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Christ's Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity Paperback – April 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Hyacinth Editions (April 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615573010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615573014
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric Zuesse is a winner of the Mencken Award for investigative reporting. His previous books include IRAQ WAR: The Truth, and WHY THE HOLOCAUST HAPPENED. PRE-PUBLICATION ENDORSEMENTS of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: “A winner.” — Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus, and Director of the Institute for Advanced Theology at Bard College “My skeptical ear detects a very distinct ring of plausibility in this gripping tale. ... provocatively interesting, ... and forcefully written.” — Richard Dawkins, Oxford University and author of bestsellers The Selfish Gene, and The God Delusion “Great writing; great forensic investigation.” — David Davis, participant in the Jesus Seminar’s discussion group “This book is an absolute must-read for anyone investigating the origins of Christianity ... insightful, well-written, and powerfully informative.” — Joe E. Holman, author of Project Bible Truth “Presents a side of Paul that the general reader of the Bible, or even the scholars, miss.” — Oswald Schrag, Emeritus Professor of Religion at Fisk University, Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, and member of the Westar Institute “It works for explaining Christian origins. ... Paul has to do away with [Judaism’s demand for] circumcision. That is so unambiguous.” — James Crossley, Sheffield University Professor of Biblical Studies, and author of Why Christianity Happened “An open-minded reader/juror will come to the conclusion that [Paul] is guilty of inventing a new religion, illegitimately appropriating Jesus.” — Abe Van Luik, Ph.D., former Christian fundamentalist “It is surprising to me that this view of Paul has not been previously written. ... I love your boldness.” — Reverend Steven Michael Smith, Colona United Methodist Church, and a participant in the Jesus Seminar’s discussion group

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 87 people found the following review helpful By M633 VINE VOICE on August 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I want to love this book because I love forensic study of the Bible and I want to accumulate some tools to argue against the fundamentalists. But it was a torture to get through this book because of the following reasons:

1) The arrogant tone of Zuesse is very disturbing to read. He seems to have little spiritual foundation to approach the thesis with humility. He set out to write a book to shock the world, claiming that all theologians and scholars have missed what he writes in this book. I want to read about Christ's Ventriloquists, but when I saw Zuesse wants to be one of them, I wanted to throw up.

2) Zuesse promised to be unbiased in his analysis but his writing turned out to be extremely bias against the New Testament. For example, he would quote the OT text about circumcision without questioning it's validity or the author's motive, but he questioned the motive of Paul who interpreted circumcision in a different way; in fact, he didn't just question Paul, he wrote as if he is in Paul's mind. He implied that today's psychology allowed him to do it, but today's psychology also shows that you tend to project your own mind to others. Thus the only way to know Paul's evil motives require a person just like that. Is Zuesse writing about himself? There is a Burmese saying, "It takes a snake to see the legs of other snakes."

3) This book can misinform any reader that doesn't know the Bible well. By questioning the validity of certain books in the Bible and the authenticity of certain versions, Zuesse has created for himself the freedom to pick and choose whatever passage he wants and ignore the rest as invalid. What's the difference between Zuesse and the fundamentalists? The same cherry picking reductionism, only from the opposite dimensions.
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The author dissects Paul's Letter to the Galatians by applying forensic methodology and ultimately concludes by designating the events, circumstances and players involved in shaping the early Jesus-sect of Judaism which, the case us made, ultimately culminated with the singular moment that changed Paul's message, and thus gave birth to the new religion of Christianity.

I was initially put off by repetitive arguments becoming shoe-pounding the table. However, I later worked through these arguments as the author's way of beating back 2,000 years of indoctrination. The points could have been established without te cumulative arguments perhaps with one more edits prior to publication. One is left with the impression that time pressures may have forced a premature release in these aspects.

I am yet unsatisfied with the author's statements about Jesus and what Jesus' reactions to Paul's gospel would be/have been. Those arguments need to be better laid out instead of, or in conjunction with, the repetitive arguments comparing Galatians and the other Pauline Epistles. Otherwise, I'm left using the author's methodology against those blanket statements. Basically, the reader is left to making sweeping inferences concerning what Jesus' positions would be or were, merely because Jesus was a Jew and, presumably, a strict adherent to Judaism. I would like to see those arguments better laid out and replacing some of the repetitive points about forensic methodology and the Galatians - remaining Pauline letters substantiations of the author's logic. Then, I could give a 5-star rating instead of a 3-1/2 - 4-star rating based solely on effort and workmanship.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Disclosure: I received a complimentary eBook version of this text from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from the author: "Christ's Ventriloquists" is a work of investigative history. It documents and describes Christianity's creation-event, in the year 49 or 50, in Antioch (present-day Antakya, Turkey), 20 years after Jesus had been crucified in Jerusalem for sedition against Roman rule. On this occasion, Paul broke away from the Jewish sect that Jesus had begun, and he took with him the majority of this sect's members; he convinced these people that Jesus had been a god, and that the way to win eternal salvation in heaven is to worship him as such. Paul here explicitly introduced, for the first time anywhere, the duality of the previously unitary Jewish God, a duality consisting of the Father and the Son; and he implicitly introduced also the third element of the Trinity, the Holy Ghost.

This work also explains and documents the tortuous 14-year-long conflict Paul had had with this sect's leader, Jesus's brother James, a conflict that caused Paul, in about the year 50, to perpetrate his coup d'état against James, and to start his own new religion: Christianity.

Then, this historical probe documents that the four canonical Gospel accounts of the words and actions of "Jesus" were written decades after Jesus, by followers of Paul, not by followers of Jesus; and that these writings placed into the mouth of "Jesus" the agenda of Paul. Paul thus effectively became, via his followers, Christ's ventriloquist.

A work such as this can be documented and produced only now, after the development (during the past 70 years) of modern legal/forensic methodology.
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