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post #41 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
Well, they probably stole it from the Egyptians (Horus). What the heck, if you're going to make up a story, may as well make it a really good one.
And the Jews did the same thing; Ra became Rab
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post #42 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by drewprof View Post
I knew one of us had nothing better to do. Thanks!
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The Holy Trinity.

Isis Ra Eloha

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Originally Posted by jplinville View Post
True Christianity is a full belief in Jesus Christ, and that he died on the cross for your sins, and that the only way into Heaven is to believe in Jesus.
You are watching too much TV and take in all you see there.
Use some judgement.
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post #45 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 12:33 PM
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If a story is going to be made up as fact, there better be some pretty good cross references, and other writers stating the same things. Also a little OT prophecy to intertwine with NT fact (also cross referenced by multiple writers) would help.

All of that is there in Biblical writings. Amazing when you dig deep. Then faith starts to turn into evidence.

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Gotta go. Gotta make a living.
Fun Bantering.

God Bless (he will, ya know)

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Originally Posted by aardvark View Post
All of that is there in Biblical writings. Amazing when you dig deep. Then faith starts to turn into evidence.
The myth of Jesus Panthera
by , May 2002 Latest update: 17 September 2007
This page examines the myth that Jesus Christ was the illegitimate son of a Roman Legionary.
Readers may also be interested in my discussion on The myth of the "Virgin Birth" as a fulfillment of prophecy.

Jesus as the son of a Roman Legionary
The earliest record of this story appears to be in lost writings from the second century pagan Celsus (c. 175-180 CE).

These were recorded by the early Church father Origen (c. 185-232 CE):
"But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced [Celsus], speaking of the other of Jesus, and saying that "when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera; "and let us see whether those who have blindly concocted these fables about the adultery of the Virgin with Panthera, and her rejection by the carpenter, did not invent these stories to overturn His miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost: for they could have falsified the history in a different manner, on account of its extremely miraculous character, and not have admitted, as it were against their will, that Jesus was born of no ordinary human marriage." - Origen Against Celsus 1:Chapter XXXII
The story was repeated by Porphyry Malchus (c. 233-309 CE):
"To counter the reports of Jesus' illegitimacy more than to secure his divine stature, his mother was declared the recipient of a singular divine honor: Jesus was the son of Mary - a virgin - "through the holy spirit" (Matthew 1:20). As is typical of his writing, Matthew comes closest to revealing the argumentative purpose of his birth story and its links to Jewish polemic against Christian belief in his reference to Joseph's suspicion of Mary's pregnancy (Matthew 1:19). He is also careful in the birth story and elsewhere to provide evidence and proofs from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew bible - as a running narrative. " Quoted at Porphyry's Against the Christians, p122, The Literary Remains, R. Joseph Hoffman, Oxford University Press 1994
It is worth quoting the relevant Bible passages:
"Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him." [Mark 6:3]

"And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!" [Mark 3:33-34]

"Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." [Matthew 1:19-20]

Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. [John 8:41]
Celsus is generally regarded to have taken his story from Jewish tradition which supposedly survives today in the Talmud's "Sepher Toldoth Jeshu". However, it is unclear whether this refers to Jesus Christ at all:
"It seems clear by now that there is no consensus whether Jesus is mentioned at all in the Talmud. Most of the supposed "blasphemies" of Jesus and Mary in the Talmud do not refer to them at all. However, there can be no denying, and no rabbi would deny this, that the authors of the Talmud did not believe in Jesus' messiahship or his divinity. If you are looking for Christian fellowship then Jewish literature is not the place to look. However, there is no basis at all to state unequivocably that the Talmud calls Jesus a bastard or that Mary was a prostitute who had sex with many men. As has been shown, those passages definitely do not refer to Jesus." The Jesus Narrative In The Talmud, by Gil Student
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Jesus Outside the New Testament
Roman Sources
(1) Tombs, Ordinances and Graffiti
Tomb Inscriptions - late 30's C.E.?
"Several of the tombs in the Dominus Flevit ['the Lord wept'] catacombs outside Jerusalem bear inscriptions like, 'Jesus, have mercy', and 'Jesus, remember me in the resurrection', inscriptions thought to date from the 40's or late 30's, and indicating the presence in Jerusalem from a fairly early date of a community that believed in resurrection and in the power of someone named Jesus to see the believer safely through death and beyond."
- Alan Millard, Discoveries From the Time of Jesus
The tombs were discovered during the rebuilding of a Franciscan chapel and excavated from 1953 to 1955.
"A tomb of the Late Bronze period gave finds which are important for the civilization of Jerusalem just at the time of its conquest by the Hebrews. A necropolis used from 136 BC to 300 AD produced a great amount of material. The necropolis had two periods each with different styles and cultures. The first, the earlier is characterized by Kokhim (oven-shaped) tombs running from 185 BC, while the second is characterized by tombs with an arcosolium belonging to the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. With the Kokhim tombs are closely connected the sarcophagus and the ossuary; the first cut in hard stone (mizzi) follow the motifs of classical art, both in structure and subject, in close artistic relation with the Tombs of the kings and 'Herod's' of the 1 cent. AD; the ossuaries, on the other hand in soft stone (kacooley) follow a local trade technique with architectonic and floral motifs.
"On the ossuaries were found many more or less symbol signs (crosses, tau, Constantinian monograms) and 43 inscriptions (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) incised or traced with charcoal. Of interest is the recurrence of names common in the New Testament, as Mary, Martha, Philo the Cyrene, Matthew, Joseph, Jesus."
- Dominus Flevit the site where "The Lord Wept"
Caesar's Decree - c. 50 C.E.
"A stone slab found in Nazareth, of height 0.61m is inscribed (in Greek) with a decree demanding the death penalty for anyone who broke the seals on a tomb or stole a dead body." (Attributed date c. 50 C.E.)
- Summarized extract - IVP Three Volume Bible Dictionary (under section for Nazareth)
"It is my pleasure that graves and tombs remain undisturbed in perpetuity for those who have made them for the cult of their ancestors, or children, or members of their house. If, however, any man lay information that another has either demolished them, or has in any other way extracted the buried, or has maliciously transferred them to other places in order to wrong them, or has displaced the sealing or other stones, against such a one I order that a trial be instituted, as in respect of the gods, so in regard to the cult of mortals. For it shall be much more obligatory to honour the buried. Let it be absolutely forbidden for anyone to disturb them. In the case of contravention I desire that the offender be sentenced to capital punishment on charge of violation of sepulture."
- Ordinance of Caesar
"The Emperor threatens the death penalty for interference with, or the removal of bodies from, tombs, may belong to any date from Augustus to Claudius."
- Summarized extract - Peakes Commentary of the Bible
(Various sections found from index under Claudius' expulsion of Jews from Rome and Tombs, sanctity of.)
