Jesus in Talmudic Sources (part 1)

Talmudic References

Jesus is clearly discussed in the Talmud and is taken to be a flesh sand blood man in history. The Talmud was also self censored The Babylonian Talmud

translated by MICHAEL L. RODKINSON
Book 10 (Vols. I and II)[1918]
The History of the Talmud

from Vol I chapter II

"Thus the study of the Talmud flourished after the destruction of the Temple, although beset with great difficulties and desperate struggles. All his days, R. Johanan b. Zakkai was obliged to dispute with Sadducees and Bathueians and, no doubt, with the Messiahists also; for although these last were Pharisees, they differed in many points from the teaching of the Talmud after their master, Jesus, had broken with the Pharisees..."

This clearly indicates that Jesus was followed by Christians who understood him as a Rabbi in the late first century, but the Jesus myth theory says that it was only in the second century that they began to put a concrete history to Jesus. Note this history indicates that they had a history about him as they said he had been a Pharisee.

The index indicates that this statment is from the time covering the late first century. Index to the work The Talmud is made up of Rabbinical commentaries that begin about the second century but they draw upon even older material (supposedly going back through Oral tradition to the founding of Israel). Soem parts of the Jerusalem Talmud go back to the frist century and even before:

Michael L Rodkinson

History of Talmud

"The Talmud is a combination of Mishna and Gemara, the latter is a collection of Mishnayoth, Tosephtas, Mechilta, Siphra, Siphre and Boraithas, all of these, interpreted and discussed by the Amoraim, Saboraim, and also Gaonim at a later period. "The Mishna is the authorized codification of the oral or unwritten law, which on the basis of the written law contained in Pentateuch, developed during the second Temple, and down to the end of the second century of the common era." The author of which was R. Jehuda, the prince named "Rabbi" (flourishing toward the end of the second century), taking the unfinished work of R. Akiba and R. Meir as basis."
Christian apologists have long used the references in the Talmud to certain figures, some named "Yeshua" and others called by derogatory nick names, to prove the Jews wrote about. Proof is not definitive and arguments are largely conjectural, there is at least one passage accepted by all and the context opens the door to others.

Alan Humm, Ph.D. Religious Studies
Ancient Jewish accounts of Jesus
Simeon b. Azzai finds a Genealogy

The passage reads: "Simeon ben Azzai has said: I found in Jerusalem a book of genealogies; therein was written: That so and so is a bastard son of a married woman." As documentation he lists, Goldstein, Morris, Jesus in the Jewish Tradition, New York Macmillan Co., 1950. His own commentazry:
This brief passage is the only presumed reference to Jesus in the Mishna. That it refers to Jesus depends on the supposition that peloni, 'so and so,' is a veiled reference to Jesus There is reasonable evidence that in later Talmudic literature this is often, perhaps exclusively, the case. It is problematic in this case, though. In the later literature the Rabbinic authors may have had good reason to be careful about overt negative references to Jesus, but no such constraint hindered the compilers of the Mishna. There is, of course, the possibility that the text was originally explicit, and that peloni was substituted for yeshu when it became politically expedient. It seems more likely however that the referent was someone with more political clout on whom the Rabbis take a subtle delight in finding 'dirt'. See Goldstein for a fuller discussion.
This brief passage will be central for the genealogical evidence it gives us, as will be seen below. There are other stories with no historical basis that are very probably polemics against Jesus.

Dr. Humm
"Evidence of Innocence sought in Vain."

Baraitha Bab. Sanhedrin 43a The translation is informed by both Goldstein:22,109ff and Mead:178f,210f.

