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The Passion and the Talmud

Terry Mattingly

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Dealing with the hard passages in Jewish and Christian texts.

The ancient rabbinic text is clear about the punishment for those who twisted sacred law and misled the people of Israel.

Offenders would be stoned and then hung by their hands from two pieces of wood connected to form a "T." The Talmud once included this example from the Sanhedrin.

"On the eve of Passover they hung Jesus of Nazareth," said the passage, which was censored in the 16th century to evade the wrath of Christians. "The herald went out before him for 40 days saying, 'Jesus goes forth to be stoned, because he has practiced magic, enticed and led astray Israel. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and declare concerning him.' And they found nothing in his favor."

If armies of Jewish and Christian scholars insist on arguing about Mel Gibson's explosive movie "The Passion of the Christ," it would help if they were candid and started dealing with the hard passages in Jewish texts as well as the Christian scriptures.

At least, that's what David Klinghoffer thinks.

Read the entire article on the Terry Mattingly website.

Posted: 2/16/04



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