Emperor Theodosius II issues a decree forbidding the oppression of innocent Jews.
According to Theodosius:
“No Jew who is innocent shall be oppressed, nor shall any person of any creed cause him to be exposed to insult; nor shall their synagogues or habitations be burned; nor shall they be maliciously injured without reason; for when any one of them is implicated in crime, the authority of the judges and the protection afforded by the public law has been established to preclude anyone from taking vengeance for himself.
But, as We desire that provision be made for the personal safety of the Jews, so We think that notice ought to be given to prevent them from becoming arrogant, and, elated by their security, rashly commit some act against the Christian religion, by way of revenge.”
Although Christian emperors of Rome like Theodosius are responsible for a great deal of anti-Semitic legislation, their laws regarding Jews are not uniformly oppressive. (from scepticism.org)
In some cases, like this one, Christian emperors make a point of protecting Jews — but even here, a point is made to criticize Jews and warn them not to become arrogant or take advantage of this.
Prayer and Reflection: Thank you Lord for providential purposes – your preservation of Israel amongst the nations. Despite the growing anti-judaism of the Roman Empire, which would be institutionalised in the later teaching of the Church, you preserved your people throughout history. Help Christians learn from the mistakes of the past, and for Messianic Jews to be a true voice of protection and witness. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.
|412or 418Aug 6||CT 16.8.21||333||Honorius, Theodosius II||Jews may not be persecuted for their religion or have their property taken without cause. They are cautioned, however, that they may not disrespect Christianity.[Pharr’s footnote also lists 418 and 420.]|