From Publishers Weekly
Is the New Testament story of Jesus history or pure legend? Clearly seeking to provoke controversy, Wells (The Jesus Legend: What's in a Name?) contends that the accounts of Jesus in the canonical Gospels contradict not only one another but also the earliest Christian documents, which never present Jesus as an itinerant preacher, a miracle worker, born of a virgin or executed under Pilate. Combining literary criticism, textual criticism and historical criticism, Wells examines the evidence about Jesus by probing the Gospels and independent testimonies of Jesus's life from the first century A.D. such as the Gospel of Thomas and Q. The author also examines the letters of Paul and contends that Paul bases his portrait of Jesus on the Jewish figure of Wisdom, who sought acceptance on earth but was rejected and returned to heaven. In a detailed and convincing fashion, Wells argues that the Gospel stories of Jesus are myths composed to satisfy the religious longings of the Gospel writers' audiences.
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"In THE JESUS MYTH, the latest in G.A. Wells's series of eagle-eyed scrutinies of the Gospels and of contemporary New Testament scholarship, the author once again takes the role of the Diogenes of the theologians. Charitable yet unflinching, Well's analysis forces one to the inevitable conclusion that the apologists for the historical Jesus are less researchers than spin-doctors, apparatchniks for an ecclesiastical Politburo. His refreshing intellectual honesty is witnessed by the fact that his own views are amenable to evolution and revision." -- Robert M. Price, Editor, The Journal of Higher Criticism
This is a book for believers and unbelievers alike, in fact, for anyone who is a serious student of the bible or of the Christian faith. [Wells's] hope is that his readers will come to an informed opinion about the historical reliability of the New Testament, its writers and the life of its central character, Jesus. -- Independent Publisher, 4/15/99