25 May, 2013
In response to: How the early Church leaders tried to hide Christianity’s Jewish roots life. (nationalpost.com)
I don’t believe that two or three millennia is sufficient time for humanity to accept the spiritual and allow it to transcend the daily rigors of life. Did it really take John Paul II’s pronouncement that Judaism is the ‘Mother’ faith of Christianity, and thus deserve the respect of Christians, to end anti-semitic bias? Yes! But the effectiveness of that official Church act will be a limited one. Religious practices are too heavily influenced by societal norms and traditions that are not religious in nature. We, as a race of beings, are susceptible to generalizations bordering on fantasy. If our neighbor commits a wrong and they are of a certain religious, racial, or cultural persuasion, then many amongst us will apply that conduct to the entire group.
The Medieval Church’s prohibitions against translations of the New Testament into the vernacular (Vulgate) languages could be viewed as much a ‘political’ ploy as a religious act. There are many historical examples in the European, Asian, Native American, and African cultures where control of the faith augmented the power of the state (ruler). There are very good reasons to believe that language and scriptural interpretation are solidly linked. But in these cases, and I believe the question posed to this group is applicable here, should not be debated solely in that light. I believe there is much to debate about the perceived threats the Renaissance Church viewed as a challenge to its once powerful position in the Medieval world. If the sum of all The Church’s acts resulted in the diminution of Christianity’s Jewish heritage, it may very well have been a byproduct of another intent- preserving The Church’s position in society and the hearts of the believers.
As is common in other historical topics, the true answer is probably a combination of several factors. It brings me great joy to share with my peers thoughts that I have. I suspect that all lovers of historiography would prefer chasing the answer through a civil exchange of ideas, than being handed the answer on a silver platter. Count me among them.