Toledot Yeshu

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Toledot Yeshu
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{{short description|An early Jewish text taken to be an alternative biography of Jesus}}Sefer Toledot Yeshu (ספר תולדות ישו, The Book of the Generations/History/Life of Jesus), often abbreviated as Toledot Yeshu, is an early Jewish text taken to be an alternative biography of Jesus. It exists in a number of different versions, none of which are considered either canonical or normative within rabbinic literature,ENCYCLOPEDIA
, Dan
, Joseph
, Joseph Dan
, Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik
, Encyclopaedia Judaica
, Toledot Yeshu
, August 4, 2011
, 2nd
, 2006
, Gale (publisher), Gale Virtual Reference Library
, 20
, Detroit
, 978-0-02-865928-2
, 28–29
but which appear to have been widely circulated in Europe and the Middle East in the medieval period.BOOK, Mirror of His Beauty: Feminine Images of God from the Bible to the Early Kabbalah, Peter, Schäfer, 211f, 2002, Princeton University Press
Yemenite Jews>Yemenite work of the same was titled Maaseh Yeshu, or the "Episode of Jesus," in which Jesus is described either as being the son of Joseph, or the son of Pandera (see: s:Translat). The account portrays Jesus as an impostor. The stories claim that Jesus (Yeshu) was an illegitimate child, and that he practiced magic and heresy, seduced women, and died a shameful death.BOOK, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements, Nesta H, Webster, 21f, 2000, Book Tree, 1-58509-092-1, But they also show a paradoxical respect for Jesus. As Joseph Dan notes in the Encyclopedia Judaica, "The narrative in all versions treats Jesus as an exceptional person who', from his youth, demonstrated unusual wit and wisdom, but disrespect toward his elders and the sages of his age." Dan, Joseph, "Toledot Yeshu" in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed. (2007) Robert Van Voorst calls the Toledot a record of popular polemic "run wild".BOOK, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Robert E, Van Voorst, 122 ff., 2000, WmB Eerdmans Publishing, 0-8028-4368-9, The Toledot's profane portrayal of the person Christians consider divine has provided material for antisemitic polemics.BOOK, Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination, John Victor, Tolan, 17f, Columbia University Press, New York, 2002, 0-231-12332-9, Both Jewish and Christian scholars in modern times have paid little attention to the Toledot.Van Voorst. p. 123 The opinion of Father Edward H. Flannery is representative:This scurrilous fable of the life of Jesus is a medieval work, probably written down in the tenth century. .... Though its contents enjoyed a certain currency in the oral traditions of the Jewish masses, it was almost totally ignored by official or scholarly Judaism. Anti-Semites have not failed to employ it as an illustration of the blasphemous character of the Synagogue."Flannery, Edward H., The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-three centuries of Anti-Semitism (1965, NY, Macmillan) page 283 (footnote 30 to chapter 2).This disregard has recently been lifting as the text becomes discussed as a possible window into the early history of polemic between Christians and Jews.*Meerson, Michael, and Peter Schäfer. Toledot Yeshu : The life story of Jesus. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism ; 159. Tubinger: Mohr Siueck, 2014. {{ISBN|9783161534812}} Contents: Vol.1, Introduction and translation

