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Deconstructing Jesus Hardcover – March 1, 2000
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In this way, "Jesus Christ" functions as a symbolic cloak for several hidden agendas. This is no surprise, Price demonstrates, since the Jesus Christ of the gospels is very likely a fictional amalgam of several first-century prophets and messiahs, as well as of purely mythic Mystery Cult redeemers and Gnostic Aions. To show this, Price follows the noted scholar Burton Mack's outline of a range of "Jesus movements" and "Christ cults," showing the origins of each one's Jesus figures and how they may have finally merged into the patchwork savior of Christian dogma.
Finally, Price argues that there is good reason to believe that Jesus never existed as a historical figure, and that responsible historians must remain agnostic about a "historical Jesus" and what he stood for.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Deconstructing Jesus" isn't an easy read. Unless you have been diligently studying in this field you will find many references to authors you have never heard about. The field is rife with people studying this question.
Bottom line, as I understand it, is that the Jesus that contemporary Christianity follows is a multi-layered construction that has evolved over time to fit the needs of the current culture and political climate. The roots of this construction are all over the first century Middle East and various philosophies. From Cynic, to Gnostic, through Zealot, and everything in between has been woven into the picture that we get of "The Man From Nazareth" (or, was he a Nasserite or Nasorean?).
For the serious student of Christology or church history this book is an excellent criticism of all the current thinking in this area of scholarship. I doubt that the average pew-sitting Christian will be overjoyed with this book but the scholarship will, eventually, be the stuff of many homilies.
Will you find the historical Jesus in this book? No. But you will find an early Church struggling with a polyglot of beliefs attempting to blend them into a cohesive fabric of faith. Perhaps it is that dynamic that has kept "The Church" alive for two millennia. Mysticism and Gnostic thinking are on the rise again and "The Church" on the eve of another evolutionary move -- here's the first map of the territory ahead.
Among books skeptical of Christianity, it is the best documented, with examples of similar beliefs in preChristion religions, Greek philosophy and early rabbinic Judaism contemporary with the New Testament writers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can only say, "he's done it again!" It's another really good read, and recommended to anyone looking to put another lid on the discussion. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rick Theis
Great book - Robert Price is a bible scholar and the master of logic, demonstrating how the Jesus of Nazareth character is fictional.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Superb stuff, blissfully untainted with the brush of bias so understandably prevalent in orthodoxy.
Dr. Read more
There is no doubt that Christianity is the biggest fraud ever visited upon humanity, exceeded only by Islam. And this book gently reveals it so as not to offend believers. Read morePublished on December 18, 2013 by Jaysonrex
Robert McNair Price (born 1954) is a former Baptist minister who teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is professor of biblical criticism at... Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by Steven H Propp
I believe this is one of the first books where Robert M. Price touches on the subject of the historicity of Jesus. Read morePublished on June 20, 2013 by T. K. Mikkelsen
Robert M. Price has a knack for coming up with intriguing hypotheses when it comes to Biblical criticism. Read morePublished on October 11, 2011 by KJ
Scholars who do not accept the historicity of the Gospels are probing in two different directions. On one hand we have those who consider that Jesus is a myth. Read morePublished on May 27, 2010 by Chris Albert Wells
This is another indispensable contribution from Dr. Price. Here he traces the lines of evidence back to a plurality of preorthodox Christian sociological and cultural phenomena... Read morePublished on December 22, 2008 by Will F.