History of Judeo-Christian Relations
5 BC - Yeshua (Jesus) is born to Mary, a virgin Jew and descendant of King David, in Bethlehem of Judah, the city of David. Many Jews who believe in Jesus as their Messiah call themselves Messianic Jews. They prefer to use the Hebrew name of Jesus, which is Yeshua. For the purposes of this timeline, understanding that most readers use the name Jesus, we will as well.
10 AD - Two dominant schools of thought in Pharisaic teachings become established, which still influence Jewish and Christian thought today. Jesus commanded, "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you" (Matthew 23:2-3, NIV). One Pharisaic school is based on teachings of Rabbi Hillel (c.110 BC - 10 AD), a mild and gentle man, well known for his piety and kindness to the poor. He taught "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor" (Leviticus 19:17-18). Jesus replaced this with a much stronger teaching, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31, NIV). The other school follows doctrines of Rabbi Shammai (c.60 BC - 20 AD), a more hot-tempered man. Shammai advocated a rigid and rigorous adherence to the law, as did Jesus, although Jesus taught that righteousness must come directly from God. Shammai also made rules for the strict separation of Jews from Gentiles. However, as Jesus pointed out, Scripture teaches that Israel (Isaiah 49:6) and the Messiah (Isaiah 42:6) will be a light to the Gentiles.
25 - In 15th year of Tiberius (Luke 3:1-3), a Jewish prophet and descendant of Aaronic priests, called John the Baptist, preaches repentance to the Jews. All who repent, John takes to the mikvah (Greek = baptism), a purification ceremony of the Jews involving complete immersion in clean "living" water. Jesus begins His ministry after going to the baptism of John, where God publicly reveals Jesus' anointing by the Holy Spirit.
25-29 - Jesus preaches in the power and authority of God. He teaches a thoroughly Jewish Gospel based entirely on God's Word. As prophesied, He proclaims the New Covenant in His blood, administering the law to Israel in a new and better way, a way not like Israel's former Covenant through Moses. In His New Covenant, God Himself makes the hearts and minds of His people obedient to the law, by the work of His Holy Spirit. (Jeremiah 31:31-33)
What separates Jesus from all other Jewish teachers is His authority. He taught, performed miracles and cast out demons in His own name, not by any denomination's name, nor even in God's name. Jesus also claims Scripture to be His own words, which will never pass away. None but Messiah dared do this. For the prophets taught the Messiah would be "Yahweh [God's holy name] our righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:6;33:16) and a child called God (Isaiah 9:6). The one God took flesh, a miracle displaying His love for us and His power over His creation.
30 - The world of sinners crucify Jesus. Significantly, before His death, Jesus instructs His disciples to celebrate the Passover in commemoration of the salvation brought by His death, instead of commemorating their deliverance from Egypt. As Isaiah and the prophets told us, His death has become our sin offering and guilt offering, freeing Israel from the slavery and condemnation of sin. The Passover that God commanded Israel to keep with the sacrifice of a lamb, has been fulfilled in Jesus the Lamb of God.
Jewish leaders hand Jesus over to the Gentiles, to Pilate and Herod Antipas. These Gentiles ratify the Jews' death sentence and order Roman Gentiles to kill Jesus, the King of the Jews. Both Jewish temple guards and Roman soldiers beat, whip and torture Jesus. Romans crucify Him, pierce Him with a spear, and gamble for His clothing while He hangs on the cross with His bones out of joint (Psalm 22, Isaiah 53). Scripture makes it clear that Gentiles kill Jesus. Some Jews are guilty of handing Jesus over to the Romans. Those who are not with Jesus, are against Him, but no Gentiles are His disciples yet. None but a few Jews remain faithful to Him at this time.
Jesus' New Covenant, like the Old, is made only with the people of Israel (Jeremiah 31:31). So, for Gentiles to enter this New Covenant, they must be grafted into Israel (Romans 11:24). Thus through faith in Jesus Christ they become circumcised of heart and can be baptized in water.
30 - Three nights and days after being delivered into the hands of sinners and death, Jesus' rises from the dead just as He and the prophets predicted. (Psalm 16:10).
30 - Prophecies of Moses and others come true 49 days after Jesus rises from the dead, 50 days after the Passover Sabbath. Disciples of Jesus are immersed in the Holy Spirit, just as the end-time prophecy of Joel (2:28-32) predicted. Thus Jesus' disciples receive circumcision of the heart and mind which Moses prophesied (Deuteronomy 30:6), a circumcision which brings inward obedience to God. They are no longer bound to the law by their own strength, but are granted the very righteousness of God, with freedom to act according to the Holy Spirit within them.
Most Jews reject the preaching of Jesus' disciples, because God hardens their hearts. This does not mean God will not save His elect among the Jews, but that they will serve a different purpose for a time. This situation will remain until the time of the Gentiles has ended. Then God, not man, will open the eyes of the Jews to their Messiah. The New Covenant Church is still entirely Jewish and based solely on Scripture.
32 - The first martyr of the New Covenant Church of Israel, a Jew named Stephen, is stoned to death by Jews who do not believe in Jesus. Stephen had rebuked their disobedience and their rejection of biblical prophecy, truth, and the Messiah (Acts 6:8 to 7:60).
Mature believers of this time die in peace, knowing God has directed their steps and guided the work of their lives. As Jesus promised them, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27, NIV).
The Jews who do not believe in Jesus increasingly persecute, imprison and kill the Jews who believe in Jesus. As a result, many flee from Jerusalem to Antioch and other parts of Rome. The entire New Covenant sect of the one Church of Israel is still Jewish. None of the Jews are cursed by God. For God loves and remains faithful even to His elect Jews who do not yet believe in Jesus, because God's gifts and calling are irrevocable (Romans 11:28-29).
34 - Jesus appears to Rabbi Saul and calls him into the ministry, even while Rabbi Saul was on his way to imprison and kill believers in Jesus. Saul's name is changed to Paul. God fills him with the Holy Spirit, circumcising him in heart and mind for the inward obedience to the law. God calls Paul to preach to Gentiles as well as Jews. In the custom of Jesus, he goes "to the Jew first, then to the Gentile" (Romans 1:16), visiting synagogues in every city.
38 - Anti-Jewish riots flare up in Alexandria, Egypt. A Gentile Greek scholar, Apion, leads a delegation to Emperor Caligula, complaining that the Jews hate mankind. He likely thinks this because Jews separated themselves from Gentiles. The Greeks and Romans look down on Jews. Gentiles feel their own pseudo-intellectual "rational" philosophies, which they use to justify their carnal appetites, are superior to the "superstition" of the Jews. Soon the Christian Church will join in this bigotry of the Gentiles, and forget their Jewish origins.
39 - In an attempt to keep subjects loyal to Rome, Emperor Caligula orders a statue of himself as god to be erected and worshiped in the temple at Jerusalem. Philo of Alexandria, with other Jews, travels to Rome to persuade Caligula against this. King Agrippa also appeals to Caligula on the basis that another uprising of the Jews may occur. Caligula withdraws his decree.
