Though lauded as a Protestant hero, it is impossible to read Martin Luther's On the Jews and Their Lies and not think about the numerous acts of violence inspired by his commentary. Luther argues that his anti-Judaic treatise is simply reiterating the Greek Bible (the New Testament) and anyone who reads the Greek Bible would come to the same conclusion. This thesis argues that Luther adopted a hermeneutical Jew from theologians and the Greek Bible before him to create his own hermeneutics that demonized the European Jewish population with devastating consequence. Though much of the Greek Bible was part of a larger intra-Jewish conflict, it is a solidly Christian text for Luther, and Luther believes that Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John created foundationally anti-Judaic texts that created the basis for his treatise. Despite Luther's focus on the Greek Bible, Luther, through typology and rhetorical manipulation, believes that the Hebrew Bible is part of a larger Christian Bible, and Luther uses the Hebrew Bible to vilify the Jews as well. This thesis traces Luther's application of the Greek Bible chronologically and illustrates how Luther, through hermeneutics and a rhetorical manipulation, created an anti-Judaic treatise that has not gone away with time.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Parrish, Michael, "Hermeneutics of Hate: How Martin Luther's Rhetorical Manipulation of the Greek Bible Led to His Anti-Judaic Treatise On The Jews and Their Lies" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 913.