Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

passed by bofore them; one of whom covered his head, the other had his head uncovered. • Concerning him who, contrary to all the rules of modesty, had boldly passed by with his head

uncovered, Elieser said he believed he was spurious: R. Joshua said he believed he was the ! son of a woman set apart: but R. Akiba said he was both. The others said to Akiba, Why • do you differ from the rest of your brethren? He answered that he would prove the truth of · what he had said. Accordingly he went to the mother of the boy, whom he found sitting in

the market, and selling of herbs. He then says to her, “ My daughter, answer me a ques• tion which I am going to put to you, and I assure you of a portion of happiness in the world to

come. She answered: Confirm what you say with an oath." Akiba then swore with his lips, but at the same time absolved himself in his mind. Then he said to her: “ Tell me the origin of this your son ?". Which she did, and confessed that it was as he had said. When he * returned to his colleagues and told them the discovery he had made, they said : “Great is Akiba, who had corrected the rest of the masters.

An absolute fiction, the fruit of deep-rooted malice! Though no person is here named, there can be no doubt who is intended. And it is adopted by the author of Toldoth Jeschu.

2. Upon Matt. ii. 14, Lightfoot observes as follows: • There are some footsteps in the Talmudists of this journey of our Saviour into Egypt, but so corrupted with venemous blasphemy (as all their writings are,) that they seem only to have confessed the truth that they

might have matter more liberally to reproach him: for so they speak [Bab. Sanhedr. fol. 107. a.] «“When Jannay the_king slew the rabbins, R. Joshua Ben Perachiah and Jesus went away "unto Alexandria in Egypt. Simeon Ben Shelah sent thither, speaking thus: From me Jerusalem, the holy city, to thee, O Alexandria in Egypt, my sister, health. My husband dwells with thee, while I in the mean time sit alone. Therefore he rose up and went. And a little • after he brought forth four hundred trumpets, and anathematized” (Jesus.] And a little

before that, “ Elizæus turned away Gehazi with both his hands, and R. Joshua Ben Perachiah " thrust away Jesus with both his hands." ;

• And Schabb. fol. 104, 2.] “ Did not Ben Satda bring enchantments out of Egypt in • the cutting which was in his flesh ?” Under Ben Satda they wound our Jesus with their • reproaches.'

The story of our Lord's journey to Alexandria with Joshua Ben Perachiah, when king Jannay killed the rabbins, may be seen more at large in some other authors 4 to whom I refer. And I shall transcribe it below, though I do not translate it entire. It is obscure. Nevertheless the folly, the malice, and the falsehood of it, are apparent. Elieser, quod esset spurius. R. Josua autem dixit, eum esse c Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations, p. 111, 112. a muliere menstruată conceptum. At R. Akifa subjecit, esse d Vide B. Scheidii. Loca Talmudica, in quibus Jesu et illum et spurium et filium menstruatæ. Unde cæteri inter- discipulorum ejus fit mentio, p. 6. et Wagenseil. Confutatio, rogârunt Ř. Akifam, quomodo tam audacter collegis suis con- libr. Toldos Jeschu. p. 15, 16. tradiceret. Sed ille regessit, se dicta sua esse confirmaturum. e In Tr. Sanhedrin, f. 107, 2. et Sota, f. 47. 1. Quuni JanAbiit ergo ad matrem pueri istius, quam cum videret seden- nai Rex interficiebat Rabbinos, fugiebat R. Josua filius Paraten in foro, et vendentem legumina, dixit ad illam. Filia chiæ et Jesus Alexandriam Ægypti. Pace redditâ, in hæc mea, si tu mihi ingenue indicaveris id quod suin interrogatu- verba Simeon Schetachides R. Josuæ Perachiæ filio scribit. rus, efficiam, ut potiaris vitâ seculi futuri

