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Shattering the Christ Myth (Tekton Building Blocks) Paperback – June 27, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Tekton Building Blocks
  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Xulon Press (June 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606472712
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606472712
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Of course Holding doesn't know these FACTS because he can't research worth a darn.
Bruce Grubb
It's more a history book than a work of apologetics, and I think anybody interested in the historical Jesus question would find it useful.
Benson Shays
Wherever you stand in the debate over the historical existence of Jesus, this book is an excellent resource.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kurgan on November 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a readable, and up-to-date debunking of a conspiracy theory that still has many followers today, especially on the internet. While some critics have pointed out that the author himself is not a biblical scholar (Holding holds a degree in library science, which essentially means he's good at looking things up), most of his opponents have no better credentials either. Likewise, the objections that Holding raises against this theory are sound, and his sources are legitimate. Perhaps it will help first time readers to gain a little bit of history:

The idea that Jesus of Nazareth, the Jewish preacher called Christ and worshiped by 2 billion Christians today, was actually a fictional character, dreamt up long ago by purveyors of Myth, or even copied from ancient pagan gods, was, believe it or not, once a popular theory amongst enthusiastic amateur writers. Fueled by new discoveries from Egypt, and a post-Enlightenment hubris, these writers set out to prove what they already believed... that all the real knowledge of the world came from one ancient source in the East. Some wished to blend neo-occult practices, secret societies and new religious movements together with a mythical link to the past. Some wished to provide a justification for rejection of state Churches (especially those of the old order in Europe where the Catholic Church had lost so much ground). Negatively, others would take up their work and declare that all religions were false, coming from the same initial font of superstition. The 19th century was a very productive period for works espousing Christ Mythicism.
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44 of 64 people found the following review helpful By PhilVaz on July 23, 2008
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Having been aware of this so-called "debate" on the Internet (please note: it is entirely an "online debate" not one advanced by serious NT or historical Jesus scholars) since the mid 1990s, I am glad that J.P. Holding has finally transcribed and edited some of his impressive "Tektonics" online articles for an entire book on "Shattering the Christ Myth." He and his amateur scholar contributors have pulled together an excellent set of articles and chapters debunking both the "myth" hypothesis and the "copycat" or "pagan parallel" thesis presented by many an anti-Christian conspiracy buff and uninformed skeptic of historical Christianity.

Chapters include an introduction on the history and origin of the "Christ myth" claims dating from the early 1800s; detailed defenses of the standard non-biblical references to Jesus from the Jewish historian Josephus (his two passages), the Roman historian Tacitus, Lucian, Pliny the Younger, and Papias; responses to the various "silences" argued by "mythicists" from Remsburg to G.A. Wells to Earl Doherty; analysis of the supposed "pagan Christs" from Mithra to Krishna to Horus to Dionysos; reviews and refutations exposing the abysmal scholarship and poor arguments of recent "Christ myth" movies "The God Who Wasn't There" and "Zeitgeist"; and additional material on the city of Nazareth, the academic and Internet mythicists, and more.

This book shows there is really nothing at all to the "mythicist" claims: they are groundless historically, poorly argued based on "silence" and refuted by numerous reliable witnesses to Jesus, and that includes the canonical Gospels and the earliest writings of St. Paul.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Benson Shays on March 25, 2012
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Christ-mythers have a pretty big arsenal of arguments. They cite dozens of pagan parallels to Jesus, supposed New Testament silences, interpolations and contradictions. When combined they sound impressive, but they ultimately make for a better comedy routine than plausible history of Christianity. In the course of reading biblical scholarship that becomes clear. The truth, however, is that most people, whether believers or skeptics, have neither the time nor desire to take on such in depth study.

Most scholars and apologists will only go as far as looking at mythicists funny for even proposing that Jesus didn't exist, and rightly so. But realizing how well the internet can enable stupidity, Holding and his co-authors have collected every mythicist argument concocted in the last 150 years and thoroughly refuted it.

STCM is divided into roughly three sections, each dealing with different versions and aspects of the Christ-myth. The first puts the screws to the silence thesis as advanced by Earl Doherty; the second with the copycat thesis as argued by Acharya S and Robert Price; and the third addresses two "documentaries" about the Christ-myth and other miscellaneous arguments.

The most useful, although most mind numbing, portion of the book is the section dedicated to Earl Doherty's massive list of New Testament silences. Doherty's argument goes like this: If Jesus were a historical figure, he would have been mentioned by Paul where the latter discusses an issue Jesus also taught about in the Gospels. Since there's no mention of Jesus in these passages, he probably didn't exist. The argument takes on a few different forms, but that's the gist -- Christian author (take your pick) doesn't mention Jesus where he should have.

Holding et al.
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