40 - Anti-Jewish riots occur in Antioch of Syria, where a major population of Jews live. Jews and Gentiles in the New Covenant Church are first called Christians (people of Christ) here. Some Jewish Christians are also victims of anti-Semitic bigotry. Thus, when the apostles come to Antioch, they exhort the disciples, "It is necessary for us to enter the Kingdom of God through many afflictions" (Acts 14:22).
44 - Herod Agrippa I executes the leading apostle James.
49 - After Peter and Paul saw God grant the Holy Spirit to Gentiles, which is the circumcision of heart and mind taught by Moses, the Jerusalem Council of the New Covenant Church makes a Spirit-guided concession to Gentiles (Acts 15:1-35). A convert to Judaism normally required physical circumcision (if he was male) before going to the mikvah, then an animal sacrifice. Only after this could he fellowship in the Church of Israel. Now, the Council declares physical circumcision redundant. The Council reasons that Gentile converts to New Covenant Judaism (Christianity) may go to the mikvah (baptism) with only the circumcision of the heart by the Holy Spirit through faith, and with the offering of Messiah's sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. This decision is in full accordance with Moses and the prophets, concerning the New Covenant times of the Messiah.
49 - Emperor Claudius orders the expulsion of Jews from Rome after a riot instigated by followers of "Christ," presumably a reaction of mainstream Jews against Jews who follow Jesus. Clearly, Claudius sees this as an internal Jewish affair which is causing trouble for outsiders. Thus we see that early Christians are still considered Jews. Many Jewish Christians, like Aquila and Priscilla, are among the Jews expelled (Acts 18:2).
54 - Philo of Alexandria (c.20 BC - 54 AD), a Jew from a very wealthy and influential family, dies. He is known for attempting to demonstrate that the god of the Greek philosophers is the same as the God of Israel. Greek philosophy and humanistic doctrines of Stoicism and Platonism are harmonized with Scripture. For centuries, this pollution of God's truth greatly influences both Jewish and Christian theologians, who try to make the words of the living God acceptable to the arrogance of the Greeks.
56 - Paul is imprisoned and appeals to Rome. In a few years, the Roman procurator, Porcius Festus, sends Paul to Rome, to appeal before Nero.
64 - Rome burns. Emperor Nero falsely accuses the unpopular Christians to divert the blame away from himself. He sadistically tortures Christians, burning some alive on stakes for his own entertainment. His wife is pro-Jewish, so Nero is the first Emperor to distinguish Christians as a separate people from the Jews. Peter and Paul are likely killed about this time.
66 - Anticipating the Jewish revolt against Rome, Jewish believers in Jesus (in Jerusalem) move to Pella, a small town east of the Jordan river. This further distances relationships between these Jews and Jews who do not believe in Jesus. To Jewish believers in Jesus, war with Rome cannot gain freedom. Jesus taught that he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.
66 - After some Jews mock Roman procurator, Florus, portraying him as an impoverished beggar because he stole funds from the temple treasury, angry Florus slaughters 600 Jews in Jerusalem. Following years of numerous crucifixions of Jewish zealots, this final blow incites nation-wide revolt. Jewish zealots take the impregnable fortress of Masada, near the western shores of the Dead Sea, and slaughter all the Romans in it. After the Jews drive 3,000 Roman reinforcements from Jerusalem, the remaining Romans in the city surrender on a promise of safe passage. But the Jews execute them as soon as they lay down their arms. All pagans are killed. About 20,000 Roman soldiers march from Antioch to Jerusalem but are defeated after 6,000 Roman soldiers die.
67 - General Vespasian begins to take back the land of Israel with an army of 50,000 Roman soldiers. Beginning in Galilee, he works his way south to Jerusalem. On the way there, he massacres more than 10,000 Jews. Many others commit suicide. By the summer of 68 AD, Vespasian conquers all but Jerusalem and Masada.
68 - Nero commits suicide and General Vespasian returns to Rome to quell civil war in the Empire, sending his son Titus to finish off Jerusalem. Vespasian becomes Emperor in 69 AD. Nearly a million Jews still lay besieged within a few square miles of Jerusalem's walls. But the Jews do not attack the Romans. Instead, three quarrelsome factions of Jews fight each other within the walls. None of the factions cooperate, and even assassinate one another. Thousands die of starvation, disease and internal fights during the siege. Romans crucify thousands more caught outside the city walls at night looking for food.
70 - Titus finally moves into the starving city slaughtering thousands. His troops destroy the temple on the 9th of Av by the Jewish calendar, the same day the Babylonians destroyed the first temple in 586 BC. Survivors are sent to circuses to entertain Romans by being torn apart by wild beasts. Others are worked to death in Roman mines. Some are paraded in chains before cheering crowds in Rome, carrying sacred temple objects to be mocked.
73 - The last of the Jewish rebels remaining in the fortress of Masada (960 men, women and children) commit suicide the night before the Romans break down the fortress gates.
81 - Domitian becomes Emperor (ruled 81-96). He demands Jews pay to Rome what they would have given to Jerusalem. Domitian did not distinguish between Jews who believe in Jesus and Jews who do not believe in Jesus. Both are persecuted in many Roman provinces. By this time, Christians have fled persecution to the ends of the known world. Thomas, the apostle, proclaims Jesus in India. Many years previous to this, Philip brought the Gospel to an important Jewish official of the Ethiopian court. Others have also preached Jesus in Egypt, Asia Minor and Greece. Christians in Rome have dispersed to the distant parts of Europe.
90 - Jewish leaders ban from their synagogues all Jews who believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah.
93 - During the persecution of Domitian, John the apostle is exiled to the isle of Patmos. Here, Jesus gives him a Revelation. With the writing of Revelation, the Scripture of the "New Testament" (a term synonymous with "New Covenant") is complete. John, the last living apostle of the original 12, dies shortly after it is written.
100 - The Church is being increasingly corrupted. On the one hand, some Jews continue to impose the Mosaic law on Gentile converts, without any understanding of the New Covenant. On the other hand, some Christians are teaching that their salvation discharges them from all obedience to God's law. Of course, both kinds of heretics walk according to the flesh and fall into grave error. God deals with His church through a New Covenant (new law), but God does not change, so neither does His righteousness. The old law describes the new, and finds its fulfillment in Jesus.
111 - Pliny, governor of Bithynia (in modern Turkey), begins to kill Christians. He thinks they are not loyal to Rome since they do not pray to Roman gods or burn incense to Caesar. Even with the threat of death they refuse to curse their Christ. Since Christians seem to be generally moral and honest people, and seldom commit any crime other than obstinacy concerning their refusal to worship Caesar, Pliny writes Emperor Trajan for advice. Trajan begins a policy that Rome should not waste time seeking out Christians, but should severely punish all brought to the court, since they do not obey Rome in worshipping Caesar. This policy remains in effect for centuries.
115 - As Emperor Trajan battles Parthians (modern Iran), the Jews rebel in Cyrene (modern Libya), Egypt, Meso-potamia (modern Iraq), and Cyprus. Thousands of Jews are killed as Romans suppress the uprisings. Jews also kill thousands of Gentiles, perhaps 240,000 in Cyprus alone. By the time Romans regain control of Cyprus, nothing is left. They must rebuild the island from the ground up. No Jew is ever allowed there again, and thereafter even shipwrecked Jews are killed as soon as they set foot on the island. Both non-Christian and Christian Jews are becoming odious to Rome, and neither wants to identify with the other. Mainstream Jews think Christians are idolaters, and Christian Gentiles forget they have joined the Jewish Church.
