Watchman Willie Martin Archive

      Let the reader be informed hereby that we venture upon our theme as an Israelite or non-Jew, addressing other Israelites including Christians. The theologian may find nothing new with respect to Christ as the Son of Man unless it may be the writer’s point of view, and especially the nationalistic implications arising therefrom.

Concerning the latter we beg the reader’s indulgence with respect to the unity of the theme; for we find that such unity is justified by the attitude of Judaism toward the modern political state as well as its historical attitude toward the Christian religion, both of which may be described in a word as disintegrating.

This is by no means the first defense of the postulate that Christ was not a Jew. Ebionitism, THE EARLIEST OF THE HERESIES, rested upon the same false assumption that is herein called into question. That heresy denounced Paul and the other apostles who carried Christianity to the Israelites without first converting them to Judaism.

The Ebionites were Judeo-Christians; more Jewish than Christian. Hence, this is but a new answer to an old fallacy in the light of the present. In a book of this limited size and well-nigh boundless scope, much must remain unsaid. I have aimed to state the case for the affirmative of my postulate, cover the main points as outlined, and give my conclusions backed by ancient and modern sources.

Timeless is given to this theme by the recent growth in assertiveness of the Jews throughout Christendom. Such growths have been shown by history to have recurred repeatedly, and to have ended invariably in a catastrophe cor the Jews.

The present tendency in that direction is aggrieved by the tacit assent; not to call it timidity, of certain occupants of Christian pulpits, who by their acquiescence in the Jewish boast that they have given us Christ and our religion, put themselves at an enormous disadvantage before the Israelite world, if not in their own consciences. Their place is in the synagogue.

What then? Must the Israelite world come to the rescue of Christianity from the clutches of modern Ebionitism as did the Greek Christians before and after the Apostle Paul? We Israelites have been accused of cowardice for tolerating this situation. A Jewish writer (Marcus Eli Ravage, A Real Case Against the Jews, Century Magazine, January 1928) has accused us of cowardice because we have refrained from speaking our minds in all frankness about Judaism and the Jews. Courtesy on the critic’s part might have discovered reasons more compatible with good manners, assuming that he was able to do so.

However, this volume accepts the challenge of the critic above mentioned, and I shall leave nothing unsaid that I think needs to be said concerning Judaism and the Jews as the accidental background of Christ and Christianity. Since plain speaking is demanded by our critics and their spokesman, they shall have it, and they have themselves to thank for it.

I must advert also to another challenge; one that more nearly concerns the churches if they wish to escape modern Ebionitism; it is that of a blunt, outspoken old Israelite who said to us, If God is a Jew, what have we Israelites to do with your religion? What indeed? Does Christianity meet that challenge today?

We must emphasize the fact that Judaism and the Jews is primarily a collective problem. We are obliged to indite a whole people, since it is a concrete challenge that is before us. Individual exceptions are of secondary concern, and must wait till the larger issue is disposed of.

If any hold otherwise the burden of proof rests upon themselves, that much can be shown without going outside of the Old Testament; and backed up by historical analysis and the revelations of archeology and anthropology, there is logically no room for doubt that Galileans and Judeans were no more than neighbors to each others from the time of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, with Judaism as a common cult or religion between them, down tot he time of Christ.

Individuals are moreover a matter of individual and personal relationships, and the adjustments thereof require much time and attention. Organized society is also an individual, collectively speaking, and its demands are immediate, especially whenever a coup detat is threatened. We can not stop to ask if there are any well disposed persons among those who challenge us and put us to our proofs, especially when they maintain an alien attitude toward our social, political and religious ideals.

A race or people is not to be judged by its best nor its worst, nor by a chance neighbor or acquaintance whom one may like or dislike. Hence, in this case we must rule out the Hebrew prophets just as we do the Jewish criminals of the present day, and likewise the Jews whom we happen to know as individuals; a few among the millions.

In a word, Judaism and Jews must be judged by religious ideals, and adherence to those ideas in mass. As Israelites, as Americans, we ask no more for ourselves, and within our own domain it is our right and our duty to resist whatever is hostile thereto.

In treating this subject as a collective problem it is not intended to exculpate the individual Jews, if indeed that were possible. But it is intended to stress the mighty power of the group over its component parts. That mighty power may be best observed in sub-human animals, as in the herd, drove, pack, flock, swarm and gang.

Among humans, strengthened by the powers of speech and superior organization, by ancient traditions and psychology, a common purpose to prey upon one’s environment may eventuate in a tribe with a parasitic organization and objective.