There is a tradition (in a Barraitha): They hanged Yeshu on the Sabbath of the Passover[1]. But for forty days before that a herald went in front of him (crying), "Yeshu is to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and seduced Israel and lead them away from God[2]. Anyone who can provide evidence on his behalf should come forward to defend him." When, however, nothing favorable about him was found, he was hanged on the Sabbath of the Passover[1]. Ulla[3] commented: "Do you think that he belongs among those for whom redeeming evidence is sought? Rather, he was a seducer [of whom] the All-merciful has said: 'Show them no pity... and do not shield them.' (Deut 13.8b NRSV)[4] In Yeshu's case, however, an exception was made because he was close to those who held [political/religious] authority."
Humm's commentary

This is one of the (few early) passages that Goldstein judges to be a possibly authentic reference to Jesus. He identifies two difficulties: the details do not fit well with the gospel accounts, and Yeshu / Yeshua / Yeshoshua (all forms of the same name) was an extremely common name. In its favor, the fact that this Yeshu is executed around Passover, as was Jesus, makes it less likely that it intends some other Yeshu/a. Differences in detail probably simply reflect a tradition widely divergent from the Christian gospels. There is, as with many of these stories, the strong possibility that stories about other Yeshu/as or accused magicians have mingled with authentic Jesus traditions to create a new story. The story is hard to date with any confidence, but it cannot be later than about 220, CE (Goldstein:29). The italicized section is Amoraic, 4th c. at the earliest. [AH]
Humm vita

University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. (Religious Studies). Dissertation: The psychology of prophecy in early Christianity. Dr. Humm has taught at many places including: Univ. Pennsylvania, Rutgers, and Univ. North Carolina.

We know factually Jesus was in the Talmud'
Jews self censored the Talmud to remove mentions of Jesus, thus modern Jews deny that it is talking about him, while ancient rabbis used examples supposedly speaking of him for centuries. But what cannot be denied is that the Talmud gives evidence of Christians believing in Jesus as a flesh and blood rabbi from the late first century, which contradicts the Jesus myth theory.

Some pre-censored MS survive
Dr. Robert Morey continues:
"Thankfully, copies of the uncensored pre-1631 texts can be found in Oxford University and several other European libraries. Thus the statements about Jesus were never actually ‘lost.’ They were published separately in numerous editions and studied by Jewish scholars in private. No one denies these facts any more... While the Soncino edition of the Babylonian Talmud is a censored text, the editors usually give the uncensored original readings in a footnote. We have put the statements about Jesus back into the text where they originally belonged and have indicated this by [Dr. Robert A. Morey,Jesus in the Mishnah and the Talmud,California Institute of Apologetic PO Box 7447 Orange, CA 92863 1-800-41-TRUTH or (714) 630-6307--looks like private printing]." (Morey, pp. 1-2)

Rabbis have never denied it. Rabbis have been using the Talmudist stories of Jesus for centuries to illustrate the problems with Christianity. Secondly, they were confident enough that this was Jesus that they actually took the mentions of the name out at one point to avoid attacks by anti-Semitic Christians. At first, deleted portions of words in printed Talmuds were indicated by small circles or blank spaces but, in time, these too were forbidden by the censors.

Modern Jewish sources attribute the censoring to Christians but agree Rabbis also censored the name. Jewish Virtual Library (JVL) "JESUS"
Source: Encyclopedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved

Beginning with the Basle edition of the Talmud (1578–80), those passages in which Jesus was mentioned, as well as other statements alluding to Christianity, were deleted from most editions of the Babylonian Talmud by the Christian censors or even by internal Jewish censorship. These deletions were later collected in special compilations and in manuscripts (cf. R.N.N. Rabbinowicz, Ma'amar al Hadpasat ha-Talmud (1952), 28n.26). From the stories about Jesus in the Babylonian Talmud, it is evident that he was regarded as a rabbinical student who had strayed into evil ways: "May we produce no son or pupil who disgraces himself like Jesus the Nazarene" (Ber. 17b; Sanh. 103a; cf. Dik. Sof. ad loc.). The rabbis were not certain of his time or his activities. Thus he is described as a pupil of *Joshua b. Peraḥyah (Sanh. 107b; see Dik. Sof. ad loc.).
It seems pretty obvious that the Talmud is discussing Jesus, at least in some instances. That in itself should be enough given the preponderance of evidence to put to rest Jesus mythism. A summary of what the most likely passages say about the one I take to be Jesus of Nazareth makes this clear:

*He was born under unusual circumstances, leading some rabbis to address him as ben Pandira and " a bastard of an adulteress."