Composition and dating

Recent scholarship has drawn increased attention to the date of origin of the Toledot Yeshu; the early layers are considered to have been manufactured orally. The first textual proof subsists of fragments of Aramaic manuscripts discovered in Cairo.BOOK,weblink Forbidden Texts on the Western Frontier: The Christian Apocrypha in North American Perspectives: Proceedings from the 2013 York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium, Cornelia Horn, 27 July 2015, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 978-1-4982-0982-3, Tony Burke, 117–, Forbidden texts on the Western Frontier, A recent study reports that more than 100 manuscripts of the Toledot exist, almost all of them late medieval (the oldest manuscript being from the 11th century).Ben Ezra, Daniel Stokl, An Ancient List of Christian Festivals in Toledot Yeshu, Harvard Theological Review, vol. 102, nr. 4 (Oct. 2009) pages 483-484.The earliest stratum of composition was probably in Aramaic. There are recensions extant in Hebrew, and later versions in Judeo-Persian and Arabic, as well as in Yiddish and Ladino (Judeo-Spanish).JOURNAL
, Gero
, Stephan
, 1988
, Apocryphal Gospels: A Survey
, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt
, Teil II
, Band 25 (5 Teilband)
, 3991f
, German, English
, 978-3-11-011893-3
The date of composition cannot be ascertained with certainty and there are conflicting views as to what markers denote dates. For instance, the Toledot refers to Christian festivals and observances that only originated after the 4th century.Ben Ezra, Daniel Stokl, An Ancient List of Christian Festivals in Toledot Yeshu, Harvard Theological Review, vol. 102, nr. 4 (Oct. 2009) p. 488; also, Leiman, Sid Z., The Scroll of Fasts: The Ninth of Tebeth, Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. n.s. 74, nr. 2 (Oct. 1983) p.186-188, p.195. See also Van Voorst, ‘’op. cit.’’, p.122, 127.BOOK, The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian, Michael, Maas, 406, 2005, Cambridge University Press, 0-521-81746-3, However, in his Incredible Shrinking Son of Man Robert M. Price states that the Toledot Yeshu is "dependent on second-century Jewish-Christian gospel",Price, Robert (2003) Incredible Shrinking Son of Man pg 40 and Alexander argues that the oral traditions behind the written versions of the Toledot Yeshu might go all the way back to the formation of the canonical narratives themselves.Alexander, P. ‘Jesus and his Mother in the Jewish Anti-Gospel (the Toledot Yeshu)’, in eds. C. Clivaz et al., Infancy Gospels, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, 2011, pp. 588-616.It is unlikely that one person is the author, since the narrative itself has a number of different versions, which differ in terms of the story details and the attitude towards the central characters. Even individual versions seem to come from a number of storytellers.Some scholars assert that the source material is no earlier than the 6th century, and the compilation no earlier than the 9th century.Worth, Roland H., Jr., Alternative Lives of Jesus: Noncanonical accounts through the early Middle Ages (2003, NC, McFarland & Co.) pages 49-50; also, Dan, Joseph, "Toledot Yeshu" in Encyclopaedia Judaica (2nd ed. 2007, Farmington Hills, Mich., Macmillin Reference USA) page 29; "The complete narrative, which could not have been written before the tenth century, used earlier sources ....". Although individual anecdotes that make up the Toledot Yeshu may all come from sources dating before the sixth century, there is no evidence that their gathering into a single narrative is that early.Klausner, Joseph, Jesus of Nazareth: His life, times, and teaching (orig. 1922, Engl. transl. 1925, London, George Allen & Unwin) pages 52-53 ("The present Hebrew Tol'doth Yeshu, even in its earliest form, ... was not composed before the tenth century"). Some scholars, like Jeffrey Rubenstein, favour a later composition date, posterior to the seventh century.Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, ''Stories of the Babylonian Talmud’’ (2010), p 272: "There is not one shred of evidence that Toledot Yeshu existed in written form in Babylonian in the seventh century, as Gero claims it did, nor that the Bavli knew it."The earliest known mention is an oblique mention by Agobard, archbishop of Lyon, circa. 826, and then another mention by his successor, Amulo, circa 849.Agobard of Lyons, De Iudaicis Superstitionibus, cited in Van Voorst, op. cit. Schonfield, Hugh J., According to the Hebrews (1937, London: Duckworth) pages 29-30. However, since Agobard does not refer to the source by name it cannot be certain that this is the Toledot.See Klausner, Joseph, Jesus of Nazareth: His life, times, and teaching (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1925), page 53 note.The source material for the Toledot can be said to derive from four sources: (1) Jewish rabbinic literature; (2) canonical Christian scriptures; (3) noncanonical Christian writings; (4) pagan anti-Christian writings of the Roman period.The largest source of input to the Toledot seems to be anecdotes gathered from various parts of the Talmud and Midrash.E.g., the Talmudic references in Division 1.A of Herford, R. Travers, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash (1903, London; reprinted 1966, NJ, Reference Book Publ'rs) pages 35-96weblink .These appear to be popular adaptations of material aimed against two Christian doctrines: the virgin birth and the ascension.Some of the Talmudic anecdotes are clearly fictitious or absurd, and some seem incompatible with each other or with known historical fact.Klausner, Joseph, Jesus of Nazareth: His life, times, and teaching (orig. 1922, Engl. transl. 