Talmudic Sources on Jesus

Talmudic Sources on Jesus

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The Talmud is Rabbinical commentaries that begin about the second century but they draw upon even older material. Soem parts of the Jerusalem Talmud go back to the frist century and even before. (See: Michael L. Rodkinson: The History of the Talmud. – http://www.come-and-hear.com/talmud/rodkin_ii1.html : “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 certian figures, some named “Yeshua” and others called by deogatory nick names, to prove the Jews wrote about Jesus. But modern Jewish scholars have given up that pasttime and now deny that any of these references pertian to Jesus.

JP Holding (See: http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/talmud.php)

Tekton: Building Blocks for Chritian faith.
the Rabbis: Polemia Overdose
“We will not spend much time on the writings of the rabbis, for there is very little of value that they can offer in this context. Some even doubt that Jesus is referred to at all: Meier writes that the rabbinic sources contain “no clear or even probable reference” to Jesus, and may be considered primarily as reactions to Christian claims. [Meie.MarJ, 96-7] Yamauchi cites Twelftree (see also Twel.GosP5) as saying that the Talmud references are “of almost no value to the historian in his search for the historical Jesus,” although a contrary view is also offered by Wilcox, who recommends that the material may be used, albeit cautiously.” [Wilk.JUF, 211].
When even Evangelical apologists such as J.P. Holding give up on the Talmud as evidence of the historical Jesus it’s time to throw in the towel. Holding says:

“In light of the above, there is no need for us to run over each of the rabbinic citations here. The single point that may be derived from them is, again, that it provides no indication that Jesus was a mythical figure; inasmuch as it accepts Jesus’ historicity, and does not doubt it, it provides positive evidence that Jesus did exist. Wilson [Wils.EvJ, 65] agrees with this assessment, saying that “From the fact that (the rabbis) concentrated on smearing (Jesus’) legitimacy (rather than focusing on the issue of Jesus’ existence), we may deduce that they had no grounds whatever for doubting his historical existence.” And France agrees that, “Such polemic, often using ‘facts’ quite distinct from what Christians believed, is hardly likely to have arisen within less than a century around a non-existent figure.” [Franc.EvJ, 39] Some scholars do argue that the references also have value in what else they affirm, do not deny, and provide no contradictory tradition for: That Jesus had disciples, worked miracles, and was executed on the eve of Passover. (See particularly Harv.JesC, 30-1.) Aside from that, the Talmud and other Jewish references are of marginal value.”

Maybe its’ just my Texas stuborness, but I still think there is more to be gotten out of the Talmud than just an argument form silence, although the Jesus Myther’s have no room to complain about that. Still, we can see the Talmud is Plainly talking about Jesus of Nazerath. First, Rabbis have never deneid it. Rabbis have using the talmudis stories of Jesus for centuries to illustraet the problems with Christianity. Secondly, they were confident enough that this was Jesus that they actually took the mentions of name out at one point to avoid attacks by anti-semitic Christians.

Sam Shamoun (See: http://answering-islam.org.uk/Shamoun/talmud_jesus.htm)

“Jesus in Rabbinic Traditions”

“It is not surprising to find the Talmud referring to Jesus, his mother and his disciples. In fact, some of the material coincides with the NT depiction of Jesus and the Jewish ruling council’s assessment of his person and mission. The following statements are taken from the Soncino edition of the Babylon Talmud as cited in Robert A. Morey’s pamphlet Jesus in the Mishnah and Talmud. We will also be using Josh McDowell & Bill Wilson’s He Walked Among Us unless noted otherwise.”

“Before proceeding, we must point out that at one time the following Talmudic references were believed to have been lost. This is due to the fact that in the seventeenth century, Jewish rabbis took steps to expunge all references to Jesus. This act was motivated primarily by the Church’s persecution of the Jews. Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson explain:”

“… in light of the persecutions, the Jewish communities imposed censorship on themselves to remove references to Jesus in their writings so that they might no longer be a target of attack. Morris Goldstein, former Professor of Old and New Testament Literature at the Pacific School of Religion, relates: Thus, in 1631 the Jewish Assembly of Elders in Poland declared: ‘We enjoin you under the threat of the great ban to publish in no new edition of the Mishnah or the Gemara anything that refers to Jesus of Nazareth… If you will not diligently heed this letter, but run counter thereto and continue to publish our books in the same manner as heretofore, you might bring over us and yourselves still greater sufferings than in previous times.’”