*mother Mary was Heli's daughter.
*was crucified on the eve of Passover.
* made himself alive by the name of God.
* was a son of a woman. (cf. Galatians 4:4)
* claimed to be God, the son of God, the son of man.
* ascended and claimed that he would return again.
* was near to the kingdom and near to kingship.
* had at least five disciples.
* performed miracles, i.e. practiced "sorcery".
* name has healing power.
* teaching impressed one rabbi.
The Talmud essentially affirms the New Testament teaching on the life and person of Jesus Christ, God's unique Son and Savior of the world.

Before going into that we need to understand what we are looking for. The Talmudic writters don't say "O Jesus of Nazerath is who we are talking about." The counch things in langaue form their world is very different to anything modern Christian would expect to find. they have many nicknames for Jesus, both as derogatory and as part of the self censering. soem of these can be translated as "may his name be blotted out" Others are of doubtful origin, but it is asserted strongly by Rabbis over the centuries that they are Talking about Jesus.Some of htese names include:

*Ben Stada
*Ben Pantira

Origin of Pantera
Talmudic References

Josh McDowell & Bill Wilson
He Walked Among Us: Evidence For The Historical Jesus
Thomas Nelson Publishers-Nashville TN, 1993

Dr. Robert A. Morey
Jesus in the Mishnah and the Talmud
California Institute of Apologetics
PO Box 7447
Orange, CA 92863

Morey quotes from the Soncino edition of the Babylonian Talmud: Footnote in Soncino: "Supposed by Tosah, to be the Mother of Jesus; cf. Shab. 104b in the earlier uncensored editions. Her description Megaddela (hairdresser) is connected by some with the name of Mary Magdalene whose name was confused with the name of Mary, the mother of Jesus." (Ibid., p. 7) Some scholars also see an allusion to the virgin birth of Christ in the term, "son of Pandira." This is due to the fact that "Pandira" seems to be a play on the Greek word for virgin, parthenos, the very term used in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke when recording Jesus' virgin birth. McDowell & Wilson report:

The allusion to virgin is probably not true we will see that below
"... Scholars have debated at length how Jesus came to have this name (i.e., ben Pandira) attached to his. Strauss thought it was from the Greek word pentheros, meaning 'son-in-law.' Klausner and Bruce accept the position that panthera is a corruption of the Greek parthenos meaning 'virgin.' Klausner says, 'The Jews constantly heard that the Christians (the majority of whom spoke Greek from the earliest times) called Jesus by the name "Son of the Virgin"... and so, in mockery, they called him Ben ha-Pantera, i.e., "son of the leopard."'... The theory most sensational but least accepted by serious scholars was dramatized by the discovery of a first century tombstone at Bingerbruck, Germany. The inscription read, 'Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera, an archer, native of Sidon, Phoenicia, who in 9 c.e. was transferred to service in Germany.'... This discovery fueled the fire of the theory that Jesus was the illegitimate son of Mary and the soldier, Panthera. Even Origen writes that his opponent, Celsus, in circa A.D. 178, said that he heard from a Jew that 'Miriam' had become pregnant by 'Pantheras,' a Roman soldier; was divorced by her husband, and bore Jesus in secret.

