To What Extent Do Toledoth Yeshu and Graetz Agree the Historical Jesus is Not the Jesus of Christology.

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This view of Jesus must be relatively recent in Jewish literature since the author of the Toledoth Yeshu (TY) has a very different take on Jesus and Christianity.&nbsp. Jesus is identified as a historical personage but he is not shown as having an interest in developing Christianity – rather he is more concerned with developing a cult of worship around himself: “Yeshu proclaimed, “I am the Messiah. and concerning me, Isaiah prophesied and said, ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.'” He quoted other messianic texts, insisting, “David my ancestor prophesied concerning me: ‘The Lord said to me, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.'”

Graetz holds a more modern view of the relationship between the historical Jesus and Christianity.&nbsp. He says: “High-minded earnestness and spotless moral purity were his undeniable attributes. they stand out in all the authentic accounts of his life that have reached us and appear even in those garbled teachings which his followers placed in his mouth….” (149)

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Graetz believes that Jesus initially thought of himself as a preacher following in the footsteps of John the Baptist by reaching out to the abrianim and am ha-arez.&nbsp. Graetz reminds us that Jesus said, ”I am not come to destroy but to fulfill….”

This leaves open the question of how the TY could be so different in conclusion from Graetz and other writers in this field.&nbsp. The answer may lie in the respective audiences for which the authors were writing: the TY’s medieval audience (c14th century) wished to hear a derogatory account of Jesus and Christianity, whereas Graetz was writing a scholarly history of the Jewish people for the erudite.

What evidence is there that Jesus was divine?

Both the TY and Graetz are certain that Jesus was not the son of God, and Graetz refers to him as a ‘mortal’.&nbsp. One would have expected the TY to deny that Jesus had divine powers.&nbsp.

 
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