“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it” (Am. 8:11-12).
“And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed” (Isa. 6:9-10).
“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart” (2 Co. 3:14-15).
“Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house” (Eze. 12:2).
“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant..” (Isa. 56:10).
“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men” (Isa. 29:13).
“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (Mr. 7:9).
Over the past 2,000 years Israel has abandoned the Holy Scriptures delivered to her prophets and has created a religion based upon vain tradition. It is called rabbinical Judaism. At its heart and soul is the Talmud.
The Talmud (Hebrew, “instruction” or “learning”) is a collection of commentaries by Jewish rabbis which have become a higher authority than the Bible itself in orthodox Judaism. While Talmudic Jews give lip service to the “613 commandments” (mitzvot) of the Mosaic law or Torah, they have exalted their tradition far above God’s Word.
The Talmud is also called Shas, which is a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim (“six orders”), a reference to the Talmud’s six sections.
“The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart’s blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs or ceremonies we observe--whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or merely spasmodic sentimentalists--we follow the Talmud. It is our common law” (Herman Wouk, The Talmud: Heart's Blood of the Jewish Faith, 1959).
A Collection of Pharisaical Teaching
The Talmud is a compilation of Jewish tradition that began with the Pharisees. It is basically a massive collection of Pharisaical teaching.
“The Jewish religion as it is today traces its descent, without a break, through all the centuries, from the Pharisees. Their leading ideas and methods found expression in a literature of enormous extent, of which a very great deal is still in existence. The Talmud is the largest and most important single piece of that literature ... and the study of it is essential for any real understanding of Pharisaism” (“Pharisees,” Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, 1943).
“With the destruction of the Temple (AD 70) the Sadducees disappeared altogether, leaving the regulation of all Jewish affairs in the hands of the Pharisees. Henceforth, Jewish life was regulated by the Pharisees; the whole history of Judaism was reconstructed from the Pharisaic point of view, and a new aspect was given to the Sanhedrin of the past. A new chain of tradition supplanted the older priestly tradition (Abot 1:1). Pharisaism shaped the character of Judaism and the life and thought of the Jew for all the future” (Jewish Encyclopedia, 1905).
“Pharasaism became Talmudism. ... the spirit of the ancient Pharisee survives unaltered. When the Jew ... studies the Talmud, he is actually repeating the arguments used in the Palestinian academies. From Palestine to Babylonia; from Babylonia to North Africa, Italy. Spain, France and Germany; from these to Poland. Russia and Eastern Europe generally, ancient Pharasaism has wandered” (Louis Finklestein, The Pharisees; in 1937 Finklestein was called one of 120 most prominent rabbis in the world).
The Pharisees rejected Jesus as the Christ, despised His warnings, and have been plunged into ever-deepening spiritual darkness.
Consider the following condemnations that Jesus issued against the Pharisees:
“Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye” (Mark 7:5-13).
“And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matthew 13:14-15).
“But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them” (John 12:37-40).
“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:1-33).
Jesus’ sharp but compassionate warnings to the Jewish leaders were rejected, and He was crucified as an evil doer.
When Jesus died, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom, signifying that the way to God was open through the perfect atonement of His Son (Matthew 27:51).
The shadows of the Levitical offerings were replaced with the substance of the Lamb of God. But the Pharisees repaired the veil and continued in their vain traditions.
Two Parts of the Talmud
The Talmud is composed of two major parts:
First, there is the MISHNAH, which is a rabbinic commentary on the Torah (Pentateuch). The rabbis cited in the Mishnah are known as the Tannaim. The Mishnah was completed in about AD 200 by Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi (c. 135-219). Also called “Judah the Prince,” “Rabbi Judah,” “Judah the Patriarch,” and “Rabbi HaQadosh” (“holy teacher”), Hanasi is buried in Bet She’arim, which is a national park today.
The Mishnah is called “the second law” and “the oral law” and is said to date back to the giving of the written law on Mt. Sinai and to have been passed along orally from generation to generation. Thus the Mishnah is an addition to Scripture that is held in equal authority with Scripture by Orthodox Jews. But the Mishnah is filled with debate, argument, and disagreement. Nothing is concrete and settled. The rabbis argue about such things as whether meat and cheese can be on the same table and how much water validates a ritual bath.
Second, there is the GEMARA (“completion”) which consists of rabbinical comments, debates, and arguments about the Mishnah. The rabbis of the Gemara are known as Amoraim.