. Ipsâ autem postu- Hierosolymæ civitas sancta, tibi Alexandriæ Ægypti. O soror Jante, ut jurejurando assertum suum roboraret, juravit R. Akifa mea, maritus meus in medio tui degit; at ego sedeo desolata. labiis suis, sed corde suo jusjurandum hoc statim reddidit irri- Surgens ergo ille veniebat eo, et pervenit ad quamdam hospitum. Tum R. Akifa, Dic, inquit, mihi qualis sit hic filius tam, quæ omnibus honoris officiis eum prosequebatur. Tum tuus? Ad quæ illa : Quando ego nuptias celebrarem, labora- dicebát (Josua), Quam pulchrum est hoc hospitium. Sed bam a menstruis. Ideoque secessit a me maritus, paranym- discipulus de hospitâ sermonem excipiens, dicebat ei: Mi phus autem meus (occasione arreplà) congressus mecum est. magister, oculi ejus sunt teretes. Cui ille respondebat: InAtque ex eo concubitu exstitit mihi filius hic. Unde appa- pie, taliane tu curas ? atque feininas spectas intentius ? Nec ruit, puerum istum esse non modo spurium, sed et menstru.

Productis ergo 400 tubis, proclamari curabat eum atæ filium. Cumque id percepissent cæteri assessores, dixe- (Jesum) esse excommunicatum. Sæpenumero adibat [discirunt: Magnus est Akifa, quando correxit doctores suos. Ed. pulus] magistrum, obsecrans, ut sese denuo reciperet. Verum zard. Avoda Sara. Tom. i. p. 279. Conf. Wagenseil. Con- ipse ejus nullam habuit rationem. Die quodam, cum recifut. Tol. Jeschu. p. 14, 15, et Buxtorf. Syn. Jud. c. vii. p. tâsset (Josua Perachides) lectionem, Audi İsrcël, Deut. vi. 4. 132, 133.

accedit (Jesus) Perachidem. Nam putabat se receptum iri. * Hæc historia tecte videtur loqui de Christo. Buxtorf. ubi Indicabat ei R. Josua filius Perachiæ manu suâ, quod vellet supr. p. 133.

recipere eum. Ipse (Jesus) putabat, quod repellendo repelAc de infantiâ quidem et natalibus Jeschu, credo ego, cre

leret se.

Abibat ergo, et suspendens laterem, eum adorabat. duntque Judæi hoc mecum, sermonem esse, quanquam no- Dicebat [Perachides] illi : Resipisce. Cui ille respondebat: mine penitus suppresso, in Massechet Calla, quam et ipsum Sic a te-ipso didici : Quod nulli, qui peccavit, et ad peccanallegare convenit. Wagens, ut supr. p. 14.

dum multis fuit auctor, facultas agendi pænitentiam suppediApud Wagens. p. 5,

tetur ? Nam dixerat Mar [' doctor Talmudicus'] Jesus ad VOL. III.

4 B

mora.

b

It should be observed that this story of our Lord's journey into Egypt, with Joshua Ben Perachiah, has little agreement with the true history in Matt. ii. 13–23. For, according to the evangelist, Jesus was carried thither when an infant, and was soon brought back again into Judea. But, according to the Talmudists, Jesus was a young man when he went thither with Joshua Perachides, who is supposed to have been his master or tutor. And according to them, when Perachides and Jesus had been some while in Egypt, they were informed that peace was restored in Judea. As they were returning back they were well received at an inn. Here Perachides and Jesus disagreed, and parted asunder ; nor could they ever be reconciled again, though some attempts on both sides were made toward a reconciliation. After that Jesus, as is said, wholly gave up himself to magical practices, and was excommunicated.

If by king Jannai be intended Alexander Jannæus, here is a great anachronism ; for he died fourscore years * before the Christian epoch. But I do not insist upon that; for, perhaps, it is owing to design and not to ignorance.

If, in the discourse between Perachides and Jesus at the inn, where they first disagreed, there be an aspersion of our Lord's moral character, as if he too attentively observed the faces of women, it is of a piece with another charge of theirs, that Jesus endeavoured to seduce men to idolatry: which we shall see presently.

I do acknowledge, however, that when I first observed this paragraph, I was not a little surprised. For Origen says that, though innumerable lies and calumnies had been forged against * the venerable Jesus, none had dared to charge him with any intemperance whatever. So says Origen about the middle of the third century. He speaks confidently with full assurance. If he had ever met with such a calumny, he would not have denied it; for he was perfectly honest and sincere. And if such a calumny had appeared he was as likely to know it as any man; for he was acquainted with all sorts of people: and he had often conversed with the learned men of the Jewish nation, as well as others. This story therefore was not in being in his time, nor till after it. But reflections upon a man's character, unknown till long after his departure out of the world, are destitute of authority, and deserve no regard. They

They only shew the bad temper of those who receive, or who invent and forge them.

