TJ Comments

Comments are welcomed on the comparisons between the verses or passages shown from the Gospel of Matthew and their TJ parallels. TJ stands for Talmud of Jmmanuel, discovered in 1963 by Eduard Meier and Isa Rashid.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Breaking the discussions into chapter segments will help alleviate the congestion of too many comments and replies in any one thread. However, judging from the earlier discussions, a given thread on a particular chapter may still become so long as to need a new one. So I won’t yet set out headings for all the others, and/or for chapters previously discussed in part.

A forum already exists for discussing questions on the TJ, chapter by chapter, at "". If you desire to use that, after registering and logging in, click on “Books and Booklets Area,” then on “The Talmud of Jmmanuel.”


  • At 8:25 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    One of several interesting differences between Mt 14 and the TJ occurs at TJ 16:22 (paralled by Mt 14:17). In the TJ account at the feeding of the 5000, the disciples report to Jmmanuel that they have only 5 loaves and 3 fish.

  • At 8:03 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    It was said in connection with the details of Herod's birthday celebration:

    "Now it may be asked of the TJ, just as of Matthew, how did either writer learn of the details of Antipas' birthday celebration, and that, for example, Herodias had prompted her daughter to ask for the head of the Baptist? With Matthew or Mark we know of no answer to this question, but with the TJ, there is one. In the TJ's chapter 4 one of the marvels that Jmmanuel was shown during the period of 40 days and nights was a facility that permitted the guardian angels to view "the entire land of Israel, alive and true, humans and animals and everything that was there," with no secret being concealed (TJ 4:15-16)."

    TJ 16 and verse 17 says,

    "His disciples then came, took the body and buried it. Then they went to Jmmanuel and told him of the event."

    A Question:
    In the TJ, what do you suppose that "of the event" implies? Is "the event" simply the event of the death of John the Baptist or does the event refer to the entire celebration in Herod's place, implying that some of John's disciples were present at the celebration? Could there also be an implication that some of John's disciples spoke with the daughter of Herodias?

  • At 10:01 PM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    That's an interesting thought, a possibility, but a rather remote one I'd estimate. Would Herodias's daughter be at all willing to confide in one or more persons, such as John's disciples, whom she probably didn't know at all well, or at all? Wouldn't she, after the fact, be ashamed of having had any role at all in John's beheading?

  • At 11:05 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    I am not sure what you mean by your response. Are you saying that "of the event" simply refers to the death of John the Baptist, then? Or could it also mean that some of the disciples of John were at the celebration of Herod's birthday and the "event" refers to the celebration along with the death?

  • At 6:46 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Yes, the whole shebang. The possibility that Herodias's daughter or a close friend knew one of John's disciples well enough to confess to him the inside information of the celebration.

    With Mark's writeup, this possibiity seems slimmer than with Matthew, as there, John's disciples don't contact Jesus.

  • At 8:31 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    Herodias’ daughter knowing one of the disciples well enough to confess the inside information to him would not be the only possible reason why she would have told the information to the disciples, if such is indeed implied by the disciples having the ability to tell Jmmanuel of “the event,” as it appears in the TJ.

    According to the TJ, Herodias’ daughter loved John the Baptist and was a devoted follower of him. Even though it is not expressly mentioned, it could very well be assumed that between verses 16 and 17 of TJ chapter 16, the daughter remained close to the body of John the Baptist in mourning after she returned the head to her mother.

    All that would have needed to have happened, then, would have been for one of the disciples of John, after hearing that John the Baptist was beheaded as a result of the request of Herodias’ daughter (which would have been known by the one or ones who informed the disciples of John’s death), to find the daughter of Herodias (who could have been near the body of John when they came to take it for burial) and scold her for having done such a horrible deed.

    The daughter, even if she did not know the disciples well at all, out of love for John and out of her desire to defend herself, would have then told them what had actually happened (as purported by the TJ). It seems that all of the information contained about the event would have been easily retrieved from the allegedly grieving daughter of Herodias alone. It then seems that this possible encounter is how Jmmanuel retrieved the information of “the event” in order to be able to recall it later, which might be why the phrase "the event" appears in the TJ and not in Matthew or Mark.

    Of course, neither Matthew nor Mark would have required such an encounter with the disciples for them to have been able to retrieve the information since they were not departing from the area, never to return again, like the Jmmanuel of the TJ is reported to have done. The authors of Matthew and Mark would have had sufficient time to interview ones who were there long after the matter since both remained in the area for a long time afterwards.

  • At 11:10 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Ben wrote:
    It seems that all of the information contained about the event would have been easily retrieved from the allegedly grieving daughter of Herodias alone.

    The exception is TJ 16:11, "But Herodias' daughter did not know that Herod and her mother had agreed, even before the dance, to demand the head of John the Baptist through her."

  • At 8:28 PM , Blogger Ben said...

    According to the TJ, the daughter of Herodias was induced by her mother to ask for John's head before Herod asked his daughter for whatever she desired. Therefore, the daughter knew at the time she was making her statement that her mother desired John to be killed.

    I do not take verse 11 to mean that the daughter of Herodias never learned of her father's part in the conspiracy. I take verse 11 to mean that the daughter did not know of Herod's part while he was asking for her request and before the beheading. Up until that time, even before the time when she took the head of the Baptist to her mother, she did not know of her father's part in the crime.

    It is between verses 16 and 17 that an unknown length of time passed which could have been quite a bit of time. There is a good possibility that a confrontation between the daughter and her mother could have occurred at the time the head was brought to Herodias. Perhaps the daughter rebuked her mother for allowing such a horrible deed to occur or perhaps Herodias saw the extreme grief in her daughter's eyes and felt remorse. In either situation, in the same manner that the daughter could have defended herself upon being interrogated by one of John's disciples, the mother could have also tried to defend herself to her daughter, by saying that it was not her alone who performed the crime but that Herod also had his part in it and, perhaps, even persuaded her to do it. In this way, the mother would have moved some of the blame over to Herod and not have had to carry it by herself.

    If all of this did happen or something similar that would have produced the same results, the daughter could have informed the disciples of all of the details of the event.


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