- Regarding a) violence between Jesus people and (other) Jews, and b)
the Talmud, the most curious thing in my eyes is that, as regards the
root violence--that done to Jesus--the Babylonian Talmud (B. Sanh 43a)
records an older tradition that he was rightly put to death by the
Jewish authorities, without even a mention of Roman participation!
For convenient reference see Brown "Death" I, p.376.
Brown's Jewish consultant, Rabbi B.L. Visotsky accepts this fact, see
the footnote, 114.
So also does Rabbi Marc Saperstein.
The key for these two learned rabbis is the uncensored Munich ms.
(J. Neusner says somewhere that this is the only surviving ms. with
the complete text of the B. Talmud.)
How could such a tradition have possibly emerged, and how did it find
its way into the Talmud?
P.S. Also very curious: In the Middle Ages, the great Maimonides
repeats this same position--i.e., no mention of any Roman
participation, our people intervened before Jesus could do any harm,
etc. (he makes Jesus, who is about to mislead the people, sound like
Paul!)-- in his "Letter to Yemen" (See Twersky's "Maimonides Reader",
P.S. Saperstein, in the same lecture, mentions the Kabbalists who
believed that "the souls of Jews derived from the Godhead, whereas
those of the Gentiles came from a parallel, demonic realm of
impurity". He then goes on to refer to 15th and 16th c. mss which
give an original reading of the nativity, I quote, "The Kabbalists
accepted the Christian claim that Jesus had no human father, but in
place of the Holy Spirit they substituted Samael, the demonic
embodiment of evil."
And Kabbalistic ideas are not just an historic curiosity. You
probably won't find them too easily in Internet 'Pop-Kab', but they
were taken seriously upto quite recent times. And perhaps still are
today in some quarters!