Who would believe in and follow a Savior who was hated, regarded as worthless, and rejected by most people?
The assertion that the writers of the Bible were seeking to create a new religion, that would attract many followers, is impeached by the reality of who Jesus is. People do not follow anyone whom they view as a loser. By the world’s standards, Jesus was poor, uneducated, from a scandalous family, and was born into obscurity. He had no home, earthly possessions, or notoriety that would cause anyone to believe He was a leader. The people who were attracted to Jesus, and accepted His words as truth, did so because of what He said and how He presented Himself.
During this time, a majority of people in the world also lived in poverty. They were uneducated, simple people, who were living during a period of history when life was harsh and uncertain. Many people did not live past the age of 40. There was a great occurrence of sickness and disease, and very little medical care. Governments were corrupt. Religion—scandalous and dishonorable. The Roman government had severely afflicted the Jews who lived in Israel with their oppressive and tyrannical government. The people were looking for a Great King—a Messiah who would come with power, defeat the Romans, and return their nation to its former glory. Jesus came as a humble carpenter from Nazareth, in tattered clothes, espousing a new religion that was based on love. During the time when Jesus presented Himself to the world, a majority of people did not accept Him.
Seven hundred years before Jesus came to Jerusalem and announced that He was the Messiah, the prophet Isaiah had already described the coming Messiah as a man who would be hated and despised. When Jesus presents Himself, He was rejected by the leaders of Israel and hated by the people He came to save.
Isaiah 53:3a He is despised…
New Testament Fulfillment:
- Mark 13:13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
- Luke 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, “We will not have this man to reign over us.”
- Luke 21:17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.
- John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”
The World Did Not Receive Him.
The great cosmic conspiracy that is seldom spoken of publicly is the hatred this world has for Jesus Christ. A person can mention the name of most any person of history, and a friendly discussion may begin. Let someone mention the name of Jesus Christ and immediately the conversation will turn silent, and all eyes and ears will be upon the one who mentioned His name.
The name of Jesus and what He stands for has an immediate polarizing effect upon people. Either they love Him, or they hate Him. He is either deeply revered, or greatly scorned and ridiculed.
Why is Jesus hated so vehemently? Because He reminds people that they are sinners. Most people do not want to be told they need a Savior. To even imply that a person is deficient in his moral life is offensive, and causes anger.
The reason why the world hates Jesus Christ is because He has a claim upon our life that demands an answer. Jesus came into the world to save sinners. To acknowledge this truth is to admit that we have a problem. For a majority of people, this is an insult to their pride and self-worth, and an impossible fact to acknowledge.
There is no middle ground with Jesus. Either we are with Him, or we are against Him. Jesus said that there is no grey area, no neutral place acceptable to Him. Either we make a decision for Him, or we are against Him. Jesus said that no decision for Him is the same as rejecting Him.
Luke 11:23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
I have spoken to many people who have told me that they have yet to decide whether they will believe in Jesus. We should understand that the Lord does not allow us this place of indecision. He has died for the sins of the world, and He is worthy of a firm verdict. Either we see what He has done for us and fall at His feet in complete surrender; or we back away, and admit to Him and the world that we will not serve Him. Let us not, however, say that there is insufficient proof for His existence or that He is unworthy to be served. The evidence for Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is absolute and irrefutable. Even the most obstinate of adversaries must admit that Jesus is the genuine article and He has proven Himself worthy of all honor and worship.
I can respect anyone who honestly examines Jesus and the life He has represented to us, and then says, “I will not serve Him.” I cannot, however, respect anyone who will not look at the evidence at all, or pretend that there is insufficient proof that Jesus is Lord and God. Upon their affirmation that Jesus is not a valid person of history, they use their lack of knowledge as an excuse for their unbelief. To deny that there is insufficient evidence to believe the claims of Jesus is intellectually disingenuous. There is greater evidence for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ than there is for any other person who has lived upon the earth.
The excuses many people make for not surrendering their life to Jesus are weak and lacking credibility.