130 - It is now a century from the time Jesus ascended to sit at God's right hand, where He will stay until God makes His enemies a footstool at His feet. To fully know the New Covenant Scriptures with true wisdom and understanding, the Christian Church needs to relearn forgotten Jewish knowledge. But mainstream Jews are too busy living and dying by the sword, like Gentiles. They have no time to pay any attention to their Messiah. Thus Christians learn the Jewish Scriptures within the Greek darkness surrounding them. The time of the Gentiles, which Jesus predicted, envelopes His Church like a black suffocating cloud. We all like sheep have gone astray.
Among the Jews, Rabbi Johanan, a disciple of Hillel, had previously set up an academy after the temple's destruction in 70 AD. From this school, he organized an authoritative body, the Bet Din, to take over the duties of the Sanhedrin. Leading Jews of the Bet Din decide that both Hillel and Shammai were inspired by God, but the doctrines of Hillel will be followed in practice by all Jews. Of course, the teachings of Jesus are not even considered. The Bet Din also establishes, once and for all time, the complete canon of Old Covenant Scripture, including Ecclesiastes and Solomon's Song. These decisions have been followed to this day.
132 - Emperor Hadrian (117-138) begins to rebuild Jerusalem, which had remained in ruins since 70 AD. But he intends to make it a city (with a circus and arena) dedicated to Jupiter, the patron God of Rome. Hadrian also issues a decree forbidding all forms of physical mutilation, including circumcision. The study of the Bible becomes punishable by death. Disciples of the most prominent Jewish teacher of the time, Rabbi Akiva, study secretly in a cave on Mount Meron, Israel. Shimon Bar Kochba joins Rabbi Akiva to lead the Jews in rebellion against Rome. Only Christian Jews do not join this revolt. The Jews succeed and an aged priest, Eleazer, rededicates an altar in Jerusalem.
135 - Roman General Severus recaptures Israel little by little until he corners the last Jewish rebels in Bethar, a few miles south-west of Jerusalem. The remnant of the Jewish resistance is starved and dying of thirst by the time Severus destroys them. He kills everyone. After extreme torture, he executes Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva. About 600,000 Jews die in the revolt, as well as many Romans. Jews who were not killed are sold into slavery or sent to die in the circus. Judea is renamed Palestine. Hadrian completes his building project, renaming Jerusalem, Aelia Capitolina. For centuries after this, Jews are forbidden entry to Jerusalem, except with a bribe on one day of the year, the 9th of Av, the day the temples were destroyed.
144 - Marcion begins a movement which will last several centuries. Although most Christians consider him a heretic, he does reflect the consequences of doctrines already prevalent in the Church. Marcion felt the material creation was repulsive, the work of a vindictive and petty God of the Jews, not the creation of a good God. Neither was the God of Israel the same as the God of the New Testament. To him, all of the laws of the Old Testament God seemed arbitrary and unjust. As a result, he rejected the entire Old Testament, as well as most of the "Jewish" New Testament. His Scripture consisted only of the Gospel of Luke and epistles of Paul. Even these he expunged of all Jewishness. Unlike the God of the Jews, his Jesus was love and forgiveness, and would never judge men nor require obedience to any law. In his eyes, Jesus could not have been a Jew, nor even human. Jesus simply appeared as a grown man during the reign of Tiberius. Marcion organized a masterful rival Church with its own bishops, dogma and structure. His Church's adept administration and prolific growth soon threatened to overtake the Christian Church, like some cults today.
150 - In an attempt to stop heresies, bishops create lists of their teachers, tracing the genealogy of their teachers back to the original 12 apostles. In doing this, they attempt to prove their inherited apostolic authority to teach doctrine. But most of these lists amount to nothing but fiction. Further-more, the Church formulates creeds defining essential doctrines of faith. Likely, the Apostle's Creed is developed about this time in Rome.
161 - Marcus Aurelius becomes emperor. Persecution of Christians and Jews had always continued sporadically, but now increases. Fortunately, this storm of violence remains confined to a few cities. Generally Christians avoid persecution by their good reputation in loving their neighbors, and through apologetics. Roman bigotry is based on class prejudice, since most Christians come from poorer classes. Thus Christian apologists attempt to make their faith more palatable to upper-class Greek "wisdom." But, in doing this, they pervert the humility of the faith and the Jewishness of the Gospel.
165 - Justin Martyr (c.100-165), the most famous of the early Christian apologists, is martyred in Rome for his faith. He is a believer, but faulty in many of his doctrines during an age of confusion, violence and fear. He is one of the first Christian apologists responsible for deeply corrupting the faith with Greek philosophy, following the example of Philo.
Written in the didactic conversational style of Plato, his book, Dialogue With Trypho (Trypho was a Jew), reveals very little awareness of the progressive revelation of truth through the Jews. For instance, Jesus taught a divorce law was given because of the hardness of the heart (Matthew 19:8), meaning the law regulates the lawless, whose hard hearts do not love others or God's ways. But, from this, Justin taught that all the Old Covenant laws were given to the Jews because of the hardness of their hearts. He went on to say the Gentile Christians are more righteous than the Jews, and have replaced the Jews as the chosen people of God, because the Jews killed their Messiah.
Jesus taught that nothing shall be taken away from the Old Covenant law. Rather He fulfills the law. Justin also failed to realize that Gentiles also killed Jesus, and no Gentiles even existed in the Christian Church at its inception. Justin's false doctrines severely harmed the Church for centuries, especially his replacement theology (which teaches that the Jews are cast out by God and the Gentile Church has replaced the Jews as the new chosen people of God). His doctrines, reiterated through the centuries, have indirectly killed countless Jews.
220 - Tertullian, the first great Latin apologist and theologian, dies. Once more we find a man with many dangerous errors, some of them carrying death to the innocent for centuries to come. Although he had some good things to say, and Christians from all denominations still love him, he did teach heresy. Tertullian, with his radical allegorical interpretations of Scripture, like Philo and Justin Martyr, wandered far from truth.
For example, in his essay, An Answer to the Jews, Tertullian reiterates Justin Martyr's replacement theology. He says Rebecca's twins, Esau and Jacob, symbolize the old and new people of God. Since the older must serve the younger, he concludes, "beyond doubt, through the edict of the divine utterance, the prior ... Jew must definitely serve the ... Christian," because the Jews "forsook God." He also wrote, "We Gentiles, with our breast doubly enlightened through Christ's truth, cast forth (let the Jews see it) our idols. What follows has likewise been fulfilled.... For thenceforth God's grace desisted (from working) among them.... since the name of the Lord was through them blasphemed." (As if the Gentiles, including Tertullian, have not also blasphemed the name of the Lord.)
Another harmful doctrine of Tertullian was that heretics had no right to Scripture. Only the catholic (universal) Church could apply Scripture authoritatively-"for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16, NIV). In other words, Tertullian removed Scripture from God's hand and placed it firmly in the hands of men. Future centuries would see the Roman Church use this doctrine to prevent Jews and Christians from defending themselves through Scripture.
