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There are several passages in the Talmud which are believed by some scholars to be references to Jesus. The name used in the Talmud is "Yeshu", the Aramaic vocalization (although not spelling) of the Hebrew name Yeshua.
The identification of Jesus with any number of individuals named Yeshu has numerous problems, as most of the individuals are said to have lived in time periods far detached from that of Jesus; Yeshu the sorcerer is noted for being executed by the Hasmonean government which lost legal authority in 63 BC, Yeshu the student is described being among the Pharisees who returned to Israel from Egypt in 74 BC, and Yeshu ben Pandera/ben Stada's stepfather is noted as speaking with Rabbi Akiva shortly before the rabbi's execution, an event which occurred in c. 134 AD. These events would place the lifetime of any Yeshu decades before or after the birth and death of Jesus.
The first Christian censorship of the Talmud happened in the year 521. However, far better documented censorship began during the disputations of the Middle Ages. Catholic authorities under Pope Gregory IX accused the Talmud of containing blasphemous references to Jesus and his mother, Mary. Jewish scholars responded to the disputations by saying there were no references to Jesus in the Talmud. They asserted that Joshua was a common Jewish name, along with its derivations, and that the citations referred to individuals other than Jesus. The disputations led to many of the references being removed (censored) from subsequent editions of the Talmud.
In the modern era, there has been a variance of views among scholars of the possible references to Jesus in the Talmud, depending partly on presuppositions as to the extent to which the ancient rabbis were preoccupied with Jesus and Christianity. This range of views among modern scholars on the subject has been described as a range from "minimalists" who see few passages with reference to Jesus, to "maximalists" who see many passages having reference to Jesus. These terms "minimalist" and "maximalist" are not unique to discussion of the Talmud text; they are also used in discussion of academic debate on other aspects of Jewish vs. Christian and Christian vs. Jewish contact and polemic in the early centuries of Christianity, such as the Adversus Iudaeos genre. "Minimalists" include Jacob Z. Lauterbach (1951) ("who recognize[d] only relatively few passages that actually have Jesus in mind"), while "maximalists" include Herford (1903) (who concluded that most of the references related to Jesus, but were non-historical oral traditions which circulated among Jews), and Schäfer (2007) (who concluded that the passages were parodies of parallel stories about Jesus in the New Testament incorporated into the Talmud in the 3rd and 4th centuries that illustrate the inter-sect rivalry between Judaism and nascent Christianity).[page needed]
Some editions of the Talmud are missing some of the references, which were removed either by Christian censors starting in the 13th century, or by Jews themselves due to fear of reprisals, or some were possibly lost by negligence or accident. However, most editions published since the early 20th century have restored most of the references.
During the Middle Ages a series of debates on Judaism were staged by the Catholic Church – including the Disputation of Paris, the Disputation of Barcelona, and Disputation of Tortosa – and during those disputations, Jewish converts to Christianity, such as Pablo Christiani and Nicholas Donin claimed the Talmud contained insulting references to Jesus. An early work describing Jesus in the Talmud was Pugio Fidei ("Dagger of Faith") (c. 1280) by the Catalan Dominican Ramón Martí, a Jewish convert to Christianity. In 1681 Johann Christoph Wagenseil translated and published a collection of anti-Christian polemics from Jewish sources, with the title Tela Ignea Satanæ, sive Arcani et Horribiles Judæorum Adversus Christum, Deum, et Christianam Religionem Libri (Flaming Arrows of Satan, that is, the secret and horrible books of the Jews against Christ, God, and the Christian religion) which discussed Jesus in the Talmud. The first book devoted solely to the topic of Jesus in the Talmud was the Latin work Jesus in Talmude published in 1699 by Rudolf Martin Meelführer, a student of Wagenseil at Altdorf. In 1700, Johann Andreas Eisenmenger published Entdecktes Judenthum (Judaism Unmasked), which included descriptions of Jesus in the Talmud, and which would become the basis of much anti-Semitic literature in later centuries such as The Talmud Unmasked written in 1892 by Justinas Bonaventure Pranaitis.
Starting in the 20th century the topic of Jesus in Judaic literature became subject to more unbiased, scholarly research, such as Das Leben Jesu nach jüdischen Quellen (The Life of Jesus From Jewish Sources) written in 1902 by Samuel Krauss, which was the first scholarly analysis of the Judaic anti-Christian polemic Toledot Yeshu (The Biography of Jesus). In 1903, Unitarian scholar R. Travers Herford wrote Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, which became the standard work on the topic in the Christian world, and he concluded that a large number of references referred to Jesus, not as a historical individual, but instead as the messiah of Christianity. In 1910, Hermann Strack wrote Jesus, die Häretiker und die Christen nach den ältesten jüdischen Angaben (Jesus, the heretics and the Christians according to the oldest Jewish data), which found no evidence of a historical Jesus in the Talmud. In 1922 Joseph Klausner wrote Yeshu ha-Notzri (Jesus of Nazareth) which concluded that "the evidence [for a historical Jesus] in the Talmud is scanty and does not contribute much to our knowledge of the historical Jesus; much of it is legendary and reflects the Jewish attempt to counter Christian claims and reproaches" but he did conclude some material was historically reliable. In 1950 Morris Goldstein wrote Jesus in the Jewish Tradition, including sections on the Toledoth Yeshu. In 1951, Jacob Z. Lauterbach wrote the essay Jesus in the Talmud. In 1978 Johann Maier wrote Jesus von Nazareth in der talmudischen Überlieferung (Jesus of Nazareth in the Talmudic tradition) in which he concludes that there is virtually no evidence of the historical Jesus in the Talmud, and that the references to Jesus were "legendary" and probably added late in the Talmudic era "as a reaction to Christian provocations". In 2007, Peter Schäfer wrote Jesus in the Talmud in which he tried to find a middle ground between "anti-Jewish Christian" and "apologetic Jewish" interpretations. He concluded that the references to Jesus (as the messiah of Christianity) were included in the early (3rd and 4th century) versions of the Talmud, and that they were parodies of New Testament narratives.
In the context of Christian-Judaic polemics
In the first few centuries CE, there were many sects of Judaism (such as Pharisees, Essenes, and Sadducees) each claiming to be the correct faith. Some scholars treat Christianity, during that era, referred to as Early Christianity, as simply one of many sects of Judaism. Some sects wrote polemics advocating their position, and occasionally disparaging rival sects. Some scholars view the depictions of Jesus in the Talmud as a manifestation of those inter-sect rivalries – thus the depictions can be read as polemics by the rabbinic authors of the Talmud which indirectly criticized the rival sect (Christianity), which was growing and becoming more dominant.
Relationship to New Testament
Peter Schäfer concluded that the references were not from the early tannaitic period (1st and 2nd centuries) but rather from the 3rd and 4th centuries, during the amoraic period. He asserts that the references in the Babylonian Talmud were "polemical counter-narratives that parody the New Testament stories, most notably the story of Jesus' birth and death" and that the rabbinical authors were familiar with the Gospels (particularly the Gospel of John) in their form as the Diatessaron and the Peshitta, the New Testament of the Syrian Church. Schäfer argues that the message conveyed in the Talmud was a "bold and self-confident" assertion of correctness of Judaism, maintaining that "there is no reason to feel ashamed because we rightfully executed a blasphemer and idolater."
By way of comparison the New Testament itself also documents conflict with rabbinical Judaism, for example in the John 8:41 charge "We are not born of fornication." and "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?" and in return in the description in Revelation of a "synagogue of Satan."
Early anti-Christian sentiments
In contrast to Peter Schäfer, Daniel J. Lasker suggests that the Talmudic stories about Jesus are not deliberate, provocative polemics, but instead demonstrate "embryonic" Jewish objections to Christianity which would later "blossom into a full-scale Jewish polemical attack on Christianity [the Toledoth Yeshu]".
