For centuries Christians considered the Jews to be the primary guilty party involved in the crucifixion. Whether we consider the New Testament, ante-Nicaean Christian works like Peri Pascha or the Gospel of Peter, post-Nicaean Christian works like Chrysostom’s Adversus Judaeos, later Protestant works such as Martin Luther’s On the Jews and Their Lies or any of the other popular historical Christian writings which addressed the matter, the narrative is clear and consistent: the Jews killed Jesus.
The recent phenomenon of “Judeo-Christianity” has led to politically fuelled revisionism of the orthodox Christian position on this matter. The Jews have been traditionally viewed in Christian culture as a cursed people guilty of murder and blasphemy throughout their generations, but in recent times “Judeo-Christianity” and “Christian Zionism” have effectively inverted the historical and orthodox Christian position concerning the Jewry.
This new image of the Jew requires some incredible mental gymnastics from the “Judeo-Christian”. This is especially true when it comes to the matter of responsibility for the crucifixion. The Jews and their lackeys point the finger at the Romans, but as we shall see, this is not at all consistent with Scripture. The Biblical narrative consistently places the blame on the people of Judaea and we will establish this here with three witnesses. First I shall cite St. Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians. Here St. Paul clearly states that the people of Judaea killed Jesus:
“14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Judeans:
15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”
-1 Thessalonians 2
Note that the Majority Text of the previous passage contains an errant secondary reading which contradicts the reading represented in the oldest manuscripts. This has a significant bearing on the message.
Here in Matthew chapter 27 the Judaean masses cry out for Jesus’ blood and willingly embrace responsibility for the death of the Son of God:
“24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”
Here in Acts chapter 4 St. Peter addresses the “rulers of the people and elders” of Judaea (verses 5-8). Here he unequivocally states that they were the ones who had crucified Jesus:
“10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.”
When Jesus spoke to Pilate He told him “he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” (John 19.11) Pilate declared Jesus to be blameless (John 18.38-39, 19.4-6) and washed his hands of the sentence (Matthew 27.24). The Judaean elders twisted Pilate’s arm by saying that to deny their demand would constitute rebellion against Caesar (John 19.12), implying that a riot would be incited and they would blame Pilate before Caesar. Only when threatened in such a manner did Pilate accede to allow Christ to be crucified.
When the Roman soldiers were in the process of crucifying the prisoners Jesus said “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23.33-34). It is very clear from the Gospel accounts that the Judaean elders and rulers were primarily responsible for the crucifixion and that any Roman role was secondary. In contrast the people of Judaea accepted the blood guilt upon themselves and their descendants (Matthew 27.25).
While God’s focus shifted from the remnant of Judah to the 12 tribes of Israel and the remnant of Adam, the Romans became instrumental in fulfilling God’s will and obtained great favour. Two righteous Roman centurions appear in Scripture exhibiting great faith and receiving great blessings through Christ (Matthew 8.5-13, Acts 10). The Romans under Titus destroyed the temple in accordance with the prophecy of Daniel (9.26), a destiny which was known to St. Paul.
Closing his epistle to the Romans St. Paul states that “your obedience is come abroad unto all men” (vs. 19) and tells the Romans that “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” (vs. 20) This can only foretell the Roman destruction of the temple and the vengeance of Christ upon the synagogue of Satan. Ostensibly while God was punishing Judaea for their persecution and murder of Jesus He was showing his favour to Rome.
It is now necessary to discuss some important historical events that shaped 1st century Judaea which are largely unknown to most Christians. The kingdom of Judah was founded by the Israelites of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi, but these Israelites struggled to maintain ethnic integrity in their lands. Despite the constant chastisement of the prophets the people of Judah gradually mingled with the cursed peoples of Canaan.
By the time of Christ Judaea was a multi-racial state inhabited by a diverse population made up not only of Israelites, but also of a variety of alien tribes including the cursed Kenites, Canaanites and Edomites. There were also great numbers of mongrels born of mixed unions between these alien tribes and the Israelites. That Christ’s adversaries were generally of such degenerate stock is evident throughout the Bible. These cursed peoples are variously refered to in Scripture as a “race of vipers”, “antichrists”, “vessels of wrath” and “the synagogue of Satan”. These alien intruders into Judah are the racial bedrock of modern Jewry.
These are the protagonists of the entire Biblical narrative. By the time of Christ they had not only fully integrated into the Judaean population and intermarried extensively with the Judaeans, but had even risen to the heights of power under the Romans. The client king of Judaea, Herod the Great, was in fact an Edomite by birth (Josephus, Antiquities 14.8-9, 403) and was the first to make an attempt on Jesus’ life (Matthew 2.1-16). Later on Herod’s desire came to pass and Jesus was brought to Golgotha at the behest of the Judaean authorities.
Herod the Great was the first upon who the Romans had bestowed the title “king of the Judaeans” (Josephus, Wars of the Judaeans 1.282). Later Pilate, mocking the bloodthirsty Judaean leaders, bestowed this title on Jesus, much to the chagrin of the Judaeans (John 19.19-22).
Addressing some of his Judaean detractors in John chapter 8, Jesus says “If God were your Father, ye would love me” (vs. 42) and tells them “Ye are of your father the devil” (vs. 44). He further explains that “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (vs. 47). These Judaeans did not become the devil’s offspring because of their disbelief; rather their disbelief was an outward reflection of their Satanic origin.
Jesus said to his opponents that “ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep” (John 10.26). He did not say that they were not his because they did not heed Him, but that they did not heed Him because they were not his to begin with. They were simply not the intended recipients of his message and were naturally opposed Him. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Of course not. A corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit by which we know them! (Matthew 7.16-20)
Writing the 9th chapter of his epistle to the Romans regarding certain Judaeans who rejected the Gospel, St. Paul says “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (vs. 6). Verses 7-13 show that the true children of Israel are descended from Abraham down through Isaac and Jacob-Israel and not Esau-Edom. St. Paul then quotes a condemnation of Edom from Malachi 1.2. St. Paul is not making incoherent disjointed statements here nor is he speaking in cryptic allegories. Rather St. Paul was acutely aware of the fact that there was a large population of Edomites in Judaea opposing the Gospel.
In Romans chapter 11 St. Paul speaks of other disbelieving Judaeans which may be contrasted with the false Israelites of Romans 9. He tells us these Judaean heretics were still part of Jacob (vs. 26) and “beloved for the father’s sakes” (vs. 28). In contrast, the false Israelites of Romans 9 are not counted among Israel (vs. 6). Paul is not contradicting himself in the ways he regards these different Judaeans. The false Israelites of Romans 9 are no mere heretics within the Israelite race; rather they were the illicit converts and mongrels of Judaea.
While it cannot be reasonably questioned that the people of Judaea were responsible for the crucifixion, it must be said that this guilt is shared by both the Edomite, Canaanite and Kenite infiltrators and the true blooded Israelites who denied him (Acts 2.22-24, 7.51-53). Both groups were in the crowd when they said “His blood be on us, and on our children.” (Matthew 27.25). For the true Israelites in Judaea this blood might wash away their sin, and many joined the early Church becoming an integral part of Christendom. For the unrepentant wicked brood among them his blood marked them with the guilt of deicide which they bear to this day.