Although anti-semitism has been found within the writings and culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans (Daniels. J,L Pg.45 - 65), a major increase in anti-Semitic thought was shortly after the death of the christian messiah, Jesus. Jews were blamed by Christians for the death of their messiah, for the sole reason that Jewish authorities at the time had been planning on persecuting Jesus for making the claim that he was the King of the Jews, a blasphemous crime in both Roman and Jewish law which was punishable by death. However, one factor that greatly contradicts with these beliefs is that the act of crucifixion was, and still is completely banned in Judaism (Jacob Neusner 595-596) which would have made the crucifixion of Jesus completely illegal under Jewish law. Christians further based their belief on a passage in the Bible in which Matthew describes how on the day of Christ's crucifixion, a group of Jews within the vicinity of Pontius Pilate decided to save Barrabas, a proven murderer, from crucifixion while they openly demanded that Jesus be the one to be killed (Brustein 51-52). Coupled with the early Christian's inability to accept the fact that Judaism rejected Jesus, Jews were defiantly viewed as the responsible party for the death of the messiah for many years to come. In fact, the blame for Jewish involvement in the death of Jesus was officially dismissed in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and again in 1998 when a resolution was adopted by the Council of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which blatantly stated that, "blame for the death of Jesus should not be attributed to Judaism or the Jewish people" (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). One of the final pieces of evidence for the innocence of Jews is that through the history of Judaism and Christianity, there was an obvious competition for a following, and although Jesus himself was a Jew, Christians of this time saw Christianity as the religion that was going to replace Judaism. Writings of Augustine of Hippo from the 4th century helped anti-semitism based beliefs gain ground when he described early Christian fathers beginning to interpret the Old Testament in a way that categorized Jews into two groups. The good Hebrew Jews and the normal bad Jews. He goes on to say that Christians that interpreted the Old Testament this way forced the idea that Jesus' followers were descendants of the good, Hebrew Jews, and that because the Jews rejected Christ as the Messiah, they were looked down at by God and existed only to serve the believing Christians (Brustein 50-51). The idea that a faith similar and close to their own rejected the Messiah was enough to get the ball rolling for hundreds of years of religious anti-semitism. Jews continued to be the world scrape goat for many future events although in actuality Jews had very little to no involvement what so ever.
The Middle Ages brought on worse conditions and reduced acceptance of the Jews, even worse then the Jews before them. Beginning in the 12th century A.D, Jews began to be blamed for far more problems then just the death of the Christian messiah. After the initial outbreak of the Black Plague, scientists were baffled about the source of this terrible disease and were unclear about how it spread so quickly. Anti-semites quickly filled in with their own theory and jumped to the conclusion that the Black Plague was the fault of the Jews. The method for spreading The Plague was described