We invite the attention and the serious study of those interested in the social sciences, and particularly the Jews themselves, to this aspect of their history, and especially to the formative influence of the Talmud upon them for this very purpose. Nobody loves a parasite, or at least nobody should. If our criticisms of the Jews may seem harsh, I rely for their justification on the facts herein presented, on the evidence to be found in the Talmud and other ancient sources, and on present-day criticisms by a thin scattering of Jews against their race and its leader.

In confronting the Christian world one must allow for a wide divergence of views in scriptural exegesis. It would be too much to expect unanimous accord with the views herein expressed, but it is not too much to hope that in the midst of disagreement there may be no disharmony. I have done my utmost to avoid doctrinal differences among Christians.

And Christians of all degree must remember that Israelites outside of the churches have a stake in the purity and perpetuity of Christianity, if on nothing more than social and political grounds.

For CHRISTIANITY IS NOT A HIDE-BOUND RACIAL CULT, BUT A TOLERANT WORLD RELIGION. In America, at least, it is a nation declared by the courts to be a Christian nation that guarantees liberty of religious belief to all, as well as disbelief; but let Judaism gain the upper hand as it has done in Soviet Russia, and its creed of atheism is proclaimed for all, while the Jewish cult remains untouched.

Let not Christian theology, therefore, be offended at the attempt of undrained minds and hands to draw a line of demarcation between that which is sacred and inviolable, and on the other hand its accidental background, the Judaism of antiquity, too primitive and changeless to command respect, to say nothing of reverence and adoration.


JUDEO-CHRISTIAN HERITAGE A HOAX: It appears there is no need to belabor the absurdity and fallacy of the "Judeo-Christian heritage" fiction, which certainly is clear to all honest theologians. That "Judeo-Christian dialogue" in this context is also absurd was well stated in the author-initiative religious journal, Judaism, Winter 1966, by Rabbi Eliezar Berkowitz, chairman of the department of Jewish philosophy, at the Hebrew Theological College when he wrote: "As to dialogue in the purely theological sense, nothing could be more fruitless or pointless. JUDAISM IS JUDAISM BECAUSE IT REJECTS CHRISTIANITY; AND CHRISTIANITY IS CHRISTIANITY BECAUSE IT REJECTS JUDAISM. What is usually referred to as the JEWISH-CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS EXISTS ONLY IN CHRISTIAN OR SECULARIST FANTASY." There is no doubt this is true! And the fantasy exists in Christian and Secularist minds only because it was implanted there by the persistent propaganda of the masters of intrigue of the ADL-AJC Network. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that knowledgeable theologians, Jewish and Christians who constantly allude to "our Judeo-Christian heritage" are for their own specious purposes perpetuate a grotesque and fantastic hoax.

Thanks and appreciation are due to my many friends, the value of whose counsel and constructive criticism is beyond estimate. Jacob Elon Conner, New York City, 1936. (The title of this book is “Christ Was Not A Jew,” an Epistle to the Gentiles (Israelites), by Jacob Elon Conner, A.B., Ph.D., and was published in 1936). While reading this remember that whenever he mentions Gentiles, that in most cases he is saying Israelite or Israelites, but there are a few cases in which the word Jew would be better used. And whenever he uses the word Jew, in most cases, it should be Israelite. But I suspect that the author did not know the Israel Truth and so made these errors because of it.

Why should Christianity, since it is a world religion, be tied back to the locale of its origin? This little planet on which we live is such a tiny speck in the wide expanse of the universe to deserve so much attention from the Creator of all things visible and invisible. And can anyone but a Jew, in these modern times, persuade himself that his people alone is the chosen people of the Almighty? Such colossal egotism is as pitiful as it is contemptible. Christ’s message is universal; it need not be restricted to the narrow confines of this little world, to say nothing of a mere handful of its people, overburdened with conceit.

And why should Christianity be held to the belittling postulate; let theologians take notice, that it is the heir of traditions not its own, filthy, absurd traditions sometimes, and that, too of an unfriendly people, for which it has been wont to apologize needlessly? What part has a world religion with a mere ethnic cult with which it is logically irreconcilable? Christianity has learned to be tolerant; but it must not learn to compromise. Judaism is forever intolerant and forever compromising as a cult must ever be. It is time for Christianity to scrap Judaism and its demoralizing influence, lest it lose altogether the confidence and respect of the world. In preparation therefore a careful distinction must be made between what Judaism is and what it has borrowed or stolen from sources older than itself.

