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The Christ Myth (Westminster College-Oxford Classics in the Study of Religion) Hardcover – February 1, 1998
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Original Language: German
Top Customer Reviews
The author systematically demolishes every aspect of the Jesus Christ story, convincingly arguing that Jesus Christ was a mythical figure who never actually existed, and the Jesus cult is an updating and re-telling of myths that existed in all of what we now call middle-eastern societies 3,000 years ago.
He relates that all of the cultures in the area had this mythology: son of God born to a virgin, suffering, dying and being resurrected. The Babylonians, Attics, Greeks, Egyptians, Essenes, Persians, Indians, and even Jews with their story of Joshua. In every one, the name of the mother of the son was a variation of "Mary". In the Vedic Indian cult, the son's name was Jesudu.
We learn that all of these myths were related to the cycle of the changing length of the days and intensity of the sun during the year; and that Paul rehashed existing sun-worship myths into story of a person he never met named Jesus who was the Messiah who had been born to a young woman named Mary, lived, died, came back to life then levitated up into the sky someplace... and as this had conveniently happened in the past, there was no need to wait for the Messiah any more, we could start worshipping right away.
Drews also shows how the stories in the canonical New Testament are a collection of traditional folk tales from Jesus cults that were mostly oral then written down mostly in the second century after Paul.
He also explains how the story of the cross is wrong - people were hung from poles at the time, not nailed to crosses.... the cross is a stylized representation of the two sticks used to create fire in the sun worship rituals.Read more ›
The conclusion of this book is that given the choice between Jesus as myth and the historical Jesus, the right path for religion as religion is to choose Jesus as myth. If all we have is the historical Jesus of liberal Protestantism, then we no longer have religion, just mundane morality divested of both myth and the supernatural. But if we retain Jesus as myth, then we retain the religious redemption that is possible. He asserts that the Catholic Church could become legitimate by abandoning the historical Jesus and emphasizing the mythic Jesus as redeemer. Despite his elevation of redemption as the true essence of religion, Drews does not define redemption. (I'd define redemption as reconciliation between the self as moral agent and that from which it emanates.) Drews does not explicitly define this reconciliation and explain specifically how the Jesus myth assists this reconciliation.
He explains a main motive for creating the assertion of the historical Jesus.Read more ›
Did Jesus exist or was only a myth? Drews gives us his answer which is not the end of the story. It could be a myth, no doubt. He tell you why he think that and how he came to conclude it. The sequence starts with a pre-Christian Jesus, wich is a very interesting insight. He tell you, no more no less, that the field was ready for the seed. And he advances the idea all the way up to the middle of the book where he stops just to begin the second part of the study: The Christian Jesus, which emerges as the natural consequence of the people's previous ideas, discussions and expectations. Was it a mere coincidence, a divine intervention, a human work, what?
To resolve the puzzle, Drews reorders the New Testament in order to read it such as it was formed, this is, beginning with the Pauline epistles, followed by the synoptic Gospels and ending with Gnosticism and the Johannine Jesus. This order, being known to many, many scholars, is revealing to him because it fits better the fiction and its fictitious character with history than the other way round.
Drews is not an atheist. He is more an unorthodox scholar who discusses the established truths from the perspective of his powerful and cultivated mind.
I would like to tell you how did I come to this book but cannot remember.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Scholarly arguments that much of the story of Jesus Christ is myth began at least as early as the 1770s with Reimarus. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Richard E. Hayes
Arthur Drews was a philosopher of culture, history of religions and mythology. He was a disciple of Eduard von Hartmann who claimed that reality is the "Unconscious World Spirit"... Read morePublished on June 11, 2013 by Roo Bookaroo
Well researched but poorly executed. A prime example of turgid,abstruse,poorly organized scholastic writing that all too often characterized late 19th & early 20th centuries. Read morePublished on June 23, 2006 by DAVID GROESBECK