From Library Journal
These two books offer an enormous contrast. While Fredriksen provides a balanced, carefully reasoned, scholarly study of the historical Jesus, Ellegard's conclusions can only be described as preposterous. Ellegard (formerly dean, Univ. of G?teburg, Sweden) is clearly familiar with some mainline biblical scholarship, but he always opts for the minority view and stretches it beyond reason. For example, he believes that the Gospels were written in the second century C.E. and traces the origin of Christianity to "a group of pious Jews called the Essenes" (the Dead Sea Scrolls group). Then, based on this highly questionable and twisted "evidence," he leaps to several unjustified conclusions: that Jesus lived long before he was supposed to have and that his disciples had only "ecstatic visions" of him and never knew him in the flesh. The Gospel writers, he suggests, then mistook their visions for real events and created fictitious accounts of Jesus' life. Fredriksen (scripture, Boston Univ.), on the other hand, explores the conundrum of a well-established historical fact--namely, that Jesus was executed by the Roman prefect Pilate as a political insurrectionist while his followers were not. She concludes that it was the volatile mix of excited pilgrims in Jerusalem for Passover and their acclaim of Jesus at a time when Pilate was especially interested in keeping the peace that led to his death. Her balanced, well-written work could serve as a kind of introduction to the content and methodology scholars use in the study of the historical Jesus and is highly recommended for any library. Ellegard's work would only be useful as an example of the false conclusions that result when questionable opinion is stretched beyond reasonable limits.-David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
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Deserves a serious look not just for its ingenuity but also for the questions it raises. -- The Cleveland Plain Dealer
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.