In whatever part of the world Christ appeared He must needs be detached from its localizing influence in order to belong to all mankind. The early Christians, naturally, with their Judaistic background failed to detach Him completely. Save for the Greek Christians of Antioch and elsewhere along the Mediterranean coast, Christ’s message, humanly speaking, bid fair to be smothered or absorbed into its background of Judaism. Had He appeared in Greece, Persia or elsewhere, the same obstacle would have been presented; the difficulty of getting free from the influence of the background, as conveyed by those who delivered His message to mankind. That message must be cleansed from the defiling contact with the primitive cult of Judaism with which it has no necessary connection. It did not derive from the law, the writings and the prophets, nor from the Israelite racial deity Jahweh, but direct from a higher contact than man ever knew. He tolerated what belonged of necessity to His background, but all the while pointing out a more excellent way. It is absurd to say that He and His message derived from the crass materialism of His Judaistic surroundings.

The transcendent wisdom of Christ is nowhere seen to better advantage than in His attitude toward law and order, though His message to the world was spiritual and therefore directed toward the individual rather than toward organized states. He even counseled obedience to the conquering Romans, which was wormwood to the sullen and resentful Jews.

Likewise His doctrines today are in support of the powers that be, law and order under duly constituted authority, whereas Anti-Christ is forever anti-national. The world is still echoing with the attack of Jewish bolshevism upon Christian Russia, while the latter was embarrassed along with ourselves in the greatest of all wars. And now the scope of its devastation is widening and reaching to our shores, and again Anti-Christ is gloating over the prospect of another victim while it preaches non-resistance and internationalism, though its own name is Judaism. Its program is as follows: First defile, then destroy.

You may read its purpose in the Jewish Talmud, you may find its program (no matter who wrote them), in the Protocols. Its blight may be read in the press, seen on the screen (and today on the television) and on the stage, heard in the radio, and felt in business and government everywhere. It has even attacked the last stronghold of free speech, namely, the pulpit, both through its demoralizing traditionalism and its paid apologists. It works under the disguises of nihilism, bolshevism, communism, socialism, pacifism and internationalism, discarding any label as soon as it become odious and taking refuge under a new one. But its one unchanging and secreted name is JUDAISM.

It keeps in the dark as long as it can find dupes to obey its orders. It works its sinuous way toward an open defiance of both state and church, just as it did in Russia. Beginning with small insolences, too slight to be resented openly, this Jewish attack upon state and church stealthily crawls toward a higher objective when it can dominate the scene. For more than two thousand years, as anyone may read in ancient history, the morals and methods of Judaism have been the same. For verification, search the Scriptures, but don’t forget also to search the historians who are not Jews, such as Tacitus, Pliny, Suetonius, Strabo, besides such moderns as Gibbon, Renan, Lanciani and many more. In view of the past and the present of Judaism, to remain uninformed is to court disaster.

There are many devout Christians who say that it makes no difference to them from what race Christ came from. This is but expressive of an attitude of personal loyalty to Christ, commendable in itself, but treasonable in effect to His mission. It is an equivocation of position arising from intellectual indolence of incapacity to think, and it yields the whole question as to the divinity of His source.

It ignores the patent fact that the Founder of Christianity, had He been a Jew, could never have been a Savior of the Israelites. Hence, even at the risk of brushing aside certain Christian traditions, such as the Son of David, which Christ Himself came through David’s son Nathan, and other traditions hallowed in art and son, sooner or later the stark truth stands out before us demanding recognition, and woe be to those who persistently ignore it. The truth demanding recognition is that Christ, as the Son of Man, was a Galilean, and the Galileans were NOT JEWS, in race, though in part Judaised in religion and nationality. IT IS RACE THAT COUNTS, for A stream must rise from a source higher than itself, and Judaism was no such source for Christianity. Men do not gather grapes of thorns nor figs of thistles (Matthew 7:16) so said Christ.

Inasmuch as we have no trustworthy genealogical data we may dismiss all evidence of that character. The purpose of those genealogies was to establish a claim to the throne of David a throne which did not exist, which did not interest humanity in the least, and a claim that Christ repudiated with ridicule. This claim was a dream of the Judeo-Christians; and the Jewish Talmud made irreverent, and even salacious sport of it.

Fortunately, there remains the historical-racial approach which broadens and ennobles the theme into worthy proportions, thus eliminating the faulty genealogies. It is through history and its adjuncts, anthropology and archaeology, that it is possible to establish the difference between any modern race and the Jews. Neither the Galileans nor ourselves need to prove hat we are not Jews; the line of demarcation has been drawn by nature as well as by history with its adjuncts. THE HISTORICAL-RACIAL PROOF, AND THAT ALONE, IS VALID AND SUFFICIENT.

