Jewish Sources On Jesus’s Crucifixion – Forgery

Kaleef K. Karim

J.R: “Josephus work is a huge volume. It is twenty books. What is strange, many pages are devoted to irrelevant leaders and Kings. Nearly forty chapters are devoted to the life of one king alone. Yet Jesus who was the greatest man, a person who was foretold thousands of times by the Prophets, greater than any King on earth, gets only a few lines about him in his book? It doesn’t make sense at all.”

Related Articles:
Was Jesus Hanged or Crucified?
Examining Pagan Sources On Jesus Crucifixion, Genuine or Hearsay?

What would be a good historical non-Christian source on Jesus? A good reliable source would be a contemporary historian that lived and wrote during the time in which Christ was alive. Any historian living or writing about him after he had ascended cannot be taken as 100% fact, that we can rely on, because they never witnessed anything personally with their own eyes. A devastating fact to Christians is that there is not one single contemporary historian, when Jesus was alive, who had ever wrote about Jesus, it does not exist. All the supposed sources Christians cling to, were written decades after Jesus alleged crucifixion. In other words none of the historians that Christians cite have ever met Jesus in real life. Any historian writing decades after Jesus life is merely writing whatever others are saying. In other words, he is writing hearsay, not facts he himself witnessed.

So, what is the evidence Christians use in defence of the Crucifixion, outside the Bible? Flavius Josephus, who was a well renowned Jewish historian, was born two years after the alleged Crucifixion of Jesus. In the year 93 A.D to 94 A.D. Josephus wrote a book called:- “Antiquities of the Jews”, the book consists of 20 volumes. In the 18th Volume there is a passage which speaks of Jesus, according to Christians it was written by the pen of Josephus. Here is the passage on what it said about this so-called Jesus:

“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” [1] ([Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Antiquities_of_the_Jews/Book_XVIII#Chapter_3 )

Isn’t it just wonderful in this little piece of info, we have (1) Jesus is more than just a Human (god). (2) Miracles he performed. (3) His Ministry among Jews & Gentiles. (4) He is the Messiah. (5) He is condemned by the Jewish Priests. (6) Sentenced by Pilate. (7) He died on the Cross. (8) Came back to life on the third day. (9) He fulfilled the Divine Prophecy.

Would any sane person really believe that a hardcore Jew, a Pharisee would write something like this? This statement is written by a Christian not Josephus.

This brief passage is the ‘best proof’ for the crucifixion of Jesus outside the Bible; this is according to Christian apologists. However, when one examines the passage and its historicity it becomes clear, that this passage was inserted into the work of Josephus. The passage was never quoted once by any of the Church Fathers such as:- Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and many, many more.

Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea who flourished in the 4th century was the first Christian who made mention of it. Many Christian Scholars believe the passage was inserted into the work of Josephus by Eusebius. Isn’t it ironic for well over 200 years not one Church father quotes such a passage? Origen who was an early Church Father quoted extensively from the work of Josephus in defence of Christianity. Yet neither he, nor any Church father(s) quoted the passage before Eusebius in the fourth century.

Before I proceed further, showing evidences from Christian Scholars that the passage is a forgery, I would like to answer some fictitious arguments raised by some desperate Evangelists who still cling to the passage as being genuine.

Missionary arguments:

• TF is found in every manuscript
• It is the style of Josephus to write like that
• Some part of the TF is genuine

I will sum up all three arguments into one. When desperate Evangelists say: ‘TF is found in every Manuscript’, they mislead people – they do not tell their fellow Christians that the earliest manuscript for Testimonium Flavianum is an Arabic Manuscript from the tenth century. They do not have any Manuscript before Eusebius’s time, nor is it mentioned by any Church father before 3rd Century. Another pseudo argument they bring up snd say:- ‘it is the style of Josephus to write like that’. How can we know what the style of Josephus is, when we don’t have any of his works intact from the time when he wrote it? They don’t even have one church fathers testimony before Eusebius saying anything on the TF. If the works of Josephus were in the hands of Jews, then we can give more credit that the passage is genuine. But Josephus Books were not stored by Jews, but Christian fathers, who copied, deleted, added stuff that should not be there. The last argument that ‘some part of TF is genuine’ came into the scene not long ago. Missionaries didn’t know what to do with overwhelming Christian and non-Christian Scholars condemning the passage as an outright forgery. Their new argument was simple; they removed all the parts that were Christian like.

Removal of parts in the TF:

(1) if it be lawful to call him a man.
(2) For he was a doer of wonderful works.
(3) He was [the] Christ.
(4) for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him

This is what we will be left with, when the above four is deleted:

“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” [Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, 3]

The problem again as before, they do not provide any evidence how they came to conclusion, that this what Josephus actually wrote. All this is mere guess-work. In order for missionaries to convince people the TF is genuine, they have to produce historical evidence that goes back before Eusebius.

Origen whom I mentioned before – he used Josephus’s work widely, never once did he come across any passage that mentions Jesus as the ‘Messiah’ or Christ being crucified. In fact,  in Origen’s work, he makes mention that Josephus did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. Here is what he wrote: “did not accept Jesus as Christ” Isn’t the testimony from Origen enough proof that the whole passage, TF is a forgery? [2] [Vol. IX, Origen on Matthew, Origen’s Commentary on Matthew, Book X by Origen, translated by John Patrick Chapter 17 – http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ante-Nicene_Fathers/Volume_IX/Origen_on_Matthew/Origen%27s_Commentary_on_Matthew/Book_X/Chapter_17 ]

How can we believe that the TF is genuine and say he is the ‘Messiah’, yet, Origen who wrote massively (using Josephus work) in defending Christianity says, Josephus did ‘not’ believe Jesus to be the Messiah. This evidence alone from Origen is enough to crush any desperate missionary in trying to defend the TF as genuine.

