That Time Yeshua Taught the Sages

That Time Yeshua Taught the Sages
By
James Scott Trimm

We read in the Gospel of Luke:

41 Now his parents went to Yerushalayim every year at the Feast of Pesach.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Yerushalayim after the custom of the Feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Yeshua stayed behind in Yerushalayim; and Yosef and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Yerushalayim, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold, your father and I have sought you sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Know you not that I must be about my Father’s business?
50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52 And Yeshua increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
(Luke 2:41-52)

There is a very interesting account found in a document known as the Toldot Yeshu (2:34-38), which may shed additional light on this event.

Now on a certain day the rabbis were debating matters of civil damages.
Then began he to utter halachot before them.
Then said one of them to him, “Have you not heard that everyone that
speaks a halacha in the presence of his master is worthy of death?”
He said to that wise man, “Who is the master and who is the talmid? And
which of the two is wiser, Moshe or Yitro? Was it not Moshe, the father of
the prophets and chief of the wise men?
Moreover the Torah witnesses concerning him: And there arose not
since in Yisra’el a prophet like unto Moshe. (Deut. 34:10)
Furthermore Yitro was an alien, yet he dictated to Moshe right conduct, according to the saying: And set over them rulers of thousands and rulers of hundreds. (Ex. 18:21)
But if you therefore say that Yitro was greater than Moshe then would
there be an end to his greatness?” (Ex. 18:21)

The Toldot Yeshu was a hostile parody on the life of Yeshua. However, this material is not the slightest bit hostile towards Yeshua, and even portrays Yeshua as getting the best of the Rabbis in this debate!

In his monumental work on the subject, According to the Hebrews, Hugh Schonfield demonstrated that the Hostile Rabbinic parody Gospel known as the Toldot Yeshu was a probably parody based on the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Schonfield writes:

…the neglected—indeed despised—Toldoth Jeshu will be found on serious examination to supply a most important witness to the structure of the lost Gospel according to the Hebrews… the original Toldoth Jeshu was a counterblast to the Gospel according to the Hebrews. This is all the more likely when it is remembered that it was the Jewish custom to name their books from the opening words. Thus Exodus is in Hebrew Shemoth from the opening words of the book ‘we-eleh shemoth’. The title Toldoth Jeshu (Generations of Jesus) must have been taken from a book beginning with those words. The only known Gospel which does so is of course Matthew, which opens with: ‘The book of the Generations of Jesus.’ Now it was commonly held that the Gospel according to the Hebrews was the lost Hebrew Gospel of Matthew…
(According to the Hebrews; Hugh J. Schonfield; 1937; p.24)

…We would urge that our hypothesis that the Toldoth is based on Hebrews is proved not only by the similarities which we have illustrated, but by the overwhelming cumulative evidence,…
(According to the Hebrews; Hugh J. Schonfield; 1937; p.268)

This is just a sample of the important work of the Scripture Restoration Project.

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