There are various other references to Jesus in the Talmud, although most are from later periods of formulation and are of questionable historical value. For instance, one reference indicates that Jesus was treated differently from others who led the people astray, for he was connected with royalty.^42 The first portion of this statement is very possibly an indication of the fact that Jesus was crucified instead of being stoned. The second part could be referring to Jesus being born of the lineage of David, or it could actually be a criticism of the Christian belief that Jesus was the Messiah. Another possible reference to Jesus states that he was either thirty-three or thirty-four years old when he died.^43 Many other allusions and possible connections could be mentioned, such as derision of the Christian doctrine of the virgin birth^44 and references to Mary, Jesus’ mother,^45 but these depend on questions of identification of pseudonyms and other such issues.
Because of the questionable nature and dates of these latter Talmudic references, we will utilize only the two earlier passages from the Tannaitic period in our study. While the latter references are interesting and may reflect older traditions, we cannot be sure. Toledoth Jesu
This anti-Christian document not only refers to Jesus, but gives an interesting account of what happened to Jesus’ body after his death. It relates that his disciples planned to steal his body. However, a gardener named Juda discovered their plans and dug a new grave in his garden. Then he removed Jesus’ body from Joseph’s tomb and placed it in his own newly dug grave. The disciples came to the original tomb, found Jesus’ body gone and proclaimed him risen. The Jewish leaders also proceeded to Joseph’s tomb and found it empty. Juda then took them to his grave and dug up the body of Jesus. The Jewish leaders were greatly relieved and wanted to take the body. Juda replied that he would sell them the body of Jesus and did so