Jeffrey Rubenstein has argued that the accounts in Chullin and Avodah Zarah ("Idolatry") reveal an ambivalent relationship between rabbis and Christianity. In his view the tosefta account reveals that at least some Jews believed Christians were true healers, but that the rabbis saw this belief as a major threat. Concerning the Babylonian Talmud account in Avoda Zarah, Boyarin views Jacob of Sechania as a Christian preacher and understands Rabbi Eliezer's arrest for minuth ("heresy") as an arrest by the Romans for practising Christianity. When the Governor (the text uses the word for chief judge) interrogated him, the rabbi answered that he "trusted the judge." Boyarin has suggested that this was the Jewish version of the Br'er Rabbit approach to domination, which he contrasts to the strategy of many early Christians, who proclaim their beliefs in spite of the consequences (i.e. martyrdom). Although Rabbi Eliezer was referring to God, the Governor interpreted him to be referring to the Governor himself, and freed the rabbi. According to them the account also reveals that there was greater contact between Christians and Jews in the 2nd century than commonly believed. They view the account of the teaching of Yeshu as an attempt to mock Christianity. According to Rubenstein, the structure of this teaching, in which a biblical prooftext is used to answer a question about biblical law, is common to both the rabbis and early Christians. The vulgar content, however, may have been used to parody Christian values. Boyarin considers the text to be an acknowledgment that rabbis often interacted with Christians, despite their doctrinal antipathy.
Disputations and censorship
Between 1239 and 1775 the Catholic Church at various times either forced the censoring of parts of the Talmud that were theologically problematic or the destruction of copies of the Talmud.
During the Middle Ages a series of debates on Judaism were held by Catholic authorities – including the Disputation of Paris (1240), the Disputation of Barcelona (1263), and Disputation of Tortosa (1413–14) – and during those disputations, Jewish converts to Christianity, such as Nicholas Donin (in Paris) and Pablo Christiani (in Barcelona) claimed the Talmud contained insulting references to Jesus.
During these disputations the representatives of the Jewish communities offered various defences to the charges of the Christian disputants. Notably influential on later Jewish responses was the defence of Yechiel of Paris (1240) that a passage about an individual named Yeshu in the Talmud was not a reference to the Christian Jesus, though at the same time Yechiel also conceded that another reference to Yeshu was. This has been described as the "theory of two Jesuses" though Berger (1998) notes that Yechiel in fact argues for three Jesuses. This defence featured again in later Jewish defences during the medieval period, such as that of Nachmanides at the Disputation of Barcelona, though others such as Profiat Duran at the Disputation of Tortosa did not follow this argument.
Amy-Jill Levine notes that even today some rabbinical experts do not consider that the Talmud's account of Jesus' death is a reference to the Jesus of the New Testament. Gustaf Dalman (1922), Joachim Jeremias (1960), Mark Allen Powell (1998) and Roger T. Beckwith (2005) were also favourable to the view the Yeshu references in the Talmud were not to Jesus. Richard Bauckham considers Yeshu a legitimate, if rare, form of the name in use at the time, and writes that an ossuary bearing both the names Yeshu and Yeshua ben Yosef shows that it "was not invented by the rabbis as a way of avoiding pronouncing the real name of Jesus of Nazareth"
Numerous times between 1239 and 1775, copies of the Talmud were destroyed. In 1280 following the Disputation of Barcelona the Talmud was censored. Following the invention of the printing press, the Talmud was banned by the Pope. All printed editions of the Talmud, including the Basel Talmud and the Vilna Edition Shas, were censored. In 1559 the Talmud was placed on the Roman Index and banned. In 1564 under the Tridentine Index an expunged version of the Talmud was allowed. In 1592 the pope ordered all copies of the Talmud and other heretical writing destroyed expunged or not. The total prohibition would stay in place until 1775. Even then the censorship system would remain in force. As a result of these disputations many manuscript editions had references to Jesus removed or changed, and subsequent manuscripts sometimes omitted the passages entirely. Few copies would survive.
In the 20th century, new editions began restoring the censored material, such as in the 1935 English Soncino edition.
Text-criticism, versions, and alterations
Starting in the 13th century, manuscripts of the Talmud were sometimes altered in response to the criticisms made during the disputations, and in response to orders from the Christian church. Existing manuscripts were sometimes altered (for example, by erasure) and new manuscripts often omitted the passages entirely. Peter Schäfer compared several editions and documented some alterations as illustrated in the following table:
Edition / Manuscript Passage on execution
(Sanhedrin 43 a–b)
Passage on punishment in afterlife
(b Gittin 57a)
Passage on disciples
(Sanhedrin 43 a–b)
Herzog 1 on the eve of Passover they hanged Jesus the Nazarene Jesus the Nazarene had five disciples Vatican 130 he went and brought up Jesus the Nazarene Vatican 140 he went and brought up Jesus Munich 95 on the eve of Passover they hanged [name erased] he went and brought up Jesus [text erased] Firenze II.1.8–9 on Sabbath even and the eve of Passover they hanged Jesus the Nazarene Jesus the Nazarene had five disciples Karlsruhe 2 on the eve of Passover they hanged Jesus the Nazarene Jesus the Nazarene had five disciples Barco on the eve of Passover they hanged [not legible] [not legible] had five disciples Soncino on the eve of Passover they hanged [not legible] he went and brought up [name missing] Vilna [whole passage deleted by censor] he went and brought up the sinners of Israel [whole passage deleted by censor]
As evidence of the historical Jesus
Bart Ehrman, and separately Mark Allan Powell, state that the Talmud references are quite late (hundreds of years) and give no historically reliable information about the teachings or actions of Jesus during his life. Ehrman clarifies that the name "Son of Panthera" (Roman who allegedly was the seducer of Mary) was a tradition, as scholars have long recognized, that represented an attack on the Christian view, that he was the son of a virgin. In Greek, the term for virgin is parthenos, which is similar to panthera, implying that "son of panthera" is a pun on "son of a virgin". The name "ben Stada", used for the same figure, is explained by Peter Schäfer as a reference to his mother's supposed adultery:
His mother's true name was Miriam, and "Stada" is an epithet which derives from the Hebrew/Aramaic root sat.ah/sete' ("to deviate from the right path, to go astray, to be unfaithful"). In other words, his mother Miriam was also called "Stada" because she was a sotah, a woman suspected, or rather convicted, of adultery."
Peter Schäfer states that there can be no doubt that the narrative of the execution of Jesus in the Talmud refers to Jesus of Nazareth, but states that the rabbinic literature in question are from a later Amoraic period and may have drawn on the Christian gospels, and may have been written as responses to them.
Scholars debate whether the Talmud provides any evidence of Jesus as a historical individual. Van Voorst (2000) describes this as a spectrum of opinion:
- On one side stand Johann Maier (1978) and those broadly sympathetic to his conclusions such as John P. Meier and Jacob Neusner. Maier discounts accounts with no mention of the name Jesus, and further discounts those that do mention Jesus by name, such as Sanh. 43a and 107b, as later medieval changes. Arguments against the current form of Talmudic references to Jesus being evidence of a historical individual include contextual evidence, such as chronological inconsistencies, for example the original contexts of accounts in the Tosefta and Talmud take place in different historical periods. Maier also views that the tradition first seen in the writings of Celsus can not be regarded as a reliable reference to the historical Jesus.
- On the other side stand scholars such as Joseph Klausner (1925), following R. Travers Herford (1901) and Bernhard Pick (1887), who believed that the Talmud gives some insight into Jesus as a historical individual. Some of these researchers contend that the Talmud's importance and credibility as an early source lies in the fact that it gives the "opposition view" to Jesus, and they have used the Talmud to draw the conclusions about the historical Jesus, such as:
- Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. pp 111–120
- Norman Perrin, The New Testament, An Introduction: Proclamation and Parenesis, Myth and History, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982. pp 407–408
- R. Travers Herford, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, KTAV Publishing House Inc, 2007. pp 35–96
- C. H. Dodd, Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel, Cambridge University Press, 1976. pp 303–305
Possible Talmudic references
"Jesus son of Stada is Jesus son of Pandira?"
Rav Hisda said, "The husband was Stada and the lover was Pandera."
"But was not the husband Pappos son of Yehuda and the mother Stada?"
On the eve of Passover, Jesus the Nazarene was hanged and a herald went forth before him forty days heralding, "Jesus the Nazarene is going forth to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and instigated and seduced Israel to idolatry. Whoever knows anything in defense may come and state it." But since they did not find anything in his defense they hanged him on the eve of Passover. Ulla said: "Do you suppose that Jesus the Nazarene was one for whom a defense could be made? He was a mesit (someone who instigated Israel to idolatry), concerning whom the Merciful [God] says: Show him no compassion and do not shield him (Deut. 13:9). With Jesus the Nazarene it was different. For he was close to the government."