"If 'Pantheras' were a unique name, the theory of Mary's pregnancy by the Roman soldier might be more attractive to scholars. But Adolf Deissman, the early twentieth-century German New Testament scholar, verified, by first century inscriptions, 'with absolute certainty that Panthera was not an invention of Jewish scoffers, but a widespread name among the ancients.'... Rabbi and Professor Morris Goldstein comments that it was as common as the names Wolf or Fox today. He comments further:

It is noteworthy that Origin himself is credited with the tradition that Panther was the appellation of James (Jacob), the father of Jospeh, the father of Jesus... So, too, Andrew of Crete, John of Damascus, Epiphanius the Monk, and the author of Andronicus of Constantinople's Dialogue Against the Jews, name Panther as an ancestor of Jesus... "Jesus being called by his grandfather's name would also have agreed with a statement in the Talmud permitting this practice. Whereas Christian tradition identified Jesus by his home town, Jewish tradition, having a greater concern for genealogical identification, seems to have preferred this method of identifying Jesus. Goldstein presents more evidence to argue the case convincingly." (McDowell & Wilson, pp. 66-67)
Hence, why or how Jesus came to be called ben Pandira is an issue which scholars have not come to an agreement.
Jesus genealogy in the Talmud

(This pushes it back to First Century)

R. Shimeaon ben 'Azzai said: I found a genealogical roll in Jerusalem wherein was recorded, "Such-an-one is a bastard of an adulteress." McDowell and Wilson state, on the authority of Joseph Klausner, that the phrase such-an-one "is used for Jesus in the Ammoraic period (i.e., fifth century period)." (McDowell & Wilson, p. 69)

this statement is originally in Lightfoot According to the Jewish Tractate of Talmud, the Chagigah a certain person had a dream in which he saw the punishment of the damned. In the dream, "He saw Mary the daughter of Heli amongst the shades..." (John Lightfoot, Commentary On the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica [Oxford University Press, 1859; with a second printing from Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1995], vol. 1, p. v; vol. 3, p.55)

Compare this with Luke 3:23.

One of the oldest sources of Talmud is the Mishna. It dates to second or Third century, but draws upon material that goes back to the fist. There are two Talmuds, Jerusalem and Babylonian. The latter is more important, the Mishna belongs to the former. In the Mishna, this is drawing upon first century sources (see opening quote above)

"Hanged" (crucified) before passover

R. Papa said: When the Mishnah states a MESITH IS A HEDYOT, it is only in respect of hiding witnesses. For it has been taught: And for all others for whom the Torah decrees death, witnesses are not hidden, excepting for this one. How is it done? - A light is lit in an inner chamber, the witnesses are hidden in an outer one [which is in darkness], so that they can see and hear him, but he cannot see them. Then the person he wishes to seduce says to him, "Tell me privately what thou hast proposed to me"; and he does so. Then he remonstrates; "But how shall we forsake our God in Heaven, and serve idols?" If he retracts, it is well. But if he answers: "It is our duty and seemly for us," the witnesses who were listening outside bring him to Beth din, and have him stoned. ["And thus they did to Ben Stada in Lydda, and they hung him on the even of Passover." Ben Stada was Ben Pandira. R. Hisda said: The husband was Stada, the paramour Pandira. But as not the husband Pappos b. Judah? - His mother's name was Stada. But his mother was Miriam, a dresser of woman's hair? - As they say in Pumpbaditha, This woman has turned away (satath da) from her husband, (i.e. committed adultery).] (Morey, p. 6)

