Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Ben C. Smith
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Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:03 pm

I have been collecting possible Jewish references to Jesus or to Christians for quite a while now, little by little. There is quite a bit of material. I am by no means through sorting and sifting, but I thought I would at least attempt to present the material in as cogent a way as possible.

First, I will simply offer a raw list of references. Second, I will comb through those references to find certain themes and then present those texts together for ease of reference. These themes will be presented over multiple posts, with links to each:
I may or may not add more posts and links as needed.

Ben.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:04 pm

The following is a raw list of the passages in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, and the Talmud (in tractate order within each compilation; Jerusalem Talmud before Babylonian) which might be interpreted as referring to Jesus, to his disciples or other followers, or to his family. A tilde ~ in brackets [] means that the underlined word or phrase is replaced by another in some manuscripts; a plus sign + in brackets [] means that some manuscripts add a word or phrase at that spot:

Mishnah

Mishnah, Yevamoth 4.13: 13 Who is deemed to be a bastard [מַמְזֵר] (= Deuteronomy 23.2)? “Anyone forbidden due to family relations.” This is the ruling of Rabbi Akiva. Shimon the Yemenite said, “The penalty for which is karet at the hands of heaven,” and the halakhah is in agreement with his view. And Rabbi Yehoshua said, “The penalty for which is death at the hands of the Court.” Rabbi Shimon ben Azzai said, “I found a scroll of genealogies in Jerusalem [מצאתי מגילת יוחסים בירושלים], and therein was written, ‘So and so [פְּלוֹנִי, pelо̄ni] is a bastard [מַמְזֵר, mamzer] from a married woman,’ which confirms the view of Rabbi Yehoshua.” If a man’s wife died, he is permitted to marry her sister. If he divorced her and then she died, he is permitted to marry her sister. If she was married to another man and died, he is permitted to marry her sister. If a man’s sister-in-law died, he may marry her sister. If he performed for her ḥaliṣah and then she died, he is permitted to marry her sister.

Tosefta

Tosefta, Shabbath 11.15: 15 Rabbi Eliezer condemns [cutting the flesh]; the Wise permit it. He said to them, “Did not ben Stada learn only in this way?” They said to him, “Are we to destroy all discerning people because of one fool?”

Tosefta, Sanhedrin 9.7: 7 Rabbi Meir used to say, “What is the meaning of, ‘For a curse of God is he that is hung’ (= Deuteronomy 21.23)? Two brothers, twins, who resembled each other. One ruled over the whole world; the other took to robbery. After a time the one who took to robbery was caught, and they crucified him on a cross. And every one who passed to and fro said, ‘It seems that the king is crucified.’ Therefore it is said, ‘A curse of God is he that is hung.’”

Tosefta, Sanhedrin 10.11: 11 In regard to all who are worthy of death according to the Torah, they do not use concealment against them, except in the case of the deceiver. How do they deal with him? They put two disciples of the wise in the inner chamber, and he sits in the outer chamber, and they light the lamp so that they shall see him and hear his voice. And thus they did to ben Stada in Lud; two disciples of the wise were chosen for him, and they [brought him to the Beth Din] and stoned him. ....

Tosefta, Chullin 2.20-24: 20-21 Flesh which is found in the hand of a Gentile is allowed for use; in the hand of a heretic it is forbidden for use. That which comes from a house of idolatry, lo, this is the flesh of sacrifices of the dead, because they say, “Slaughtering by a heretic is idolatry, their bread is Samaritan bread, their wine is wine offered, their fruits are not tithed, their books are books of witchcraft, and their sons are bastards.” One does not sell to them or receive from them, or take from them or give to them; one does not teach their sons trades, and one does not obtain healing from them, either healing of property or healing of life. 22-23 The case of R. Eliazar ben Damah, whom a serpent bit. There came in Jacob, a man of Chephar Sama, to cure him in the name of Yeshua ben Pandira, but R. Ishmael did not allow it. He said, “You are not permitted, ben Damah.” He said, “I will bring you a proof that he may heal me.” But he had not finished bringing a proof when he died. R. Ishmael said, “Happy you are, ben Damah, for you have departed in peace and have not broken through the ordinances of the wise; for upon every one who breaks through the fence of the wise, punishment comes at last, as it is written, ‘Whosoever breaks a fence, a serpent shall bite him’ (= Ecclesiastes 10.8).” 24 The case of K. Eliezer, who was arrested for heretics, and they brought him to the tribunal for judgment. The governor said to him, “Does an old man like you occupy himself with such things?” He said to him, “Faithful is the Judge concerning me.” The governor supposed that he only said this of him, but he was not thinking of any but his Father who is in Heaven. He said to him, “Since I am trusted concerning yourself, thus also I will be. I said, ‘Perhaps these societies err concerning these things.’ Dimissus, behold, you are released.” And when he had been released from the tribunal, he was troubled because he had been arrested for heresy. His disciples came in to console him, but he would not take comfort. R. Aqiba came in and said to him, “Rabbi, shall I say to you why you are perhaps grieving?” He said to him, “Say on.” He said to him, “Perhaps one of the heretics has said to you a word of heresy and it has pleased you.” He said, “By Heaven, you have reminded me! Once I was walking along the street of Sepphoris, and I met Jacob of Chephar Sichnin [יקוב איש כפר סכנן], and he said to me a word of heresy in the name of Yeshu ben Pantiri [ישוע בן פנטירי], and it pleased me. And I was arrested for words of heresy because I transgressed the words of Torah, ‘Keep your way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house’ (= Proverbs 5.8), for ‘she has cast down many wounded’ (= Proverbs 7.26).” And R. Eliezer used to say, “Ever let a man flee from what is hateful, and from that which resembles what is hateful.”

Jerusalem Talmud

Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbath 12.4: .... Said R. Eliezer to them, “Now did not ben Satra learn [~ did not ben Stada bring magic] only in such wise?” They said to them, “Because of one fool shall we impose liability on [~ destroy] all intelligent folk?”

Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbath 14.4: 4 .... [Joshua b. Levi] had a grandson, who swallowed [something dangerous]. Someone came along and whispered over him in the name of ___ [~ Jesus Panteri, Leiden manuscript, filling the blank] and he recovered. [+ When he went out, Leiden manuscript, between the lines] [Joshua] said to him, “What did you say over him?” He said to him such and such a word. He said to him, “It would have been better for him if he had died and thus [had not been done for him].” ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Taanith 2.1: 1 .... It has been taught in the name of R. Meir: “‘For behold, the Lord is coming forth out of his place’ (= Isaiah 26.21). He goes forth from one attribute to another. He leaves the attribute of justice for the attribute of having mercy for Israel.” It is written, “God is not man, that he should lie” (= Numbers 23.19). R. Samuel bar Nahman and Rabbis. R. Samuel bar Nahman said, “When the Holy One, blessed be He, plans to do good, ‘God is not man, that he should lie.’ If he plans to do evil, in that case Scripture has said, ‘Has He said it and will not do it? Or has He said it and will not establish it?’” Rabbis say, “‘He is not man,’ that he should treat the words of God as if they were not. ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people’ (= Exodus 32.11).” “Or a son of man, that he should repent” (= Numbers 23.19). Did not the son of Amram make God repent? “And the Lord repented of the evil which he had thought to do to his people” (= Exodus 32.14). R. Abahu said, “If a man says to you, ‘I am God [אל אני],’ he is a liar; if, ‘I am a son of man [בן אדם אני],’ in the end people will laugh at him; if, ‘I will ascend to heaven [אני עולה לשמים],’ ‘he has said it but will not establish it’ (= Numbers 23.19).” R. Aha in the name of Rab, “There is no fasting at this time.” Said R. Yosé, “That is to say that, these fasts that we carry out, they are not really fasts.” He said to them, “This is what Rab said, ‘Any feast that is not carried out properly,’ and in that regard Scripture says, ‘She has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her’ (= Jeremiah 12.8).”

Jerusalem Talmud, Yevamoth 16.6: 6 .... «The inciter,» this refers to an ordinary fellow. «The incited,» this refers to an ordinary fellow. Lo, a sage is not? Since the person incites someone to idolatry, this is no sage. Since one is incited to idolatry, this is no sage. How do they get testimony against him? They conceal against him two witnesses in an inside room, and he sits in an outside room. And they light a candle near him, so that they can see him. And they listen to what he says. And so did they do to ben Stada [~ ben Sutra] in Lydda. They appointed against him two disciples of sages, and they stoned him. ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 7.16: 16 .... «He who leads» is one who says, “Let us go and perform an act of service to an idol.” Lo, a sage is not? Since the person incites someone to idolatry, this is no sage. Since one is incited to idolatry, this is no sage. How do they get testimony against him? They conceal against him two witnesses in an inside room, and he sits in an outside room. And they light a candle near him, so that they can see him. And they listen to what he says. And so did they to to ben Stada [~ ben Sutra] in Lydda. They appointed against him two disciples of sages, and they stoned him. ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Avodah Zara 2.2: 2 .... A snake bit Eleazar b. Dama. He came to Jacob of Kefar Sama for healing. [+ He said, “We will speak to you in the name of Yeshu ben Pandira,” according to Herford.] Said R. Ishmael to him, “You have no right to do so, Ben Dama.” He said to him, “I shall bring proof that it is permitted for him to heal me.” But he did not suffice to bring proof before he dropped dead. Said to him R. Ishmael, “Happy are you, O Ben Dama, for you left this world in peace and did not break through the fence of the sages, and so in dying you have carried out that which has been said, ‘A serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall’ (= Ecclesiastes 10.8).” And did not a snake already bite him? But a snake will not bite him in the age to come. And what did he have to say? “You shall therefore keep my statutes and my ordinances, by doing which a man shall live” (= Leviticus 18.5).

Babylonian Talmud

Babylonian Talmud, Berakhoth 17a-17b: 17a .... When the Rabbis took leave from the school of R. Hisda — others say, of R. Samuel b. Nahmani — they said to him, “We are instructed, we are well laden, and the rest (= Psalm 144.14). ‘We are instructed, we are well laden.’ Rab and Samuel — according to others, R. Johanan and R. Eleazar — give different explanations of this. One says, ‘We are instructed’ in Torah ‘and well laden’ with precepts. The other says, ‘We are instructed’ in Torah and precepts; ‘we are well laden’ with chastisements. 17b .... ‘There is no breach,’ may our company not be like that of David from which issued Ahitophel. ‘And no going forth,’ may our company not be like that of Saul from which issued Doeg the Edomite. ‘And no outcry,’ may our company not be like that of Elisha, from which issued Gehazi. ‘In our broad places,’ may we produce no son or pupil who burns his food in public [+ כְּגוֹן יֵשׁוּ הַנּוֹצְרִי, like Yeshu the Noṣri].” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 104b: 104b .... «He who scratches a mark on his flesh,» and so on. It was taught, “R. Eliezer said to the Sages, ‘But did not ben Stada [בֶּן סָטָדֲ] bring forth witchcraft from Egypt by means of scratches upon his flesh?’ ‘He was a fool,’ answered they, ‘and proof cannot be adduced from fools.’” [Begin censored text.] Was he then the son of Stada [בֶּן סָטָדָא]? Surely he was the son of Pandira [בֶּן פַּנְדִּירָא]? Said R. Hisda, “The husband was Stada [סָטָדָא], the paramour Pandira [פַּנְדִּירָא].” But the husband was Pappos b. Judah? “His mother was Stada [סָטָדָא]. But his mother was Miriam [מִרְיָם], a hairdresser [מְגַדְּלָא שְׂעַר]? It is as we say in Pumbeditha, “This one has turned away [סְטָת דָּא] from her husband. [End censored text.] ....

Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 116a-116b: 116a .... It was stated in the text, “The blank spaces and the books of the heretics [מִינִין, minim] we may not save from a fire.” R. Jose said, “On weekdays one must cut out the Divine Names which they contain, hide them, and burn the rest.” R. Tarfon said, “May I bury my son if I would not burn them together with their Divine Names if they came to my hand. For even if one pursued me to slay me, or a snake pursued me to bite me, I would enter a heathen temple but not the houses of these ones, for the latter know (of God) yet deny it, whereas the former are ignorant and deny it, and of them the Writ says, ‘And behind the doors and the posts you have set up your memorial’ (= Isaiah 57.8).” R. Ishmael said, “A fortiori, if in order to make peace between man and wife the Torah decreed, ‘Let my Name, written in sanctity, be blotted out in water,’ how much more so these who stir up jealousy, enmity, and wrath between Israel and their Father in Heaven? And of them David said, ‘Do not I hate those, O Lord, who hate you? And am I not grieved with those who rise up against you? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them as my enemies’ (= Psalm 139.21-22). And just as we may not rescue them from a fire, so may we not rescue them from a collapse or from water or from anything that may destroy them.” R. Joseph b. Hanin asked R. Abbahu, “As for the books of the House of Abidan [דְבֵי אֲבִידָן], may we save them from a fire or not?” “Yes and no,” and he was uncertain about the matter. Rab would not enter into a House of Abidan [לְבֵי אֲבִידָן], and certainly not into a House of Niṣrephe [לְבֵי נִצְרְפֵי]; Samuel would not enter a House of Niṣrephe, yet he would enter a House of Abidan. Raba was asked, “Why did you not attend at the House of Abidan?” “A certain palm tree stands in the way,” replied he, “and it is difficult for me.” “Then we will remove it.” “Its spot will present difficulties to me.” Mar b. Joseph said, “I am one of them and do not fear them.” On one occasion he went there; they wanted to harm him. [Begin uncensored text, on the authority of Rabbinowicz.] R. Meir called it ’awen gilyon [אָוֶון גִּלְיוֹן, the falsehood of blank paper]; R. Johanan called it ‘awon gilyon [עֲווֹן גִּלְיוֹן, the sin of blank paper]. [End uncensored text.] Imma Shalom, R. Eliezer’s wife, was R. Gamaliel’s sister. Now, a certain philosopher [פִילוֹסְפָא] lived in his vicinity, 116b and he bore a reputation that he did not accept bribes. They wished to expose him, so she brought him a golden lamp, went before him, said to him, “I desire that a share be given me in my father’s estate.” “Divide,” he ordered. Said he [R. Gamaliel] to him, “It is decreed for us, ‘Where there is a son, a daughter does not inherit.’” “Since the day that you were exiled from your land the Law of Moses has been superseded and another book given [+ and the Law of the Evangelium has been given, Oxford codex], wherein it is written, ‘A son and a daughter inherit equally.’” The next day, he brought him a Lybian ass. He said to them, “Look at the end of the book, wherein it is written, ‘I came not to destroy the Law of Moses nor to add to the Law of Moses’ (= Matthew 5.17-19), and it is written therein, ‘A daughter does not inherit where there is a son.’” Said she to him, “Let your light shine forth like a lamp.’ Said R. Gamaliel to him, “An ass came and knocked the lamp over!” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Taanith 27b: 27b .... Our Rabbis have taught, “The men of the Mishmar prayed over the sacrifice of their brethren that it may be favorably accepted, while the men of the Ma‘amad assembled in their synagogues and observed four fasts, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of that week: on Monday for those that go down to the sea, on Tuesday for those who travel in the deserts, on Wednesday that croup may not attack children, on Thursday for pregnant women and nursing mothers, that pregnant women should not suffer a miscarriage and that nursing mothers may be able to nurse their infants. On the eve of Sabbath they did not fast out of respect for the Sabbath, and still less on the Sabbath itself. Why did they not fast on the day after Sabbath? R. Yoḥanan said, ‘Because of the Noṣrim [הנוצרים].’ R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: ‘Because it is the third day after the creation of Man.’ Resh Lakish said: ‘Because of the additional soul,’ for Resh Lakish said, ‘Man is given an additional soul on Friday, but at the termination of the Sabbath it is taken away from him, as it is said, “He ceased from work and rested [שבת וינפש]” (= Exodus 31.17), that is to say, once the rest had ceased, woe! That soul is gone.’” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Chagigah 4b-5a: 4b .... R. Joseph, when he came to the verse, “But there is that is swept away without judgment” (= Proverbs 13.23), wept. “Is there anyone who passes away before one’s time?” Yes, as in the story by R. Bibi b. Abaye, who was frequently visited by the Angel of Death. The latter said to his messenger, “Go, bring me Miriam, the women's hairdresser!” He went and brought him Miriam, the children’s nurse. Said he to him, “I told you Miriam, the women’s hairdresser.” He answered, “If so, I will take her back.” Said he to him, “Since you have brought her, let her be added. But how were you able to get her? “She was holding a shovel in her hand and was heating 5a and raking the oven. She took it and put it on her foot and burned herself; thus her luck was impaired and I brought her.” Said R. Bibi b. Abaye to him, “Do you have permission to act thus?” He answered him, “Is it not written, ‘There is that is swept away without judgment’ (= Proverbs 13.23)?” He countered, “But behold, it is written, ‘One generation passes away and another generation comes’ (= Ecclesiastes 1.4).” He replied, “I have charge of them till they have completed the generation, and then I hand them over to Dumah!” He asked him, “But, after all, what do you do with her years?” He replied, “If there be a Rabbinic scholar who overlooks his hurt, I shall give them to him in her stead.” .... Tosaphoth: The Angel of Death was with him; he related what had already happened, for this about Miriam the dresser of women’s hair [מרים מגדלא] took place in the second temple, for she was the mother of a certain person, as it is said in Shabbath, page 104.

Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 47a: 47a .... Our Rabbis taught, “Elisha was afflicted with three illnesses: one because he stirred up the bears against the children, one because he thrust Gehazi away with both his hands, and one of which he died, as it is said, ‘Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died’ (= 2 Kings 13.14).” Our Rabbis have taught, “Always let the left hand thrust away and the right hand draw near, not like Elisha who thrust Gehazi away with both his hands, and not like R. Joshua b. Perahyah who thrust one of his disciples [אחד מתלמידיו, + Yeshu, + the Noṣri, הנוצרי] away with both his hands.” How is it with Elisha? As it is written, “And Naaman said, ‘Be content; take two talents’ (= 2 Kings 5.23),” and it is written, “And he said unto him, ‘Went not my heart with you when the man turned again from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and sheep and oxen, and manservants and maidservants’ (= 2 Kings 5.25-26)?” But had he received all these things? Silver and garments were what he had received! R. Isaac said, “At that time Elisha was engaged with the eight kinds of creeping things, so he said to him, ‘You wicked person, the time has arrived for you to receive the reward for the eight creeping things! “The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto your and unto your seed for ever” (= 2 Kings 5.27).’” “Now there were four leprous men” (= Kings 7.3). R. Johanan said, “This refers to Gehazi and his three sons.” “And Elisha came to Damascus” (= 2 Kings 8.7). Why did he go there? R. Johanan said, “He went to induce Gehazi to repent but he refused. He said to him, ‘Repent,’ but he replied: ‘Thus have I received from you that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence.’” What had he done? Some say, “He applied a lodestone to the idolatrous image of Jeroboam and suspended it between heaven and earth.” Others say, “He engraved upon it the Name so that it used to exclaim, ‘I am’ (= Exodus 20.1), and, ‘You shall have none’ (= Exodus 20.2).” Still others say, “He drove the Rabbis from before him, as it is written, ‘And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, “Behold now, the place where we dwell before you is too strait for us” (= 2 Kings 6.1).’ Hence, up to then, it had not been too strait.” What was the incident with R. Joshua b. Perahyah? “When King Jannaeus put the Rabbis to death, Simeon b. Shetah was hidden by his sister while R. Joshua b. Perahyah fled to Alexandria in Egypt. When there was peace, Simeon b. Shetah sent, ‘From me, Jerusalem, the Holy city, to you, Alexandria in Egypt. O my sister, my husband dwells in your midst and I abide desolate.’ He arose and came back and found himself in a certain inn where they paid him great respect. He said, ‘How beautiful is this inn!’ One of his disciples [+ Yeshu] said to him, ‘Rabbi, her eyes are narrow!’ He replied to him, ‘Wicked person! Is it with such thoughts that you occupy yourself?’ He sent forth four hundred horns and excommunicated him. He came before him on many occasions, saying, ‘Receive me,’ but he refused to notice him. One day, while he was reciting the Shema, he came before him. His intention was to receive him and he made a sign to him with his hand, but the disciple thought he was repelling him. So he went and set up a brick and worshipped it. He said to him, ‘Repent,’ but he answered him, ‘Thus have I received from you that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence.’” A Master has said, “The disciple [+ יש"ו, Yeshu] practiced magic and led Israel astray.” It has been taught, R. Simeon b. Eleazar says: “Also human nature should thrust aside a child and a woman with the left hand and draw near with the right hand.” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 56b-57a: 56b Onkelos son of Kolonikos was the son of Titus’s sister. He had a mind to convert himself to Judaism. He went and raised Titus from the dead by magical arts, and asked him, “Who is most in repute in the world?” He replied, “Israel.” “What then,” he said, “about joining them?” He said, “Their observances are burdensome and you will not be able to carry them out. Go and attack them in that world and you will be at the top, as it is written, ‘Her adversaries are become the head’ (= Lamentations 1.5), and the rest; whoever harasses Israel becomes head.” He asked him, 57a “What is your punishment?” He replied, “What decreed for myself. Every day my ashes are collected and sentence is passed on me, and I am burnt and my ashes are scattered over the seven seas.” He then went and raised Balaam by incantations. He asked him, “Who is in repute in the other world?” He replied, “Israel.” What then,” he said, “about joining them?” He replied, “‘You will not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever’ (= Deuteronomy 23.7).” He then asked, “What is your punishment?” He replied, “With boiling hot semen.” He then went and raised the sinners of Israel [~ Munich ליש"ו, + Vatican הנוצרי] by incantations. He asked them, “Who is in repute in the other world?” They replied, “Israel.” What about joining them? They replied, “Seek their welfare; seek not their harm. Whoever touches them touches the apple of his eye” (≈ Zechariah 2.12). He said, “What is your punishment?” They replied, “With boiling hot excrement, since a Master has said, ‘Whoever mocks at the words of the Sages is punished with boiling hot excrement.’” Observe the difference between the sinners of Israel and the prophets of the other nations who worship idols. ....

Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 57a: 57a .... Once when R. Manyumi b. Helkiah and R. Helkiah b. Tobiah and R. Huna b. Hiyya were sitting together they said, “If anyone knows anything about Kefar Sekania [כפר סכניא] of Egypt [Klein suggests the reading נוצרים, the Noṣrim, instead of מצרים, Egypt], let him say.” One of them thereupon said, “Once a betrothed couple were carried off by heathens who married them to one another. The woman said, ‘I beg of you not to touch me, as I have no Kethubah from you.’ So he did not touch her till his dying day. When he died, she said, ‘Mourn for this man who has kept his passions in check more than Joseph, because Joseph was exposed to temptation only a short time, but this man every day. Joseph was not in one bed with the woman but this man was. In Joseph’s case she was not his wife, but here she was.’” The next then began and said, “On one occasion forty bushels were selling for a denar, and the number went down one, and they investigated and found that a man and his son had had intercourse with a betrothed maiden on the Day of Atonement, so they brought them to the Beth Din and they stoned them, and the original price was restored.” The third then began and said, “There was a man who wanted to divorce his wife, but hesitated because she had a big marriage settlement. He accordingly invited his friends and gave them a good feast and made them drunk and put them all in one bed. He then brought the white of an egg and scattered it among them and brought witnesses and appealed to the Beth Din. There was a certain elder there of the disciples of Shammai the Elder, named Baba b. Buta, who said, ‘This is what I have been taught by Shammai the Elder, that the white of an egg contracts when brought near the fire, but semen becomes faint from the fire.’ They tested it and found that it was so, and they brought the man to the Beth Din and flogged him and made him pay her Kethubah.” Said Abaye to R. Joseph, “Since they were so virtuous, why were they punished?” He replied, “Because they did not mourn for Jerusalem, as it is written, ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn over her’ (= Isaiah 66.10).” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a: 43a .... «If then they find him innocent, they discharge him; but if not, he goes forth to be stoned, and a herald precedes him, ‹So and so, the son of so and so, is going forth to be stoned because he committed such and such an offense, and so and so are his witnesses. Whoever knows anything in his favor, let him come and state it.›» Abaye said, “It must also be announced, ‘On such and such a day, at such and such and hour, and in such and such a place,’ in case there are some who know, so that they can come forward and prove the witnesses conspirators.” «And a herald precedes him.» This implies, only immediately before, but not previous thereto. It was taught, “On the eve of the Passover Yeshu [ישו, + the Noṣri] was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, ‘He [~ ישו, + the Noṣri] is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.’ But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover.” Ulla retorted, “Do you suppose that he [~ Yeshu the Noṣri] was one for whom a defense could be made? Was he not a mesith, concerning whom Scripture says, ‘Neither shall you spare, nor shall you conceal him’ (= Deuteronomy 13.8)?” With him [+ ישו, Yeshu, + the Noṣri], however, it was different, for he was connected with the government. Our Rabbis taught, “Yeshu had five disciples: Matthai [מתאי], Nakai [נקאי], Neṣer [נצר], and Buni [בוני], and Todah [תודה]. When Matthai was brought he said to them, ‘Shall Matthai be executed? Is it not written, “When [מתי, matthai] shall I come and appear before God” (= Psalm 42.3)?’ Thereupon they retorted, ‘Yes, Matthai shall be executed, since it is written, “When [מתי, matthai] shall [he] die and his name perish” (= Psalm 41.6).’ When Nakai was brought in he said to them, ‘Shall Nakai be executed? Is it not written, “The innocent [נקי, naki] and the righteous do not slay” (= Exodus 23.7)?’ ‘Yes,’ was the answer, ‘Nakai shall be executed, since it is written, “In secret places does he slay the innocent [נקי, naki]” (= Psalm 10.8).’ When Neṣer [נצר] was brought in, he said, ‘Shall Neṣer [נצר] be executed? Is it not written, “And a twig [נצר, neṣer] shall grow forth out of his roots” (= Isaiah 11.1)?’ ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘Neṣer [נצר] shall be executed, since it is written, “But you are cast forth away from your grave like an abhorred branch [נצר, neṣer]” (= Isaiah 14.19).’ When Buni was brought in, he said, ‘Shall Buni be executed? Is it not written, “My son [בני, beni], my first born” (= Exodus 4.22)?’ ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘Buni shall be executed, since it is written, “Behold, I will slay your son [בנך, bineka], your firstborn” (= Exodus 4.23).’ And when Todah was brought in, he said to them, ‘Shall Todah be executed? Is it not written, “A psalm for thanksgiving [תודה, todah]” (= Psalm 100.1)?’ ‘Yes,’ they answered, ‘Todah shall be executed, since it is written, “Whosoever offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving [תודה, todah] has honored me” (= Psalm 50.23).’”

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 46b: 46b .... «As if to say, ‹Why was he hanged?› Because he cursed.» It has been taught, “R. Meir said, ‘A parable was stated, “To what is this matter comparable? To two twin brothers in one city; one was appointed king, and the other took to highway robbery. At the king’s command they hanged him. But all who saw him exclaimed, ‘The king is hanged,’ whereupon the king issued a command and he was taken down.”’” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 67a: 67a .... «The inciter [מסית, mesith] is a layman.» Thus, only because he is a layman; but if a prophet, he is strangled. «Who seduces an individual.» Thus, only if he seduces an individual; but if a community, he is strangled. Hence, who is the Mishnah? R. Simeon. For it has been taught, “A prophet who entices is stoned.” R. Simeon said, “He is strangled.” Then consider the second clause. «The enticer [מדיח, maddiah] is one who says, ‹Let us go and serve idols,›» whereon Rab Judah observed in Rab’s name, “This Mishnah teaches of those who lead astray a seduced city.” Thus it agrees with the Rabbis. Hence, the first clause is taught according to R. Simeon, the second according to the Rabbis. Rabina said, “Both clauses are based on the Rabbis’ ruling, but proceed from the universally admitted to the disputed.” R. Papa said, “When the Mishnah states, «A mesith is a layman,» 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, except for this one.’” How is it done? A light is lit in an inner chamber, the witnesses are hidden in an outer one, so that they can see and hear him, but he cannot see them. Then the person he wished to seduce says to him, “Tell me privately what you have 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 the Beth Din and have him stoned. [Begin censored text.] And this they did to ben Stada in Lydda, and they hung him on the eve of Passover [הוספה מחסרונות הש"ס: וכן עשו לבן סטדא בלוד ותלאוהו בערב הפסח]; ben Stada was ben Padira. R. Hisda said: “The husband was Stada, the paramour Pandira.” But was not the husband Pappos b. Judah? “His mother’s name was Stada.” But his mother was Miriam [מרים], a hairdresser [מגדלא נשיא]? As they say in Pumbaditha, “This woman has turned away [סטת דא] from her husband.” [End censored text.] ....

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 103a: 103a .... R. Hisda also said in the name of R. Jeremiah b. Abba, “What is meant by the verse, ‘There shall no evil befall you, nor shall any plague come nigh to your dwelling’ (= Psalm 91.10)? ‘There shall no evil befall you,’ the Evil Impulse shall have no power over you. ‘Nor shall any plague come nigh to your dwelling,’ you will not find your wife doubtful about menstruation when you return from a journey. Another interpretation, ‘There shall no evil befall you,’ you will not be affrighted by nightmares and dread thoughts. ‘Nor shall any plague come nigh to your dwelling,’ you will not have a son or a disciple who publicly burns his food [+ like Yeshu the Noṣri, כגון ישו הנוצרי].” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 107b: 107b .... «Gehazi,» as it is written, “And Elisha came to Damascus” (= 2 Kings 8.7). Whither did he go? R. Johanan said, “He went to bring Gehazi back to repentance, but he would not repent. ‘Repent,’ he urged. He replied, ‘I have thus learned from you, “He who sins and causes the multitude to sin is not afforded the means of repentance.”’” What had he done? Some say, “He hung a lodestone above Jeroboam’s sin and thus suspended it between heaven and earth.” Others maintain, “He engraved the Divine Name in its mouth, whereupon it proclaimed, ‘I am’ (= Exodus 20.1), and, ‘You shall have no gods before me’ (= Exodus 20.2).” Others say, “He drove the Rabbis away from him, as it is written, ‘And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, “Behold now, the place where we dwell with you is too strait for us” (= 2 Kings 6.1),’ proving that till then it was not too narrow.” Our Rabbis taught. “Let the left hand repulse but the right hand always invite back, not as Elisha, who thrust Gehazi away with both hands, [+ ולא כרבי יהושע בן פרחיה שדחפו ליש"ו בשתי ידים, and not like R. Joshua b. Perahyah, who repulsed Yeshu, + the Noṣri, with both hands]. «Gehazi,» as it is written, “And Naaman said, ‘Be content; take two talents.’ And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver” (= 2 Kings 5.23). And Elisha said unto him, “Whence do you come, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went no whither.” And he said unto him, “Went not my heart with you, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep and oxen, and menservants and maidservants” (= 2 Kings 5.25-26)? But had he taken so much? He had only taken silver and garments! R. Isaac said, “Just then Elisha was sitting and lecturing on the eight creeping things. Now Naaman, the chief captain of the king of Syria, was a leper. A maiden, who had been captured from the land of Israel, said to him, ‘If you will go to Elisha, he will heal you.’ When he came there he said to him, ‘Go and dip yourself in the Jordan.’ ‘You ridicule me!’ he exclaimed. But his companions urged him, ‘What does it matter to you? Go and test it.’ So he went, dipped himself in the Jordan and was healed. He returned and offered him all he had, but he refused to accept it. Thereupon Gehazi left Elisha’s presence, went and took whatever he did, and put it away. When he returned, Elisha saw a leprous eruption on his head. ‘You wicked man,’ he cried, ‘the time has come for you to receive your reward of the eight creeping things! “‘The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto you, and unto your seed forever.’ And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow” (= 2 Kings 5.27).’” [Begin uncensored text.] What of R. Joshua b. Perahyah? “When King Jannai slew our Rabbis, R. Joshua b. Perahyah [+ ויש"ו, and Yeshu] fled to Alexandria of Egypt. On the resumption of peace, Simeon b. Shetach sent to him: ‘From me, the holy city, to you, Alexandria of Egypt (my sister). My husband dwells within you and I am desolate.’ He arose, went, and found himself in a certain inn, where great honor was shown him. ‘How beautiful is this inn!’ Thereupon he observed, ‘Rabbi, her eyes are narrow.’ ‘Wretch,’ he rebuked him, ‘do you thus engage yourself?’ He sounded four hundred trumpets and excommunicated him. He came before him many times pleading, ‘Receive me!’ But he would pay no heed to him. One day he was reciting the Shema when Yeshu came before him. He intended to receive him and made a sign to him. He, thinking that it was to repel him, went, put up a brick, and worshipped it. ‘Repent,’ said he to him. He replied, ‘I have thus learned from you, “He who sins and causes others to sin is not afforded the means of repentance.”’ And a Master has said, ‘Yeshu [יש"ו, + the Noṣri] practiced magic and led Israel astray.’” [End uncensored text.] “And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate” (= Kings 7.3). R. Johanan said, “They were Gehazi and his three sons.” It was taught, “R. Simeon b. Eleazar said, ‘Human nature, a child, and a woman, the left hand should repulse them but the right hand bring them back.’” Our Rabbis taught, “Elisha was ill on three occasions: once when he incited the bears against the children, once when he repulsed Gehazi with both hands, and the third of which he died, as it is written, ‘Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness where of he died’ (= 2 Kings 13.14). Until Abraham there was no old age: whoever saw Abraham said, ‘This is Isaac,’ and whoever saw Isaac said, ‘This is Abraham.’ Therefore Abraham prayed that there should be old age, as it is written, “And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age” (= Genesis 24.1). Until Jacob there was no illness, so he prayed and illness came into existence, as it is written, “And one told Joseph, ‘Behold, your father is sick’” (= Genesis 48.1). Until Elisha no sick man ever recovered, but Elisha came and prayed, and he recovered, as it is written, ‘Now Elisha was fallen sick of sickness whereof he died’ (= 2 Kings 13.14).” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 6a: 6a .... Come then and hear the comment of R. Taḥlifa bar Abdimi in the name of Samuel: “The Noṣri day [Herford יום נוצרי, Sefaria יום א׳], according to Rabbi Ishmael, is always forbidden.” Now, were we to take it that the festival is to be included, there would still remain Wednesday and Thursday on which dealing would be permitted! There is no question but that the period does not include the festivals themselves. It is only according to the Rabbis’ opinion that I ask what (is the law). ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 7b: 7b .... R. Taḥlifa bar Abdimi said in the name of Samuel, “According to R. Ishmael, a Noṣri [נוצרי] is always forbidden.”

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 16b-17a: 16b .... «One should not join them in building a basilica, an executioner’s scaffold, a stadium, or a tribune.» Said Rabbah b. Bar-Hana in the name of R. Johanan, “There are three kinds of basilica buildings: those attached to royal palaces, baths, or storehouses.” Said Raba, “Two of these are permitted and one is forbidden; as a reminder, ‘To bind their kings with chains’ (= Psalm 149.8).” Some report, “Raba said, ‘All are permitted. But have we not learned, «One should not join them in building a basilica, an executioner’s scaffold, a stadium, or a tribune?» This should be taken to mean a basilica attached to an executioner’s scaffold, a stadium, or a tribune.’” Our Rabbis taught, “When R. Eliezer was arrested because of heresy, 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 he said, ‘Because you have acknowledged me as right, I pardon; you are 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, will you permit me to say one thing of what you have taught me?’ He replied, ‘Say it.’ ‘Master,’ said he, ‘perhaps some of the teaching of the heretics had been transmitted to you 17a and you approved of it and because of that you were arrested.’ He exclaimed: ‘Akiba, you have reminded me. I was once walking in the upper market of Sepphoris when I came across one [+ of the disciples of Yeshu the Noṣri], Jacob of Kefar Sekaniah [יעקוב איש כפר סכניא] by name, who said to me, “It is written in your Torah, ‘You shall not bring the hire of a harlot into the house of the Lord your God’ (= Deuteronomy 23.19). 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, “He [+ ישו הנוצרי, Yeshu the Noṣri] taught me, ‘For of the hire of a harlot has she gathered them, and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return’ (= Micah 1.7). 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 apostasy; for thereby I transgressed the scriptural words, “Remove your way far from her” — which refers to heresy — “and come not nigh to the door of her house” — which refers to the ruling power (= Proverbs 5.8).’” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 27b: 27b .... It once happened to Ben Dama the son of R. Ishmael’s sister that he was bitten by a serpent; and Jacob of Kefar Sekaniah [יעקב איש כפר סכניא] came to heal him, but R. Ishmael did not let him, whereupon ben Dama said, “My brother R. Ishmael, let him, so that I may be healed by him. I will even cite a verse from the Torah that he is to be permitted,” but he did not manage to complete his saying before his soul departed and he died, whereupon R. Ishmael exclaimed, “Happy are you, ben Dama, for you were pure in body and your soul likewise left you in purity; nor have you transgressed the words of your colleagues, who said, ‘He who breaks through a fence, a serpent shall bite him’ (= Ecclesiastes 10.8).” It is different with the teaching of heretics, for it draws, and one may be drawn after them. ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 28a: 28a .... But how came R. Johanan to act as he did? Had not Rabba b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan, “Any sore for which the Sabbath may be profaned should not be healed by a heathen?” It is different with a distinguished man. “What about R. Abbahu, who too was a distinguished man, yet Jacob the heretic [יעקב מינאה] prepared for him a medicine for his leg, and, were it not for R. Ammi and R. Asi who licked his leg, he would have cut his leg off?” The one for R. Johanan was an expert physician. “So too was that of R. Abbahu, an expert physician!” It was different in the case of R. Abbahu, for heretics [מיני] adopt the attitude, “Let me die with the Philistines” (= Judges 16.30). ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 48a: 48a .... «What is an Asherah?» But we learned above, “There are three kinds of Asherah!” What he means is this: there is agreement about two kinds, but in connection with the third there is a difference of opinion between R. Simeon and the Rabbis. What is the Asherah about which R. Simeon and the Rabbis differ? “Any beneath which there is an idol.” R. Simeon says, “Any which is worshipped.” How is an Asherah which is not specified as such? Rab said, “Any tree beneath which heathen priests sit but do not partake of its fruits.” Samuel said, “Even if they say, ‘These dates are for the house of Niṣrephe [לבי נצרפי, a Christian place of worship, Niṣrephe being a cacophemistic disguise of Noṣri?],’ the tree is prohibited because they brew an intoxicating liquor from them which they drink on their feast days.” Amemar said, “The elders of Pumbeditha told me that the legal decision is in agreement with Samuel.”

Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:05 pm

The following are passages which do not mention Jesus at all, but which some researchers suppose to be referring to him nonetheless:

The Bastard

Mishnah, Yevamoth 4.13: 13 Who is deemed to be a bastard [מַמְזֵר] (= Deuteronomy 23.2)? “Anyone forbidden due to family relations." This is the ruling of Rabbi Akiva. Shimon the Yemenite said, “The penalty for which is karet at the hands of heaven,” and the halakhah is in agreement with his view. And Rabbi Yehoshua said, “The penalty for which is death at the hands of the Court.” Rabbi Shimon ben Azzai said, “I found a scroll of genealogies in Jerusalem [מצאתי מגילת יוחסים בירושלים], and therein was written, ‘So and so [פְּלוֹנִי, pelо̄ni] is a bastard [מַמְזֵר, mamzer] from a married woman,’ which confirms the view of Rabbi Yehoshua.” If a man’s wife died, he is permitted to marry her sister. If he divorced her and then she died, he is permitted to marry her sister. If she was married to another man and died, he is permitted to marry her sister. If a man’s sister-in-law died, he may marry her sister. If he performed for her ḥaliṣah and then she died, he is permitted to marry her sister.

The Son of Man

Jerusalem Talmud, Taanith 2.1: 1 .... It has been taught in the name of R. Meir: “‘For behold, the Lord is coming forth out of his place’ (= Isaiah 26.21). He goes forth from one attribute to another. He leaves the attribute of justice for the attribute of having mercy for Israel.” It is written, “God is not man, that he should lie” (= Numbers 23.19). R. Samuel bar Nahman and Rabbis. R. Samuel bar Nahman said, “When the Holy One, blessed be He, plans to do good, ‘God is not man, that he should lie.’ If he plans to do evil, in that case Scripture has said, ‘Has He said it and will not do it? Or has He said it and will not establish it?’” Rabbis say, “‘He is not man,’ that he should treat the words of God as if they were not. ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people’ (= Exodus 32.11).” “Or a son of man, that he should repent” (= Numbers 23.19). Did not the son of Amram make God repent? “And the Lord repented of the evil which he had thought to do to his people” (= Exodus 32.14). R. Abahu said, “If a man says to you, ‘I am God [אל אני],’ he is a liar; if, ‘I am a son of man [בן אדם אני],’ in the end people will laugh at him; if, ‘I will ascend to heaven [אני עולה לשמים],’ ‘he has said it but will not establish it’ (= Numbers 23.19).” R. Aha in the name of Rab, “There is no fasting at this time.” Said R. Yosé, “That is to say that, these fasts that we carry out, they are not really fasts.” He said to them, “This is what Rab said, ‘Any feast that is not carried out properly,’ and in that regard Scripture says, ‘She has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her’ (= Jeremiah 12.8).”

The Parable of the Twins

Tosefta, Sanhedrin 9.7: 7 Rabbi Meir used to say, “What is the meaning of, ‘For a curse of God is he that is hung’ (= Deuteronomy 21.23)? Two brothers, twins, who resembled each other. One ruled over the whole world; the other took to robbery. After a time the one who took to robbery was caught, and they crucified him on a cross. And every one who passed to and fro said, ‘It seems that the king is crucified.’ Therefore it is said, ‘A curse of God is he that is hung.’”

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 46b: 46b .... «As if to say, ‹Why was he hanged?› Because he cursed.» It has been taught, “R. Meir said, ‘A parable was stated, “To what is this matter comparable? To two twin brothers in one city; one was appointed king, and the other took to highway robbery. At the king’s command they hanged him. But all who saw him exclaimed, ‘The king is hanged,’ whereupon the king issued a command and he was taken down.”’” ....

With respect to the first passage, the one about the bastard (mamzer), surely not every child of an illegitimate union or every person referred to as "so and so" (pelо̄ni) is Jesus. I am not convinced that this Mishnaic passage is in any way related to Jesus.

With respect to the second passage, the one about the son of man, Abahu's twisted logic seems to be little more than an attempt to clear up the apparent contradiction between Numbers 23.19 (God is not a son of man that he should repent) and Exodus 32.14 (God repented of the evil he had been planning to do). The phrase "son of man" comes, not from Christian eschatological nomenclature for Jesus, but rather from Numbers 23.19, which is the passage at stake in the entire Talmudic discussion.

With respect to the third (pair of) passage(s), the parable of the twins, well, it looks like a parable to me. The idea appears to be that, just as the twin brother of the king being hung reflected poorly upon the king himself, so too the hanging of a human being, created in the image of God, reflects poorly upon God. I would not rule out the influence of such a parable on Christianity itself, perhaps in the Barabbas story, for example. But I doubt that the parable is based on anything to do with Jesus.
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Re: Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:07 pm

The following are references to the Noṣrim or to the Houses of Niṣrephe and of Abidan. Please note that I have tried to consistently transcribe the Semitic letter tsade/ṣade as a Roman letter s (ess) with an underdot (ṣ), but these passages come from many different sources from many different time periods of my study, so I may not have been as consistent as I might wish:

The Noṣrim

Babylonian Talmud, Taanith 27b: 27b .... Our Rabbis have taught, “The men of the Mishmar prayed over the sacrifice of their brethren that it may be favorably accepted, while the men of the Ma‘amad assembled in their synagogues and observed four fasts, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of that week: on Monday for those that go down to the sea, on Tuesday for those who travel in the deserts, on Wednesday that croup may not attack children, on Thursday for pregnant women and nursing mothers, that pregnant women should not suffer a miscarriage and that nursing mothers may be able to nurse their infants. On the eve of Sabbath they did not fast out of respect for the Sabbath, and still less on the Sabbath itself. Why did they not fast on the day after Sabbath? R. Yoḥanan said, ‘Because of the Noṣrim [הנוצרים].’ R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: ‘Because it is the third day after the creation of Man.’ Resh Lakish said: ‘Because of the additional soul,’ for Resh Lakish said, ‘Man is given an additional soul on Friday, but at the termination of the Sabbath it is taken away from him, as it is said, “He ceased from work and rested [שבת וינפש]” (= Exodus 31.17), that is to say, once the rest had ceased, woe! That soul is gone.’” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 57a: 57a .... Once when R. Manyumi b. Helkiah and R. Helkiah b. Tobiah and R. Huna b. Hiyya were sitting together they said, “If anyone knows anything about Kefar Sekania [כפר סכניא] of Egypt [Klein suggests the reading נוצרים, the Noṣrim, instead of מצרים, Egypt], let him say.” One of them thereupon said, “Once a betrothed couple were carried off by heathens who married them to one another. The woman said, ‘I beg of you not to touch me, as I have no Kethubah from you.’ So he did not touch her till his dying day. When he died, she said, ‘Mourn for this man who has kept his passions in check more than Joseph, because Joseph was exposed to temptation only a short time, but this man every day. Joseph was not in one bed with the woman but this man was. In Joseph’s case she was not his wife, but here she was.’” The next then began and said, “On one occasion forty bushels were selling for a denar, and the number went down one, and they investigated and found that a man and his son had had intercourse with a betrothed maiden on the Day of Atonement, so they brought them to the Beth Din and they stoned them, and the original price was restored.” The third then began and said, “There was a man who wanted to divorce his wife, but hesitated because she had a big marriage settlement. He accordingly invited his friends and gave them a good feast and made them drunk and put them all in one bed. He then brought the white of an egg and scattered it among them and brought witnesses and appealed to the Beth Din. There was a certain elder there of the disciples of Shammai the Elder, named Baba b. Buta, who said, ‘This is what I have been taught by Shammai the Elder, that the white of an egg contracts when brought near the fire, but semen becomes faint from the fire.’ They tested it and found that it was so, and they brought the man to the Beth Din and flogged him and made him pay her Kethubah.” Said Abaye to R. Joseph, “Since they were so virtuous, why were they punished?” He replied, “Because they did not mourn for Jerusalem, as it is written, ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn over her’ (= Isaiah 66.10).” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 6a: 6a .... Come then and hear the comment of R. Taḥlifa bar Abdimi in the name of Samuel: “The Noṣri day [Herford יום נוצרי, Sefaria יום א׳], according to Rabbi Ishmael, is always forbidden.” Now, were we to take it that the festival is to be included, there would still remain Wednesday and Thursday on which dealing would be permitted! There is no question but that the period does not include the festivals themselves. It is only according to the Rabbis’ opinion that I ask what (is the law). ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 7b: 7b .... R. Taḥlifa bar Abdimi said in the name of Samuel, “According to R. Ishmael, a Noṣri [נוצרי] is always forbidden.”

The Houses of Niṣrephe and of Abidan

Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 116a-116b: 116a .... It was stated in the text, “The blank spaces and the books of the heretics [מִינִין, minim] we may not save from a fire.” R. Jose said, “On weekdays one must cut out the Divine Names which they contain, hide them, and burn the rest.” R. Tarfon said, “May I bury my son if I would not burn them together with their Divine Names if they came to my hand. For even if one pursued me to slay me, or a snake pursued me to bite me, I would enter a heathen temple but not the houses of these ones, for the latter know (of God) yet deny it, whereas the former are ignorant and deny it, and of them the Writ says, ‘And behind the doors and the posts you have set up your memorial’ (= Isaiah 57.8).” R. Ishmael said, “A fortiori, if in order to make peace between man and wife the Torah decreed, ‘Let my Name, written in sanctity, be blotted out in water,’ how much more so these who stir up jealousy, enmity, and wrath between Israel and their Father in Heaven? And of them David said, ‘Do not I hate those, O Lord, who hate you? And am I not grieved with those who rise up against you? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them as my enemies’ (= Psalm 139.21-22). And just as we may not rescue them from a fire, so may we not rescue them from a collapse or from water or from anything that may destroy them.” R. Joseph b. Hanin asked R. Abbahu, “As for the books of the House of Abidan [דְבֵי אֲבִידָן], may we save them from a fire or not?” “Yes and no,” and he was uncertain about the matter. Rab would not enter into a House of Abidan [לְבֵי אֲבִידָן], and certainly not into a House of Niṣrephe [לְבֵי נִצְרְפֵי]; Samuel would not enter a House of Niṣrephe, yet he would enter a House of Abidan. Raba was asked, “Why did you not attend at the House of Abidan?” “A certain palm tree stands in the way,” replied he, “and it is difficult for me.” “Then we will remove it.” “Its spot will present difficulties to me.” Mar b. Joseph said, “I am one of them and do not fear them.” On one occasion he went there; they wanted to harm him. [Begin uncensored text, on the authority of Rabbinowicz.] R. Meir called it ’awen gilyon [אָוֶון גִּלְיוֹן, the falsehood of blank paper]; R. Johanan called it ‘awon gilyon [עֲווֹן גִּלְיוֹן, the sin of blank paper]. [End uncensored text.] Imma Shalom, R. Eliezer’s wife, was R. Gamaliel’s sister. Now, a certain philosopher [פִילוֹסְפָא] lived in his vicinity, 116b and he bore a reputation that he did not accept bribes. They wished to expose him, so she brought him a golden lamp, went before him, said to him, “I desire that a share be given me in my father’s estate.” “Divide,” he ordered. Said he [R. Gamaliel] to him, “It is decreed for us, ‘Where there is a son, a daughter does not inherit.’” “Since the day that you were exiled from your land the Law of Moses has been superseded and another book given [+ and the Law of the Evangelium has been given, Oxford codex], wherein it is written, ‘A son and a daughter inherit equally.’” The next day, he brought him a Lybian ass. He said to them, “Look at the end of the book, wherein it is written, ‘I came not to destroy the Law of Moses nor to add to the Law of Moses’ (= Matthew 5.17-19), and it is written therein, ‘A daughter does not inherit where there is a son.’” Said she to him, “Let your light shine forth like a lamp.’ Said R. Gamaliel to him, “An ass came and knocked the lamp over!” .... [Interesting article by Stephen Goranson; past discussion of this passage.]

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 48a: 48a .... «What is an Asherah?» But we learned above, “There are three kinds of Asherah!” What he means is this: there is agreement about two kinds, but in connection with the third there is a difference of opinion between R. Simeon and the Rabbis. What is the Asherah about which R. Simeon and the Rabbis differ? “Any beneath which there is an idol.” R. Simeon says, “Any which is worshipped.” How is an Asherah which is not specified as such? Rab said, “Any tree beneath which heathen priests sit but do not partake of its fruits.” Samuel said, “Even if they say, ‘These dates are for the House of Niṣrephe [לבי נצרפי],’ the tree is prohibited because they brew an intoxicating liquor from them which they drink on their feast days.” Amemar said, “The elders of Pumbeditha told me that the legal decision is in agreement with Samuel.”

On to Jesus himself now. It used to be doubted in some quarters whether the man named Yeshu in the Talmud could be, based on the name, the same as Yeshua (= Jesus), but an Israelite inscription has laid that doubt to rest:

The Yeshu Inscription

Levi Y. Rahmani, Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries in the Collections of the State of Israel, page 77, ossuary #9:

ישו
....
ישוע בר יחוסף

Yeshu.
....
Yeshua‘, son of Yehosef.

The following, then, are references to Yeshu the Noṣri. Unlike the raw list, these lists will also present certain parallel passages and scholarly comments as needed:

Jesus and His Mentor

Mishnah, Sanhedrin 10.2: 2 Three kings and four commoners have no portion in the World to Come. The three kings are Yaravam (≈ 1 Kings 13), Ahav (≈ 1 Kings 16.30), and Menasheh (≈ 2 Kings 21). Rabbi Yehudah says, “Menasheh has a portion in the World to Come, for it is stated, ‘And he prayed to Him, and He received his entreaty, and heard his supplication and He restored him to Jerusalem, to his kingdom’ (= 2 Chronicles 33.13).” They [the Sages] answered him, “He restored him to his kingdom, but not to the World to Come.” The four commoners: Bilam, Doeg (≈ 1 Samuel 22.9), Ahitophel (≈ 2 Samuel 17), and Gehazi (≈ 2 Kings 5).

Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 47a: 47a .... Our Rabbis taught, “Elisha was afflicted with three illnesses: one because he stirred up the bears against the children, one because he thrust Gehazi away with both his hands, and one of which he died, as it is said, ‘Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died’ (= 2 Kings 13.14).” Our Rabbis have taught, “Always let the left hand thrust away and the right hand draw near, not like Elisha who thrust Gehazi away with both his hands, and not like R. Joshua b. Perahyah who thrust one of his disciples [אחד מתלמידיו, + Yeshu, + the Noṣri, הנוצרי] away with both his hands.” How is it with Elisha? As it is written, “And Naaman said, ‘Be content; take two talents’ (= 2 Kings 5.23),” and it is written, “And he said unto him, ‘Went not my heart with you when the man turned again from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and sheep and oxen, and manservants and maidservants’ (= 2 Kings 5.25-26)?” But had he received all these things? Silver and garments were what he had received! R. Isaac said, “At that time Elisha was engaged with the eight kinds of creeping things, so he said to him, ‘You wicked person, the time has arrived for you to receive the reward for the eight creeping things! “The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto your and unto your seed for ever” (= 2 Kings 5.27).’” “Now there were four leprous men” (= Kings 7.3). R. Johanan said, “This refers to Gehazi and his three sons.” “And Elisha came to Damascus” (= 2 Kings 8.7). Why did he go there? R. Johanan said, “He went to induce Gehazi to repent but he refused. He said to him, ‘Repent,’ but he replied: ‘Thus have I received from you that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence.’” What had he done? Some say, “He applied a lodestone to the idolatrous image of Jeroboam and suspended it between heaven and earth.” Others say, “He engraved upon it the Name so that it used to exclaim, ‘I am’ (= Exodus 20.1), and, ‘You shall have none’ (= Exodus 20.2).” Still others say, “He drove the Rabbis from before him, as it is written, ‘And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, “Behold now, the place where we dwell before you is too strait for us” (= 2 Kings 6.1).’ Hence, up to then, it had not been too strait.” What was the incident with R. Joshua b. Perahyah? “When King Jannaeus put the Rabbis to death, Simeon b. Shetah was hidden by his sister while R. Joshua b. Perahyah fled to Alexandria in Egypt. When there was peace, Simeon b. Shetah sent, ‘From me, Jerusalem, the Holy city, to you, Alexandria in Egypt. O my sister, my husband dwells in your midst and I abide desolate.’ He arose and came back and found himself in a certain inn where they paid him great respect. He said, ‘How beautiful is this inn!’ One of his disciples [+ Yeshu] said to him, ‘Rabbi, her eyes are narrow!’ He replied to him, ‘Wicked person! Is it with such thoughts that you occupy yourself?’ He sent forth four hundred horns and excommunicated him. He came before him on many occasions, saying, ‘Receive me,’ but he refused to notice him. One day, while he was reciting the Shema, he came before him. His intention was to receive him and he made a sign to him with his hand, but the disciple thought he was repelling him. So he went and set up a brick and worshipped it. He said to him, ‘Repent,’ but he answered him, ‘Thus have I received from you that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence.’” A Master has said, “The disciple [+ יש"ו, Yeshu] practiced magic and led Israel astray.” It has been taught, R. Simeon b. Eleazar says: “Also human nature should thrust aside a child and a woman with the left hand and draw near with the right hand.” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 107b: 107b .... «Gehazi,» as it is written, “And Elisha came to Damascus” (= 2 Kings 8.7). Whither did he go? R. Johanan said, “He went to bring Gehazi back to repentance, but he would not repent. ‘Repent,’ he urged. He replied, ‘I have thus learned from you, “He who sins and causes the multitude to sin is not afforded the means of repentance.”’” What had he done? Some say, “He hung a lodestone above Jeroboam’s sin and thus suspended it between heaven and earth.” Others maintain, “He engraved the Divine Name in its mouth, whereupon it proclaimed, ‘I am’ (= Exodus 20.1), and, ‘You shall have no gods before me’ (= Exodus 20.2).” Others say, “He drove the Rabbis away from him, as it is written, ‘And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, “Behold now, the place where we dwell with you is too strait for us” (= 2 Kings 6.1),’ proving that till then it was not too narrow.” Our Rabbis taught. “Let the left hand repulse but the right hand always invite back, not as Elisha, who thrust Gehazi away with both hands, [+ ולא כרבי יהושע בן פרחיה שדחפו ליש"ו בשתי ידים, and not like R. Joshua b. Perahyah, who repulsed Yeshu, + the Noṣri, with both hands]. «Gehazi,» as it is written, “And Naaman said, ‘Be content; take two talents.’ And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver” (= 2 Kings 5.23). And Elisha said unto him, “Whence do you come, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went no whither.” And he said unto him, “Went not my heart with you, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep and oxen, and menservants and maidservants” (= 2 Kings 5.25-26)? But had he taken so much? He had only taken silver and garments! R. Isaac said, “Just then Elisha was sitting and lecturing on the eight creeping things. Now Naaman, the chief captain of the king of Syria, was a leper. A maiden, who had been captured from the land of Israel, said to him, ‘If you will go to Elisha, he will heal you.’ When he came there he said to him, ‘Go and dip yourself in the Jordan.’ ‘You ridicule me!’ he exclaimed. But his companions urged him, ‘What does it matter to you? Go and test it.’ So he went, dipped himself in the Jordan and was healed. He returned and offered him all he had, but he refused to accept it. Thereupon Gehazi left Elisha’s presence, went and took whatever he did, and put it away. When he returned, Elisha saw a leprous eruption on his head. ‘You wicked man,’ he cried, ‘the time has come for you to receive your reward of the eight creeping things! “‘The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto you, and unto your seed forever.’ And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow” (= 2 Kings 5.27).’” [Begin uncensored text.] What of R. Joshua b. Perahyah? “When King Jannai slew our Rabbis, R. Joshua b. Perahyah [+ ויש"ו, and Yeshu] fled to Alexandria of Egypt. On the resumption of peace, Simeon b. Shetach sent to him: ‘From me, the holy city, to you, Alexandria of Egypt (my sister). My husband dwells within you and I am desolate.’ He arose, went, and found himself in a certain inn, where great honor was shown him. ‘How beautiful is this inn!’ Thereupon he observed, ‘Rabbi, her eyes are narrow.’ ‘Wretch,’ he rebuked him, ‘do you thus engage yourself?’ He sounded four hundred trumpets and excommunicated him. He came before him many times pleading, ‘Receive me!’ But he would pay no heed to him. One day he was reciting the Shema when Yeshu came before him. He intended to receive him and made a sign to him. He, thinking that it was to repel him, went, put up a brick, and worshipped it. ‘Repent,’ said he to him. He replied, ‘I have thus learned from you, “He who sins and causes others to sin is not afforded the means of repentance.”’ And a Master has said, ‘Yeshu [יש"ו, + the Noṣri] practiced magic and led Israel astray.’” [End uncensored text.] “And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate” (= Kings 7.3). R. Johanan said, “They were Gehazi and his three sons.” It was taught, “R. Simeon b. Eleazar said, ‘Human nature, a child, and a woman, the left hand should repulse them but the right hand bring them back.’” Our Rabbis taught, “Elisha was ill on three occasions: once when he incited the bears against the children, once when he repulsed Gehazi with both hands, and the third of which he died, as it is written, ‘Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness where of he died’ (= 2 Kings 13.14). Until Abraham there was no old age: whoever saw Abraham said, ‘This is Isaac,’ and whoever saw Isaac said, ‘This is Abraham.’ Therefore Abraham prayed that there should be old age, as it is written, “And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age” (= Genesis 24.1). Until Jacob there was no illness, so he prayed and illness came into existence, as it is written, “And one told Joseph, ‘Behold, your father is sick’” (= Genesis 48.1). Until Elisha no sick man ever recovered, but Elisha came and prayed, and he recovered, as it is written, ‘Now Elisha was fallen sick of sickness whereof he died’ (= 2 Kings 13.14).” ....

Epiphanius, Panarion 29.3.1-9: 1 For David’s throne and kingly seat is the priesthood in the holy church. The Lord has combined this kingly and high priestly rank and conferred it on his holy church by transferring David’s throne to it, never to fail. 2 In time past David’s throne continued by succession until Christ himself, since the rulers from Judah did not fail until he came “for whom are the things prepared, and he is the expectation of the nations,” <as> scripture says. 3 For the rulers in succession from Judah came to an end with Christ’s arrival. Until he came <the> rulers <were anointed priests>, but after his birth in Bethlehem of Judea the order ended and was altered in the time of Alexander, a ruler of priestly and kingly stock. 4 This position died out with this Alexander from the time of Salina also known as Alexandra, in the time of King Herod and the Roman emperor Augustus. (Though this Alexander was crowned also, as one of the anointed priests and rulers. 5 For when the two tribes, the kingly and priestly, were united — I mean the tribe of Judah with Aaron and the whole tribe of Levi — kings also became priests, for nothing hinted at in holy scripture can be wrong.) 6 But then finally a gentile, King Herod, was crowned, and not David’s descendants any more. 7 But with the transfer of the royal throne the rank of king passed, in Christ, from the physical house of David and Israel to the church. The throne is established in God’s holy church forever, and has both the kingly and the high-priestly rank for two reasons. 8 It has the kingly rank from our Lord Jesus Christ, in two ways: because he is physically descended from King David, and because he is in fact a greater king from all eternity in virtue of his Godhead. But it has the priestly rank because Christ himself is high priest and the founder of the office of the high priests 9 since James, who was called the Lord’s brother and who was his apostle, was immediately made the first bishop. He was Joseph’s son by birth, but was ranked as the Lord’s brother because of their upbringing together.

Epiphanius, Panarion 51.22.19-21: 19 Thus the Savior was born in the forty-second year of the Roman emperor Augustus in the consulship I have mentioned, twenty-nine years after Augustus’ annexation of Judea; Augustus had reigned for thirteen years before Judea was finally annexed to Rome. 20 After Augustus’ accession there was an alliance between the Romans and the Jews for about four years of his reign, with the dispatch of an auxiliary force, the appointment of a governor, and the payment of partial tribute to the Romans. <And again, partial tribute was given to the Romans> for about five years [more], until Judea was surrendered to them completely and became [fully] tributary to them, 21 because the rulers descended from Judah had come to an end, and Herod had been made king— a gentile, though indeed a proselyte. And then Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea and began to preach, after the last of the anointed rulers [χρίστοι] descended from Judah and Aaron had come to an end — their line had continued until the anointed ruler Alexander, and Salina, or Alexandra. This was the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophecy, “There shall not fail a ruler from Judah and a governor from his loins, till he come for who it is prepared, and he is the expectation of the nations” (= Genesis 49.10) — a reference to the birth of the Lord.

Abraham Ibn Daud, The Book of Tradition 2.95—114 (apud René Salm, who credits the 1967 edition by Gerson Cohen): The historical works of the Jews state that this Joshua b. Perachiah was the teacher of Jesus the Nazarene [ישׂו הנצרי]. If this is so, it follows that he lived in the time of King Janneus. However, the historical works of the gentiles state that he was born in the days of Herod and crucified in the days of his son Archelaus. Now this is a significant difference of opinion, for there is a discrepancy between them of more than 110 years.... [The gentile historians] argue this point so vehemently in order to prove that the Temple and kingdom of Israel endured for but a short while after his crucifixion. However, we have it as an authentic tradition from the Mishna and the Talmud, which did not distort anything, that R. Joshua b. Perachiah fled to Egypt in the days of Alexander, that is, Janneus, and with him fled Jesus the Nazarene. We also have it as an authentic tradition that he was born in the fourth year of the reign of King Alexander, which was the year 263 after the building of the Second Temple, and the fifty-first year of the reign of the Hasmonean dynasty. In the year 299 after the building of the Temple, he was apprehended at the age of thirty-six in the third year of the reign of Aristobulus the son of Janneus. [Link.]

Jerusalem Talmud, Chagigah 2.2: 2 .... We have learned, “Judah b. Tabbai was nasi. Simeon b. Shatah was head of the court.” Some teach it vice versa. He who says Judah b. Tabbai was nasi finds support in the incident of Alexandria. The men of Jerusalem wanted to appoint Judah b. Tabbai as patriarch in Jerusalem. He fled and went to Alexandria. The men of Jerusalem would write, “From Jerusalem the great to Alexandria the small, how long will my betrothed dwell with you, while I am sorrowful on his account?” He departed and arrived in a boat. He said, “Do you remember what Deborah, the mistress of the house who received us, lacked?” One of his disciples said to him, “Rabbi, her eye was blinking.” He said to him, “Lo, two are against you: one that you suspected me, and one that you looked at her. Did I say that her appearance was handsome of sight? I only said in deed!” He was angry with him, and he went away. ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 6.6: 6 .... There is a Tannaite authority who teaches that Judah b. Tabbai was patriarch, and there is a Tannaite authority who teaches that Simeon b. Shatah was patriarch. He who says that Judah b. Tabbai was patriarch finds support in the following incident about Alexandria. The men of Jerusalem wanted to appoint Judah b. Tabbai as patriarch in Jerusalem. He fled and went to Alexandria. The men of Jerusalem would write, “From Jerusalem the great to Alexandria the small: ‘How long will my betrothed dwell with you, while I am left a deserted wife on his account?’” He departed, coming in a boat. ....

Jesus Burns His Food

Babylonian Talmud, Berakhoth 17a-17b: 17a .... When the Rabbis took leave from the school of R. Hisda — others say, of R. Samuel b. Nahmani — they said to him, “We are instructed, we are well laden, and the rest (= Psalm 144.14). ‘We are instructed, we are well laden.’ Rab and Samuel — according to others, R. Johanan and R. Eleazar — give different explanations of this. One says, ‘We are instructed’ in Torah ‘and well laden’ with precepts. The other says, ‘We are instructed’ in Torah and precepts; ‘we are well laden’ with chastisements. 17b .... ‘There is no breach,’ may our company not be like that of David from which issued Ahitophel. ‘And no going forth,’ may our company not be like that of Saul from which issued Doeg the Edomite. ‘And no outcry,’ may our company not be like that of Elisha, from which issued Gehazi. ‘In our broad places,’ may we produce no son or pupil who burns his food in public [+ כְּגוֹן יֵשׁוּ הַנּוֹצְרִי, like Yeshu the Noṣri].” ....

R. Travers Herford, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, page 61: The passage in b. Ber. 17b, as quoted in the Aruch (s.v. קדח), reads thus, “burns his food in public, like Manasseh.”

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 103a: 103a .... R. Hisda also said in the name of R. Jeremiah b. Abba, “What is meant by the verse, ‘There shall no evil befall you, nor shall any plague come nigh to your dwelling’ (= Psalm 91.10)? ‘There shall no evil befall you,’ the Evil Impulse shall have no power over you. ‘Nor shall any plague come nigh to your dwelling,’ you will not find your wife doubtful about menstruation when you return from a journey. Another interpretation, ‘There shall no evil befall you,’ you will not be affrighted by nightmares and dread thoughts. ‘Nor shall any plague come nigh to your dwelling,’ you will not have a son or a disciple who publicly burns his food [+ like Yeshu the Noṣri, כגון ישו הנוצרי].” ....

The Execution & Disciples of Jesus

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a: 43a .... «If then they find him innocent, they discharge him; but if not, he goes forth to be stoned, and a herald precedes him, ‹So and so, the son of so and so, is going forth to be stoned because he committed such and such an offense, and so and so are his witnesses. Whoever knows anything in his favor, let him come and state it.›» Abaye said, “It must also be announced, ‘On such and such a day, at such and such and hour, and in such and such a place,’ in case there are some who know, so that they can come forward and prove the witnesses conspirators.” «And a herald precedes him.» This implies, only immediately before, but not previous thereto. It was taught, “On the eve of the Passover Yeshu [ישו, + the Noṣri] was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, ‘He [~ ישו, + the Noṣri] is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.’ But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover.” Ulla retorted, “Do you suppose that he [~ Yeshu the Noṣri] was one for whom a defense could be made? Was he not a mesith, concerning whom Scripture says, ‘Neither shall you spare, nor shall you conceal him’ (= Deuteronomy 13.8)?” With him [+ ישו, Yeshu, + the Noṣri], however, it was different, for he was connected with the government. Our Rabbis taught, “Yeshu had five disciples: Matthai [מתאי], Nakai [נקאי], Neṣer [נצר], and Buni [בוני], and Todah [תודה]. When Matthai was brought he said to them, ‘Shall Matthai be executed? Is it not written, “When [מתי, matthai] shall I come and appear before God” (= Psalm 42.3)?’ Thereupon they retorted, ‘Yes, Matthai shall be executed, since it is written, “When [מתי, matthai] shall [he] die and his name perish” (= Psalm 41.6).’ When Nakai was brought in he said to them, ‘Shall Nakai be executed? Is it not written, “The innocent [נקי, naki] and the righteous do not slay” (= Exodus 23.7)?’ ‘Yes,’ was the answer, ‘Nakai shall be executed, since it is written, “In secret places does he slay the innocent [נקי, naki]” (= Psalm 10.8).’ When Neṣer [נצר] was brought in, he said, ‘Shall Neṣer [נצר] be executed? Is it not written, “And a twig [נצר, neṣer] shall grow forth out of his roots” (= Isaiah 11.1)?’ ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘Neṣer [נצר] shall be executed, since it is written, “But you are cast forth away from your grave like an abhorred branch [נצר, neṣer]” (= Isaiah 14.19).’ When Buni was brought in, he said, ‘Shall Buni be executed? Is it not written, “My son [בני, beni], my first born” (= Exodus 4.22)?’ ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘Buni shall be executed, since it is written, “Behold, I will slay your son [בנך, bineka], your firstborn” (= Exodus 4.23).’ And when Todah was brought in, he said to them, ‘Shall Todah be executed? Is it not written, “A psalm for thanksgiving [תודה, todah]” (= Psalm 100.1)?’ ‘Yes,’ they answered, ‘Todah shall be executed, since it is written, “Whosoever offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving [תודה, todah] has honored me” (= Psalm 50.23).’”

Babylonion Talmud, Taanith 19b: 19b .... “His name was not Nakdimon but Boni.” ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 1.1: 1 .... It was taught, “Forty years before the destruction of the Temple the right to judge capital cases was withdrawn, and it was in the days of Simeon b. Shatah that the right to judge property cases was withdrawn.” ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 7.2: 2 .... It is taught, “Forty years before the Temple was destroyed the right to judge capital cases was taken away from Israelite courts.” ....

Jesus in Hell

Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 56b-57a: 56b Onkelos son of Kolonikos was the son of Titus’s sister. He had a mind to convert himself to Judaism. He went and raised Titus from the dead by magical arts, and asked him, “Who is most in repute in the world?” He replied, “Israel.” “What then,” he said, “about joining them?” He said, “Their observances are burdensome and you will not be able to carry them out. Go and attack them in that world and you will be at the top, as it is written, ‘Her adversaries are become the head’ (= Lamentations 1.5), and the rest; whoever harasses Israel becomes head.” He asked him, 57a “What is your punishment?” He replied, “What decreed for myself. Every day my ashes are collected and sentence is passed on me, and I am burnt and my ashes are scattered over the seven seas.” He then went and raised Balaam by incantations. He asked him, “Who is in repute in the other world?” He replied, “Israel.” What then,” he said, “about joining them?” He replied, “‘You will not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever’ (= Deuteronomy 23.7).” He then asked, “What is your punishment?” He replied, “With boiling hot semen.” He then went and raised the sinners of Israel [~ Munich ליש"ו, + Vatican הנוצרי] by incantations. He asked them, “Who is in repute in the other world?” They replied, “Israel.” What about joining them? They replied, “Seek their welfare; seek not their harm. Whoever touches them touches the apple of his eye” (≈ Zechariah 2.12). He said, “What is your punishment?” They replied, “With boiling hot excrement, since a Master has said, ‘Whoever mocks at the words of the Sages is punished with boiling hot excrement.’” Observe the difference between the sinners of Israel and the prophets of the other nations who worship idols. ....

The Arrest of Eliezer

Tosefta, Chullin 2.24: 24 The case of K. Eliezer, who was arrested for heresy, and they brought him to the tribunal for judgment. The governor said to him, “Does an old man like you occupy himself with such things?” He said to him, “Faithful is the Judge concerning me.” The governor supposed that he only said this of him, but he was not thinking of any but his Father who is in Heaven. He said to him, “Since I am trusted concerning yourself, thus also I will be. I said, ‘Perhaps these societies err concerning these things.’ Dimissus, behold, you are released.” And when he had been released from the tribunal, he was troubled because he had been arrested for heresy. His disciples came in to console him, but he would not take comfort. R. Aqiba came in and said to him, “Rabbi, shall I say to you why you are perhaps grieving?” He said to him, “Say on.” He said to him, “Perhaps one of the heretics has said to you a word of heresy and it has pleased you.” He said, “By Heaven, you have reminded me! Once I was walking along the street of Sepphoris, and I met Jacob of Chephar Sichnin [יקוב איש כפר סכנן], and he said to me a word of heresy in the name of Yeshu ben Pantiri [ישוע בן פנטירי], and it pleased me. And I was arrested for words of heresy because I transgressed the words of Torah, ‘Keep your way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house’ (= Proverbs 5.8), for ‘she has cast down many wounded’ (= Proverbs 7.26).” And R. Eliezer used to say, “Ever let a man flee from what is hateful, and from that which resembles what is hateful.”