There are still noticeable challenges to the identification of Yeshu as Jesus, as elsewhere in the Talmud his stepfather, Pappos ben Yehuda, is mentioned as being martyred with Rabbi Akiva and is himself mentioned as being among the Pharisees returning to Israel following their persecution by John Hyrcanus, which would place Yeshu's lifetime anywhere between 130 after and 70 years before the birth of Jesus.
Sanhedrin 107 tells of a Jesus ("Yeshu") who "offended his teacher by paying too much attention to the inn-keeper's wife. Jesus wished to be forgiven, but [his rabbi] was too slow to forgive him, and Jesus in despair went away and put up a brick [idol] and worshipped it."
In Gittin 56b and 57a, a story is told in which Onkelos summons up the spirit of “Yeshu the Nazarene”, who had “sought to harm Israel”. Yeshu describes his punishment in the afterlife as boiling in excrement.
Some scholars claim that the Hebrew name Yeshu is not a short form of the name Yeshua, but rather an acrostic for the Hebrew phrase "may his name and memory be blotted out" created by taking the first letter of the Hebrew words.
In addition, at the 1240 Disputation of Paris, Donin presented the allegation that the Talmud was blasphemous towards Mary, the mother of Jesus (Miriam in Hebrew), and this criticism has been repeated by many Christian sources. The texts cited by critics include Sanhedrin 67a, Sanhedrin 106a, and Shabbath 104b. However, the references to Mary are not specific, and some assert that they do not refer to Jesus' mother, or perhaps refer to Mary Magdalen.
Scholars have identified the following references in the Talmud that some conclude refer to Jesus:
- Jesus as a sorcerer with disciples (b Sanh 43a–b)
- Healing in the name of Jesus (Hul 2:22f; AZ 2:22/12; y Shab 124:4/13; QohR 1:8; b AZ 27b)
- As a Torah teacher (b AZ 17a; Hul 2:24; QohR 1:8)
- As a son or disciple that turned out badly (Sanh 103a/b; Ber 17b)
- As a frivolous disciple who practiced magic and turned to idolatry (Sanh 107b; Sot 47a)
- Jesus' punishment in afterlife (b Git 56b, 57a)
- Jesus' execution (b Sanh 43a-b)
- Jesus as the son of Mary (Shab 104b, Sanh 67a)
As a sorcerer with disciples
Sanhedrin 43a relates the trial and execution of Jesus and his five disciples. Here, Jesus is a sorcerer who has enticed other Jews to apostasy. A herald is sent to call for witnesses in his favour for forty days before his execution. No one comes forth and in the end he is stoned and hanged on the Eve of Passover. His five disciples, named Matai, Nekai, Netzer, Buni, and Todah are then tried. Word play is made on each of their names, and they are executed. It is mentioned that leniency could not be applied because of Jesus' influence with the royal government (malkhut).
The full passage is:
The Rabbis taught, Yeshu had five disciples: Mattai, Nakai, Buni, and Todah. They brought Mattai in, he said, "Shall Mattai be executed? Isn't it written, ‘When (māṯay) can I go and meet with God?’" They said to him, "Yes, Mattai shall be executed, for it is written, ‘When (māṯay) will he die and his name perish?’"
They brought Nakai in, he said, "Shall Nakai be executed? Isn't it written, ‘Do not kill the innocent (nāqī) and righteous’?" They said to him, ‘Yes, Nakai shall be executed, for it is written, ‘In the hiding places he kills the innocent (nāqī).’"
They brought Netzer in, he said, "Shall Netzer be executed? Isn't it written, ‘and a branch (nēṣer) shall grow out of his roots’?" They said to him, ‘Yes, Netzer shall be executed, for it is written, ‘But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch (nēṣer).’"
They brought Buni in, he said, "Shall Buni be executed? Isn't it written, ‘Israel is my firstborn son (bənī)’?" They said to him, "Yes, Buni shall be executed, for it is written, ‘I will kill your firstborn son (bīnḵā).’"
They brought Todah in, he said, "Shall Todah be executed? Isn't it written, ‘A psalm of thanksgiving (tōḏā)’?" They said to him, "Yes, Todah shall be executed, for it is written, ‘The one who offers thanksgiving (tōḏā) as his sacrifice glorifies Me.’"— Sanhedrin 43a
Healing in the name of Jesus
Scholars have identified passages in the Talmud and associated Talmudic texts that involve invoking Jesus' name, as the messiah of Christianity, in order to perform magical healing:
- Tosefta Hullin 2:22f – "Jacob ... came to heal him in the name of Jesus son of Pantera" - this section exists in variant spellings of Jesus: mi-shem Yeshu ben Pantera (principal edition), mi-shem Yeshu ben Pandera (London MS), mi-shem Yeshua ben Pantera (Vienna MS)*Jerusalem Abodah Zarah 2:2/12 – "Jacob ... came to heal him. He said to him: we will speak to you in the name of Jesus son of Pandera" (Editions or MS: Venice)
- Jerusalem Shabboth 14:4/13 – "Jacob ... came in the name of Jesus Pandera to heal him" (Editions or MS: Venice)
- Qohelet Rabbah 1:8(3) – "Jacob ... came to heal him in the name of Jesus son of Pandera" (Editions or MSs: Vatican 291, Oxford 164, Pesaro 1519)
- Babylonian Abodah Zarah 27b – "Jacob ... came to heal him" (Editions or MSs: New York 15, Pearo, Vilna)
The full passage in the Talmud Bavli is:
(The Gemara) raises an objection: A person may not engage in dealings with heretics, and one may not be treated by them even in (cases of) life (-or-death matters).
(There was) an incident involving ben Dama, son of Rabbi Ishmael's sister, (in) which a snake bit him. Jacob of the village Sekhanya came to treat him, but Rabbi Ishmael did not let him. And (ben Dama) said to him: "Rabbi Ishmael, my brother, let him (treat me), and I will be healed by him. And I will cite a verse from the Torah (to prove) that this is permitted." But (ben Dama) did not manage to complete the statement before his soul departed, and he died.
Rabbi Ishmael recited with regard to him: "Fortunate are you, ben Dama, as your body is pure and your soul departed in purity, and you did not transgress the statement of your colleagues, who would state the verse: ‘And who breaks through a fence, a snake shall bite him.’"— Avodah Zarah, 27b
Whereas in the Talmud Yerushalmi, the passage is the following:
(There was) an incident in (which) Ribbi Eleazer ben Dama was bitten by a snake, and Jacob of the village Sama came to heal him in the name of Yeshu (ben) Pandera, but he was prevented by Ribbi Ishmael. (Eleazer) told (Ishmael), "I shall bring proof that he can heal me." But, he could not bring proof before he died. Ribbi Ishmael said, "Blessed are you, ben Dama, that you left this world in peace and did not tear down the fences of the Sages, as it is written, ‘And who breaks through a fence, a snake shall bite him.’" But did a snake not bite him (before such a dilemma even occurred)? It will not bite him in the World to Come. What could (Eleazar) have said? "Keep My decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them."— Shabbat 14
Scholars also identify a separate account, featured exclusively in the Jerusalem Talmud, which contains an additional account of healing performed in the name of "Yeshu (ben) Pandera":
- Jerusalem Abodah Zarah 2:2/7 – "someone ... whispered to him in the name of Jesus son of Pandera" (Editions or MS: Venice)
- Jerusalem Shabboth 14:4/8 – "someone ... whispered to him in the name of Jesus son of Pandera" (Editions or MS: Venice)
The full passage is:
Ribbi Joshua ben Levi had colic. Ribbi Hanina and Ribbi Jonathan told him to grind taḥlusin [either unripe dates or watercresses] on the Sabbath, put them in aged wine, and drink it to avoid being endangered.
