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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 (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,268 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

48 of 62 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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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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32 of 43 people found the following review helpful By LITCRIT on October 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book and and the author's forensic approach makes for compelling reading. Far from demeaning or derogatory,altough it may come as a shock to many, it gives a perspective of how christianity came into being. And for me, gave further confirmation of a long held belief of how mankind interferes with inate spirituality in teh guise of created religiousity. It enhanced my admiration of the historical and spritual Jesus and what he really stood for. there is some unecessary repetion but this does not detract from the overall presentation. Worth a read and for reference purposes.
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47 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jorge Trullols Fumanal on August 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really beautiful piece of literary analysis that goes far beyond mere scholarship. Usually, non-believers see the biblical texts as pure mumbo-jumbo, while believers have an infinite capacity to accommodate whatever discordant elements they find. As a result, the numerous contradictions that fill both Testaments are always ignored. Even the christian fundamentalists have to accept that there are things in the Bible that do not make sense...

What if this wasn't true? What if the texts really made sense? The author applies this methodology to St Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. And the result is devastating. Everything fits in defining the biggest case crime scenario of all time: the making of Christianity out of thin air.

If I was a believer (which I no longer am), honestly, after reading this book I would throw my christian faith down the sink. Look at this (Galatians 1.15): "God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me". Paul, St Paul, Paul of Tarsus, a mere mortal, simply claims that he was predestined to be the bringer of the Gospel. Wow! That's huge, dude! Obviously, that makes sense if you want to emphasize the fact that your authority was previously granted to you before to the men that physically knew Jesus. But theologically this is a bomb in a nutshell: God, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit... and Paul! One wonders what theologians are paid for...

In any case, this an amazing book. I only regret having a mere five stars to rate it.
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