There are those who believe anti-Semitism started 2000 years ago with the birth of Christianity. Fallacious is defined as someone who embodies fallacies, which describes those who make the claim perfectly. Anyone who believes anti-Semitism is rooted in Christianity is filled with fallacies.
The first fallacy is the belief there was no anti-Semitism prior to the birth of Christianity. Anti-Semitism predates Christianity by thousands of years. The moment the Israelites under Moses became the God’s Chosen was the moment anti-Semitism entered the world. They were chosen to spread the light of God to the world and the world has never forgiven them for it.
Before Christianity came under Roman rule of the Israelites, they had already been dispersed and scattered. 10 tribes had been lost, not by Christians, but the much older Assyrians. Christians never found a way to travel through time to cause anything that happened prior to their arrival and rise on the world stage. Anything that happened that was anti-Semitic, of which there were numerous accounts, was the result of Jewish hatred that was already on the Earth.
Christianity, at its birth, was closer to what the Israelites had been chosen by God to do. A Jewish Rabbi, Yeshua, reached out to Gentiles with the reminder there was no need to become Jewish. There is no requirement under Jewish law for Gentiles to follow the laws of Moses, since there are the laws of Noah for Gentiles to live righteous lives.
For the first few centuries, Romans persecuted Christians and Jews alike. They were an oddity to have fun with, like sending them to the arena unarmed to be killed by gladiators or eaten by lions. During that time, anti-Semitism was starting to rise as they did, since it had already been in the world.
It was not until 313 CE/AD that Christianity became an acceptable religion in Rome, which had already happened with Judaism. In 325, Emperor Constantine had Christians develop the orthodoxy at the Council of Nicea. During the 4th century is when Christians started to come to power in places like Ethiopia, but were not a dominant force throughout much of the world where the Jews were facing anti-Semitism from people who were not Christian.
The orthodoxy was more Roman inspired than Jewish as it spread across the world through forced conversions. Christians who challenged the orthodoxy were executed in brutal ways, such as being burned alive. In some cases, they were more humane about the death by cutting off the head or strangling before the burning.
Another fallacy in the belief that anti-Semitism started 2000 years ago is the belief that all Christians are the same. Their beliefs and motivations are as varied as the Jews or any other large group of a similar root. Abraham may be the root of Judaism, but the Jews are not all of the same belief, which is what anti-Semites believe through their own fallacies of Judaism.
Inquisitions, not just to target Jews, but Christians as well, came and went leaving a lot of suffering and death in there wake. Witches were Christians who found themselves tortured until they admitted what the Orthodox Roman Catholics wanted them to admit before executing them. If all Christians were of one mind and one belief, why were so many executed by the Christians in power?
After English colonization created the New World, Jews and Christians left Europe to escape religious persecution by the Christians in power. The English colonies were Protestant, which resulted in Catholics being at the brunt of occasional acts against them, unlike the Jews who were left to worship and raise their families as they saw fit.
Just because there was an attempt to bastardize what Christianity started out to be does not mean that it was successful. For that to have happened, it would have required a united church with a united belief right from the start. Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor emeritus of church history at the University of Oxford summed up the history of Christianity. “There’s never been a united Christianity.”
There is the belief held by some that all Christians embrace Replacement Theology, which means Christianity replaced Judaism as God’s Chosen, which has no basis in Biblical writings in the Tanakh or what Christians refer to as the New Testament. There are some from various sects who do, but that does not represent the majority.
Just as anti-Semites can point to more extreme Jewish viewpoints to support their hatred, so to can someone utilize similar sources to support their false belief that all Christians are the same. On a global level, there are not hundreds or thousands of Christian sects, but 10s of thousands. From the same article that quoted Professor MacCulloch, reads the following, “Estimations show there are more than 200 Christian denominations in the U.S. and a staggering 45,000 globally.”
Christianity covers a rather large grouping of people whose beliefs are as varied as that of Jews. Just because someone is classified as Christian, does not make them religious. There are socialist Christians who are closer to being atheists than Christians.
It is not Christianity that is anti-Semitic, but certain Christians who are. There are Christians who believe and spew out all sorts of hateful things and have committed acts of violence against anyone who does not meet their standard of Christianity and those who are not Christian.
I have had the great displeasure to come across a few of those Christians who were not pleased with my response to their vile attacks on Jews. I do hold the belief that Jews should read the New Testament; not for the purpose of converting anyone, but as a source to combat the lies. Rabbi Yeshua made it clear there was no end to the laws of Moses; just as he made it clear that the laws of Moses do not apply to Gentiles, but the laws of Noah do.