His son's son was choking. A person came and whispered to him in the name of Yeshu (ben) Pandera, and he could breathe. As he left, (Joshua) asked him, "What did you whisper to him?" (The person answered:) "So-and-so words." (Joshua) said to him, "It would have been better that he died and not heard such things. It happened to him like an erroneous order from a ruler."— Shabbat 14
Scholars have identified passages that mention Jesus, as the messiah of Christianity, in the context of a Torah teacher:
- Babylonian Abodah Zarah 17a – "One of the disciples of Jesus the Nazarene found me" (Editions or MSs: Munich 95, Paris 1377, New York 15)
- Babylonian Abodah Zarah 17a – "Thus I was taught by Jesus the Nazarene" (Editions or MSs: Munich 95, Paris 1337)
- Tosefta Hullin 2:24 – "He told me of a word of heresy in the name of Jesus son of Pantiri"
- Qohelet Rabbah 1:8(3) – "He told me a word in the name of Jesus son of Pandera" (Editions or MSs: Oxford 164, Vatican 291, Pesaro 1519)
The full passage is:
(Rabbi Eliezer) said to him: "Akiva, you have reminded me; once I was walking in the upper markets of Sepphoris, and I found a man of the students of Yeshu, and his name was Jacob, of the village Sekhanya. He said to me, "It is written in your Torah, ‘You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute...’ What is (the halakha), (is it permitted) to make, from (the fee of a prostitute) a bathroom for a High Priest?" And I said nothing to him.
He said to me, "Yeshu taught me that (it is indeed permitted, for it is written): ‘Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes, as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.’ (The coins) came from a place of filth, let them go towards a place of filth."
And I derived pleasure from the statement, and due to this, I was arrested for heresy...— Avodah Zarah, 17a
The son or disciple who turned out badly
Sanhedrin 103a and Berachot 17b talk about a Yeshu ha-Nosri (Jesus of Nazareth) who "burns his food in public", possibly a reference to pagan sacrifices or a metaphor for apostasy. The account is discussing Manasseh the king of Judah infamous for having turned to idolatry and having persecuted the Jews (2 Kings 21). It is part of a larger discussion about three kings and four commoners excluded from paradise. These are also discussed in the Shulkhan Arukh where the son who burns his food is explicitly stated to be Manasseh. The passages identified by scholars in this context are:
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 103a – "that you will not have a son or disciple ... like Jesus the Nazarene" (Editions or MSs: Firenze II.1.8–9, Barco, Munich 95)
- Babylonian Berakoth 17b – "that we will not have a son or disciple ... like Jesus the Nazarene" (Editions or MS: Oxford 23)
The full passages are:
Alternatively, the phrase "no evil shall befall you" means that you will be frightened neither by bad dreams nor by evil thoughts. "Nor shall any plague come near your tent", that you will not have a child or student who overcooks his food in public, i.e., sins in public and causes others to sin, such as [Yeshu].— Sanhedrin 103a
"There is no breach", that our faction should not be like the faction of David, from which Ahitophel emerged. "And no going forth", that our faction should not be like the faction of Saul, from which Doeg the Edomite emerged. “And no outcry”; that our faction should not be like the faction of Elisha, from which Gehazi emerged. "In our open places", that we should not have a child or student who overcooks his food in public, as Yeshu (did).— Berakhot 17b
As a sinful student who practiced magic and turned to idolatry
Passages in Sanhedrin 107b and Sotah 47a refer to an individual (Yeshu) that some scholars conclude is a reference to Jesus, regarded as the messiah of Christianity. In these passages, Jesus is described as a student of Joshua ben Perachiah (second half of the 2nd century BCE), and he (Jesus) was sent away for misinterpreting a word that in context should have been understood as referring to the Inn; he instead understood it to mean the innkeeper's wife (the same word can mean "inn" and "hostess"). His teacher said "Here is a nice inn", to which he replied "Her eyes are crooked", to which his teacher responded "Evil one! Is this what you are occupied in?" (Gazing at married women was considered sinful.) After several returns for forgiveness he mistook Perachiah's signal to wait a moment as a signal of final rejection, and so he turned to idolatry. Some passages that have been identified by scholars as mentioning Jesus, as the messiah of Christianity, in this context include:
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 107b – "not as Yehoshua b. Perahya who pushed Jesus the Nazarene away" (Editions or MSs: Barco, Vilna)
- Babylonian Sotah 47a – "not as Yehoshua b. Perahya who pushed Jesus the Nazarene away" (Editions or MSs: Vatican 110, Vilna, Munich 95)
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 107b – "Jesus said to him: Rabbi, her eyes are narrow" (Editions or MSs: Herzog 1)
- Babylonian Sotah 47a – "Jesus the Nazarene said to him: Rabbi, her eyes are narrow" (Editions or MS: Oxford 20)
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 107b – "The master said: Jesus the Nazarene practiced magic (Editions or MSs: Firenze II.1.8–9, Barco )
- Babylonian Sotah 47a – "The master said: Jesus the Nazarene because he practiced magic" (Editions or MS: Munich 95)
The full passage is:
It should always be (the) left (hand) to push (away), and (the) right (to) bring closeward. Not like Elisha who pushed Gehazi (away) with both hands, and not like Joshua ben Perachiah who pushed Yeshu, (one of) his students, with both hands...
When King Yannai was executing the Rabbis, Simeon ben Shetach was hidden by his sister (and) Rabbi Joshua ben Perachiah went (and) fled to Alexandria of Egypt. When peace was made, Simeon ben Shetach sent him (the following letter): "From me, Jerusalem the holy city, to you, Alexandria of Egypt, my sister. My husband dwells amongst you, and I am sitting lonely". (Joshua ben Perachiah) said "I learn from (the letter) that there is peace!"
When he came, (they) arrived at an inn. (The innkeeper) stood before him with exemplary honor, and accorded him great honors. (Joshua) sat and was praising them, (saying): "How beautiful this inn is!" Yeshu said to him, "My master, her eyes are narrow." [The Aramaic words for "inn" and "innkeeper" were the same] (Joshua) said to him "Wicked one, is this how you conduct yourself?!" He brought out four hundred shofarot and excommunicated him. Every day, (Yeshu) would come before him, but (Joshua) did not accept him.
One day (Joshua) was reciting the Shema, (Yeshu) came before him. He intended to welcome him (this time), so he signaled (Yeshu) with his hands (to wait). (Yeshu) thought he was rejecting him. (Yeshu) went and erected brickwork, and worshipped it (as an idol). (Joshua) said to him "Return thyself!" (Yeshu) said to him "This I learned from you: Anyone who sins and causes the masses to sin is not given the opportunity to repent!"— Sotah 47a, Sanhedrin 107
The story ends by invoking a Mishnaic era teaching that Yeshu practised black magic, deceived and led Israel astray. This quote is seen by some as an explanation in general for the designation Yeshu.
According to Dr. Rubenstein, the account in Sanhedrin 107b recognizes the kinship between Christians and Jews, since Jesus is presented as a disciple of a prominent Rabbi. But it also reflects and speaks to an anxiety fundamental to Rabbinic Judaism. Prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70, Jews were divided into different sects, each promoting different interpretations of the law. Rabbinic Judaism domesticated and internalized conflicts over the law, while vigorously condemning any sectarianism. In other words, rabbis are encouraged to disagree and argue with one another, but these activities must be carefully contained, or else they could lead to a schism. Although this story may not present a historically accurate account of Jesus' life, it does use a fiction about Jesus to communicate an important truth about the Rabbis. Moreover, Rubenstein sees this story as a rebuke to overly harsh Rabbis. Boyarin suggests that the Rabbis were well aware of Christian views of the Pharisees and that this story acknowledges the Christian belief that Jesus was forgiving and the Pharisees were not (see Mark 2:1–2), while emphasizing forgiveness as a necessary Rabbinic value.
Punishment in the afterlife
In Gittin 56b–57a a story is recorded in which Onkelos, a nephew of the Roman emperor Titus who destroyed the Second Temple, intent on converting to Judaism, summons up the spirits of Yeshu and others to help make up his mind. Each describes his punishment in the afterlife.
The complete passage from the 1935 Soncino edition is:
(Onkelos) went (and) he conjured Yeshu the Nazarene (from the grave). (Onkelos) said (to Yeshu), "Whom is of importance in that world?" (Yeshu) said (to him), "Israel." (Onkelos further queried) "Should I attach (myself) to them?" He (Yeshu) said; "Their welfare you shall seek, their misfortune you shall not seek, for anyone who touches them is regarded as if he were touching the apple of his eye".
(Onkelos) said to (Yeshu), "What is the punishment of that man (who seeks their misfortune)?" (Yeshu) said (to Onkelos), "boiling excrement". As the Master said: Anyone who mocks the words of the Sages will be sentenced to boiling excrement.
