Thursday, October 23, 2008


Jesus ben Kurasawa............................Jesus ben who?

The Jesus mythers have a new trick. It's similar to the old find the pea under the thimble scam, but it involves historical figures instead of peas. All the associated people who back up the historicity of Jesus, such as Paul and James, they muddle the identification of them as real people, and as the same people. For example, Jesus who was mentioned by Josephus as the brother of James doesn't have to be the same Jesus int he Testamonium Flavious. Of course the James in the passage Jo speaks of is not the same James as James the Just, nor is the the same as James the Just in the New testament. Of course now they deny that Dual existed.

What we see happening here is the horrible lack of scholarly standards imploding upon itself. Since they were rebuffed so many times with historical data they had to get rid of the supports holding up the case for Jesus' historicity. Thus they place these figures in their magic pressure cooker of wish fulfillment and--whoosh woosh--away it goes. Just as they rid themselves of those pesky Gospels by insisting that they can't have any validity until finally they became so irrelevant that they are not viewed as any sort of evdience at all. Just as they did with he dying rising savior Gods, they are lying through their teeth. The mythers lied about the evidence of the dying rising gods and distorted what real mythology said about them, then they were careful to use only old Jesus myth books and claim them are real scholarship. Christian apologists such as Miller, Holding, (dare I include myself?) finally succession in putting about the facts, Mithra didn't die on a cross, none of them did. Then they shift their lies to other areas. This muddle of figures in evidential support is the latest version.

One example is people named Jesus in the first century. I was arguing on carm yesterday and found a post by a guy who made a list of several people named Jesus, who one of whom could be one or both of the mentions of Jesus by Josephus. Of course they act like just the fact of having the same name means they would easily be confused. It's a very hazy theory, because it isn't clear weather they are saying that these guys are just the person referred to in that one chapter, or perhaps one or more of these people were actually fundamental inspirations for the "idea" of Jesus in the first place?

Here's the list:

Jesus ben Sirach. This Jesus was reputedly the author of the Book of Sirach (aka 'Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach'), part of Old Testament Apocrypha. Ben Sirach, writing in Greek about 180 BC, brought together Jewish 'wisdom' and Homeric-style heroes.
Jesus ben Pandira. A wonder-worker during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (106-79 BC), one of the most ruthless of the Maccabean kings. Imprudently, this Jesus launched into a career of end-time prophesy and agitation which upset the king. He met his own premature end-time by being hung on a tree – and on the eve of a Passover. Scholars have speculated this Jesus founded the Essene sect.

Jesus ben Ananias. Beginning in 62AD, this Jesus had caused disquiet in Jerusalem with a non-stop doom-laden mantra of 'Woe to the city'. He prophesied rather vaguely:

"A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against the whole people."
– Josephus, Wars 6.3.

Arrested and flogged by the Romans, he was released as nothing more dangerous than a mad man. He died during the siege of Jerusalem from a rock hurled by a Roman catapult.

Jesus ben Saphat. In the insurrection of 68AD that wrought havoc in Galilee, this Jesus had led the rebels in Tiberias. When the city was about to fall to Vespasian's legionaries he fled north to Tarichea on the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus ben Gamala. During 68/69 AD this Jesus was a leader of the 'peace party' in the civil war wrecking Judaea. From the walls of Jerusalem he had remonstrated with the besieging Idumeans (led by 'James and John, sons of Susa'). It did him no good. When the Idumeans breached the walls he was put to death and his body thrown to the dogs and carrion birds.
Jesus ben Stada was a Judean agitator who gave the Romans a headache in the early years of the second century. He met his end in the town of Lydda (twenty five miles from Jerusalem) at the hands of a Roman crucifixion crew.

Jesus ben Thebuth. A priest who, in the final capitulation of the upper city in 69AD, saved his own skin by surrendering the treasures of the Temple, which included two holy candlesticks, goblets of pure gold, sacred curtains and robes of the high priests. The booty figured prominently in the Triumph held for Vespasian and his son Titus.*

The major problem with all this is that these guys don't meet the criteria the mythers want us to apply to Jesus. They always say "there's no record of his birth, no writing from anyone who knew him (of course the Gospels, but they dismiss those as though they don't exist because if they dint' their theory would go up as a tissue of lies) and they put loads of stress recent and contemporary writings about them. Well can any of these other Jesus's be proven to have lived? We no records of any of their births, we have no writings by any of them, except of course Ben Sira author of the Wisdom of Ben Sira, but there's a problem I'll get to it in a moment. We have none of these criteria, no sources that new them contemporaneously, nothing. In fact, as I shall show, one is pretty well non existent, and three are actually Jesus of Nazareth in the Talmud the others can be clearly removed as candidates for the persons referred to by Josephus.

