On Passover Eve they hanged Jesus of Nazareth. And the herald went out before him for forty days: 'Jesus of Nazareth is going out to be stoned because he practiced sorcery, incited [to idol worship] and led Israel astray. Whoever knows an argument in his favor should come and argue on his behalf.' But they did not find an argument in his favor, and they hanged him on Passover Eve ... Jesus ... had close connections with the non-Jewish authorities, and those authorities were interested in his acquittal. Thus it was necessary to give him all the opportunity to clear himself, so that the justice of his conviction not be challenged ... Was Jesus of Nazareth deserving of a search for an argument in his favor? He was an inciter, and the Torah (lit., "the Merciful") says: "You shall not spare, nor shall you conceal him"! (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a, Steinsaltz edition, Vol XVII, Part III)
... the Talmud is here offering a subtle commentary upon Jesus' political connections. The Gospels portray the Roman governor Pontius Pilate as going to great lengths to spare Jesus (Mark 15: 6-15) … the Talmudic passage points in the same direction ...
... the passage suggests rabbinic willingness to take responsibility for the execution of Jesus. No effort is made to pin his death upon the Romans. In all likelihood, the passage in question emanates from fourth-century Babylon, then the center of Talmudic scholarship, and beyond the reach of both Rome and Christianity. Although several hundred years had elapsed since the lifetime of Jesus, and therefore this is not at all a contemporary source, the Talmudic passage indicates rabbinic willingness to acknowledge, at least in principle, that in a Jewish court and in a Jewish land, a real-life Jesus would indeed have been executed ... ("Jesus in the Talmud," Steven Bayme, American Jewish Committee National Director, September 24, 2003)
The very fact that the Talmud's claim of Jesus' closeness to the Roman government reflects some knowledge ... of the New Testament narrative, particularly of of John's version of it ... this detail exonerates the Roman government from the blame of Jesus' condemnation and consequently, adopting the Gospels' message, puts the thrust of the accusation on the Jews ... What we then have here in the [Babylonian Talmud] is a powerful confirmation of the New Testament Passion narrative, a creative rereading, however, that not only knows some of its distinct details but proudly proclaims Jewish responsibility of Jesus' execution. (Jesus in the Talmud, Peter Schafer, Princeton University Press, pp.73-74)
The Crucifixion Narrative for Goys vs. the Crucifixion Narrative Which the Rabbis Maintain Amongst Themselves
The Judaic Propensity to Have It Both Ways
Bad Advice From the Pope