Galilee of the Nations (Gentiles)—that is what the prophet Isaiah(Isaiah 9:1) called it, and such indeed it was, all of it, east and west of the Jordan, Gentile in race though partially Judaised in the cult of the Jews, and from time to time also in nationality.

It was Gentile long before Joshua led his tribes across the Jordan, claiming their territory and finally settling among them, but not exterminating them as their Jahweh had commanded.

Nearly six hundred years later it was left Gentile again when Sargon overwhelmed the Israelites, scattered the ten tribes aborad, and replaced them with other Gentiles.

Finally it was left wholly Gentile in 164 B.C., when Simon Maccabee removed the Jewish infiltration out of Galilee back to Judea. Thereafter it was kept strictly Galilean beyond the time of Christ by the well-known antipathy between the Judeans of the south and the Galileans of the north.

Fifty years after Christ, the governor of Galilee, Josephus, the Jewish historian, describes the Galileans as a people wholly unlike the Jews in temperament and ideals; so different indeed that they could not have been of the same race.

There was a taboo against intermarriage between them as recorded in the Jewish Talmud. In a word, Christ as the Son of Man was a Galilean, and the Galileans were not Jews. This is the verdict of history. (Houston Stewart Chamberlain, “Foundations of the Nineteenth Century,” Vol. I, p. 206, “There is, accordingly, as we see, not the slightest foundation for the supposition that Christ’s parents were of Jewish descent.”) It is also the verdict of nature which she stamped upon the characteristics of Galilean and Jew. If any hold otherwise the burden of proof is upon themselves.

THE CANAANITES: Palestine, the western arm of the fertile crescent, had been inhabited by Gentiles for more than a thousand years when Joshua appeared with his Hebrew tribes bout 1300 B.C. These Gentiles or non-Jews were not even Semitic, but were Aryan like ourselves; members of the Caucasian or White Race, known tot he Jews or Hebrews as Canaanites. The history of the Aryans in all that part of the world goes back some centuries beyond the year 4000 B.C. Hence, the Hebrew tribes came as raiders or invaders, just as the Midianites or Arabs came on many a subsequent occasion. They succeeded in establishing themselves in the homeland of the Canaanites as most unwelcome guests.

In fact, they claimed all this excellent territory as their own by prior right, saying that it had been given to a legendary ancestor named Abraham centuries before they arrived to lay claim to it; an argument that failed to appeal to the Canaanites with any show of justice. It did not strengthen the argument of the raiders when they insisted that their own tribal deity, Jahweh, had so ordered it, because they were his chosen people.

The long and bitter struggle that followed for possession was much like the Semitic raids that followed later when the Midianites continued to push northward into the delectable lands of the fertile crescent, reaching down through Palestine.

It was a struggle that was disgraced by many deeds of treachery and savage warfare, which are duly set down in the annals of the invaders as acts of valor and heroism on their part. After 225 years of more or less desultory fighting under leaders called judges, Saul of the tribe of Benjamin was chosen king about the year 1075 B.C., and they continued the fighting, sometimes among themselves and again with their neighbors. Saul was succeeded by David of the tribe of Judah, the southernmost of all except that of Simeon, a vassal tribe. David about 1030 B.C., established his frontiers farther to the south with his capital at Jerusalem, the Hebrews being still a united people, though with a strong admixture of neighboring races.

Judea is a barren, hilly country of meager natural resources but well adapted for defense, a good stronghold for an outlaw chief as David was in his younger days. As a home for a prosperous and peace-loving people it was far less desirable than Galilee; a fact grudgingly admitted in the Jewish proverbs.

David was followed by his son Solomon about the year 1000 B.C., who reigned 30 years, thus completing a period for the three kings of a little over 100 years, the only brilliant and fairly stable epoch in the history of the Hebrew people.

It was a costly season of lavish display of kingly power in the erection of buildings by hired labor in Jerusalem. Moreover, it was at the expense of the people of fruitful Galilee and Samaria, who profited little by the up building of Jerusalem though they had to pay the bills. Consequently it left a discontented and debt-ridden people for Solomon’s successor to deal with.

DISUNION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES: Thus it was the ten tribes of the north who had the most to pay and the least gain by this royal extravagance, and they brought their grievances before Solomon’s successor.

