Correcting the New Testament Version of Judaism

Yakov Leib haKohain

To base one's understanding of Jewish belief and practice on the way they are presented in the Gospels is a mistake of major proportions, since the latter is filled with incredible errors and disinformation about Judaism.

In this new series, I propose to make a Gospel-By-Gospel survey of these errors, as compiled by one of my teachers, a Gadol (acknowledged "Great Rabbi") of Israel and the Rosh Yeshivah -- which cannot be translated exactly, but rougly means "Head" -- of a leading Rabbinic Academy in Jerusalem, who prefers to remain anonymous (for obvious reasons). What follows is exerpted from his book, The Disputaion published by Scholarly Publications (149 Bury Old Road, Salford 7, England) in 1972.

I must emphasize that the purpose of this survey is not to debunk or discredit the New Testament or in any way show disrespect for Christianity or its Scriptures, but only to correct the erroneous way in which it characterizes Jewish belief and practice.  Even modern Christian scholars readily admit that although the Jesus event did take place, the way in which it was recorded and later changed over time is less than reliable.


Matt. 1.9: "And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias."

Joash, Amaziah and Azariah, although they appear in the Old Testament geneology, are omitted here so that Joram -- who was the great, great grandfather of Ozia (Uzziah) -- is made to appear to be his father. (See Chronicles 1:1-10)

Matt. 1:11: "And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethern, about the time they were carried away to Babylong."

Jeconias was his grandson, Jehoiakim being omitted.

Matt. 1:12: "Salathiel begat Zorobabel."

Zorobabel (Zerubbabel) was not the son of Salathiel, but the son of his brother, Pedaiah.

Matt. 2:23: "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, 'He shall be called a Nazarene.'"

There is no such Messianic prophecy anywhere in the Old Testament prophets.

Matt: 5:43: "Ye have heard it said, Thou shalt love they neighbor, and hate thine enemy."

The first part is from Leviticus 19:18; the second part is nowhere in the Old Testament.

Matt. 12:5: "Or have ye not read in the Law how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are blameless."

Certain laws of the Sabbath were not operative within the confines of the Temple -- for example, killing the animals and offering them up.  Thus, as any Jew would have known, the priests did not "profane" the sabbath by offering the sacrifices as stated here.

Matt. 21:1: "They drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives."

Bethphage is not on the Mount of Olives but, in fact, a few miles outside of Jerusalem.

Matt. 28:9-10: "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, 'And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value. And gave them for a potter's field as the Lord appointed me'"

There is no such passage in Jeremiah; it actually appears in Zehariah 11:12-13.

Matt. 28:15-16: "Now at that feast [of the Passover] the govenor was wont to release unto the [Jewish] people a [Jewish] prisoner, whom they called for. And they called for Barabbas."

There is no such custom as the so-called "Passover Privilege" -- because of which the Jews (who the NT says chose Barabbas over Jesus) were massacred throughout Europe every Easter -- recorded anywhere in any source other than this one passage of the Gospels. Scholars seriously question whether it even occured then.

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Yakov Leib haKohain
posted on the Donmeh West mail list
Sun, 24 Oct 1999

About the author: external link Yakov Leib haKohain is a Jewish poet, author, teacher and Sabbatian Kabbalist. He holds a doctorate in Jungian Studies and Comparative Religion, and his poetry and essays have appeared in a number of literary magazines and scholarly journals. He is founder and moderator of the Donmeh West forum

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uploaded on 25 October 1999