Thus the Gemara is a commentary on a commentary.
The term “Talmud” can refer to the Gemara alone or to the Mishnah and the Gemara together.
Two Major Editions
There are two major editions of the Talmud.
The Jerusalem Talmud, also called the Palestinian Talmud or the Talmud de-Eretz Yisrael (“Talmud of the Land of Israel”), was composed in synagogues in Galilee, Tiberias, and Caesarea between AD 200-400.
The Babylonian Talmud was compiled in Babylon and completed in about AD 500. The Babylonian Talmud is the highest Talmudic authority.
The Talmud is organized topically into six major divisions and subjects (called Sedarim): Zeraim (seeds, dealing with agriculture in the land of Israel and offerings of produce), Moed (festivals) Nashim (women, dealing with issues between the sexes and the laws of marriage and divorce), Nezikin (damages, dealing with civil and criminal law), Kodashim (sacrifices and offerings), Taharoth (cleanness, dealing with laws of purity).
“... included are topics as diverse as agriculture, architecture, astrology, astronomy, dream interpretation, ethics, fables, folklore, geography, history, legend, magic, mathematics, medicine, metaphysics, natural sciences, proverbs, theology, and theosophy” (“Talmud and Midrash,” Encyclopedia Britannia).
The Babylonian Talmud consists of 6,200 pages of printed text and contains the opinions of thousands of rabbis.
Midrash Method of Interpretation
The method of interpretation in the Mishnah is called midrash. (Midrash also refers to a body of commentary on Scripture separate from the Talmud which uses the midrash method.) The midrash encompasses multiple methods of interpretation: peshat (the plain or simple meaning), remez (deep meaning detected by hints in the text), sod (secret or hidden meaning). The focus is on an allegorical, metaphorical, mystical method of interpretation that has resulted in wild-eyed commentaries that themselves are to be interpreted as metaphors. Nothing is concrete.
Even Talmudists admit that the Talmud is unclear. In a video documentary on the Talmud at the museum at Katzrin, a Talmudic community from the 4th to the 7th centuries, the following statement is made: “The Tanakh [Old Testament Scripture] is clear and unquestioning, but the Talmud begins with controversy.”
Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel, described the Talmud as follows: “When we entered high school, we also studied a range of Jewish texts, especially the supreme source of Torah commentary and religious legal tradition, the Talmud. I can still remember one of our teachers quoting a phrase used over the centuries by some of our greatest sages: that there are ‘seventy faces’ to the Torah. In other words, our scripture invites multiple interpretations, often contradictory, yet all valuable—a precept central to the vitality, and the argumentativeness ‘for the sake of God,’ that have always underpinned Judaism” (Barak, My Country, My Life).
The Talmud and Jesus
Early editions of the Talmud cursed Jesus as a bastard, an evil man, a magician, and a fool, and claimed that Jesus was sent to hell. Consider the following:
“Jesus was a bastard born of adultery” (Yebamoth 49b).
“Jesus was a magician and a fool. Mary was an adulteress” (Shabbath 104b).
“Jesus was guilty of sorcery and apostasy” (Sanhedrin 43a).
“Mary was a whore: Jesus (Balaam) was an evil man” (Sanhedrin 106a & b).
“Jesus was sent to Hell, where he is punished by boiling excrement for mocking Rabbis” (Gittin 56b, 57a).
When confronted with such statements in the Middle Ages by Roman Catholics, rabbis, to avoid persecution, argued that Jesus was a common Jewish name and claimed that the references did not refer to Jesus of Nazareth or to His mother Mary. This type of deception was called “taqiyya,” meaning “prudent dissimulation.” It was practiced toward Roman Catholic Christians and toward Muslims.
Because of these controversies, some things were changed and other things removed from the Talmud.
“Advocates for the Catholic Church alleged that the Talmud contained blasphemous references to Jesus and his mother, Mary. Jewish apologists during the disputations said there were no references to Jesus in the Talmud, and claimed Joshua and its derivations was a common Jewish name, that they referred to other individuals. The disputations led to many of the references being removed (censored) from subsequent editions of the Talmud. ...