Let me add one thought more here. We may reasonably conclude, and reckon it certain from Origen's work, that Celsus knew nothing of this story; consequently it was not yet invented : for he had conversed with Jews, and made use of them to assist him in his argument against the Christians, and had picked up all the scandal he could get.

I must be allowed to observe yet farther : Celsus had made use of some disparaging expressions concerning our Saviour. Whereupon Origen says: • If Celsus had alleged any kind of infamous • actions in the life of Jesus, we would have done our best to answer to every thing that might • appear so to him. As to the miserable death of Jesus, the same may be objected to Socrates • and Anaxarchus just mentioned.' Celsus therefore knew not of any such thing.

Finally, I do not recollect in the remains of Celsus, who wrote in the second, nor in Origen, who wrote in the third, century, any traces of this journey of our Lord into Egypt, with a tutor. This story therefore is a late, as well as a malicious, fiction without ground. The second quotation in Lightfoot shall now be more distinctly transcribed.

« Ind the • Mishnical tract, called Schabbath, it is said : “ If any one, especially on the sabbath, draws a line, or makes a cut in his flesh, he is obliged to bring a sin-offering: but the wise men absolve him." Upon which words it is remarked in the Gemara, a tradition, R. Elieser said to the • wise men: “ But did not the son of Stada bring magical arts out of Egypt, in a cutting in his flesh?” The Gloss says: “ the reason of that was that he could not bring them away in writing, because the priests diligently searched all at their going away, that they might not carry out magical arts to teach them to men dwelling in other countries." ;

6

magiam seduxit, et crimen, Deut. xiii. 5, 6. impulsionis, των δοκεντων ειναι αυτα επιρρητοτατων. Contr. Cels. 1. 7. vetitum commisit, et Israëlitis ad peccandum auctor fuit. sect. 56. Ben. p. 369. f. Sperc. • Ergo, ceu Gemarici volunt, deserto Perachide præceptore, d In Tractatu Schabbath, fol, 104, 2. in Misbná dicitur. Si • Jesehu totum se deinde magicis artibus in Egypto addixit : quis [die Sabbati] lineam ducat, seu incisuram faciat super 'cumque has intus et in cute teneret, in Judæam se contulit.' carnem suam, R. Eliezer eum reum cerset sacrificii peccati. Apud Scheid. et Wagens. ubi supra.

Sapientes autem absolvunt. Postea in Gemara, ad hæc verba* Prideaux's Connection, year before Christ 79, p. 396,397. notatur: Traditio. Dixit R. Elieser ad Sapientes : At annon

προς τον σεμνον ημων Ιησεν, ου μηδε οι μυρια κατηγο- Filius Stadæ extulit magicas artes ex Ægypto, in incisurâ,' ρησαντες, και ψευδη όσα περι αυτο λεγοντες, δεδυνηνται κατει- quæ erat super carne ejus ? Glossa. Quia non poterat eas πειν, ως καν το τυχον ακολασιας καν επ' ολιγον γευσαμεν8.

efferre, vel educere, scriptas; quia Magi diligenter inquireContr. Cels, 1. 3, num. 36. Bened. p. 32. Sperc.

bant in omnes qui exibant, ne efferrent artes magicas, ad do• Ει γαρ τα ειδη τα επιρρητοτατε βια εν ταις πραξεσιν αυτ8 cendum eas alios homines alibi, terrarum habitantes. Scheid. GAIVO LLEVA AUTW EXTISEMEYOS TY, xar nywroopala msgos éx&SOY ib. p. 1. et Wagenseil. Confut. Told. Jeschu. p. 17.

h

This is said, I suppose, to insinuate that all the great works ascribed to our Saviour were performed by virtue of magical arts which he had learned in Egypt. This insinuation has been considered, and well confuted, by Grotius,“ to whom I now refer. Hereafter I shall transcribe his words at length, in the chapter of Celsus, where this charge will come over again.

3. Let us now observe whether Jesus gained any disciples.

Lightfoot, upon Matt. ix. 9, speaks to this purpose : "Five disciples of Christ are mentioned by the Talmudists, [Bab. Sanhedrim. fol. 431.) among whom Matthew seems to be named. • The rabbins deliver there were five disciples of Jesus, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Boni, and Thodah. • These they relate were led out and killed. Perhaps five are only mentioned by them, because • five of the

disciples were chiefly employed among the Jews : namely Matthew, who wrote his • gospel in Judea, Peter, James, John, and Judas.

I shall now transcribe at length the passage of the Babylonian Talmud, to which Lightfoot refers; though it is so silly, that, when produced, some may think it might have been omitted.

• The rabbins have taught that there were five disciples of Jesus, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, • Boni, and Toda. When Matthai was brought forth (to be condemned to death] he said to the • judges : Shall Matthai be slain ? But it is written : “ When shall I come ” (Matai] “ and appear before God?” Ps. xlii. 2. But they answered: Yes, Matthai shall be stain. For it is * written: “When” [Matai] “ shall he die, and his name perish !” Ps. xli. 5. When Nakai I was brought out, he said : Shall Nakai be slain ? But it is written : “ Thou shalt not kill * the innocent” [Nakai] “and the just:" Ex. xxiii. 7. But they said : Yes, Nakai shall be slain. • For it is written : “ In the secret places does he murder the innocent.” (Nakai.] Ps. x. 8. • When they brought forth Nezer, he said to them: And shall Nezer be slain ? But it is written: •“ A branch” [Nezer] “ shall grow out of his roots.” Is. xi. 1. But they answered: Yes, • Nezer shall be slain. For it is written : “Thou art cast out of thy grave as an abominable • branch.” Is. xiv. 19. When they brought out Boni, he said : And shall Boni be slain ? But it ' is written: Israel is “my son " (Beni] “even my first born." Ex. iv. 22. But they said: · Yes, Boni shall be slain. For it is written: “ Behold, I will slay thy son”.[bincka.] “ thy • first born.” Ex. iv. 23. When they brought out Toda, he said to them: And shall Toda be • slain ? It is written : “ A psalm to praise” (Lethoda.) Ps. c. But they answered: Yes, Toda • shall be slain. For it is written : “Whoso Offereth praise” [Toda] “ glorifieth me.""

Here it may be asked: Why do the Talmudists speak only of five disciples of Jesus? Lightfoot, as before seen, supposeth it to be, that these five men were chiefly employed among the Jews. Edzardus says: • We hence see how false and fabulous every thing is which the • Talmudists say of Christ and his disciples.' Which surely is not amiss. However, to me it • seems that the Jewish rabbins affected silence and reserve about Jesus and his history, and said little about it, the better to keep their own people in ignorance and bondage. Wagensel's reflec

b

a De V. R. Chr. 1. 5. cap. iii.

Tu autem ejectus es e sepulcro tuo, ut surculus (nezer) Sanhedr.

cap. vi. fol. 43, fin. Quinque tantum discipuli abominabilis. Cum adduxerunt Boni, dixit ille : Num Boni dicuntur fuisse Jesu Nazareno, quorum nomina, Matthai, sc. occidetur : Atqui scriptum est. Ex. iv. 22. Filius meus [Beni] Matthæus, Nakai, Nezer, Boni, et Toda, sc. Thaddæus, qui primogenitus est Israël. Sed illi regesserunt : Omnino Boni alio nomine Lebbæus fuit appellatus. Matt. x. 3. Verba integre occidetur, sicut scriptum est. Ex. iv. 23. Ecce Ego occidam, ita habent. . Rabbini docuerunt, quinque discipulos fuisse Jesu, filiuni tuum (bincka) primogenitum. Cum adduxissent Todam, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Boni, et Toda. Cum adduxissent dixit ad illos : Num Toda occidetur ? Atqui scriptum exstat. Matthai, (ut capitis ipsum damnarent,] dixit ille ad Judices : Ps. c. 1. Psalmus [Lethoda) eucharisticus. Sed illi responNum Matthai occidetur ? Atqui scriptum est.

