Luther’s 7 Step Plan For Judaism…

***Borrowed from Yaelbatsarah (a pious Jewess) *LOL*

Luther:  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.

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.

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies.

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.

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb.

Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews.

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.

Seventh, I recommend 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]).

But if the authorities are reluctant to use force and restrain the Jews’ devilish wantonness, the latter should, as we said, be expelled from the country and be told to return to their land and their possessions in Jerusalem, where they may lie, curse, blaspheme, defame, murder, steal, rob, practice usury, mock, and indulge in all those infamous abominations which they practice among us, and leave us our government, our country, our life, and our property, much more leave our Lord the Messiah, our faith, and our church undefiled and uncontaminated with their devilish tyranny and malice. Any privileges that they may plead shall not help them; for no one can grant privileges for practicing such abominations. These cancel and abrogate all privileges.

What are we poor preachers to do meanwhile? In the first place, we will believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is truthful when he declares of the Jews who did not accept but crucified him, “You are a brood of vipers and children of the devil [cf. Matt. 12:34].

However, it all coincides with the judgment of Christ which declares that they are venomous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, assassins, and children of the devil who sting and work harm stealthily wherever they cannot do it openly. For this reason I should like to see them where there are no Christians.

Now let me commend these Jews sincerely to whoever feels the desire to shelter and feed them, to honor them, to be fleeced, robbed, plundered, defamed, vilified, and cursed by them, and to suffer every evil at their hands – these venomous serpents and devil’s children, who are the most vehement enemies of Christ our Lord and of us all.

Thus the accursed Jews encumber us with their diabolical, blasphemous, and horrible sins in our own country

(Want to read more?  On the Jews and Their Lies .  Don’t trust this particular site?  Feel free to Goggle the title and find your own.  The words will still be the same.)

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28 thoughts on “Luther’s 7 Step Plan For Judaism…

  1. If you follow point 1-6 – we see the foundation for a Crystal Night in Germany…step 7 – that’s more concentration camp stuff.

  2. Wait, wait………..I can hear it. Steve is about to tell us how much Jesussss lovesss us sinners. Why oh why would anyone in their “right” mind want to hear anything from Luther after reading this. It just defies any sense of decency.

  3. Krystalnacht took place on Luther’s birthday. Surprise, surprise.

    Tit for Tat,
    It is mind-boggling isn’t it? If this guy is the best Christianity has to offer, Society, you need to bail.

  4. In this document we find Luther actually advocating violence – as good as he thought his theology was – he never could comprehend ‘love you enemies’ or ‘neighbors’ or the path 2 non-violence…how much did this person truly understand about the gospel (good news) if he can write this glibly and as one of his later writings (wasn’t like this was some early mistake in his writings)?

    It seems like I am ragging on Luther – and I kinda am in a way – but I am all about Christianity exposing it’s secrets from the dark to the light (which is a very Christian thing to do)…if anything – every Lutheran should be about the business of changing this viewpoint Luther held so as to make things more right again between the communities of Christianity and Judaism.

    I can honestly say – if someone any of us knew wrote this today – we would think they were (a) a racist and (b) a member of some white supremacy group…would we put up with this writing if it was ‘John Q Public’? Slap Luther on top and it becomes sacred. Screw him and screw this material of hatred/bigotry – advocating nothing short of Jewish slavery and poverty (even violence on them by all means).

    But Calvin was no better – he actually watched and participated in burning books and people at the stake.

  5. “But Calvin was no better – he actually watched and participated in burning books and people at the stake.”

    actually, no. Calvin has only one name to his list… that is Michael Severus. doesn’t make it right, one death of an innocent is no more excusable. but i’m not sure why Calvin gets lumped in here as he was most tolerant of ambiguity. it is the later Calvinists that are less tolerant.

    Luther leaves a much more mixed legacy. he writes in various places that hatred against the jews is “childish and effeminate nonsense” in “The Freedom of a Christian” and that “Some people meditate on Christ passion by venting their anger on the Jews. Their singing and ranting about wretched Judas satisfies them, for they are in the habit of complaining about other people, of condemning and reproaching their adversaries. That might as well be a meditation on the wickedness of Judas and the Jews, but not on the sufferings of Christ.” (from a Meditation on Christ’s Passion). saying that one must meditate totally on Christ and nothing else…

    these were both written at the beginning of Luther’s career, in 1519 and 1520… later events gave Luther a more extreme bent on his intial stance.. going completely against the Pope, the Jews and even other reformers (like Erasmus and Simmons). this was not his intial outlook, and it is regrettable that events followed as they did.