220 - Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi, head of the Bet Din, categorizes 148 Tannaim (teachers of oral law including Ezra, Hillel, Akiva, Meir and so on) in six categories. This becomes the Mishnah, the heart of both the Jerusalem (c.400 AD) and Babylonian (c.500 AD) Talmuds, used by Jews to this day. They hold binding rules on how Jews must practice the law of the Torah (Old Covenant). Fears of earlier rabbis are realized in this event. They did not want their teachings written, but kept as oral teachings, since they knew these writings of men would soon become the foremost authority by which Jews direct their lives, replacing the Bible. In other words, the Jews, like the Christians, also removed Scripture from God's hands and placed it in the hands of men.
250 - Emperor Decius ruthlessly assaults the Church, feeling he must appease the wrath of angry Roman gods. Unlike other persecutors, Decius focuses on forcing Christians to worship the Roman gods, rather than merely killing them to be rid of them. So, instead of a quick death, faithful Christians must endure prolonged torture. Actually, only a few die, but many suffer horribly.
254 - Origen, a very influential theologian to this day, dies about five years after being tortured for his faith by Decius. Never recognized nor ordained as a presbyter (pastor), he holds no authority in the Church, but exerts widespread influence through his noble, self-denying, humble life and great intellect. Origen produces massive volumes of work, but strays very far from Biblical doctrine. His heresies, through the influence of Greek philosophies, are blatant. Some have plainly called him a neo-Platonist, rather than a Christian. His offbeat allegorical interpretations of Scripture lead to many deep, dark errors.
303 - Diocletian begins to reorganize the Roman Empire, attempting to instill the old Roman religious order. As a consequence, he initiates the last, largest and most systematic Roman persecution of Christians, even though his wife and daughter are Christians.
305 - Galerius coerces Diocletian to resign as emperor and usurps his throne. Then he intensifies the persecution. But, finally, in 311, Galerius falls ill. In the midst of political turmoil, and feeling that the God of the Christians is causing his suffering, he stops his persecution. Nonetheless, he dies five days later. Meanwhile, maimed and scarred Christians in the empire are released from prisons and forced labor. Only some eastern regions, under Maximinus Daia, continue the persecution.
312 - Constantine becomes Emperor. During the reign of Diocletian, Constantine had been building his power in the far western empire. There, he had not persecuted Christians, even under Galerius. Now that Galerius is dead, the empire sits uneasily under three rival rulers, including Constantine. War seems inevitable, so Constantine marches on Rome. Maxentius of Rome defends his territory after consulting his pagan gods, and makes a foolish tactical error. Constantine fights under a standard with the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (XP). It is said Constantine received a vision of this Christ monogram in the heavens. He soundly defeats Maxentius, a victory that changes Christianity and the world forever.
313 - Together with the last rival Emperor, Licinius, Constantine proclaims the edict of Milan, ending the Roman Empire's persecution of Christians. Now Christianity and Judaism become officially recognized religions. However, two years after this edict, he forbids conversion to Judaism and decrees death by burning for any Jew who proselytizes Christians. Constantine also changes the name of Aelia Capitolina back to Jerusalem, but still keeps Jews out, except on the 9th of Av. Anti-Semitic heresies of previous theologians have worked on him effectively.
Later, Constantine defeats the last of his rivals, and the entire Roman Empire is now ruled by one who favors the Church. Ranks of the Christian Church immediately swell, causing a tremendous influx of heresies, pagan corruptions and an incredible boost in its corporeal powers. Constantine then rebuilds Byzantium, making it the new capital of his empire and renaming it after Himself, Constantinople. Thus begins the Byzantine Empire.
Although Constantine still participates in pagan rites throughout his life, he gradually grows stronger in the politically incorrect faith he has adopted. His mother, Empress Helena, is also a Christian and builds many Churches, although the purity of her faith is questionable too. The Church greatly distances itself from the original truth of the Jewish Gospel of Jesus.
325 - Constantine desires greater clarity in issues dividing the Church and assembles a council at Nicea in Asia Minor (Turkey). This council profoundly affects the face of Christianity to this day, both for good and evil. Constantine presides over this council.
At this time, the Gentile Church believes it has dispossessed the Jews as God's chosen people. In their minds, they cannot remain bound in any way to the old people of God. Judaism still exudes a potent attraction to the common man. But Constantine and his council want Christianity completely in the hands of Roman Gentiles, entirely independent from Judaism. Because of earlier theologians, he views Jews as a "nation of murderers" who "butchered their Lord." Thus Constantine and his council introduce Sunday as the Sabbath day of rest, replacing Saturday, as a direct blow against Jews. Also, the council elects a new date to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, replacing the biblical date of the Jewish Passover, the fourteenth of Nisan. Now Christians must celebrate Christ's death and resurrection on the first day of spring, which is Easter.
After violent discussions, the council formulates their famous Nicene Creed, in direct opposition to a heresy called Arianism. The creed is entirely biblical, and teaches doctrine supported by both Old and New Covenant Scriptures. Yet everyone seems to forget that the Christ of that creed had taken on Jewish flesh while He lived among us. Jewish roots are cut though, and the Church becomes an exclusively Gentile creation.
361 - Julian, a pagan philosopher, becomes Emperor. He tolerates Christian beliefs, while promoting paganism ideas. Thus paganism experiences a short-lived revival. Julian also lets Jews return to Jerusalem and promises to rebuild their temple. This strikes the anti-Semitic Gentile Church at its core. Julian is sensitive to the rivalry between the Gentile Church and Jews, thus he encourages this animosity, to wound both Jews and Christians as much as possible. Although Julian realized open persecution of the Church in his time was no longer possible, he tries to impede Church growth by other means, especially ridicule. He loves to mock the Bible. The Jewish temple is never completed, because he dies in 363.
373 - Ambrose, a fairly just and equitable governor of Milan (northern Italy), moves to stop a riot after the bishop of the city dies. Arians and orthodox Christians each demand a new bishop who will be sympathetic to their beliefs. A person in the crowd suddenly cries out, "Ambrose for bishop." Soon everyone joins in the cry, and Ambrose becomes the new bishop, without any theological background at all. Ambrose begins to seriously study the Bible after his ordination, and takes his duties as a Bishop seriously, caring for the poor and refugees in his city.
However, Ambrose carries the errors of the past with him. His methodology involves giving a literal as well as an allegoric explanation of Scripture. Thus Ambrose continues the heresies of Origen and replacement theology. For example, out of pure animosity towards the Jews, some overzealous Christians, including local monks, burned a synagogue in the city of Callinicum on the Euphrates. Emperor Theodosius ordered those Christians to be punished and to rebuild the synagogue. Ambrose forces the emperor to withdraw the order. The Emperor concedes to this demand because Ambrose, a trained and skilful rhetorician, holds a powerful influence over the people and political leaders. Now the Church itself persecutes God's people, Israel.
380 - All citizens of the Roman Empire are obligated to believe in the Holy Trinity, which severely affects the Jews.
390 - Jerome, a Christian scholar living in Palestine, translates the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek into Latin. Some are furious because he corrects some errors of the Septuagint. This becomes the Bible of Rome, the Latin Vulgate. He teaches some truth but also takes a strong anti-Semitic stance.