Quando derunt: Omnino Toda occidetur, quemadmodum scriptum (Matai] veniam, ut compaream coram facie Dei ? Ps. xlii. 2. est. Ps. I. 23. Qui sacrificat laudem [Toda] is honorabit me. Sed illi regesserunt: Omnino, Matthai occidetur, quia scrip- Ap. Edzard Avoda Sara. T. I, p. 298, 299, Conf. B. Scheidii tum est, Quando [Matai] morietur, ut pereat nomen ejus ? Loca Talmudica de Jesu et Discipulis ejus et Wagenseil. Ps. xli. 5. Cum adduxissent Nakai, dixit ille : Num Nakai Confut. T. I. p. 17. occidetur? Atqui scriptum est. Ex. xxiii. 7. Insontem (naki] Quod si autem quinque tantum discipuli hi Jesu Nazaet justum non occides. Sed illi responderunt: Omnino, Na- reno fuerunt, unde ergo sextus, Jacobus Sechaniensis, cujus kai occidetur, sicut scriptum est. Ps. X. 8. In latibulis occidit nomen inter quinque numeratos non apparet? Constat hinc, insontem. (Naki). Cum adduxissent Nezer, dixit ad illos: quam fabulosa sit Talmudistarum narratio de iis quæ contra Num Nezer occidetur ? Atqui scriptum est, Es. xi. 1. Nezer Christum atque discipulus ejus deblaterant. Ut aliâ confue radicibus ejus fructum feret. Sed illi reposuerunt.

tatione non sit opus, cum seipsos suis contradictionibus jugu, Omnino Nezer occidetur, quia scriptum est. Es. xiv. O

lent. Edz. ibid. p. 299.

tions upon this passage are somewhat different: I place them. below, though nothing material can be said upon what is so exceeding trifling.

4. It may be questioned whether James be one of the five disciples there named: I shall therefore allege a passage of the Talmud where he is mentioned.

R. Akiba and Rabbi Eliezer are talking together. • Elieser says, O Akiba, you have • brought something to my mind. As I was walking in the high street of Zipporis, I'met one * of the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, whose name is James, a man of the town of Shecaniah. • He said to me; in your law it is written, “ Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot.” Deut. xxiii. 18. I did not make him any answer. But he added, and said to me: Jesus of Nazareth taught me the meaning: “She gathered it of the hire of a harlot ; and they shall return to the • hire of a harlot.” Mic. i. 7. “ From an impure place they came, and to an impure place they shall return.” Which interpretation, (says Elieser,) did not displease me.'

5. We will now observe some passages concerning our Saviour's last sufferings.

Says Lightfoot upon Matt. xxvii. 31. • These things are delivered in Sanhedrim (cap. vi. · Hal. 4] of one that is guilty of stoning: If there be no defence found for him, they lead him • out to be stoned, and a crier went out before him, saying aloud thus: N. N. comes out to be stoned, because he has done so and so. The witnesses against him are N. N. Whosoever can bring any thing in his defence let him come forth and produce it. On which thus the Gemara * of Babylon. The tradition is that, on the evening of the Passover, Jesus was hanged, and that • a crier went before him for forty days, making this proclamation : This man comes forth to be

stoned, because he dealt in sorceries, and persuaded, and seduced Israel. Whosoever knows of • any defence for him, let him come forth and produce it: but no defence could be found : there• fore they hanged him upon the evening of the Passover. Ulla saith his case seemed not to admit of any defence, since he was a seducer, and of such God has said, “ Thou shall not spare him nor conceal him:” Deut. xiii.

There is another place relating to the same event, the death of our Saviour, to be taken from the Babylonian Talmud. • The Mishna explaining Deut. xiii. and shewing who is the seducer • there spoken of, says, Of all that are adjudged to die, to none of them are snares to be laid, ! excepting a seducer: for, if he has attempted two, and they bear testimony against him, he is • to be stoned. Upon this it is said in the Gemara : Against none are snares to be laid, except « against a seducer of the people ; [ineaning one who seduces to idolatry :] and that is done

2

d

Apparet, ista buc tendere, quasi in viros illos, quorum doceat de eo. Cum autem nibil de ejus innocentiâ compronomina exprimuntur, ultimis pænis fuerit animadversum ; bandâ inveniri potuisset, suspenderunt eum die Parasceves etsi magis est ut credamus, ab otioso aliquo, et scripturæ dicta Paschatis. Dixit Ula: Et putetur, quod filius versorum seu in lusum et jocum sic detorquente, delirantis ingenii ostentandi contrariorum innocentiæ ipse seductor est. Dixit autem causâ, ineptias has esse confictas. Wagens. ib. p. 18.