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.

As a result of the twofold censorship the usual volumes of Rabbinic literature contain only a distorted remnant of supposed allusions to Jesus …” (Ibid, pp. 58-59)

It seems pretty obvious that the Talmud is discussing Jesus, at least in some enstances. A summary of what the most liley passages say about theone I take to be Jesus of Nazerath makes this clear:

a Summary of what is said about the charactors who seem go by these names:

*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

I. Origin of Pantera

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:

“… 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.
we can push it back to the fifth century:

Shomoun, Ibid:
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)

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 Thrid century, but draws upon mateial that goes back to the fist. There are two Talmuds, Jerusalem and Babylonian. The latter is more improtant, the Mishna belons to the former. In the Mishna, this is drawing upon first century sources (see opening quote above)

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, I’ll deal with that at leangth by quoting a huge footnote by Shomoun, but latter for that. There are more passages pertaining to Jesus crucifiction and Resurrection:

II. Jesus’ Crucifixion

“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.

III. 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)

IV. 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)

How obvious can you get?

“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 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 and 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.


I. Geneology

The geneology of Jesus was known to the Jews, is mentioned in the Talmud and shows up in the use of the name “panteria.” This is duscussed above where it is said that the use of that name is the jewish preference for a geneological connection. Another quotion above:

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)

So geneological connections tie the figure of Pantera to Jesus of Nazerath. Of course mythological figures would not have geneological connections. Jesus Mother, brother, and family are mentioned throughout many sources.

II. Celsus

Celsus demonstrates a connection to the material of the Talmud, indicating that that material about Jesus was around in a leaast the second century. Since Jewish sources would not have been reidaly avaible to Celsus it seems reasonable to assume that this information had been floating around for some time, and easier to obtain. Therefore, we can at least went back to the early second, late frist century.

Origin quoting Celsus: Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthйra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.”

So we estabilsh:

(1) Mary was poor and worked with her hands

(2) husband was a carpenter

(3)Mary committed adultery with Roman soldier named Panthera. (where have we heard this before?)

(4) Jesus as bastard

(5) driven to Egypt where Jesus leanred magic.

All of these points are made in the Talmudic passages. This can be seen both above and on the next page. The use of the name Panthera is a dead give away. Clearly Celsus got this info from the Talmud. Christians never used the name Panthera. He could only hae gotten it form the Talmud and these are very charges the Talmudists made.

Here is a mishna passage, which makes most of the points. Being from the Mishna it would draw upon first century material:
MISHNAH.[104b] If one writes on his flesh, he is culpable; He who scratches a mark on his flesh. He who scratches a mark on his flesh, [etc.] It was taught, R. Eliezar said to the sages: But did not Ben Stada bring forth witchcraft from Egypt by means of scratches [in the form of charms] upon his flesh? He was a fool, answered they, proof cannot be adduced from fools. [Was he then the son of Stada: surely he was the son of Pandira? – Said R. Hisda: The husband was Stada, the paramour was Pandira. But the husband was Pappos b. Judah? – his mother was Stada. But his mother was Miriam the hairdresser? – It is as we said in Pumbeditha: This is one has been unfaithful to (lit., ‘turned away from’- satath da) her husband.] (Shabbath 104b)

In fact Origin himself almost hints at spcial knowledge of Jesus “ture” origns, what would that knowldge be? Christian knolwege would be posative and not contian many of the poitns, such as Mary being a spinner or hair dresser. No Christians ever said that. It was suspect for a woman to work. That’s an insutl to her.