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 16b-17a: 16b .... «One should not join them in building a basilica, an executioner’s scaffold, a stadium, or a tribune.» Said Rabbah b. Bar-Hana in the name of R. Johanan, “There are three kinds of basilica buildings: those attached to royal palaces, baths, or storehouses.” Said Raba, “Two of these are permitted and one is forbidden; as a reminder, ‘To bind their kings with chains’ (= Psalm 149.8).” Some report, “Raba said, ‘All are permitted. But have we not learned, «One should not join them in building a basilica, an executioner’s scaffold, a stadium, or a tribune?» This should be taken to mean a basilica attached to an executioner’s scaffold, a stadium, or a tribune.’” Our Rabbis taught, “When R. Eliezer was arrested because of heresy, 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 he said, ‘Because you have acknowledged me as right, I pardon; you are 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, will you permit me to say one thing of what you have taught me?’ He replied, ‘Say it.’ ‘Master,’ said he, ‘perhaps some of the teaching of the heretics had been transmitted to you 17a and you approved of it and because of that you were arrested.’ He exclaimed: ‘Akiba, you have reminded me. I was once walking in the upper market of Sepphoris when I came across one [+ of the disciples of Yeshu the Noṣri], Jacob of Kefar Sekaniah [יעקוב איש כפר סכניא] by name, who said to me, “It is written in your Torah, ‘You shall not bring the hire of a harlot into the house of the Lord your God’ (= Deuteronomy 23.19). 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, “He [+ ישו הנוצרי, Yeshu the Noṣri] taught me, ‘For of the hire of a harlot has she gathered them, and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return’ (= Micah 1.7). 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 apostasy; for thereby I transgressed the scriptural words, “Remove your way far from her” — which refers to heresy — “and come not nigh to the door of her house” — which refers to the ruling power (= Proverbs 5.8).’” ....

Ecclesiastes Rabbah Parasha 1, 8.3a (translation slightly modified from that of Richard Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus, pages 107-108): 3a R. Eliezer was once arrested because of heresy, and the governor took him and made him ascend a dais to be tried. He said to him, “Rabbi, can a great man like you occupy himself with those idle matters?” He answered him, “Faithful is the judge concerning me.” He thought that he was alluding to him, whereas he said it with reference to God. He thereupon said to him, “Since I have been acknowledged right by you, I too have been thinking and say, ‘Is it possible that these academies should go astray with such idle matters?’ You are consequently acquitted and free.” After R. Eliezer had left the dais, he was sorely grieved at having been arrested because of heresy. His disciples visited him to console him, but he would not accept it. R. Aqiba visited him and said to him, “Rabbi, perhaps one of the heretics expounded something in your presence which was acceptable to you.” He answered, “By heaven, you have reminded me! Once I was walking up the main street of Sepphoris when there came toward me a man named Jacob of Kephar Sikhnaya [יַעֲקֹב אִישׁ כְּפַר סִכְנַיָא] who told me something in the name of Yeshu ben Pandira which pleased me, namely, ‘It is written in your Torah, ”You shall not bring the hire of a harlot, or the wages of a dog, into the house of the Lord your God in payment for my vow“ (= Deuteronomy 23.19). What is to be done with them?’ I told him that they were prohibited. He said to me, ‘They are prohibited as an offering, but is it permissible to destroy them?’ I retorted, ‘In that case, what is to be done with them?’ He said to me, ‘Let bathhouses and privies be made with them.’ I exclaimed, ‘You have said an excellent thing,’ and the law escaped my memory at the time. When he saw that I acknowledged his words, he added, ‘Thus said Yeshu ben Pandira, ”From filth they came and on filth they should be expended, as it is said, ’From the hire of a harlot she gathered them, and to the hire of a harlot they shall return‘ (= Micah 1.7). Let them be spent on privies for the public,“’ and the thought pleased me. On that account I was arrested for heresy. More than that, I transgressed what is written in the Torah, ‘Keep your way far from her, and do nor go near the door of her house’ (= Proverbs 5.8). ‘Keep your way far from her,’ heresy, ‘and do not go near the door of her house,’ immorality. Why? ‘For many a victim has she laid low; yea, all her slain are a mighty host’ (= Proverbs 7.26).”

A table of passages about Jesus and his mentor may be of use:

Jerusalem Talmud, Chagigah 2.2
Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 6.6
Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 47a
Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 107b (censored portion)
We have learned, “Judah b. Tabbai was nasi. Simeon b. Shatah was head of the court.” Some teach it vice versa. He who says Judah b. Tabbai was nasi finds support in the incident of Alexandria. The men of Jerusalem wanted to appoint Judah b. Tabbai as patriarch in Jerusalem. He fled and went to Alexandria. The men of Jerusalem would write, “From Jerusalem the great to Alexandria the small, how long will my betrothed dwell with you, while I am sorrowful on his account?” He departed and arrived in a boat. He said, “Do you remember what Deborah, the mistress of the house who received us, lacked?” One of his disciples said to him, “Rabbi, her eye was blinking.” He said to him, “Lo, two are against you: one that you suspected me, and one that you looked at her. Did I say that her appearance was handsome of sight? I only said in deed!” He was angry with him, and he went away.There is a Tannaite authority who teaches that Judah b. Tabbai was patriarch, and there is a Tannaite authority who teaches that Simeon b. Shatah was patriarch. He who says that Judah b. Tabbai was patriarch finds support in the following incident about Alexandria. The men of Jerusalem wanted to appoint Judah b. Tabbai as patriarch in Jerusalem. He fled and went to Alexandria. The men of Jerusalem would write, “From Jerusalem the great to Alexandria the small: ‘How long will my betrothed dwell with you, while I am left a deserted wife on his account?’” He departed, coming in a boat.What was the incident with R. Joshua b. Perahyah? “When King Jannaeus put the Rabbis to death, Simeon b. Shetah was hidden by his sister while R. Joshua b. Perahyah fled to Alexandria in Egypt. When there was peace, Simeon b. Shetah sent, ‘From me, Jerusalem, the Holy city, to you, Alexandria in Egypt. O my sister, my husband dwells in your midst and I abide desolate.’ He arose and came back and found himself in a certain inn where they paid him great respect. He said, ‘How beautiful is this inn!’ One of his disciples [+ Yeshu] said to him, ‘Rabbi, her eyes are narrow!’ He replied to him, ‘Wicked person! Is it with such thoughts that you occupy yourself?’ He sent forth four hundred horns and excommunicated him. He came before him on many occasions, saying, ‘Receive me,’ but he refused to notice him. One day, while he was reciting the Shema, he came before him. His intention was to receive him and he made a sign to him with his hand, but the disciple thought he was repelling him. So he went and set up a brick and worshipped it. He said to him, ‘Repent,’ but he answered him, ‘Thus have I received from you that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence.’” A Master has said, “The disciple [+ יש"ו, Yeshu] practiced magic and led Israel astray.”What of R. Joshua b. Perahyah? “When King Jannai slew our Rabbis, R. Joshua b. Perahyah [+ ויש"ו, and Yeshu] fled to Alexandria of Egypt. On the resumption of peace, Simeon b. Shetach sent to him: ‘From me, the holy city, to you, Alexandria of Egypt (my sister). My husband dwells within you and I am desolate.’ He arose, went, and found himself in a certain inn, where great honor was shown him. ‘How beautiful is this inn!’ Thereupon he observed, ‘Rabbi, her eyes are narrow.’ ‘Wretch,’ he rebuked him, ‘do you thus engage yourself?’ He sounded four hundred trumpets and excommunicated him. He came before him many times pleading, ‘Receive me!’ But he would pay no heed to him. One day he was reciting the Shema when Yeshu came before him. He intended to receive him and made a sign to him. He, thinking that it was to repel him, went, put up a brick, and worshipped it. ‘Repent,’ said he to him. He replied, ‘I have thus learned from you, “He who sins and causes others to sin is not afforded the means of repentance.”’ And a Master has said, ‘Yeshu [יש"ו, + the Noṣri] practiced magic and led Israel astray.’”

A table of passages about the arrest of Eliezer may also be of use:

Tosefta, Chullin 2.24
Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 16b-17a
The case of K. Eliezer, who was arrested for heresy, and they brought him to the tribunal for judgment. The governor said to him, “Does an old man like you occupy himself with such things?” He said to him, “Faithful is the Judge concerning me.” The governor supposed that he only said this of him, but he was not thinking of any but his Father who is in Heaven. He said to him, “Since I am trusted concerning yourself, thus also I will be. I said, ‘Perhaps these societies err concerning these things.’ Dimissus, behold, you are released.” And when he had been released from the tribunal, he was troubled because he had been arrested for heresy. His disciples came in to console him, but he would not take comfort. R. Aqiba came in and said to him, “Rabbi, shall I say to you why you are perhaps grieving?” He said to him, “Say on.” He said to him, “Perhaps one of the heretics has said to you a word of heresy and it has pleased you.” He said, “By Heaven, you have reminded me! Once I was walking along the street of Sepphoris, and I met Jacob of Chephar Sichnin, and he said to me a word of heresy in the name of Yeshu ben Pantiri, and it pleased me. And I was arrested for words of heresy because I transgressed the words of Torah, ‘Keep your way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house’ (= Proverbs 5.8), for ‘she has cast down many wounded’ (= Proverbs 7.26).”Our Rabbis taught, “When R. Eliezer was arrested because of heresy, 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 he said, ‘Because you have acknowledged me as right, I pardon; you are 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, will you permit me to say one thing of what you have taught me?’ He replied, ‘Say it.’ ‘Master,’ said he, ‘perhaps some of the teaching of the heretics had been transmitted to you and you approved of it and because of that you were arrested.’ He exclaimed: ‘Akiba, you have reminded me. I was once walking in the upper market of Sepphoris when I came across one [+ of the disciples of Yeshu the Noṣri], Jacob of Kefar Sekaniah [יעקוב איש כפר סכניא] by name, who said to me, “It is written in your Torah, ‘You shall not bring the hire of a harlot into the house of the Lord your God’ (= Deuteronomy 23.19). 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, “He [+ ישו הנוצרי, Yeshu the Noṣri] taught me, ‘For of the hire of a harlot has she gathered them, and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return’ (= Micah 1.7). 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 apostasy; for thereby I transgressed the scriptural words, “Remove your way far from her” — which refers to heresy — “and come not nigh to the door of her house” — which refers to the ruling power (= Proverbs 5.8).’”

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Re: Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:08 pm

The following are references to the man known as ben Stada (or ben Sutra, or ben Satra) and to the man known as ben Pantera (or ben Pandira, or ben Panthera). First, however, it rewards attention to notice that Pantera is a real name, not (just) a possible pun on the Greek word for a virgin (παρθένος, parthenos):

The Pantera Inscription

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 3.7514 (Bingerbrück, Germany, AD 31-52):

Tib(erius) Iul(ius) Abdes Pantera
Sidonia ann(orum) LXII
stipen(diorum) XXXX miles exs(ignifer)
coh(orte) I Sagittariorum
h(ic) s(itus) e(st)


Tiberius Iulius Abdes Pantera of Sidon, 62 years old, soldier of 40 yearly stipends, former standard bearer for the first cohort of archers, lies here.

[Link.]

On to the list:

The Son of Stada

Tosefta, Shabbath 11.15: 15 Rabbi Eliezer condemns [cutting the flesh]; the Wise permit it. He said to them, “Did not ben Stada learn only in this way?” They said to him, “Are we to destroy all discerning people because of one fool?”

Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbath 12.4: .... Said R. Eliezer to them, “Now did not ben Satra learn [~ did not ben Stada bring magic] only in such wise?” They said to them, “Because of one fool shall we impose liability on [~ destroy] all intelligent folk?”

Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 104b: 104b .... «He who scratches a mark on his flesh,» and so on. It was taught, “R. Eliezer said to the Sages, ‘But did not ben Stada [בֶּן סָטָדֲ] bring forth witchcraft from Egypt by means of scratches upon his flesh?’ ‘He was a fool,’ answered they, ‘and proof cannot be adduced from fools.’”* [Begin censored text.] Was he then the son of Stada [בֶּן סָטָדָא]? Surely he was the son of Pandira [בֶּן פַּנְדִּירָא]? Said R. Hisda, “The husband was Stada [סָטָדָא], the paramour Pandira [פַּנְדִּירָא].” But the husband was Pappos b. Judah? “His mother was Stada [סָטָדָא]. But his mother was Miriam [מִרְיָם], a hairdresser [מְגַדְּלָא שְׂעַר]? It is as we say in Pumbeditha, “This one has turned away [סְטָת דָּא] from her husband. [End censored text.] ....

* In some manuscripts it appears that, “‘He was a fool,’ answered they, ‘and proof cannot be adduced from fools,’” is suspended until after the censorship.

Babylonian Talmud, Chagigah 4b-5a: 4b .... R. Joseph, when he came to the verse, “But there is that is swept away without judgment” (= Proverbs 13.23), wept. “Is there anyone who passes away before one’s time?” Yes, as in the story by R. Bibi b. Abaye, who was frequently visited by the Angel of Death. The latter said to his messenger, “Go, bring me Miriam, the women's hairdresser!” He went and brought him Miriam, the children’s nurse. Said he to him, “I told you Miriam, the women’s hairdresser.” He answered, “If so, I will take her back.” Said he to him, “Since you have brought her, let her be added. But how were you able to get her? “She was holding a shovel in her hand and was heating 5a and raking the oven. She took it and put it on her foot and burned herself; thus her luck was impaired and I brought her.” Said R. Bibi b. Abaye to him, “Do you have permission to act thus?” He answered him, “Is it not written, ‘There is that is swept away without judgment’ (= Proverbs 13.23)?” He countered, “But behold, it is written, ‘One generation passes away and another generation comes’ (= Ecclesiastes 1.4).” He replied, “I have charge of them till they have completed the generation, and then I hand them over to Dumah!” He asked him, “But, after all, what do you do with her years?” He replied, “If there be a Rabbinic scholar who overlooks his hurt, I shall give them to him in her stead.” .... Tosaphoth: The Angel of Death was with him; he related what had already happened, for this about Miriam the dresser of women’s hair [מרים מגדלא] took place in the second temple, for she was the mother of a certain person, as it is said in Shabbath, page 104.

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 67a: 67a .... «The inciter [מסית, mesith] is a layman.» Thus, only because he is a layman; but if a prophet, he is strangled. «Who seduces an individual.» Thus, only if he seduces an individual; but if a community, he is strangled. Hence, who is the Mishnah? R. Simeon. For it has been taught, “A prophet who entices is stoned.” R. Simeon said, “He is strangled.” Then consider the second clause. «The enticer [מדיח, maddiah] is one who says, ‹Let us go and serve idols,›» whereon Rab Judah observed in Rab’s name, “This Mishnah teaches of those who lead astray a seduced city.” Thus it agrees with the Rabbis. Hence, the first clause is taught according to R. Simeon, the second according to the Rabbis. Rabina said, “Both clauses are based on the Rabbis’ ruling, but proceed from the universally admitted to the disputed.” R. Papa said, “When the Mishnah states, «A mesith is a layman,» 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, except for this one.’” How is it done? A light is lit in an inner chamber, the witnesses are hidden in an outer one, so that they can see and hear him, but he cannot see them. Then the person he wished to seduce says to him, “Tell me privately what you have 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 the Beth Din and have him stoned. [Begin censored text.] And this they did to ben Stada in Lydda, and they hung him on the eve of Passover [הוספה מחסרונות הש"ס: וכן עשו לבן סטדא בלוד ותלאוהו בערב הפסח]; ben Stada was ben Padira. R. Hisda said: “The husband was Stada, the paramour Pandira.” But was not the husband Pappos b. Judah? “His mother’s name was Stada.” But his mother was Miriam [מרים], a hairdresser [מגדלא נשיא]? As they say in Pumbaditha, “This woman has turned away [סטת דא] from her husband.” [End censored text.] ....

Tosefta, Sanhedrin 10.11: 11 In regard to all who are worthy of death according to the Torah, they do not use concealment against them, except in the case of the deceiver. How do they deal with him? They put two disciples of the wise in the inner chamber, and he sits in the outer chamber, and they light the lamp so that they shall see him and hear his voice. And thus they did to ben Stada in Lud; two disciples of the wise were chosen for him, and they [brought him to the Beth Din] and stoned him. ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Yevamoth 16.6: 6 .... «The inciter,» this refers to an ordinary fellow. «The incited,» this refers to an ordinary fellow. Lo, a sage is not? Since the person incites someone to idolatry, this is no sage. Since one is incited to idolatry, this is no sage. How do they get testimony against him? They conceal against him two witnesses in an inside room, and he sits in an outside room. And they light a candle near him, so that they can see him. And they listen to what he says. And so did they do to ben Stada [~ ben Sutra] in Lydda. They appointed against him two disciples of sages, and they stoned him. ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 7.16: 16 .... «He who leads» is one who says, “Let us go and perform an act of service to an idol.” Lo, a sage is not? Since the person incites someone to idolatry, this is no sage. Since one is incited to idolatry, this is no sage. How do they get testimony against him? They conceal against him two witnesses in an inside room, and he sits in an outside room. And they light a candle near him, so that they can see him. And they listen to what he says. And so did they to to ben Stada [~ ben Sutra] in Lydda. They appointed against him two disciples of sages, and they stoned him. ....

Babylonian Talmud, Chagigah 4b-5a: 4b .... R. Joseph, when he came to the verse, “But there is that is swept away without judgment” (= Proverbs 13.23), wept. “Is there anyone who passes away before one’s time?” Yes, as in the story by R. Bibi b. Abaye, who was frequently visited by the Angel of Death. The latter said to his messenger, “Go, bring me Miriam, the women's hairdresser!” He went and brought him Miriam, the children’s nurse. Said he to him, “I told you Miriam, the women’s hairdresser.” He answered, “If so, I will take her back.” Said he to him, “Since you have brought her, let her be added. But how were you able to get her? “She was holding a shovel in her hand and was heating 5a and raking the oven. She took it and put it on her foot and burned herself; thus her luck was impaired and I brought her.” Said R. Bibi b. Abaye to him, “Do you have permission to act thus?” He answered him, “Is it not written, ‘There is that is swept away without judgment’ (= Proverbs 13.23)?” He countered, “But behold, it is written, ‘One generation passes away and another generation comes’ (= Ecclesiastes 1.4).” He replied, “I have charge of them till they have completed the generation, and then I hand them over to Dumah!” He asked him, “But, after all, what do you do with her years?” He replied, “If there be a Rabbinic scholar who overlooks his hurt, I shall give them to him in her stead.” .... Tosaphoth: The Angel of Death was with him; he related what had already happened, for this about Miriam the dresser of women’s hair [מרים מגדלא] took place in the second temple, for she was the mother of a certain person, as it is said in Shabbath, page 104.

Origen, Against Celsus 1.28: 28 And since, in imitation of a rhetorician training a pupil, he introduces a Jew who enters into a personal discussion with Jesus and speaks in a very childish manner, altogether unworthy of the grey hairs of a philosopher, let me endeavour, to the best of my ability, to examine his statements, and show that he does not maintain throughout the discussion the consistency due to the character of a Jew. For he represents him disputing with Jesus and confuting Him, as he thinks, on many points; and in the first place, he accuses Him of having invented his birth from a virgin [πλασαμένου αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐκ παρθένου γένεσιν], and upbraids Him with being born in a certain Jewish village, of a poor woman of the country, who gained her subsistence by spinning [ἐκ κώμης αὐτὸν γεγονέναι ἰουδαϊκῆς καὶ ἀπὸ γυναικὸς ἐγχωρίου καὶ πενιχρᾶς καὶ χερνήτιδος], and who was turned out of doors by her husband, a carpenter by trade, because she was convicted of adultery [αὐτὴν καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ γήμαντος, τέκτονος τὴν τέχνην ὄντος, ἐξεῶσθαι ἐλεγχθεῖσαν ὡς μεμοιχευμένην]; that after being driven away by her husband, and wandering about for a time, she disgracefully gave birth to Jesus, an illegitimate child [ἐκβληθεῖσα ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς καὶ πλανωμένη ἀτίμως σκότιον ἐγέννησε τὸν Ἰησοῦν], who having hired himself out as a servant in Egypt on account of his poverty, and having there acquired some miraculous powers, on which the Egyptians greatly pride themselves, returned to his own country, highly elated on account of them, and by means of these proclaimed himself a God [οὗτος διὰ πενίαν εἰς Αἴγυπτον μισθαρνήσας κἀκεῖ δυνάμεών τινων πειραθείς, ἐφ' αἷς Αἰγύπτιοι σεμνύνονται, ἐπανῆλθεν ἐν ταῖς δυνάμεσι μέγα φρονῶν, καὶ δι' αὐτὰς θεὸν αὑτὸν ἀνηγόρευσε]. Now, as I cannot allow anything said by unbelievers to remain unexamined, but must investigate everything from the beginning, I give it as my opinion that all these things worthily harmonize with the predictions that Jesus is the Son of God.

The Son of Pantera

Tosefta, Chullin 2.20-24: 20-21 Flesh which is found in the hand of a Gentile is allowed for use; in the hand of a heretic it is forbidden for use. That which comes from a house of idolatry, lo, this is the flesh of sacrifices of the dead, because they say, “Slaughtering by a heretic is idolatry, their bread is Samaritan bread, their wine is wine offered, their fruits are not tithed, their books are books of witchcraft, and their sons are bastards.” One does not sell to them or receive from them, or take from them or give to them; one does not teach their sons trades, and one does not obtain healing from them, either healing of property or healing of life. 22-23 The case of R. Eliazar ben Damah, whom a serpent bit. There came in Jacob, a man of Chephar Sama, to cure him in the name of Yeshua ben Pandira, but R. Ishmael did not allow it. He said, “You are not permitted, ben Damah.” He said, “I will bring you a proof that he may heal me.” But he had not finished bringing a proof when he died. R. Ishmael said, “Happy you are, ben Damah, for you have departed in peace and have not broken through the ordinances of the wise; for upon every one who breaks through the fence of the wise, punishment comes at last, as it is written, ‘Whosoever breaks a fence, a serpent shall bite him’ (= Ecclesiastes 10.8).” 24 The case of K. Eliezer, who was arrested for heretics, and they brought him to the tribunal for judgment. The governor said to him, “Does an old man like you occupy himself with such things?” He said to him, “Faithful is the Judge concerning me.” The governor supposed that he only said this of him, but he was not thinking of any but his Father who is in Heaven. He said to him, “Since I am trusted concerning yourself, thus also I will be. I said, ‘Perhaps these societies err concerning these things.’ Dimissus, behold, you are released.” And when he had been released from the tribunal, he was troubled because he had been arrested for heresy. His disciples came in to console him, but he would not take comfort. R. Aqiba came in and said to him, “Rabbi, shall I say to you why you are perhaps grieving?” He said to him, “Say on.” He said to him, “Perhaps one of the heretics has said to you a word of heresy and it has pleased you.” He said, “By Heaven, you have reminded me! Once I was walking along the street of Sepphoris, and I met Jacob of Chephar Sichnin [יקוב איש כפר סכנן], and he said to me a word of heresy in the name of Yeshu ben Pantiri [ישוע בן פנטירי], and it pleased me. And I was arrested for words of heresy because I transgressed the words of Torah, ‘Keep your way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house’ (= Proverbs 5.8), for ‘she has cast down many wounded’ (= Proverbs 7.26).” And R. Eliezer used to say, “Ever let a man flee from what is hateful, and from that which resembles what is hateful.”

Ecclesiastes Rabbah Parasha 1, 8.3a (translation slightly modified from that of Richard Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus, pages 107-108): 3a R. Eliezer was once arrested because of heresy, and the governor took him and made him ascend a dais to be tried. He said to him, “Rabbi, can a great man like you occupy himself with those idle matters?” He answered him, “Faithful is the judge concerning me.” He thought that he was alluding to him, whereas he said it with reference to God. He thereupon said to him, “Since I have been acknowledged right by you, I too have been thinking and say, ‘Is it possible that these academies should go astray with such idle matters?’ You are consequently acquitted and free.” After R. Eliezer had left the dais, he was sorely grieved at having been arrested because of heresy. His disciples visited him to console him, but he would not accept it. R. Aqiba visited him and said to him, “Rabbi, perhaps one of the heretics expounded something in your presence which was acceptable to you.” He answered, “By heaven, you have reminded me! Once I was walking up the main street of Sepphoris when there came toward me a man named Jacob of Kephar Sikhnaya [יַעֲקֹב אִישׁ כְּפַר סִכְנַיָא] who told me something in the name of Yeshu ben Pandira which pleased me, namely, ‘It is written in your Torah, ”You shall not bring the hire of a harlot, or the wages of a dog, into the house of the Lord your God in payment for my vow“ (= Deuteronomy 23.19). What is to be done with them?’ I told him that they were prohibited. He said to me, ‘They are prohibited as an offering, but is it permissible to destroy them?’ I retorted, ‘In that case, what is to be done with them?’ He said to me, ‘Let bathhouses and privies be made with them.’ I exclaimed, ‘You have said an excellent thing,’ and the law escaped my memory at the time. When he saw that I acknowledged his words, he added, ‘Thus said Yeshu ben Pandira, ”From filth they came and on filth they should be expended, as it is said, ’From the hire of a harlot she gathered them, and to the hire of a harlot they shall return‘ (= Micah 1.7). Let them be spent on privies for the public,“’ and the thought pleased me. On that account I was arrested for heresy. More than that, I transgressed what is written in the Torah, ‘Keep your way far from her, and do nor go near the door of her house’ (= Proverbs 5.8). ‘Keep your way far from her,’ heresy, ‘and do not go near the door of her house,’ immorality. Why? ‘For many a victim has she laid low; yea, all her slain are a mighty host’ (= Proverbs 7.26).”

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 67a: 67a .... «The inciter [מסית, mesith] is a layman.» Thus, only because he is a layman; but if a prophet, he is strangled. «Who seduces an individual.» Thus, only if he seduces an individual; but if a community, he is strangled. Hence, who is the Mishnah? R. Simeon. For it has been taught, “A prophet who entices is stoned.” R. Simeon said, “He is strangled.” Then consider the second clause. «The enticer [מדיח, maddiah] is one who says, ‹Let us go and serve idols,›» whereon Rab Judah observed in Rab’s name, “This Mishnah teaches of those who lead astray a seduced city.” Thus it agrees with the Rabbis. Hence, the first clause is taught according to R. Simeon, the second according to the Rabbis. Rabina said, “Both clauses are based on the Rabbis’ ruling, but proceed from the universally admitted to the disputed.” R. Papa said, “When the Mishnah states, «A mesith is a layman,» 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, except for this one.’” How is it done? A light is lit in an inner chamber, the witnesses are hidden in an outer one, so that they can see and hear him, but he cannot see them. Then the person he wished to seduce says to him, “Tell me privately what you have 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 the Beth Din and have him stoned. [Begin censored text.] And this they did to ben Stada in Lydda, and they hung him on the eve of Passover [הוספה מחסרונות הש"ס: וכן עשו לבן סטדא בלוד ותלאוהו בערב הפסח]; ben Stada was ben Padira. R. Hisda said: “The husband was Stada, the paramour Pandira.” But was not the husband Pappos b. Judah? “His mother’s name was Stada.” But his mother was Miriam [מרים], a hairdresser [מגדלא נשיא]? As they say in Pumbaditha, “This woman has turned away [סטת דא] from her husband.” [End censored text.] ....

Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 104b: 104b .... «He who scratches a mark on his flesh,» and so on. It was taught, “R. Eliezer said to the Sages, ‘But did not ben Stada [בֶּן סָטָדֲ] bring forth witchcraft from Egypt by means of scratches upon his flesh?’ ‘He was a fool,’ answered they, ‘and proof cannot be adduced from fools.’”* [Begin censored text.] Was he then the son of Stada [בֶּן סָטָדָא]? Surely he was the son of Pandira [בֶּן פַּנְדִּירָא]? Said R. Hisda, “The husband was Stada [סָטָדָא], the paramour Pandira [פַּנְדִּירָא].” But the husband was Pappos b. Judah? “His mother was Stada [סָטָדָא]. But his mother was Miriam [מִרְיָם], a hairdresser [מְגַדְּלָא שְׂעַר]? It is as we say in Pumbeditha, “This one has turned away [סְטָת דָּא] from her husband. [End censored text.] ....

Babylonian Talmud, Chagigah 4b-5a: 4b .... R. Joseph, when he came to the verse, “But there is that is swept away without judgment” (= Proverbs 13.23), wept. “Is there anyone who passes away before one’s time?” Yes, as in the story by R. Bibi b. Abaye, who was frequently visited by the Angel of Death. The latter said to his messenger, “Go, bring me Miriam, the women's hairdresser!” He went and brought him Miriam, the children’s nurse. Said he to him, “I told you Miriam, the women’s hairdresser.” He answered, “If so, I will take her back.” Said he to him, “Since you have brought her, let her be added. But how were you able to get her? “She was holding a shovel in her hand and was heating 5a and raking the oven. She took it and put it on her foot and burned herself; thus her luck was impaired and I brought her.” Said R. Bibi b. Abaye to him, “Do you have permission to act thus?” He answered him, “Is it not written, ‘There is that is swept away without judgment’ (= Proverbs 13.23)?” He countered, “But behold, it is written, ‘One generation passes away and another generation comes’ (= Ecclesiastes 1.4).” He replied, “I have charge of them till they have completed the generation, and then I hand them over to Dumah!” He asked him, “But, after all, what do you do with her years?” He replied, “If there be a Rabbinic scholar who overlooks his hurt, I shall give them to him in her stead.” .... Tosaphoth: The Angel of Death was with him; he related what had already happened, for this about Miriam the dresser of women’s hair [מרים מגדלא] took place in the second temple, for she was the mother of a certain person, as it is said in Shabbath, page 104.

Origen, Against Celsus 1.32: 32 But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera [ἡ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ μήτηρ ὡς ἐξωσθεῖσα ἀπὸ τοῦ μνηστευσαμένου αὐτὴν τέκτονος, ἐλεγχθεῖσα ἐπὶ μοιχείᾳ καὶ κύουσα ἀπό τινος στρατιώτου Πανθήρα τοὔνομα]; and let us see whether those who have blindly concocted these fables about the adultery of the Virgin with Panthera, and her rejection by the carpenter, did not invent these stories to overturn His miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost. For they could have falsified the history in a different manner, on account of its extremely miraculous character, and not have admitted, as it were against their will, that Jesus was born of no ordinary human marriage. It was to be expected, indeed, that those who would not believe the miraculous birth of Jesus would invent some falsehood. And their not doing this in a credible manner, but preserving the fact that it was not by Joseph that the Virgin conceived Jesus, rendered the falsehood very palpable to those who can understand and detect such inventions. Is it at all agreeable to reason that he who dared to do so much for the human race, in order that, as far as in him lay, all the Greeks and Barbarians, who were looking for divine condemnation, might depart from evil and regulate their entire conduct in a manner pleasing to the Creator of the world, should not have had a miraculous birth, but rather one which is the vilest and most disgraceful of all? And I will ask of them as Greeks, and particularly of Celsus, who either holds or not the sentiments of Plato, and at any rate quotes them, whether He who sends souls down into the bodies of men degraded Him who was to dare such mighty acts, and to teach so many men, and to reform so many from the mass of wickedness in the world, to a birth more disgraceful than any other, and did not rather introduce Him into the world through a lawful marriage? Or is it not more in conformity with reason, that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons (I speak now according to the opinion of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Empedocles, whom Celsus frequently names), is introduced into a body, and introduced according to its deserts and former actions? It is probable, therefore, that this soul also, which conferred more benefit by its residence in the flesh than that of many men (to avoid prejudice, I do not say all), stood in need of a body not only superior to others, but invested with all excellent qualities.

Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbath 14.4: 4 .... [Joshua b. Levi] had a grandson, who swallowed [something dangerous]. Someone came along and whispered over him in the name of ___ [~ Jesus Panteri, Leiden manuscript, filling the blank] and he recovered. [+ When he went out, Leiden manuscript, between the lines] [Joshua] said to him, “What did you say over him?” He said to him such and such a word. He said to him, “It would have been better for him if he had died and thus [had not been done for him].” ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Avodah Zara 2.2: 2 .... [Joshua b. Levi] had a grandson, who swallowed [something dangerous]. Someone came along and whispered over him. When he went out, he said to him, “What did you say over him?” He said to him such and such a word. He said to him, “What will be? If he had died but had not heard, it would have been [better] for him.” ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Avodah Zara 2.2: 2 .... A snake bit Eleazar b. Dama. He came to Jacob of Kefar Sama for healing. [+ He said, “We will speak to you in the name of Yeshu ben Pandira,” according to Herford.] Said R. Ishmael to him, “You have no right to do so, Ben Dama.” He said to him, “I shall bring proof that it is permitted for him to heal me.” But he did not suffice to bring proof before he dropped dead. Said to him R. Ishmael, “Happy are you, O Ben Dama, for you left this world in peace and did not break through the fence of the sages, and so in dying you have carried out that which has been said, ‘A serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall’ (= Ecclesiastes 10.8).” And did not a snake already bite him? But a snake will not bite him in the age to come. And what did he have to say? “You shall therefore keep my statutes and my ordinances, by doing which a man shall live” (= Leviticus 18.5).

It is of interest that our friend Eliezer refers both to ben Stada and to ben Pantera without seeming to think of them as the same man:

Eliezer on the Son of Stada and the Son of Pantera

Tosefta, Shabbath 11.15: 15 Rabbi Eliezer condemns [cutting the flesh]; the Wise permit it. He said to them, “Did not ben Stada learn only in this way?” They said to him, “Are we to destroy all discerning people because of one fool?”

Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbath 12.4: .... Said R. Eliezer to them, “Now did not ben Satra learn [~ did not ben Stada bring magic] only in such wise?” They said to them, “Because of one fool shall we impose liability on [~ destroy] all intelligent folk?”

Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 104b: 104b .... «He who scratches a mark on his flesh,» and so on. It was taught, “R. Eliezer said to the Sages, ‘But did not ben Stada [בֶּן סָטָדֲ] bring forth witchcraft from Egypt by means of scratches upon his flesh?’ ‘He was a fool,’ answered they, ‘and proof cannot be adduced from fools.’”* [Begin censored text.] Was he then the son of Stada [בֶּן סָטָדָא]? Surely he was the son of Pandira [בֶּן פַּנְדִּירָא]? Said R. Hisda, “The husband was Stada [סָטָדָא], the paramour Pandira [פַּנְדִּירָא].” But the husband was Pappos b. Judah? “His mother was Stada [סָטָדָא]. But his mother was Miriam [מִרְיָם], a hairdresser [מְגַדְּלָא שְׂעַר]? It is as we say in Pumbeditha, “This one has turned away [סְטָת דָּא] from her husband. [End censored text.] ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 16b-17a: 16b .... Our Rabbis taught, “When R. Eliezer was arrested because of heresy, 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 he said, ‘Because you have acknowledged me as right, I pardon; you are 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, will you permit me to say one thing of what you have taught me?’ He replied, ‘Say it.’ ‘Master,’ said he, ‘perhaps some of the teaching of the heretics had been transmitted to you 17a and you approved of it and because of that you were arrested.’ He exclaimed: ‘Akiba, you have reminded me. I was once walking in the upper market of Sepphoris when I came across one [+ of the disciples of Yeshu the Noṣri], Jacob of Kefar Sekaniah [יעקוב איש כפר סכניא] by name, who said to me, “It is written in your Torah, ‘You shall not bring the hire of a harlot into the house of the Lord your God’ (= Deuteronomy 23.19). 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, “He [+ ישו הנוצרי, Yeshu the Noṣri] taught me, ‘For of the hire of a harlot has she gathered them, and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return’ (= Micah 1.7). 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 your way far from her” — which refers to heresy — “and come not nigh to the door of her house” — which refers to the ruling power (= Proverbs 5.8).’” ....