  6. Luke with the background – good on you for the digging/studying!

    I guess my point with Luther is this cannot be an acceptable piece of Christian literature anywhere and at any point of time – namely from someone held with such esteem as to have a denomination coined after him.

    Now Calvin, he doesn’t really have a denomination named after him – although people are of his school of thought – they don’t attend Calvinism as a faith. Irregardless, I bet if I wanna find dirt on Calvin (both theologically and morally) – it won’t be hard.

    The point of all this is – as Christians we cannot accept our history does not breed anti-semitism – when we know full well these little tidbits of literature are there as proofs. But what we can do is out them and defame them – to not do that – is to let people like Fred Phelps slide who build upon such dribble. Christianity is two-faced in this sense – scared to call out it own demons but has no problem with that of other religions (ie: Muslims or Mormons or Judaism).

    I guess also I don’t look up to the reformers that much – not to some of the early church pioneers for stands just like this. I am not obliged to do that so to speak.

    I sound so anti-Christian (a term of real villification – see letter above) – but I ain’t – I’m just calling out the wolves.

  7. well… i’m currently writing my church history final, so the resources where directly at hand.

    but i find that i’m in agreement with you. the reformers where men… they are flawed and elements of their time. just like people will look back on our blogs and find assumptions that we don’t see right now in our time.

    i study them as they provide insight to the faith and help me not repeat their mistakes or fall into problems that were answered in the 16th century.

    we gotta call out the wolves.. they are hiding.. and the anti-Judaic though runs counter to the whole notion of grace. of course, i view that hell runs counter to the whole notion of grace too.. but i’m a universalist heretic and i wear that proudly 😉

  8. “but i’m a universalist heretic and i wear that proudly” (Luke)

    Good thing u didn’t live in the 1600’s – Calvin might have you and Servetus for BBQ skewers in the name of God!

  9. “nah.. Calvin is more universalist leaning than you’d expect. as long as i affirm the trinity, i’m cool with Calvin… Servetus didn’t.” (Luke)

    True – then Calvin would have me and Servetus for BBQ skewers – cause I don’t think there is a Trinity – and I am not really that orthodox…yikes! I always wondered why people, knowing they were going to be burnt alive and not being sedated, never went down swinging…

  10. I don’t know a single Lutheran that agrees with what Martin Luther said about the Jews.

    We believe he was dead wrong there. But he wasn’t wrong on everything.

    He knew the gospel, and he knew how to stand up to the powers of the day to proclaim such.

  11. “I don’t know a single Lutheran that agrees with what Martin Luther said about the Jews.” (Steve)

    Same – but then again – I never asked much Lutherans about it (I am not even sure many know about this pamphlet of Luther’s). I know if someone wrote this kind of thing about Christians we would never forget it – and nor should we – it should be held up as something that can never happen again.

    “We believe he was dead wrong there. But he wasn’t wrong on everything. He knew the gospel, and he knew how to stand up to the powers of the day to proclaim such.” (Steve)

    Someone raised a good question about this, OSS I think, doesn’t this skew his view on the Torah (the book of the Jewish nation) – a book he claims to know quite well all the while holding viewpoints like this that might effect his version of what Law and Grace mean? Luther is human, he is subject to personal interpretation biases also.

  12. I think someone can know doctrine quite well, understand it, teach it, and not live up to it.

    I think it is that way to one degree or another with everyone I know.

  13. “I think someone can know doctrine quite well, understand it, teach it, and not live up to it. I think it is that way to one degree or another with everyone I know.” (Steve)

    True…none of us have cornered the market on ‘being the most generous’ or ‘loving our neighbor the most’ – none of us live up to some great ideal that lives in the imaginations in our heads of how ‘nice a person should be’ or how ‘much giving is really charitable’, etc. The problem isn’t the words on the page – or the law – or lack of grace – but us and our imaginations/expectations.

    As for Luther, grave mistake I would say – for a man that claims a love of Jesus – he sure doesn’t get it. Even if the Jews were considered enemies – as a Christian he is asked to love them equal to that of a brother/sister…which he failed in obviously. He advocated violence and 7 horrible things against these people…not in his name…in the name of the person he calls God – Jesus the Christ! Like James and John, I want to call thunder down on this man – of course I cannot – but what he said here needs to be ousted for the sake of Christianity making some amends.

    And you are right – Luther very well could of knew doctrine quite well – he did and we all know this from some reading – but what makes his use of doctrine here wrong and most of the other stuff he wrote right? Because this just doesn’t ‘feel right’ or because the subject matter is ‘offensive’ as compared to his light hearted leanings on ‘the just shall live by faith’. If we question here – then he is questionable in more places than just this.

