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Yeshua Explored

The (alternative) Life of Jesus

todayMarch 12, 2014 7

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(Before you continue, I recommend that you read this article in its proper context – the wicked persecution of the Jews by the Church. For a grip on this read the article – The Rabbis hit back!)

Some of the fiercest attacks on Jesus in the Talmud were concerned with his miracles. The fact of them was not denied, instead the source of them was focused on. A medieval document Toledot Yeshu (“The History/Generations of Jesus”) claimed to be an account of the life of Jesus, but was just a fabricated string of insults. It was a reaction to the extreme pain and persecution brought about at the hands of the Church and was deeply prejudiced against Jesus. It insisted that he performed his miracles by abusing the power of God’s name. Here is an extract:

“In the Temple was to be found the Foundation Stone on which were engraved the letters of God’s Ineffable Name. Whoever learned the secret of the Name and its use would be able to do whatever he wished. Therefore the Sages took measures so that no one should gain its knowledge. Lions of brass were bound to two iron pillars at the Temple gate … Should anyone enter and learn the Name, when he left the lions would roar at him and immediately the valuable secrets would be forgotten.

Yeshu came and learned the letters of the Name; he wrote them upon the parchment which he placed in an open cut on his thigh and then drew the flesh over the parchment. As he left, the lions roared and he forgot the secret. But when he came to his house he reopened the cut in his flesh with a knife and lifted out the writing. Then he remembered and obtained the use of the letters.”

It was supposedly through the use of these letters that Jesus was able to perform miracles such as healing the lepers and the lame.

If you think that “taster” is bad enough, here is the “Gospel according to Toledot Yeshu”.

“A certain John was engaged to Mary in Bethlehem, but she betrayed him one Sabbath with a handsome villain named Joseph Pandera. John then fled to Babylon and Mary gave birth to Yeshu. He grew up as an impudent and disrespectful child and eventually fled to Jerusalem. Once he had stolen the Ineffable Name, he gathered together a group of followers in Bethlehem and proclaimed himself the Messiah, the Son of God. He performed miracles by sorcery and even raised up a dead man. He soon had a rival, a sage called Yehuda, who also stole the Ineffable Name and they were summoned to appear before the Queen. They demonstrated their powers by flying, but Yehuda flew the highest, so Yeshu was condemned to death. He was imprisoned in Tiberias but was rescued by his disciples and fled first to Antioch, then to Egypt, where he lost the Ineffable Name. So he returned to Jerusalem to steal it again but he was captured, imprisoned, then hanged to death on a cabbage stem. His body was subsequently stolen from his tomb by a gardener and his disciples declared that he had been restored to life. The Queen was fooled by this and sentenced the Sages of Israel to death, but they were reprieved when someone found the corpse, tied it to the tail of a horse and brought it to the Queen.”

You couldn’t make it up! Well they did and it was not so much “spot the mistakes” as search for any crumbs of truth! Intriguingly there is the odd snippet of familiarity sprinkled throughout this yarn, but all in the wrong order and context!

It is significant that the Toledot Yeshu became the chief source of information about Jesus from the early Middle Ages to the early 20th Century, for the Jews of Eastern Europe. It may have been a means of fighting back internally against the massive threat from outside, fuelled by rampant anti-Semitism, but all it did was ensure that more Jewish minds were closed to the glorious truths of the Gospel.

Steve Maltz
January 2013

(This is an abridged extract from Steve’s book Jesus Man of Many Names)

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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Yeshua Explored

Jesus in the Talmud

(Before you continue, I recommend that you read this article in its proper context - the wicked persecution of the Jews by the Church. For a grip on this read the article - The Rabbis hit back!)In terms of his teachings, Jesus was called a fool in the Talmud, as a result of his claim of being the Son of God. The Talmud also asserts that Jesus was an idolator particularly in the section that makes the most mention of […]

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