Rehoboam, son of Solomon, as if to counter-balance the reputed wisdom of his father, showed his ineptness to rule by adopting a course that was grasping, short-sighted, typical Jewish therein, and had its logical result in the division of his realm into the two petty kingdoms of Judah and Israel, the former with its capital at Jerusalem and its people known as Jews (HERE WE CAN SEE THE CONFUSION OF THE AUTHOR, IN THAT HE CANNOT DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE TRIBE OF JUDAH AND THE USURPERS KNOWN AS THE JEWS).

Judea being without natural resources found it profitable to attract worshipers to that city. Hence, they resisted all attempts to set up places of worship elsewhere. This chapter has but little to do with the fortunes of the Kingdom of Judea.

In fact, had it not been for the tragedy of the Crucifixion of Christ about 1000 years after Solomon, Jerusalem would figure only incidentally in the whole scheme of Christ’s life and message. For His mission, His labors, His teachings, His disciples, His surroundings were Galilean, except on rare occasions. Jerusalem as the national capital and metropolis in His time has drawn an undeserved attention to itself, away from the principal theater of His mission.

THE LAY OF THE LAND IN GALILEE: Neither Israel of the ten tribes nor the smaller nation of Judah (and Benjamin) was able to withstand a first-class power; and though Israel had by far the greater numerical strength, the strategy of her position was particularly unfortunate from a military point of view.

For Israel lay directly in the path between the two strongest nations of the times, Egypt and Assyria, and these two were perpetual enemies. It was a well-beaten warpath, consisting in part of a valley that stretched across the southern part of Galilee. The valley itself was a most desirable asset from every point of view, except that the circumstances noted converted it into a disastrous liability.

It is the Valley of Esdraelon, containing the Plain of Jezreel, the Field of Armageddon, and it is probably the most famous battle-ground in history. The central part of it is distended like a pouch, with mountain spurs sticking into it like so many needles from different sides and angles.

The eastern end leads into the deep trough of the Jordan and to the fords thereof, whence a feasible route northeastward leads toward Damascus and Assyria. The western end narrows to a pass as it approaches the Mediterranean Sea, and then circles around the base of Mount Carmel, standing like a sentinel with his foot in the water, guarding the entrance into Galilee.

Then bending sharply southward goes this ancient war-path all the way to Egypt, through a long coastal valley known as the Vale of Sharon, with a low range of foothills guarding this eastern flank known as the Shephelah.

But the pass around Mount Carmel is rough and rocky, and therefore unsuited to the needs of large armies. Besides, a better avenue to Esdraelon is offered by three other routs leading thereto from the Vale of Sharon, and one of these, the Valley of Dothan, gives swift and easy access to the eastern end of the Valley of Esdraelon.

This it was that was used by both Egyptians and Assyrians for attack or defense, according to need. Naturally, both Egypt and Assyria endeavored to retain the Kingdom of Israel as an ally, and this kept the Israelites guessing as to which was the stronger at the moment, and their foreign policy was shaped accordingly. But this makeshift policy was certain to prove fatal in the end, for the stronger power was sure to remember how undependable the Israelites were likely to be in an emergency when they were most needed.

DEPORTATION OF THE TEN TRIBES: Sargon, (Tiglath Pileser III, who assumed the ancient title of Sargon) King of Assyria, remembered. Besides he was too good a strategist to overlook the necessity of shutting out the Egyptians completely from the Plain of Esdraelon, which was a veritable cross-roads in all directions. His own necessity and the fickle support of the Israelites forced him to crush the Kingdom of Israel. And he crushed it. This was in the year 722 (or 721) B.C.

And he did more than that; for he removed the shattered remnants of the tribes of Israel and scattered them throughout his wide domain. And it is important to remember that they never came back; they were the ten lost tribes of Israel. As many as 27200 (Encyclopedia Britannica, see “Galilee,”“Samaria,” etc.) were removed, and we are told (2 Kings 17:18) that THERE WAS NONE LEFT BUT THE TRIBE OF JUDAH ONLY IN JUDEA. It must have amounted to a clean sweep in Galilee, including the Valley of Esdraelon, for this was the key position in all that territory. It was harsh treatment for the Israelites, to be sure, but not so harsh as total extermination, which the Israelites had been commanded by their Jahweh to mete out to the Canaanites in the first place.

SARGON BRINGS BACK THE GENTILES: There was something like poetic justice in the fact that Sargon went farther afield than the Semite world for a population to replace the Israelites he had removed from Galilee.

He now brought in from various parts of his wide dominions “men from Babylon (2 Kings 17:24) and Cutha, and from Ava and from Havath and from Sepharvaim, regions of both Aryan and Semitic stock, but none of the chosen race. Well might Isaiah down in Jerusalem, speaking of these events, call the land Galilee of the Gentiles, for Sargon wanted no more of the undependable people whom he removed.

