Jesus son of Pantera: Ancient Slander or Historical Probability?

Contrary to what is often asserted by scholars as well as general readers, the early traditions that Jesus had a biological father named “Pantera” has nothing to do with an assertion that Mary was raped by a Roman soldier. Further, the name Pantera was never said to be a pun on Parthenos–the Greek word for “virgin”–until it was suggested by a German scholar in the 19th century! No ancient writers who comment on the name “Yeshua bar Pantera” associates it with such a pun–they know the name as a real name from the family of Joseph and Mary. Furthermore, 1st century rabbis living in Sepphoris, just north of Nazareth, use the name in a descriptive way–not as slander at all–referring to Jesus of Nazareth. It was a REAL name, not a pun used in slander. In this interview with Neal Sendlank, host of  @GnosticInformant  I offer an overview of the Pantera traditions–what we know and don’t know, including what I have discovered about the tombstone of a 1st century Roman soldier from Sidon found Bingerbrücke, Germany, on the Rhine river, in 1859.

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