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.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


More comments may be made here on my Matthew-versus-TJ comparison at .


  • At 11:58 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Ben’s 4:56 PM comments on the criticisms found under discussion of MT 2:19-20, where Deardorff’s criticisms of Matthew included this:
    …This would mean that Jmmanuel/Jesus was born around A.D. 6, not 6 B.C., if the census of Caesar Augustus mentioned in Lk 2:1-2 actually occurred during the known reign of Quirinius, governor of Syria, as Luke (and the TJ) both imply…. Wiseman thus gives two reasons for believing that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod Antipas, not King Herod. Previously there had been only one reason (the known timing of the reign of Quirinius), which was insufficient to overcome the Matthean tradition involving King Herod… One verse contradicting this solution is Lk 1:5 ("In the days of Herod, king of Judea..."). It can be explained as one of the considerable number of errors made by the writer of Luke, in this case occasioned by his starting to follow the text of Matthew in the Infancy narrative before creating his own text for it. This purported error is compensated by the reference in Acts 5:37 to Judas the Galilean initiating his uprising "in the days of the census." This uprising is believed to have occurred in A.D. 6, and so further dates the decree of Caesar Augustus to that year.

    Ben’s 4:56 PM Comment (came from “NEW SPACE FOR MORE COMMENTS ON TJ 3 OR 4):
    Luke 2:1 tells of a decree from Caesar Augustus to have the whole “world” taxed (where "oikoumene" actually means all of the world under the authority of Rome at that time). From Luke 1:5, it is seen that Luke was saying that this census occurred while King Herod, also known as “Herod the Great” was still alive.

    Deardorff responds:
    But I have kept in mind the likelihood that the writer of Matthew was the source of a falsehood that J was born under the reign of King Herod rather than Herod Antipas. This was a simple alteration for him to make in the TJ text, and I have pointed out a likely reason for his doing it, along with the considerable number of apparently inauthentic verses in this portion of Matthew pointed out by several rather capable exegists. The writer of Luke then followed Matthew at this point, either through accident or desire.

    If the assumption is to be made that the writer of Matthew was as honest a writer/editor as we hope today’s standards dictate, then there is no need to even compare the Gospel of Matthew against the TJ. By that reasoning, you would simply conclude that everything in the TJ that differs from Matthew represents the result of a hoax – case closed. Why then waste more time over it?

    In verse 2 of Luke chapter 2, the author is careful to specifically mention that this was the FIRST taxing that was made when Cyrenius (or “Quirinius”) “was governor of Syria” (KJV).

    It is important to note that the Lucan text above in the Greek is more properly translated as “while Cyrenius was leading -in charge of- Syria.” Cyrenius or Quirinius is not actually called “legatus,” the official Roman title for the governor of an entire region. Thus, the statement would apply to one who was simply rated as a “procurator,” like Pontius Pilate, and not just one rated as a “legatus.” It is known from secular history that between 12 B.C. and 2 B.C., Cyrenius was a highly placed military figure in the Near East in the closing years of the reign of Herod the Great. Therefore, it could very well be that he would have been one to be put in charge of a census-enrollment by the time of 7 B.C.

    But not likely, as Quirinius was in the military then, and not yet into the business of governing and dealing with the collection of taxes.

    It is true that Josephus does not mention any census during the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 B.C. Nevertheless, Josephus mentions a census taken by Cyrenius soon after Herod Archelaus was deposed in 6 A.D. So if the census in Luke 2:1 is dated at around 8 or 7 B.C. as some scholars have it, before the death of King Herod, and the census of Josephus is dated at around 6 A.D. or 7 A.D., then there must be a discrepancy of about 14 years, right?…

    No discrepancy. Josephus was correct there, A.D. 6. Luke 2:2 is correct, taken from the TJ, that it was A.D. 6 when Quirinius (first) governed. Luke 2:1 is correct (taken from the TJ) that it was during the great census of A.D. 6 (Wiseman). The writer of Luke/Acts was right that it was during the time of the revolt of Judas the Galilean (A.D. 6) in the days of the census (Acts 5:37). And it was the time when Antipas first acquired the title Herod (A.D. 6).

    Then around A.D. 120 the writer of Matthew got hold of the transcription of the TJ that had been circulating around a bit, used it for framing his gospel, altered Herod Antipas into the much more hated King Herod, invented the story of his having killed all the young boys in Bethlehem age two and less as an analogy to Moses as an infant in Egypt, and allowed that Jesus could safely return since King Herod had died in an analogy to Moses being able to safely return (but to Egypt) in Ex 4:19.

    It is important to note that the major reason why the TJ has J being born during the reign of Herod Antipas, being that the TJ is connected to and fully approved by the Plejarens, is because the Plejarens support the notion that J was born in the year 1 B.C., as calculated by a figure found in the prophecy of Jeremiah as given by the Plejarens….