After spending many years searching for truth myself and having examined a great amount of the evidence for Jesus’ life, I reached a point where a decision had to be made. Either I would admit that what is revealed about the person described by the New Testament as Jesus of Nazareth is overwhelming and incontrovertible, and I would accept Him; or I would have to admit that the evidence was overwhelming and incontrovertible, yet I would not accept Him.
The point being, evidence is not enough to cause any person to receive Jesus as their Savior; the will must also be convinced and surrendered. There is no amount of empirical evidence that can change a heart, that simply does not want to believe. The greatest barrier to faith is always the will. It is this often overwhelming obstacle that makes it impossible to bring some people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
It is interesting that men and women of advanced education, and those who make claims as freethinkers, are the ones who most often deny the massive evidence available to confirm that Jesus is who He claims to be. The historical record alone is sufficient to confirm that Jesus lived and was crucified in Jerusalem in 32 A.D. The secular record of the Romans and the Jews both contain detailed descriptions of Jesus of Nazareth, crucified and buried, in their historical records.
“In recent years, no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus or at any rate very few, and they have no succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.”” —Michael Grant, Ph.D.
The problem with many modern men is, they begin with the premise that Jesus is a myth, the Bible is unreliable, and God does not exist. When any person commences upon an investigation of facts with a predetermined conclusion, it is impossible to objectively evaluate the evidence that is available. We can never reach a valid decision when we start with a conclusion before we begin. First, it must be determined that we do not know whether something is true or not. In fact, it is beneficial to start with an assumption that something is very likely valid, if a large majority of reasonable people believe it to be true, and then begin to look at all sides of the issue.
It is a grievous truth that many people reject Jesus based upon the opinions of other people without ever having investigated the facts for themselves. I have read the statements of many intelligent men and women, who have repeated the same inaccuracies about Jesus that many others before them have also stated. All of these false assumptions are easily impeached, yet it is obvious that no personal search has ever been made. These men and women who spend numerous years disputing Jesus, the Bible, or Christianity have never taken the time to learn the true facts concerning these subjects, for themselves.
Since Jesus has claimed to be the Creator of the universe and the one to whom all life owes its existence, it would be reasonable that these claims should be honestly investigated. To dismiss the assertions of Jesus without consideration of how greatly He has impacted the world is a great travesty of life.
Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic; or He is Lord.
A person who has lived the kind of life Jesus has exhibited to the world cannot be insane. No one who has the power to speak to a blind man and cause him to see for the first time in his life is a liar. A person who can stand at a gravesite and command the dead to live is worthy of the title “Lord.”
John 11:41-44 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
There has never been anyone on the face of the earth who could do the things Jesus has said and done. To dismiss Him because His claims are so outlandish and impossible is perilous. What if everything that is claimed about Jesus is true? If we miss knowing Him, then we have missed the greatest opportunity of a lifetime: to know the most important Being to ever exist.
The works Jesus performed testify of who He is. If He has really done the things that the gospels tell us, then He is not just a man; He has the power that only God could have.
- John 10:25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.”
- John 10:37-38 “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”
It is impossible that Jesus is simply “a legend”; for legends and myths do not carry the weight of evidence that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ present. The entire civilization of all mankind was changed by the witness of those who recorded the events of Jesus’ brief time here on earth. The record of His life and the things He has said and done have been copied and distributed in greater numbers than any other event in the history of the world. The men who witnessed Jesus Christ alive three days after He was brutally murdered were willing to die rather than recant their testimony. The countless number of lives who have been changed by coming into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, numbering into the billions, is genuine and credible evidence that He is both real and alive to the present day. Finally, the massive number of Old Testament prophecies written for the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled in perfect detail, in the New Testament accounts, carry tremendous weight in validating Him as the object of these prophecies. We cannot overlook the immense evidence that predictive and fulfilled prophecy presents us. In the section of this book, Reliable Evidence, you will find extensive proof for the reliability of the Christian Gospel.
Jesus challenged us to examine what He has done in order to determine who He is. These things testify of His true identity.
