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Jesus, Son of Man Hardcover – 1977

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Urizen Books; 1st American ed edition (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0916354636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916354633
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,091,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Augstein, the founder of Der Spiegel, was educated by Jesuits but later turned on his Catholic upbinging. In adult life, he began to question his rejection and wanted to study the question of Jesus and the New Testament, appropriate since Germany was the site of maor re-thinking of the Gospels in the last two centuries. He had the wherewithal to employ researchers to plow through vast volumes of work to save him from years of drudgery in the library. This is a disquieting history of the contradictions in NT scholarship and not for the ill-informed or the fndamentalist. The dean of American religious book reviewers and theologian himself, Martin Marty, said: It's very uncomfortable news for the Church, but the Church must know, understand and deal with the situation. This merits the attention of agnostic and believer both.
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Format: Hardcover
Rudolf Karl Augstein (1923-2002) was a German journalist, as well as founder and part-owner of Der Spiegel magazine.

He wrote in the Foreword to this 1972 book, "There is hardly any conclusion put forth in this book which has not been quite well known for perhaps a hundred and twenty, perhaps even two hundred years. No new theory about Jesus is added to those that already exist. I am now probing how the Christian church dares appeal to a Jesus who never existed, to a mandate he never issued, and to a claim that he was God's son, which he never presumed for himself." (Pg. 9) He adds, "Jesus spoke scarcely any of the words put into his mouth and did hardly any of the deeds ascribed to him. The risen Christ is the invention of the community... It is hard to see how the churches can survive if they admit what they must not admit, that they are based on ancient fictions, on the confused dreams of earlier times. But neither can we see how we are to defend ourselves against the demands, especially of the Roman church, without damaging what we should wish to leave to them, and to all others, unhurt: the unconsciously invented Jesus of the primitive Christian community." (Pg. 12-13)

He notes, "Paul, surprisingly, does not mention [Judas], though a betrayal is always theologically productive; but perhaps as a renegade himself he was concerned to conceal this wretched sort of political turn-coat? Surely that would be to underrate Paul." (Pg. 152)

He observes, "If one took a poll among Christians about which of the ethical commandments represented the quintessence of the Gospels, the commandment to love one's enemies would come out easily top. Yet in the earliest and oldest of the Gospels, that named after one 'Mark'... this commandment surprisingly does not appear.
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Format: Hardcover
If a Jew had written this book he might have set off a wave of anti-Semitism. Augstein is a Christian who protests against the contradiction between what Catholic and Protestant research itself has discovered about biblical truth and what organized Christian religious sects continue to teach their followers. Much of what he writes would be very useful in countering the missionary onslaught on the Jews. I refer to this book in my book "The Optimistic Jew: a Positive Vision for the Jewish People in the 21st Century".
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