Archive for the ‘Jews’ Category

Luther and the Jews

October 22, 2008

Luther said: If I were a Jew, I would suffer the rack ten times before I would go over to the pope. The papists have so demeaned themselves that a good Christian would rather be a Jew than one of them, and a Jew would rather be a sow than a Christian.

What good can we do the Jews when we constrain them, malign them, and hate them as dogs? When we deny them work and force them to usury, how can that help? We should use toward the Jews not the pope’s but Christ’s law of love. If some are stiff-necked, what does that matter? We are not all good Christians.

p.379 Here I Stand – A Life of Martin Luther, Penguin 2002, Roland H Bainton

However, in later life, Luther’s irascibility came out in a tract that was very harsh towards the Jews. It even included a phrase about burning synagogues.