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Re: Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:09 pm

It used to be fashionable to think that most references to "heretics" or "heresy" in the Jewish literature must be a backhanded allusion to Christians or Christianity. That we ought not to make assumptions can be easily shown:

The Heretics and the Two Ages

Mishnah, Berakhoth 9.5: 5 It is obligatory for one to bless for the evil in the same manner as for the good, as it says, “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your means” (= Deuteronomy 6.5). “With all your heart [בכל לבבך, instead of בכל לבך]” means with your two impulses, the evil impulse as well as the good impulse. “With all your soul” means even though he takes your soul. “With all your means [מְאֹדֶךָ],” that is, with all your money [מָמוֹנֶךָ]. Another explanation of “with all your might [מְאֹדֶךָ]” is with whatever measure [מִדָּה] He measures [מוֹדֵד] out to you, still you must thank Him very, very much. One should avoid showing disrespect towards the direction of the eastern gate because it is in a direct line with the Holy of Holies. A man should not enter the Temple Mount with his staff or while wearing his shoes or with his money belt or with dusty feet, nor should he make it a shortcut, and no spitting. At first, at the conclusion of the benedictions said in the Temple, they used to say “from the age [מִן הָעוֹלָם].” When the heretics [הַמִּינִין, the minim] perverted their ways and asserted that there was only one age, it was ordained that it should be “from the age to the age [מִן הָעוֹלָם וְעַד הָעוֹלָם].” It was also ordained that people should greet each other in the Name, as it says, “And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said unto the reapers, ‘The Lord be with you,’ and they answered him, ‘The Lord bless you’ (= Ruth 2.4),” and it also says, “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor” (= Judges 6.12), and it also states, “And despise not your mother when she is old” (= Proverbs 23.22), and it also says that “it is time to act for the Lord; they have made void Your Torah” (= Psalm 119.126). Rabbi Nathan says, “They have made void Your Torah because it is time to work for the Lord.”

Christianity, or at least the version of it with which we are most familiar, sided with the idea that there were two ages (one present and the other future), unlike the heretics described above, who clung stubbornly to the idea of there being only one age (ever present).

Some heretics named by the Jewish commentators, however, were perhaps Christians. The following are references to Jacob the heretic (or Jacob of Kefar Sekaniah, among other variants):

Jacob the Heretic

Tosefta, Chullin 2.20-24: 20-21 Flesh which is found in the hand of a Gentile is allowed for use; in the hand of a heretic it is forbidden for use. That which comes from a house of idolatry, lo, this is the flesh of sacrifices of the dead, because they say, “Slaughtering by a heretic is idolatry, their bread is Samaritan bread, their wine is wine offered, their fruits are not tithed, their books are books of witchcraft, and their sons are bastards.” One does not sell to them or receive from them, or take from them or give to them; one does not teach their sons trades, and one does not obtain healing from them, either healing of property or healing of life. 22-23 The case of R. Eliazar ben Damah, whom a serpent bit. There came in Jacob, a man of Chephar Sama, to cure him in the name of Yeshua ben Pandira, but R. Ishmael did not allow it. He said, “You are not permitted, ben Damah.” He said, “I will bring you a proof that he may heal me.” But he had not finished bringing a proof when he died. R. Ishmael said, “Happy you are, ben Damah, for you have departed in peace and have not broken through the ordinances of the wise; for upon every one who breaks through the fence of the wise, punishment comes at last, as it is written, ‘Whosoever breaks a fence, a serpent shall bite him’ (= Ecclesiastes 10.8).” 24 The case of K. Eliezer, who was arrested for heretics, and they brought him to the tribunal for judgment. The governor said to him, “Does an old man like you occupy himself with such things?” He said to him, “Faithful is the Judge concerning me.” The governor supposed that he only said this of him, but he was not thinking of any but his Father who is in Heaven. He said to him, “Since I am trusted concerning yourself, thus also I will be. I said, ‘Perhaps these societies err concerning these things.’ Dimissus, behold, you are released.” And when he had been released from the tribunal, he was troubled because he had been arrested for heresy. His disciples came in to console him, but he would not take comfort. R. Aqiba came in and said to him, “Rabbi, shall I say to you why you are perhaps grieving?” He said to him, “Say on.” He said to him, “Perhaps one of the heretics has said to you a word of heresy and it has pleased you.” He said, “By Heaven, you have reminded me! Once I was walking along the street of Sepphoris, and I met Jacob of Chephar Sichnin [יקוב איש כפר סכנן], and he said to me a word of heresy in the name of Yeshu ben Pantiri [ישוע בן פנטירי], and it pleased me. And I was arrested for words of heresy because I transgressed the words of Torah, ‘Keep your way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house’ (= Proverbs 5.8), for ‘she has cast down many wounded’ (= Proverbs 7.26).” And R. Eliezer used to say, “Ever let a man flee from what is hateful, and from that which resembles what is hateful.”

Jerusalem Talmud, Avodah Zara 2.2: 2 .... A snake bit Eleazar b. Dama. He came to Jacob of Kefar Sama for healing. [+ He said, “We will speak to you in the name of Yeshu ben Pandira,” according to Herford]. Said R. Ishmael to him, “You have no right to do so, Ben Dama.” He said to him, “I shall bring proof that it is permitted for him to heal me.” But he did not suffice to bring proof before he dropped dead. Said to him R. Ishmael, “Happy are you, O Ben Dama, for you left this world in peace and did not break through the fence of the sages, and so in dying you have carried out that which has been said, ‘A serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall’ (= Ecclesiastes 10.8).” And did not a snake already bite him? But a snake will not bite him in the age to come. And what did he have to say? “You shall therefore keep my statutes and my ordinances, by doing which a man shall live” (= Leviticus 18.5).

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 27b: 27b .... It once happened to Ben Dama the son of R. Ishmael’s sister that he was bitten by a serpent; and Jacob of Kefar Sekaniah [יעקב איש כפר סכניא] came to heal him, but R. Ishmael did not let him, whereupon ben Dama said, “My brother R. Ishmael, let him, so that I may be healed by him. I will even cite a verse from the Torah that he is to be permitted,” but he did not manage to complete his saying before his soul departed and he died, whereupon R. Ishmael exclaimed, “Happy are you, ben Dama, for you were pure in body and your soul likewise left you in purity; nor have you transgressed the words of your colleagues, who said, ‘He who breaks through a fence, a serpent shall bite him’ (= Ecclesiastes 10.8).” It is different with the teaching of heretics, for it draws, and one may be drawn after them. ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 28a: 28a .... But how came R. Johanan to act as he did? Had not Rabba b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan, “Any sore for which the Sabbath may be profaned should not be healed by a heathen?” It is different with a distinguished man. “What about R. Abbahu, who too was a distinguished man, yet Jacob the heretic [יעקב מינאה] prepared for him a medicine for his leg, and, were it not for R. Ammi and R. Asi who licked his leg, he would have cut his leg off?” The one for R. Johanan was an expert physician. “So too was that of R. Abbahu, an expert physician!” It was different in the case of R. Abbahu, for heretics [מיני] adopt the attitude, “Let me die with the Philistines” (= Judges 16.30). ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbath 14.4: 4 .... [Joshua b. Levi] had a grandson, who swallowed [something dangerous]. Someone came along and whispered over him in the name of ___ [~ Jesus Panteri, Leiden manuscript, filling the blank] and he recovered. [+ When he went out, Leiden manuscript, between the lines] [Joshua] said to him, “What did you say over him?” He said to him such and such a word. He said to him, “It would have been better for him if he had died and thus [had not been done for him].” ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Avodah Zara 2.2: 2 .... [Joshua b. Levi] had a grandson, who swallowed [something dangerous]. Someone came along and whispered over him. When he went out, he said to him, “What did you say over him?” He said to him such and such a word. He said to him, “What will be? If he had died but had not heard, it would have been [better] for him.” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 16b-17a: 16b .... Our Rabbis taught, “When R. Eliezer was arrested because of heresy, 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 he said, ‘Because you have acknowledged me as right, I pardon; you are 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, will you permit me to say one thing of what you have taught me?’ He replied, ‘Say it.’ ‘Master,’ said he, ‘perhaps some of the teaching of the heretics had been transmitted to you 17a and you approved of it and because of that you were arrested.’ He exclaimed: ‘Akiba, you have reminded me. I was once walking in the upper market of Sepphoris when I came across one [+ of the disciples of Yeshu the Noṣri], Jacob of Kefar Sekaniah [יעקוב איש כפר סכניא] by name, who said to me, “It is written in your Torah, ‘You shall not bring the hire of a harlot into the house of the Lord your God’ (= Deuteronomy 23.19). May such money be applied to the making of a privy for the High Priest?” To which I made no reply. Said he to me, “He [+ ישו הנוצרי, Yeshu the Noṣri] taught me, ‘For of the hire of a harlot has she gathered them, and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return’ (= Micah 1.7). 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 your way far from her” — which refers to heresy — “and come not nigh to the door of her house” — which refers to the ruling power (= Proverbs 5.8).’” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 57a: 57a .... Once when R. Manyumi b. Helkiah and R. Helkiah b. Tobiah and R. Huna b. Hiyya were sitting together they said, “If anyone knows anything about Kefar Sekania [כפר סכניא] of Egypt [Klein suggests the reading נוצרים, the Noṣrim, instead of מצרים, Egypt], let him say.” One of them thereupon said, “Once a betrothed couple were carried off by heathens who married them to one another. The woman said, ‘I beg of you not to touch me, as I have no Kethubah from you.’ So he did not touch her till his dying day. When he died, she said, ‘Mourn for this man who has kept his passions in check more than Joseph, because Joseph was exposed to temptation only a short time, but this man every day. Joseph was not in one bed with the woman but this man was. In Joseph’s case she was not his wife, but here she was.’” The next then began and said, “On one occasion forty bushels were selling for a denar, and the number went down one, and they investigated and found that a man and his son had had intercourse with a betrothed maiden on the Day of Atonement, so they brought them to the Beth Din and they stoned them, and the original price was restored.” The third then began and said, “There was a man who wanted to divorce his wife, but hesitated because she had a big marriage settlement. He accordingly invited his friends and gave them a good feast and made them drunk and put them all in one bed. He then brought the white of an egg and scattered it among them and brought witnesses and appealed to the Beth Din. There was a certain elder there of the disciples of Shammai the Elder, named Baba b. Buta, who said, ‘This is what I have been taught by Shammai the Elder, that the white of an egg contracts when brought near the fire, but semen becomes faint from the fire.’ They tested it and found that it was so, and they brought the man to the Beth Din and flogged him and made him pay her Kethubah.” Said Abaye to R. Joseph, “Since they were so virtuous, why were they punished?” He replied, “Because they did not mourn for Jerusalem, as it is written, ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn over her’ (= Isaiah 66.10).” ....

Ecclesiastes Rabbah Parasha 1, 8.3a (translation slightly modified from that of Richard Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus, pages 107-108): 3a R. Eliezer was once arrested because of heresy, and the governor took him and made him ascend a dais to be tried. He said to him, “Rabbi, can a great man like you occupy himself with those idle matters?” He answered him, “Faithful is the judge concerning me.” He thought that he was alluding to him, whereas he said it with reference to God. He thereupon said to him, “Since I have been acknowledged right by you, I too have been thinking and say, ‘Is it possible that these academies should go astray with such idle matters?’ You are consequently acquitted and free.” After R. Eliezer had left the dais, he was sorely grieved at having been arrested because of heresy. His disciples visited him to console him, but he would not accept it. R. Aqiba visited him and said to him, “Rabbi, perhaps one of the heretics expounded something in your presence which was acceptable to you.” He answered, “By heaven, you have reminded me! Once I was walking up the main street of Sepphoris when there came toward me a man named Jacob of Kephar Sikhnaya [יַעֲקֹב אִישׁ כְּפַר סִכְנַיָא] who told me something in the name of Yeshu ben Pandira which pleased me, namely, ‘It is written in your Torah, ”You shall not bring the hire of a harlot, or the wages of a dog, into the house of the Lord your God in payment for my vow“ (= Deuteronomy 23.19). What is to be done with them?’ I told him that they were prohibited. He said to me, ‘They are prohibited as an offering, but is it permissible to destroy them?’ I retorted, ‘In that case, what is to be done with them?’ He said to me, ‘Let bathhouses and privies be made with them.’ I exclaimed, ‘You have said an excellent thing,’ and the law escaped my memory at the time. When he saw that I acknowledged his words, he added, ‘Thus said Yeshu ben Pandira, ”From filth they came and on filth they should be expended, as it is said, ’From the hire of a harlot she gathered them, and to the hire of a harlot they shall return‘ (= Micah 1.7). Let them be spent on privies for the public,“’ and the thought pleased me. On that account I was arrested for heresy. More than that, I transgressed what is written in the Torah, ‘Keep your way far from her, and do nor go near the door of her house’ (= Proverbs 5.8). ‘Keep your way far from her,’ heresy, ‘and do not go near the door of her house,’ immorality. Why? ‘For many a victim has she laid low; yea, all her slain are a mighty host’ (= Proverbs 7.26).”

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:13 pm

Because the passages about the charges against and the execution of Jesus are scattered among references both to Yeshu and to ben Stada, it may be helpful to collect them all together, regardless of which name employed:

Charges & Execution

Tosefta, Shabbath 11.15: 15 Rabbi Eliezer condemns [cutting the flesh]; the Wise permit it. He said to them, “Did not ben Satra [בן סיטרא] learn only in this way?” They said to him, “Are we to destroy all discerning people because of one fool?”

Mishnah, Shabbath 12.4: One who writes two letters in one state of unawareness is liable. If one writes with ink, chemicals, sikra, kumos, kankantum, or with anything that leaves a mark on the angle of two walls or on the two pages of a ledger, and they are read together, he is liable. If one writes on his flesh, one is liable. One who scratches on his flesh [הַמְסָרֵט עַל בְּשָׂרוֹ], Rabbi Eliezer declares him liable to a sin offering, but the Sages exempt him.

Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud, page 148, note 6: The Ben Satra version of his name seems to be more original (at least here) since Satra is obviously a play on words with le-saret — “to scratch, incise.”

Tosefta, Sanhedrin 10.11: 11 In regard to all who are worthy of death according to the Torah, they do not use concealment against them, except in the case of the deceiver. How do they deal with him? They put two disciples of the wise in the inner chamber, and he sits in the outer chamber, and they light the lamp so that they shall see him and hear his voice. And thus they did to ben Stada in Lud; two disciples of the wise were chosen for him, and they [brought him to the Beth Din] and stoned him. ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbath 12.4: .... Said R. Eliezer to them, “Now did not ben Stada [בן סטדא, ~ ben Satra] bring magic [כשפים] only in such wise?” They said to them, “Because of one fool shall we impose liability on [~ destroy] all intelligent folk?”

Jerusalem Talmud, Yevamoth 16.6: 6 .... «The inciter,» this refers to an ordinary fellow. «The incited,» this refers to an ordinary fellow. Lo, a sage is not? Since the person incites someone to idolatry, this is no sage. Since one is incited to idolatry, this is no sage. How do they get testimony against him? They conceal against him two witnesses in an inside room, and he sits in an outside room. And they light a candle near him, so that they can see him. And they listen to what he says. And so did they do to ben Stada [~ ben Sutra] in Lydda. They appointed against him two disciples of sages, and they stoned him. ....

Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 7.16: 16 .... «He who leads» is one who says, “Let us go and perform an act of service to an idol.” Lo, a sage is not? Since the person incites someone to idolatry, this is no sage. Since one is incited to idolatry, this is no sage. How do they get testimony against him? They conceal against him two witnesses in an inside room, and he sits in an outside room. And they light a candle near him, so that they can see him. And they listen to what he says. And so did they to to ben Stada [~ ben Sutra] in Lydda. They appointed against him two disciples of sages, and they stoned him. ....

Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 104b: 104b .... «He who scratches a mark on his flesh,» and so on. It was taught, “R. Eliezer said to the Sages, ‘But did not ben Stada [בֶּן סָטָדֲ] bring forth magic [כְּשָׁפִים] from Egypt by means of scratches upon his flesh?’ ‘He was a fool,’ answered they, ‘and proof cannot be adduced from fools.’”* [Begin censored text.] Was he then the son of Stada [בֶּן סָטָדָא]? Surely he was the son of Pandira [בֶּן פַּנְדִּירָא]? Said R. Hisda, “The husband was Stada [סָטָדָא], the paramour Pandira [פַּנְדִּירָא].” But the husband was Pappos b. Judah? “His mother was Stada [סָטָדָא]. But his mother was Miriam [מִרְיָם], a hairdresser [מְגַדְּלָא שְׂעַר]? It is as we say in Pumbeditha, “This one has turned away [סְטָת דָּא] from her husband. [End censored text.] ....

* In some manuscripts, apparently, “‘He was a fool,’ answered they, ‘and proof cannot be adduced from fools,’” is suspended until after the censorship.

Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 47a: 47a .... What was the incident with R. Joshua b. Perahyah? “When King Jannaeus put the Rabbis to death, Simeon b. Shetah was hidden by his sister while R. Joshua b. Perahyah fled to Alexandria in Egypt. When there was peace, Simeon b. Shetah sent, ‘From me, Jerusalem, the Holy city, to you, Alexandria in Egypt. O my sister, my husband dwells in your midst and I abide desolate.’ He arose and came back and found himself in a certain inn where they paid him great respect. He said, ‘How beautiful is this inn!’ One of his disciples [+ Yeshu] said to him, ‘Rabbi, her eyes are narrow!’ He replied to him, ‘Wicked person! Is it with such thoughts that you occupy yourself?’ He sent forth four hundred horns and excommunicated him. He came before him on many occasions, saying, ‘Receive me,’ but he refused to notice him. One day, while he was reciting the Shema, he came before him. His intention was to receive him and he made a sign to him with his hand, but the disciple thought he was repelling him. So he went and set up a brick and worshipped it. He said to him, ‘Repent,’ but he answered him, ‘Thus have I received from you that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence.’” A Master has said, “The disciple [+ יש"ו, Yeshu] practiced magic [כישף] and incited [הסית] Israel to apostasy.” ....

