“You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires.
He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
The founders of Christianity were confronted with the fact that the Jews, merely by continuing to be Jews, threatened the legitimacy of the Church, which claimed to be the “true” Judaism. The existence of Judaism and the Jews challenged the validity of the Church thus the Church had to deny the validity of Judaism and the Jews. The Church had to deal with this challenge in a strategic and effective manner; the editors of the New Testament could not just frame a simple historical narration of the opposition to Jesus.
The Jews, not their arguments, had to be permanently discredited. Thus, the New Testament created the most often repeated Christian accusation against the Jews: the Jew’s killed Jesus and thus the Jew, every Jew, in all generations is a “Christ-killer”. With these charges of deicide and collusion with the Devil, the early Church put the Jew, rather than itself, on the theological, not to mention moral and ultimately physical, defensive.
“Christ Killer” Mythology and the Tragedy in the Balkans
The Death of Jesus in Light of the Political Options for First Century C.E. Judaism
Reflections on the Brown-Crossan Debate
Behind The Appearances – “Appreciation” of the Jews in the Writings of the Church Fathers