I would like those who defend this forgery to answer this question of mine. Since Origen makes mention in his work that Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the messiah, where is Josephus statement what Origen has stated? Where is Josephus statement where he denies Jesus being the Messiah? This is another prove that Church fathers have deleted statements from Josephus’s work.

Scholarly evidences that the TF is an outright forgery

Professor Oskar Holtzmann who is a Christian, was born in 1859, he was a German theologian and a New Testament scholar. He goes in detail on Testimonium Flavianum, he writes:

“Origen must still have read something like this in his Josephus; for in two places he tells us that Josephus did not acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah (Contra Celsum i. 47; cp. In Matth. X. 17). On the other hand, Eusebius already (Hist. Eccl., i. 11, and Dem. Evan., iii. 5, 105, 106) contains that passage about Jesus (Jos., Ant xviii. 63 f.)- now given all the MSS.- which, in view of its content and form CANNOT POSSIBLY BE GENUINE. If this section were indeed derived from Josephus, it would mean that he, a Jew, who everywhere steps forward as a champion of his Judaism, first called Jesus a wise man, and then added the hesitating qualification, ‘if indeed he may be called a man at all.’ The writer then proceeds to justify this qualifying clause by adding further, ‘for he was a performer of acts incredible’; though what those acts were he does not tell us. The same passage also goes on to say that Jesus was a teacher of such men as willingly accept the truth.
That is to say, Josephus here describes the nature and content of Jesus’ teaching by the simple term, ‘the truth’ (…..). Jesus drew to himself those who thirsted for the truth- SUCH A SENTENCE CAN ONLY HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY ONE RECKONED HIMSELF TO BELONG TO THE COMMUNITY OF CHRIST. Again, it is said Jesus, in distinct contradiction to historical fact, ‘and many Jews, many also of the people of the Greeks, did he draw to himself.’ Josephus the historian, in describing the earthly Jesus, COULD NEVER HAVE MADE SUCH A STATEMENT as that contained in the second clause. But the account goes on to say of Jesus, ‘this man was the Messiah.’ IF JOSEPHUS HAD WRITTEN THUS, HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CONTENT TO DEVOTE ONLY ONE SHORT CHAPTER TO THE ACCOUNT OF JESUS’ LIFE; for we must remember that Josephus was a Jew and perfectly familiar with the Messianic belief. If he could have so written, Jesus must have been for him the man of men, the future lord of the world; at any rate, from this particular passage onwards the fate of Jesus must have seemed important for the whole future development of his narrative. But of this there is not the slightest trace. The only further passage in which Josephus makes mention of Jesus is that already cited (Ant., xx. 200). This circumstance, more than any other, PROVES THAT THE PASSAGE UNDER CONSIDERATION (XVIII. 63, 64) IS NOT GENUINE. This same passage then goes on to speak of the end of Jesus: ‘When the chief men amongst us had notified him unto Pilate, and Pilate had punished him with the death on the cross, those who had formerly loved him fell not away, for on the third day he appeared unto them again alive, as the holy prophets had foretold (and many other wonderful things also); and even down to this present time the Christian folk who are called after him have not ceased to be.’ Here, then, the whole body of Old Testament prophecy is referred to Jesus; this is the standpoint of a Christian. Nor is the expression ‘the Christian folk’ (….) appropriate in the mouth of one who is a Jew and wishes to remain so.
The word ….expresses really the idea of a common descent; it is precisely the characteristic element of the idea that was manifestly wanting in Christianity, made up as it was of an assemblage from all peoples. Christianity knows differently: to it all the members of the Christian community are children of God and brethren of Christ. Almost the only designation for the Christian community that was available for a Jew to use was the term ….. (Acts xxiv. 5, 14, xxviii. 22).
THUS THE PASSAGE ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPHUS IS UNQUESTIONABLY SPURIOUS. And as there no inherent contradictions discernible in it, it would be a piece of pure arbitrariness to ATTEMPT TO PICK OUT GENUINE KERNEL FROM WAS IS AS A WHOLE SPURIOUS. On the contrary, we are obliged to hold that the text which we now have has supplanted another which was LESS AGREEABLE to the Christians of a later date. And the time when his substitution took place was no doubt the period between Origen and Eusebius. THE CHURCH, STRUGGLING AS SHE WAS AFTER POWER, DELETED FROM JOSEPHUS, AN AUTHOR BOTH WIDELY READ AND IN MANY RESPECTS SERVICEABLE TO HER, A PASSAGE WHICH WAS REPUGNANT TO HER, AND SUBSTITUTED FOR IT A TEXT WHICH FROM HER STANDPOINT WAS UNASSAILABLE, BUT WHICH, AS A MATTER OF FACT, IS IN NO SENSE COMPATIBLE WITH THE AUTHORSHIP OF JOSEPHUS.” [3] (The life of Jesus (1904) Professor Oskar Holtzmann D.D. Translated by J.t. Bealby, B.A. And Maurice A. Canney, M.A. [London Adam and Charles Black 1904] page 15 – 16)