“During the Middle Ages a series of debates on Judaism were staged by the Christian church--including the Disputation of Paris, the Disputation of Barcelona, and Disputation of Tortosa--and during those disputations, Jewish converts to Christianity, such as Pablo Christiani and Nicholas Donin, claimed the Talmud contained insulting references to Jesus. An early work describing Jesus in the Talmud was Pugio Fidei (Dagger of Faith) (c. 1280) by the Catalan Dominican Ramón Martí, a Jewish convert to Christianity. In 1681 Johann Christoph Wagenseil translated and published a collection of anti-Christian polemics from Jewish sources, with the title Tela Ignea Satanæ, sive Arcani et Horribiles Judæorum Adversus Christum, Deum, et Christianam Religionem Libri (Flaming Arrows of Satan, that is, the secret and horrible books of the Jews against Christ, God, and the Christian religion) which discussed Jesus in the Talmud. The first book devoted solely to the topic of Jesus in the Talmud was the Latin work Jesus in Talmude published in 1699 by Rudolf Martin Meelführer, a student of Wagenseil at Altdorf. In 1700, Johann Andreas Eisenmenger published Entdecktes Judenthum (Judaism Unmasked), which included descriptions of Jesus in the Talmud, and which would become the basis of much anti-Semitic literature in later centuries such as The Talmud Unmasked written in 1892 by Justinas Bonaventure Pranaitis” (“Jesus in the Talmud,” Wikipedia).
Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides or Rambam), who is often called the greatest rabbi, taught that Jesus was a deceiver who fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy of the antichrist:
“But if he does not meet with full success, or is slain, it is obvious that he is not the Messiah promised in the Torah. He is to be regarded like all the other wholehearted and worthy kings of the House of David who died and whom the Holy One, blessed be he, raised up to test the common people, as it is written Some of the wise shall fall, so that they may be refined, purified, and cleansed, until the time of the end, for there is still an interval until the time appointed [Da. 11:35] Even of Jesus of Nazareth, who imagined that he was the Messiah, but was put to death by the court, Daniel had prophesied, as it is written, The lawless sons of your own people shall lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they shall fail [Da. 11:14]. For has there ever been a greater stumbling than this? All the prophets affirmed that the Messiah would redeem Israel, save them, gather their dispersed members, and confirm the commandments. But he caused Israel to be destroyed by the sword, their remnant to be dispersed and humiliated. He was instrumental in changing the Torah and causing the world to err and serve another beside God. But it is beyond the human mind to fathom the designs of the Creator; for our ways are not his ways, neither are our thoughts his thoughts. All these matters relating to Jesus of Nazareth and the Ishmaelite [Muhammad] who came after him, only served to clear the way for King Messiah, to prepare the whole world to worship God with one accord, as it is written, At that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord [Zep. 3:9]” (cited from Joel Kraemer, Maimonides).
Maimonides rejected the Bible’s teaching that describes God in terms of corporeality.
“Maimonides was convinced that belief in God’s corporeality is worse than idolatry, for the object of worship is not God at all. A God in human form, with human emotions, was not the Lord God of the universe, but a fabrication of the human imagination. One who believed this did not merit a place in the world hereafter” (Joel Kraemer, Maimonides).
This was a reflection of the Pharisees’ teaching that Christ is not God. Though Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies by being born in Bethlehem, being preceded by and announced by John, growing up in Galilee, performing great healing miracles, announcing the kingdom, etc., the Pharisees rejected Him because He claimed to be God (Joh. 5:18; 10:32-33). They didn’t believe their own Scriptures, which plainly states that Christ is God incarnate (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7). When the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, they didn’t merely reject Jesus, they rejected God. When they rejected the Son, they rejected the Father, as Jesus warned (Joh. 5:22-23; 8:42; 15:23).
Even today, Talmudic Jews typically treat Jesus with disrespect.
Consider, for example, David Flusser, late Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University. He refused to accept Jewish Christians as authentic Jews, and he despised Jesus even though he wrote a book entitled The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius.
“Like his tutor at the Hebrew University, Prof. Joseph Klausner, Flusser seldom employed the biblical name Yeshua, which holds the deep Hebraic meaning of divine salvation. Instead, he spoke and wrote about Yeshu. He well knew that in Yeshu the original spiritual message was absent. Within Jewish tradition, when Yeshu appears as an acronym, it is a derogatory Hebrew nickname, meaning ‘may his name and memory be obliterated’” (Gershon Nerel, “David Flusser and Modern Jewish Yeshua-Believers,” Israel Today, Nov. 2017).