Deus, Deut. xii. 8. Non parces, neque teges super eo. Deut. 1 In Tr. Avoda Sara. f. 16. 2. Tradiderunt Rabbini-Tum xii. 8. et Conf. 5. et 6. Scheid. Loca Talmud. p. 7. 8. Conf. P. Eliazar. In memoriam mihi, O Akiba, revocâsti, aiebat, Wag. Confut. T. I. p. 19. me aliquando spatiatum in foro superiori urbis Zipporis, ob- Sanhedrim. f. 67. 1. Mishna, de quo Deut. xiii. 6. Es vium habuisse aliquem ex discipulis Jesu Nazareni, cui nomen omnibus qui morti adjudicantur in Lege, nulli insidiæ colloerat Jacobus, civis Caphar, vel viri Saccaniensis, qui dicebat cantur, hoc excepto-Postea, in Gemarå notatur: Ex omnimihi: In Lege vestrå scribitur : Non afferes mercedem mere- bus, qui morti adjudicantur in Lege, nulli insidiæ collocantur, tricis-Quo audito, nihil prorsus ei respondebam. Illo au- hoc excepto (seductori, qui alium ad idololatriam, et cultum tem pergente mihi dicere : Sic docuit me Jesus Nazarenus. alienum cupit seducere.] Quomodo faciunt id ei? Accendunt Si ex mercede meretricia, meretrix quid colligat, usque ad illi candelam in conclavi interiori, et testes collocant in cubimercedem meretricis revertetur. Ex loco impuro si qua culo exteriori, ut hi ipsum videre, et vocem ejus audire posvenerint, in locum impurum redibunt. Et profuit mihi ver- sint. Sed ipse non videt illos. Tum ille, quem antea conatus buin hoc operâ hujus—ap. Scheid. Loca Talmud. p. 5. 6. erat seducere, dicit ei, Repete, quæso, id quod antebac Et conf. Edzardi Avoda Sara. Vol. i. p. 130.

dixisti hic privatim. Tum, si id dicat, bic regerit ei : Qgo• I shall here put an exact Latin version of the same. Tr. modo relinquemus Deum nostrum in cælis, et serviemus idolis ? Sanhedrim. fol. 43, Mishna. Inventâ reæ partis innocentiâ, Ad hoc si convertatur, pænitentiâ actâ, bene est. Si vero reus ille liber dimittitur. Sin minus, exit, ut lapidetur. Præco dicat : hoc est officium nostrum, atque ita omnino decet nos allem exit ante eun., his verbis proclamans: Vir iste N. N. facere, testes exterius audientes, eum ad domum judicii abFilius alicujus N. N. exit, ut lapidetur, quia transgressus est. ducunt, et lapidant. [Conf. Schabbath. f. 104. 2.] sic fecetalem transgressionem. Cujus rei testes sunt hi, N. N. et runt filio Stadæ (vel Stadtæ] in Lud, et suspenderunt eum in N. N. Quicumque noverit aliquid de ejus innocentiâ, veniat, vesperâ Paschatis, seu pridie diei Paschatis. Filius Stadæ filius et doceat de eo. Postea in Gemarâ ad verba Mishnæ : præco Pandiræ est. Dixit R. Chasda : Maritus seu procus matris ejus autem exit ante eum, &c. notatur. Atqui traditio est: Die fuit Stada, iniens Pandiram-Maritus Paphus filius Judæ ipse Parasceves Sabbati suspenderunt Jesum, et præco exibat ante est, mater ejus Stada, mater ejus Maria, plicatrix capillorum eum 40 diebus, his verbis prolatis proclamans: Exit ut lapide- mulierum erat : sicut dicimus in Pompedita. Declinarit hæc tur, quia magicas artes exercuit, seduxit, et impulit Israëlitas. a marito suo. Glossa : Ideo quia scortata hæc erat, vocabaQuicumque crgo noverit aliquid de ejus innocentiâ, veniat, et tur ita. Schedii Loca Talmud. p. 1. et 2.

* after this manner. They light a candle in a closet or inner room, and place witnesses in another • room, so that they may see him, and hear his voice, but he does not see them : there he, whom * some time before he had endeavoured to seduce, (being with him,) says to him : Repeat to 'me now in private what you before said to me. If he then repeats it, the other says to him: - How can we leave our God who is in the heavens, and serve idols? If he then owns his fault and

repents, all is well. But if he says: This is our duty, and so we ought to do ; the witnesses • who are in the outer room carry him to the house of judgment, and stone him. So they did to • the son of Stada in Lud, and hanged him

on the evening of the Passover. Rabbi Chasda said: • The son of Stada is the son of Pandira--His mother was Stada. She was Mary the plaiter of * women's hair ; as we say in Pompedita, she departed from her husband. In the Glos it is said : • she was so called because she transgressed the laws of chastity.'

