How Jesus Became Christian

by EdenOne 4 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • EdenOne

    Just wanted to share an interesting read.

    I have purchased the ebook "How Jesus Became Christian" by historian and philosopher Barrie A. Wilson.

    It's a book by a scholar but it's not written in dense academic language, thus, is easily readable by the general public (unlike, for example, the incredibly dense "James, The Brother of Jesus", by Robert Eisenman). In this book, Wilson invites the reader to inquiry how the 'Jesus movement' and his early followers, entirely part of the jewish framework, became metamorphosed into the 'Christ movement' that rejected the Torah, and was much more related to mystical religions of the greco-roman world. How did this change came about? What role did Paul play on this? What is the "Jesus coverup thesis"? What happened to the historical Jesus and his group of followers led by James after his death? How does this relate with the development of antisemitism?

    Although at times I wish the author was more thorough and less repetitive, his arguments are very persuasive and strongly anchored in solid evidence. As a lover of history of religion, I have found it a most interesting read, but here's a word of caution: If you're a Christian, it may well dismantle your pre-conceived notions about 'Jesus Christ The Savior', because the implications of this investigation are huge.

    I strongly recommend this book.

  • Ruby456

    I think I might get that book as Paul fascinates me. According to John Shelby Spong Paul seems to have been a tortured man who wrestled with his urges. Add to this his mystical visions and we have a charismatic individual who wanted to change the world.

  • venus

    Samuel Sandmel gives us in "The Genius of Paul" one of the bast understandings of Paul the Apostle that has ever been written; yet in between the lines one can read how Jesus was invented.

  • fulltimestudent

    Great topic, EdenOne. Thnx for posting information about Wilson's book.

    Anyone interested in the topic, may also find Geza Vermes' book, "Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Niceaea, AD 20-325" (Allan Lane, 2012) helpful.

    Many academics think that Vermes was one of the really great experts on the historical Jesus and the development of early christianity, and the Dead Sea scrolls.

    Vermes was one of the first 20th century scholars to write clearly on the Jewish background of Jesus. His 1973 book, "Jesus the Jew," changed the course of scholarship and other books by Vermes, like "The Authentic Gospel of Jesus" will also be of interest.

    When you put the evidence presented by all these scholars together, we can appreciate that most religion in the west is deceptive. We may choose to follow a particular religion (as does Wilson in converting to a from of Judaism) because it helps adjust behaviour (which may be a reason many in the west convert to a form of Buddhism) but that doesn't mean that there really is an imagined being in the sky who can help us when we need help.

  • EdenOne
    we can appreciate that most religion in the west is deceptive.

    I couldn't agree more. I think Wilson, and many other authors who have studied the historical Jesus stop short of saying that, but you can sense that's what they conclude also. They allow the reader to draw its own conclusions.

    But I would go one further and say that every religion stemmimg from some sort of revelation / epiphany / special inspiration is deception.

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