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Compare the Toldot Yeshu with Heinrich Graetz's views on Jesus - Essay Example

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“Jewish writers typically separated Jesus the Jew from the Christianity that incorporated him, approving of the former but disliking the latter….The present generation … Jewish and Christian, distance him from the Christianity that claimed him.”1
This view of Jesus must…
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Compare the Toldot Yeshu with Heinrich Graetzs views on Jesus
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Compare the Toldot Yeshu with Heinrich Graetz's views on Jesus

“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."
“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)
This leaves open the question of how the TY could be so different in conclusion from Graetz and other writers in this field. 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.
Both the TY and Graetz are certain that Jesus was not the son of God, and Graetz refers to him as a ‘mortal’. One would have expected the TY to deny that Jesus had divine powers. Instead it says that he did;
“Whoever learned the secret of the Name and its use would be able to do whatever he wished…. Yeshu came and learned the letters of the Name; he wrote them upon the parchment which he placed in an open cut on his thigh and then drew the flesh over the parchment….”
Graetz takes a more cynical view of miracle making in general, informing us that it was accepted practice to capture the attention of people in this way. Whilst he agrees that Jesus must have had some knowledge beyond the ordinary ken of mankind at the time, he puts much of the awe with which Jesus’ ‘powers’ were greeted to the general lack of knowledge about science at the time amongst the ordinary people.
Clearly as far as the TY is concerned ... Read More
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