1925, London, George Allen & Unwin) pages 26 & 51 ("the book contains no history worth the name"), as an example.In some instances, the Talmudic source of the Toledot is very obscure or of doubtful authenticity, and may not originally have been relevant to Jesus.For example, the "nativity" account in chapter 1 of the Strassburg version of the Toledot is derived from Kallah, a purported Talmudic tractate whose provenance is so uncertain that it did not appear in print until 1864. (See Herford, R. Travers, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash (London, 1903) pages 487-50; Strack, H.L., & Stemberger, G., Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991) page 250; Klausner, Joseph, Jesus of Nazareth: His life, times, and teaching (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1925) page 52.) Moreover, the anecdote in Kallah may not refer to Jesus at all (See Schonfield, Hugh J., According to the Hebrews (London: Duckworth, 1937) page 222; Herford, op.cit, page 49; and Klausner, op.cit., page 31.Significantly, the Toledot seems to know (though sometimes only superficially) of the miracles of the canonical Gospels, and does not deny their occurrence, but instead attributes them to Yeshu's use of Egyptian magic, or his misuse of the secret Divine Name - though not to diabolical influences.Concurrences with the gospel accounts include the fact that Jesus's parents were named Joseph and Mary; that he was born in Bethlehem; that he was bold toward the Jewish elders; that he could perform miracles (here made out to be sorcery); that he claimed to be born of a virgin; that he claimed to be the Son of God; that he applied (Isaiah 7:14) to himself; that he raised the dead; that he healed a leper; that Jews fell down and worshipped him; that he entered Jerusalem upon an ass; that he applied to himself Zacharias 9:9; that he charged the Jews with being stiff-necked people; that he applied to himself the 2nd and 110th Psalms; that he walked on water; that he was betrayed by Judas; that he was scourged, crowned with thorns, and given vinegar to drink; that he was put to death on the Passover and buried before the Sabbath began; and that his twelve apostles spread a story of his resurrection.BOOK, Joseph and Benjamin: a Series of Letters on the Controversy between Jews and Christians, Joseph Samuel CF, Frey, 1, 214, Peter Hills, New York, 1837, Trachtenberg, Joshua, The Devil and the Jews (1961, Philadelphia, Jewish Publ'n Society) page 230 (footnote 11 to chapter 4).Some of the anecdotes recounted in the Toledot seem to have been drawn from non-canonical early Christian writings known as apocryphal gospels, datable to the 4th – 6th centuries CE.e.g., the Strassburg version of Toledot tells the story that Yeshu, using magic, made clay birds come to life and fly. This closely resembles a story about the young Jesus found in the apocryphal “Infancy gospel of Thomas” and “Infancy gospel of pseudo-Matthew”. See Schonfield, Hugh J., According to the Hebrews (London: Duckworth, 1937), page 43; James, M.R., The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924), pages 49, 55, and 76; Mead, George R.S., Did Jesus Live 100 BC? (London: Theosophical Publ'g Society, 1903), pages 264-265. For other examples see Baring-Gould, Sabine, The Lost and Hostile Gospels: an essay on the Toledoth Jeschu, and the Petrine and Pauline Gospels of the first three centuries of which fragments remain (London, 1874), pages 103-104.The attribution of Yeshu's paternity to a soldier named Pandera or Pantera can be traced to the second-century Greek philosopher Celsus,Cited by Origen, Contra Celsus 1.32though Celsus himself may have picked up this detail from a Jewish source. Jews apparently polemicised actively against the new Christian religion, as can be inferred from the 2nd century Christian writer Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho, a fictional dialogue between a Christian and a Jew. In chapter 17 Justin claims that the Jews had sent out "chosen men" throughout the Roman Empire to polemicize against Christianity, calling it a "godless heresy".Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho ch. 17.One early version of the Toledot Yeshu gave a milder description of Christianity. It did not cast aspersions on the characters of Mary and Jesus, instead it sought to undermine the tenets of the Christian faith. The goal was to seek the return of apostates to the Jewish fold. To Tartakoff it seems that the Toledot may have been modified by Jews to fit into specific situations.BOOK,weblink Between Christian and Jew: Conversion and Inquisition in the Crown of Aragon, 1250-1391, Paola Tartakoff, 24 July 2012, University of Pennsylvania Press, 0-8122-0675-4, 123–,