It is easy to dismiss the testimony of Jesus presented in the Bible by simply stating that these accounts were written too long after they occurred. It is dishonest to disqualify the Bible as reliable because we feel that no religious text is accurate. These are two of the frequently cited reasons that many critics make today. You will not hear these self-proclaimed experts make the same accusations against any other secular record for any other person of history. Homer’s Iliad is documented by copies dated at least one thousand years after the events occurred, yet no one disputes their authenticity. The accounts of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels of the New Testament, have been dated as early as 28 years after the events took place.
One of the most stunning discoveries in the field of New Testament reliability came from an Egyptologist, in the late 19th century, by the name of Charles B. Huleatt. Three small fragments of papyrus from upper Egypt—found at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1901—contained twenty-four lines from the gospel of Matthew Chapter 26:23 and 31. Dr. Carsten Peter Thiede, the director of the Institute of Basic Epistemological Research in Paderborn, Germany, concluded that these fragments were from the original gospel of Matthew written while Matthew was still alive, about 60 A.D. This is just 28 years after Jesus was crucified and risen from the dead. This means that the Gospel of Matthew we have in our possession today was written by Matthew himself while he was still alive.
In corroboration of this date for the writing of Matthew’s gospel is the genealogy that Matthew includes in his gospel.
In 70 A.D., when Titus came into Jerusalem and destroyed the city, the Roman soldiers burned the Temple to the ground. All of the genealogical records, which recorded who was descended from who, were destroyed. After 70 A.D., no one could prove that they were qualified to be the Savior.5 This was the Lord’s way of making it clear to the world that His Messiah had already come—no others need apply.
“The Jewish genealogical records continued to be kept till near the destruction of Jerusalem. But there can be little doubt that the registers of the Jewish tribes and families perished at the destruction of Jerusalem, and not before.” —Smith’s Bible Dictionary
“Under Herod I. all genealogical rolls kept in the Temple were destroyed.” —Sachs, “Beiträge,” ii. 157
This proves that the text of Matthew was already written and had been distributed by the early Christian church before 70 A.D., when all the genealogical records were destroyed. Matthew could not have known about Jesus’ genealogy, unless they had seen these records in the archives of the Temple. They must have seen these records before they were destroyed by Titus in 70 A.D. Jesus died in 32 A.D.; the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.; this is just 38 years later. The claim that the gospels of Jesus Christ were written at too great a distance from the time when these events took place is wrong. The existence of this genealogical record of Jesus, from Matthew and Luke in their gospels, proves that the men wrote these words within 38 years of the death of Jesus Christ. For further information regarding this fact of history, see the chapter, David’s Son.
The events of Jesus’ life and the works He performed are recorded in greater numbers, and were written closer to the time when He accomplished these things, than any other person in history. In spite of the affirmation of these facts, critics disqualify the testimony of Jesus Christ while affirming secular literary text and historical persons, who have far less evidence to support their validity.
The reason the world hates Jesus is because He said that we are all sinners and we will all perish if we do not receive Him as our Lord and Savior. He left no other alternative. It is for this reason why people abhor Him and refuse to acknowledge His claims upon their life, but not because of the facts or the evidence.
Luke 13:3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
A majority of the occasions, when you hear a person state that there is insufficient evidence for the existence of God or that Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, you are hearing the opinions of a person who has not determined these conclusions based upon matters of fact. How do I know this for certain? When I question these individuals, and ask them if they are aware that the entire reason why Christians were executed by the Roman government over a period of 250 years was because of their belief in a supernatural resurrection of Jesus Christ, they consistently tell me they did not know this. A belief in the Resurrection was considered so bizarre by the Roman Emperors, that they considered Christians as harmful to human society and the Roman government. This is a fact of history recorded in the Annals of Rome and is extant to the present day. See the chapter, Key Points, for details.