Jewish scholar Yochi Brades, daughter of prominent Hassidic Rabbi Yitzhak Rabinovitz, says that she was taught to call Jesus “Yeshu,” meaning, “May his name and memory be blotted out,” which reflects the historic position of rabbinic Judaism dating back to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day (“Influential Israelis Speak about Jesus,” Israel Today, May 2017).
In light of the New Testament record in the Gospels and Acts, there can be no doubt that the ancient rabbis hated Jesus and persecuted Christians. The high priests created the fabulous and impossible lie that the disciples stole Jesus’ body.
“Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” (Mat. 28:11-15).
Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was put to death by these same Jews.
“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:55-60).
Before he was murdered, Stephen indicted the rabbis as follows:
“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51).
This is God’s indictment upon them until they repent, renounce their vain tradition, and bow before Jesus as the Messiah.
For its part, the Roman Catholic Church became a persecutor of Jews. As we have seen, Jews were murdered in the Catholic Crusades, for example. This is not true Christianity. In the New Testament Scripture, there is no pope, no papal throne, no papal palaces, no archbishops, no bishops other than humble pastors, no unmarried pastors, no infant baptism, no baptismal regeneration, no mass, no host, no Mary veneration, no sainthood, no priesthood other than the priesthood of all believers, no veneration of relics, no holy pilgrimages. The Roman Catholic Church is clearly and undeniably a false “church” that was prophesied by the apostles and prophets, and its persecution of Jews was part of its apostasy.
True Bible-believing Christians have never persecuted anyone or tried to bring people to faith in Christ by force. “Faith” that is forced is not biblical faith.
Talmud and the Destruction of the Second Temple
Rabbinic Judaism as reflected in the Talmud has refused to take the blame for the destruction of the Second Temple and the Jewish Diaspora. Most of the reasons given in the Talmud for the destruction of the temple pertain to disobedience to or neglect of rabbinical traditions.
Failure to recite a blessing on the Torah prior to its study (Bava Metzia 85b)
Failure to keep the sabbath (Shabbat 119b)
Failure to observe the Kriat Shema twice daily (Shabbat 119b)
Failure to value prominent leaders (Shabbat 119b)
Disparaging the Torah scholars (Shabbat 119b)
Acting improperly during Kodashim sacrifices (Sifrei, Korach 16)
Other reasons are given, such as baseless hatred and injustice, but the previous ones are prominent.
The Talmud is filled with nonsense.
F.W. Farrar, in his preface to Paul Herson’s A Talmudic Miscellany, said, “But yet I venture to say that it would be impossible to find less wisdom, less eloquence, and less high morality, imbedded in a vaster bulk of what is utterly valueless to mankind--to say nothing of those parts of it which are indelicate and even obscene--in any other national literature of the same extent.”
Talmud Judaism is a fulfillment of Deuteronomy 28:28, which says that God would smite Israel “with madness, and blindness.”
Talmud Judaism is a fulfillment of the prophecy of a famine of hearing God’s Word.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).
During her wanderings, Israel carefully and tediously preserved the Scriptures by the hands of the Massorites, but the word of God was hidden under layers of vain tradition so the words could not be clearly heard. And a vail was upon the hearts of the readers so that they could not understand what they were reading.
“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart” (2 Co. 3:14-15).
Though Israel has the word of God in her own Scriptures that are kept in the arks of her synagogues and read every sabbath and venerated in her ceremonies, she is spiritually famished and not fed from God’s words. She has wandered everywhere seeking the word of God, trying to find the rabbi with the right interpretation.
B.H. Carroll, first president of the Southwestern Theological Seminary, said, “[The Talmud] may be likened to ‘a continent of mud,’ or, on account of the dryness of the matter, to the Sahara Desert minus its oases. It is as unpalatable as sawdust bread. Its diet is as void of nutritive properties as the sick soldier’s soup, according to his own hyperbolic description: ‘A piece of blue beef held up between the sun and a pot of boiling water, so as to boil its shadow’” (An Interpretation of the English Bible).
Maurice Harris in the preface to Hebraic Literature, 1901, says of the Talmud, “If we take it as a whole, it is good, it is bad and indifferent; it is trash and it is treasure; it is dust and it is diamonds; it is potsherd and it is pearls...”
The trash, dust, and potsherd side is very large.