398 - John Chrysostom (Chrysostom means "golden mouthed") from Antioch is appointed Bishop of Constantinople, the most influential position in the entire Church. He preaches against the arrogance and ruthless greed of the rich, and is martyred for it. Yet he also speaks against the Jews in Antioch, in a series of eight malicious sermons.
414 - Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, drives Jews out of his city.
430 - Augustine dies as the Vandals besiege Hippo. Converted under the preaching of Ambrose in 386, and ordained the bishop of Hippo (modern Annaba, Algeria, north Africa) in 391, Augustine glorified Rome as the city destined to bring his brand of Christianity to the world. But his brand is polluted with Roman pride and neo-Platonism. On a cover of his book, City of God (translated by Henry Bettenson, Penguin Classics, 1984) it aptly states, "His thesis is that Rome, as the earthly City of God, should bring together the revelation of the Bible, the wisdom of Greek philosophy and the honor and dignity of her own tradition, and so enable the members of her Church to enter into the eternal City of Heaven through regeneration in Christ."
Augustine, more than Constantine, brought an end to biblical Christianity. Arriving as the Roman Empire gasped its last breath, Augustine ushered in the dark ages. Political and social strife played a major role in this, but so did Augustine. His neo-Platonic doctrines became the rule of the Church. Although Augustine defended some truth, his writings and actions undermine the Jewish foundation of the Gospel. At one point in time, Augustine made an appeal for the law to protect the Jews as well as Christians. But he also made virulent anti-Semitic remarks and caused the death of other Christians. He worked to usurp the authority of God and Scripture in the Church, and replace it with the power of a hierarchy of men in a Roman controlled Church.
For example, Augustine actively encouraged the Roman Church to fine, confiscate property, imprison and kill Christian Donatists. Yet the Donatists were more Biblical than Augustine's Roman Church. From this time on, the Roman Church persecutes both Christians and Jews. The ignorance of anti-Semitism and the bias of theistic humanism create the framework of the medieval Church and its bitter cruelty. The pure Gospel of Jesus, King of the Jews, is all but forgotten.
449 - Emperor Theodosius II calls another council in Ephesus to decide a continuing bitter confrontation between two theologies currently dividing the Church; the east influenced by philosophies of Aristotle, and the west by Plato. By intrigue and political juggling, the west controls the council and condemns the Aristotelian doctrines of the east. The west leaves in victory, sends a large amount of gold to the emperor, and feels the matter is finally settled. Political power and gold have become the means of disseminating doctrines of the Church.
451 - After the Emperor dies, his sister calls a council at Chalcedon (district of modern Istanbul), and asks for moderation. Thus the council condemns extremes and formulates a creed, similar to the Nicene Creed, being careful to remain silent where silence is due. The council does not promote either Plato or Aristotle, but rather seeks to uphold only doctrines clearly taught in Scripture. By avoiding Greek philosophies altogether, it hopes to restore unity in the Church. Why go beyond what is written (I Corinthians 4:6)? Perhaps a maxim of David needs to be practiced concerning Greek philosophy: "My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me" (Psalms 131:1, NIV).
But the damage is done. West and east are divided, based on the ignoble precepts of men and the darkness of Greek pagans. Most Churches in the east and west accept the decision of Chalcedon, but retain their Aristotelian or neo-Platonic flavors. The Jewish-Christian communities are marginalized, and die out.
All the work of the Church until our day has been an uphill climb from this pit of Gentile darkness based on Greek philosophies. Until God delivers the Church from these doctrines based on the humanism of the Greeks, it can never be united. Only if the Church returns to the Gospel from which it came, can it free itself of the oppressive Gentile slavery which now binds it. Instead of persecuting the Jews, the Church must glean knowledge of the Old Covenant Scripture from a Jewish perspective, so they may begin to better understand the New Covenant in Jesus Christ.
400-800 - The political and social structure of western society crumbles. Visigoths from the north sack Rome in 410. Weak and immoral emperors cannot muster support to resist their onslaught. Ruthlessly, the barbarians destroy the culture, unity, commerce and learning institutions of the entire western Empire. As barbarians settle in their conquered territories, trade and the exchange of ideas between their rival kingdoms almost come to a halt. Their kingdoms remain brutal and autocratic for centuries.
Without trade between nations, those who own land wield absolute power, and constantly fight among each other to maintain that power. They also enact laws according to their whims, persecuting whomever they will, Jews and Christians alike.
400-800 - The Roman Church dramatically increases in political power. Due to the abdication of secular government, the task of negotiating with the invading Huns, Vandals, Lombards and other barbarian conquerors falls on the shoulders of the bishop of Rome. Of course, this inevitably leads to a tremendous increase in his temporal authority, and that of the Church. Now the Church takes on the role of governing both the spiritual and political lives of their people.
Eventually, most of the barbarians also concede to the religion of Rome, which again adds to its power. Soon the Church becomes the only unifying force and mediator between all these feudal kingdoms of western Europe. It is now the sole link to people in other kingdoms. This further enhances its control over the west.
The status of the Roman Church also rises after the Muslim invasions of the seventh and eighth centuries. Most of the important rival centers of Christian influence; Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Carthage, Damascus, now lie under the foot of the Muslims. Only Constantinople remains as a weak challenger to the theological authority of the ancient Church in Rome. Of course, with all this power comes much strife and rivalry within the Church. Church officials raise small armies to protect their vast holdings, and often war against each other to get a bigger piece of the pie. Much of the clergy buys or inherits ecclesiastical territory, and uses it as a source of revenue. Ignorance and superstition rule the Church, which is now almost void of Biblical teaching.
As the Roman Church steadily gains spiritual and worldly control, they believe even more strongly that they are the only true people of God. Of course, long before this, they had accepted replacement theology, believing God completely cast out the Jews as His chosen people and replaced them with Gentiles. Now they believe they are the only true Church, and anyone who does not accept their dictates and authority is against God.
400-1095 - As the years roll on, animosity and paranoia grow, especially against the Jews. For instance, in Beziers, France, it becomes an annual custom to throw mud and rocks at the Jews on Easter Sunday. In the sixth century and beyond, the Jews find it increasingly difficult to earn a living. They are prohibited from owning Christian bond servants or even hiring Christians to do work for them. This virtually prevents them from owning land and farming in most places, since all farm work is done by hand. Laws against them being admitted into trade guilds eliminated the option of becoming carpenters, stone masons, and so on. Thus, many Jews had to turn to money lending, selling and similar occupations. After most Jews are cornered into these vocations, the Gentiles call them parasites, since they do not farm nor work with their hands. Yet, of all the races on earth, the Jews most highly value the work of the hands, as is evident in the Talmud.
613-694 - In Toledo, Spain, some Jews are forcibly baptized. Then their children are taken from them to prevent these children from returning to Judaism. A death penalty is imposed for "converted" Jews who marry "unconverted" Jews. Eventually they prohibit all Jewish festivals and set up surveillance on the Jews to enforce these laws.
614 - Persians capture Jerusalem and kill many Christians. But the Byzantines take it back in 628. Constant warfare spanning centuries is severely weakening both these empires.