The original owner of the stone left only a short note about its origins when he donated it to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris - "Marble slab sent from Nazareth in 1878."
"Nazareth may be the place, but the finder could have carried it there from somewhere else, a few days' donkey journey away, wanting to sell it to Christian pilgrims. Since the nature of the connection with Nazareth is uncertain, no argument linking the stone with the early Christians can rely on its. Unless the stone was set up on Judaea and moved northwards later, Pontius Pilate cannot have had it made, because Galilee was in the kingdom of Herod Antipas, where Pilate had no power. Indeed, even a decree of Caesar would hardly be displayed in Galilee until after Antipas' reign ended in AD 44. That means it is possible that Claudius made the decree."
- Alan Millard, Discoveries From the Time of Jesus
"Why would a Caesar have any cause to take such a specific interest in this part of the Empire and in a matter which, apparently, not an issue of Roman state? Surely this would seem to be better resolved by local Government and not one to demand the intervention of the Emperor. However, if the implications of any such alleged activity had affected Rome that would make it more understandable."
- Mark Carlin
Chrestus, the Instigator - 50 C.E.
"Expulsion of Jews from Rome reported by Suetonius (Claud. 25.) and Orosius (Hist. VII, vi, 15) . Orosius puts this in Claudius' ninth year, 25th Jan. AD 49 - 24th Jan. AD 50. The later claiming to have extracted the date from Josephus, however, our copies of Josephus do not contain such an entry. Claudius had expelled from Rome the Jews who were 'incessantly causing tumults with Chrestus as the instigator'."
- Summarized extract - Peakes Commentary of the Bible:
"Since the Jews were constantly causing disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome."
- Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars - Claudius 5.25.4 (c. 120 CE)
"The Emperor Claudius, around the year 49-50, expelled the Jews from Rome (Acts 18:2) because (says Suetonius) they were fomenting disorder at the instigation of one Chrestos. It seems plausible that there were disputes in Rome between Jews who believed that the body of Jesus was missing from the tomb because he had risen, and Jews who believed that it had been stolen. When these disputes caused public disorder, Claudius (or his deputy) made inquiries, expelled both sides from the city (after the manner of a parent who, when two children are fighting over a toy, takes it away from both of them for the time being), and then ordered a stern decree against grave-robbing to be promulgated at the places where the disturbance had begun. Presumably these would include at least (1) Jerusalem, where the alleged corpse-snatching had taken place, and (2) Nazareth, the home town of the alleged corpse."
- James Kiefer
"The report that Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome in A.D. 41 because they were, 'at the instigation of Chrestus, repeatedly rioting,' probably refers to some local troublemaker."
- Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God? (1978) p. 66
"A short note on the name 'Chrestus': From the examination of the Greek for Chrestus and Christos I have observed that the former is a common slave name which has the basic meaning of 'good' and the latter derived from the rare Greek word (rare or just closest?) 'to anoint' and thus Christos is the best match for the Aramaic word 'messiah' - which also, essentially means 'anointed one' with the Jewish associations of king, etc. What may be important is that while both names basically mean something different from each other they are, I have read, phonetically the same."
- Mark Carlin
"'Chrestus' is the correct Latin form of a very common Greek name and is not a misspelling, but some scholars believe that Seutonius meant to use 'Christos' instead. One problem with this (if indeed Seutonius was referring to Christ) is that the context of the passage suggests that someone named Chrestus was living in Rome at the time, a century after Jesus. Kee and Wells get around this problem by assuming that Seutonius was referring to Christian preachers who were announcing that the Messiah in Jesus was coming. Kee (Jesus in History) also adds that Suetonius may have had his dates confused and was instead referring to the actual disturbances that occurred during the reign of Tiberius (14-37 CE). Wells (The Jesus of the Early Christians) is not as generous and sticks closer to the known in that 'Chrestus' was probably an agitator who emerged from the Roman ghetto proclaiming himself as the Messiah. Messianic fervor ran high during the time of the fall of Jerusalem (70 CE) and this is a highly likely explanation. In any case, it is very difficult to construe from Suetonius anything that even remotely speaks to the historicity of Jesus."
