A few days ago I started working on a new edition of "The Talmud Unmasked", a book from the 19th century by a catholic priest, dedicated to properly exposing the contents of the Talmud in an in-depth way. One of the references mentioned at the prologue caught my eye: "TOLDOTH IESCHU - the Generations of Jesus. A little pamphlet full of blasphemies and maledictions. Contains the history of Christ. Full of false and deceiving manifestations.".
It seemed like a promising reference in terms of exposing the intentions and position of Jews towards Christianity, so I delved into it and, boy, I wasn't disappointed.
The Talmud and other Jewish works contain sparse blasphemies against Jesus, some of which were collected in our former article. The Toledot Yeshu, however, is the real deal: it is the Jewish narration of the full life of Jesus according to Jews. Its blasphemy and vulgarity is endless, a true anti-gospel worthy of the synagogue of Satan.
While considered a single work, there exist around 10 known versions of the Toledot Yeshu with similar or at times more significant differences from different manuscripts. The oldest known manuscripts are considered to be from the 11th century, but the tradition is probably much older, since much of its contents are mentioned in a very similar fashion by earlier sources, such as Christians who recorded the blasphemies of Jews.
Where can I access the translated text of the Toledot Yeshu?
Translation of the different versions of the text can be found sparingly in several languages. A recent edition contains an English translation of all the existing manuscripts: Toledot Yeshu: The Life Story of Jesus 978-3-16-153481-2 - Mohr Siebeck. However, its Jewish authors ask for more than 400€ for a little over 700 pages.
The following .pdf contains an English translation of the Huldreich text, one of the longest variants: The Book of the Generations of (Toldot) Yeshua the Notzrite: The Huldreich Text | Joseph Gebhardt-Klein - Academia.edu
The following website contains an english translation of the Morris Goldstein translation: Toledoth Yeshu (essene.com)
The following website contains a Spanish translation of most of the manuscripts, with the original Hebrew in documents that can be passed to a translator: אורח האמת-Oraj HaEmeth: Toldot Yeshu - תולדות ישו
What is said in the Toledot Yeshu?
The Toledot Yeshu first describes how Jesus is a bastard (word used with amazing frequency) conceived during menstruation. According to most of the texts, Mary was a woman betrothed to a righteous man that in most texts is called John, and lived as a recluse to keep her away from evildoers. However, Joseph Ben Padira (who would be Joseph) goes to her at night, pretends to be her husband and rapes her during menstruation. In a manuscript, Ben Padira is actually the name of the husband. In the Huldreich text, Mary willingly elopes with Ben Padira. In any case, from this moment she is constantly called prostitute and similar names.
When her husband learns of this, having no witnesses, he leaves her and goes to Babylon to study the Torah and whatever, while Mary raises her bastard son, Jesus. In the Huldreich text, it is described how the husband tells Herod, who becomes angry, turning the massacre of the innocents described in the Gospel into some absurd quest for revenge against the adultery of a woman he didn't even know.
Jesus is, according to the texts, from his youth, a wicked evildoer with no respect for the ancients (not covering his head when walking near them), who discover from Mary (using a false oath that she would be saved if she told them the truth) that her son was conceived in an illegitimate way during menstruation. The texts go on to say how, from then on, he was known as Yeshu instead of Yeshua, describing how the name was corrupted and meant to say "may his name be erased..." etc. When he is around 30 years old, Yeshu's ministry begins as some kind of deluded falsehood in which Yeshu tries to tell others that he was born of a virgin, and tries to apply to himself the verses in Scripture from the Old Testament that are taught to be a reference to Jesus, even those that rather appear in Paul's letters.
Yeshu then becomes a cult leader, with his followers constantly being called "rapists", and other colorful names that probably came straight from the mirrors belonging to the author.
Now, how are Yeshu's miracles explained? Very easily. According to the TY, the stone anointed by Jacob, in the inner sanctuary of the Temple, contained God's secret name, which can be used by anyone to work any miracle. To prevent people from learning it, according to the TY, two brazen dogs/lions outside the Temple would bark at anyone who had learnt the name, making him forget it out of fear. Yeshu, however, was sneaky, and noted the name in a parchment that he inserted inside a cut in his tights, which he would later open to retrieve and re-learn the name.