Consider some examples of nonsense taught in the Talmud:
The Talmud teaches that Adam’s first day was divided into twelve hours, and that he sinned and was expelled from the garden that day.
“R. Johanan b. Hanina said: The day consisted of twelve hours. In the first hour, his [Adam’s] dust was gathered; in the second, it was kneaded into a shapeless mass. In the third, his limbs were shaped; in the fourth, a soul was infused into him; in the fifth, he arose and stood on his feet; in the sixth, he gave [the animals] their names; in the seventh, Eve became his mate; in the eighth, they ascended to bed as two and descended as four; in the ninth, he was commanded not to eat of the tree, in the tenth, he sinned; in the eleventh, he was tried, and in the twelfth he was expelled [from Eden] and departed, for it is written, Man abideth not in honour.”
Talmud teaches that “God puts on phylacteries and prays, studies the law, weeps, and mourns” (Joel Kraemer, Maimonides, p. 432).
The Talmud teaches that angels were best men at Adam’s marriage. “R. Abbahu said: The Holy One, blessed be He, took a cup of blessing and blessed them. R. Judah b. R. Simon said: Michael and Gabriel were Adam’s ‘best men’” (Bereishth Rabbah 18:13).
Consider other examples of Talmudic nonsense:
“It is indiscreet for one to sleep in a house as the sole occupant, for Lilith will seize hold of him” (Shabbath., fol. 151, col. 2; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala; www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl04.htm). “Lilith is the name of a night ghost, said to have been Adam's first wife, but who, for her refractory conduct, was transformed into a demon endowed with power to injure and even destroy infants unprotected by the necessary amulet or charm.”
“He who passes seven nights in succession without dreaming deserves to be called wicked” (Berachoth, fol. 14, col. 1; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl10.htm).
“A dog in a strange place does not bark for seven years” (Berachoth, fol. 61, col. 1; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl10.htm).
“There are seven skies: Villon, Raakia, Shechakim, Zevul, Mason, Maachon, and Aravoth” (Chaggigah, fol. 12, col. 2; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl10.htm).
“Once upon a time a demon in the shape of a seven-headed dragon came forth against Rav Acha and threatened to harm him, but the Rabbi threw himself on his knees, and every time he fell down to pray he knocked off one of these heads, and thus eventually killed the dragon” (Kiddushin, fol. 29, col. 2; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl10.htm).
“Seven years did the nations of the world cultivate their vineyards with no other manure than the blood of Israel” (Gittin, fol. 57, col. 1; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl10.htm).
“A male hyæna after seven years becomes a bat; this after seven years, a vampire; this after other seven years, a nettle; this after seven years more, a thorn; and this again after seven years is turned into a demon. If a man does not devoutly bow during the repetition of the daily prayer which commences, ‘we reverently acknowledge,’ his spine after seven years becomes a serpent” (Bava Kama, fol. 6, col. 1; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl10.htm).
“The Rabbis have taught that a man should not drink water on Wednesdays and Saturdays after night-fall, for if he does, his blood, because of risk, will be upon his own head. What risk? That from an evil spirit who on these evenings prowls abroad. But if the man be thirsty, what is he to do? Let him repeat over the water the seven voices ascribed to the Lord by David in Psalm 29:3-9, ‘The voice of the Lord is upon the waters,’ etc.” (P'sachim, fol. 112, col. 1; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl10.htm).
When the doors of the Temple were opened the creaking of the hinges was heard at the distance of eight Sabbath days’ journey (Yoma, fol. 39, col. 2; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl11.htm).
“... women are light-minded, i. e., of shallow natural endowment, on which any serious discipline would be thrown away” (Kiddushin, fol. 80, col. 2; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl12.htm).
God weeps every day (Chaggigah, fol. 3, col. 2; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl12.htm).
God utters a curse against those who remain single after they are twenty years of age; and those who marry at sixteen please him, and those who do so at fourteen still more (Kiddushin, fol. 29, col. 2; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl12.htm).
God is described as exacting an atonement for His own miscreations; as, for instance, His diminishing the size of the moon (Shevuoth, fol. 9, col. 1; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl12.htm).
Ten things cause hemorrhoids: Eating cane leaves, the foliage and tendrils of the vine, the palate of cattle, the backbones of fish, half-cooked salt fish, wine lees, etc. (Berachoth, fol. 55, col. 1; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl13.htm).