Dutch Experts such as Dr. Henricus Oort who is Professor of Hebrew Antiquities, Dr. I. Hooykaas [was a Pastor in Rotterdam] and Dr. A. Keunen Professor of Theology At Leiden, wrote a book called: ‘The Bible for Learners’, all three them agree that the TF is not genuine, but inserted into the work of Josephus by ‘Christian hand’ later, they wrote:

“……for this knowledge we have hardly any sources but the four books with which the New Testament begins. No other authorities deserve to be mentioned by their side. Paul gives us a few general characteristics, and makes a few allusions in his letters, but this is all. He had never known Jesus personally. Flavius Josephus, the well-known historian of the Jewish people, was born in A.D. 37, only two years after the death of Jesus; but though his work is of inestimable value as our chief authority for the circumstances of the times in which Jesus and his disciples came forward, yet HE DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE EVER MENTIONED JESUS HIMSELF. AT ANY RATE, THE PASSAGE IN HIS ‘JEWISH ANTIQUITIES’ THAT REFERS TO HIM IS CERTAINLY SPURIOUS, and was INSERTED BY A LATER AND A CHRISTIAN HAND.” [4] (The Bible for Learners. By Dr. Henricus Oort [Professor of Hebrew Antiquities At Leiden] and Dr. I. Hooykaas [Pastor At Rotterdam] with the Assistance of Dr. A. Keunen [Professor of Theology At Leiden] – [Boston: Roberts Brothers 1879], volume 3, page 27)

Alexander Campbell who was a Bible teacher, Minister and a Leader in a Church also admits that the passage concerning Jesus from Josephus work is not original, but ‘spurious’:

“Josephus, the Jewish historian, was contemporary with the apostles, having been born in the year 37. From his situation and habits, he had every access to know all that took place at the rise of the Christian religion.
Respecting the founder of his religion, Josephus has thought fit to be silent in history. The present copies of his work contain one passage which speaks very respectfully of Jesus Christ, and ascribes to him the character of the Messiah. But as Josephus did not embrace Christianity, AND AS THIS PASSAGE IS NOT QUOTED OR REFERRED TO TILL THE BEGINNING OF THE FOURTH CENTURY, IT IS, FOR THESE AND OTHER REASONS GENERALLY ACCOUNTED SPURIOUS.” [5] (Debate on the evidences of Christianity; containing an examination of the social system, and of all the systems of scepticism of ancient and modern times, held in the city of Cincinnati, for eight days successively, between Robert Owen and Alexander Campbell. With an appendix by the parties (1839), page 300)

Leonhard Goppelt was born in the year 1911; he was a theologian and pastor in Germany. He writes:

“We would be very much inclined to ascribe special significance to non-Christian information about Jesus because of its ostensible lack of bias. Our expectations would be high, e.g., if the trial folios of Pilate should be discovered on a piece of papyrus. In all probability, however, such a discovery would lead to disappointment since they would offer only a sum of misunderstandings, much like the accounts of Plinius about the Christians.
Such is the confirmed the small number of extant non-Christian sources of information about Jesus from the 1st and 2nd centures. Among the Roman historians, Jesus is mentioned only once each by Tacitus and Suetonius. What they have to say about him ca. A.D, 110 has been taken from statements of Christians.
This fact is not astonishing at all since, after all, for the empire in this period, the activity of Jesus and his disciples was nothing more than a remote affair with hardly more than local significance. Conspicuous, however, is the fact that even Josephus, the Jewish historian of the epoch, is entirely or almost entirely silent on Jesus. THE TWO BRIEF REMARKS ABOUT HIM IN JOSEPHUS WORKS BEAR ALL THE MARKS OF EXTENSIVE CHRISTIAN EMENDATION, if they are not entirely interpolated. What is the reason for this silence? He was writing for a Hellenistic-Roman audience for one thing, and wished for this reason to avoid any identification of his movement with Judaism. It had, after all, fallen under suspicion in the entire Kingdom since Neronian persecution. The inner-Jewish, rabbinic tradition speaks only rarely and in veiled terms about Jesus or the Nazarenes. The references are so disguised and the information SO DISTORTED THAT ONE CAN HARDLY SAY WITH CERTAINTY THAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT JESUS OR THE CHRISTIANS AT ALL.” (The Ministry of Jesus in Its Theological Significance by Leonhard Goppelt [Copy Right 1981], volume 1, page 18 – 19)

Footnote 11 in the same page Leonhard Goppelt writes:

“Ant. 20.9.1 reported briefly that ‘a man James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ,’ was executed. This could have been genuine. In contrast, however, ANT 18.3.3 WAS SURELY INTERPOLATED: ‘About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.’ To what extent the interpolator used Josephus text as a source CANNOT BE DETERMINED. The places that mentioned Jesus in the Slavic text of the War are inauthentic.” [6] ( The Ministry of Jesus in Its Theological Significance by Leonhard Goppelt [Copy Right 1981], volume 1, page 18 – 19)