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a: 43a .... «If then they find him innocent, they discharge him; but if not, he goes forth to be stoned, and a herald precedes him, ‹So and so, the son of so and so, is going forth to be stoned because he committed such and such an offense, and so and so are his witnesses. Whoever knows anything in his favor, let him come and state it.›» Abaye said, “It must also be announced, ‘On such and such a day, at such and such and hour, and in such and such a place,’ in case there are some who know, so that they can come forward and prove the witnesses conspirators.” «And a herald precedes him.» This implies, only immediately before, but not previous thereto. It was taught, “On the eve of the Passover Yeshu [ישו, + הנוצרי, the Noṣri] was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, ‘He [+ ישו, Yeshu, + the Noṣri] is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced magic [שכישף] and incited [הסית] Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.’ But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover.” Ulla retorted, “Do you suppose that he [+ Yeshu the Noṣri] was one for whom a defense could be made? Was he not a misleader [מסית, mesith], concerning whom Scripture says, ‘Neither shall you spare, nor shall you conceal him’ (= Deuteronomy 13.8)?” With him [+ ישו, Yeshu, + the Noṣri], however, it was different, for he was connected with the government. Our Rabbis taught, “Yeshu had five disciples: Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni, and Todah. When Matthai was brought he said to them, ‘Shall Matthai be executed? Is it not written, “When [Matthai] shall I come and appear before God” (= Psalm 42.3)?’ Thereupon they retorted, ‘Yes, Matthai shall be executed, since it is written, “When [Matthai] shall [he] die and his name perish” (= Psalm 41.6).’ When Nakai was brought in he said to them, ‘Shall Nakai be executed? Is it not written, “The innocent [Naki] and the righteous do not slay” (= Exodus 23.7)?’ ‘Yes,’ was the answer, ‘Nakai shall be executed, since it is written, “In secret places does the innocent [Naki] slay” (= Psalm 10.8).’ When Nezer was brought in, he said, ‘Shall Netzer be executed? Is it not written, “And a twig [Netzer] shall grow forth out of his roots” (= Isaiah 11.1)?’ ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘Netzer shall be executed, since it is written, “But you are cast forth away from thy grave like an abhorred branch [Netzer]” (= Isaiah 14.19).’ When Buni was brought in, he said, ‘Shall Buni be executed? Is it not written, “My son [Beni], my first born” (= Exodus 4.22)?’ ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘Buni shall be executed, since it is written, “Behold, I will slay your son [Bineka], your firstborn” (= Exodus 4.23).’ And when Todah was brought in, he said to them, ‘Shall Todah be executed? Is it not written, “A psalm for thanksgiving [Todah]” (= Psalm 100.1)?’ ‘Yes,’ they answered, ‘Todah shall be executed, since it is written, “Whosoever offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving [Todah] honored me” (= Psalm 50.23).’”

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 67a: 67a .... «The inciter [מסית, mesith] is a layman.» Thus, only because he is a layman; but if a prophet, he is strangled. «Who incites an individual.» Thus, only if he incites an individual, but if a community, he is strangled. Hence, who is the Mishnah? R. Simeon. For it has been taught, “A prophet who entices is stoned.” R. Simeon said, “He is strangled.” Then consider the second clause. «The enticer [מדיח, maddiah] is one who says, ‹Let us go and serve idols,›» whereon Rab Judah observed in Rab’s name, “This Mishnah teaches of those who lead astray a seduced city.” Thus it agrees with the Rabbis. Hence, the first clause is taught according to R. Simeon, the second according to the Rabbis. Rabina said, “Both clauses are based on the Rabbis’ ruling, but proceed from the universally admitted to the disputed.” R. Papa said, “When the Mishnah states, «An inciter [mesith] is a layman,» 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, except for this one.’” How is it done? A light is lit in an inner chamber, the witnesses are hidden in an outer one, so that they can see and hear him, but he cannot see them. Then the person he wished to seduce says to him, “Tell me privately what you have 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 the Beth Din and have him stoned. [Begin censored text.] And this they did to ben Stada in Lydda, and they hung him on the eve of Passover [הוספה מחסרונות הש"ס: וכן עשו לבן סטדא בלוד ותלאוהו בערב הפסח]; ben Stada was ben Padira. R. Hisda said: “The husband was Stada, the paramour Pandira.” But was not the husband Pappos b. Judah? “His mother’s name was Stada.” But his mother was Miriam [מרים], a hairdresser [מגדלא נשיא]? As they say in Pumbaditha, “This woman has turned away [סטת דא] from her husband.” [End censored text.] ....

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 107b: 107b .... [Begin uncensored text.] What of R. Joshua b. Perahyah? “When King Jannai slew our Rabbis, R. Joshua b. Perahyah [+ ויש"ו, and Yeshu] fled to Alexandria of Egypt. On the resumption of peace, Simeon b. Shetach sent to him: ‘From me, the holy city, to you, Alexandria of Egypt (my sister). My husband dwells within you and I am desolate.’ He arose, went, and found himself in a certain inn, where great honor was shown him. ‘How beautiful is this inn!’ Thereupon he observed, ‘Rabbi, her eyes are narrow.’ ‘Wretch,’ he rebuked him, ‘do you thus engage yourself?’ He sounded four hundred trumpets and excommunicated him. He came before him many times pleading, ‘Receive me!’ But he would pay no heed to him. One day he was reciting the Shema when Yeshu came before him. He intended to receive him and made a sign to him. He, thinking that it was to repel him, went, put up a brick, and worshipped it. ‘Repent,’ said he to him. He replied, ‘I have thus learned from you, “He who sins and causes others to sin is not afforded the means of repentance.”’ And a Master has said, ‘Yeshu [יש"ו, + the Noṣri] practiced magic [כישף] and incited [הסית] Israel to apostasy.’” [End uncensored text.] ....

Mishnah, Sanhedrin 6.1: 1 Once the trial has ended, he is taken out to be stoned. The place of stoning was outside the court area, as it is written, “Take the blasphemer outside” (= Leviticus 24.14). One man was stationed at the door the courthouse with a signalling flag in his hand, while another was stationed upon a horse at a distance from him, but within his sight. If one says, “I have a further argument in his favor,” he waves the flag, while the man on the horse runs to stop them. And even if he himself says, “I have a further argument in my own favor,” he is returned, as many as four or five times, provided, however, that there is substance to his words. If they find an argument to acquit him, they discharge him; but if not, he is taken out to be stoned, and a proclamation precedes him, “So and so, the son of so and so, is being taken out to be stoned because he committed such and such an offense, and so and so are his witnesses. Whoever knows anything in his favor, let him come forward and state it.”

Mishnah, Sanhedrin 6.4: 4 The place of stoning was twice the height of a man. One of the witnesses shoves him by the hips; he falls on his chest. He was then turned over onto his hips. If he dies from this, the obligation is fulfilled; but if not, the second witness takes the stone and throws it onto his chest. If he died from this, the obligation is fulfilled; but if not, he was stoned by all of Israel, for it says, “The hand of the witnesses will be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people” (= Deuteronomy 17.7). “All those who are stoned are hung.” these are the words of Rabbi Eliezer. The Sages say, “Only the blasphemer and the idolater are hung.” “A man is hung facing the people, but a woman facing the pole.” These are the words of Rabbi Eliezer. But the Sages say, “A man is hung, but a woman is not hung.” Rabbi Eliezer said to them, “But did Shimon ben Shetah not hang women in Ashkelon?” They said to him, “He hung eighty women, yet one may not try two on one day.” How do they hang him? A post is sunk into the ground with a beam protruding from it. He places his hands together, one over the other, and hangs him. Rabbi Yose says, “The post is leaned against the wall, and he hangs him in the manner that butchers do. He is immediately untied. If he is left overnight, a prohibition is thereby transgressed, for it is written, ‘But you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Rather, you should surely bury him on that day, for a hanging is a blasphemy of God’ (= Deuteronomy 21.23).” That is to say, why was he hanged? Because he cursed the Name, and thus the Name of Heaven is profaned.

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 69.7: 7 But though they saw such works, they asserted it was magical art. For they dared to call Him a magician and a deceiver of the people. Yet He wrought such works, and persuaded those who were to believe on Him; for even if any one be laboring under a defect of body, yet be an observer of the doctrines delivered by Him, He shall raise him up at His second advent perfectly sound, after He has made him immortal, and incorruptible, and free from grief. / 7 οἱ δὲ καὶ ταῦτα ὁρῶντες γινόμενα φαντασίαν μαγικὴν γίνεσθαι ἔλεγον· καὶ γὰρ μάγον εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐτόλμων λέγειν καὶ λαοπλάνον. αὐτὸς δὲ καὶ ταῦτα ἐποίει πείθων καὶ τοὺς ἐπ' αὐτὸν πιστεύειν μέλλοντας, ὅτι, κἄν τις, ἐν λώβῃ τινὶ σώματος ὑπάρχων, φύλαξ τῶν παραδεδομένων ὑπ' αὐτοῦ διδαγμάτων ὑπάρξῃ, ὁλόκληρον αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ αὐτοῦ παρουσίᾳ μετὰ τοῦ καὶ ἀθάνατον καὶ ἄφθαρτον καὶ ἀλύπητον ποιῆσαι ἀναστήσει.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3 §63-64: 63 Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον Ἰησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴγε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων, καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν Ἰουδαίους, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο· ὁ Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν. 64 καὶ αὐτὸν ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος Πιλάτου, οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο οἱ τὸ πρῶτον ἀγαπήσαντες· ἐφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία περὶ αὐτοῦ θαυμάσια εἰρηκότων. εἰς ἔτι τε νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ὠνομασμένον οὐκ ἐπέλιπε τὸ φῦλον. / 63 And there is about this time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is necessary to say that he is a man; for he was a doer of miraculous works, a teacher of men who receive true things with pleasure, and many Jews, and also many of the Greek element, he led to himself; this man was the Christ. 64 And, when on the accusation of the first men among us Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first loved him did not cease; for he appeared to them on the third day living again, the divine prophets having said both these things and myriads of other wonders concerning him. And even until now the tribe of Christians, named from this man, has not been lacking.

Acts of Thomas 96a: 96a And when he heard that she would not come out of her chamber, he went in and said unto her, Why will you not dine with me and perchance not sleep with me as the wont is? Yes, concerning this I have the greater suspicion, for I have heard that that sorcerer and deceiver teaches that a man should not live with his wife, and that which nature requires and the godhead has ordained he overthrows.

David Instone-Brewer, “Jesus of Nazareth’s Trial in Sanhedrin 43a,” page 9 (of the prepublication copy): The name in this tradition varies in different sources and manuscripts, “Yeshu”, “Yeshu ha-Notzeri”, “Ben Stada” or “Ben Pandira”. This makes it possible that this tradition originally referred to someone other than Jesus. However, this is very unlikely because of the strange date for the execution (which is strongly linked with Jesus traditions in the Gospels), and because the names “Ben Stada” and “Ben Pandira” are elsewhere linked with each other and with the name of Jesus in phrases such as “Yeshu ben Pandira” (t.Hull.2:23).

Mishnah, Sanhedrin 3.8: 8 Any time he brings proof, it can overturn the verdict, but if they told him, “Any proof you may have must be produced within thirty days,” if he does so within the thirty days, it overturns it; after thirty days it does not. Said Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, “What is one to do if he did not have it within the thirty days, but only after? “If they said to him, ‘Bring witnessess,’ and he answered, ‘I do not have any,’ or, ‘Bring proof,’ and he replies, ‘I have none,’ yet subsequently, he produced proof or found witnesses, it is of no value,” said Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel. What is he to do if he was not aware that the witnesses were available, but only found them afterwards or that there was proof, but only discovered it later? If he sees that he is about to be found guilty, so he says, “Bring so and so who will testify in my favor,” or he pulls out evidence from under his belt, it is valueless.

David Instone-Brewer, “Jesus of Nazareth’s Trial in Sanhedrin 43a,” pages 9-10 (of the prepublication copy): It is not immediately clear whether Justin’s term λαοπλάνος is equivalent to “misleader” (mesit, מֵּסִית) or “enticer” (maddiyah, מַּדִּיַה). These English translations convey something of the etymological meaning of these terms, but they are arguably synonymous in Deuteronomy 13.5-13 (Eng. 6-14 – סות is in Eng. v.6 and נדה is in v. 5, 10, 13). However, Mishnah manages to find a distinction which is continued into Talmud and became the legal definition of these words in Jewish law. The term “enticer” in this passage is used only for the crime of leading a whole town into idolatry (Deut. 13.13), so Mishnah concluded that a “misleader” was someone who merely leads a single person into idolatry (m.San. 7.10).

Mishnah, Sanhedrin 7.10-11: 10 The inciter [מֵּסִית, mesith] is a layman who incites an individual. He says, “There is an idol in such and such a place; it eats thus; it drinks thus; it does good in this manner and does harm in that manner.” Regarding all whom the Torah condemn to death, no witnesses are hidden to entrap them, except for this one. If he incited two, they themselves are witnesses against him, and he is brought to court and stoned. But if he incited one, he replies, “I have friends who wish to do likewise.” But if he is clever and declines to speak before them, witnesses are hidden behind a partition, while he says to him, “Repeat what you said to me now in private.” When he does so, the other replies, “How shall we forsake our God in heaven to go and serve wood and stones?” If the inciter retracts, it is fine. But if he answers, “It is our duty, and it is proper for us to do so,” then the witnesses standing behind the partition take him to court and have him stoned: if he says, “I will worship it,” or, “I will go and worship,” or, “Let us go and worship,” or, “I will sacrifice,” “I will go and sacrifice,” “Let us go and sacrifice.” “I will burn incense,” “I will go and burn incense,” “Let us go and burn incense.” “I will pour libations to it,” “I will go and pour libations to it,” "Let us go and pour libations.” “I will prostrate myself before it,” “I will go and prostrate myself,” “Let us go and prostrate ourselves.” One who leads astray is one who says, “Let us go and serve idols.” 11 A sorcerer, if he actually performs a deed through magic, is liable, but not if he merely creates illusions. Rabbi Akiva said in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua name, “Regarding two who gather cucumbers, one may be punished while the other is exempt. He who actually gathers them is punished, while he who produces an illusion is exempt” (Tiferet Yisrael).

A table may come in handy:

What
Who
When
Where
How
Why
Canonical GospelsJesusPassoverJerusalemhangingblasphemy
Justin, Dialogue 69.7Jesusmagic & incitement/deceit
Tosefta, Shabbath 11.15ben Satralearning
Tosefta, Sanhedrin 10.11ben StadaLudstoningdeceiving
Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbath 12.ben Stada/Satralearning/magic
Jerusalem Talmud, Yevamoth 16.6ben Stada/SutraLyddastoningincitement
Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 7.16ben Stada/SutraLyddastoningincitement
Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 104bben Stadamagic
Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 47aa disciplemagic & incitement
Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 43aJesusPassoverstoning & hangingmagic & incitement
Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 67aben StadaPassoverLyddastoning & hanging
Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 107bJesusmagic & incitement

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davidmartin
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Re: Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by davidmartin » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:21 am

it is all so vague and unclear not sure will ever lead to any firm conclusions?
maybe in the aftermath of the jewish wars a narrative was required to set the tone going forward and this is only the vestiges of what remains from those who were on the losing side in those wars? which side did these writers come from, did they support these disastrous wars or not?

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:48 pm

davidmartin wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:21 am
it is all so vague and unclear not sure will ever lead to any firm conclusions?
One thing that strikes my eye is how much of the material could also be about someone else entirely.

For example, we have the story of Rabbi Joshua/Yeshua ben Perahyah being Yeshu's mentor. Well, some versions say "a disciple," not Yeshu. This has been regarded as a result of the Talmudic censorship which took place in medieval times, and I am inclined to agree. Yet other versions of the same story are about an anonymous disciple of Judah ben Tabbai, and not about Yeshu or Rabbi Joshua/Yeshua at all! So perhaps this whole Alexandrian narrative was just a motif which could be applied to pretty much anyone. Is there anything to the fact that Epiphanius twice relates biographical details about Jesus (fodder for the likes of Mead and Ellegård) which would place him in the same time period as that alleged for Rabbi Joshua? Or is Epiphanius just drawing from what was by then a common thread of Jewish lore?

We also have that weird story about Yeshu burning his food. Well, in the Aruch, it is Manasseh (one of the three kings who have no part in the age to come) who burns his food, which, it could be argued, makes more contextual sense, given that the three kings and four commoners comprise the topic of discussion. So did some Jewish tradent replace Manasseh with Yeshu as an insult to Christianity?

Or what about ben Stada, reportedly stoned in Lydda/Lud for incitement (= leading Israel astray)? Is ben Stada really a codename for Yeshu, or is it just some other poor fool whose biographical details got mixed up with those of Yeshu because of some overlap? One passage says that ben Stada was hung on the eve of Passover; is that a leaking of the Jesus/Yeshu story into his biography, or is it a coincidence, or is something else going on there? At least with ben Pantera we have Celsus as an early witness for his representing Jesus/Yeshu; we have no Celsus for ben Stada.

One passage that seems to be solely about Jesus, amusingly, is the story of Jesus in Hell (the "sinners of Israel" gloss in some manuscripts seems manifestly the result of censorship, I think).

The only passages that look, to me, to hold any promise of conveying something of use about an historical Jesus are those which speak to his execution. Instone-Brewer makes a robust case for an early tradition, independent of the gospels (because the charges are so different), of which Justin Martyr had knowledge; it is a brilliant argument. Unfortunately, it has one weakness, right at its root:

David Instone-Brewer, “Jesus of Nazareth’s Trial in Sanhedrin 43a,” page 9 (of the prepublication copy): The name in this tradition varies in different sources and manuscripts, “Yeshu”, “Yeshu ha-Notzeri”, “Ben Stada” or “Ben Pandira”. This makes it possible that this tradition originally referred to someone other than Jesus. However, this is very unlikely because of the strange date for the execution (which is strongly linked with Jesus traditions in the Gospels), and because the names “Ben Stada” and “Ben Pandira” are elsewhere linked with each other and with the name of Jesus in phrases such as “Yeshu ben Pandira” (t.Hull.2:23).

The reasons given for why this tradition may not have originally been linked to someone else (ben Stada seems the likely culprit) are not entirely satisfying. First, do we have to assume that the gospel traditions convey history before we can use this Talmudic information as evidence of history? Second, yes, ben Stada and ben Pantera are linked to Yeshu in multiple passages; but, on the one hand, ben Pantera's death is never related, and, on the other, it is only ben Stada's execution (and working of magic, which served as the grounds for his execution) which is related. One can pretty easily imagine, I think, that the tradition originally had to do with him, and Yeshu was brought in artificially; the Passover date could be a reverse infiltration of Jesus' gospel details into the biography of ben Stada, just as some of ben Stada's biographical details (such as being condemned to be stoned) infiltrated Jesus' representation.

So, David, I am not sure whether I am agreeing with you or not here, but there you have a few of my thoughts on the matter. :)
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Ken Olson
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Re: Jesus in the Mishnah, the Tosefta, & the Talmud.

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:22 pm

Ben,

What clues, if any, would suggest that the compilers of the Talmud or the rabbis quoted in it thought that Jesus (the one accepted as the Messiah by the Christians) lived in the first half of the first century?

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