an attitude that dismisses the fathers as "products of their time" to be what CS Lewis called "chronological snobbery".
     
  5. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    Thanks. I'm maybe half way through the first homily. The language is certainly harsh, but not unreasonsble. And it's clear he is against the Jewish religion and Judaizing Christians, but not Anti-Semitic in the modern sense because his issues are not race-based as Hitler's were. He backs up his harsh language with theological arguments.

    So, the Orthodox think he was essentially right in this? Are there other Orthodox saints or father's that expound on Chrysostom or take a similar tack on their own?
     
  6. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

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    Agreed. It paints the Fathers as poor saps who just didn't "get it" like we do with all our "enlightenment" thanks to the media and our vast technological achievements. We've 'evolved' beyond these poor dudes....

    Maybe that's not what he meant, but I kind of felt the same thing. Judaism is Judaism....1500 years ago or next week. It's an unfullfilled religion.

     
  7. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    yes, St John, being from Antioch, was a Semitic person. he was no anti-Semite. and we gotta remember that all of the Fathers are harsh when it comes to heresy (such as Judaizing). St John had a special devotion for St Paul, that Hebrew of Hebrews.
     
  8. Trying_to_be_Orthodox

    Trying_to_be_Orthodox Newbie

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    @Yeshua HaDerekh
    ...product of his time...- He is unique, unique, unique diamond of our Faith. Check your words before posting,
    product; think about whom u type.
    btw, about another "products of time":
    N1. First martyr killed by?
    ...
    N? 1096(7) http://days.pravoslavie.ru/Life/life724.htm killed by?
    ...
    N? 1690 http://rusidea.org/?a=25050301 tortured, killed by?
    ...
    N? 1979 https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Филумен_(Хасапис) killed by?

    @Tallguy88

    There are materials about Judish fanatics/sects in Russian language. But this theme is officially closed since 1917. Dont think that somebody translated it in engl. IMHO St John Chrysostom said (who could say better? ;)), you read and know. Go deeper isnt good way for conversation with Orthodoxy (esp on open forum). And these St John Chrysostom's homilies are not most important part of Fathers Orthodox Legacy.

    Official position in current Russia: We are friends :)
     
  9. Dewi Sant

    Dewi Sant Do the little things

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    oh wow! I met Philoumenos' successor last year. Bullet marks still visible on the steel church gates.

    I was writing that the Fathers must be considered in a thorough survey of the cultural climate of their day; this requires immense effort and is in no way an attempt to skew bias. It is helpful to apply critical skills when reading the Fathers; when, to whom, and why.

    Acquire the Spirit of Peace... :)
     
  10. Yeshua HaDerekh

    Yeshua HaDerekh Men can dream of truth, but then cant live with it

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    Yes he was wrong. Many Jews believed in Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah. You cant blame all Jews or Judaism for killing Yeshua. He said Himself that no one takes His life, He lays it down. The Jewish establishment was corrupt at the time.

    In Chrysostom's time, there were many Jewish as well a Gentile Christians. There was less separation between the 2 like now. The Jewish Christians still held to their own customs. Christianity was the offspring of 2nd Temple Judaism. To understand Chrysostom's writings, you need to understand his times.
     
  11. Yeshua HaDerekh

    Yeshua HaDerekh Men can dream of truth, but then cant live with it

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    http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/st-john-chrysostom-anti-semite/
     
  12. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

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    Can we please stop the bizarre use of Yeshua in place of Christ or Jesus or Our Lord? We're not Aramaic in here.

     
  13. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    Thanks! Are you Russian?
     
  14. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    It is an invective oration. Invectives were common during that era. The opposite point of view from an invective writing was a panigyric or encomium.

    Read the contemporary christian description of Julian the Apostate compared to a pagan greek's version. Or read Eusebius encomium on Constantine then compare it with an adversary, etc.

    Panigyrics and encomiums are hagiographies, where the individuals are presented as perfect anointed beings. An invective on the other hand is the exact opposite, a critical hit piece not allowing anythibg positive in order to sway the hearers of the message.

    Modern day invectives would include negative political ad campaigns and war propaganda.
     
  15. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

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    There isn't any profit to reading it, so it should be disregarded. Keep your own counsel about how its existence should inform your opinion of St John Chrysostom.
     
  16. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Here is a pretty interesting Jewish take on the issue of anti-Jewish polemic in the writings of the early Church, which contains some references that you might want to look up, OP: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0004_0_04302.html

    It is interesting that they note there that the development of exegetical texts (aggadah) such as those found in the Talmud and Midrash should be understood and explained against the background of anti-Christian polemic on the part of Jewish writers...so, y'know...same to you, Jews. We both do it, but only Christians are supposed to feel bad about it, for some reason. Wah. I don't.

    I sleep soundly at night, even though I've never read the Chrysostom homilies in question. Then again, the most-beloved reposed Patriarch of my own church once said this:



    Guess who never got invited to Bibi's birthday, probably... :rolleyes:
     
  17. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

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    Our own opinions about St. John Chryostom don't amount to a hill of beans. The sanctified life he lead, the amazing liturgy he created, his INCREDIBLE homilies, the lengths to which his opinions informed Eastern thinking, his piety and persecution he endured, and overall humility dwarf any "anti-semitic" writings he had. And again, we must keep context to the writing. He is the ultimate saint, and that's just a fact that THE CHURCH shows us. What any of us in TAW think is irrelevant. He is our Father Among the Saints because THE CHURCH tells us so! And we all are Orthodox and trust Mother Church, and that's good enough for me.
     
  18. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    Actually portions of the writings on 'Against the Judaisers' are important historically. They were written at a time when quartodeciman tendencies persisted. They were written against christians who adopted the jewish paschalion and fast due to the late year pascha fell on in that year. Antioch was quite a diverse city and shows that the jewish community in Antioch still held influence with some christians.

    Just like many others, St John Chrysostom mellowed out over time and his fiery zeal matured. He delivered those sermons as a "rookie" during a time when the Nicene paschalion was still questioned in Antioch. It was the same with Cyril of Alexandria, he had this extreme zeal but mellowed out after Ephesus deciding against witch hunts, instead he adopted the use of the pen and wrote treatises explaining the Orthodox teaching post 431.
     
  19. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    I've spoken on this before. If, in speaking to an audience I know is English-speaking, I were to pepper my speech with Russian terms, however pious, it would be seen as rude or snobbish. That "Сын Божий" is an entirely pious term, or "Ieshua Ravvin" a legitimate name in Russian, does not enlighten English speakers, and though I may tell them how such terms and names are expressed in English, that "Сын Божий" is "the Son of God" or "Ieshua Ravvin" is Joshua of the Old Testament doesn't make my continued insistence on the foreign terms any less rude or snobbish, the deliberate refusal to use the English conventional names and terms. It is disrespect to English andEnglish speakers to insist on it when it is not specifically asked for. It may be that a Russian, Greek or Aramaic speaker may not know the English convention, and that is entirely excusable. But not attempting to find out and use the convention is not.

    And that disrespect, intentional or not, makes the speakers of the common tongue less inclined to want to seriously consider challenge and disagreement from people who dismiss and deny our conventions.
     
  20. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    This is one of the most irritating trends. Next thing there'll be someone here typing G_d instead of God, cos, y'know...YHWH clearly hates vowels.

    The Judaizers lost at the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem, and again later during the Quartodeciman controversy. Catch up.
     
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