“Rabbi Huna the son of Rabbi Yehoshua ‘would not walk four cubits with an uncovered head’” (Kiddushin 31a). This is the basis for Orthodox men wearing head coverings in prayer, though it is not taught in Scripture.
“The Rabbis taught: On coming from a privy [outdoor toilet] a man should not have sexual intercourse till he has waited long enough to walk half a mile, because the demon of the privy is with him for that time; if he does, his children will be epileptic” (Gittin 70a, www.come-and-hear.com/gittin/gittin_70.html).
The Talmud contains nonsensical teaching about the resurrection.
According to the Talmud and the Zohar (Kabbalah), after the Messiah comes, dead Jews in Jerusalem will be resurrected first, but those who are buried outside of Jerusalem will roll like gourds to Israel in tunnels that God will create. The Talmud says the rolling will probably be painful. The luz bone of the deceased (possibly the coccyx) will be anointed with the “dew of the resurrection” which is stored in the highest heaven called Arabot. The bone will become as soft as dough and from it the resurrection body will grow. This is why many Jews pay tens of thousands of dollars to be buried in Jerusalem.
The Talmud exalts the wisdom of the rabbis to the level of God’s Word, even above God Himself.
Even contradictory statements by rival schools of rabbis (Hillel and Shammai) are the “words of the living God” (Eruvin 13b).
The Talmud claims that God acknowledges His weakness in argument, having been defeated by the rabbis! After describing a ridiculous exchange between rabbis, the following statement is supposedly made by God:
“My children have vanquished me! My children have vanquished me! They have defeated me in argument” (Bava Metzia, fol. 59, col. 2; Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl12.htm).
Bava Metzia, fol. 86, col. 1 says that after one of God’s decisions was controverted by “the Academy” in heaven, the matter was settled by a rabbi brought from earth to judge the case.
The Talmud has many ingenuous ways to circumvent God’s commandments about moral purity.
For example, tractate Yebamouth, Folio 54a, describes a situation in which a man falls from a roof and “accidentally” fornicates with his sister-in-law. In such a case, the rabbis say that no indignity resulted since it was not “intentionally caused.” The entire scene is ridiculous, unholy, obscene, and contrary to God’s law, but it is typical of many passages in the Talmud. (I am not going to quote the actual Talmud statement, because it is filthy.)
Leviticus 15:19-24 says that a woman is unclean during her menstrual period and if a man lie with her, he also becomes unclean. But the Talmud, in Horayoth 4a, says “that a woman is not regarded as a ‘zabah’ [one with a discharge] except during the daytime because it is written, ‘all the days of her issue.’”
Yebamouth, Folio 59a, 59b, says that a woman who has intercourse with beasts is not a harlot and can thus marry a high priest. The rabbis argue that “if the disqualification should be extended to unnatural intercourse also, you will find no woman eligible to marry a [high priest, since there is not one] who has not been in some way. ... which proves that unnatural intercourse does not cause a woman to be forbidden to marry a high priest” (cited from Elizabeth Dilling, The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today, p. 396, citing the Babylonian Talmud, Soncino Press 1936 edition). This is in direct opposition to Leviticus 20:16 and 21:7.
The Talmud justifies pedophilia.
“Rab said: Pederasty with a child below nine years of age is not deemed as pederasty with a child above that. Samuel said: Pederasty with a child below three years is not treated as with a child above that. What is the basis of their dispute? — Rab maintains that only he who is able to engage in sexual intercourse, may, as the passive subject of pederasty throw guilt [upon the active offender]; whilst he who is unable to engage in sexual intercourse cannot be a passive subject of pederasty [in that respect]” (Sanhedrin, Folio 54a; www.come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_54.html).
“R. Joseph said: Come and hear! A maiden aged three years and a day may be acquired in marriage by coition, and if her deceased husband’s brother cohabits with her, she becomes his” (Sanhedrin 55b; www.come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_55.html).
"Sexual intercourse with a girl less than three is ‘nothing’” (Kethuboth 11b, p. 58).
“R. Eleazar further stated: What is meant by the Scriptural text, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh? This teaches that Adam had intercourse with every beast and animal but found no satisfaction until he cohabited with Eve” (Yebamoth 63a, www.come-and-hear.com/yebamoth/yebamoth_63.html).