This is translated by Lightfoot upon Matt. xxvii. 56, p. 270, after this manner : • They • stoned the son of Satda in Lydda, and hanged him up on the evening of the Passover. Now • this son of Satda was son of Pandira. Indeed Rabbi Chasda said the husband (of his mother] • was Satda, her husband was Pandira, her husband was Papus, the son of Juda.

But yet I say • his mother was Satda, namely Mary the plaiter of women's hair; as they say in Pombeditha, • she departed from her husband.'

In several other places of these Talmudical writers Mary is called a “plaiter of women's • hair,' as may be seen in Lightfoot, p. 270.- And from some things alleged just now it seems that thereby they denote a transgressor of the laws of purity. And we are led to think that by this description they intended to represent not her outward condition, but her moral character.

Upon the two foregoing passages, relating to the event of our Saviour's death, we may now make some remarks.

First, it is here acknowledged that Jesus suffered death as a malefactor; and that he was put to death at the time of a Jewish Passover, or on the evening of it, as the expression is.

Secondly, but here are many great and notorious falsehoods. It is here said that Jesus was put to death at Lud: whereas it is certain that he suffered at Jerusalem. It is insinuated that he endeavoured to persuade men to forsake the true God, and worship false gods, and idols : another abominable falsehood. It is also insinuated that he carried on this evil design of seducing men from the worship of the true God in a clandestine manner; whereas nothing is more certain than that Jesus lived, and acted, and taught, publicly before all the world. Farther, it is intimated that, for many days before his death, proclamation was made, that any who could say any thing in his defence might appear and plead for him, but no defence was made. It is also said that he was put to death by stoning, and then hanged up: (which indeed was the usual method among the Jews, first to put criminals to death and then hang them up); but Jesus was crucified; and though the Jews were his prosecutors, he was condemned and put to death by a Roman magistrate.

It is truly surprising to see such falsities contrary to well known facts. For the sufferings of Jesus, and the circumstances of them, are recorded in the gospels, well known histories, written in a language which was then almost universal in Europe, Asia, and Africa. That Jesus was crucified at Jerusalem, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, under the emperor Tiberius, was in all Christian creeds, and attested by Roman authors of good credit, and indeed was well known to all Greeks and Romans in general. How then was it possible for the Jewish rabbins, whose testimonies are collected in their Talmuds, to speak in the manner which we have now seen? Perhaps it is not easy to be accounted for ; but I apprehend the case to be this : The rabbins taught and wrote in a language little known to any in the fourth and fifth centuries but themselves, and the men of their own nation. Their people were ignorant, and they endeavoured to keep them so. Their people had a great respect for them, and so they presumed to say

whatever they pleased.

6. There seems to be in these writings an acknowledgment of the power of miracles in Jesus and his disciples. In the Gemara, upon Avoda Sara, in Bereitha, it is said : No man may a Vid. et Scheid. Loca Talmud. p. 3.

ex sorore quem cum momordisset serpens, venit Jacobus Seb Similis locus habetur infra in Gemarâ, fol. 27. col. 2. caniensis ad sanandum ipsum. Sed non permisit ei R. Ismaël. med. Sed insto ego. In Bareitha docemur. Non conver- Dicebat quidem filius Damæ ad, R. Ismaëlem : 0 Rabbi sabitur quisquam cum hæreticis, neque licet medicinam ab Ismaël frater, [i. e. cognate, avun

uncule,) mi! Sine ipsum, ut illis adniittere, etsi morbus videatur ita desperatus, ut ægrotus saner ab ipso. Afferam enim textum e Lege, qui id concedat. non sit ultra unius horæ spatium siperfuturus. Exstat quo- Sed nondum absolverat omnia, quæ constituerat dicere, cum que hujus rei exemplum in filiu Damæ, nepote R. Ismaëlis jam effaret animam, atque moreretur. Tum R. Ismaël se

« AnteriorContinuar »