This objection to Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel came to us from Chana Bracha Wilby Soto via Facebook.


The Claim: The Talmud Says Jesus Was an Idolater

Sanhedrin 107B of the Babylonian Talmud: "Jesus... stood up a brick to symbolize an idol and bowed down to it. Jesus performed magic and incited the people of Israel and led them astray."1

Quoting now from another Talmud passage about Jesus, Sanhedrin 43A: "On Passover Eve they hanged Jesus of Nazareth. He practiced sorcery, incited and led Israel astray...Was Jesus of Nazareth deserving of a search for an argument in his favor? He was an enticer and the Torah says, 'You shall not spare, nor shall you conceal him!"

"He (the rabbi) then went and raised by incantations the sinners of Israel. He asked them...What is your punishment? They replied: With boiling (in) hot excrement."

The Talmud decrees that Jesus is in hell, being boiled in feces, because he opposed the rabbis.


The Response

"Jesus" (Yeshua in Hebrew) was a fairly common name during the period of time between 350 BCE and 100 CE.  As the nation of Israel cried out to G-d for salvation from the wickedness and overbearing rule of Greece and Rome, they named many of their sons Yeshua which means "G-d saves". The idolatrous "Jesus" in the Talmud passage above who "stood up a brick" lived during the time of King Janai — about 100 years before the time of Yeshua of Nazareth.

This is clearly not the man described in the writings of the apostles.


The "boiling in hot excrement" passage is from an entirely different portion of the Talmud: Gittin 56b, 57a.  In this passage, a man named Onkelos summoned a spirit named "Yeshu" who sought to harm Israel.

Again, this is clearly not the man described in the Bible: Yeshua is not an evil spirit.



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1. Source: The Babylonian Talmud, volume 21, Tractate Sanhedrin, Part VII, translated into English by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, copyright 1999 by the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications; published by Random House in New York. [back]

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