Early Church Fathers Quotes on Judaism
Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by antiquated fables, which are profitless. For if even unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism, we avow that we have not received grace.
It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity, wherein every tongue believed and was gathered together unto God. -ibid
But if any one propound Judaism unto you, hear him not: for it is better to hear Christianity from a man who is circumcised than Judaism from one uncircumcised. -ibid
Letter to Diognetus
In the next place, I fancy that you are chiefly anxious to hear about their not practicing their religion in the same way as the Jews… For whereas the Greeks, by offering these things to senseless and deaf images, make an exhibition of stupidity, the Jews considering that they are presenting them to God, as if He were in need of them, ought in all reason to count it folly and not religious worship.
That the Christians are right therefore in holding aloof from the common silliness and error of the Jews and from their excessive fussiness and pride, I consider that you have been sufficiently instructed; but as regards the mystery of their own religion, expect not that you canst be instructed by man. -ibid
“But if some, through weak-mindedness, wish to observe such institutions as were given by Moses, from which they expect some virtue, but which we believe were appointed by reason of the hardness of the people’s hearts, along with their hope in this Christ, and [wish to perform] the eternal and natural acts of righteousness and piety, yet choose to live with the Christians and the faithful, as I said before, not inducing them either to be circumcised like themselves, or to keep the Sabbath, or to observe any other such ceremonies, then I hold that we ought to join ourselves to such, and associate with them in all things as kinsmen and brethren. But if, Trypho,” I continued, “some of your race (the Jews), who say they believe in this Christ, compel those Gentiles who believe in this Christ to live in all respects according to the law given by Moses, or choose not to associate so intimately with them, I in like manner do not approve of them.”
And this the Jews who possessed the books of the prophets did not understand, and therefore did not recognize Christ even when He came, but even hate us who say that He has come, and who prove that, as was predicted, He was crucified by them. -ibid
And again, when He says, “They spoke with their lips, they wagged the head, saying, Let Him deliver Himself.” And that all these things happened to Christ at the hands of the Jews, you can ascertain. For when He was crucified, they did shoot out the lip, and wagged their heads, saying, “Let Him who raised the dead save Himself.” -ibid
This same law you have despised, and His new holy covenant you have slighted; and now you neither receive it, nor repent of your evil deeds. ‘For your ears are closed, your eyes are blinded, and the heart is hardened,’ Jeremiah has cried; yet not even then do you listen. The Lawgiver is present, yet you do not see Him; to the poor the Gospel is preached, the blind see, yet you do not understand. -ibid
“Man sees the outward appearance, but God sees the heart.” The Lord Himself also forewarns and prepares us, saying, “And all the churches shall know that I am He which searches the reins and the heart.” He looks into the hidden and secret things, and considers those things which are concealed; nor can any one evade the eyes of the Lord, who says, “I am a God at hand, and not a God afar off. If a man be hidden in secret places, shall not I therefore see him? Do not I fill heaven and earth?” He sees the heart and mind of every person; and He will judge not alone of our deeds, but even of our words and thoughts. He looks into the minds, and the wills, and conceptions of all men, in the very lurking-places of the heart that is still closed up.
“The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now.”