Jesus ben Sira

according to Jewish It's not certain he ever lived at all. He's quite probably not the author of Ben Sira and the name "Jesus" was put on him in the middle ages and a fictional life story made up for him based upon Jesus of Nazareth to compete with Christianity.

The alleged intercourse between Ben Sira and Nebuchadnezzar is the invention of the author, while the miraculous birth and early history of Ben Sira are a Jewish echo of a Christian legend, in which Jesus Ben Sira is made to play the part of Jesus of Nazareth. According to the "Evangel of the Childhood of Jesus," a pseudepigraph written in Arabic (Thilo's "Codex Apocryphus Novi Testam." i. 122 et seq.), Jesus spoke to his mother (chap. i.) while he was still in the cradle, and said: "I, whom thou hast brought forth, am Jesus, the son of God." Ben Sira, likewise, had teeth when he was born and could talk, for he at once told his mother who he was, whence he came, his name, and what he would accomplish (ed. Venice, 17a, b). Furthermore, just as the "Evangel" chap. xlviii.) mentioned above narrates that Jesus, while a schoolboy, astonished his teacher by explaining the names, form, and order of the Hebrew letters—in this book Ben Sira is said to have done the same. The story of the extraordinary conception of Ben Sira by his mother, p. 16b, is evidently a parody of the familiar Christian dogma....

The chief interest attaches to the animal fables, which are of great value for comparative folk-lore. The following may serve as an instance: At the creation of the world God consigned a male and a female of every kind of animal to the sea. When the Angel of Death ("Malak ha-Mawet"), who was charged with the duty of sinking them in the water, was about to take the fox, that animal began to cry. The Angel of Death asked him why he did this. The fox answered that he wept because his friend had been condemned to live in the water; and going to the shore, he pointed to his own image in the water. The Angel of Death, believing that a fox had already been sunk, allowed him to go. Leviathan, the ruler of the sea, now tried to lure the fox into its depths, because he believed that if he could eat the heart of so cunning an animal he would gain in wisdom. One day, while the fox was walking by the sea, some fishes came and spoke to him. They told him that Leviathan was nearing his end and wanted the craftiest of animals to be his successor. They promised the fox to carry him to a rock in the sea where he could erect his throne without fear of the surrounding waters. When he reached the high seas the fox knew that for once he had been tricked; but he did not lose his self-possession. "What!" said he, "It is my heart you want, is it? Well, why did you not say so before? I would then have brought it here; for usually, you know, I do not carry it with me." The fish quickly conveyed him back to the shore, and in exultation he leaped about. The fish called to him to fetch his heart and come with them; but the fox replied: "To be sure, I went with you when I had no heart" (the ancients considered the heart the seat of wisdom); "but now I have my heart, I'll stay here. I got the better of the Angel of Death; how much easier, then, to fool stupid fish!" (Ed. Venice, pp. 27a-28b; partly given, according to the MS. version by Schorr, in "He-Ḥaluẓ," viii. 170, 171.)

The next three are quite amusing because they may have had some grounding in real personalities but they show up in the Talmud as lose covers for Jesus of Nazareth. All the information I'm giving here about the Talmud is found on my website on the arguments about Jesus in the Talmud Jews had to be careful in dealing with those segments of the Talmud that speak of Jesus, because they feared pogrom, persecution in Christian counties. In fact twice the Talmud was self centered by Jews and the name Jesus was changed. There were overt statements about Jesus but they were taken out or changed or the name was either coped as small 0's or changed to some epithet like "such a one." From a Jewish commentary on the History of the Talmud:

The Babylonian Talmud

translated by MICHAEL L. RODKINSON
Book 10 (Vols. I and II)
The History of the Talmud

from Vol I chapter II

Thus the study of the Talmud flourished after the destruction of the Temple, although beset with great difficulties and desperate struggles. All his days, R. Johanan b. Zakkai was obliged to dispute with Sadducees and Bathueians and, no doubt, with the Messiahists also; for although these last were Pharisees, they differed in many points from the teaching of the Talmud after their master, Jesus, had broken with the Pharisees

that is speaking of the section covering the first century.