Regarding the non-exigence of God:
“The atheistic position that there is “no God” is illogical. In order to know that there is no God, without a doubt, a person would have to examine every piece of evidence that is available. Since no person has ever examined all of the evidence in the world for the existence of God, they really do not know whether or not He exists. Therefore, the most that anyone can honestly say is “I don’t know if there is a God.” A true atheist is someone who has examined all of the available evidence and concluded that “there is no proof for God.” Since no one could possibly examine all of the evidence for God, by definition, being a true atheist is not possible.” —Robert Clifton Robinson
This is why men hated Jesus when He came to Jerusalem. He said that every person should repent of their sins and receive Him as their Savior. This is the same reason why people hate Jesus today and stubbornly refuse to receive Him.
Lack of evidence has nothing to do with the world’s hatred of Jesus.
It is because the evidence is so great and irrefutable, that Jesus is hated so fervently. Many men who have made claims to be God, during the history of the world, were quickly discounted as insane, and forgotten. This is due to the fact that there was no credible evidence to support their assertions. Why is it that people hate Jesus so vehemently? Because the evidence to support what He claimed about Himself is beyond repudiation.
If Jesus were not who He claimed to be, no one would pay Him any attention. The fact that He remains, to the present day, the most important person in the history of the world is tremendous evidence to support His claims. Many millions of men and women over the course of the past two thousand years have tried to discredit Jesus and have failed. These individuals are all dead and gone, and Jesus is still alive and changing people’s lives today. Jesus is more prominent in the world today than at any other time in history. Why? Because everything He has said and done has been proven true.
Hatred of Jesus began before man was created.
The hatred the world has for Jesus began with satan. As Lucifer sought to ascend into heaven, far about the throne of God, he was cast down to the earth. Jesus said that He saw satan fall from heaven.
Luke 10:18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
The evil of this present world originated in a fervent hatred of God before the first man was created. Lucifer coveted the power and glory that God possessed, and he wanted it for his own. When he was cast out of heaven and consigned to eternal condemnation, Lucifer became satan and set out to destroy everything God planned for mankind. This hatred is particularly seen in the horrific death that Jesus suffered upon the cross. There was great satanic influence upon the hearts of evil men during the execution of the Son of God. When Jesus rose from the dead, in fulfillment of the Scriptures, He forever defeated satan and the powers of sin and death.
- For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
- “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”…But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Corinthians 15:54-57
Jesus said that the reason why the world hates those who believe in and follow Him is because it first hated Him who said that the deeds of men are evil.
John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Why is it that all of the other religions of the world are tolerable to most people?
Every other religion that is offered in the world has one thing in common: They allow many ways to God, and these ways are based upon works people do to make themselves acceptable to God. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ states that we are lost, without hope, and we cannot save ourselves. The Gospel of Jesus Christ declares that we can only be saved if we humble ourselves and repent of our sins—surrendering to Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven.
John 7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
The world hates Jesus because He claimed to be the only way to God—not one of many ways but the single, acceptable, and exclusive way to heaven and eternal life.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
If Jesus had simply stated that His way was the best way, but not the only way, His message would not be nearly as intolerable. Human beings have a problem with ultimatums. Many people resent the fact that Jesus claimed to be the only way to heaven and, by not receiving Him, they will condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. In my conversations with people, they have assumed that the Christian church has taken the stance that Christianity is the only way to heaven. This is not true. Jesus is the source of the statement that He is the only way to eternal life. Jesus Himself said this, and the Bible echoes this fact throughout the New Testament (John 14:6, above).
The issue of trust is often the largest barrier for many people in finding salvation in Christ. Because a great number of people have been hurt, betrayed, and disappointed by religion, they find it difficult to receive Jesus and believe in Him for their salvation.
Many years ago, I had a dear friend who served with me as an elder in one of the two churches in which I was the pastor. It was clear to me that he had some difficulty with the issues of trust. He told me he did not feel that any one man should be given the right to make decisions that affect the church, without a vote from every member of the church. His issue was trust; and because all men are fallible, no man can really be trusted. I told my friend that in the case of a pastor and his elders, trust was an absolute necessity. It would be impossible to serve together if we did not mutually trust each other. Otherwise, we would constantly be trying to determine what the true motivations of those we served with were, and we would not be able to fully commit ourselves to anything. Unless a man felt that he had complete trust in the pastor whom he was serving, he would never be able to support any of the decisions made. Unless we believe that our Christian leaders have good intentions, and give them the freedom to fail and learn from their mistakes, we will not be able to serve the body of Christ in any ministry. Trust is an absolute requirement.