THE NORDICS IN GALILEE: Over the long route to his ancient enemy in Egypt; a route which Sargon now controlled throughout, he led among his cavalry forces some strange wild troopers form the north, each of whom rode his horse as if he were a part of the animal itself.

These were Scythians, otherwise known to Old Testament writers as Gog and Magog. Certain it is that they struck terror into the hearts of the people of Judea by their formidable appearance and their skill in horsemanship. They rode withthersoever they would outside of the walled cities, while the Hebrews could only rave at them.

It was these warriors, no doubt, that on returning from Egypt made at least one settlement in Galilee known as Scythopolis, later as Beth Shean, and now as Beisan. It is the most commanding point in Galilee; and it is significant that Scythopolis commands the fords of the Jordan, and by virtue of that fact it is the gateway into what was Assyria from the direction of danger.

THE SCYTHIANS: And who were these terrifying Scythians, or whence came they? The came from that northern region we now know as Russia, the ancestral home of the people of the white skin, the Indo-Europeans or Caucasians. Anthropologists are now telling us that those broad steppes from the Volga eastward saw the origin and nurture among his domesticated animals, not only of the Russians, but also of the Celts, Teutons, Gauls, Greeks, or predominantly the racial strain known as the Nordics.

It was the people of this region, following the southward course of the Volga and the Caspian Sea to the frontiers of Asia Minor, that had ventured in the remote prehistoric past toward warmer climes and easier conquests, down through Iran into India and Mesopotamia.

It is these northen whites whom we have recently learned to have been the predecessors of the Semites in the Land of Sumer and throughout Asia Minor, and who have been called The Makers of Civilization. (I.A. Waddell, L.L.D., C.B., E.E.I., “The Makers of Civilization,” (1929). Same, “Indo-Sumerian Seals Deciphered.”)

There is a long-standing tradition among the Russian Orthodox, descendants of the ancient Scythians, that the Virgin Mary was of their race. As a tradition it is far more believable than that of a Jewish origin, the Jews have been twice ejected from Galilee and kept separate by racial antipathies.

THE GAULS INVADE ASIA MINOR: At a much later date another European element was added to the population of Asia Minor within easy striking distance of Palestine. These were the far-wandering Gauls who split off from the army of Brennus in 278-77 B.C., roamed over northern and southern Asia Minor, and finally settled in what became Galatia, named for their race, a name enshrined in the epistles of the Apostle Paul. (Acts 16:6; 18:23; 1 Co. 16:1; Gal. 1:2; 2 Ti. 4:10 and 1 Pe. 1:1)

And we must not overlook the possibility of their name having been given to Galilee itself, as well as the sea of Galilee, and especially the region of Gaulani’ is on the eastern shore of that sea. Both Scythians and Gauls were noteworthy warriors, kindred in spirit if not in blood with those of Galilee who held back the Roman legions, and whose fearless devotion to the cause of freedom and independence won the admiration of their enemies. Moreover, like the Galileans, they fought with system rather than with Semitic passion and guile.

GRECIAN GALILEE: Of all the Gentile influences within and around Galilee the Greek was by far the most pervasive and important. One might read of the Decapolis in the New Testament without dreaming of its extent and its thoroughly Greek character. It lay just east of the Jordan from Samaria and western Galilee and was about the same in area as the two combined.

Its commerce and contacts with the world outside was by way of the Valley of Esdraelon, thus affording for over three hundred years before Christ an intermingling of the populations that made all Galilee cosmopolitan. In the time of Christ the extent of this intermingling, backed by the Roman power which was exercised through the medium of the Greek language, had not only kept back the marauding Arabs but had pretty thoroughly Grecianized all Galilee.

From Nazareth as a center there was Scythopolis only twenty miles away, Tiberias and Tarichaeae five miles nearer, while less than ten miles to the north were Roma and Sepphoris; all Greek cities. The coastal cities of what had been Phoenicia and Philistia were now all Greek in language and culture.

Even in their court proceedings and legal documents the Romans ruled the country through the Greek language because it was already well known throughout Palestine when the Romans came.

Greek names and words were slipping into local Aramaic, as witness most of the names of Christ’s disciples. It is impossible to believe that our Lord and His disciples did not know Greek, {George Adam Smith, “Historical Geography of the Holy Land,” p. 608. Same, pages 599 and 608, the Decapolis (ten cities) consisted at first of Scythopolis (west of Jordan), Pella, Dion, Philadelphia, Gerass, Gadars, Raphans, Kanatha, Hippos (and by courtesy) Damascus, each with its cluster of villages. At least ten more cities were added later} and whenever they crossed to the east side of Jordan or the sea of Galilee they were in Greek territory and were surrounded by Greek civilization.