With this magical name, Yeshu cured the lame and the blind and resurrected the dead, getting the attention of, according to the TY, the ruler at the time: queen Helen, wife of Constantine. He gave life to birds of clay, and floated on water on a millstone. Of course, the would be sages of Israel warned the queen against evil Yeshu's sorcery, and called for him to be killed. Since the queen wouldn't hear, they prepared their own hero: Judas (called Antioch in a minority of texts), to whom they taught the divine name in the same manner, so that he could confront Yeshu.
In the presence of the queen, Yeshu starts to fly like an eagle after hilariously misquoting the actual Jesus' claims that He would go to the right hand of His Father. However, Judas uses the same powers and also flies, pursuing him. Since both have the divine name and are unable to make the other fall, Judas defiles Jesus during their flight so that, being impure, he would not be able to use the divine name. In most texts, the mentioned defilement consists of urinating on him, but other texts (e.g. the Vindobona manuscript, or the yemenite Adler manuscript) also mention that he sodomized him and ejaculated on him, and others just mention an "abominable" act that probably refers to sodomy as well. Both Yeshu and Judas fall, having lost their superpowers, but thanks to the war waged by his followers, Yeshu is able to run away and escapes death.
Yeshu comes back to Jerusalem on an ass, again quoting Scripture in some kind of Bible satire. During passover, he and his followers agree to wear the same clothes to make Yeshu impossible to find among his disciples. But some of his own party agree to betray him to the Jewish sages by bowing before him to identify him. Yeshu is then captured, and several texts describe with Jewish delight how he is beaten, mocked, told to save himself through miracles, given a cloak and a thorny crown, etc.
Yeshu is killed, along with his followers. The sages tried to have his corpse hanged from a tree but because of his name, evil Yeshu, and knowing what his fate would be, it cursed all kinds of tree so that they wouldn't support his weight, breaking when he hung from them. In some texts the hanging is attempted while Yeshu is still alive. The solution? They hanged him from a carob tree, which didn't really count as a tree so wasn't affected.
The blasphemy continues: after his death, Yeshu's corpse goes missing, and the queen threatens to kill the sages if they can't find it in three days. The sages panic, but they find a gardener who smugly tells them how he buried the corpse in his garden so that the rapists (that is, the Christians) wouldn't try to steal it. After retrieving Yeshu's corpse, they tie it to a horse and have the corpse dragged through all the streets of Jerusalem before heroically (and smugly) returning it to the queen, who is then convinced of how much of a pest Christians are and orders them all to be killed. Some texts say that he was tied with a rope to the tail of the horse, while some say he was tied by his hairs, ending up losing all his hair.
But the story doesn't end here. 30 years after Yeshu's death, his cult still corrupts some Jews and makes them wage war against the sages. So the sages send a double agent who would learn the divine name and perform miracles to pretend to be a disciple of Yeshu, then teach them extracts from the sermon of the mount, telling them to separate themselves from actual Jews and to celebrate different feasts. And this subversive agent is called, according to the texts, Elias, but Christians knew him as Paul (though his true name is at times one very similar to Simon Peter). And some texts go on to say how a similar figure appeared later, but this time forced to pretend to become a christian through threats of the Christians rather than instruction of the rabbis.
And apart from this basic thread, the different versions contain many more blasphemies. And as "The Talmud Unmasked" quotes, I don't know if those who believe them deserve more hatred or pity.
Do these wonderful traditions appear in other places?
Fortunately, yes. The average Jew will probably try to convince you that this is nothing more than some obscure text made up by some demented fellow, probably pretending to be a Jew. However, several parts of this tradition also appear in other places.
For example, the Talmud also refers in Sanhedrin 67a to Mary being an adulteress who had an affair with someone called Padira, and her son's being a seducer who led Israel astray. In Kallah, c.3, the story of how Yeshu was disrespectful and was discovered to be a bastard conceived during menstruation is narrated in the same way. The names of Yeshu's disciples mentioned in Sanhedrin 43a, and the story in the same folio about how they were killed, is exactly the same as narrated in the TY (Strasbourg text), with the difference that the names of the disciples are the different names Yeshu gives to himself in the TY.
Overall, the TY is a wonderful confirmation of many things already said about the Jews' view of Jesus. It also confirms the explanation of the name Yeshu being a corruption with malicious intent.
Jews who recognize these texts, of course, do not even pay attention to it, and consider it a wonderful insight into true history. And of course they will claim that it isn't really anti-christian, since it contains plenty of self-criticism towards jews themselves. After all, according to Jews, the bastard filth that was Jesus and his rapist followers only came to exist because of Israel's complacency!