Disputation of Paris

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The Disputation of Paris took place in 1240 in the court of the reigning king of France, Louis IX (St. Louis). The disputation had four rabbis defending the Talmud against the accusations of a Franciscan Order member.


Nicholas Donin represented the Christian side of the debate and four of the most distinguished rabbis of France, Yechiel of Paris, Moses of Coucy, Judah of Melun, and Samuel ben Solomon of Château-Thierry, represented the Jewish side of the debate. Donin was a member of the Franciscan Order and a Jewish convert to Christianity. He had persuaded Pope Gregory IX to issue a bill ordering the burning of the Talmud.


The terms of the disputation demanded that the four rabbis defend the Talmud against Donin's accusations that the Talmud was immoral, blasphemous, and spoke offensively of Jesus. Though the rabbis presented a defense of the Talmud, a commission of Christian theologians condemned the Talmud to be burned and on June 17, 1244 twenty-four carriage loads of Jewish religious manuscripts were set on fire in the streets of Paris.[1] [2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rodkinson, Michael Levi (1918). The history of the Talmud, from the time of its formation, about 200 B. C. Talmud Society. pp. 66–75. 
  2. ^ Maccoby, Hyam (1982). Judaism on Trial: Jewish-Christian Disputations in the Middle Ages. Associated University Presses.