622-632 - Mohammed begins to defeat the war-weary and declining Persian and Byzantine empires, taking much of Arabia. At first he kills or deports many Jews and Christians from Arabia. Later Muslim policies towards the Jews and Christians become quite liberal. They may freely work, study and practice their religions. Both are granted exemption from military service, can hold their own courts of law and own property. However, they have to pay higher taxes, cannot build new places of worship, cannot seek to convert Muslims to their respective religions and cannot erect houses higher than Muslim neighbors.
632-750 - By 661, Muslim Caliphs invade Libya, Egypt, Arabia, Armenia and what is now Iraq and Iran. They take Jerusalem in 638 and, in 641, allow 70 Jewish families to live there for the first time in about 500 years. Between 661 and 750, Muslims conquer the rest of northwestern Africa and Spain.
691 - Muslim Caliph Abd al-Malik builds the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the same site where the Jewish temples once stood. This becomes the second most holy place on earth for Muslims.
700-970 - Chagan (King) Bulan of Khazaria (land surrounding the northern half of the Caspian Sea and across to the north shores of the Black Sea) converts to Judaism. Some Jews have lived in this area since about 300 BC, but now many other Jews immigrate to this land as a safe-haven from "Christians." Almost every city and town eventually has a synagogue. The Khazars are also very tolerant of Christians and Muslims. A coalition of Byzantines and Russians (Duke of Kiev) invade Khazaria in about 970 AD.
800 - In some places in the west, Jews are now able to live according to their own laws and in considerable freedom, such as under the reign of Frankish (German) emperors Charles the Great (Charlemagne, 800-814) and his son, Louis the Pious (814-840). Of course, this benefits the Frankish rulers as well, since the Jews give them special gifts and a 10 percent tax for this protection. Especially after the horrors of the crusades, Jews submit to becoming servants to the royal chambers (servi camerae), and wards of the emperor. This keeps them alive, but now they are almost bondsmen. Emperors may sell the consigned revenue of "their Jews" to noblemen for lump sums of quick cash. This situation holds for about 600 years.
1000 - Malice towards Jews in the middle ages increases until it explodes into a full-scale attempt at extermination by the crusaders. The year 1000 was anticipated as a turning point in history, with expectations of Christ's second coming. Since Jesus would return to Jerusalem, how could Christians leave the Holy Land in the hands of the anti-Christian Muslims?
1095 - In November, 1095, pope Urban II puts out the call to save the Christians in Constantinople, and win back the Holy Land from the Muslims. Europe is suffering hard times with crop failures and widespread disease, so many impoverished and beleaguered souls rally to the cries of these apocalyptic dreamers. Knights and nobility, even kings, also set out in search of adventure, comforted by the promise of certain heaven if they die fighting for Jerusalem. One of the first to respond to this call is Peter the Hermit, who leads a mob across Europe in 1096, pillaging other Christians and murdering thousands of Jews along the way. Most of his group lose their lives before they can even join the other crusaders in Constantinople. Yet many more crusaders set out after him, also killing Jews along the way.
If they felt "merciful," crusaders would give some Jews the option of either brutal death or being baptized into the Church. Among the Jews given this choice, some "convert" and the Church never allows them to return to Judaism, nor to see their families ever again, upon pain of death.
By some estimates, this first wave of crusaders slaughter about 12,000 Jews in the Rhine valley alone, then strip their bodies, throw their naked corpses in the ditches, and ransack their property. Tens of thousands of Jews also die by the crusaders' hands in other areas of Europe.
By 1099, the first crusaders take Antioch and Jerusalem, along with other cities in Asia Minor (Turkey). After capturing Antioch, one crusader boasts that their good Christian faith kept them from raping the defenseless women, before they killed them. But they rape the women in Jerusalem, dash their babies against the walls, and slaughter everyone in sight. When the Jews of Jerusalem flee into a synagogue, the crusaders set it aflame, burning alive all the Jewish men, women and children inside.
1189 - By 1187, Muslims recapture Jerusalem. God does not want Israel in the hands of Gentiles, but in the hands of the Jews when He returns. The Church of Rome does not understand this. Of course, neither do the Muslims, but Muslims are more tolerant of the Jews. Thus God gives Jerusalem back into their hands for the time being. However, Pope Gregory VIII urges the Frankish emperor (Frederick Barbarossa), the English king (Richard the Lionhearted) and the French king (Philip II Augustus) to regain the Holy Land. They fail miserably. Frederick drowns. Philip returns early, before Richard, to take advantage of his absence. Richard is captured on his way home, then held for ransom.
Before leaving on this crusade, Philip massacres Jews in his own kingdom of France, at Bray in the province of Champagne, and expels them from Paris. Later he recants, and even allows some Jews to hold public office. But this is short-lived, since Innocent III rebukes him sharply for letting these "fratricide Cains" judge Christians. Meanwhile, across the channel, Richard also has trouble quelling riots against the Jews in England, before he leaves on his crusade.
As soon as Richard's ship loses sight of England's shores, an unruly and bloodthirsty mob attacks approximately 500 Jews in York. They flee into a castle. The mob at York is spurred on by a Baron who owed some Jews a large sum of money, and by a monk. Daily, for six days, the monk in white robes celebrates mass before the besieging mob. Because they believe the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, celebrating the mass stirs the mob into a frenzy, demanding revenge for the murder of Jesus. They forget that Jesus willingly laid down His life for the sins of both Gentiles and Jews, in fact, for the Jews first.
The Jews pray for courage and, when their provisions run out, most commit suicide on March 17, 1190, to keep themselves out of the hands of the mob. The rabble then gains entrance to the castle and tears the survivors to pieces. Then they promptly destroy the records of their indebtedness to the Jewish money lenders. Obviously, their zeal to murder the Jews is not entirely from religious motives.
1204 - The "fourth" crusade invades Constantinople and burns the Jewish quarter. Ironically, the crusaders initially set out to reinforce the eastern Christian empire, which is now reduced to a small territory around Constantinople. Yet the fourth crusade actually turns aside from this initial aspiration, and decides to conquer Constantinople instead. When they succeed in 1204, they promptly launch the Latin Empire of Constantinople. The pope is angry at first, but later realizes this action makes him the sole spiritual head of the entire Christian world. Naturally, this did not sit well with the eastern Christians, who finally regain their city in 1261. The east never forgives the west for this injustice, and it deepens divisions more than ever. But the event affirms the Pope's power which has now reached its zenith. By 1270, the crusades finally fade to an inglorious end.
1215 - Pope Innocent uses his sweeping power to set many of the policies still carried out in the Roman Church today. He orders the Fourth Lateran Council and dictates the decrees he wants them to pass. This includes some relatively good edicts. But Innocent also condemns certain heretics and establishes the formation of episcopal inquisition, exhorting each local bishop to inquire after heresy and annihilate it. In other words, he sanctions some of the most horrifying torture and murder in history.
In addition to this, Innocent's edicts earmark Muslims and Jews for persecution, especially Jews. The Jews cannot hold public office, employ Christians, nor hold authority over Christians in any way. They are also forced to charge lower rates of interest when lending money and to relinquish debts of crusaders, those who murdered their own families. Furthermore, Jews are told they must always wear distinctive clothing to be readily identified.