Even the non-Greeks, the Jews and Syrians throughout Juda, as well as in Samaria and Galilee, had to learn Greek if they had any dealings with the Romans. The Hebrew was a dead language in the time of Christ, as already stated, and the Old Testament was therefore translated into Greek for the benefit of the Jews themselves.

ORIGIN OF THE GREEK INFLUENCE: The beginning of the Greek influence in this region dates from 322 B.C., when the soldiers of Alexander the Great found the region east of the Jordan to be highly desirable but sparsely occupied.

They proceeded to occupy it at once, for they were yet to learn that the reason it was available was because of its exposure to attack by the Arabs. But they were soldiers, the world conquerors, and they were soon joined by colonists from the Greek world. These had only to cross the sea to Mount Carmel, whence it was a journey of forty miles across Galilee to the fords of the Jordan.

Each of the ten cities that they founded had a considerable extent of surrounding territory, sprinkled over with a loose scattering of villages; all of which were organized into a confederacy to resist the Arabs. And there was much need of it, for at one time the Arabs had the Greeks badly worsted, and would have driven them out had it not been for the timely assistance of Pompey and his Roman legions. Thus the Roman power, an oppressor in Greece, was welcome as a liberator in the Decapolis.

THE DECAPOLIS UNDER THE ROMANS: Under the Romans the Decapolis, or eastern Galilee, reached a high degree of development, colonnaded streets, the arch, the forum, the temple, the bath, the mausoleum in florid Doric and Corinthian. Some had an amphitheater or two, some of them, as at Gadars and Kanatha, had temples that were very beautiful in classic Greek style, and their religion was throughly Greek.

There were paved roads and other public works, such as the aqueduct at Gadara which brought water from a point thirty miles away. Omitting Damascus, which was included in the Decapolis by courtesy, the Decapolis embraced most of the territory southeast of the sea of Galilee, extending eastward to the desert and southward as far as Philadelphia. Four of these cities, Pella, Scythopolis, Gadara and Hippos, possessed contiguous territory, making a solid belt of Greek control along and across the Jordan, so that for a considerable distance a very important stretch of that river was a Greek stream.

The Decapolis (George Adam Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, pp. 602 and 607) was flourishing in the time of Christs ministry. Gadara with her temples and her amphitheaters, with her arts, her games and her literature, overhung the Lake of Galilee and the voyages of her fishermen. A leading Epicurean of the previous generation, the founder of the Greek anthology, some of the famous wits of the day, the reigning emperors tutor, had all been bred within sight of the homes of the writers of the New Testament. Philodemus, Meleager, Menippus, Theodorus, were names of which the one end of the Lake of Galilee was proud, when Matthew, Peter, James and John were working at the other end. We can not believe that the two worlds which this one landscape embraced did not break into each other...We have ample proof that the Kingdom of God came forth in no obscure corner, but in the very face of the kingdom of this world.

THE PLAIN OF ESDRAELON:What a plain it is, says one, with it are associated the names of Deborah, Barak, Sisera and his murderer, Jael, the Midianits or Arabs, Saul and the Philistines, Gideon, David and Jonathan, King Josiah and his defeat and death at the hands of the Egyptians at Megiddo, Elijah and the mound of Tel-el-Kassis where he is said to have slain the prophets of Baal, Jehu and his ride from Beth Shean, the camp of Holofernes, the elephants and engines of Antiochus, Cleopatra and her ladies, Pompey, Anotony, Vespasian and Titus, Greek colonists on the way to Decapolis, Christian pilgrims, later the Moslems, then the Crusaders, Napoleon in his time, and the conquest of the Turk in the latest world war. All this and much more has passed in review within sight of the hill on which stands the village of Nazareth.

NAZARETH: A broken range of foothills, rising sometimes into considerable elevations, bounds the northern limits of the Plain of Esdraelon, and near the middle of the distance between the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee is Nazareth, the boyhood home of Christ. Nazareth is so centrally located with reference to the routes of traffic that it could not escape being a cross-roads of travel in many directions. It was no obscure village in the backwoods as some have imagined, for the caravan route from Damascus to the seaports of the Mediterranean, and southward to Egypt, rounded the hill whereon stood this village. It is a lovely spot, worthy of the encomiums of Antoninus the Martyr who likened it to Paradise.

