Forward Sort of Reviews Princeton Professor Peter Schaefer's book about Jesus in the Talmud

First, the essay "Do Jews Have a Jesus Problem?" in The Polymath column of the Forward by Jay Michaelson is not a book review. It's a free association on a topic.

Second, even if you don't care that it is not a book review and that it is a free association, you ought to care that it at least be an accurate essay in its non-genre. But it is not. Take this crucial claim for instance,
The image of Jesus that one gets from the Talmud is that of an illicit, sex-crazed black magician who uses trickery to lead Israel astray. In BT Sanhedrin 103a, Jesus is depicted as a poor disciple who “spoiled his food,” which Schafer speculates may be a euphemism for sexual misconduct: “to eat the dish” being a recognized Talmudic euphemism known for the sex act itself. A later emendation adds that he “practiced magic and led Israel astray.” And the virgin birth is ridiculed as a cover-up of Jesus’ true parentage: His mother was an “illicit woman” (another Talmudic locution), perhaps even a prostitute.

Strong stuff — no wonder they don’t teach it in Sunday school...more...
(Huh?) I don't see how you can get away in this day and age with saying "strong stuff" about a Princeton professor's interpretation of euphemisms which may or may not be accurate, when the text itself is cryptic and miniscule and incidental to the Talmud as a great literature.

They don't "teach it in Sunday school," because they don't teach what is not there, what may not be true and what is a flea circus in a side show - when there are dramatic main events going on in the big tent.

So there we have a non-review of a speculative book by a Christian scholar writing about peripheral ephemeral texts which comprise a microscopic sample of the Talmud - itself a primary source of our sophisticated Judaic wisdom and learning. (Purchase the Schaefer book here?) (See David Klinghoffer's non-review of the same book here.)

Sorry, I must go now and return to the planet earth where I am working on my current research project - professional wrestlers in classical opera.

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