The Three Different Jesuses
(I) JESUS IN JUDAISM
- Establishing the time of the “Jewish Jesus”:
The reference to Jesus in the Talmud is by the title: “Yeshu Ha-Notzri,” but according to Jewish chronology, he lived at the time when Joshua Ben Perakhyah led the Sanhedrin1 and, therefore, predated Jesus according to Christian chronology by almost 200 years.
- Rejection of the “Virgin Birth.” Judaism considers Jesus a bastard. The Talmud records a story:
The elders were once sitting in the gate when two young lads passed by; one covered his head and the other uncovered his head. Of him who uncovered his head Rabbi Eliezer remarked that he is a bastard.
Rabbi Joshua remarked that he is the son of a “niddah” (a child conceived during a woman’s menstrual period).
Rabbi Akiba said that he is both a bastard and a son of a niddah.
“They said, ‘What induced you to contradict the opinion of your colleagues?’
He replied, “I will prove it concerning him.”
He went to the lad’s mother and found her sitting in the market selling beans.
“He said to her, ‘My daughter, if you will answer the question I will put to you, I will bring you to the world to come.’ (eternal life). She said to him, ‘Swear it to me.’
“Rabbi Akiba, taking the oath with his lips but annulling it in his heart, said to her, ‘What is the status of your son?’
She replied, ‘When I entered the bridal chamber I was niddah (menstruating) and my husband kept away from me; but my best man had intercourse with me and this son was born to me.’
Consequently the child was both a bastard and the son of a niddah.
“It was declared, ‘..Blessed be the God of Israel Who Revealed His Secret to Rabbi Akiba…”2
Now there are numerous clear indications in other places of the Talmud3 to conclude that the preceding Talmud discussion is actually about Jesus Christ (the “bastard boy” who “uncovered his head” and was conceived in the “filth of menstruation”). The boy’s adulterous mother in this Talmud story is the mother of Christ, Mary (called Miriam and sometimes, Miriam the hairdresser, in the Talmud).
He and his disciples practiced sorcery and black magic, led Jews astray into idolatry, and were sponsored by foreign, gentile powers for the purpose of subverting Jewish worship.4
The Talmud also says that Jesus was in Egypt in early manhood. Rabbi Joshua b. Perakhyah is said to have fled with his pupil Jesus to Alexandria in order to escape the persecutions of the Jewish king Yannai (103-76 B.C.). On their return Jesus made a remark on the not faultless beauty of their hostess, whereupon Rabbi Perakhyah ex-communicated him. When Jesus approached him again, and was not received, he set up a brick for his god, and led all Israel into apostasy.5
Furthermore, according to the Talmud, the source of his miracles was the black magic and witchcraft, which he had learnt in his sojourn in Egypt.6
Maintains that Jesus was not crucified but was hung and stoned to death:
“It is taught that on the eve of Passover, Jesus7 was hung, and forty days before this the proclamation was made: Jesus is to be stoned to death because he has practiced sorcery and has lured the people to idolatry… He was an enticer and of such thou shalt not pity or condone.”8
(II) JESUS IN CHRISTIANITY
Very well known to all; the brief points are:
- Jesus was the “third of the three;” the god made flesh. Christians believe God came down to earth in human form, as Jesus said: “I and the Father are one”9
- Despite the fact the Jesus was God “made flesh”, the Christians cut queer capers to show that he was at the same time a descendant of David.10
- Abrogated the whole Torah Law: throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicted the Torah and stated that its commandments were no longer applicable.11
- Was crucified to death.
(III) JESUS IN ISLAM
- Belief in the virgin birth.12
- The Qur’an does noy say that Jesus was the “Messiah” in the prevalent Judeo-Christian sense. It refers to Jesus as the “Masih” simply because he was more commonly known by this title among the addressees of the Qur’an.
It is precisely the same as in some developing countries, Arnold Schwarzenegger is better known, among the less educated, by the title TERMINATOR and thus your ignorant addressees are supposed to understand you better if you had referred to him by the same title.
- The Qur’an does not use the term “word” (“kalima”) for Jesus in the sense of Logos of the Gospel of John.
The Qur’an says: ?Isa son of Maryam is only a messenger of Allah and His word which He communicated to Maryam and a spirit from Him.?13
Here, the “word communicated to Mary” means that God sent His word (i.e., order) to the womb of Mary to conceive a child without the presence of a sperm. This is the sense in which the Qur’an refers to Jesus as “His word which He communicated to Maryam.”
- The Qur’an does not use the term “spirit” (“R?h”) for Jesus in the Christian sense of the Holy Spirit. The Qur’anic usage simply means that Jesus was a soul sent from God (as all of us, according to the Qur’an, are.)
Revival of the Torah law14, emancipating his people from the cumbersome Rabbinic law and interpreting the Torah “Law” in light of the “Wisdom” of his prophetic sayings (which the Qur’an calls Inj?l).15
- Did not die on the cross:
The Jews intended to crucify Jesus, and ?ils ont cru l’avoir fait?16 (“it appeared to them as such.”)
Though “it appeared to them [i.e., to the Jews] as such [i.e., as if they were successful in crucifying Jesus],” yet this was not so in reality.17
God “took him up to Himself” (“rafa`ahu,” 4:158, Pickthal)
The Qur’an does not say as to when did the ascension of Jesus take place.
- circa 150 BCE; see, for instance, Sanhedrin 107b [back]
- Kallah 51a (emphasis added) [back]
- See for instance Shab. 104b; Sanh. 67a [back]
- Sanhedrin 43a [back]
- Sanhedrin 107b, etc. [back]
- Shabbat 104b [back]
- “Yeshu” and in Soncino footnote no. 6, Yeshu “the Nazarene” [back]
- Sanhedrin 43a [back]
- John 10:30 [back]
- Not to mention that the obvious contradiction with Jesus’ Davidic ancestry is the Christian dogma of the Virgin Birth: If Joseph did not have sex with Mary, Jesus was not related to Joseph and therefore not a descendant of David. [back]
- See John 1:45 and 9:16, Acts 3:22 and 7:37, etc. [back]
- Qur’an 19:16-22; 3:59 [back]
- Qur’an, 4:171 [back]
- Qur’an, 3:50-51 [back]
- Qur’an, 5:110a [back]
- Qur’an, 4:157, Massignon [back]
- Qur’an, 4:157 [back]