Many Churches seem eager to carry out these edicts, particularly the one requiring identifiable clothing. Vienna forces Jews to wear gruesome pointed hats, which provoke instant ridicule and violence against them. In France, Jews must wear a wheel-shaped red or yellow patch on the chest and back. Most other kingdoms also devise some mode of demeaning dress code for the Jews. Routinely the Jewish men, women, dignified elders, and little children are mocked, stoned, beaten, spat upon and forced into the lowest echelon of society. The Jews can do nothing but huddle together in ghettos and try to survive this incessant onslaught.
1347 - By the 14th century, urbanization, coupled with the movement of people from one centre to another, produces an ideal environment for the spreading of the plague. In 1347, the Bubonic plague ravages Europe, taking the lives of almost a third of its entire population in about three years.
Oddly, the Jews fare better than most during this plague. Much of Europe had rid themselves of cats because of their presumed connection to witchcraft. But the plague is carried to humans by fleas, which transfer the disease as intermediary hosts from the black rat. Since the Jews ignore superstitions about cats, their cats keep the rat population down significantly and prevent the spread of the disease in Jewish ghettos. However, some superstitious "Christians" start spreading a rumor that Jews poisoned Christian wells, and didn't die from the plague because they kept their own wells clean. This ignorance incites an unrestrained massacre of thousands of Jews. More than 200 Jewish communities are completely eliminated as a result.
1453 - The Muslim Ottoman Empire takes Constantinople, ending the Byzantine Empire. This is actually a relief to the Jews who had suffered so much under the oppression of Byzantine rulers. However, many Byzantine scholars flee to the west and bring with them much knowledge of the forgotten Greek New Testament. The west begins a renewed interest in the original languages of the Bible, and Erasmus publishes one of the first Greek New Testaments in the west.
1517 - Martin Luther, on October 31, publishes 95 theses on doctrinal matters, such as one against the Roman Church's sale of indulgences, which supposedly allow a soul to buy the pardoning of his sins. Luther expects this document to be received with little enthusiasm, like his previous 99 theses that attacked core doctrines of the Roman Church. But, since money matters are now at stake, the entire weight of the Roman Church thrusts itself upon him. He is condemned, excommunicated and threatened.
The time is ripe for revival. Secular humanism, based on the pseudo-rational philosophies of pagan Romans, is making a huge comeback. This humanism calls men to decide for themselves what is right and wrong, true and false, without any reference to God or the Bible. Meanwhile, the Reformers move in the opposite direction. They return to the Holy Bible as the final authority in all matters of faith and doctrine. Through them, God is moving the Church closer to the situation at His first advent.
These polarized movements draw the attack of the Roman Church in two opposite directions. Thus it divides the power of the Roman Church and weakens its defenses against both movements. Therefore, the Reformers find a window of opportunity to express themselves more freely. Luther and the reformers also obtain help from kingdoms which are dissatisfied with the French bias of the Roman church. German princes, who are on the verge of making war with France, offer protection to Luther.
At first, the volatile Luther nurses a great hope that the Jews will now accept the truth of their Messiah, since he feels that he has returned to a more Jewish Gospel. So, when the Jews continue to reject Jesus, Luther vents all his fury upon them. Many of his strong anti-Semitic statements have provided bigots with ammunition against the Jews to this day. Yet, in context, we must realize that the hot-tempered Luther said horrible things about his own friends when they disagreed with him.
1648 - A peasant revolt led by the Cossack chief Bogdan Chmielnicki, moved from town to town killing possibly more than a 100,000 Jews in more than 300 communities.
1725 - Almost a century of Christian revival begins. The principal preacher used by God to drive this revival is George Whitefield. In 1735, George Whitefield, after much internal torment, wakens to the truth of Christ's salvation. He begins to preach in spite of much persecution. Ordained as an Anglican in 1736, Whitefield powerfully proclaims the Gospel in Bristol, Gloucester and London. Huge crowds, from every denomination, respond to his biblical message of repentance to salvation from the bondage of sin, through faith in Jesus Christ.
God's work continues mightily. Together with Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Davies and many others, Whitefield continues to preach throughout his life to enormous multi-denominational crowds in England, Wales, Scotland and America. Their Gospel message changes the world, particularly the English-speaking nations. This revival directly affects the government and laws in England, USA, Canada and other free nations to this day. Because of their own persecution, and because they believe God alone can turn the hearts of men to Him, freedom of religion is upheld by the Christian ancestors of this revival. Thus the revival nations become safe havens for Jews fleeing oppression.
1789 - A violent humanistic revolution begins a 10-year reign of terror in France. They execute the king, Louis XVI, along with many nobles and countless others who find themselves caught between warring factions of the revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte, through manipulation and intrigue, becomes dictator of France by 1800, and Emperor in 1804, modeling himself after Caesar. As a student of 18th century humanistic philosophers, Napoleon enforces the doctrines of the revolution throughout Europe.
The French Revolution does grant the French Jews equal rights in 1791. By 1796, Netherlands follows suit. Italy, Belgium and German states do likewise soon after. Struggling against centuries of entrenched bigotry, this process continues for years throughout Europe. The Jews of Bavaria are granted civil rights in 1871, thus finally achieving emancipation for all the Jews in Germany. When Switzerland comes on board in 1874, almost all of Europe now recognizes the rights of Jews as equal citizens. But the foundation of this emancipation is shaky, built upon the sands of humanism which shift with every despot's rise to power.
1871-1920 - A series of systematic attacks on Jews begin in Odessa, Russia. Jews are beaten, property burned and shops looted. Here the organized riots are first called "pogroms," a Russian word meaning "thunderstorm." Many other pogroms rose up in the 18th century as well. Then laws forcing Jewish children into state-run schools to turn them away from Judaism, mandatory 25-year conscriptions of Jews into the Russian army, and other persecutions followed.
In 1881, after revolutionaries assassinate Alexander II, organized riots against Jews begin again. Some Jews draw together for self-defense, but with little effect. In 1903, 1905, 1906 and 1913 pogroms continue, some with direct army and police collaboration. Thousands of Jews die in the pogroms during these years, particularly in Ukraine. By 1914, about 60,000 Russian Jews have fled to Israel, two million to USA and 200,000 to England. As with Christians, many restrictions are also placed on Jewish worship after the Communist Revolution in 1917.
1897 - Russian pogroms spark the Zionist movement, which holds its first congress in Basel, Switzerland. The Jews begin to realize they must have their own country in order to free themselves from Gentile persecution. Although places in Africa and other parts of the world are considered, Zionists conclude the permanent home of the Jews can only be Eretz Yisrael (Israel). Led by Theodor Herzl, the movement draws together many kinds of Jews, from ultra-orthodox to atheistic socialists. Some Gentile "Christian Zionists" also attend this congress.
1903 - The infamous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is written by Russian anti-Semites in Paris, claiming to expose a conspiracy of Jews to take over the world. Its precepts are quite ridiculous and illogical, but many believe them. Hitler later refers to it and anti-Semites still print it to this day around the world.