The following quotes are taken from Celsus On the True Doctrine, translated by R. Joseph Hoffman, Oxford University Press, 1987:


“Let us imagine what a Jew- let alone a philosopher- might say to Jesus: ‘Is it not true, good sir, that you fabricated the story of your birth from a virgin to quiet rumourss about the true and insavoury circumstances of your origins? Is it not the case that far from being born in the royal David’s city of bethlehem, you were born in a poor country town, and of a woman who earned her living by spinning? Is it not the case that when her deceit was uncovered, to wit, that she was pregnant by a roman soldier called Panthera she was driven away by her husband- the carpenter- and convicted of adultery?” (57).

why a Jew? or Philospher? Celsus was obviously reading the jewish sources. This is one of the charges made in the Talmud.

Here he claims to have secret knowledge that Christians don’t have:
“I could continue along these lines, suggesting a good deal about the affairs of Jesus’ life that does not appear in your own records. Indeed, what I know to be the case and what the disciples tell are two very different stories… [for example] the nonsensical idea that Jesus foresaw everything that was to happen to him (an obvious attempt to conceal the humiliating facts).” (62).

where is that from? It has to be the Talmud, or sources commonly drawn upon by the Talmud.

But how does this prove it was Jesus? Celsus sure thought it was. Apparently his Jeiwsh contracts told him this is the staright scoup on Jesus’ life. We see that everyhwere in the Talmud Jesus is talked about as a living person,and connections are made to his family and geneology.

Celsus pushes the knoledge back to late second century, but due to the aviability or Rabbinical writtings it must have been around for some time before that. The Jews were very consicous of geneologies and family connections. why wouldthey not pick up on the fact that Jesus had none and no one had ever seen him personaly, if indeed that was the case?
I will now examine several Talmudic passages in slightely greater depth:

these are found on the westie of Gil Student. Student argues that the evidence is too veg to say that Jesus is spoken of in even one passage in the whole of the Talmud. But let’s see.

Gil Student (See: http://www.angelfire.com/mt/talmud/jesusnarr.html)

“The Jesus narrative in the Talmud”
Talmud Shabbat 104b, Sanhedrin 67a>
“It is taught: R. Eliezer told the sages: Did not Ben Stada bring witchcraft with him from Egypt in a cut that was on his skin? They said to him: He was a fool and you cannot bring proof from a fool.”

Ben Stada is Ben Pandira.

R. Chisda said: “The husband was Stada and the lover was Pandira.

[No,] the husband was Pappos Ben Yehudah and the mother was Stada.

[No,] the mother was Miriam the women’s hairdresser [and was called Stada]. As we say in Pumbedita: She has turned away [Stat Da] from her husband.”

“What we see from here is that there was a man named Ben Stada who was considered to be a practicer of black magic. His mother was named Miriam and also called Stada. His father was named Pappos Ben Yehudah. Miriam (Stada) had an affair with Pandira from which Ben Stada was born.”

“Some historians claim that Ben Stada, also known as Ben Pandira, was Jesus. His mother’s name was Miriam which is similar to Mary. Additionally, Miriam was called a women’s hairdresser, “megadla nashaia” [for this translation, see R. Meir Halevi Abulafia, Yad Rama, Sanhedrin ad. loc.]. The phrase “Miriam megadla nashaia” sounds similar to Mary Magdalene, a well-known New Testament figure.”

Here’s where Student argues against the passage being about Jesus, as he does with all the passages:


1. Mary Magdalene was not Jesus’ mother. Neither was Mary a hairdresser.

Of course the hair dresser bit is new information that would be part of the unique Jewish soruces and kept out fo the Gosepsl, or if we look at it in another way, added as propaganda value since a working woman was supect. We see from Celsus’ comments tha they also said she spun for living. Association wiht Mary Magdelon is based upon the assumption of a pun. Maybe they weren’t making a pun. Maybe they were just running two figures from the Gospels together as if to say they all common women.

2. Jesus’ step-father was Joseph. Ben Stada’s step-father was Pappos Ben Yehudah.

Who knows what that means. It looks offhand like its dervied from the Roman Pappa, meaning father, ben = son, Yehudah might mean something derogatory.