(As said in the Gemara:) Come see the difference between the sinners of Israel and the prophets of the nations of the world.— Gittin 57a
According to Jews for Judaism, the Yeshu in this passage is not the same Jesus found in the Christian New Testament, but rather a 1st-century BCE Jewish sectarian who rejected rabbinic Judaism by creating a new religion that combined Judaism with Hellenistic paganism.
Scholars[who?] have identified passages that mention Jesus in the context of his execution:
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 43a–b – "on the eve of Passover they hanged Jesus the Nazarene" (Editions or MSs: Herzog 1, Karlsruhe 2)
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 43a–b – "Jesus the Nazarene is going forth to be stoned" (Editions or MSs: Herzog 1, Firenze II.1.8–9, Karlsruhe 2)
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 43a–b – "Do you suppose Jesus the Nazarene was one for whom a defense could be made?" (Editions or MSs: Herzog 1, Firenze II.1.8–9, Karlsruhe 2)
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 43a–b – "With Jesus the Nazarene it was different" (Editions or MSs: Herzog 1, Firenze II.1.8–9, Karlsruhe 2)
The full passage is:
(The Mishna asserts) a crier goes out before (a man condemned to execution). Before him (i.e. when he is being led to execution), yes; but from the outset (i.e. before his conviction), no. But isn't it taught that on Passover Eve, they hanged Yeshu (after he was killed by stoning)? And a crier went out before him (for) forty days, (proclaiming): "Yeshu is to be stoned because he practiced sorcery, incited (idolatry), and lead the Jewish people astray. Anyone who knows (a reason to) acquit him should come (forward) and reveal it on his behalf!" And they did not find (a reason) to acquit him, and they hanged him on Passover Eve.
Ulla said, "And (how can) you understand? (Was) Yeshu worthy of a search to acquit him? He was an inciter, and the Merciful One states, ‘Neither shall you spare, neither shall you conceal him.’ But, Yeshu was different, as he was close with the government."— Sanhedrin 43a
Mother and father
Some Talmudic sources include passages which identify a "son of Pandera" (ben Pandera in Hebrew), and some scholars conclude that these are references to the messiah of Christianity. Medieval Hebrew midrashic literature contain the "Episode of Jesus" (known also as Maaseh Yeshu), in which Jesus is described as being the son of Joseph, the son of Pandera (see: Episode of Jesus). The account portrays Jesus as an impostor.
The Talmud, and other talmudic texts, contain several references to the "son of Pandera". A few of the references explicitly name Jesus ("Yeshu") as the "son of Pandera": these explicit connections are found in the Tosefta, the Qohelet Rabbah, and the Jerusalem Talmud, but not in the Babylonian Talmud. The explicit connections found in the Jerusalem Talmud are debated because the name "Jesus" ("Yeshu") is found only in a marginal gloss in some manuscripts, but other scholars conclude that it was in the original versions of the Jerusalem Talmud.
The texts include several spellings for the father's name (Pandera, Panthera, Pandira, Pantiri, or Pantera) and some scholars conclude that these are all references to the same individual, but other scholars suggest that they may be unrelated references. In some of the texts, the father produced a son with a woman named Mary. Several of the texts indicate that the mother was not married to Pandera, and was committing adultery and – by implication – Jesus was a bastard child. Some of the texts indicate that Mary's husband's name was Stada.
Some Talmudic sources include passages which identify a "son of Stada" or "son of Stara" (ben Stada or ben Stara in Hebrew), and some scholars conclude that these are references to the messiah of Christianity.
Son of Pantera / Pandera in a healing context
Two talmudic-era texts that explicitly associate Jesus as the son of Pantera/Pandera are:
- Tosefta Hullin 2:22f "Jacob ... came to heal him in the name of Jesus son of Pantera"
- Qohelet Rabbah 1:8(3) "Jacob ... came to heal him in the name of Jesus son of Pandera"
Both of the above passages describe situations where Jesus' name is invoked to perform magical healing. In addition, some editions of the Jerusalem Talmud explicitly identify Jesus as the son of Pandera:
- Jerusalem Abodah Zarah 2:2/7 "someone ... whispered to him in the name of Jesus son of Pandera"
- Jerusalem Shabboth 14:4/8 "someone ... whispered to him in the name of Jesus son of Pandera"
- Jerusalem Abodah Zarah 2:2/12 "Jacob ... came to heal him. He said to him: we will speak to you in the name of Jesus son of Pandera"
- Jerusalem Shabboth 14:4/13 "Jacob ... came in the name of Jesus Pandera to heal him"
However, some editions of the Jerusalem Talmud do not contain the name Jesus in these passages, so the association in this case is disputed. The parallel passages in the Babylonian Talmud do not contain the name Jesus.
Son of Pantiri / Pandera in a teaching context
Other Talmudic narratives describe Jesus as the son of a Pantiri or Pandera, in a teaching context:
- Tosefta Hullin 2:24 "He told me of a word of heresy in the name of Jesus son of Pantiri"
- Qohelet Rabbah 1:8(3) "He told me a word in the name of Jesus son of Pandera"
However, the parallel accounts in the Babylonian Talmud mention Jesus but do not mention the father's name:
- Babylonian Abodah Zarah 17a "One of the disciples of Jesus the Nazarene found me"
- Babylonian Abodah Zarah 17a "Thus I was taught by Jesus the Nazarene"
Pandera and alleged adultery by Mary
The Babylonian talmud contains narratives that discuss an anonymous person who brought witchcraft out of Egypt, and the person is identified as "son of Pandera" or "son of Stada". The Talmud discusses whether the individual (the name Jesus is not present in these passages) is the son of Stada, or Pandera, and a suggestion is made that the mother Mary committed adultery.
- Babylonian Shabbat 104b "Was he the son of Stara (and not) the son of Pandera?" (Editions or MSs: Oxford 23, Soncino)
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 67a "Was he the son of Stara (and not) the son of Pandera?" (Editions or MSs: Herzog 1, Karlsruhe 2, ...)
- Babylonian Shabbat 104b "husband Stada, lover Pandera" (Editions or MSs: Vatican 108, Munich 95, Vilna)
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 67a "husband Stara, lover Pandera" (Editions or MSs: Herzog 1, Barco)
- Babylonian Shabbat 104b "husband Pappos, mother Stada" (Editions or MSs: Vilna, Munich 95)
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 67a "husband Pappos, mother Stada" (Editions or MSs: Vilna, Munich 95)
- Babylonian Shabbat 104b "his mother Miriam who let grow (her) women's hair" (Editions or MSs: Vilna, Oxford 23, Soncino)
- Babylonian Sanhedrin 67a "his mother Miriam who let grow (her) women's hair" (Editions or MSs: Karlsruhe 2, Munich 95)
The full passage is as follows:
And (the court) did the same to ben Stada of Lod, and they hanged him on Passover Eve.
(The Gemara asks, Why is he called) ben "Stada" (when) he was the son of Pandera? Rav Chisda says: "(Perhaps his mother's) husband (was named) Stada, (but his mother's) lover (was named) Pandera. (The Gemara challenges this, saying the) husband was Pappos ben Yehudah. Therefore, his mother (was) Stada. (The Gemara challenges this too, saying) his mother was Miriam, who braided women's hair. As they say in Pumbedita: This one strayed (səṭat dāʾ ) from her husband.— Sanhedrin 67a
Mary as the mother
There is no Talmudic text that directly associates Jesus with Mary (Miriam), and instead the association is indirect: Jesus is associated with a father ("son of Pandera"), and in other passages, Pandera is associated with Mary (as her lover).
Typically both Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds use the generic minim for heretics. Aside from mentions of the five disciples of "Yeshu ha Notzri," the plural Notzrim, "Christians," are only clearly mentioned once in the Babylonian Talmud, (where it is amended to Netzarim, people of the watch) in B.Ta'anit 27b with a late parallel in Masekhet Soferim 17:4. And then "The day of the Notzri according to Rabbi Ishmael is forbidden for ever" in some texts of B.Avodah Zarah 6a.
A certain Galilean taught before Rav Ḥisda
This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (November 2023)
Recently (2022) Zeev Farber suggested that the "certain Galilean", mentioned in five places in the Talmud should be identified with Jesus, arguing it like this. Firstly, the Gospels call Jesus the “Galilean” (Luke 22:59) and “Jesus the Galilean” (Matt. 26:69). Secondly, that it was not customary for the Jews to mention the name of Jesus directly, but to say “that man”. And last, a study of three of these five Talmudic mentions of a “certain Galilean” reveals additional points of similarity between a “certain Galilean” and Jesus in the Gospels. In all these Talmudic discussions, the words of the Galilean are cited as the words of one of the Sages, as one whose teachings bear merit. His words are accepted unconditionally.
Relation to the Toledot Yeshu
The Toledot Yeshu (History of Jesus) is a Jewish anti-Christian polemic that purports to be a biography of Jesus. The work is an early account of Jesus, based on contemporary Jewish views, in which Jesus is described as being the son of Joseph, the son of Pandera (see a translation of the Yemenite text: Episode of Jesus, or what is also known as Toledot Yeshu). Some scholars conclude that the work is merely an expansion and elaboration on anti-Christian themes in the Talmud. Stephen Gero suggests that an early version of the Toledot Yeshu narrative preceded the Talmud, and that the Talmud drew upon the Toledot Yeshu, but Rubenstein and Schäfer discount that possibility, because they date the origin of the Toledot Yeshu in the early Middle Ages or Late Antiquity.
Related narrative from Celsus
The Platonistic philosopher Celsus, writing circa 150 to 200 CE, wrote a narrative describing a Jew who discounts the story of the Virgin Birth of Jesus. Scholars have remarked on the parallels (adultery, father's name "Panthera", return from Egypt, magical powers) between Celsus' account and the Talmudic narratives. In Celsus' account, the Jew says:
"... [Jesus] came from a Jewish village and from a poor country woman who earned her living by spinning. He says that she was driven out by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, as she was convicted of adultery. Then he says that after she had been driven out by her husband and while she was wandering about in a disgraceful way she secretly gave birth to Jesus. He states that because he [Jesus] was poor he hired himself out as a workman in Egypt, and there tried his hand at certain magical powers on which the Egyptians pride themselves; he returned full of conceit, because of these powers, and on account of them gave himself the title of God ... the mother of Jesus is described as having been turned out by the carpenter who was betrothed to her, as she had been convicted of adultery and had a child by a certain soldier named Panthera."
- Benjamin Urrutia
- Criticism of the Talmud
- Historicity of Jesus
- Judaism and Christianity
- Judaism's view of Jesus
- Life of Jesus in the New Testament
- Rejection of Jesus
- The Talmud Unmasked
- Toledot Yeshu
- Yeshua (name)
- Birkat haMinim
- Ilan, Tal (2002). Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity Part I: Palestine 330 BCE–200 CE (Texte und Studien zum Antiken Judentum 91). Tübingen, Germany: J.C.B. Mohr. p. 129.
- Stern, David (1992). Jewish New Testament Commentary. Clarksville, Maryland: Jewish New Testament Publications. pp. 4–5.
- Nickelsburg, 93
- Babylonian Talmud (Berakhot 29a)
- Talmud Sanhedrin 107b, Sotah 47a
- Talmud Berakhot 61b
- Midrash Genesis Rabbah 53; Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:10.
- Midrash Shoher Tov, on Proverbs (§ 9), Jerusalem 1968
- "The Jesus Narrative In The Talmud - Gil Student". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- L. Patterson, "Origin of the Name Panthera", JTS 19 (1917–18), p. 79–80, cited in Meier, p. 107 n. 48
- Reverend James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue, p. 392
- "Pope Gregory IX Orders the Seizure and Burning of Jewish Books : History of Information". www.historyofinformation.com. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
- Chazan, Robert (1988). "The Condemnation of the Talmud Reconsidered (1239-1248)". Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research. 55: 11–30. doi:10.2307/3622675. JSTOR 3622675. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
- Delbert Burkett (2010). The Blackwell Companion to Jesus. p. 220. "That is to say, varying presuppositions as to the extent to which the ancient rabbis were preoccupied with Jesus and Christianity can easily predetermine which texts might be identified and interpreted as having him in mind."
- The Blackwell Companion to Jesus, ed. Burkett p. 220 2010 "Accordingly, scholars' analyses range widely from minimalists (e.g., Lauterbach 1951) – who recognize only relatively few passages that actually have Jesus in mind – to moderates (e.g., Herford  2006), to maximalists (Klausner 1943 ... especially Schafer)"
- Maurice Wiles, Edward Yarnold, P. M. Parvis (1997). Papers presented at the Thirteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies. p. 398 "These scholars represent a school of thought, which can be described as minimalist, as it argues that there was minimal ... including Horbury, who accepts some aspects of the minimalist argument and does not dismiss Harnack outright."
- James Carleton Paget (2010). Jews, Christians and Jewish Christians in Antiquity. p. 279. "44 Herford 1903, 63. 45 Even Herford, who takes a maximalist view of this material, agrees with this conclusion. "If the summary of the Jesus-Tradition, given above be examined, it will be found to contain little, if anything".
- Lasker, p. xxi, summarizes Herford's conclusions; R. Travers Herford (1903), Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, London: Williams & Norgate (reprint New York, KTAV, 1975)
- Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud, Princeton University Press, 2007.
- William L. Merrifield (2010), Who Do You Say I Am?: Jesus Called the Christ, Tate Publishing. p. 39.
- Weiss-Rosmarin, Trude (1977). Jewish expressions on Jesus: an anthology. KTAV. p. 3.
- Maccoby, Hyam, Judaism on Trial
- Shaefer, p 3
- Shaefer, p 4
- Rodkinson, pp 104–105
- Shaefer, p 4; Lasker p xxi:
- Lasker writes that Herford "argues that the Talmudic Yeshus do indeed, refer to Jesus of Nazareth, but the citations concerning him reflect non-historical oral traditions which circulated among Jews and are not based on the written Gospels or other more authentic records of the life of Jesus. One can learn nothing about the historical Jesus from rabbinic accounts; at most one can learn form them something about rabbinic attitudes towards Jesus. In sum, the Talmud does make reference to the Christian Jesus but has nothing to offer the searcher for the historical Jesus. Such a position [says Lasker about Herford] seems eminently reasonable ..."
- Shaefer, p 5 Theissen, p 75
- Shaefer, p 5
- Theissen, pp 74–75 Shaefer, p 5
- Peter Schäfer, p 6ff
- Boyarin, pp 1–3; Boyarin cites the Talmud as saying there were 24 sects
- Boyarin, pp 1–3
- Peter Schäfer p 7–9
- Schaefer, p 7–9
- Peter Schäfer, p 9
- Peter Schäfer, p 9: "I agree that much of our Jesus material is relatively late; in fact, I will argue that the most explicit Jesus passages (those passages that deal with him as a person) appear only in the Babylonian Talmud and can be dated, at the earliest, to the late third-early fourth century C.E. ... I propose that the (mainly) Babylonian stories about Jesus and his family are deliberate and highly sophisticated counternarratives to the stories about Jesus' life and death in the Gospels – narratives that presuppose a detailed knowledge of the New Testament in particular the Gospel of John, presumably through the Diatessaron and/or the Peshitta, the New Testament of the Syrian Church. More precisely, I will argue – following indeed some of the older research – that they are polemical counternarratives that parody the New Testament stories, most notably the story of Jesus' birth and death. They ridicule Jesus' birth from a virgin, as maintained by the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and they contest fervently the claim that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. Most remarkably, they counter the New Testament Passion story with its message of the Jews' guilt and shame as Christ killers. Instead, they reverse it completely: yes, they maintain, we accept responsibility for it, but there is no reason to feel ashamed because we rightfully executed a blasphemer and idolater. Jesus deserved death, and he got what he deserved. Accordingly, they subvert the Christian idea of Jesus' resurrection by having him punished forever in hell and by making clear that this fate awaits his followers as well, who believe in this impostor. There is no resurrection, they insist, not for him and not for his followers; in other words, there is no justification whatsoever for this Christian sect that impudently claims to be the new covenant and that is on its way to establish itself as a new religion (not least as a "Church" with political power). This, I will posit, is the historical message of the (late) Talmudic evidence of Jesus. A proud and self-confident message that runs counter to all that we know from Christian and later Jewish sources. I will demonstrate that this message was possible only under the specific historical circumstances in Sasanian Babylonia, with a Jewish community that lived in relative freedom, at least with regard to Christians – quite different from conditions in Roman and Byzantine Palestine".