Richard Brodhead Westbrook was born 1820 in Pike County, Pennsylvania – by 1839 he had obtained a license to preach. He remained a Methodist Episcopal preacher until 1852, but left the Methodist Church that year. Beginning in 1853 Westbrook served as a Presbyterian pastor in Burlington, NJ. Around the same time he was awarded an honorary Master of Arts (A.M.) degree from Princeton University. In 1854 he was serving as the secretary of the American Sunday School Union. Westbrook received another honorary degree, Doctor of Divinity (D.D.), in 1860 from Washington College (Maryland). Three years later (1863) he received a degree in law from New York University and admittance to the New York State Bar. [7] (see here: http://web.archive.org/web/20131116030548/http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/pacscl/ead.pdf?id=PACSCL_WFIS_93003WFIS93003 )

He is another Christian, thoroughly explaining that the TF is not original, but a ‘forgery’, he writes:

“The failure of Jewish writers of the first century to recognise Jesus of Nazareth, even in the most casual way, is significant fact. Philo, the celebrated writer of his day, was born about twenty years before the Christian era, and spent his time in philosophical studies at that centre of learning, Alexandria in Egypt. He labored diligently and wrote voluminously to reconcile the teachings of Plato with the writings of the Old Testament, and though in the prime and vigor of manhood when Jesus is said to have lived, and dwelling in the immediate vicinity of Judea, and in the very city where Christianity was early introduced, yet this learned, devout, and HONEST JEW MAKES NO MENTION OF JESUS OF NAZARETH.
Even more strange is the silence of Josephus, the Jewish Historian, who was born about A.D. 35, and lived and wrote extensively until after the destruction of Jerusalem, and yet he never mentioned the name of Jesus. THE CELEBRATED PASSAGE REGARDING CHRIST IS KNOWN TO BE A FORGERY, and the one respecting ‘James the brother of Jesus, called the Christ,’ is by no means worthy of confidence. It must be certain that in the first century of our era Jesus of Nazareth did not attract the attention of these fair distinguished Jewish writers, if he in fact existed.
In early times the name Jesus, as has been shown, was as common as the names John or James, and when the name is mentioned it is impossible to say who is referred to. Gibbon says: IT WAS FORGED BETWEEN THE TIME OF ORIGEN (A.D. 230) AND EUSEBIUS (A.D. 315). THE CREDIT OF THE FORGERY, HOWEVER IS GENERALLY GIVEN TO EUSEBIUS, WHO FIRST QUOTED IT. The distinguished authors of the Bible for learners distinctly state that Josephus never mentioned Jesus, and cite Josephus’s close following of the atrocious career of Herod up to the very last moments of his life, WITHOUT MENTIONING THE SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS, AS INDUBITABLE PROOF THAT JOSEPHUS KNEW NOTHING OF JESUS. The Rev. Dr. Giles, author of the Christian Records, adds to the reasons for rejecting the passage, as follows, “Those who are best acquainted with the character of Josephus and the style of his writings have no hesitation in condemning THIS PASSAGE AS A FORGERY INTERPOLATED IN THE TEXT DURING THE THIRD CENTURY BY SOME PIOUS CHRISTIAN, who was scandalized that so famous a writer as Josephus should have taken no notice of the Gospels or of Christ their subject. But the zeal of the interpolator has outrun his discretion, for we might as well expect to gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles as to find this notice of Christ among the Judaizing writings of Josephus. It is well-known that this author was a zealous Jew, devoted to the laws of Moses and the traditions of his countrymen. How, then, could he have written that Jesus was the Christ? Such an admission would have proved him to be a Christian himself, in which case the passage under consideration, too long for a Jew, would have been far too short for a believer in the new religion; and thus the passage stands forth, like an ill-set jewel, contrasting most inharmoniously with everything around it.
IF IT HAD BEEN GENUINE, WE MIGHT BE SURE THAT JUSTIN MARTYR, TERTULLIAN, AND CHRYSOSTOM WOULD HAVE QUOTED IT IN THEIR CONTROVERSIES WITH THE JEWS, AND THAT ORIGEN OR PHOTIUS WOULD HAVE MENTIONED IT. BUT EUSEBIUS , THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORIAN (I. 11), IS THE FIRST WHO QUOTES IT, AND OUR RELIANCE ON THE JUDGEMENT, OR EVEN HONESTY, OF THIS WRITER IS NOT SO GREAT AS TO ALLOW OUR CONSIDERING EVERYTHING FOUND IN HIS WORKS AS UNDOUBTEDLY GENUINE.”
Oxley in his great work on Egypt says: “However, I have found in some papers that this discourse was not written by Josephus, but by on Caius, a presbyter.” Here, according to their own showing, what had passed for centuries as the work of Josephus WAS A FRAUD PERPETRATED BY A DIGNITARY OF THE CHURCH. This is in perfect keeping with ancient custom. In addition to all this, there is not original manuscript of Josephus in existence…
ANOTHER FORGED REFERENCE TO CHRIST IS FOUND IN THE ANTIQUITIES, BOOK XX. CHAPTER IX. SECTION 1, WHERE JOSEPHUS IS MADE TO SPEAK OF JAMES, “THE BROTHER OF JESUS, WHO WAS CALLED CHRIST.” Some theologians who reject the longer reference to Jesus accept this as genuine. But they do it without reconciling the discrepancies between the stories regarding the end of this same James. According to this passage, James was put to death under the order of high priest. But according to Hegesippus, a converted Jew who wrote history of the Christian church about A.D. 170, James was killed in a tumult, not by sentence of a court. Clement of Alexandria confirms this, and is quoted by Eusebius accordingly. Eusebius also quotes the line from Josephus without noticing that the two do not agree. The statement is quoted in various ways in early writers, and the conclusion is irresistible that the copies of Josephus were tampered with by copyists.” [8] (The eliminator; or, Skeleton keys to sacerdotal secrets by Richard Brodhead Westbrook, D. D., LL.D [Printed for the Author by J.B Lippincott Company, Philadelphia. 1894], page 198 – 203)