- James Still, "Biblical and Extrabiblical Sources for Jesus"
"Could it be that the expulsion of the "Jews" (which might include any associated bickering faction) was as a result of a dispute in which one party had claimed that a grave had been robbed? In my mind, both Aquina and Priscilla were Christian before they were expelled from Rome (though I know this is debated) and migrated to Corinth (Acts). Also, when Paul first visited Rome he was greeted by the 'brethren' (in Acts) which again leads me to the opinion that Rome had Christians from a very early date.
"If there is connection between Suetonius' report and the archaeological find in Galilee (and I realize that this is speculative) it raises a distinct possibility that the early critics of Christianity held the view that the Christian claim to a resurrection was a false claim and that the earlier movement had themselves removed the body of the dead Jesus. Also, that the charge was so strongly held and expressed that a tumulus of such magnitude arose which led Caesar Claudius to expel the lot of them rather than risk riots in the streets of Rome."
- Mark Carlin
Thallus' Eclipse - 52 C.E.
A "passage on Jesus was contained in Thallus' work on the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to 52 A.D. Thallus noted that darkness fell on the land at the time of the crucifixion. He wrote that such a phenomenon was caused by an eclipse."
- Harry V. Martin. "Proving the Historic Jesus"
According to McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, "Thallus, a Samaritan-born historian mentioned Christ in 52 C.E. However his works are no longer extant, so we have only citations of it by others...Julius Africanus, a Christian writing about 221, says, talking about the darkness that fell when Christ was crucified, 'Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away this darkness as an eclipse of the sun -- unreasonably, as it seems to me.' (It is unreasonable because the crucifixion was at Passover, which is based on the lunar calendar and requires a full moon. When there's a full moon, the moon is at the opposite side of the earth from where it has to be for an eclipse.)".
"Phelgon, another first-century historian, is also quoted by Africanus as saying 'during the time of Tiberius Caesar an eclipse of the sun occurred during the full moon'. Phelgon's comment (presumably the same one) is also referred to by Philopon."
- James Kiefer
Mara's Letter - c. 73 C.E.
"What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given."
- Mara bar Serapion, letter to his son from prison
According to F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (p. 114), the Mara bar Serapion letter was " written some time later than A. D. 73, but how much later we cannot be sure." Written in Syriac, this letter may actually have originated in the 2nd or 3rd century C.E. The "wise king" is not identified by Mara bar Serapion and may have lived in the same time frame as Socrates and Pythagoras - half a millenium earlier than Jesus.
"The Bible itself recorded the political assassinations of Jewish royalty that occurred close enough to Nebuchadnezzar's capture of Jerusalem [586 B.C.E.] to consider the conquest of either Israel or Judea as an event that had happened 'just after' the murder of one of these kings. Josiah's father, King Amon, for example, was assassinated less than 50 years before Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem (2 Kings 21:23)."
- Farrell Till, "The 'Testimony' of Mara Bar-Serapion"
"Amon's officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace."
- 2 Kings 21:23
It should also be noted that the letter contains an historical inaccuracy. Pythagoras was not burned by the men of Samos but died later in Metapontum (contemporary Metaponto), Italy.
Magical Gems and Graffiti - c. 200 C.E.
"...Already in Jesus' lifetime magicians began to use his name in their spells. Acts 19.13 shows that the practice was continued, even by Jewish magicians, after his death. Accordingly, of the three oldest representations of the crucifixion, two are on magical gems..."