The Talmud teaches that the serpent lusted after Mary. “Said R. Joshua b. Karhah: It teaches you through what sin that wicked creature inveigled them, viz. because he saw them engaged in their natural functions, he [the serpent] conceived a passion for her” (Rabbah 18:6).
The concept of “shekinah” is from the Talmud. It is often identified with the glory of God mentioned in Scripture (Ex. 16:10; 24:16; 40:34), even by Christians, but the Hebrew term for “glory” in Scripture is “kabowd”; “shekinah” is never used.
Shekinah appears often in the Babylonian Talmud, and it refers to a manifestation of God or the presence of God. It is likened to the flow of divine energy or the reflected light of God.
The Talmud says, “Whenever ten are gathered for prayer, there the Shekinah rests” (Sanhedrin 39a), and, “Wheresoever they were exiled, the shekinah went with them” (Megillah 29a).
In Kabbalah, shekinah is supposed to be the feminine aspect of God.
Shekinah is supposed to abide in and permeate particular objects such as the Temple Mount. Many of those who pray at the western wall of the Temple Mount are trying to connect with God via shekinah.
The Zohar identifies the shekinah with the “sabbath bride” (“Shabbat Hamalka”) who visits those who celebrate the sabbath. There is an obvious connection with ancient goddess worship:
“On Friday night, all the men, representing Yesod, went to receive the Bride in the open fields around town. The poetry they recited for the ritualistic greeting included many allusions to the ‘Sacred Apple Orchard,’ a mystical place where God and his consort Shekhina celebrated their union and conceived the Souls of the Just. The connection to Ashera, who was always worshiped in glades and groves, is obvious.
“Each man returned home to be received by his wife, who represented the Shekhina/Shabbat. All other females of the household were also honored on Friday evening. The husband picked up branches of myrtle, the symbol of marriage which was always prepared for weddings as well. He then recited Chapter 31, Verses 10-31 of the Book of Proverbs, describing the ‘Woman of Valor,’ and relating the verse mystically to both his wife and Shabbat Hamalka, thus merging their images for the evening in a cosmic/spiritual context. The ritual and festive meal continued well into the night, leading to the hour of midnight, when it was considered a spiritual duty to retire and have a sacred sexual union between husband and wife. Midnight was chosen because according to Kabbalistic tradition, this was the exact time when the highest aspects of the male and the female sides of the godhead performed their own union.
“Judaism never considered sexual activity to be sinful or distasteful. Nor did it assume it was a pleasure only for the man and a mere duty for the woman, as some other religions or customs did. ... Therefore, the mutual feeling of sanctity and love between husband and wife, mirrored in the mystical union between God and Shabbat Hamalka, was essential in establishing the strong Jewish home mentioned above.
“At the end of the day, the men assembled again, usually at the rabbi's house, for the ‘Melaveh Malka’ ritual, meaning ‘Farewell to the Queen.’ The ceremony included singing songs in her honor, eating and drinking, and a lecture or discussion. The Queen then departed and the work week, full of hardship and sometimes suffering, was about to begin again. The entire community, however, was always keenly aware that Shabbat Hamalka would never be away from them for more than six days” (Ilil Arbel, “Shabbat Hamalka,” Encyclopedia Mythica).
The examples of the nonsense, moral filth, blasphemies, and heresies contained in the Talmud could be expanded greatly.
“The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart” (Deuteronomy 28:28).
Kosher food is food prepared according to Talmudic tradition.
It begins with the Levitical laws pertaining to clean and unclean animals (forbidding pork and shrimp, for example) and forbidding the eating of blood (kosher animals are slaughtered, then bled out and washed).
But this is just the beginning.
Kosher heaps layers of tradition upon the Scripture’s precepts.
For example, consider the simple law of God forbidding a kid to be seethed in its mother’s milk (De. 14:21). Jewish tradition adds layers of strict laws to this simple prohibition. Talmudic kosher prohibits cooking a mixture of milk and meat, eating a cooked mixture of milk and meat, and deriving any benefit from a cooked mixture of milk and meat.
Kosher even requires that separate cooking utensils and dishes and cutlery be used for meat (“fleishig”) and dairy (“milchig”) products so there is no chance of cross contamination. The set of utensils for food containing dairy products is known by the Hebrew word halavi, while the set for meat is basari.
Orthodox Jews wait for at least six hours between eating meat and eating dairy products, since food leaves fragments between the teeth and there is the chance of the two being mixed in the mouth!