The three figures named in the Talmud who show up on this list, and I can find other extra Talmudic documentation of them:

Jesus ben Pandira. A wonder-worker during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (106-79 BC), one of the most ruthless of the Maccabean kings. Imprudently, this Jesus launched into a career of end-time prophesy and agitation which upset the king. He met his own premature end-time by being hung on a tree – and on the eve of a Passover. Scholars have speculated this Jesus founded the Essene sect.

That gives the impression that this guy was a real figure. I have reason to suspect that he was not. There is no evidence for this guy stating what it says above except on myther websites. The objective source of "Jesus never existed".org is the objective source for that statement. But where they got it who knows. Where can find this name is the Talmud and there's a very good possibility that the guy being talked bout is Jesus of Nazareth. Of course the Talmudic record always distorts talk of Jesus so that they have plausible deniable. They know who they mean, and we know too thanks to Celsus. But the accounts don't match the Gospels to add confusion and enabel them to deney it.

Morey quotes from the Soncino edition of the Babylonian Talmud:

Footnote in Soncino: "Supposed by Tosah, to be the Mother of Jesus; cf. Shab. 104b in the earlier uncensored editions. Her description Megaddela (hairdresser) is connected by some with the name of Mary Magdalene whose name was confused with the name of Mary, the mother of Jesus." (Ibid., p. 7) Some scholars also see an allusion to the virgin birth of Christ in the term, "son of Pandira." This is due to the fact that "Pandira" seems to be a play on the Greek word for virgin, parthenos, the very term used in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke when recording Jesus' virgin birth. McDowell & Wilson report:

"... Scholars have debated at length how Jesus came to have this name (i.e., ben Pandira) attached to his. Strauss thought it was from the Greek word pentheros, meaning 'son-in-law.' Klausner and Bruce accept the position that panthera is a corruption of the Greek parthenos meaning 'virgin.' Klausner says, 'The Jews constantly heard that the Christians (the majority of whom spoke Greek from the earliest times) called Jesus by the name "Son of the Virgin"... and so, in mockery, they called him Ben ha-Pantera, i.e., "son of the leopard."'... The theory most sensational but least accepted by serious scholars was dramatized by the discovery of a first century tombstone at Bingerbruck, Germany. The inscription read, 'Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera, an archer, native of Sidon, Phoenicia, who in 9 c.e. was transferred to service in Germany.'... This discovery fueled the fire of the theory that Jesus was the illegitimate son of Mary and the soldier, Panthera. Even Origen writes that his opponent, Celsus, in circa A.D. 178, said that he heard from a Jew that 'Miriam' had become pregnant by 'Pantheras,' a Roman soldier; was divorced by her husband, and bore Jesus in secret.

"If 'Pantheras' were a unique name, the theory of Mary's pregnancy by the Roman soldier might be more attractive to scholars. But Adolf Deissman, the early twentieth-century German New Testament scholar, verified, by first century inscriptions, 'with absolute certainty that Panthera was not an invention of Jewish scoffers, but a widespread name among the ancients.'... Rabbi and Professor Morris Goldstein comments that it was as common as the names Wolf or Fox today. He comments further:

It is noteworthy that Origin himself is credited with the tradition that Panther was the appellation of James (Jacob), the father of Jospeh, the father of Jesus... So, too, Andrew of Crete, John of Damascus, Epiphanius the Monk, and the author of Andronicus of Constantinople's Dialogue Against the Jews, name Panther as an ancestor of Jesus...

"Jesus being called by his grandfather's name would also have agreed with a statement in the Talmud permitting this practice. Whereas Christian tradition identified Jesus by his home town, Jewish tradition, having a greater concern for genealogical identification, seems to have preferred this method of identifying Jesus. Goldstein presents more evidence to argue the case convincingly." (McDowell & Wilson, pp. 66-67)

Hence, why or how Jesus came to be called ben Pandira is an issue which scholars have not come to an agreement.

one other name also stand out as Talmudic covers for Jesus of Nazerath:

Jesus ben Stada was a Judean agitator who gave the Romans a headache in the early years of the second century. He met his end in the town of Lydda (twenty five miles from Jerusalem) at the hands of a Roman crucifixion crew.