These are passages from the Mishna that pertian to Jesus. Of course the information is distorted, and he is doubed "Panther." How he got this name and what it means is undecided. There are more passages pertaining to Jesus crucifiction and Resurrection:
"And it is tradition: On the eve of Passover they hung Jeshu [the Nazarene]. And the crier went forth before him forty days (saying), [Jeshu the Nazarene] goeth forth to be stoned, because he hath practiced magic and deceived and led Israel astray. Anyone who knoweth aught in his favor, let him come and declare concerning him. And they found naught in his favor. And they hung him on the eve of the Passover. Ulla said, 'Would it be supposed that [Jeshu the Nazarene] a revolutionary, had aught in his favor?' He was a deceiver and the Merciful (i.e. God) hath said (Deut. xiii 8), ‘Thou shalt not spare, neither shalt thou conceal him.’ But it was different with [Jeshu the Nazarene] for he was near the kingdom.'" (Sanhedrin 43a) Would you believe that any defense would have been so zealously sought for him? He was a deceiver, and the All-merciful says: "You shall not spare him, neither shall you conceal him." It was different with Jesus, for he was near to the kingship.(McDowell & Wilson, p. 65)
Notice it say he was "hung." But Raymond Brown in Death of the Messiah establishes the fact that "hung" was a euphemism for crucifiction. So what they really saying is that he was crucified.

Here is what Jewish Virtual Library says about the same passage:

In the Middle Ages, Jehiel of Paris claimed that there was no connection between Jesus, the pupil of Joshua b. Peraḥyah and Jesus the Nazarene (Vikku'aḥ, ed. by R. Margaliot (1928), 16f.). In one baraita Jesus appears as a sorcerer and enticer who led people astray. "They hanged Jesus on the eve of Passover. Forty days earlier a proclamation was issued that he was to be stoned for practicing sorcery and for enticing and leading Israel astray." "Let anyone who can speak in his favor come forward." "Nothing in his favor was discovered and they hanged him on the eve of Passover." The date given for the hanging, the 14th of Nisan, agrees with the date given in John 19:14. (In the Gospels the date given is the first day of the festival which is the 15th day of Nisan.) In conformity with the halakhah (Sanh. 7:4) he was sentenced to stoning, the penalty for enticing, leading astray, or practicing sorcery. After the stoning he was hanged, since all who are put to death by stoning are subsequently hanged, according to R. Eliezer who often transmits ancient halakhah (Sanh. 6:4). Jesus was crucified, i.e., hanged alive, "as is done by the non-Jewish government" (Sif. Deut. 221). In the talmudic account, however, his death conforms with the death penalty of the bet din as prescribed by the halakhah.
Jesus' Resurrection
"And he took up his parable and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this! R. Simeon b. Lakish said: Woe unto him who maketh himself alive by the name of God. [a covert allusion to Jesus.]" (Sanhedrin 106a)
Jesus' Deity
Christian Author Michael Green quotes a rabbi named Eliezar, writing about AD 160, who writes:

"God saw that a man, son of a woman, was to come forward in the future, who would attempt to make himself God and lead the whole world astray. And if he says he is God he is a liar. And he will lead men astray, and say that he will depart and will return at the end of days." (Green, Who is this Jesus? [Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992], p. 60- cited in We Believe Series - Basics of Christianity, Jesus Knowing Our Savior, author Max Anders [Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995], p. 136)

Rabbi Eliezer ha-Kappar said: God gave strength to his (Balaam's) voice so that it went from one end of the world to the other, because he looked forth and beheld the nations that bow down to the sun and moon and stars, and to wood and stone, and he looked forth and saw that there was a man, born of a woman, who should rise up and seek to make himself God, and to cause the whole world to go astray. Therefore God gave power to the voice of Balaam that all the peoples of the world might hear, and thus he spake: Give heed that ye go not astray after that man, for is written, 'God is not a man that he should lie.' And if he says that he is God, he is a liar; and he will deceive and say that he departed and cometh again at the end. He saith and he shall not perform. See what is written: And he took up his parable and said, 'Alas, when God doeth this.' Balaam said, Alas, who shall live - of what nation which heareth that man who hath made himself God."
(Yalkut Shimeon, [Salonica] sec. 725 on wayissa mishalo [Num. 23. 7], according to Midrash Y'lamm'denue)

Another rabbi, writing a hundred years after Eliezer, states:

"Rabbi Abahu said, If a man says 'I am God,' he lies; if he says, 'I am the Son of man' he shall rue it; 'I will go up to heaven,' (to this applies Num. xxiii 19) he saith, but shall not perform it." (Jerusalem Talmud Taanith-65b

Well all of that tells us that the Jews were aware of Christiantiy and barrowed from Christian stories to refute and debunck it, and that they did this as early as AD160. But none of that really indicates that that they have anything orignally form the Jewish community that historically verifies Jesus, accept that they do seem to affirm that he existed. They are clealry talking about him as a flesh and blood man in history. They never argue that he didn't exist. But there's more, there's a more posative argument, but we must wade through a lot of stuff to get to it.

