Are These the Actual Words of Jesus’ Crucifixion Charge Sheet? (via Justin Taylor)

Are These the Actual Words of Jesus’ Crucifixion Charge Sheet?.

Interesting analysis here from David Instone-Brewer (of Tyndale House in Cambridge) looking at the Munich Talmud, the earliest full Talmud containing the earliest manuscripts reflecting ancient Jewish tradition:

Munich Talmud comes to Tyndale

We were delighted to win a New York auction to acquire one of only 400 facsimile copies of the Munich Talmud for the library – we are aware of only one other copy in the UK. This is the only full manuscript of the Talmud with all the sections of text about Jesus which were censored from subsequent Talmuds by Papal authority in the 1400’s. Even in this copy you can see where someone has tried to erase the words „Jesus of Nazareth” and the names of disciples.


On the Eve of Passover they hung Jeshu the Nazarine. And the herald went out before him for 40 days [saying]: “Jeshu the Nazarine will go out to be stoned for sorcery and misleading and enticing Israel. Any who knows [anything] in his defence must come and declare concerning him.” But no-one came to his defence so they hung him on the Eve of Passover.

This is followed by a late discussion about the names of his disciples, which was also censored.

The bold bits are likely to be older than the rest because they have independent witness elsewhere. The phrase “they hung him on the Eve of the Passover” occurs also in the censored passage about Ben Stada at b.San.67a. The charges “sorcery and enticing Israel” occur twice in other censored portions of the Talmud (b.San.107b and b.Sot.47a) and in Justin Martyr who said that the Jews „dared to call him a magician and an enticer of the people” (ma&gon.. kai\ laopla&non) – Dial.69.

The addition of “misleading” came from Dt.13.5-10(6-11). This was perhaps added to cast doubt on Jesus’ miracles which this charge regards as genuine. Mishnah makes a clear distinction between sorcery which is merely an illusion and real magic (m.San.7.11) and death only applies for the latter. For example, Talmud records the story which Rab told to R. Hiyya: ‘I myself saw an Arabian traveller take a sword and cut up a camel; then he rang a bell, at which the camel arose.’  R. Hiyya replied, ‘But after that, was there any blood or dung? If not, it was merely an illusion.’” (b.San.67b). The implication of this charge is that Jesus did real miracles by evil power.

The Earliest Manuscript Evidence for the New Testament (via Justin Taylor)

The Earliest Manuscript Evidence for the New Testament.

Dr. Dirk Jongkind, a Research Fellow at Tyndale House in Cambridge, England, shows how the earliest manuscript evidence for the New Testament tells the story of Jesus’ trial before Pontius Pilate:


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