Christian response

From the 9th through the 20th centuries the Toledot has inflamed Christian hostility towards Jews.Schonfield, Hugh J., The History of Jewish Christianity, (1936, London, Duckworth) page 129.In 1405, the Toledot was banned by Church authoritiesCarmilly-Weinberger, Moshe, Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Jewish History (1977, NY, Yeshiva Univ. Press) pages 185-186. A book under this title was strongly condemned by Francesc Eiximenis (d. 1409) in his Vita Christi.BOOK, Friars and Jews in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Steven J, McMichael, Susan E. Myers
, 157, 2004, Brill Academic Publishers, 90-04-11398-3, but in 1614 it was largely reprinted by a Jewish apostate, Samuel Friedrich Brenz, in Nuremberg, as part of his book vilifying his former religion, titled "Skin Shed by the Jewish Snake".Carmilly-Weinberger, Moshe, Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Jewish History (1977, NY, Yeshiva Univ. Press) page 186.
An indirect witness to the Christian condemnation of the book can be found in one manuscript of the Toledot, which has this cautionary note in its introduction:[This booklet] should be shown only to people of discretion, for one never knows what the morrow may bring. ... I copied it from three different pamphlets from three different countries, not just one, The contents of all these pamphlets were identical, except that I wrote it in the language of prudence [- namely, Hebrew, because Gentiles do not understand it].Carmilly-Weinberger, Moshe, Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Jewish History (1977, NY, Yeshiva Univ. Press), page 185 (quoting a reprint in Krauss).Martin Luther quoted the Toledot (evidently the Strassburg version) at length in his general condemnation of Jews in his book Vom Schem Hamphoras in 1543.Falk, Gerhard, The Jew in Christian Theology: Martin Luther's anti-Jewish Von Schem Hampharos, previously unpublished in English, and other milestones in church doctrine concerning Judaism (1992, Jefferson, NC, McFarland) 296 pages.In the two centuries after Luther, the Toledot reached the height of its fame and was well sought after by scholars and travelers alike. In 1681 Professor Johannes Christoph Wagenseil published an entire volume devoted to refuting the Toledot. Attitudes towards the work became more diversified during the Age of Enlightenment.BOOK, Michael Meerson, Peter Schäfer, Toledot Yeshu: The Life Story of Jesus: Two Volumes and Database. Vol. I: Introduction and Translation. Vol. II: Critical Edition,weblink 19 November 2014, Mohr Siebeck, 978-3-16-153481-2, 15–,


Ramón Martí version

Long unknown to Christians, the Toledot was first translated into Latin by Ramón Martí, a Dominican friar, toward the end of the 13th century.