- The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1995, p. 992 ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley "And in Jn. 8:41 Jesus' opponents insist, "We were not born of fornication." Here "we" (Gk. hemeis) is emphatic, perhaps by way of contrast: "not we, but you?" Thus Jn. 8:41 may reflect early suspicions about Jesus' parentage, which Jewish polemics later made explicit. ... Origen, too, had to contend with the taunt of Celsus that the Virgin Birth was invented to cover up Mary's adultery with ..."
- Isaac Kalimi Early Jewish exegesis and theological controversy, 2002, p. 57 "The last part of the verse from the Gospel of John, "For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans" (verse 9b), ... "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?". "
- Ekkehard Stegemann, Wolfgang Stegemann, The Jesus Movement: A Social History of its First Century, 1999, p. 346 "Other interpreters understand the author's anti-Jewish polemic as an expression of his conviction that believers in Christ are the true Jews, ... Thus in connection with the "synagogue of Satan" and based on linguistic usage in Revelation, the catchword blasphemia should be understood first of all as a blaspheming of God"
- Lasker, p xxiv: "What does emerge from the material presented by Herford is that even if Christianity was not a fundamental worry of emerging Rabbinic Judaism, basic Jewish objections to this religion, which hundreds of years later would blossom into a full-scale Jewish polemical attack on Christianity [Lasker is referring to the Toledot Yeshu "The History of Jesus"], are already present in embryonic form in rabbinic literature. Thus, Jesus was the product of adultery between his engaged mother and a man not her husband, not a result of miraculous birth. … God does not have a Son…. One can add to these arguments the Jewish accusations against Christianity and Jesus in the New Testament itself, for instance that if Jesus could not save himself, how could he save others (Matt 27:42)."
- Jeffrey Rubenstein Rabbinic Stories (The Classics of Western Spirituality) New York: The Paulist Press, 2002
- Jonathon Green; Nicholas J. Karolides (2009). Encyclopedia of Censorship. Infobase Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 9781438110011. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
- Carroll, James, Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002
- Seidman, Naomi, Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation, University of Chicago Press, 2006 p 137
- Cohn-Sherbok, Dan, Judaism and other faiths, Palgrave Macmillan, 1994, p 48
- Berger D. "On the Uses of History in Medieval Jewish Polemic against Christianity: The Search for the Historical Jesus." In Jewish History and Jewish Memory: Essays in Honor of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, 1998, p. 33
- Berger p33
- Amy-Jill Levine. The Historical Jesus in Context, Princeton University Press, 2008, p. 20. "Similarly controversial is the Babylonian Talmud's account of Jesus' death (to the extant that some Rabbinic experts do not think the reference is to the Jesus of the New Testament!)"
- Gustaf Dalman, Jesus-Jeshua, London and New York, 1922, 89, cited in Joachim Jeremias, Eucharistic Words of Jesus, 1935, 3rd German ed. 1960, English 1966, p. 19.
- Joachim Jeremias, Eucharistic Words of Jesus, 1935, 3rd German Ed. 1960, English 1966 p. 19, footnote 7. "On the other hand, as G. Dalman, Jesus-Jeshua, London and New York, 1922 (ET of Jesus-Jeschua, Leipzig, 1922), 89, rightly supposed, the often quoted passage b. Sanh. 43a (Bar.): 'on the day of preparation Jeshu was hanged' does not refer to Jesus but to a namesake, a disciple of R. Joshua b. Peraiah (c. 100 BC), cf. b.Sanh. 107b (Bar.) par. b.Sot 47a."
- Mark Allan Powell, Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee, Westminster John Knox, 1998, p. 34. "Scholars debate whether there may be obscure references to Jesus in some of the collections of ancient Jewish writings, such as the Talmud, the Tosefta, the targums, and the midrashim... 'On the eve of Passover, they hanged Yeshu [= Jesus?] and the herald went before him 40 days... (Sanhedrin 43a)."
- Roger T. Beckwith, Calendar and Chronology, Jewish and Christian, Brill Academic Publishers, 2005, p. 294. "... the rest of the baraita, which states he was first stoned, and that his execution was delayed for forty days while a herald went out inviting anyone to say a word in his favour, suggest that it may refer to a different Yeshu altogether." footnote citing Jeremias 1966.
- Bauckham, Richard, "The Names on the Ossuaries", in Quarles, Charles. Buried Hope Or Risen Savior: The Search for the Jesus Tomb, B&H Publishing Group, 2008, p. 81.
- Berenbaum, Michael; Skolnik, Fred, eds. (2007). "Barcelona, Disputation of". Encyclopaedia Judaica. Vol. 3 (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-02-866097-4.
- Peter Schäfer, p 132
- English translations from Peter Schäfer, pp 133–140
- Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart Ehrman 2001 ISBN 019512474X page 63
- Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell (Nov 1, 1998) ISBN 0664257038 page 34
- Jesus in the Talmud by Peter Schäfer (Aug 24, 2009) ISBN 0691143188 pp.9, 17, 141.
- Van Voorst 2000 - see also Thiessen and Merz mention Gustaf Dalman (1893), Johann Maier (1978), and Thoma (1990) in favour of this conclusion.* Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 74-76. *See also Jeffrey Rubenstein, Rabbinic Stories (The Classics of Western Spirituality) New York: The Paulist Press, 2002 & Daniel Boyarin, Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism, Stanford University Press, 1999.
- Theissen p 75: "[some authors conclude that the Talmud's passages] have no independent historical value. In contrast to this, other authors, e.g. Klausner, believe that they can discover at least some old and historically reliable traditions in the Talmud". Theissen cites Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, pp 18–46
- "Google Link". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Bernhard Pick, The Talmud: What It Is and What It Knows of Jesus and His Followers, publisher? 1887 (reprint Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007. p v–ix)
- Edgar V. McKnight, Jesus Christ in history and Scripture, Mercer University Press, 1999. pp 28–29
- "Google Link". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Talmud Sanhedrin 43a
- Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud, Princeton University Press, 2007. p 75
- Bernhard Pick, The Talmud: What It Is and What It Knows of Jesus and His Followers, 1887 publisher? (reprint Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007. p 116)
- "Google Link". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud, Princeton University Press, 2007. p 35
- Bernhard Pick, The Talmud: What It Is and What It Knows of Jesus and His Followers, publisher? 1887 (reprint Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007. p 114)
- "Google Link". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Talmud Shabbat 104b, Sanhedrin 67a
- Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud, Princeton University Press, 2007. p 18-19
- Bernhard Pick, The Talmud: What It Is and What It Knows of Jesus and His Followers, publisher? 1887 (reprint Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007. p 117-120)
- "Google Link". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud, Princeton University Press, 2007. p 64–65
- Bernhard Pick, The Talmud: What It Is and What It Knows of Jesus and His Followers, 1887 (reprint Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007. p 115)
- "Sanhedrin 43 online". Halakhah.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Siedman, p 137; Cohn-Sherbok p 48
- "Sanhedrin 107 online". Halakhah.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Cohn-Sherbok, p 48"
- Gittin 56 online, Gittin 57 online
- Jesus in the Talmud by Peter Schäfer, Princeton University Press, 2007, p 13, 85–92, 98–100, 113, 174.
- Jewish history and Jewish memory: essays in honor of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, UPNE, 1998, page 33.
- Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: The Turning Point in Western History by David Klinghoffer, Random House, Inc., 2006, page 154 (identifies source of criticism as King Louis IX).
- Tolerance and intolerance in early Judaism and Christianity by Graham Stanton, Guy G. Stroumsa, Cambridge University Press, 1998, page 247
- Two Nations in Your Womb: Perceptions of Jews and Christians, by Israel Jacob Yuval, University of California Press, 2008, page 132.
- Jesus outside the New Testament: an introduction to the ancient evidence by Robert E. Van Voorst, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000, page 110. Also discusses the likening of Balaam with Jesus/Yeshua b. Sanhedrin 106b in relation to the age that Balaam died, page 111.
- Church, State, and Jew in the Middle Ages by Robert Chazan, Behrman House, Inc, 1979, page 227-230 (transcript of 1240 Paris disputation).