In light of the evidences I have presented from Christians scholars, Josephus statement on Jesus is a forgery, it was most certainly not written by him, which is a fact. The offender who is most likely to have inserted it into Josephus’s work, mentioned by some of the experts is Eusebius. He was the first person to have quoted it, as I mentioned earlier many Church fathers used Josephus work extensively, yet not one them came across such a passage.


Examining Sanhedrin 47a, on Jesus Crucifixion

Another interesting passage Christian missionaries love to cite that Jesus was put to death, is Sanhedrin 43a. They claim that the Yeshu (Jesus) that is mentioned in the passage is the same Jesus from the New Testament. There are however many problems which Christian apologists won’t be able to solve, if they still try to argue that the passage is talking about Yeshu (Jesus) of the New Testament. The passage in question is certainly not referring to the same Jesus of the Gospels. Reasons are very simple: the person who is mentioned in Sanhedrin 43a is a different Jesus to the one from the Gospels. This Jesus lived at the time of King Yannai that is well over 100 years before the Jesus of the Gospels was born.

Yeshu (Jesus) was a student of a Rabbi Yeshoshua ben Perahia (Sotah 47a). There is mention of no teacher that Jesus had, in the four Gospels. Rabbi Yeshoshua ben Perahia (Sotah 47a) most certainly did not live at the time of Jesus of the Gospels. Historical evidence shows that he lived at the time of King Yannai, which is well over 100 years before Jesus was born. Let’s read Sanhedrin 47a, it says:

On the eve of the Passover Yeshu
34 was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, ‘He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.’ But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!
35 — Ulla retorted: ‘Do you suppose that he was one for whom a defence Dilling Exhibit 47 Begins could be made? Was he not a Mesith [enticer], concerning whom Scripture says, Neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him?
36 With Yeshu however it was different, for he was connected with the government [or royalty, i.e., influential].’ Our Rabbis taught: Yeshu had five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni and Todah. When Matthai was brought [before the court] he said to them [the judges], Shall Matthai be executed? Is it not written, Matthai [when] shall I come and appear before God?
37 Thereupon they retorted; Yes, Matthai shall be executed, since it is written, When Matthai [when] shall [he] die and his name perish.
38 When Nakai was brought in he said to them; Shall Nakai be executed? It is not written, Naki [the innocent] and the righteous slay thou not?
39 Yes, was the answer, Nakai shall be executed, since it is written, in secret places does Naki
40 [the innocent] slay.
41 When Nezer was brought in, he said; Shall Nezer be executed? Is it not written, And Nezer [a twig] shall grow forth out of his roots.
42 Yes, they said, Nezer shall be executed, since it is written, But thou art cast forth away from thy grave like Nezer [an abhorred offshoot].
43 When Buni was brought in, he said: Shall Buni be executed? Is it not written, Beni [my son], my first born?
44 Yes, they said, Buni shall be executed, since it is written, Behold I will slay Bine-ka [thy son] thy first born.
45 And when Todah was brought in, he said to them; Shall Todah be executed? Is it not written, A psalm for Todah [thanksgiving]?
46 Yes, they answered, Todah shall be executed…” [9] (Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin Folio 43a, online source, http://www.come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_43.html )

The above passage from the Talmud does not only say this Yeshu was hanged, but he had a teacher, his name was ‘Yeshoshua ben Perahia’. It also mentions that this Yeshu had five disciples who got executed. Question: how can this passage be referring to the same Jesus of the Gospels, when we know Jesus had way more disciples than what is mentioned in Sanhedrin 47a? Where in the Gospels does it ever mention anything about five of Jesus disciples bring murdered with him? Mark Allan Powell (Ph.D Union Theological Seminary) is the Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, he writes:

“Scholars debate whether there may be obscure references to Jesus in some of the collections of ancient Jewish writings, such as the Talmud, the Tosefta, the targums, and the Midrasim. Occasional polemical comments in these writings are sometimes thought to be veiled references to Jesus, but since he is not mentioned by name, no one knows for sure. The text that is most often accepted as referring to him comes from Babylonian Talmud. The main problem is here that the materials that make up this work were collected over a long period of time, finally coming together around 500-600 C.E. Thus, there is NO WAY OF KNOWING HOW EARLY (OR RELAIBLE) the references may be…….
Later this same text also says. ‘Jesus had five disciples: Mattai, Maqai, Metser, Buni, and Todah.’ THIS OF COURSE IS NEITHER THE TRADITIONAL LIST OF NAMES NOR THE TRADITIONAL NUMBER.” [10] (Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee [Copyright 1998] by Mark Allan Powell, page 34)

Talmud Sanhedrin 107b and Sotah 47a make mention that Rabbi Yehoshua fled to Egypt, but in Sotah 47a there is no mention of Jesus. Interesting thing, both of the passages mentioned from the Talmud says, Rabbi Yehoshua fled because of King Yannai (or jannaeus), this was well over a century before Jesus of the Gospel was born. Here is what is said:

