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James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls I: The Historical James, Paul the Enemy, and Jesus' Brothers as Apostles [Kindle Edition]

Robert Eisenman
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this new series of books: "James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls I", renowned biblical scholar Robert Eisenman revisits the subject of James the brother of Jesus connecting him even more effectively, not only to the Leadership of Early Christianity in Palestine, but to the Dead Sea Scrolls in Palestine too.

In a more reader-friendly format that compresses the results of his several previous works, Eisenman uses the Dead Sea Scrolls and early Church texts to create the most comprehensive picture of Jesus’ brother James conceivable. The private specialist and enthusiastic aficionado will not want to miss it.

The James, Eisenman presents, is the pivotal Opposition Jewish Leader leading up to the fall of the Temple and beyond in the First Century. As a typical Essene or Dead Sea Scrolls sectarian, James wears only linen, bathes daily in cold water, was a vegetarian, and is a life-long Nazirite; but he and the Party, the New Testament attests he led, are also “zealous for the Law” and insist on “Circumcision”.

Moreover Eisenman makes compelling arguments that James not Peter -- whoever he was and however he existed -- and certainly not Paul, was the true heir to his brother Jesus and the Leader of early Christianity everywhere. Eisenman will also cover subjects like “the Brothers of Jesus as Apostles,” “the New Covenant in the Land of Damascus,” and Paul’s almost mortal attack on James in the Temple.

Eisenman’s work will also extend to the competition between Paul and James in Antioch and over the conversion of Queen Helen of Adiabene and her two sons in Northern Syria, who not only led the ‘famine relief” efforts ascribed to Paul in Acts, but also gave the fabulous golden candelabra depicted as booty from the Temple on the Arch of Titus in Rome.

Eisenman will show the figure of James to have been so influential and highly-regarded in the Jerusalem of his day that his death was the capstone event that led up to the Jewish Revolt against Rome.

In this series, Eisenman’s revelations will extend far beyond these examples. Adapted from a lifetime of research, "James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls", both I and II, will complete the task of rescuing James from the oblivion into which he was cast either intentionally or via benign neglect. His conclusion will therefore definitively bear on the problem of “the Historical Jesus”: “Who and whatever James was, so was Jesus.”


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Eisenman is the author of The New Testament Code: The Cup of the Lord, the Damascus Covenant, and the Blood of Christ (2006), James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls (1998), The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians (1996), Islamic Law in Palestine and Israel: A History of the Survival of Tanzimat and Shari'ah (1978), and co-editor of The Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1989) and The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered (1992). He is Professor of Middle East Religions and Archaeology and Islamic Law and the Director of the Institute for the Study of Judeo-Christian Origins at California State University Long Beach and Visiting Senior Member of Linacre College, Oxford. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University in Philosophy and Engineering Physics (1958), an M.A. from New York University in Near Eastern Studies (1966), and a Ph.D from Columbia University in Middle East Languages and Cultures and Islamic Law (1971). He was a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies and an American Endowment for the Humanities Fellow-in-Residence at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were first examined. In 1991-92, he was the Consultant to the Huntington Library in San Marino, California on its decision to open its archives and allow free access for all scholars to the previously unpublished Scrolls. In 2002, he was the first to publicly announce that the so-called 'James Ossuary', which so suddenly and 'miraculously' appeared, was fraudulent; and he did this on the very same day it was made public on the basis of the actual inscription itself and what it said without any 'scientific' or 'pseudo-scientific' aids.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(9)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more reader friendly version of "James" January 17, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is my first book on my new Kindle. I have read everything else Dr. Eisenman has written. He is a brilliant researcher. I know him personally. In this book, a streamlined version of "James the Brother of Jesus", he covers all the parallel but reversed history in the New Testament gospels to Clement's Recognitions, Hegesippus, Jerome and Josephus among others, but without much of the extra material in the original. This will prove to be acceptable to many who had trouble with the thick prose of his first go. Either is a monumental contribution. The end of Christianity may be just over the horizon if I am any judge of this man's work. But, he isn't the ogre some make him out to be. I personally feel his treatment of the material is very even-handed and non-judgmental. Having been a Christian, I tend to not be so charitable concerning what we have learned from him about the theology in the New Testament. As a disciple of a living Master, I know this subject from a unique perspective only available to one so privileged. His findings are a perfect fit to my Sant Mat (RSSB.org), which I hold as the gold-standard in this field. What he has done is set the new standard for scholarly biblical research. Panned by critical scholars and other peers for now, his work will sit atop the pile of their lesser works when all is accounted for. I compared Dr. Geza Vermes' translations of the Pesherim to his, and his are better. The carbon dating ruckus is a red herring (the opposition incorrectly says they are BCE). The Scrolls Pesherim are Christian era. Anyone who reads this with an open mind will see it. The "Lying Spouter" Paul is finally put in his place, and there he will stay, thanks to Dr. Eisenman. SIX stars if there were that many. Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Scholarship - But Lots of Assumptions April 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The scholarship of Dr. Eisenman is obvious, and to be respected. There is a lot of very helpful information presented.

