Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Do Protestants know that Martin Luther was an anti-semite?

He even wrote an entire book about it called "The Jews and their Lies."

"Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self-glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them."

"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. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues."

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Yes, this was a sad but well known fact about Luther. He was no doubt a victim of the upheaval of the Middle Ages:

    Anti-Judaism and demonization

    Tolerated as survival was seen as confirmation of OT background of Christian faith and allowed for fulfillment of prophesy of Jews conversion prior to second coming.

    Jews were non-Citizens in Christendom and lived at the mercy of Christian majority and authority. Jews resided in mainly commercial areas of Roman Empire, France, and England.

    Conspiracy Theories of Jewish Ritual Murder

    Accused Jews of crucifying Christian children. A Monk, Thomas of Monmouth, claimed that Jews could not return to their fatherland or obtain freedom without the shedding of blood.

    13th century allegations of desecrating Eucharistic hosts by stabbing them and they would bleed. Allegations emerged after 4 Lateran Council's approval of transubstantiation doctrine.

    Papacy sought to keep anti-Semitic violence under control. Pope Gregory X condemned Christian parents who pretended their children were abducted so as to extort money from local Jews. Also denounced belief that Jews drank blood of Christian youths.

    Alleged conspiracy of lepers and Jews 1321- confronted by worsening financial straits, Philip V of France targeted leper house residents, as involved in a conspiracy to destroy his kingdom. Claimed lepers put powders in wells to spread their disease and take over France. Lepers would claim Jews had bribed them.

    Onset of plague in 1348 led to spontaneous murdering of Jews

    In 1449 Pope Nicolas V condemned preaching and actions against converted Jews but his efforts failed

    1478 Queen Isabella, King Ferdinand established permanent office of inquisition against Judaizers in form of "pureblood law". Jewish blood contained demonic and biological factors preventing true Christian baptism and conversion. Corrupt Jewish blood at 1/32nd levels could reach back three generations.

    First decades of the inquisitions, thousands of convicted Jews who had converted to Christianity were burned. Auto de fe, acts of faith, executions of dozens of Jews, brought considerable notoriety to Spain.

    Jews and Witches- meetings of witches and sorcerers were called synagogues, and later sabbats. Both accused of same crimes.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yep, it is well known that Martin Luther was anti-semitic. Infact, one would have been hard-pressed to find a Reformation era European who was not anti-semitic.

    Luther's anti-semitism, while deplorable by today's standards, does not detract from his supreme intellect. We know, for instance, that Thomas Jefferson had slaves but we still value his contributions to the American Republic. Similarly, Martin Luther, for all his falings, was a great thinker, nationalist and writer, and was the engine for the Protestant Reformation (with John Calvin).

    If you are looking for a really evil, maniacal anti-semite, who lived during the Reformation, look no further than Fray Tomas de Torquemada, the first Inquisitor General of the Spanish Inquisition.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes and just like the papacy..his head got swelled and he went to far. I agree with the staements (only in general) about Judaism; BUT, it's never ok to go burning your neighbors houses down or harming them etc...that's breaking the commandmenst and by doing so, not loving your enemies.

    All of this aside. this doesn't mean that Luther was wrong about the papacy....I knew the RCC was a mess just from interaction (pre christian) I'd had with the priests, nuns..etc. before I really knew anything about the reformation.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. Toards the end of his life he became embittered with the Jews. It didn't change the fact that he was saved, nor did it take away a lifelong service to God that he performed. He was just getting old and cranky.

    It's too bad, but I can only hope that I do not get the same way about certain things, God willing.

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  • 1 decade ago

    So were most of the popes, up to and including Pius XII, who could have stopped the Holocaust dead in its tracks merely by threatening to excommunicate any German Catholics involved in the persecution of Jews (Hitler was Catholic, and very superstitious; its doubtful he would have pursued his "Final Solution" in the face of papal sanction). So what's your point? Antisemitism isn't exclusive to any religion.

  • Serena
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Yes,that is quite well known these days.His writings were vile.

    However,it does not affect Protestantism,considering that there were many reformers,not just Luther.

  • Mim
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I do not think it efects his other teaching so was hitler an anti semite and he was catholic or claimed to be,

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not particularly surprising; it was popular at the time. Also, irrelevant; his theses had nothing to do with anti-semitism.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    he happens to be dead and his religion is nothing like it was originally intended to be

  • 1 decade ago


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