Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

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Giuseppe
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Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:32 pm

I like a lot this Talmudic passage:

Jesus was hanged on Passover Eve. Forty days previously the herald had cried, “He is being led out for stoning, because he has practiced sorcery and led Israel astray and enticed them into apostasy. Whosoever has anything to say in his defense, let him come and declare it.” As nothing was brought forward in his defense, he was hanged on Passover Eve.

(Tractate Sanhedrin 43a)

Curiously, also John the Baptist preached still for 40 days about a coming event, before Jesus started the his preaching. But the difference is evident in the similarity:

1) the herald preached the coming death of the sorcerer Jesus (judged by men), while in the Gospels JB preached the coming End of this world (judged by God).

2) after 40 days, the sorcerer Jesus was hanged, while in the Gospels after the same time JB was arrested.

So was the Talmudic passage written in reaction to the incipit of Mark? It seems that the talmudist realized a secret rivalry between John and Jesus and accordingly he reversed the roles: the herald preaches now the coming judgement of the presumed messianic Judge. Whereas JB seems a loser in the Gospels, now the "herald" is the winner.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:34 pm

So was the Talmudic passage written in reaction to the incipit of Mark?
Really? What's next - the Talmud comments on the Brady Bunch? Please stop with this nonsense.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:38 pm

the rabbinic tales are preserved in writings some centuries after the gospels were written but it is reasonable to accept that some of them, or at least their predecessors, go back even to Second Temple (pre 70 CE) times. So I like only to inquiry the possibility above described.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:45 pm

But aren't you implying that the Talmud read the gospel of Mark?
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Secret Alias
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Re: Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:46 pm

It's odd the way you interpret history. 'History' is whatever you think is real. It's like you engage in 'Biblical studies' so as to act as God and 'allow' certain things to exist and others to 'die.' Perverse.
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Re: Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by rakovsky » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:51 am

Yeah, it's a weird coincidence about john preaching and crying 40 days and the unnamed herald crying 40 days.

I am inclined to think that the Talmud passages about both A.) Nakdimon and the 12 festival water vessels, and B.) the killing of Nakdimon the disciple of Yeshu are cryptically related to Nicodemus in the NT.

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Re: Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by John2 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:15 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:51 am
Yeah, it's a weird coincidence about john preaching and crying 40 days and the unnamed herald crying 40 days.

I am inclined to think that the Talmud passages about both A.) Nakdimon and the 12 festival water vessels, and B.) the killing of Nakdimon the disciple of Yeshu are cryptically related to Nicodemus in the NT.
I think the names of the five disciples of Jesus mentioned in San. 43a are based on the OT. And in Nakai's case, it says:
Then they brought Nakai in to stand trial. Nakai said to the judges: Shall Nakai be executed? But isn’t it written: “And the innocent [naki] and righteous you shall not slay” (Exodus 23:7)? They said to him: Yes, Nakai shall be executed, as it is written: “In secret places he kills the innocent [naki]” (Psalms 10:8).

https://www.sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.43a?lang=bi
The other four disciples get the same treatment. So if Nakai corresponds with Nicodemus and/or Nakdimon, then who do Mattai (though I will give you this one as far as the name goes), Buni, Netzer and Toda correspond with, and when were they executed?
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Re: Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by rakovsky » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:23 pm

One Church tradition goes that Matthai or Matthew was killed in Jerusalem. I would have to research proposals for the Greek or Christian names of the others.

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Re: Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by John2 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:54 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:23 pm
One Church tradition goes that Matthai or Matthew was killed in Jerusalem. I would have to research proposals for the Greek or Christian names of the others.
I've never thought about how the disciples died before (besides Peter), but I thought I'd offer a link (the first one I found) that discusses this.
How Did the Apostles Die? ...

Matthew, the tax collector and writer of a Gospel, ministered in Persia and Ethiopia. Some of the oldest reports say he was not martyred, while others say he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia ...

Matthais was the apostle chosen to replace Judas. Tradition sends him to Syria with Andrew and to death by burning.

https://www.christianity.com/church/chu ... 29558.html


I'm curious to know more about how Matthew (and Matthias) died (or was thought to have died). And when do you think the gospel of Matthew was written?
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Re: Sanhedrin 43a: who is the "herald"?

Post by DCHindley » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:00 pm

John2 wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:15 pm
So if Nakai corresponds with Nicodemus and/or Nakdimon, then who do Mattai (though I will give you this one as far as the name goes), Buni, Netzer and Toda correspond with, and when were they executed?
There is a lengthy exegesis of this passage in R Travers Herford's Christianity in Talmud & Midrash (English, 1903):
[90] THE DISCIPLES OF JESUS

(25) b. Sanh. 43a. Our Rabbis have taught, Jesus had five disciples Matthai, Neqai, Netzer, Buni, and Thodah.

They brought Matthai [before the judges]. He said, 'Must Matthai be killed? For it is written [Ps. xlii. 2]: Mathai [ = when] shall (I) come and appear before God.' They said to him, 'Yes, Matthai must be killed, for it is written [Ps. xli. 5]: Mathai [ = when] shall (he) die and his name perish.'

They brought Neqai. He said to them, 'Must Neqai be killed? For it is written [Ex. xxiii. 7]: The Naqi [ = innocent] and the righteous thou shalt not slay.' They said to him, 'Yes, Neqai must be killed, for it is written [Ps. x. 8]: In secret places [91] doth he slay Naqi [ = the innocent].'

They brought Netzer. He said, 'Must Netzer be killed? For it is written [Isa. xi. 1]: Netzer [ = a branch] shall spring up from his roots.' They said to him, 'Yes, Netzer must be killed. For it is written [Isa. xiv. 19]: Thou art cast forth out of thy grave like an abominable Netzer [ = branch].'