What of R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah?
When John [Hyrcanus] the king killed the rabbis, R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah [and Yeshu] went to Alexandria of Egypt. When there was peace, Shimon Ben Shetach sent to him “From me [Jerusalem] the holy city to you Alexandria of Egypt. My husband remains in your midst and I sit forsaken.”
[R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] left and arrived at a particular inn and they showed him great respect. He said: How beautiful is this inn [Achsania, which also means innkeeper].
[Yeshu] said: Rabbi, she has narrow eyes.
[R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] said to him: Wicked one, this is how you engage yourself?
[R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] sent out four hundred trumpets and excommunicated him.
[Yeshu] came before [R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] many times and said: Accept me. But [R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] paid him no attention.
One day [R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] was reciting Shema [during which one may not be interrupted]. [Yeshu] came before him. He was going to accept [Yeshu] and signalled to [Yeshu] with his hand. [Yeshu] thought that [R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] was repelling him. He went, hung a brick, and bowed down to it.
[Yeshu] said to [R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah]: You taught me that anyone who sins and causes others to sin is not given the opportunity to repent.
And the master said: Yeshu {the Notzri} practiced magic and deceive and led Israel astray. [11] (Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sotah, Folio 47a, online source, http://www.come-and-hear.com/sotah/sotah_47.html )

According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Jannaeus), Yannai (or Alexander Jannaeus ) was king of Judea from 103 BC to 76 BC. This is a century before Jesus of the New Testament was born. How can this passage be talking about the Jesus of the New Testament, when these incidents occurred a century before Jesus was born? All this evidence presented proves once again that the sources mentioned by Christians from the Talmud, could not be the same person it’s speaking about.

Here is Rabbi Boteach who makes it clear that this Jesus (Yeshu) is not the same person from Gospels. He writes:

“To be sure, there is a famous Talmudic citation that says that the high Jewish court condemned Jesus to death (Sanhedrin 43a). But the Jesus it is referring to cannot be the founder of Christianity. In the Talmud there is more than one Yeshu (Jesus). A case in point is where the Talmud says that Jesus if Nazareth was a student of Yeshoshua ben Perahia (Sotah 47a), a sage who died at least 100 years before the Jesus of the New Testament was born. More importantly, whoever this ‘Yeshu’ is, it most certainly is not Jesus of the New Testament because the narrative of their deaths is completely different. There is no Roman involvement, no crucifixion, and a number of students are put to death with this Yeshu, something that does NOT happen in the New Testament.”[12] (A Jewish Philosophy of History: Israel’s Degradation & Redemption by Paul Eidelberg, page 282)

Conclusion:

The evidences presented from academics thoroughly debunked Josephus’s TF as being genuine. I went in detail explaining and bringing Christian Professors who also acknowledged and thoroughly exposed the TF as an out-right forgery. These sincere Christian Professors also made mention that the TF is a work of a Christian hand; it could not possibly be from Josephus, who was a devout Jew, a Pharisee.

I also went over the citation in Sanhedrin 47a, which was assumed by Christian missionaries, strong evidence that it referred to Jesus. However as I have gone over the passage in detail, the verse could not talk about Jesus of the Gospels. As you would have read already – the evidence presented, this Yeshu who was hanged and lived 100 years before the Jesus of the New Testament. Another evidence that the passage in Sanhedrin 47a was not the same Jesus of the Gospels, is how the Talmud Sanhedrin 107b and Sotah 47 state that Rabbi Yeshoshua ben Perahia fled to Egypt because of King Yannai, as stated before, King Yannai lived one century before Jesus of the Gospels. It seems clear by now all the supposed sources Christians have used, that it is to do with Jesus of NT, is forgery or as in the case of the Talmud, it referred to a completely different Yeshu who lived a century before Jesus of the Gospels.

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Related articles:

(1) – “Crucifixion or Crucifiction: What Did 1st Century Christians Believe?

(2) – “Examining Pagan Sources On Jesus Crucifixion, Genuine or Hearsay?

(3) – “Examining Jewish Sources On Jesus Crucifixion, Genuine Or Forgery?

(4) – “Examining the Engineering behind Jesus’ (p) title as ‘Lamb of God’

(5) – “Did earliest Christians believe (alleged) crucifixion to be indispensable?

(6) – “Was Jesus Hanged or Crucified?

(7) – “Jesus did not die on cross, says scholar” (Telegraph.co.uk)

(8) – “Filipinos Nailed to Crosses in Good Friday Re-Enactment That Church Says Corrupts Christian Message” (ChristianPost.com)

This article was originally published on the following: www.discover-the-truth.com

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21 replies

  1. “A good reliable source would be a contemporary historian that lived and wrote during the time in which (Muhammad) was alive. Any historian living or writing about him after he had ascended cannot be taken as 100% fact, that we can rely on, because they never witnessed anything personally with their own eyes.”

    Good bye Muhammad, Koran, ahadith. Good bye Islam.

    Falsified by the very criteria you try to apply to others.

    Like

  2. Hi
    You bring all this information to try and dismiss the secular writing about Jesus.

    The koran says that Jesus was the Messiah.