Wagenseil version, 1681

Among the versions of the Toledot, the version published by Johann Christian Wagenseil is perhaps the most prominent.In 1681 Wagenseil, a professor at the University of Altdorf, published a Hebrew text of the Toledot Yeshu with a Latin translation, in a book titled "Satan's Flaming Arrow" (Tela Ignea Satanae).Carmilly-Weinberger, Moshe, Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Jewish History (1977, NY, Yeshiva Univ. Press) page 185.The first section treats Jesus's life; later sections deal with the exploits of his apostles. Supplementary chapters tell of Nestorius and his attempts to keep Christians obeying Jewish custom, and the story of Simeon Kepha who is construed to be the Apostle Peter or Paul.Jesus is portrayed as a seducer and a heretic, showing a connection to the traditions in Celsus and Justin Martyr (see above).

Summary of Wagenseil version

A great misfortune struck Israel in the year 3651 (c. 90 BCE). A man of the tribe of Judah, Joseph Pandera, lived near a widow who had a daughter called Miriam. This virgin was betrothed to Yohanan, a Torah-learned and God-fearing man of the house of David. Before the end of a certain Sabbath, Joseph looked lustfully at Miriam, knocked on her door and pretended to be her husband, but she only submitted against her will. When Yohanan came later to see her, she was surprised how strange his behavior was. Thus they both knew of Pandera's crime and Miriam's fault. Without witnesses to punish Pandera, Yohanan left for Babylonia.Miriam gave birth to Yeshua, whose name later depreciated to Yeshu. When old enough, she took him to study the Jewish tradition. One day he walked with his head uncovered, showing disrespect, in front of the sages. This betrayed his illegitimacy and Miriam admitted him as Pandera's son. Scandalised, he fled to Upper Galilee.Yeshu later went to the Jerusalem Temple and learned the letters of God's ineffable name (one could do anything desired by them). He gathered 310 young men and proclaimed himself the Messiah, claiming (Isaiah 7:14|Isaiah)’s “a virgin shall conceive and bear a son” and other prophets prophesied about him. Using God's name he healed a lame man, they worshipped him as the Messiah. The Sanhedrin decided to arrest him, and sent messengers to invite him to Jerusalem. They pretended to be his disciples to trick him.When he was brought, bound, before Queen Helen, the sages accused him of sorcery. When he brought a corpse to life, she released him.Accused again, the queen sent for his arrest. He asked his disciples not to resist. Using God's name he made birds of clay and caused them to fly. The sages then got Judah Iskarioto to learn the name. At a contest of miracles between the two, they both lost knowledge of the name.Yeshu was arrested and beaten with pomegranate staves. He was taken to Tiberias and bound to a synagogue pillar. Vinegar was given to him to drink and a crown of thorns was put on his head. An argument broke out between the elders and Yeshu followers resulting in their escape to Antioch (or Egypt). On the day before the Passover, Yeshu decided to go to the Temple and recover the secret name. He entered Jerusalem riding on an ass, but one of his followers, Judah Iskarioto, told the sages he was in the Temple. On a day before the Passover, they tried to hang him on a tree; using the name, he caused it (and any tree they should use) to break. A cabbage stalk, not being a tree, was used successfully to hang him on, and he was buried.His followers on Sunday told the queen that he was not in his grave, that he ascended to heaven as he had prophesied. As a gardener took him from the grave, they searched it and could not find him. But the gardener confessed he had taken it to prevent his followers from stealing his body and claiming his ascension to heaven. Recovering the body, the sages tied it to a horse's tail and took it to the queen. Convinced he was a false prophet, she ridiculed his followers and commended the sages.Van Voorst. pp. 123–6.