  14. “If we question here – then he is questionable in more places than just this.” (Jason)

    I think to look at whether or not his preaching or teaching in any other areas are valid or not, we have to compare it with what scripture says and then draw your conclusuions one way or the other.

    I will say, that if someone were to follow me around for one week, and compare my actions to what their notions of Christianity are (dictated by some level of “goodness”), they might conclude that I am not a Christian after all.

  15. set fire to their synagogues or schools
    houses also be razed and destroyed
    henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb.
    safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews.(Luther)

    follow me around for one week, and compare my actions to what their notions of Christianity are (Steve)

    Unless you are a serial killer, how can you have the audacity to compare your actions to what Luther is not only condoning but preaching. If you can look me straight in the eye and suggest that you would not totally think this guy nuts if he were saying this today, I will admit youre freaking nuts too.

  16. TfT,

    16th century Germany is not 21st century Germany.

    George Washington owned slaves, and yet he was one of our founding fathers and revered by millions and rightfully so.

    Objectionable actions and words do not and should not erase the bulk of the good a historicl figure has done.

    Unless you are freakin’ nuts!

  17. T4T,

    i gotta say Luther did a lot of good for Christianity.. but not so much for Judaism. in the start, yes! he got Christians to stop oppressing Jews and go after the catholic church.. but in the long term… nope. not so much.

    but when we look back onto our blogs from 10 to 20 years in the future, we’ll slap our hands to our heads and exclaim how we could have been so short sighted. there are assumptions at work we aren’t even aware of.

    kinda like the “speck in your neighbor’s eye and log in our own” deal. luther has his short-comings… but so do we all. i can say “at least i’m friends with Jewish people” but i still have racial blinders on and assumptions at work that aren’t altogether helpful to everyone.. like Mormons or the Dutch.. both of those groups are awful ;-D

  18. Luke

    Brother I like you, but I think you miss the whole point. Luther could write the most beautiful Christian stuff in the world and that wont change the FACT that he was one HATEFUL motherf…. If I ever profess anything remotely like the stuff he has, take me out back and put one in the back of my Head. I have tons of planks in my eye, but I still see clearly enough to not use Luther as any kind of example of what a Good Christian can be. Oh and by the way his writings dont leave me having to “assume”. Its in black and white.

  19. **but when we look back onto our blogs from 10 to 20 years in the future, we’ll slap our hands to our heads and exclaim how we could have been so short sighted. there are assumptions at work we aren’t even aware of.**

    But are any of us going to look back and find that we wrote things or believed things of this magnitude? I’m 100% certain that I’ll learn things I was ignorant of, or uncover biases that I didn’t even know I had in 20 years or so. I doubt, however, that I’ll find things that were anywhere close to what Luther wrote on an entire race.

    Not all biases are equal, and as soon as we start treating them like they are, I think we run the danger of losing just how potent something like ‘On the Jews and their Lies’ can be. We might be less likely to stand up against it, or stop people from saying that, if we feel that we have our own biases, too. I’m all for a self-awareness of the plank in our eyes — but that carries it’s own danger, too.

  20. Maybe Luther was just having a bad day, because he stepped in some cow pie on the way to church. 🙂

    I probably shouldn’t make fun of harsh realities, but this Luther document is kind of old and it is a little bit late to be trying to make him answer for it. It’s the people of today who still hold on to these seven points of evil that really need to be dealt with.

    Besides, if there is a purgatory, which Luther probably believed there was. I’m sure some poetic justice thing is taking place. Like standing knee deep in cow crap while he is lodged in his barn.

    Anyways here is shameless plug for my blog. I’ve decided to update it and make it more of a reflection of who I really am, when it comes to all things religion. I’ m not all that super-serious about religion, christianity, and faith as some people are so I’ve decided to add my peculiar thoughts to the dialogue. Just follow the link.

    http://thejust1.wordpress.com/

  21. “Brother I like you, but I think you miss the whole point.” T4T

    i think you could be right. it’s hard to read people tear’n down someone who you just spent two semester’s reading his impact. luther sure was a character.. but he was a Christian of his time.. he took a lot of good stands that needed standing for. but he failed big time here.. and i don’t want to downside that failure.. but i also don’t want to throw the baby luther out with the bath water.

    or it could be that i don’t want to feel i’ve wasted many an hour reading all this stuff the reformers have written!

    “Not all biases are equal, and as soon as we start treating them like they are,…” OSS

    yeah.. i hear you there! don’t want to start doing that.. sorry if i came across like i was!

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