    What appear to be the actual reasons should not be overlooked: J was truthfully born circa A.D. 6, J knew the history of events around that time, and truthfully reported it to his disciple-writer as he wrote an early part of the Talmud of Jmmanuel.

  • At 1:39 PM , Blogger Ben said...


    In TJ 1:97-98, it reads:

    "At this time a decree went out from Emperor Augustus, that all the world should be counted. This census was the first of its kind and occurred at the time that Cyrenius was governor in Syria."

    I have found a lot of scholars saying that "all the world" would cause a contradiction with the available secular records that we have to us this day whether the census was taken in 8 B.C. or A.D. 6 because the census of 8 B.C. only included Roman citizens and was not necessarily for taxation purposes, and the census of A.D. 6 only included Syria and Judea, not "the whole world" or even the rest of the Roman Empire.

    Can you give any more information on this, given that the TJ shows that a census for "all the world" went out during the time of around A.D. 6?

  • At 7:00 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    In the first place, "all the world" can only have been loose terminology for "all the Roman empire."

    Second, I can only repeat what I stated here, where the T.P. Wiseman reference is given:

    Historian T. P. Wiseman has pointed out that this decree could well be the known imperial edict of A.D. 6,1 that introduced a 5% inheritance tax upon Roman citizens, and which would likely have required census data. He suggests that governor Quirinius conducted a local census of Jews in Syria and Judea, which was also under the jurisdiction of the new prefect Coponius, at the same time as the general Roman census in A.D. 6-7. He would likely have wished to ascertain the registration of tax-paying Jews under his jurisdiction and that of Coponius.

  • At 5:30 AM , Blogger Ben said...


    Given that the Talmud of Jmmanuel states that Herod Antipas was Tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, which does agree with Josephus in regards to the time after the death of Herod the Great, can you give an explanation as to why the TJ then immediately presents Antipas as ruling in Jerusalem of Judea, clearly stating that it was "his realm" in TJ 2:24?

    After the death of Herod the Great, Judea was given to Herod Archelaus by Caesar who held to Herod the Great's final will, and after Archelaus was banished from Judea, Judea then began to be governed by Roman procurators, Coponius being the first. Is the TJ presenting information that purports that the rule of Archelaus preserved in our history is a lie?

  • At 8:31 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Hi Ben,

    Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Edom from 4 BCE to 6 CE, from what I gather. But if Immanuel wasn't born until A.D. 6, then Antipas soon took over the realm that had included Judea, as Archelaus was banished in A.D. 6. (A lot occurred in that year!) However, the TJ doesn't say that Antipas immediately took it over (from Archelaus), but that it had occurred by the time Joseph, Mary and Immanuel had returned from Egypt. Their return may have occurred later in A.D. 6, or in A.D. 7 or 8.

    So I don't see any problem there, with the TJ's timeline. The writer of Matthew seems to have been consistent with his story involving Archelaus, since he had placed J's birthdate some years earlier when Archelaus was in charge after King Herod was dead.

  • At 6:11 AM , Blogger Ben said...


    Have you been able to find any early evidence that would indicate that Antipas took over Judea and/or located himself there after Archelaus was banished? I have been extensively searching for such and have found very little. I know that Josephus does not indicate such, but Josephus’ history of the Herods after Herod the Great’s death is a bit sketchy. Most Roman historians seem to think that Antipas was heavily involved in rebuilding cities in Perea from the time shortly after Herod the Great’s death until around 10 A.D. and that Roman procurators took over the governing of Judea immediately after Archelaus’ banishment.

    Nevertheless, there are a couple small pieces of evidence that I found which could actually indicate that Antipas may have had some involvement in Judea either before or along with the Roman procurators. Of course, the evidence is not very conclusive, and many won’t even consider the first one since it came from an early Christian.

    The quote is from Justin Martyr’s 103rd chapter of his Dialogue with Trypho and says:

    “Herod succeeded Archelaus, having received the authority which had been allotted to him.” (To see the surrounding context:

    The “Herod” here is most certainly Antipas. However, the passage’s credibility in the first place is questioned by critical historians, while the correct interpretation of the passage is also not certain by those who consider it to carry some weight. Some have concluded that although Antipas was tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, Archelaus had oversight of Antipas’ domains while he was ethnarch of Judea and so Antipas was not totally free in his administration of Perea and Galilee until Archelaus was deposed. This interpretation of Martyr’s statement would show that Archelaus simply received full authority over Perea and Galilee, but not necessarily Judea. Of course, the other interpretation would be that Antipas received his rightful authority over Judea that should have been his in the first place, before Herod the Great changed his will.

    Then, there is Josippon, where it is mentioned that “Antipas ruled in Archelaus’ stead when the latter was deposed.” (Joseph ben Gurion, The Wonderful and Most Deplorable History of the Latter Times of the Jews, London, 1671, p. 88) Of course, this work was probably first compiled in Hebrew in the early 10th century A.D. and is generally regarded as containing more legendary information than historical. Nevertheless, good ancient sources could have been interwoven with legends. Once again, though, the passage is open to the same two possible interpretations which can be given to Martyr’s statement. Neither passage seems to indicate where Antipas located himself after Archelaus was removed.

