Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions
- Scene of the Inquisition by Goya Cir. 1816
The Inquisition was a Roman Catholic tribunal convened for discovery and punishment of heresy. It was marked by its severity of questioning, punishment and elimination of any rights to the accused. Most associate the Inquisition with Spain and Portugal. It was actually instituted by Pope Innocent III (1198 A.D.-1216) in Rome. A later pope, Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisition, in 1233, to combat the heresy of the Albigenses, a religious sect in France. The Albigenses taught that Jesus the Christ was God but that He only appeared as a man while on earth. They also taught that the Catholic church of the time was corrupted by its power and wealth. Their asceticism and humility compared to the great affluence of the Roman Catholic clergy helped to bring many converts to this evangelistic movement. Some of them did hold some heretical views similar to the Gnostics who taught that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis (knowledge).
By 1255 the Inquisition was fully activated throughout Central and Western Europe. It was never instituted in England or Scandinavia.
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Herod The Great Persecuted The Jews
Herod The Great by James Tissot (1836-1902)
Herod was born in 73 B.C., as the son of a man from Idumea, which is also known as Edom. His father was Antipater and his mother was Cyprus, the daughter of an Arabian sheik. Antipater was close to Hyrcanus, one of the two princes struggling to become Judean king of the Hasmoneans. Since general Pompey intervened in Hyrcanus’ favor and Antipater favored the winning side in the conflict, Antipater rose in favor, especially since he cooperated with the Romans. In the civil war between Pompey and Julius Caesar, Hyrcanus and Antipater sided with Caesar. In 47 B.C., he was appointed epitropos (regent) and received the Roman citizenship.
Antipater was the real power behind Hyrcanus’ throne. He managed to secure the appointment of his young son Herod to be governor of Galilee. The boy, who was only sixteen years old, launched a small crusade against bandits, which made him very popular with the people and unpopular with the Sanhedrin because he took control of Israel away from them. It now appeared to the Jews that in addition to the Romans occupying them, now this man from Edom would too.
On March 15, 44 B.C., Caesar was murdered. The new leaders in Rome were Caesar’s nephew Octavian and Caesar’s powerful second-in-command Mark Antony. They announced that they would punish Caesar’s murderers, Brutus and Cassius, who fled to the East. Cassius ordered all provinces and principalities to be taxed in order to pursue their struggle against Octavian and Mark Antony. Judea was required to pay some fifteen thousand kilograms of silver. Antipater and his sons had to take harsh measures on the Jews to get the money, and in the ensuing troubles, Antipater was killed. With the help of the Romans, Herod killed his father’s murderer.
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The Antichrist will persecute the Jews on an industrial scale like Adolph Hitler did. 1/3 of the world’s Jewish population died under Hitler. 2/3 will die under Antichrist’s reign (Zachariah 13:8)
Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler review SS troops during Reich Party Day ceremonies. (September 1938)
Many have written about their hatred for the Jews from the time of the Bible. Christ said that they would suffer because they did not recognize Him at the time of His visitation. Corporate Israel refused to recognize Him as their long awaited Messiah.
Luke 19:42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.(NASB)
Matthew 23: 37-38 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!(NASB)
Within the militantly intolerant and violent Nazi Third Reich, Jews were considered to be foul, have shameful lives, and were subjected to horrible treatment. The Nazis wanted to first expel them from Germany and then later to subject them to cruel treatment as well as painful death simply because they were Jews. The Nazis used the same despicable kind of language found in Martin Luther’s The Jews and Their Lies when describing them publicly. It also appeared in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Nazi Germany did not invent anything new regarding the treatment of Jews. They simply amplified the anti-Jewish attitude inherent in European Christianity and its history. The constant “question” which rose in Hitler’s party and later in his administration was, what do we do with the Jews? The issue became known as the “Jewish Question.” They attributed the Jews as the source of all economic and social problems. Their answer was found in 1941which became known as the “Final Solution.”
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