Jesus in the Talmud
In the Jewish writings, Jesus is believed to be equated with Balaam of Genesis: "Woe unto him who maketh himself alive by the name of God....A sectarian said to R. Chanina: Do you know how old Balaam was? [R. Chanina] replied: It is not written. However, since it says (Psalms 55:24) "Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days..." he was 33 or 34. [The heretic] said: You said well. I have seen the chronicle of Balaam and it said "At 33 years Balaam the lame was killed by Pinchas (Phineas) the robber."—Sanhedrin 106b. This quote in particular seems to refer to the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, as by now you should be well aware that the term 'robber' referred to the 'Messianic Jews' and would have been out of context in the Genesis narrative. Nowhere in the Torah does it say that Balaam was lame. By the way, Apollonius (Paul) was actually born 2 CE which would have made him 33-34 years of age, at the time of the crucifixion, just as it is stated in the Safed scroll, and from the only known description of him, he had crooked legs. According to the Toldoth Yeshu, it was Yeshu (Jesus) who entered the holy place and copied the name of God, but according to the testimony of Jewish high priest Ananias it was actually Apollonius or Apollos (Paul) who violated the Holy of the Holiest, not Jesus. As a result of this violation he, Apollonius (Paul) was arrested by the procurator Felix. This incident is well documented and ocurred 58 CE or well after the crucifixion.
"...seeing, moreover, that Paul was not at Rome, neither Timotheus (Damis) nor Barnabas (Joses), for they had been sent into Macedonia by Paul, and that there was no man to comfort us, to speak nothing of them that had but just become catechumens. And as Simon exalted himself yet more by the works which he did, and many of them daily called Paul a sorcerer, and others a deceiver, of so great a multitude that had been stablished in the faith all fell away save Narcissus the presbyter..."—Acts of Peter IV. This reflects the low esteem with which many on the Jewish side of Christianity regarded Paul
"And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak."—Numbers 22:7. A good portion of Numbers 22 is devoted to the story of Balaam the sorcerer. Balaam was a non Jew living in the city of Pethor in Mesopotamia. For some strange reason the authors of the New Testament saw fit to once again broach the subject of sorcery. "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;"—2Peter 2:15." Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core."—Jude 1:11. "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication"—Revelation 2:14. There seems to be some sort of a correlation being drawn between events in the New Testament and those concerning Balaam in the book of Numbers.
The following clearly shows that Balaam and Yeshu are 2 distinctly different people: "[Onkelos Bar Kalonikus] called up Balaam from the dead. [Onkelos] asked: Who is honored in that world? [Balaam] replied: Israel. [Onkelos asked:] What about joining them? [Balaam] replied: (Deut. 23:7) "You shall not seek their peace or welfare all your days." [Onkelos] asked: What is your punishment? [Balaam answered]: In boiling semen.
[Onkelos] called up Yeshu from the dead. [Onkelos] asked: Who is honored in that world? [Yeshu] replied: Israel. [Onkelos asked:] What about joining them? [Yeshu] replied: Seek their good. Do not seek their bad. Whoever touches them is as if he touched the pupil of his eye. [Onkelos] asked: What is your punishment? [Yeshu answered]: In boiling excrement. As the mast said: Whoever mocks the words of the sages is punished in boiling excrement."—Talmud Gittin 56b-57a
As previously mentioned, the Pendira story dates from the early first century BCE. Even less is known about ben Stada who is believed to have lived during the middle of the first century CE. Both individuals were stoned and hung as sorcerers. In the Pendira account Miriam, the original form of Mary, was accused of being an adultress. Rumors of this account including similar accusations by the pagan philosopher Celsus led to the Hellenizers creating the virgin birth story during the second century. This idea fit well in the mythos of the Greek mind, and was consistent with the birth of many Greek gods.
In the Tosefta, ben Stada is called ben Sotera or ben Sitera. Sotera seems to be the Hebrew-Aramaic form of the Greek name Soteros. This is very interesting as Jesus Christ is the Christian soter or sacrificed savior figure.
The slaughter of the innocents is common in pagan mythology. Examples of this myth apply to the birth stories of Romulus and Remus, Perseus, Krishna, Zeus, and Oedipus, as well as the Jewish account of the birth of Moses.
These Talmud accounts concerning ben Pendira and ben Stada were so damaging to Christianity that the Church tried to eliminate it by censoring the Talmud. The Basle edition of the Talmud, c 1578, had all references to Pendira and ben Stada deleted by the Christians. Even today versions of the Talmud used by Christian scholars lack these passages.
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