1917 - After Britain wrestles Palestine from Turkish possession during the first World War, Jewish Dr. Chaim Weizmann pressures Britain into committing themselves to the formal establishment of a Jewish state. The Balfour Declaration is approved on November 2, giving the Jews an official home at last, while respecting the "civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities."
1928-1939 - Nazis, through the German Templars in Palestine, together with wealthy Muslim rulers, stir up political unrest among the immigrant Muslims in Palestine. Most Muslims originally came to Palestine looking for jobs, because the Jews paid better than employers at home. Now they are worked up into rioting mobs who kill many Jews. This situation plagues Israel to this day. The British expel the Templars from Palestine in 1939.
1933 - Adolf Hitler forces and connives his way into power in Germany, gaining dictatorial status. He has proclaimed a violently anti-Semitic message since 1920. He also mocks Christ and persecutes Christians who refuse to share his anti-Semitic and humanistic views. This generation of European Jews, due to hard work and recent emancipation, had significantly raised their standard of living and quality of life. But now that they had become more visible and influential, they were being blamed for inflation and every ill that beset Europe. A series of laws begin to make life increasingly difficult for the Jews in Germany. At first, Nazis encourage Jews to emigrate. Some escape to America, Britain and Israel; but others move to parts of Europe which are later occupied by Nazis. Most of these Jews die.
1938 - German troops enter Austria and begin anti-Semitic programs there, including forced labor. On November 9, 1938, Nazis and non-Jews conduct an organized assault on Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues in Austria and Germany. They loot, demolish and burn everything they can. Approximately 35,000 Jews are rounded up and placed in concentration camps. Because of the glass fragments among the scattered debris, this night becomes known as Kristallnacht (night of the broken glass).
1939 - In Palestine, after decades of Arab-Jewish conflicts resulting in many deaths, the British introduce the "White Papers," in May, 1939. Their goal is to placate the Arabs by restricting immigration of Jews, then to establish a Palestinian State within 10 years. On the eve of the war, long after the persecution of European Jews is known to have begun, Britain restricts immigration to 75,000 Jews over a period of five years. Of course, during the war, many desperate Jews are smuggled in despite these orders. But those caught are returned to Europe. Thus this law indirectly seals the fate of countless European Jews seeking refuge during the time of Hitler's holocaust.
1939 - Germans invade Poland on September 1, 1939. Britain and France declare war on Germany two days later. The largest population of Jews in Europe live in Poland, about 3.25 million. Hitler exterminates approximately 3 million Polish Jews. The Soviet Union had the second largest concentration of Jews in Europe, at about 2.8 million. After taking parts of the Soviet Union, Hitler and locals execute another 1.2 million Jews there. An estimated 350,000 are also murdered in Rumania; 300,000 in Hungary; 270,000 in Czechoslovakia; 180,000 in Germany; 135,000 in Lithuania; 105,000 in Holland; and many others elsewhere. This is known as the "holocaust," meaning "a sacrifice consumed by fire," referring to Jews burned in ovens of Nazi prison camps.
Some Christians risk their lives to hide Jews from the Nazis. In particular, Berlin and Amsterdam became known for their "righteous Gentiles," such as the story of Anne Frank's family. But most Churches do not protest the atrocities of Hitler. The war ends in 1945, and many Jews remain interned in camps for years to come, without a place to go since their homes are now destroyed. Many desire to rebuild their lives in Palestine, but the British refuse them entry based on the White Paper's agreement to limit immigration. Jewish protests, leading to violence and many deaths, finally force the British into handing the whole matter over to the United Nations.
1947 - Half a decade after the Zionist congress, on November 29, the United Nations partition Palestine, resolving to grant the Jews an independent state upon British withdrawal. They give the Jews a small area on the west side of the sea of Galilee, a narrow strip of land along the coast from Gaza to Haifa, and the Negev. Since each area is separate from the other, Jewish defense will be very difficult during the inevitable Arab-Israeli conflicts which will result from this partition. Nonetheless, the jubilation among the Jews is inexpressible as they pour out onto the streets to celebrate a homeland for the first time in almost two millenniums.
As expected, Arabs protest the partition and prepare for war. The British pull out, clearly siding with the oil-rich Arab states and still not allowing many Jews to arm themselves. Realizing war will erupt the moment the British leave Palestine, the Jews continue to smuggle in weapons. They also carefully map out every trail and strategic location, planning for unavoidable war.
1948 - Only a few years after the World War ends and the full horror of the holocaust is realized, much of the world is favorably disposed towards the creation of the new state of Israel. On May 14, the day the British mandate ends and the last British high commissioner leaves, Jewish Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declares Israel an independent state. USA, USSR and many other countries immediately recognize it officially.
But Arab nations attack the same day. Crack British-trained Arab troops pounce on Israel from Transjordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. Seeing the Jews vastly outnumbered and out-armed, the world expects the Jews to succumb within days. But the highly motivated Jews, through brilliant and determined efforts, actually gain territory, including the west half of Jerusalem. God holds the Arab soldiers in a defensive mode, and keeps them back from the front lines during the war. More than anything else, this enables the Jews to hold their own.
By the time a treaty is signed in 1949, Israel occupies a continuous block of land from Lebanon to the Negev, excepting the west bank region (held by Jordan) and the Gaza strip (Egypt). Muslim nations respond with increased animosity towards their Jewish populations. In the next few decades, ancient Jewish communities throughout North Africa and the Middle East are abandoned forever, as Jews flee to Israel.
1959 - Egyptian President Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal and blocks the Straits of Tiran. Israel takes the Gaza Strip and the Sinai peninsula, which is eventually returned to Egypt. The USSR adopts a strong pro-Arab and anti-Israeli stance at this time.
1967 - President Nasser of Egypt blocks entry to the Jewish port of Eilat and invites other Arab nations to help him wage war on Israel. At this time, the Arabs are heavily supported by the USSR with about 547,000 armed troops, 2504 tanks and 957 fighter aircraft. The Jews' war resources include about 264,000 troops, 800 tanks and 300 combat aircraft, mostly from the USA. God, and the prayers of many nations also stand on the side of Israel.
On June 5, Israeli aircraft make a bold preemptive strike on the airbases of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq - thus eliminating much enemy air power. After taking the entire Sinai peninsula and all the land to the Jordan river, Egypt and Jordan work out a cease-fire agreement on June 8. Israel now directs its attention to the strategic Golan heights, a constant source of danger to Galilean Jews. They refuse to grant a cease-fire to Syria until they capture an adequate buffer zone to maintain safety. This is accomplished by June 10, and cease-fire declared on June 11. Jerusalem now belongs to Israel, but Israel allows Arabs free access to their holy sites. When Romans, Christians and Muslims held Jerusalem, they denied Jews any access to their holy sites.
1973 - On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack on Israel. Casualties are heavy on both sides. The UN Security Council manages to bring a cease-fire agreement by October 25 and US Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, works out a more permanent settlement by May of 1974.
1989-2000 - The Berlin Wall is torn down after the collapse of the Communist government of USSR. Massive numbers of Jews from Russia and eastern Europe begin to make aliyah to Israel. Many Gentile Christians assist in this movement. According to prophecy, "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders'" (Isaiah 49:22, NIV).