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JESUS WHO? Myth vs. Reality in the Search for the Historical Jesus Paperback – May 16, 2006

13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc. (May 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591139554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591139553
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,072,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. James Gardner (1945 - ) was born in Queens, New York, the youngest of two sons. His parents were born in the U.S. but came from Italian, Irish, American Indian, Russian, and Cossack backgrounds. He received a BA from City College of New York (1965), an MA from Hunter College (1966), and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University (1972). He held teaching positions at Ohio State, Queensland University (Australia), University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), Cal State Fullerton, and Pepperdine University.

Dr. Gardner is the editor of JesusPolice.com and the author of "Jesus Who? Myth vs. Reality in the Search for the Historical Jesus" (2006) and "Mary Who? Searching for the Historical Mary Magdalene" (2008). In addition, he is the author of "Training Nonprofessionals in Behavior Modification", "PC or not PC", The Effects of Quality Assurance", Inside the Cuckoo's Nest", and "The Disposable People", as well as more than 100 articles that appeared in professional journals.

Dr. Gardner divides his time between California and Brazil, where he owns a 3,000 acre rainforest in Bahia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 30 people found the following review helpful By M. O. Conner on October 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book could have saved me a lot of money if it had been written earlier. Many scholars on the historical or mythological Jesus spend pages and pages tripping over themselves to make a point. The books pile up, and you find yourself dizzy and still unable to dissect the Canonical Gospels or first century Palestine.

Gardner writes a concise, clear book that spells out the irregularities and misconceptions with the traditional Jesus as Western Society has come to know him. Paragraphs make solid points, and there are charts, definitions and tables that compare all the scholarship, ancient and modern, on the historicity of Jesus Christ. Gardner's sources are solid and so are his insights. In fact, he brings new revelations to the table that I hadn't heard before about early Christianity.

This book decidedly points that there is a problem with Christianity, and the problem lies with assuming and not knowing the truth behind its founder.

And I'm not talking about Saint Paul, but about the big guy himself.

If you've had questions all your life about who really is Jesus of Nazareth, this is a perfect beginning to a road you might regret because the truth tends to hurt some people.

Abraxas
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Herbert W. Fawcett on January 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Gardner has done his homework. I checked every Biblical reference and was pleased to see that there was no tendency to bias nor an effort to deceive. An easy read with much to say.
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Computer Guy on June 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dr James Gardner has taken years of scholarly research and created a book for the lay person (like me!). It is well written and comprehensive, covering every aspect of Jesus' life from birth to death and beyond. Comparable books about Jesus usually focus on one or two asepcts, but Gardner attempts to cover everything (was he married? was his mother a virgin? what was his relation ship to John the Baptist? was he the suffering servant? etc).

Gardner's theme is myth vs. reality and he manages to stick to this theme throughout, sometimes showing the origins of the myth as well. I found it very interesting and it certainly changed my mind about lots of issues. I especially liked the use of tables and bullet points, which made it easier to see the weight of the evidence he presents. It's probably one reason why he packs so much information into relatively so few pages. Comparable books I've read are usually much longer.

I'm not sure I agree with Dr. Gardner's ultimate conclusions, although he does present a lot of evidence to support them. His idea is that Jesus and his family were Essenes, and he accounts for many of the questionable aspects in the gospels by attribution to this theory (eg., we don't know much about Jesus' childhood because he was raised in Qumran). He believes that Jesus' group was a major political force, numbering in the thousands, and this accounts for the reason Jesus is killed. And he provides a plethora of information that Jesus was bothered by a lifelong stigma of being a "mamser".

I have only two criticisms of the book. Gardner begins with a very interesting and informative critique of the methodological issues involved in doing biblical research, but he fails to follow through when he himself discusses the issues about Jesus' life.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Marlene S. on June 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Rarely have I read a book which created so much thought and stimulated so much discussion and conversation in my Book Club. The wealth of information is astounding. Many of my beliefs were challenged and this book will be my companion for many years to come. An absolute must read. While I don't necessarily agree with all of the conclusions, it's clear that Dr. Gardner has marshalled many resources to support them. I found the notes very helpful and was especially intrigued by his comparisons of the First Century with the work he did while he was in Africa. I think he could do a book on this topic alone and I hope that any future revisions will expand on his thinking in this area.
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16 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amedeo Scabbia on July 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Excellent book.

I live in Brazil, in a very religious community where often the bible and the new testament are discussed at our church meetings as absolute truths. I have read and heard of of many theories about Jesus and the origin of my faith, but always in shreds and pieces and controversial presentation. Suddenly, Dr. Gardner book, present the whole case at once with such a detailed and substantiated form that it forced me to shift my attention to the essence of my faith and not the truth based on some historical event: if before the reality of Jesus was based on external reported facts, now I was happily forced to go directly to my gnosis to discover what the truth really is. This book favored such introspection and forced upon me a new discovery of myself and my divinity.

Highly welcome reading for somebody engaged on a journey of one's soul's self discovery.
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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
I recently read this book. I was very impressed with it. I particularly valued the first chapter which described the various methodologies that were used to evaluate the issues surrounding Jesus and his life. The author does not seem to have any axes to grind. I think he is concerned with the accuracy of the statements made regarding Jesus. He appears to accept Jesus' main message which seems to be "love." My neighbor has also read parts of the book which facilitates positive discussion between us. I recommend this book. I enjoyed reading it and my image of Jesus has changed.
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