That's what the myther sites say. But let's look at the Talmud, again see the link above:

One of the oldest sources of Talmud is the Mishna. It dates to second or Thrid century, but draws upon mateial that goes back to the fist. There are two Talmuds, Jerusalem and Babylonian. The latter is more improtant, the Mishna belons to the former. In the Mishna, this is drawing upon first century sources (see opening quote above)

R. Papa said: When the Mishnah states a MESITH IS A HEDYOT, it is only in respect of hiding witnesses. For it has been taught: And for all others for whom the Torah decrees death, witnesses are not hidden, excepting for this one. How is it done? - A light is lit in an inner chamber, the witnesses are hidden in an outer one [which is in darkness], so that they can see and hear him, but he cannot see them. Then the person he wishes to seduce says to him, "Tell me privately what thou hast proposed to me"; and he does so. Then he remonstrates; "But how shall we forsake our God in Heaven, and serve idols?" If he retracts, it is well. But if he answers: "It is our duty and seemly for us," the witnesses who were listening outside bring him to Beth din, and have him stoned. ["And thus they did to Ben Stada in Lydda, and they hung him on the even of Passover." Ben Stada was Ben Pandira. R. Hisda said: The husband was Stada, the paramour Pandira. But as not the husband Pappos b. Judah? - His mother's name was Stada. But his mother was Miriam, a dresser of woman's hair? - As they say in Pumpbaditha, This woman has turned away (satath da) from her husband, (i.e. committed adultery).] (Morey, p. 6)

This quote links Pandira with Stada as the same guy. That at least should cut down on the number of Jesus's running around, if it doesn't link them to JC of Naz. But don't forget the mythers cannot document these guys as real people with anything like the kind of criteria they require of Jesus of Nazareth.

Talmud Shabbat 104b, Sanhedrin 67a>

"It is taught: R. Eliezer told the sages: Did not Ben Stada bring witchcraft with him from Egypt in a cut that was on his skin? They said to him: He was a fool and you cannot bring proof from a fool."

Ben Stada is Ben Pandira.

R. Chisda said: "The husband was Stada and the lover was Pandira.

[No,] the husband was Pappos Ben Yehudah and the mother was Stada.

[No,] the mother was Miriam the women's hairdresser [and was called Stada]. As we say in Pumbedita: She has turned away [Stat Da] from her husband."


"What we see from here is that there was a man named Ben Stada who was considered to be a practicer of black magic. His mother was named Miriam and also called Stada. His father was named Pappos Ben Yehudah. Miriam (Stada) had an affair with Pandira from which Ben Stada was born."


"Some historians claim that Ben Stada, also known as Ben Pandira, was Jesus. His mother's name was Miriam which is similar to Mary. Additionally, Miriam was called a women's hairdresser, "megadla nashaia" [for this translation, see R. Meir Halevi Abulafia, Yad Rama, Sanhedrin ad. loc.]. The phrase "Miriam megadla nashaia" sounds similar to Mary Magdalene, a well-known New Testament figure."

Here's where Student argues against the passage being about Jesus, as he does with all the passages:


1. Mary Magdalene was not Jesus' mother. Neither was Mary a hairdresser.

Of course the hair dresser bit is new information that would be part of the unique Jewish soruces and kept out fo the Gosepsl, or if we look at it in another way, added as propaganda value since a working woman was supect. We see from Celsus' comments tha they also said she spun for living. Association wiht Mary Magdelon is based upon the assumption of a pun. Maybe they weren't making a pun. Maybe they were just running two figures from the Gospels together as if to say they all common women.

2. Jesus' step-father was Joseph. Ben Stada's step-father was Pappos Ben Yehudah.

Who knows what that means. It looks offhand like its dervied from the Roman Pappa, meaning father, ben = son, Yehudah might mean something derogatory.

3. Pappos Ben Yehudah is a known figure from other places in talmudic literature. The Mechilta Beshalach (Vayehi ch. 6) has him discussing Torah with Rabbi Akiva and Talmud Berachot 61b has Pappos Ben Yehudah being captured and killed by Romans along with Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva lived during the second half of the first century and the first half of the second century. He died in the year 134. If Pappos Ben Yehudah was a contemporary of Rabbi Akiva's, he must have been born well after Jesus' death and certainly could not be his father.

that leads me to suspect that his use here is polemical.

