What does the Talmud say about Jesus?

The Talmud is a central text in Jewish tradition that contains a vast collection of teachings, commentaries, and discussions on Jewish law, ethics, and theology. While the Talmud does not specifically mention Jesus by name, there are several references to a figure known as "Yeshu" or "Yeshua" who is believed by some to be a reference to Jesus.

The Talmudic references to Yeshu are often critical and negative, and they portray him as a false prophet or a heretic. For example, one passage in the Talmud states that Yeshu was a disciple of a magician named Pandira, and that he led the people astray with his false teachings. Another passage portrays Yeshu as a sorcerer who used the name of God to perform miracles, but was ultimately executed for his crimes.

Some scholars believe that these references to Yeshu were included in the Talmud as a way of criticizing the early Christian movement and separating it from Judaism. They argue that the Talmudic passages reflect a deep-seated animosity towards Christianity and its teachings, and that they were intended to discourage Jews from converting to Christianity.

However, others argue that the Talmudic references to Yeshu are not necessarily a reflection of the historical Jesus, but rather a composite of various messianic figures and heretics who were active in the first century. They point out that the Talmudic passages are often contradictory and inconsistent, and that they do not provide a clear picture of who Yeshu actually was.

In any case, the Talmudic references to Yeshu have been the subject of much debate and controversy, and they have been interpreted in many different ways. While some view them as evidence of the Jewish rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, others see them as a reflection of the complex and often contentious relationship between Judaism and Christianity.

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Jamie Larson