CONCERNING THE NAMES OF JESUS CHRIST
Many passages in the Talmudic books treat of the birth,
life, death and teachings of Jesus Christ. He is not always referred to
by the same name, however, but is diversely called "That Man,"
"A Certain One," "The Carpenter's Son," "The One
Who Was Hanged," etc.
1. The real name of Christ in Hebrew is Jeschua HanotsriJesus
the Nazarene. He is called Notsri from the city of Nazareth in which
he was brought up. Thus in the Talmud Christians also are called NotsrimNazarenes.
Since the word Jeschua means "Savior," the name
Jesus rarely occurs in Jewish books.(1) It
is almost always abbreviated to Jeschu, which is maliciously taken
as if it were composed of the initial letters of the three words Immach
SCHemo Vezikro"May his name and memory be blotted out."(2)
(1) ex. gr. in Maiene ieschua, fol. 66b
(2) cf. I. Buxtorf in Abbrev. Jeschu: "The Jews among themselves
do not say Jeschu, but Isschu, so nearly corresponding to
the words of this curse. When talking to a certain Jew about this some
years ago he told me that it not only meant this, but also Jeschu Scheker
(liar) Utoebah (and abomination). Who would not be deeply horrified
at this? This Jew lived at Frankfort and at Hanover and had travelled all
over the world. When he saw how this horrified me, his faith in Judaism
began to weaken, for he was not adverse to the Christian faith and had
often discussed it with me and Dr. Amando Polano. I also discovered here
and there two other secret words from the Jewish Cabala which have to do
with this name. It is well known that the Israelites are often warned in
their sacred writings to shun the worship of Elohe Nekharstrange
gods or god. What does Elohe Nekhar really mean? By the numbering method
of the Gammatria these letters equal 316, which taken together make the
word Jeschu. This is found at the end of the book Abhkath Rokhel.
They therefore teach that to dishonor God by the worship of Elohe Nekhar
is the same as to dishonor him by the worship of Jeschu. Behold
the malice of the serpent! Antonius also found a marginal note in a book
about the Jewish faith and religion. In a Jewish prayer book there is a
certain prayer beginning with Alenu... Formerly the wording contained
certain things which were afterwards deleted for fear of the Christians,
but the space remains vacant to warn children and adults that something
is omitted there. The deleted words were hammischtachavim lehebhel varik
umitpallelim lelo ioschia "Those who bow down exhibit vanity and
foolishness and adore him who cannot save." This is generally said
about idols, but is secretly meant for Jesus whose name is here signified
by the letters..."
2. In the Talmud Christ is called Otho Isch'That
man,' i.e. the one who is known to all. In the tract Abhodah
Zarah, 6a, we read:
"He is called a Christian who follows the false teachings
of that man, who taught them to celebrate the feast on the first
day of the Sabbath, that is, to worship on the first day after the Sabbath"
3. Elsewhere he is simply called Peloni"A
Certain One." In Chagigah, 4b, we read:
"Mary...the mother of a certain one, of whom it is
related in Schabbath..." (104b)
That this Mary is none other than the mother of Jesus
will be shown later.
4. Out of contempt, Jesus is also called Naggar bar
naggar'the carpenter son of a carpenter',(3)
also Ben charsch etaim'the son of a wood worker.'
(3) cf. Abhodah Zarah, 50b.
5. He is also called Talui'the one who was hanged.'
Rabbi Samuel, the son of Meir, in the Hilch. Akum of Maimonides,
refers to the fact that it was forbidden to take part in the Christian
feasts of Christmas and Easter because they were celebrated on account
of him who was hanged. And Rabbi Aben Ezra, in a commentary on Genes.(XXVII,
39) also calls him Talui, whose image the Emperor Constantine reproduced
on his banner. "...in the days of Constantine, who made a change of
religion and placed the figure of the one who was hanged on his