It is also obvious that his opinion is that the biblical texts are to be interpreted in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and in fact the Scrolls are to be preferred. It is a basic premise of "either / or" logic instead of a search for "both / and". There are many "...in fact..." and "...obviously..." and "...clearly..." statements made, when, in fact, some of those facts aren't given. Granted, those examples to which I'm referring center around observations of Jesus and Christianity - interpolations from the facts present in the Scrolls and other documents.

For example, Dr. Eisenman cites that the Jesus you encounter in the biblical texts is not consistent with the James you find in the extra-biblical literature, and inconsistent with the mindset of all other examples of messianic personalities of the time. The conclusion is that the biblical texts must have been edited or contrived. Isn't it possible, though, that a messiah who came to save the world from sin instead of rescue a nation from foreign rule would be different than the traditional? And isn't it possible for siblings to have different worldviews, especially if your premise is that one of them was the Son of God?

I recognize that Dr. Eisenman's premise is to present the historical James. But in the introduction he makes the statement that in doing so, you get a better view of the historical Jesus. The first (and main) purpose of the book is well handled. The second is not.

If you are a non-Christian attempting to gain a greater understanding of the historical James, you've come to the right place. If you are a Christian, you will have to take some conclusions with a grain of salt. Definitely worth the journey, though. Looking forward to the second installment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Insights beyond "James" May 3, 2013
By Sejanus
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this GREAT book, I think Robert Eisenman sees the Maccabeans as related to the DSS community. How close that relation is, in his mind, is not explicit, but it seems significant. He makes this incredibly important point: "The quotation attributed by Hegesippus to James, which we compared to throwing a lighted match into an excited mix of pilgrims, is both immediate and intense. When one grasps its aggressively apocalyptic Messianic character, it becomes the central proclamation of one of the most amazing episodes ever recorded in religious history. Not only are the words attributed to James paralleled almost word-for-word in the War Scroll from Qumran, they come precisely at the point where the Messianic "Star Prophecy" is being elucidated in that Document. . . . one should realize that the War Scroll is operating in exactly the same ideological and scriptural framework."

The internal evidence in the War Scroll suggests it was written sometime in the 160s BCE. If you doubt that, make a comment here and I'll respond with the argument. Regardless, Eisenman's point is one that I have always suspected of the Jesus Movement--it connected directly to the early Maccabeans and the Bar Kochba revolts. Very directly.

The following comment from Eisenman is one of the most significant in this wonderful book: "Whether James is to be identified with the Righteous Teacher at Qumran or simply a parallel successor is not the point---the Scrolls allow us to approach the Messianic Community of James with about as much precision as we are likely to have from any other source."

On another major point, Adiabene clearly had a close relationship to James and the Jerusalem church, as Eisenman has so well documented here and elsewhere.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost unreadable
The author's writing style is almost unreadable. He uses so many discursions in a single sentence that it's hard to remember what the main point is. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Robert H. Ruff
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Place to Start About Early Church History.
Robert Eisenman is one of my big three scholarly giants in the subject Biblical history along with the late Hyam Maccoby and James D. Tabor. Read more
Published 6 months ago by The Paineful Truth
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing research
Probably the best book I have read on James the brother of Jesus. Eisenman has one problem in writing and that is he has so much information that he has a tendency to unload it... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ronald Dawbarn
1.0 out of 5 stars elaborate biased expound about the origin of Christianity
The author has attempted to re-interpret the narrative found in the NT based on his personal judgment and conclusions of data and information extracted from ancient documents,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by J.T.
5.0 out of 5 stars layout could be better, subject matter is incredible.
I really think that this book deserves a good look through, but to really understand you should also have the ante-nicene fathers (10 volume set, 9 on kindle as #10 was only a... Read more
Published 13 months ago by M. Alspach
1.0 out of 5 stars Bogus, biased, baseless and batty?
I was hoping to find some reliable information about James, the brother of The Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, I found that the author appears to believe that the same Jesus who... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Laurence
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