A Rabbi quotes Jesus in Talmud

February 4, 2016

that link is to a page historian giving an amazing reference to Jesus in the Talmud that I have not heard before. This was brought to my attention by a guy on a message boardl.

From  the secular Café. Here is  post--No Robots is his name:

Here is one significant passage from the Talmud:
Our Rabbis taught: When R. Eliezer was arrested because of Minuth they brought him up to the tribune to be judged. Said the governor to him, 'How can a sage man like you occupy himself with those idle things?' He replied, 'I acknowledge the Judge as right.' The governor thought that he referred to him — though he really referred to his Father in Heaven — and said, 'Because thou hast acknowledged me as right, I pardon; thou art acquitted.' When he came home, his disciples called on him to console him, but he would accept no consolation. Said R. Akiba to him, 'Master, wilt thou permit me to say one thing of what thou hast taught me?' He replied, 'Say it.' 'Master,' said he, 'perhaps some of the teaching of the Minim had been transmitted to thee and thou didst approve of it and because of that thou wast arrested?' He exclaimed: 'Akiba thou hast reminded me.' I was once walking in the upper-market of Sepphoris when I came across one of the disciples of Jesus the Nazarene Jacob of Kefar-Sekaniah by name, who said to me: It is written in your Torah, Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot … into the house of the Lord thy God. May such money be applied to the erection of a retiring place for the High Priest? To which I made no reply. Said he to me: Thus was I taught by Jesus the Nazarene, For of the hire of a harlot hath she gathered them and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return. They came from a place of filth, let them go to a place of filth. Those words pleased me very much, and that is why I was arrested for apostacy; for thereby I transgressed the scriptural words, Remove thy way far from her — which refers to minuth — and come not nigh to the door of her house, — which refers to the ruling power.—Abodah Zarah, folio 16b-17a
And here is Constantin Brunner's comment on this passage from his essay against the Christ myth theory:
The passage in Avodah zavah 16a deserves special attention: it is the most remarkable reference to Jeshua in the talmudic tractates, ascribing to him as it does a certain spiritual significance. It speaks of him as one who taught; things learned from him had come down, through his disciple Jacob of the village of Zechania, to Eliezer b. Hyrcanus, who adopted this tradition. In fact, Rabbi Eliezer b. Hyrcanus was one of the most distinguished Tannaim, the brother-in-law of the Patriarch Gamaliel II.; he was also called Eliezer the Great. And so this Rabbi Eliezer, who lived in the first Christian century, speaks of an opinion of Christ which had come down to him from a disciple of Christ (and some identified this Jacob with Christ's brother). This seems to me to be an important fact, particularly as it touches Christ's historical reality, and I find it astonishing that the critics have thus far paid no attention to it. Moreover, it is more than probable that important, really important sayings of Christ (not under his own name, of course) are contained in Talmud and Midrash. There are plenty of sayings and parables of great clarity, beauty and dignity which could have come from his mouth.
For those having difficulty understanding all this, a famous rabbi was called to account for repeating an opinion of Jesus of Nazareth that a whore's donation to the temple should be used for the priests' toilets, from filth to filth.

Super. If that is true think Jesus' sense of humor there. 

See the Celsus page next as it is demonstrated that he used information from the Talmud and he understood the Jews to have an authoritative historical tradition connecting to the first century that saw Jesus as a man in history.