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The Jesus the Jews Never Knew Paperback – March 1, 2003
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GOD is not angry with Frank. This is why he did not get belted in the face. Male Jewish got belted in the face. Hit in the face because they did wrong to me 2003. 2004 and 2005. Signed, JESUS
He wrote in the Preface to this 2003 book, "After American Atheist Press sold out its last copies of Foote and Wheeler's The Jewish Life of Christ, Being the Sepher Tolduth Jeshu... it fell to my lot to prepare a reprint... Rereading the Toldoth for the first time in nearly twenty years, I was dismayed to discover enormous numbers of typographical and capitalization errors... It was instantly obvious that reprinting this Atheist classic would not be a simple task.... it had to be supplemented with other material... a rather detailed introductory essay would be needed to provide a context for evaluation... it seemed desirable to discuss the Toldoth data with respect to the basic question, Did the ancient Jews know Jesus?" (Pg. xiii-xiv)
He begins with the statement, "We can be quite certain that the miracle-working Jesus described in the New Testament never existed... if he really had [performed miracles, etc.]... at least SOMEONE would have recorded it at the time and would have been motivated enough ... to broadcast the news and see to it that the reports were passed on to posterity." (Pg. 1)
Of the passage about John the Baptist in Josephus Vol 2, 5:18, 2], he says, "It must be admitted that if paragraph 2 be a forgery, it is immensely more cunningly contrived than is the Testimonium [i.e., the passage from Vol 4 about Jesus]. The fact that the picture of the Baptist is quite different from that exhibited in the gospels has led many scholars to suppose that Josephus actually wrote the words above. But such scholars have failed to realize that many non-gospel views of the Baptist existed during the first three centuries... and an unknown number of them might have held the opinion now supposed to have been that of Josephus." (Pg. 97)
He states, "This brings us to the conclusion of our examination of the two passages in the Mishnah, the oldest body of rabbinical writing extant. We have found no evidence to convince us that ... the final redactor of the Mishnah, knew anything of the Jesus of Christianity. More certainly, even if he did know something about him, he made no mention of him. A fortiori, he knew nothing of any disciples or Apostles pertaining to the Jesus of western tradition. This seems strange even to an Atheist who does not think that Jesus was historical." (Pg. 136)
He summarizes, "I hope I have been able to demonstrate to the reader's satisfaction that Jesus of Nazareth was unknown to ancient Jewish philosophers and historians, despite the Christian frauds ... I hope I have been able to show that the oldest rabbinical works... make no veiled references to Jesus... Only in the Babylonian Talmud, the latest of the major rabbinical writings, do we find unambiguous references to Jesus. The Balvi, alas, is much too late to be credible as historical evidence of practically anything..." (Pg. 267) He concludes, "The search for the historical Jesus in Jewish sources now has reached its end. Nowhere have we been able to find a mention of him that was not derivable from Christian sources." (Pg. 341)
This is a unique, and very valuable study, that will be of immense interest to anyone studying the historical evidence for Jesus.
However the book is spoiled by the authors puerile attitude towards early Christian writers. Instead of serious discussion of the mechanisms of evolution of early Christian writings we are presented with the childish dismissal of the writers as frauds and liars. Similarly the writers of ancient Jewish texts are presented as politically motivated conspirators. This attitude does not help the authors case.
The book also lacks a proper introduction to the mythicist view of Christian origins, a brief introduction only being given towards the end of the book. This is not surprising as the author is an extremist who considers the whole Bible including the Old Testament to be complete myth, a point of view that is not shared by even some of the most extreme critical scholars. Far too much of the book is spent in spiteful arguing against the historicity of Balaam story in the Old Testament and against the accuracy of the anecdotes of the Talmudists sometimes bordering on modern style "anti-zionist" anti-semitism.
The book does however contain many insights into the story of Jesus and the alleged references to Jesus in the Talmud that one does not normally come across in mythicist literature. Yet strangely the author overlooks one of the most important pieces of information in this regard, namely that the name "Yeshu" which Christians allege refers to Jesus is not in fact a real name let alone a Hebrew form of "Jesus" being merely an acronym for the Hebrew expression "may his name and memory be obliterated".