Jesus the Bastard Son: Part 2
In the 9th century, a Jewish biography of Jesus, known in Hebrew as the ‘Toledoth Yeshu,’ came to the attention of the fanatical anti-Semitic archbishop of Lyon, Agobard. These texts painted a picture of his beloved savior, which was less than flattering. Among the various versions of this Toledoth (biography), were stories of Jesus’ promiscuous mother Mary, who had committed adultery and conceived Jesus on her ‘Niddah’ (period of menstruation), a time of ritual impurity, according to Jewish tradition. They relayed how Jesus’ father was a Roman soldier by the name of Pandira/Pandera, and how his foster father, Yochannan (John) a god fearing Torah scholar and descendant of the House of David, found out and quietly separated from his wife, choosing not to disgrace her. It told of how Jesus, on account of his poverty, had hired himself out in Egypt as a servant, during which time he became infected by Egyptian magic, in a cut on his skin. Following this, some versions of the Toledoth report that he returned to Israel and proclaimed himself to be the son of god and on account of his charisma and sorcery, gained followers. In the end, he was stoned for his heresies, hung from a tree, buried near a garden, only to have his body snatched and hidden by his disciples, so that they could claim that he had been resurrected in the flesh in accordance with one of his prophecies. Unfortunately, the body was discovered and brought back to the authorities, which resulted in the execution of his five closest disciples.
Now, there are a few different versions of this Toledoth Yeshu. Between the various accounts, exist details which stand in contradiction to one another, details regarding the name of both his foster father and father, his date of birth, how and where he received his magic, the events following his death, etc. Such contradictions however, do not, according to Christian logic, prevent them being used as historical testimony. Nor do some of the more mythological events which take place within these narratives.
The Wagenseil Version
The Wagenseil Version of the Toledoth Yeshu was translated from Hebrew by the fanatical 17th Century Christian and outspoken anti-Semite, Professor Johann Christian Wagenseil. It provides the following account of the information contained within a few versions of the Toledoth Yeshu and is as follows:
In the year of the world 4671, in the days of King Jannaeus, a great misfortune befell Israel. There arose at that tune a scape-grace, a wastrel and worthless fellow, of the fallen race of Judah, named Joseph Pandira. He was a well-built man, strong and handsome, but he spent his time in robbery and violence. His dwelling was at Bethlehem, in Judah, And there lived near him a widow with her daughter, whose name was Miriam; and this is the same Miriam who dressed and curled women's hair, who is mentioned several times in the Talmud.(1)
These were the events which shortly preceded the conception and birth of Jesus ben Pandera. From the outset, we see many parralells to the Gospel’s accounts of Jesus; his father being a man named Joseph from the tribe of Judah, his residence in Bethlehem, in accordance with “Matthew’s” Gospel, yet in contradiction to Luke’s, and his mother being Miriam, or Mary. There is a striking peculiarity with this account, namely, the period in which Jesus’ birth was supposed to have taken place. Leaving aside the ignorance of Wagenseil, who mistakenly ascribed the events to the year 4671 (“4671 years after the creation of the universe,” or 910BCE), in accordance with the later Christian dating system, a system not used by the Jews until well after this manuscript was written, we are given a clue which does appear to correspond with other versions of the Toledoth and the Talmud. This is of course is the reference to King Alexander Jannaeus, of whom records show, ruled Judea from 106BCE-79BCE. The Toledoth Yeshu places the birth of Jesus within this period, almost a century earlier than the Gospels claim their Jesus was born.
To be continued….
1. Rev. S. Baring Gould. The Lost and Hostile Gospels. Williams and Norgate. (1874) Pg. 76
You can always trust a person in search of the truth, but never the one who has found it. MANLY P. HALL