Where does Sefaria get "Nazarene" from in the Talmud in Gittin 57a?


אזל אסקיה [ליש"ו] בנגידא (לפושעי ישראל) א"ל מאן חשיב בההוא עלמא א"ל ישראל מהו לאדבוקי בהו א"ל טובתם דרוש רעתם לא תדרוש כל הנוגע בהן כאילו נוגע בבבת עינו

Onkelos then went and raised Jesus the Nazarene from the grave through necromancy. Onkelos said to him: Who is most important in that world where you are now? Jesus said to him: The Jewish people. Onkelos asked him: Should I then attach myself to them in this world? Jesus said to him: Their welfare you shall seek, their misfortune you shall not seek, for anyone who touches them is regarded as if he were touching the apple of his eye (see Zechariah 2:12).

I suppose that one thing one might consider, is whether or not Yeshu is a short form some used for the name Yeshua(i've heard that the aramaic form of Yeshua is Yeshu). And then whether not the Yeshu being named there, is the Yeshua(hebrew name for Jesus of Christianity). Some might think Yeshu is an acronym for Ymach Shmoh VeZichroh, and (maybe?) not even a name, so could (perhaps?) refer to any heretic, so not necessarily Jesus..or the Jesus of Christianity, though the idea that it's an acronym might be an anacronism eg if that acronym only developed later, but that aside..

I don't see the word Nazarene in the Hebrew there

Has Sefaria just added "the Nazarene" into its translation when it's not in the/any hebrew version?

I'm aware of two versions of the Hebrew, one where raised Yeshu by necromancy, is censored to raised the "sinners of israel" by necromancy http://www.come-and-hear.com/gittin/gittin_57.html , while the oldest manuscript, the Munich Manuscript, has raised Yeshu by necromancy. Sefaria shows both in the hebrew, with censored in brackets, and uncensored outside of brackets. And its English is the uncensored, but it seems to add the word Nazarene, and I don't see that in the Hebrew.

Sefaria has bold for literal translation, and regular font for interpolation, and where they wrote Nazarene, they wrote it in bold. Even though I don't see that in the hebrew.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Note Sefaria uses the Koren Talmud, which is a translation of Rav Steinzaltz's commentary on the Talmud.
    – robev
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 5:16
  • I've also asked this question after reading Onkelos biography in a 1999 text, "Who's Who in the Talmud," S. Frieman (Jason Aronson, Inc. 1999), p. 228,. There the author only referenced Titus, Balaam and Jesus as the historic persons Onkelos produced though necromancy, but leaves out the entire juicy quote. I went to Art Scroll and, unfortunately but not surprisingly, they stuck with the censored text "sinners of Israel" and in a footnote hints that the phrase actually refers to one unnamed person. OK, they don't want Art Scroll books banned in certain states. I get it. Commented Jan 18 at 21:49
  • @BruceJames artscroll is a bit of a pointless source when we have manuscripts, but the footnote in artscroll , footnote 4, says "although the expression is in the plural, the following narrative refers to a specific sinner". and the text they have says "sinners of israel". Artscroll censor biographies too, Here is an article contrasting Koren to Artscroll with some Talmud references to Yeshu or Yeshu The Nazarine. Koren is better bltnotjustasandwich.com/2012/06/01/…
    – barlop
    Commented Jan 19 at 0:31

1 Answer 1


I can't tell you for sure where Koren (whence Sefaria) sourced its inclusion of "the Nazarene", but I can say that it is included in at least one manuscript of this passage. Namely, in the manuscript titled Vatican 130, we see:

אזל אסקיה לישו הנוצרי בנגידא

You can see a picture of the manuscript on Hachi Garsinan, part of the Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society. I've reproduced the relevant part of the manuscript here:

picture of manuscript Vatican 130 with text הנוצרי

  • Interesting.. and that's Yeshu Hanotzri. How about the Munich manuscript?
    – barlop
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 3:44
  • 2
    @barlop That's the only manuscript listed with this variant.
    – magicker72
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 4:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .