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The following outlines the arguments that Jesus was fathered by a Roman soldier.

The Christians say that the New Testament teaches that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit so he had no human father. Catholics say that Mary the mother of Jesus was a life-long virgin who never even had sex with her husband Joseph.

The Talmud says that Jesus was a bastard and his father was Pantera, who seems to have been a Roman soldier. Pantera is alleged to have had an adulterous relationship with Mary, the mother of Jesus. Why invent a father for Jesus when branding Mary as a self-confessed adulteress would do? Jesus’ mother was a hairdresser who left her husband, Pappas Ben Judah (Joseph never existed), and Jesus learned spells and magic tricks in Egypt and tattoos on his skin (page 47, Jesus the Magician).

If Pantera had been the Messiah not Jesus the Church would have seized on this as evidence for his existence. Because it doesn’t suit them they reject his existence and expect us to take the references to Jesus as evidence for Jesus.
The Gospels claim that Christ was accused of being illegitimate and there are also many hints and statements in the gospels that Jesus was considered by some not to have been a real Jew, a half-breed. For example, the Jewish leaders call him a bastard in John’s gospel. Jesus could have been a Gentile pretending to be a Jew for all we know.

Christians say that Pantera comes from the word virgin. They say that since Christians called Jesus the son of parthenos which is virgin in Greek that a mistake in the naming led to many thinking that Pantera was Jesus’ father! But Jesus was not called the son of the virgin until the fourth century (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus: Is it reliable?). But Pantera was a proper name and the Christian arguments are weak speculation.

If Jesus were accused of illegitimacy because of the virgin birth this origin would not have been broadcast in his mother’s lifetime to protect her and his own reputation. But if he did not look like a proper Jew the rumour would have been inevitable that his father was a Gentile. That would be the most likely explanation for the rumour.
Rabbi Eliezar some time before 100 AD said it was illegal to tattoo yourself on the Sabbath day even though Jesus had had done it. Eliezar was converted to Jesus by a Galilean who called Jesus, son of Pantera (page 43, Jesus the Magician). When an educated man goes to somebody that says that Jesus was born out of wedlock by a man Pantera it shows that what is now called Christianity was not believed then. There is name called Pantera so Christians are saying that it was a corruption of the Greek parthenos for virgin is unlikely and just typical of the unfair and stupid speculation Christians use against intellectual critics. The rabbis used Hebrew not Greek. The fatherless birth was not invented until the second century and is not in the New Testament. Jesus was not given the title, Son of the Virgin, in the first two centuries (page 47, Jesus the Magician) so there was no such corruption.

So when the Christian and the Christian Rabbi believed Jesus was Pantera’s offspring it shows that this came from the Church of the time. If Jesus existed he must have looked like a cross between a Roman and a Jewess if not a non-Jew.
There is a story of the impudent one from Jewish tradition that was reported by R. Akikba who died in 135 AD. He Walked Among Us (page 63) repeats the tradition that there was some important and unnamed man whose mother confessed that a man, the groomsman, fathered him on her wedding night making him a son of uncleanness. Akikba found her sitting in the market selling peas and broke his promise to be discreet about her confession. It seems that this baby was believed to be Jesus. Jesus was called the impudent one or the son of impurity. That Akikba had this interview with his mother suggests that there might have been more Jesuses, Sons of God than one thinks. That must have been confusing! The book says the passage has been interfered with but when it is not clear on Jesus Christ the interference can’t be serious. Why would anybody want to corrupt it to blacken somebody that was not clearly mentioned? Perhaps something happened the record and it had to be pieced together again. The story makes no sense apart from being a reference to a Jesus of some description even though McDowell likes to quote a version of the bit where Jesus is apparently quoted by Akikba as saying that if from a hire of a harlot they have come to the same they shall go that is rejected by scholars and which harks back to some dubious nineteenth century book (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus: Is it reliable?)
Nobody would have made up these things for spite. Being illegitimate would not have stopped Jesus being a prophet of God. Illegitimates were barred from priestly duty but Jesus never claimed to be a Levitical priest. David was a prophet despite the terrible things he did. God thought that people married to adulteresses were dirtier than normal and yet he encouraged the prophet Hosea to wed one. It is surmised that when Mary said Jesus was not her husband’s son that it started the rumour of his illegitimacy. But the rumour would be more likely to start if it were true. It would have been easier to blame her husband. And the Jews could not accuse Mary of adultery without stoning her. Pantera must have been a famous person when his name comes up so much as if he were well known. They believed they were telling the truth when they said that he was Jesus’ daddy when he was well-known.

Jesus was fathered by a Roman soldier.  If the father was the Holy Spirit then clearly Jesus existed as much as the Holy Spirit does!

Putting Away Childish Things, Uta Ranke-Heinmann, HarperSanFrancisco, 1992
The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1973
The Womb and the Tomb, Hugh Montifiore, Fount – HarperCollins, London, 1992
Son of Joseph, The Parentage of Jesus, Geoffrey Parrinder, T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1992
Papal Sin, Structures of Deceit, Garry Wills, Darton Longman and Todd, London, 2000
The Jesus Dynasty, James D Tabor, Element Books, London, 2006