- A history of the Jews by Paul Johnson, HarperCollins, 1988, page 217 (identifies critic as Nicholas Donin).
- Rabbi Moses ha-Kohen of Tordesillas and his book Ezer ha-emunah, by Yehuda Shamir, BRILL, 1975, page 31-32 (identifies Pope Gregory IX as a critic).
- The Jew in the medieval book: English antisemitism, 1350–1500 by Anthony Paul Bale, Cambridge University Press, 2006, page 33.
- From rebel to rabbi: reclaiming Jesus and the making of modern Jewish culture, by Matthew B. Hoffman, Stanford University Press, 2007, pages 4–5
- See also Talmud passage Erubin 21b (Soncino edition): “R. Papa son of R. Aha b. Adda stated in the name of R. Aha b. Ulla: This teaches that he who scoffs at the words of the Sages will be condemned to boiling excrements. Raba demurred: Is it written: ‘scoffing’? The expression is ‘study’! Rather this is the exposition: He who studies them feels the taste of meat.”The Soncino Babylonian Talmud: ERUVIN – 2a-26b
- Howard, George, Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, Mercer University Press, 1998. Howard cites Krauss, Das Leben Jesu, p 68
- Siedman, p 137 (discussing Donin)
- Donin said: "The passage says that someone ... was hanged in Lydda on the eve of Passover. His mother's name was Miriam, 'the hairdresser'; ... her lover's name was Pandira. So Mary is called an adulteress by the Talmud". – Cohn-Sherbok, p 48, citing Maccoby, p 157
- Voorst, Robert E., Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. p 113
- Chilton, Bruce, Studying the Historical Jesus: Evaluations of the State of Current Research, BRILL, p 444
- Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, Editors Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, InterVarsity Press, 1992, p 366
- Sanhedrin 67a online Committed adultery
- Sanhedrin 106a online "played harlot with the carpenters"
- Shabbath 104b online Committed adultery
- "The rabbis in the Paris disputation responded that this could not be Mary because Jesus is not mentioned by name in the passage, and because it takes place in Lydda, not Jerusalem." – Cohn-Sherbok, p 48
- Gil Student response to Mary criticism
- Peter Schäfer
- For a discussion of this passage, see Theissen, pp 74–76
- English translations from Peter Schäfer
- Jaffé Dan, Studies in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity: Text and Context, p. 56 footnote
- Hans Joachim Schoeps, The Jewish-Christian Argument, 1961, pp 24 (English language edition)
- Boyarin, p 24
- (This happened during their period of refuge in Egypt during the persecutions of Pharisees 88–76 BCE ordered by Alexander Jannæus. The incident is also mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud in Chagigah 2:2 but there the person in question is not given any name.)
- English translations from Scheafer
- "Jesus in the Talmud". Jews for Judaism. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 2023-04-06.
- Bernhard Pick, The Talmud: What It Is and What It Knows of Jesus and His Followers, publisher? 1887 (reprint Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007. p 115)
- Peter Schäfer, p 139
- Such as Herford, Peter Schäfer
- Peter Schäferr, pp 15–24, 133–141
- Peter Schäfer, pp 138–139, 187–188
- Peter Schäfer, pp 15–24
- Such as Peter Schäfer
- References are Shabbat 104b and Sanhedrin 67a in the Babylonin Talmud
- Peter Schäfer, pp 52–62
- Peter Schäfer, pp 52–62, 133–141
- Peter Schäfer, pp 41–51
- Peter Schäfer, p 18
- Yaakov Y. Teppler, Susan Weingarten Birkat haMinim: Jews and Christians in conflict in the ancient world 2007 Page 48 - "The only clear mention is as follows: The rabbis said: the people of the watch used to pray for their brothers' offering to be acceptable, and the people of the course used to assemble in the synagogue and sit there '""
- Frankfurter judaistische Beiträge 35 Gesellschaft zur Feorderung Judaistischer Studien in Frankfurt am Main - 2009 [Yaakov Y. Teppler, Susan Weingarten] S. 49 zitiert bAZ 6a: "The day of the Notzri according to Rabbi Ishmael is forbidden for ever", ohne auf die Textprobleme hinzuweisen; ed. Wilna liest ____ was als Ergebnis der Zensur gesehen werden kann; MS Paris 1337 und JTS lesen ...
- Zeev Farber Why are Jews not Christians? Why Did Exactly Those People that Jesus Appealed to, his Contemporary Jews, not Accept Jesus? Why have the Jews not Accepted Jesus Later? 2022, p. 550-558.
- ""A certain Galilean taught before Rav Ḥisda" -Another mention of Jesus in the Talmud?". www.academia.edu. 2023.
- Peter Schäfer, p 2
- Lasker, p xxiv
- Rubenstein, SBT, p 272
- Rubenstein, SBT, p 272
- Peter Schäfer p 2
- Celsus' treatise is Alethes Logos, cited in Peter Schäfer, p 19
- Celsus' quote from Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud, Princeton University Press, 2007. p 18–19
- Bernhard Pick, The Talmud: What It Is and What It Knows of Jesus and His Followers, 1887 (reprint Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007. p 117–120)
- Boyarin, Daniel: Dying for God, Stanford University Press, 1999
- Carroll, James, Constantine's sword: the church and the Jews : a history, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002
- Cohn-Sherbok, Dan, Judaism and other faiths, Palgrave Macmillan, 1994
- Dalman, Gustav: Jesus Christ in the Talmud, Midrash, Zohar, and the Liturgy of the Synagogue, Deighton, Bell, and Co., 1893
- Eisenmenger, Johann Andreas. Entdecktes Judenthum, 1711. English translations: 1732–34 by J.P. Stekelin "The Traditions of the Jews, with the Expositions and Doctrines of the Rabbins,"; English translation re-published in 2006 as "The traditions of the Jews", by Independent History & Research. German edition online here .
- Goldstein, Morris, Jesus in the Jewish Tradition, Macmillan, 1950
- Herford, R. Travers, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, London: Williams & Norgate, 1903 (reprint New York, KTAV, 1975)
- Hirshman, Mark, A Rivalry of Genius: Jewish and Christian Biblical Interpretation in Late Antiquity trans. Baya Stein. Albany: SUNY Press 1996
- Klausner, Joseph, Yeshu ha-Notzri (Hebrew), Shtible, 1922. Translated and reprinted as Jesus of Nazareth, Beacon Books, 1964; translated and reprinted as Jesus of Nazareth, Bloch, 1989
- Krauss, Samuel, Das Leben Jesu nach judischen Quellen, Berlin: S. Calvary, 1902
- Laible, Heinrich, Jesus Christus im Thalmud (Jesus Christ in the Talmud), 1893. English translation published 2010 by General Books
- Daniel J. Lasker, 2007, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel ""Introduction to 2006 Reprint Edition", of Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, by R. Travers Herford, KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 2007
- Lauterbach, Jacob Z., "Jesus in the Talmud” in Rabbinic Essays, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1951 (reprinted by Ktav, 1973).
- Johann Maier, Jesus von Nazareth in der talmudischen Uberlieferung, Buchgesellschaft, 1978.
- Murcia Thierry, Jésus dans le Talmud et la littérature rabbinique ancienne, Turnhout, 2014; «Témoignages juifs et païens sur Jésus et sur le premier christianisme: la tradition rabbinique», dans Premiers Écrits chrétiens, Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, 2016.
- Neusner, Jacob, Judaism in the Matrix of Christianity Philadelphia: Fortress Press 1986
- Pick, Bernhard, The Talmud: what it is and what it says about Jesus and the Christians, 1887 (reprinted Kessinger Publishing, 2007)
- Rubenstein, Jeffrey, Stories of the Babylonian Talmud (cited as "Rubenstein SBT"), JHU Press, 2010
- Rubenstein, Jeffrey, Rabbinic Stories (cited as "Rubenstein"), New York: The Paulist Press, 2002
- Schäfer, Peter, Jesus in the Talmud, Princeton University Press, 2007
- Seidman, Naomi, Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation, University of Chicago Press, 2006
- Strack, Hermann: Jesus, die Haretiker und die Christen nach den altesten judischen Angaben, Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, 1910
- Theissen, Gerd, Annette Merz, The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide, Fortress Press, 1998
- Van Voorst, Robert E.: Jesus outside the New Testament, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000