The Jesus the Jews Never Knew

The ancient Jews never heard of Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed, they never heard of Nazareth either. That is the startling conclusion of a comprehensive investigation of Jewish records surviving from antiquity. Every literary source ever advanced by serious scholars as being a reference to the historical Jesus is examined and found to be nothing of the sort — except for the latest layers of the Babylonian Talmud. Clearly, those references were reactions to Christianity, not to Christ.

But what of the “Sepher Toldoth Yeshu” (“The Book of the Genealogy of Jesus”)? Does that Jewish satirical antigospel reflect echoes of ancient arguments between Jesus of Nazareth and his Jewish brethren? Can the Jesus of that tale — a man portrayed as the bastard son of a soldier named Panther, a magician, and the aerially sodomized victim of a flying Judas — provide information about a historical Jesus? Of course not, but it does provide a fascinating insight into the world in which the gospels were invented.

The book sheds light on the important role of fraud and forgery in the advancement of Christianity even in its earliest periods. It shows, for example, that there was much more Christian interpolation into the works of Josephus than even most Atheist scholars have realized.