    1. Can you how explain how you actually believe Jesus is the Messiah.

    a. where is your proof according to scripture outside of the koran.

    b. what 1st century writing do you have outside of the gospels do you have that says he wasnt crucified.

    c. Are the Roman Historians correct in what they have said about Jesus and his followers?

    Like

  3. We do not need corrupt and distorted pagan myths to uphold our Religion. Islam stands eternally strong on its own foundations. There are many contemporary writing at the time of the messenger and prophet of God (Mohammed PBUH).

    In fact, there was an article about that very fact in this very blog which you and your pagan kin used as a stick to beat us with because one of the sources mentioned that some soldiers/army attacked some village/people…

    What you don’t understand is that this article is not invoking the “no Jesus” theory. In fact it went as far as to explain that it was rebuking the Christian polemicists fallacious and most likely deliberate deception through use of Jewish writings that were either not written at the time or were written centuries before Jesus was even alive and ultimately injected fraudulently by the desperate church to try and justify its ever more increasingly rejected dogma.

    Not only has your false pagan beliefs been destroyed by people of belief and non-belief but also by your own brethren.

    So I am not completely surprised that you and your pagans would be falling over themselves to shoot themselves in the right foot despite only just having shot themselves in the left foot.

    Like

    • The interpolation in Josephus has been known about and discussed for decades. You guys think this is *new* material because you aren’t up to date with Christian discussion.

      The post utilised liberal German scholarship of the early 20th century, which is now known to be excessively over inflated, dismissing the entire passage. Modern historians do not believe that to be the case.

      Like

    • Hilarious 😂 One would think that all the theology we are discussing has only recently happened…

      Were you not aware that we are always talking about thousand year old scriptures and oral transmissions? So by your logic we can’t discuss anything that happened in the past.

      Hate to break it to you none of the discussions anyone has on known discourse is “new”

      Your avoidance of the proven fact that your church has consistently injected falsehood in both its own and other people’s works is noted.

      Poor attempt to sweep it under the carpet 🤦‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

    • Weird comment. Point is that the OP doesn’t seem to understand the interpolation is just that, an interpolation. Appealing to old scholarship that is now considered incorrect, and then proceeeding to build an entire case of rejected scholarship, seems a little silly, don’t you think?

      The core text in Josephus, which is seen as the original, still is good historical reference for scholars, and still falsifies Islam.

      Bad news for you.

      But I understand you probably don’t really have the desire to look objectively at the evidence.

      Like

  4. “b. what 1st century writing do you have outside of the gospels do you have that says he wasnt crucified.”

    The lack of independent historical confirmation for the alleged crucifixion.

    You can’t ask us to give evidence for the the non-occurrence of something that never occurred. It is like asking us to give evidence for the existence of dragons (., Psalm 148:7; Isaiah 43:20; Micah 1:8, KJV) and cockatrices (Isaiah 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; and Jeremiah 8:17, KJV)!

    The onus of proof is always upon the one that makes a claim – not the one that denies the claim.

    Christians make the claim that Jesus was crucified historically and thus the onus of proof is always upon Christians to prove it historically.

    Don’t ask Muslims to prove your claim for you or to prove the negative.

    Where is a single independent historical confirmation for the claim crucifixion of Jesus?

    Liked by 3 people

    • The koran gives its judgement on the crucifixion 600 years after the event please give us something else apart the koran.

      this is not about Adders ( Cockatrice) or even Dragons ( sea serpents)

      We are talking a crucial event that took place in Jerusalem please provide with that crucifixion didnt take place.

      please back the Korans statement outside of itself.

      Like

  5. thirstforknowledge78.

    pagan belief you people are so two faced.

    Here we have your prophet kissing the black stone which is blatant idolatry please stop talking nonsense.

    throwing pebbles at Satan…is pagan foolishness.

    running between two hills…is pagan foolishness.

    walking around the kaaba…is pagan foolishness.

    kissing the black stone…is pagan foolishness.

    prophet riding an animal to paradise….foolishness.

    You have to try prove Jesus didnt die otherwise your book is a fake book.

    1 billion of you on the road to hell following a false prophet that somehow has desires a young girl playing with dolls to be his wife.

    Your prophet jesus spoke about in Matthew 24.

    Jude spoke about your prophet when Jesus comes he will be calling to.account false teachers that spoke lies about him.

    he is not coming to break crosses…deal with pigs or anything like that.

    Paul Williams you are a backslider you need to get your heart…which is why you try so hard to prove the NT wrong about the cross and a lot of other things.

    Muslims since 10th century have been talking about the bible being changed and are further forward today.

    Every minute there is some article talking nonsense about the Christian faith

    You have nothing worthwhile to say.

    Like

  6. “The koran gives its judgement on the crucifixion 600 years after the event please give us something else apart the koran.”

    Even if it were 1000 years after the ‘claim’, you can prove the claim only by giving us independent historical evidence that it historically occurred.

    The New Testament claim of the crucifixion must be true just because it was 600 years old before the Qur’an? Have you ever heard of the logical fallacy of appeal to antiquity?

    Old age of a claim never makes it historically true by default.

    The claim of the crucifixion has never been backed outside the New Testament that created it and Christian tradition that repeats it! No independent historical confirmation for the alleged crucifixion. All the sources Christians usually cite in defence of this myth are late and dependent on the same Christian tradition. You bring no independent historical confirmation of this myth !