    I am wondering if you may have been able to find more than what I was able to find.

  • At 9:18 PM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Hi Ben,

    I haven't done anything like the research you have on this question.

    Regarding historians thinking that "Roman procurators took over the governing of Judea immediately after Archelaus’ banishment":
    Wasn't it a prefect, like Coponius, who took over the governor's duties, not a procurator? I've been under the impression that the chain of command then went from the governor or prefect down to the leader of the Judean people (Antipas).

    Anyway, I would presume that Archelaus presided mainly in Jerusalem. If so, it then seems plausible to me that Herod Antipas would have gone to Jerusalem soon after taking over from Archelaus, because he had (years earlier, it's true) opposed his brother Archelaus, who was hated by the Jewish population for that slaughter of 3000 Jews, for one reason, plus the more immediate reasons that got him deposed. So Antipas must have received the approval of the Jewish population, at least relative to Archelaus. Therefore, Antipas would have wanted to go to Jerusalem to be welcomed by the Jews there upon Archelaus's banishment in 6 CE. He then might have been content to stay there for a few months or even years until his welcome had worn thin.

    At least, that's the way my most recent hypothesis goes.

  • At 5:55 AM , Blogger Ben said...


    Actually, it wasn't until various ancient Roman inscriptions were discovered in the 20th century that historians became aware that "prefects" ruled over Roman provinces such as Judea. Up until that time, men such as Coponius and Pilate were known as "procurators," which was the term that Josephus used to describe them. It is not believed that Josephus did this out of ignorance but rather that the term "procurator" in his day had a wider meaning.

    After Judea became a Roman province, the procurator or prefect was considered to be the highest official in the land. The only person who was above him was the governor of Syria. Josephus does not give any indication that there was another “leader of the Judean people” under the prefect. In fact, he gives information that speaks highly to the contrary:

    Josephus, War of the Jews, Book 2, Chapter 8:

    1. "AND now Archelaus's part of Judea was reduced into a province, and Coponius, one of the equestrian order among the Romans, was sent as a procurator, having the power of [life and] death put into his hands by Caesar. Under his administration it was that a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, prevailed with his countrymen to revolt, and said they were cowards if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans and would after God submit to mortal men as their lords."

    Chapter 9:

    1. "AND now as the ethnarchy of Archelaus was fallen into a Roman province, the other sons of Herod, Philip, and that Herod who was called Antipas, each of them took upon them the administration of their own tetrarchies (my note: this strongly parallels Martyr's information that I posted earlier); for when Salome died, she bequeathed to Julia, the wife of Augustus, both her toparchy, and Jamriga, as also her plantation of palm trees that were in Phasaelis. But when the Roman empire was translated to Tiberius, the son of Julia, upon the death of Augustus, who had reigned fifty-seven years, six months, and two days, both Herod and Philip continued in their tetrarchies; and the latter of them built the city Cesarea, at the fountains of Jordan, and in the region of Paneas; as also the city Julias, in the lower Gaulonitis. Herod also built the city Tiberius in Galilee, and in Perea [beyond Jordan] another that was also called Julias."

  • At 6:49 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    It appears that the last part above can be interpreted as Herod Antipas not getting involved with building the city of Tiberius, and building in Perea, until after AD 14.

  • At 8:22 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    Here is further pertinent information that has been sorted from Josephus:

    After “the ethnarchy of Archelaus was fallen into a Roman province,” (War, Book 2, Ch 9) “Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance, and to dispose of Archelaus's money.” (Antiq, Book 18, Ch 1)

    At this same time, “the other sons of Herod: Philip and that Herod who was called Antipas, each of them took upon them the administration of their own tetrarchies.” (War, Book 2, Ch 9)
    “When Cyrenius had now disposed of Archelaus's money, and when the taxings were come to a conclusion, which were made in the thirty-seventh year of Caesar's victory over Antony at Actium, he deprived Joazar of the high priesthood, which dignity had been conferred on him by the multitude, and he appointed Ananus, the son of Seth, to be high priest, WHILE Herod and Philip had each of them received their own tetrarchy AND SETTLED THE AFFAIRS THEREOF.” (Antiq, Book 18, Ch 2)

    “As Coponius … was exercising his office of procurator, and governing Judea,” (Antiq, Book 18, Ch 2) “Herod … built a wall about Sepphoris, which is the security of all Galilee, and made it the metropolis of the country. He also built a wall round Betharamphtha, which was itself a city also, and called it Julias, from the name of the emperor's wife.” (Antiq, Book 18, Ch 2)

  • At 5:06 PM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Thanks. That's good information to have on hand.

  • At 8:58 PM , Blogger Apostle Matthew said...

    I am the apostle known as Matthew and I have sent you information regarding this information Jim. If you like to respond to me that would be great..

    In the Lord I trust


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