They brought Buni. He said to them, 'Must Buni be killed? For it is written [Ex. iv. 22]: B'ni [ = my son], my first born, Israel.' They said to him, 'Yes, Buni must be killed. For it is written [Ex. iv. 23]: Behold, I slay Bincha [ = thy son] thy first born.'

They brought Thodah. He said to them, 'Must Thodah be killed? For it is written [Ps. c. 1]: A Psalm for Thodah [ = thanksgiving].' They said to him, 'Yes, Thodah must be killed, for it is written [Ps. 1. 23]: Whoso sacrificeth Thodah [ = thanksgiving] honoureth me.'

Commentary. -- This passage is the continuation of the preceding one [Herford's #24, on the Heralds and crucufixion of Jesus], and I have only divided the two for convenience of separate treatment. It is probable that the passage already considered, No. (21), which in the editions of the Talmud is found on p. 67a of Sanhedrin, also forms part of the same paragraph about Jesus. Thus it would contain, first, the description of the witnesses, then the execution, and lastly the account of the five disciples. If this is so, then it is clear why the place of execution (Lydda) is not mentioned in the second and third passages (22), (25), since it has already been mentioned in (21). This is Laible's suggestion. The [92] reason for their being divided in the Talmud would be that the division of subject required it, the account of the death of Jesus being introduced in a discussion about the stoning of certain criminals, and the description of the manner of concealing witnesses finding its proper place later in a discussion upon deceivers of the people. The passage which we have now to consider is merely a pendant to the account of the death of Jesus, describing with a certain ferocious humour the fate of five of his disciples. These are said to have been condemned to death ; and when they quoted Scripture texts as a plea for their lives, they were met with other texts demolishing their plea. That any tribunal of justice, or of arbitrary violence, ever conducted its business in such a manner, it is hard to believe; and we can only regard this fencing with texts as a jeu d'esprit, occasioned no doubt by some actual event. That event would naturally be an execution of Christian disciples, if such took place. The dialogue as given in the Talmud can certainly not be taken as historical ; but it may yet give some in dication of the historical circumstances under which it was composed. Little or nothing can be learnt from the names of the five disciples ; only the first, Matthai, has any close resemblance to a name in the list of the twelve (Matt. x. 2-4). The last, Thodah, is not unlike Thaddeeus ; but in Hebrew that name would be Thaddai, not Thodah. The others, Naqi, Netzer, and Buni,1 have no parallels in the list of the [93] Twelve; indeed, it is doubtful whether they, and Thodah, were ever names of persons at all. At most they may have been nick-names, and they certainly raise the suspicion that they have been chosen for the sake of the texts. I suggest that the case stands thus: five disciples of Jesus, i.e. five Christians, were on some occasion condemned to death, that their real names, if known, were not mentioned, that one of them was designated Matthai with reference to the name attached to the first Gospel, that the play upon his name suggested a similar device in the case of the others, and that for them other names were invented, each of which had some reference to Jesus, as regarded of course by Christians. Thus Naqi, the innocent, is obviously applicable to Jesus from the Christian point of view, and is as obviously satirical from that of the Rabbis, as already shown. Netzer, the branch, is the Hebrew word occurring in the two texts quoted from Isaiah, of which the former was interpreted Messianically, and would therefore be applied to Jesus. But perhaps more probably there is a reference to the name Notzri, the Nazarene, which we have already met with as an epithet of Jesus (for the derivation of the word Notzri, and its meaning, see above, p. 52 n.). Buni, as used in both the texts, is taken to mean my son, a frequent designation of the Messiah, and therefore applicable by Christians to Jesus. For the name Thodah, praise, I do not know any connexion with Jesus ; but it is possible that the apt retort of the second text, whoso sacrificeth [94] Thodah honoureth me, may have suggested the whole series, and thus that the name Thodah was a pure invention.

It is natural to infer from the passage that all the five disciples were condemned on the same occasion, and this at once excludes the possibility that any of the original Twelve are referred to. At least no Christian tradition exists which specifies any five out of the Twelve as having met with such a fate. But the fact that the five were called disciples of Jesus only implies that they were Christians, not that they were contemporaries of Jesus. Therefore we may look for them, if necessary, at some later period. The fact that the prisoners quoted texts of Scripture, and were met with other texts, suggests that the trial took place before a Jewish and not a Roman tribunal. Not, of course, that such a thrust and parry of texts really took place anywhere, but that it would be impossible in a Roman court and only a witty travesty of what would be possible in a Jewish one. Laible (J. C. im Talm., p. 68 fol.) makes the very probable suggestion that the story refers to the persecution of Christians under Bar Cocheba, already mentioned. It is a fantastic account of some incident of that persecution. The reasons for taking this view are, that the story occurs in the same passage as that which describes the death of Jesus, and that we have found the key to the understanding of the statements there made about Jesus in the anti-Christian hatred of Bar Cocheba, and more especially of Aqiba, his chief supporter. So far as I know, there is no other period than this (132-135 A.D.) at which Christians were persecuted and even put to death by Jews. [95] The Christians would, of course, be of Jewish extraction.

92n1 It is, however, worthy of note that in b. Taan. 19b, 20a, is related a story of Naqdimon b. Gorion, a rich citizen of Jerusalem, and it is added in a note that his real name was not Naqdimon, but Buni. Now Naqdimon is equivalent to Nicodemus. There may, therefore, be an allusion to Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night (John iii. 1). [Yeah, the formatting is mine]
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