If nothing else it is clear the myther are just reaching for any connection to the name Jesus and these Talmudic figures are confused and muddled are place holders for the passages that once openly cursed Jesus of Nazareth. This is far from any kind of documentation that Josephus could have referred to any such people.

But a good couple of clues that these figure do all have some relation to Jesus of Nazareth is that the Genealogy given for "such a one" matches that of Jesus given by Luke and that Celsus tells us the Jews are talking about Jesus of Nazareth.

(1) Genealogy:

According to the Jewish Tractate of Talmud, the Chagigah a certain person had a dream in which he saw the punishment of the damned. In the dream, "He saw Mary the daughter of Heli amongst the shades..." (John Lightfoot, Commentary On the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica [Oxford University Press, 1859; with a second printing from Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1995], vol. 1, p. v; vol. 3, p.55)

Compare this with Luke 3:23.


The following quotes are taken from Celsus On the True Doctrine, translated by R. Joseph Hoffman, Oxford University Press, 1987:


"Let us imagine what a Jew- let alone a philosopher- might say to Jesus: 'Is it not true, good sir, that you fabricated the story of your birth from a virgin to quiet rumourss about the true and insavoury circumstances of your origins? Is it not the case that far from being born in the royal David's city of bethlehem, you were born in a poor country town, and of a woman who earned her living by spinning? Is it not the case that when her deceit was uncovered, to wit, that she was pregnant by a roman soldier called Panthera she was driven away by her husband- the carpenter- and convicted of adultery?" (57).

why a Jew? or Philospher? Celsus was obviously reading the jewish sources. This is one of the charges made in the Talmud.

Here he claims to have secret knowledge that Christians don't have:

"I could continue along these lines, suggesting a good deal about the affairs of Jesus' life that does not appear in your own records. Indeed, what I know to be the case and what the disciples tell are two very different stories... [for example] the nonsensical idea that Jesus foresaw everything that was to happen to him (an obvious attempt to conceal the humiliating facts)." (62).

where is that from? It has to be the Talmud, or sources commonly drawn upon by the Talmud.But how does this prove it was Jesus? Celsus sure thought it was. Apparently his Jewish contracts told him this is the straight scoop on Jesus' life. We see that everywhere in the Talmud Jesus is talked about as a living person,and connections are made to his family and genealogy.

Celsus pushes the knowledge back to late second century, but due to the availability or Rabbinical writings it must have been around for some time before that. The Jews were very conscious of genealogies and family connections. why would they not pick up on the fact that Jesus had none and no one had ever seen him personally, if indeed that was the case?

The talk about Pandira also might hint at an answer to another myther argument. Some say because Paul never talks about "Jesus of Nazareth" this implies that he had not heard of him. But the name could have been a proper last name, or it could be a play on the Greek Parthenos, virgin, alluding to the allegedly illegitimate origins of Jesus. Nazareth was a Podunk hick town the Gentiles had never heard of. People in Rome and Corinth and Asia Minor wouldn't know anything about that. So rather than refer to him as "Jesus of this Podunk hick town," or "Jesus the illegitimate bastard" he uses "Christos" which the Greeks used to mean "hero" and the Jews used to mean "messiah." We beileve in "Jesus the Hero" or "Jesus the savior," that's how the Greek and Romans would have understood it. Paul was referring to Jesus as "son of God" when he used the term Christ because "son of of God" was an euphemism for Messiah.

that leaves the others mentioned above. None of them lived before the 60s. Thus the pre mark redaction was already circulating. No change they could have been the influence of the legend. Now they could have been the people to whom Josephus alluded but how likely is that? They don't fill the bill. We have no documentation on them. But how likely would it be that Jo would not mention that Jesus was Priest? None of those guys had followers, claimed to be Messiah, or worked miracles. What he says about Jesus in TF indicate that the Jesus he does mention has all of those things.

Jesus was a very common name but how many Jesus's were running around claiming to be Messiah and leading followers and working miracles? The Jesus myth theory is prenicious because it's a just a bloody minded determination not to accept any facts that don't squire wtih a pipe dream.

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