Interesting read....and comments. ( a lot to think about and digest) THANKS!
James The Just
Shakita, what you have summerized would represent a very conservative reconstruction. There are many problems with this reconstruction. A rather glaring one is the irreconcilable versions of paul's conversion in Acts and his own story in Galations. Paul says he did not go to Ananias nor anyone else to learn about Jesus or his gospel but went out preaching for years before even attempting to bring his version of Christ cult to Jerusalem. The whole identity of James as a leading Christian character is plagued with tradition and assumptions. It is my opinion that the Jesus of the NT was not an historical personage but an amalgum of Mystery cult god man,idealic OT typology and first century zealot. The name 'Jesus' was not even a name but a title in the earliest traditions drawing typology from Joshuah (Jesus). The identity of James as a brother of Jesus was in such a case secondary, and i believe the evidence supports this. IOW almost nothing about James, what he believed or did, can be said with certainty. I realize that after reading an author as well respected as Eisenman you are unlikely to quickly dismiss his proposal, but really he represents the rather stalled historical Jesus camp and its assumptions. Read Robert Price and Earl Doherty for example to see another side to these issues. The details will likely always be lost to time and centuries of deliberate revision but don't expect to get a rounded view of the present picture by reading one conservative author. He's a review by Price:Robert Eisenman's "James the Brother of Jesus": A Higher-Critical ...
You've raised some interesting points. When I finish reading Eisenman's book, I'll purchase the books that you have suggested. It is always good to get another perspective. I suppose that there will never be a definitive consensus on the true state of early Christianity, but at least we are not stuck in Wt lala land when it comes to that time period. I feel that I am far closer to the real truth of early Christianity than I ever was when I was a Witness. It has been liberating to see things as they really were and not to see things in the dogma and propaganda of WT theology.
By the way Pete, Eisenman addresses the contradictions of the account in Acts and in the book of Galations. (pps. 148-153) Eisenman believes that the account in Galations is the accurate version of Paul's experiences and that the accounts concerning Paul in the book of Acts are, for the most part, mythologized. I was astonished to see the contradictions between these two accounts that I had never seen as a Witness.
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I printed your James the Just article.
Read it a couple of times. Great stuff. Learned more in 15 minutes from you than the last six months at the hall.