    Like

    • then why does the koran talk about the crucifixion as historical event.

      Ibn Kathir speaks about it as a real event in time and history.

      Which means your own god spoke of it because the koran is Allah’s word.

      The koran speaks about it with real people the jews involved.

      Tacitus is not a Christian source…its Roman! Are the things he wrote a myth too.

      Like

  7. Hi Saleh
    Ibn Kathir writes and says they surrounded the house that Isa and his discples were and Allah made one of them look like Isa…and he was crucified!

    Is this what the koran says?

    If not we have a man from the 13th century talking about an event over 1000 years before he lived.

    Do you have any chain narration for Sura 4:157?

    In any case according to the crucifixion DID take place the only issue is the person was it Jesus or someone else.

    You said all the sources we use are myths but your book says the event took place

    Like

  8. defendchrist,

    I hope you are ready for a serious discussion, not just to troll and attempt cheap attacks against Islam. Your argument has to be concise and in order, not a hodgepodge of various thoughts and claims, otherwise it would be difficult to engage in a meaningful discussion.

    If you accuse a religion of paganism, then one should provide objective characteristics of what constitutes paganism. No one is interested in what you think is foolishness, your opinion is irrelevant. In addition, one should specify where these pagan ideas are part of theology or ritual.

    I will not respond to your attacks against the Hajj rituals because you do not explain how they are “pagan foolishness”. The Quran and Hadith explain that these rituals are an imitation of the actions of Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael.

    The following are agreed upon charecteristic features of Pagan religion. Abrahamic monotheism (Islam, Judaism) is the complete antithesis of these ideas.

    1) Apotheosis: the elevation of a human ruler or hero into the divine. Pagan idea which is cornerstone of xtianity.

    2) The dying and rising god: goes without an explanation. Pagan idea shared by xtianity with the cults of Dionysus, Osiris, Mithra, and others. Chruch fathers like Origen realised the uncanny similarity, so they claimed that these pagan cults were an imitation of xtianity, not vice versa.

    3) The divine triad: Tertullian originally formulated the “trinity” as a triad of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, where the Father is the only true God but the others share in the divine substance. The Nicene-Constantinoplean Trinity fares not better in comparison. The triad is a staple of pagan religions:
    In Egypt: Osiris-Isis-Horus.
    In Rome: Jupiter-Juno-Minerva.
    In Norse religion: Odin-Thor-Freyr.
    In Hinduism: Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva.
    Etc….

    4) Incarnation: another pagan staple. Vishnu incarnates into several avatars. Zeus incarnated into animal form to rape humans.

    Each of the above points is a cornerstone in xtian theology, but is also full-blown paganism. So, “defendchrist”, defend your religion and its theology before going on another tirade against islam.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Defend Christ,

    “Ibn Kathir writes and says they surrounded the house that Isa and his discples were and Allah made one of them look like Isa…and he was crucified!

    Is this what the koran says?”

    Response:

    Note well that this is neither from the Qur’an nor from the Prophet of Islam. It is called “israliyyyat” which is never part of Islam.

    Defend Christ:

    “You said all the sources we use are myths but your book says the event took place”

    Response:

    My book says he was never crucified. Which means it never took place.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Defendchrist,

    “Tacitus is not a Christian source…its Roman! Are the things he wrote a myth too.”

    Response:

    Yes, the account of the crucifixion in the Annals of Tacitus is a myth.

    Tacitus wrote around 110 AD which was too late to contemporary account. Tacitus must have a source for this account.

    The source must be hearsay from Christians of the time and place.

    This is what Tacitus wrote:

    “Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus…” (Annals, 15.44) ”

    Here, Tacitus identifies Pontius Pilate as ‘procurator’ which is simply an error. The correct historical position held by Pilate was ‘prefect’. A procurator was a financial administrator (of a civilian nature) while a prefect was a military position.

    Historically Judea was ruled by a prefect appointed by Rome from 6 CE to around 44 CE (period when Jesus lived in Israel). In fact, in an inscription that was found at Caesarea Maritima, ludaea there is an inscription dedicated to Pilate which reads, “praefectus iudaeae” which means “prefect of Judea”.

    This proves that this Tacitean account was hearsay and that this information concerning Jesus comes from unofficial or informal source.

    New Testament Professor Richard Thomas France says:

    “The brief account in Tacitus Annals XV. 44 mentions only his title, Christus, and his execution IN Judea by order of Pontius Pilate. NOR IS THERE ANY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT TACITUS BASES THIS ON INDEPENDENT INFORMATION – IT IS WHAT CHRISTIANS WOULD BE SAYING IN ROME IN THE EARLY SECOND CENTURY. Suetonius and Pliny, together with Tacitus, testify to the significant presence of Christians in Rome and other parts of the empire from the mid-sixties onwards, but add nothing to our knowledge of their founder. No other clear pagan references to Jesus can be dated before AD 150/1/, by which time the source of any information is more likely to be CHRIATIAN PROPAGANDA THAN AN INDEPENDENT RECORD.” (The Gospels As Historical Sources For Jesus,The Founder Of Christianity by Professor R. T. France http://leaderu.com/­truth/1truth21.html)

    Therefore, Tacitus and all the others YIU people cite never provided independent historical confirmation for the alleged crucifixion – they were all dependent on Christian hearsay of the times and places.

    Liked by 2 people

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