Via Fr. Stephen Smuts, I found this video showing David Instone-Brewer, senior research fellow in rabbinics and the New Testament at Tyndale House, Cambridge, explaining his recent announcement to have recovered a bit of text in the 14th century Munich Talmud that he claims represents an ancient Jewish record of the charges brought against Jesus by the Sanhedrin. Instone-Brewer supposes that this bit of text was expunged in order to get the book printed, since the Pope wouldn’t authorize the printing of texts which contained slurs against Jesus.
Instone-Brewer’s contention that this particular tradition is based on the original charges brought against Jesus would be difficult to demonstrate, but regardless of the original provenance of the tradition, his reconstruction of the text is rather interesting and strikes me, as a thorough non-specialist, as plausible. Regardless, I am exceedingly hesitant to countenance the inferences of apologetic significance that Instone-Brewer tries to draw from it, especially considering the enshrouded origins and transmission history of the Talmudic text.
Do I have any readers “in the know” on this subject? If nothing else, it’s a curious piece of medieval history!Tagged with: David Instone-Brewer • Historical Jesus • Second Temple Judaism • Talmud