Strassburg Manuscript

In the Strassburg Manuscript, Mary was seduced by a soldier called Ben Pandera. The child Jesus shows great impudence by appearing bareheaded and disputing the Law with teachers. The miracle working powers of Jesus are attributed to having stolen the Name of God from the Temple. Jesus claims messianic dignity and is accused of sorcery by the Jews in front of Queen Helena of Jerusalem, but Jesus raises a man from the dead in front of the Queen's eyes and is released. Jesus goes to Galilee where he brings clay birds to life and makes a millstone float. (Klausner notes that the Toledot scarcely ever denies Gospel miracles, but merely changes good to evil.Klausner, Joseph, Jesus of Nazareth: His life, times, and teaching (orig. 1922, Engl. transl. 1925, London, George Allen & Unwin) page 51.) Judas Iscariot, the hero of the tale, learns the Divine Name as well, and Jesus and Judas fly through the sky engaged in aerial combat, with Judas victorious. The now powerless Jesus is arrested and put to death by being hung upon a carob tree, and buried. The body is taken away and his ascension is claimed by his apostles on the basis of the empty tomb. But Jesus's body is found hidden in a garden and is dragged back to Jerusalem and shown to Queen Helena.

Huldreich version, 1705

A third major recension was published by Johann Jacob Huldreich (or Huldrich) in Leyden, Holland, in 1705, with a Latin translation, as Historia Jeschuae Nazareni by "Johannes Jocabus Huldricus". This was based on a Hebrew manuscript, now lost, and has its own unique variants.Schonfield, Hugh J., According to the Hebrews (1937, London: Duckworth) page 31. A summary of it is presented by Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould, The Lost and Hostile Gospels (1874, London) pages 102-115, who surmised (because of some of the errors and anecdotes) that it was of medieval German origin, perhaps not even predating Martin Luther (page 115). Baring-Gould noted (pages 69–71) that the Wagenseil version contains historical references that place its 'Yeshu' at least a century before the Jesus and Pontius Pilate of the New Testament, and the Huldrich version contains references that place its 'Yeshu' at least a full century after the time of the Gospels.

Krauss compilation, 1902

Samuel Krauss reprinted a version recounting that Miriam had been betrothed to a nobleman by the name of Yochanan, who was both a descendant of the House of David, and a God-fearing Torah scholar. In Yochanan's absence her neighbor, Yosef ben Pandera forced his way upon her,Later Slavonic versions portray Mary as active in the adulterous affair. Schafer, Op cit. coercing her into an act of sexual intercourse during her Niddah (i.e., menstruation, a period of ritual impurity during which relations are forbidden according to Jewish Law). The fruit of the affair was a son she named Yeshu, "the bastard son of a menstruate woman."Krauss's book, Das Leben Jesu nach juedischen Quellen, published in Berlin in 1902, contained a study of nine different versions of the Toledot, and remains the leading scholarly work in the field (but has not yet been translated into English).