Upon being confronted with his inability to trust, he picked up his keys, went to the church, and took his personal belongings—never to return.
When we are faced with an ultimatum, many of us will often rebel and become angry. It is pride that is the central issue and the problem frequently insurmountable for many people. Pride is the barrier that prevents us from accepting Jesus as our Savior by the surrender of our life to Him. First, we must reach a place where we are willing to subdue our pride, humble ourselves, admit that we are a sinner and in great need of a Savior. Then, and only then, can we be ready to submit our lives to Him and trust that He will lead us.
Will we trust Him?
This is the primary question the Lord asks of every person, not just at the first moment we trust Him with our eternal life but as an enduring question throughout our life. Every day Jesus will ask us if we are willing to trust Him. At each trial and during all of our suffering, in all losses and during each discouragement, the question is always the same: “Will you trust me?”
Isaiah predicted that when the Messiah comes to the earth, the chief focus of the world will be its hatred of Him because He convicts the world of its sin. Isaiah used the word “despised” to describe the Messiah because of the true feelings that many people will have towards Him. A person may dislike another person, but to despise someone is to look upon a person with great contempt, and regard this person as weak or worthless. There is perhaps no stronger word that could have been used to describe the world’s hatred for the Messiah other than despised.
Each of us has but one life to make our decision as to whether we will despise and reject Jesus, or love and embrace Him. Most importantly, will we trust Him? To reject Jesus is to despise, abhor, and assign Him to a place of unworthiness in our life. I pray that you will discover the truth about Jesus and, by embracing this truth, you will be able to experience the incredible blessings He has planned for you—if you will only submit your life to Him and trust Him.
.P.E. Easterling, E. J. Kenney (general editors), The Cambridge History of Latin Literature, page 892 (Cambridge University Press, 1982, reprinted 1996). ISBN 0-521-21043-7
A political history of early Christianity by Allen Brent 2009 ISBN 0-567-03175-6 pages 32-34
Robert Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2000. p 39- 53.
2. Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0-391-04118-5 page 42
Mercer dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard 2001 ISBN 0-86554-373-9 page 343
Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation by Helen K. Bond 2004 ISBN 0-521-61620-4 page xi
Tradition and Incarnation: Foundations of Christian Theology by William L. Portier 1993 ISBN 0-8091-3467-5 page 263
 Jesus: An Historian’s Review of the Gospels by Micjhael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200
Lewis, C.S., Mere Christianity, London: Collins, 1952, p54-56. (In all editions, this is Bk. II, Ch. 3, “The Shocking Alternative.”) Forty years earlier, G. K. Chesterton used a similar argument about someone else in his The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), where Adam Wayne is described this way: “He may be God. He may be the Devil. But we think it more likely as a matter of human probability that he is mad.” See Cecil Chestrton, G. K. Chesterton: A Criticism (Seattle: Inklng, 2007), 26.
Quoted by Neely Tucker, “The Book of Bart”, Washington Post 5 March 2006
Thiede, Carsten Peter & D’Ancona, Matthew, The Jesus Papyrus, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1996.
1. Smith’s Bible Dictionary: Genealogy
In Hebrew the term for genealogy or pedigree is “the book of the generations;” and because the oldest histories were usually drawn up on a genealogical basis, the expression often extended to the whole history, as is the case with the Gospel of St. Matthew, where “the book of the generation of Jesus Christ” includes the whole history contained in that Gospel. The promise of the land of Canaan to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob successively, and the separation of the Israelites from the Gentile world; the expectation of Messiah as to spring from the tribe of Judah; the exclusively hereditary priesthood of Aaron with its dignity and emoluments; the long succession of kings in the line of David; and the whole division and occupations of the land upon genealogical principles by the tribes, occupation of the land upon genealogical principles by the tribes, families and houses of fathers, gave a deeper importance to the science of genealogy among the Jews than perhaps any other nation. When Zerubbabel brought back the captivity from Babylon, one of his first cares seems to have been to take a census of those that returned, and to settle them according to their genealogies. Passing on to the time of the birth of Christ, we have a striking incidental proof of the continuance of the Jewish genealogical economy in the fact that when Augustus ordered the census of the empire to be taken, the Jews in the province of Syria immediately went each one to his own city. The Jewish genealogical records continued to be kept till near the destruction of Jerusalem. But there can be little doubt that the registers of the Jewish tribes and families perished at the destruction of Jerusalem, and not before. It remains to be said that just notions of the nature of the Jewish genealogical records are of great importance with a view to the right interpretation of Scripture. Let it only be remembered that these records have respect to political and territorial divisions as much as to strictly genealogical descent, and it will at once be seen how erroneous a conclusion it may be that all who are called “sons” of such or such a patriarch or chief father must necessarily be his very children. Of any one family or house became extinct, some other would succeed to its place, called after its own chief father. Hence of course a census of any tribe drawn up at a later period would exhibit different divisions from one drawn up at an earlier. The same principle must be borne in mind in interpreting any particular genealogy Again, when a pedigree was abbreviated, it would naturally specify such generations as would indicates from what chief houses the person descended. Females are named in genealogies when there is anything remarkable about them, or when any right or property is transmitted through them. See (Genesis 11:29; 22:23; 25:1-4; 35:22-26; Exodus 6:23; Numbers 26:33)
2. Under Herod I. all genealogical rolls kept in the Temple were destroyed (Sachs, “Beiträge,” ii. 157). The loss of official genealogies was deeply deplored as a calamity, more especially because of their importance for the understanding of the books of Chronicles (Pes. 62b; B. B. 109). How prolific these Biblical books were in provoking genealogical conceits is shown by the statement that 900 camel-loads of commentary existed on I Chron. viii. 37 to ix. 44 (Pes. 62b). Much mischief must have been done by this speculation on family origins and pedigrees; at least the provision requiring caution in instruction in genealogy and limiting the hours for it (Pes. 76) would seem to indicate as much. Family pride is rebuked also in the familiar saying that a “mamzer” (bastard), if learned in the Law, outranked an ignorant high priest (Hor. 11); in fact, the priestly insistence upon purity of pedigree was fully counterbalanced by the demand for knowledge, which, through Phariseeism (nobility of learning) as opposed to Sadduceeism (priestly nobility), gradually succeeded in developing a new aristocracy, that of the mind, in the place of the old one (Ẓadoḳite) of blood. Many stories preserve the memory of the struggle for recognition of the one or the other claim to distinction which agitated learned and unlearned Israel in the early Christian centuries (Ḳid. 70a, 71a, b).
3.Of spurious genealogies, specimens of which Sprenger (“Das Leben und die Lehre Mohammad”) adduces, Jewish literature has a goodly number to show (Seder ‘Olam Zuṭa; Zunz, “G. V.” 2d ed., 1892, pp; 142 et seq. ; Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, Asher’s ed., ii. 6 et seq.). Yet this is not proof that all the pedigrees current among Jews were of this class (Zunz, “Analekten,” No. 15, p. 46). The tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, according to Midr. R. to Num. xiii., preserved while in Egypt their “yiḥus” (genealogy) to prove the purity and legitimacy of their descent. Upon this yiḥus the Jews have always laid great stress, as have also the Gentiles (Yeb. 62a; Yer. Yeb. ii. 4a). Marriage was invalidated if any deception regarding one’s yiḥus was discovered, even if the actual rank was higher than the assumed (Yer. Ḳid. ii. 62c). Silence when taunted with low origin creates the presumption that the person taunted is of high stock (Ḳid. 71b). , the “chain of genealogies,” is spoken of (Gen. R. lxxxii.), and the word has passed into literature to designate historical annals.
Sources: Bibliography: Hamburger, R. B. T. ii., Jewish Encyclopedia dot com.
A Universe From God, Robert Clifton Robinson, 2013