3. Pappos Ben Yehudah is a known figure from other places in talmudic literature. The Mechilta Beshalach (Vayehi ch. 6) has him discussing Torah with Rabbi Akiva and Talmud Berachot 61b has Pappos Ben Yehudah being captured and killed by Romans along with Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva lived during the second half of the first century and the first half of the second century. He died in the year 134. If Pappos Ben Yehudah was a contemporary of Rabbi Akiva’s, he must have been born well after Jesus’ death and certainly could not be his father.

that leads me to suspect that his use here is polemical.

Passage #3: Trial
Talmud Sanhedrin 67a

“It is taught: For all others liable for the death penalty [except for the enticer to idolatry] we do not hide witnesses. How do they deal with [the enticer]? They light a lamp for him in the inner chamber and place witnesses in the outer chamber so that they can see and hear him while he cannot see or hear them. One says to him “Tell me again what you said to me in private” and he tells him. He says “How can we forsake our G-d in heaven and worship idolatry?” If he repents, good. If he says “This is our obligation and what we must do” the witnesses who hear him from outside bring him to the court and stone him. And so they did to Ben Stada in Lud and hung him on the eve of Passover.”

“This passage discusses how an enticer to idolatry, one of the worst religious criminals (see Deuteronomy 13:7-12), was caught. The Talmud then continues and says that this was the method used to catch the notorious Ben Stada.”

“Again we see Ben Stada. Above we were told that he performed witchcraft and we are now told that he was an idolater as well. The connection to Jesus is that Ben Stada is connected to Jesus in the passage above and that he was executed on the eve of Passover. The Gospel of John (19:14) has Jesus being executed on the eve of Passover.”


1. The same problems above connecting Ben Stada to Jesus apply here as well, including his living almost a century after Jesus.

Now wait a minute, if he’s basing that upon the passage above that talks abou the grandpa, Pappos Ben Yehuda, then he’s just assuming that Ben STada also lives latter than the time in which the grandpa is palced in the other passage. That in no ways means that they are writting of this figure with historical accruacy. They are barrowign him and placing him into the Stada narrative for polemical reasons, but it doenst’ say when Ben Stadda lived. Thus Student is pulling a fast one. There is no proof that Ben Stadda lived after the time of Jesus!

2. Ben Stada was stoned by a Jewish court and not crucified by the Roman government like Jesus.

O but wait! in the passage is says he was stoned then hung! that curcial because we know that “hung” is eunphemism for crucifiction (Ray Brown, Death of the Messiah).

3. The Synoptic Gospels say that Jesus was executed on Passover itself (Matthew 26:18-20; Mark 14:16-18; Luke 22:13-15) and not the eve of Passover. Yea but he just got through saying that John places it on the eve. Ray Brown talks abuot the problem of the exact time frame of the crucifiction and the three days in the tomb. One solution is that Jesus nd co were followers of the Qumran Calender which would put them a day ahdead. Thus for the early chruch he ws crucified on passavoer and for the phrisees the day before. Talmudists are decendents of the Pharisees.

4. Jesus was not crucified in Lud.

I don’t know where Lud is. They could be wrong aobut the place for any number of reasons.
Ibid (Student)

“Here we have the story of the execution of Yeshu. Like Ben Stada, he was also executed on the eve of Passover. Before executing him, the court searched for any witnesses who could clear his name, as was normally done before any execution. Ulla, however, questioned this practice. An enticer, due to the biblical mandate not to be merciful, should not be afforded this normal consideration. The Talmud answers that Yeshu was different. Because of his government connections, the court tried to search for any reason not to execute him and upset the government.”

sounds to me like tounge in cheek way of saying he “king of the Jews,” the tag put on him by Pilate.


“Again we see Yeshu. All of the proofs from above connecting Yeshu to Jesus apply here as well. Additionally, the execution on the eve of Passover is another connection to Jesus as above with Ben Stada.”


