Friday, December 23, 2016

Toledot Yeshu

'TIS THE SEASON (POLEMICAL COUNTER-HISTORY EDITION): The Jewish Jesus Story. In the mysterious and controversial ancient Hebrew text ‘Toledot Yeshu,’ a counterlife of the Nazarene ‘bastard, son of a menstruant’ that criticizes Jews as much as Christians (Eli Yassif, Tablet Magazine).
Toledot Yeshu (The Life Story of Jesus) is almost certainly one of the most mysterious and controversial, yet exceedingly popular, books in the history of Hebrew literature. The book lays out for the reader the New Testament stories about the life of Jesus of Nazareth from a Jewish point of view. The Virgin Birth, the divinity and messiahship of Jesus, the betrayal by Judas Iscariot, the sentencing of Jesus before the Sanhedrin, his death, and his resurrection as Son of God are all replaced by a newly shaped narrative, what the late historian Amos Funkenstein termed “counterhistory,” that crudely derides the deepest principles of the Christian faith.

But it is remarkably sympathetic to the figure of Jesus himself.

Past PaleoJudaica posts on Toledot Yeshu (Toledoth Yeshu) are here and here. The latter notes a new edition of the text, published two years ago.