Nazareth is usually represented as a secluded and an obscure village...You can see from Nazareth the surrounding country, for Nazareth rests in a basin among hills; but the moment you climb to the edge of the basin, which is everywhere within the limit of the village boys playground, what a view you have! Esdraelon lies before you with its twenty battle fields. There is Naboths vineyard, and the place of Jehus revenge upon Jezebel; there Shunem and the house of Elijah: you see thirty miles in three directions. It is a map of Old Testament history.

Toward the north one could see another road, between Acre and the Decapolis, along which legions marched, and princes swept with their retinues, and all sorts of travelers from all countries went to and fro...All the rumor of the empire entered Palestine close to Nazareth, the news from Rome about the emperors health, the changing influence of the great statesmen; about Caesars last order concerning the tribute, or whether the policy of the procurator would be sustained; all this would furnish endless talk in Nazareth, both among men and boys.

Naturally, the temperament of the Galilean was by no means as austere as was that of the Judeans, for he had far wider contacts with the world; and it was a pleasant world, with no savage deserts near at hand encroaching on his view as it was in Judea. It was a happier, gayer, freer, saner life than surrounded him.

A point so centrally situated, though there may not have been a village of Nazareth in Sargon’s time, was too important strategically to allow any Israelite to be left there. It would have been a splendid post for reconnaissance over military movements throughout the whole Plain of Esdraelon, and therefore no place in which to permit an enemy to live.

It is a long, long time from the days of Sargon to those of Christ, but its Gentile character is attested by the Jews themselves in their cynical remark, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Also, Look and see; for out of Galilee cometh no prophet ignoring Elisha, the field of Elijah’s labors, as well as Deborah, Jonah, Hosea and possibly Amos and Nahum, according to some authorities.

OTHER DEPORTATIONS: The fortunes and misfortunes of the Kingdom of Judah must claim our attention at this point for the sake of clarity. After the deportation of the ten tribes by Sargon in 722 B.C., the magnificent realm of Solomon had shrunk to a miserable remnant consisting in the main of the tribe of Judah.

These Judeans, could point the finger of scorn at Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin that is to say, he was so wicked in their eyes as to lead a rebellion of the ten tribes against the unbearable taxes imposed by the Judeans for up building of Jerusalem. And he followed this up by establishing places of worship in the territory which had revolted; outside of Jerusalem, which the Jews considered unorthodox; it is easy to see why, it cut off the revenues of Jerusalem to a sad degree.



Assyria had been overthrown by the rising power of Babylon in 606 B.C., and it was the King of Babylon who despoiled the treasures of Jerusalem and laid waste the land. Then was there lamentation in Jerusalem indeed, and the people of Samaria and Galilee are said to have enjoyed a delightful season of tranquility while the Jews were shut up in Babylon.

About half a century later Babylon fell to Cyrus, the Persian, who permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem, and many, but by no means all of them, did so. Those who remained found that they could make money in Babylon even in captivity.

Meanwhile some of them had found the northern nations a pleasant place of refuge, and in 164 B.C., Simon Maccabee returned them all to Judea, leaving Galilee strictly non-Jewish again. This was the second purging of the Jews from Galilee before the Christian era.


That difference was remarkably well demonstrated after the fall of Jerusalem to Titus, when the Galileans, though defeated, clung to their homes. The Jews on the contrary agreed among themselves to scatter over the world, banded together as a predatory tribe, as one may read in their Talmud, thus contenting themselves with the role of an anti-national parasite. The Galileans were not parasitic stock.

THE GALILEANS AS PROSELYTES: We go back again to the year 722 B.C., and the deportation of the ten tribes by Sargon. We do this to understand how and why and to what extent these strangers brought in by Sargon accepted the religion, and eventually the nationality of Judaism, though they were all Gentiles and predominantly Aryan in race.

The seven and half centuries that elapsed from that date to the birth of Christ is a very long period and many changes might occur in such an interim, even the conversion of an entire race to a new religion. Such things have happened in our own generation. In European history the same lapse of time would take us back beyond the days of Magna Charta in England, and two centuries before the fall of Constantinople to the Turk.

Hence, it is by no means surprising that in a period of equal length these strangers imported into Galilee and Samaria; it was all Samaria at that time, became Judaised in religion and nationality, proselytes of the people whose homes they were forced to occupy, and whose empty synagogues stood open before them. Some measure of sympathy for the vanquished and dispossessed Race may be imagined, for this was a beautiful land from which they had been evicted, and the fact that the dispossessed had seized it by violence some five hundred years earlier would scarcely be remembered against them.

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