Chrysostom and the Jews uploaded

An email from a correspondent revealed to me that the anonymous translation of John Chrysostom’s Eight homilies against the Jews was no longer accessible at the Fordham University site.  This is a nuisance.  What to do?

Back in 1998 Paul Halsall created the Medieval Sourcebook site there.  He included this translation which he found online on anti-Jewish sites.  The origins of the translation are unknown; it is not the standard translation found in the Fathers of the Church series. But Dr Halsall has long since moved on to other things, and the site seems rather neglected.

I have notified Fordham that the page is missing. But since the site is no longer actively maintained, even if the page should reappear, there is a considerable possibility that it will vanish again.  If it remains missing, people looking for the text will be forced to find it in strange places.

Lately US universities have acquired a reputation for political intolerance and censorship.  I have no way of knowing how true this is, but if it is correct, I can imagine that students and lecturers might find it unsafe or impossible to access the extremist sites on which copies of this translation presumably may still be found.  Indeed might even referring to such a URL in an essay not place an unwary student at risk of official victimisation from an ill-disposed person?  The Fordham site has a page indicating that there were calls for censorship, and suggesting that Dr Halsall displayed some professional bravery in placing it on his site.

In the circumstances I have felt that it would serve everyone best to add the anonymous translation to my own collection of translations of the Fathers, where it may be safely consulted by everyone, and sits next to other works of Chrysostom not found in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers collection.  It is here:

The enquiry that reached me was in fact searching for a translation of Chrysostom’s sermon “Against Jews and Pagans, that Christ is God”.  This has never been translated, as far as I know, which is a pity.  It would be nice to complete the list of Chrysostom’s anti-Jewish works.

UPDATE: The Fordham page has mysteriously reappeared.  The URL is different, tho:


19 thoughts on “Chrysostom and the Jews uploaded

  1. If you are referring to what the printed editions titled “Demonstration Against Jews and Pagans, that Christ is God” the Fathers of the Church series has a translation by Paul Harkins (apparently in volume 73), but titles it “Demonstration against the Pagans” (because that’s the thrust).

  2. @TurretinFan, — thank you very much for this info. It certainly sounds like the right item, although Quasten implied it was primarily anti-Jewish. I can see FoC 73, which seems to be “John Chrysostom, Apologist” (Amazon here) but no indication as to what texts are inside it.

    @Polihronu — I was pretty sure that it wasn’t Harkins, the FoC book. Can I ask how you know? (If it is the Harkins book, it would be in copyright and I would have to take it down).

  3. TurretinFan,

    I think it is vol. 68? it can be previewed on Google:

    Discourses Against Judaizing Christians By Saint John Chrysostom

  4. @Minimme, you’re talking about the 8 homilies against the Jews, and the FoC translation of it by Harkins. TurretinFan is discussing the further work against Jews and Pagans! Confusing I know. Thanks for pointing out the existence of the text in Wikisource — I will look at that.

    @TurretinFan, that is a very useful link! I always wondered what was in the FoC volumes. For Chrysostom they say:

    “On Almsgiving(De eleemosyna) 96, On Almsgiving (De paenitentia homiliae 1-9) 96, 1-47 33, Homilies 48-88 41, Demonstration Against the Pagans that Christ is God 73, Discourse on Blessed Babylas and Against the Greeks 73, Discourses against Judaizing Christians (Adversus Judaeos) 68, Homilies on Genesis (in Genesim homiliae) 1-17 74, 18-45 82, 46-67 87, On the Incomprehensible Nature of God (De Incomprehensibili Natura dei) 72.”

    It certainly sounds right. If I go to Cambridge tomorrow, I will see if I can take a look at the volume.

    And a preview does seem to be online:

  5. Looking at the preview, it seems like the right work. Interestingly the work had already been translated once before then, by Norman G. McKendrick, “The ‘Quod Christus Sit Deus’ of John Chrysostom”, PhD dissertation, Fordham University, 1966. Dr P.W. Harkins adds (p.157): “Used as the basis for the present translation.” A version may exist in French in the J. Bareille, “Oeuvres completes de S. Jean Chrysostome”, 19 vols, Paris, 1865-73. The latter is online at

    Harkins’ introduction is also online. P.163 makes clear that *he* decided to rename the work from the standard “Demonstration against Jews and Pagans that Christ is God”. On p.164. he tells us that “Rev Norman McKendrick, S.J., prepared a stemma of the MSS of the treatise for his doctoral dissertation presented to Fordham University in 1966.” Apparently the mss fall into two families, and the title differs; the first family has the normal title, while the second “(and older)” family omits mention of the Jews. McKendrick also provided a new critical text of the work, from which Harkins translated. In fact McKendrick’s thesis sounds like a must have! Does anyone have access to it via the ProQuest database?

    It looks as if McKendrick died in 2002. I’m not at all sure who would own his copyrights now.

  6. McKendrick’s thesis is available for order through UMI, although very dear at $37.

    by MCKENDRICK, NORMAN GEORGE Ph.D., Fordham University, 1966, 166 pages; AAT 6613524

  7. Presuuuuumably, McKendrick’s order owns the copyrights. (Or at least some US subsidiary of the Jesuits, anyway.) But these days, you never know. Sometimes universities assert copyrights over theses too, though I think not with much success.

  8. It’s an interesting question. He was a Jesuit; does the order legally own the property of deceased members of the order by default?

    I suspect the question is moot, and would be theoretical unless someone started to make a lot of money from his work. Sadly no-one will ever get rich from “Quod Christus sit Deus”.

  9. Very tangential!! We (RC Mission Order) make a will before taking vows – “humdrum” properties like royalties/copyright legally belong to the Order, with exceptions handled case by case, and the form has to comply with local law. I presume (but don’t know) that SJs have a similar arrangement.

  10. Thank you — I had no idea. As you say, probably the Jesuits will have a similar arrangement.

    Let us hope that the expropriations of Catholic property in the US haven’t reached as far as this.

  11. An English translation to John Chrysostom’s Homilies against the Jews is available here: Maxwell, C Mervyn. “Chrysostom’s Homilies against the Jews. An English translation.” Doctoral dissertation, University of Chicago, 1966.
    Unfortunatley not published, but available as microfilm.

    Anders Gerdmar

  12. No itemns have been removed. We did convert to more modern software, which I find harder to used, but looks more modern. All .htm and .html have automatic forwards to the .asp version.

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