The blame for the death of Jesus has often been cast toward the Jews. The Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all contain the betrayal of Jesus by his disciple, Judas Iscariot, into the hands of the ruling religious Jews (see Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus). According to the New Testament accounts, the Jewish authorities in Judea charged Jesus with blasphemy and sought his execution. However, the Jewish authorities in this case seem to have lacked the authority to have Jesus put to death, according to John 18:31. They brought Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Iudaea Province, who consented to Jesus' execution.
Pilate is portrayed in the Gospel accounts as a reluctant accomplice to Jesus' death. All four Gospels indicate that there may have been hesitation on the part of both Jewish and Roman authorities to act immediately or needlessly in the face of potential popular opposition (Matt 26:4–5; Mk 15:12–15; Lk 22:1–2). The four Gospel accounts also all portray the Roman Governor Pilate as partly responsible for Jesus' execution, and never claim he is without guilt (though his attempt at self-exoneration is mentioned).
According to the Epistle to the Romans, Jesus' death was necessary to save humanity; the author of Hebrews calls out all backsliding Christians for "crucifying the Son of God all over again". Paul the Apostle, in 1 Thessalonians, noted that the same Jews who had Jesus crucified continued in their persecution of the church. This passage was frequently used to assign guilt for Christ's death specifically to Jewish people everywhere and throughout all generations. As a part of Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Paul VI issued the document Nostra aetate, repudiating the idea of collective Jewish guilt for the Crucifixion.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, it was claimed that Jews stole consecrated Hosts, or communion wafers, and desecrated them to reenact the crucifixion of Jesus by stabbing or burning the host or otherwise misusing it. The accusations were often supported only by the testimony of the accuser.
The first recorded accusation of host desecration by Jews was made in 1243 at Berlitz, near Berlin, and in consequence of it all the Jews of Berlitz were burned on the spot, subsequently called Judenberg. Jeremy Cohen states that the first host desecration accusation occurred in 1290 in Paris and continues: