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James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early… (1997)

de Robert H. Eisenman

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James was a vegetarian, wore only linen clothing, bathed daily at dawn in cold water, and was a life-long Nazirite. In this profound and provocative work of scholarly detection, eminent biblical scholar Robert Eisenman introduces a startling theory about the identity of James-the brother of Jesus-who was almost entirely marginalized in the New Testament. Drawing on long-overlooked early church texts and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Eisenman reveals in this groundbreaking exploration that James, not Peter, was the real successor to the movement we now call "Christianity." In an argument with enormous implications, Eisenman identifies Paul as deeply compromised by Roman contacts. James is presented as not simply the leader of Christianity of his day, but the popular Jewish leader of his time, whose death triggered the uprising against Rome-a fact that creative rewriting of early church documents has obscured. Eisenman reveals that characters such as "Judas Iscariot" and "the Apostle James" did not exist as such. In delineating the deliberate falsifications in New Testament documents, Eisenman shows how-as James was written out-anti-Semitism was written in. By rescuing James from the oblivion into which he was cast, the final conclusion of James, the Brother of Jesus is, in the words of the Jerusalem Post, "apocalyptic"-who and whatever James was, so was Jesus.… (més)
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Eisenman is a really smart guy with a lot of information at his disposal. However, he can't write worth beans. This is really hard to get through. This book is interesting for early-Christianity geeks like me, but if you're looking for a light summer read, this isn't the place to start. Try Jeffrey Butz's book on "the Brother of Jesus" which IMHO is better. ( )
1 vota KeithAkers | Jun 5, 2010 |
It needs a good editor - the copious data as presented does not make the thesis believable. ( )
1 vota millsge | Nov 26, 2009 |
While I disagree with one of the authors central suppositions, mainly that Paul was a usper to familial leadership of the Church after the death of Jesus. The book is full of rich information about the sociological and political world of the first century near east. It also does and excellent job of clarifying the errant belief that Jesus had no biological siblings. ( )
  Ragnorok | Oct 25, 2007 |
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James was a vegetarian, wore only linen clothing, bathed daily at dawn in cold water, and was a life-long Nazirite. In this profound and provocative work of scholarly detection, eminent biblical scholar Robert Eisenman introduces a startling theory about the identity of James-the brother of Jesus-who was almost entirely marginalized in the New Testament. Drawing on long-overlooked early church texts and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Eisenman reveals in this groundbreaking exploration that James, not Peter, was the real successor to the movement we now call "Christianity." In an argument with enormous implications, Eisenman identifies Paul as deeply compromised by Roman contacts. James is presented as not simply the leader of Christianity of his day, but the popular Jewish leader of his time, whose death triggered the uprising against Rome-a fact that creative rewriting of early church documents has obscured. Eisenman reveals that characters such as "Judas Iscariot" and "the Apostle James" did not exist as such. In delineating the deliberate falsifications in New Testament documents, Eisenman shows how-as James was written out-anti-Semitism was written in. By rescuing James from the oblivion into which he was cast, the final conclusion of James, the Brother of Jesus is, in the words of the Jerusalem Post, "apocalyptic"-who and whatever James was, so was Jesus.

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