On a trip to Israel in 2010, a member of our party had the following experience that illustrates the fanatical length to which orthodox Jews will go to keep kosher:
“We were staying at the kibbutz on the southern end of the Sea of Galilee, and we were finishing breakfast that morning. I took my cup of tea with milk and thought I would walk around outside the building and enjoy the beautiful morning. After a couple of minutes, I noticed this guy was following me at a distance. He wasn’t saying anything; he was just keeping an eye on me. I thought I might have been imagining things, but this kept going on so I finally turned around and asked him if he needed something. He asked me if I could come back inside. I told him I was just finishing my tea and would be in in a minute. He was very insistent that I come in immediately, but I really didn’t understand the urgency. I pressed him to tell me why I needed to come in, and he explained that he was worried that my tea cup with milk would end up in the meat kitchen. He was exceedingly worried about that milk cup ending up in the wrong place.”
The Talmud and the Messiah
“If one studies these ancient rabbinical teachings about what they believed and expected their Messiah to do or not do, then it becomes clear WHY Jesus’ own disciples, for several years, refused to believe that their Lord would go to Jerusalem, die on the cross and rise the third day (e.g. Mt. 16:21-23; 17:22-23; Lu. 9:44-45; Mr. 16:9-14 with Lu. 24:36-43). Rabbinical theology (on which every pious Jew in Israel had cut his teeth), allowed no place for a crucified Messiah on the cross, dying for the sins of the world! It was totally foreign and alien teaching to every indoctrinated Hebrew mind. The Messiah preached in the synagogues and Temple precincts by the Rabbis would come with a sword in hand and destroy the Romans (called Edom); set up a physical, literal kingdom and rule the world in everlasting peace. To the disciple’s utter confusion, Jesus Messiah took a cross upon His back, dogged His footsteps to Calvary and there died for the sins of mankind! At first, this was beyond their theological comprehension. Later it took shape and the total picture came into focus. Even among some of the rabbis and priests it was finally understood (John 19:38-39). Such sections of the Hebrew Old Testament as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, now burst open with truth and fresh meaning” (Henry R. Pike, What Is the Jewish Talmud?).
The Apostle Paul and the Talmud
The apostle Paul (c. AD 5-67) lived before the writing of the Talmud, but he was educated in the same rabbinic learning that was later codified in the Talmud.
Paul, whose birth name was Saul, was educated at the feet of Gamaliel, a prominent Pharisee of that day, the grandson of Hillel, one of the founders of the Pharisees. Paul took his training seriously and followed the rabbinic line in rejecting Jesus as the Christ and persecuting the churches with a great zeal.
The following is Paul’s own testimony as he gave it to a crowd of Jews at the temple in Jerusalem. This was about AD 60, only a decade before the destruction of the temple by the Romans.
“I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women” (Acts 22:3-4).
On his way to Damascus to arrest Christians, Paul encountered the resurrected Christ and his life was dramatically changed. For the rest of his life he preached Jesus as the Christ in the face of great persecution from Jews, Romans, and others.
“And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:6-16).
Humanly speaking, Paul had nothing to gain and everything to lose by accepting Jesus as the Christ. Paul was treated as a traitor and heretic by the Jews. In the following passage from his epistle to the church at Corinth, Paul summarized his sufferings for Christ:
“Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27).
In spite of his suffering, Paul never regretted his decision to reject rabbinic Judaism. Looking back on his training, Paul said,
“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:4-11).
Though treated roughly for his “apostasy,” Paul loved the Jewish people and continue to preach Christ to them. His custom in every town and city was to go first to the synagogue and preach Jesus there.
Paul loved his own people so much that he was willing to be accursed for their sake if that were possible (which it isn’t).
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 9:1-5).
This is true Christianity.
The Jews were hated and persecuted by the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches and by some Protestants, but what most Jews and secular historians don’t understand is that those “churches” were not New Testament churches. They were churches founded on human tradition rather than on the teaching of Christ.
Every Bible-believing Christian from Paul’s day until now loves the Jews and wants them to be saved.
As Paul said,
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Ro. 1:16).
Paul understood that God will fulfill His covenants with Israel in His own time:
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Romans 11:25-27).
Bible-believing Christians are the best friends that Israel has in this world. They support the state of Israel and believe that Israel has a right to the land that God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are looking for the fulfillment of God’s covenants with Israel.
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