"Perhaps the earliest of all representations of the crucifixion is a graffito, a picture scratched on the plaster of a schoolroom on the Palatine hill in Rome. It shows a crucified figure seen from behind. The feet rest on a small crossbar, the head is turned to one side. On that side, slightly below, stands a young man, one hand raised in reference. A misspelled Greek inscription reads 'Alexamenos reveres God.' The date is about 200, possibly a bit before...But the head of the crucified figure is that of a donkey.
"There was a long standing legend that the god of the Jews was a donkey, or donkey-headed. The legend probably arose from the fact that the donkey was the sacred animal of Seth, the villain in the Egyptian pantheon, who was commonly thought by the Egyptians to be the god of foreigners. He was also, being a villain, given a large role in magic, and often appears as a donkey-headed figure on magical gems. The Jews were among the largest groups of foreigners in Egypt, so their god, Iao, was identified with Seth. Io or Eio in Coptic means 'donkey,' so the identification was almost predetermined."
- Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God? (1978) pp. 81-82
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post #49 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 12:51 PM
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(4) Lack of Historical References
Philo of Alexandria
There is no known mention of Jesus by the Jewish historian Philo of Alexandria.
"Philo was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived until long after the reputed death of Christ. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ's miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. He was there when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the crucifixion with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead took place--when Christ himself rose from the dead, and in the presence of many witnesses ascended into heaven. These marvelous events which must have filled the world with amazement, had they really occurred, were unknown to him. It was Philo who developed the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although this Word incarnate dwelt in that very land and in the presence of multitudes revealed himself and demonstrated his divine powers, Philo saw it not."
- John E. Remsburg, The Christ : A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence
Justus of Tiberius
Justus of Tiberias was a contemporary and rival of Josephus.
"Other than Philo, the historian Justus of Tiberius (c 80 CE) should have made some mention of Jesus. Justus was a native of Galilee (where Jesus was born and lived) and wrote extensively on the history of the region."
- James Still, "Biblical and Extrabiblical Sources for Jesus"
"...although his [Justus'] writings have been lost, Photius [Christian patriarch in Constantinople] had read them in the ninth century and remarks with surprise: 'This Jewish historian does not make the smallest mention of the appearance of Christ, and says nothing whatever of his deeds and miracles'."
- George Albert Wells, The Jesus of the Early Christians: a Study in Christian Origins
"I have read the chronology of Justus of Tiberias, whose title is this, [The Chronology of] the Kings of Judah which succeeded one another. This [Justus] came out of the city of Tiberias in Galilee. He begins his history from Moses, and ends it not till the death of Agrippa, the seventh [ruler] of the family of Herod, and the last king of the Jews; who took the government under Claudius, had it augmented under Nero, and still more augmented by Vespasian. He died in the third year of Trajan, where also his history ends. He is very concise in his language, and slightly passes over those affairs that were most necessary to be insisted on; and being under the Jewish prejudices, as indeed he was himself also a Jew by birth, he makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, or what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did. He was the son of a certain Jew, whose name was Pistus. He was a man, as he is described by Josephus, of a most profligate character; a slave both to money and to pleasures. In public affairs he was opposite to Josephus; and it is related, that he laid many plots against him; but that Josephus, though he had his enemy frequently under his power, did only reproach him in words, and so let him go without further punishment. He says also, that the history which this man wrote is, for the main, fabulous, and chiefly as to those parts where he describes the Roman war with the Jews, and the taking of Jerusalem."
- Photius, Bibliothec, 33rd Code