1. As mentioned above with Ben Stada, the Synoptic Gospels have Jesus being executed on Passover itself and not the eve of Passover.

Problematic, see above.

2. As above, Yeshu lived a century before Jesus.

based upon what? How do we know that? the other such claim was a false hood

3. Yeshu was executed by a Jewish court and not by the Romans. During Yeshu’s time, the reign of Alexander Janneus, the Jewish courts had the power to execute but had to be careful because the courts were ruled by the Pharisees while the king was a Sadducee. It seems clear why the courts would not want to unneccesarily upset the monarch by executing a friend of his. During the Roman occupation of Jesus’ time, there is no indication that the Jewish courts had the right to execute criminals.

That’s a good indication that the account is written much after the time of Chrsit,when the eidtor/author didnt’ know the situation of Chrit’s time. It might also be just embellishment.

3. There is no indication from the New Testament that Jesus had friends in the government.

But it would be insulting to him to say that he was freinds with th profane Janneus.

Passage #5: Disciples
Talmud Sanhedrin 43a

It is taught: Yeshu had five disciples – Matai, Nekai, Netzer, Buni, and Todah.

They brought Matai [before the judges]. He said to them: Will Matai be killed? It is written (Psalm 42:2) “When [=Matai] shall (I) come and appear before G-d.”

They said to him: Yes, Matai will be killed as it is written (Psalm 41:5) “When [=Matai] shall (he) die and his name perish.”

They brought Nekai. He said to them: Will Nekai be killed? It is written (Exodus 23:7) “The innocent [=Naki] and the righteous you shall not slay.” They said to him: Yes, Nekai will be killed as it is written (Psalm 10:8) “In secret places he slay the innocent [=Naki].”

They brought Netzer. He said to them: Will Netzer be killed? It is written (Isaiah 11:1) “A branch [=Netzer] shall spring up from his roots.” They said to him: Yes, Netzer will be killed as it is written (Isaiah 14:19) “You are cast forth out of your grave like an abominable branch [=Netzer].”

They brought Buni. He said to them: Will Buni be killed? It is written (Exodus 4:22) “My son [=Beni], my firstborn, Israel.” They said to him: Yes, Buni will be killed as it is written (Exodus 4:23) “Behold, I slay your son [=Bincha] your firstborn.”

They brought Todah. He said to them: Will Todah be killed? It is written (Psalm 100:1) “A Psalm for thanksgiving [=Todah].” They said to him: Yes, Todah will be killed as it is written (Psalm 50:23) “Whoever sacrifices thanksgiving [=Todah] honors me.”


“Five of Yeshu’s disciples were brought before a court, tried for the crime against G-d and society of idolatry, and executed according to biblical law. This passages presents each disciple cleverly bringing a biblical verse in an attempt to exonerate himself and the court responding likewise.”


The name Yeshu is used as above. The additional proof this passage provides is that Matai is the Hebrew equivalent of Matthew, one of Jesus’ disciples.


1. The same problems above connecting Yeshu to Jesus apply here.

2. Of the five disciples, only one is recognized. What of the other four?

3. The name Matai seems like a nickname or Aramaic equivalent of Matityahu, which was a known Jewish name in that time period. It was probably a common name, considering the high esteem in which the patriarch of the Hasmonean dynasty, Matityahu, was held by the common people. Some manuscripts have the name of R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah’s famous colleague as Matai from Arbel [cf. R. Shimon Ben Tzemach Duran, Magen Avot, ed. Zeini (Jerusalem:2000) p. 31].

This passage is probably pretty worthless for establishing Jesus in the Talmud. Any of these above could be references to Jesus. The fact is we probably dont’ have any references that are of any value now, they were expunged in the self censor, or mixed and mingaled over the years with other stories so that they are of little Vaule. What is clear is that Celsus had easy access to the Talmudic Mishna materials of his day, and he clearly understood them to be speaking of Jesus the leader of the Christians. WE may nhot have hte original material,so know about Jesus what the Talmudists knew. But it’s clear they had some historical data of him and that they always regarded him as a flesh and blood man in history.