English versions

The first translation into English seems to date from 1874, when Sabine Baring-Gould published The Lost and Hostile Gospels, which included lengthy summaries of two versions of the Toledot – one called the Wagenseil and one called the Huldreich (so named from the editor of a 1705 Latin edition) - as well as quotations and descriptions of apochryphal and lost gospels of early Christian history. He regarded the Toledot as being a kind of early anti-Christian folklore, largely motivated by the oppression suffered by Jewsweblink Baring-Gould, Sabine, The Lost and Hostile Gospels: an essay on the Toledoth Jeschu, and the Petrine and Pauline Gospels of the first three centuries of which fragments remain (London, 1874). The Wagenseil Toledoth is summarized on pages 76-101, the Huldreich version summarized on pages 102-115.In 1903, G.R.S. Mead, a well known Theosophist, published Did Jesus Live 100 BC?, which treated the Toledoth Yeshu as sufficiently authentic and reliable to postulate, on the basis of its mention of historic figures such as Queen Helene, that Jesus actually lived a century earlier than commonly believed.Mead, George R.S., Did Jesus Live 100 BC? (1903, London, Theosophical Publ'g Society) 440 pages, the Toledoth text (primarily from Strassburg ms) on pages 258-280; weblink . Baring-Gould (page 71) notes that, although the Wagenseil version named the Queen as Helene, she is also expressly described as the widow of Alexander Jannaeus, who died BCE 76, and whose widow was named Salome Alexandra and she died in BCE 67.In 1937, the Jewish New Testament scholar Hugh J. Schonfield published According to the Hebrews, which theorized that the Toledot was considerably more ancient than commonly thought and may have originally constituted the Gospel of the Hebrews, a lost (and presumably heretical) book mentioned by name, but not otherwise described, in some early Christian literature.Schonfield, Hugh J., According to the Hebrews (1937, London: Duckworth) 272 page, the Toledoth text (primarily from the Stassburg ms) on pages 35-61. However, scholarly consensus generally sees the Toledot as an unreliable source for the historical Jesus.According to Van Voorst, "It may contain a few older traditions from ancient Jewish polemics against Christians, but we learn nothing new or significant from it". However, Jane Schaberg contends that the Toledot lend weight to the theory that Mary conceived Jesus as the result of being raped. See Van Voorst, ‘’op. cit.’’
These books provided translations of the Toledot. Mead included some indelicate verses which Schonfield edited out, but Schonfield was the more erudite scholar, and he identified Talmudic and Islamic passages that may have supplied the content of the Toledoth.


Other Jewish polemic or apologetic sources: The works bear striking resemblance to Christian legends regarding Simon Magus, and to 12th century Christian portrayals of Muhammad.

Mentions in modern literature

The book is mentioned in the poem The Ring and the Book by Robert Browning.BOOK, Robert Browning's Complete Works, Phelps, William Lyon, Robert, Browning, 144, 1910, F DeFau & company, It is also mentioned in Mitchell James Kaplan's historical novel, "By Fire By Water."In Umberto Eco's Baudolino, set in the XII century, the character Rabbi Solomon is introduced translating the Toledot Yeshu for the curiosity of a Christian cleric.

See also

Further reading

  • Sefer Toledot Yeshu: sive Liber de ortu et origine Jesu ex editione wagenseiliana transcriptus et explicatus (Sefer Toledot Yeshu: or The Book of the rising and origin of Jesus from the Wagenseiliana edition: Transcription and Explanation)
  • Toledoth Yeshu, English translation
  • Sabine Baring-Gould, The Lost and Hostile Gospels (1874, London), a study of the Toledot with summaries of both the Wagenseil and Huldreich versions.
  • Samuel Krauss, Das Leben Jesu nach juedischen Quellen (1902, Berlin; reprinted by Hildesheim, 1977 & 1994), the most thorough study, of nine versions of the Toledoth (in Hebrew and German).
  • G.R.S. Mead, Jesus live 100 B.C.?
  • G.W. Foote & J.M. Wheeler, The Jewish Life of Christ being the Sepher Toldoth Jeshu (1885, London), an English translation of the Toledot, of unknown provenance, with an introduction and notes of Freethinker inclination - "We venture to think that the Christian legend of Jesus may have originated with the Jewish story of Jeshu." This 1885 booklet was retyped (badly, with many proper names uncapitalized) and reprinted, with an introduction by Madalyn Murray O'Hair, by the American Atheist Press, Austin, Texas, in 1982.
  • Peter Schäfer, Michael Meerson, Yaacov Deutsch (eds.): Toledot Yeshu ("The Life Story of Jesus") Revisited: A Princeton Conference. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen (Germany) 2011. {{ISBN|978-3-16-150948-3}}. [Table of Contents:weblink]
  • Meerson, Michael, and Peter Schäfer. Toledot Yeshu : The life story of Jesus. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism ; 159. Tubinger: Mohr Siebeck, 2014. {{ISBN|9783161534812}} Contents: Vol.1, Introduction and translation; Vol.2, Critical edition; Supplementary material, Database of all Tolodot Yeshu manuscripts:



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