Jewish Sources
"Insisting that Jesus, though believed by the Christians to be the Son of God, had taught only a short while before his own time (a short while that is, in comparison with the span of human history I.26), Celsus presented the things he thought a Jew of Jesus' time might have said to him, putting them in the mouth of an imaginary Jewish interlocutor (I.28). This procedure suggest he was drawing on what he believed to be early Jewish tradition; the content of 'the Jew's' remarks proves the suggestion correct. He accused Jesus of having made up the story of his birth from a virgin, whereas actually he came from a Jewish village and from a poor country woman who lived by her spinning. She was thrown out as an adulteress by her husband, a carpenter. Wandering about in disgrace, she secretly gave birth to Jesus, whom she had conceived from a soldier named Panthera. After growing up in Galilee, Jesus went as a hired laborer to Egypt. There he learned some of those magical rites on which the Egyptians pride themselves. He came back [to Palestine] hoping for great things from his powers and because of them proclaimed himself a god (I.28, 38)"
- Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God? (1978) pp. 76-77
Ben Pandera
"The Talmud refers to Jesus several places, typically as 'Ben Pandera', where Pandera is sometimes taken to be the name of a Roman soldier who was Jesus' illegitimate father. It may also be a play on words, since the Greek word for virgin is 'parthenos'."
- McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict
"The story of Mary's seduction by Pandera was in circulation around 150 C.E., when it was cited by Celasus [Origen (ca. AD 185-254), Contra Celsum]; and the Toldot Yeshu was quoted by Tertullian in 198 C.E. Almost certainly its author did not intend his work to be taken seriously, but was rather riduculing Matthew by writing a parody. Nothing else could explain his making Jesus huios pantherou (son of a panther), a transparent pun on huios parthenou (son of a virgin)."
- William Harwood, Mythologies Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus
Biblical scholar Morton Smith disagrees that Pandera was based on a pun.
The word parthenos "depends on a Greek translation of Isaiah 7.14; it cannot be derived from the Hebrew with which the rabbis were more familiar. Jesus is never referred to as 'the son of the virgin' in the Christian material preserved from the first century of the Church (30-130), nor in the second -century apologists. To suppose the name Pantera appeared as a caricature of a title not yet in use is less plausible than to suppose it [was] handed down by polemic tradition."
- Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God? (1978) p. 61
The name Pandera, Pantera or Panthera "is an unusual one, and was thought to be an invention until [a] first century tombstone came to light in Bingerbrück, Germany. The inscription reads: 'Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera of Sidon, aged 62, a soldier of 40 years' service, of the 1st cohort of archers, lies here'."
- Ian Wilson, Jesus, The Evidence
"...Panthera was a common name in the first two centuries of the Christian era, notably as a surname of Roman soldiers....There is no proof that Jesus was referred to by the title bo buios tes parthenous ['son of the virgin'] this early on. It is possible, though, that the accidental similarity of the Infancy Narratives' parthenos to 'Panthera' ...caused 'Panthera' to be picked as the name of the adulterer, once the theme of an adulterous soldier arose in the tradition."
- John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew - Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Vol. 1.
"Eusebius, about 300, tried to explain 'their' [the Jews] Panthera story as a misunderstanding of scripture, and Epiphanius, a century later, actually gave Panther a legitimate place in the Holy Family - he became the Savior's 'paternal' grandfather! Later Christian writers found other places for him in the same genealogy."
- Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God? (1978) p. 80
Ben Stada, Born of an Adulteress?
"Jesus said, 'Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a whore.'"
- Gospel of Thomas 105
"I found a genealogical roll in Jerusalem wherein was recorded, Such-an-one is a bastard of an adulteress."
- R. Shimeon ben Azzai (ca. 100 C.E.)
"Current editions of the Mishnah [the 'oral' traditions of the rabbis in the Talmud] add: 'To support the words of R. Yehoshua' (who in the same Mishnah, says: What is a bastard? Everyone whose parents are liable to death by the Beth Din).' That Jesus is here referred to seems to be beyond doubt..."
- Joseph Klausner, "Jesus of Nazareth"
"Gustav Dalman objects that the whole context is simply a debate over the correct definition of 'bastard', with various opinions appealing to various passages in the OT."
- John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew - Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Vol. 1.
"'But is it not [the case that] Ben Stada brought magic spells from Egypt in the scratches on his flesh?' They said to him, 'He was a madman and you cannot base laws on [that action of ] madmen.' Was he then the son of Stada? Surely he was the son of Pandira? Rabbi Hisda [a third-century Babylonian] said, 'The husband was Stada, the paramour was Pandira.' [But was not] the husband Pappos ben Judah? His mother was Stada. [But was not] his mother Miriam (Mary) the hairdresser? [Yes, but she was nicknamed Stada] - as we say in Pumbeditha, 's'tat da (i.e., this one has turned away] from her husband'."
- Rabbi Eliezer
"The original Ben Stada seems to have been a Jew who advocated some cult involving the worship of deities other than Yahweh. He was entrapped by Jews in Lydda, condemned by a rabbinic court, and stoned. Since Jesus also was accused of introducing the worship of other gods - notably himself - he was nicknamed Ben Stada."
- Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God? (1978) p. 62
"The Tosefta mentions a famous case of a woman named Miriam bat Bilgah marrying a Roman soldier. The idea that Yeishu had been born to a Jewish woman who had had an affair with a Roman soldier probably resulted in Yeishu's mother being confused with this Miriam. The name 'Miriam' is of course the original form of the name 'Mary.' It is in fact known from the Gemara that some of the people who confused Yeishu with ben Stada believed that Yeishu's mother was 'Miriam the women's hairdresser'."
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