The Secret Legacy of Jesus and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$13.81
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $6.14 (31%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Secret Legacy of Jesus: The Judaic Teachings That Passed from James the Just to the Founding Fathers Paperback – December 21, 2009


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.81
$10.06 $6.20

Frequently Bought Together

The Secret Legacy of Jesus: The Judaic Teachings That Passed from James the Just to the Founding Fathers + The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity + The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity
Price for all three: $39.57

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; First edition (December 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594773076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594773075
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Although the inclusion of the Founding Fathers in the subtitle plays to the book’s most sensational (and least convincing) angle, this is actually a well-researched look at the Jerusalem followers of Jesus and what became of them. Paul’s mission to the Gentiles eventually overshadowed the Jewish Christian element of the church, but as Bütz explains, this contingent did not simply disappear. He carefully follows groups known as the Nazarenes and the Ebionites and explains the effect they had on later permutations of Christianity, and he makes the case for a heavy Jewish Christian effect on Islam. The book goes further afield as it tries to trace this influence on groups such as the Knights Templar and Freemasons, which Bütz claims affected America’s Founding Fathers as they shaped the country. Bütz uses ancient writings, such as the Gospels of James and Hebrews, to make his case. Though it’s easy to differ with some of his conclusions (and his tendency to go along with fringe historians), this is a fascinating read for seekers of the historical Jesus. --Ilene Cooper

Review

The Secret Legacy of Jesus is masterful, nothing less than the new definitive work on Jewish Christianity.  It’s the whole story of what happened to the religion of Jesus, in one place.  Immensely readable, this insightful book will challenge those who continue to believe that Paul’s Gentile Christ Movement was the only form of early Christianity.” (Barrie Wilson, professor of Religious Studies, York University, Toronto, and author of How Jesus Bec)

“Many books are informative; this remarkable book is also important.  Rev. Bütz traces an ‘underground stream’ of Jewish-Christian (Ebionite) affirmation of the humanity of Jesus--from his family and original apostles through nearly two millennia, culminating in Freemasonic traditions of the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution of the United States.” (Margaret Starbird, author of Magdalene’s Lost Legacy and Woman with the Alabaster Jar)

“I just read Jeffrey Bütz’s latest brilliant work and am more convinced than ever that America is the New Jerusalem.  Bütz lays out clearly and convincingly that the original teachings of Christ, as handed down by Jesus’s brother James, impacted Freemasonry.  When the Freemasons threw their support behind Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and others, they were able to manifest the greatest expression of a democratic republic this planet has ever seen: the U.S. Constitution.  This book is superb!” (Robert R. Hieronimus, Ph.D., author of Founding Fathers, Secret Societies and United Symbolism of Am)

The Secret Legacy of Jesus is a major contribution to the study of the historical Jesus.  Bütz manages to deal with extremely complex phenomena yet retain an easy reading style.  Such an accomplishment is made even more challenging by the scarcity of facts surrounding the Desposyni, which makes this book as much a mystery solver as a historical document.  One of the great joys of reading this book is that Bütz gives us a sweeping panorama stretching across two millennia.  This is a must read for anyone interested in Christianity.” (Dr. James Gardner, author of Jesus Who?  Myth vs. Reality in the Search for the Historical Jesu)

“What a pleasure it was to read The Secret Legacy of Jesus!  It is well written, unconventional, conversational, and engaging.  His tone and relaxed writing style convey the very tolerance and universalism that he sees in early Christianity.  This is an important addition to the growing body of literature on early Jewish Christianity, a subject that has been heretofore largely ignored.” (Keith Akers, author of The Lost Religion of Jesus)

"While evidence for an unbroken tradition is tenuous at best, Bütz's book provocatively reminds readers of the persistence of non- and even anti-Pauline types of Christianity; for spiritual seekers, scholars, and open-minded Christians." (Library Journal, Jan 2010)

" . . . a pick for any spirituality collection including secret societies and Christian history." (The Midwest Book Review, Apr 2010)

"Butz has uncovered details that other authors have missed . . . (Nexus New Times Magazine, Vol. 17, No. 4, June/July 2010)

“Bütz . . . is eminently readable and accessible to nonscholars while being thorough in [his] research. [He] raises the specter of a revisioned Christianity and challenges readers to rethink the nature of both orthodoxy and heresy.” (Publishers Weekly)

More About the Author

The Rev. Jeffrey Bütz holds a Master of Divinity degree from Moravian Theological Seminary and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He has been the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Nazareth, Pennsylvania since 1996 and an adjunct professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University since 2002.

He is the author of "The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity" (Inner Traditions International, 2005), which has received critical acclaim as the best book on Jesus' brother James written for a lay audience. His latest book is "The Secret Legacy of Jesus" (Inner Traditions, 2010), which has been called "the new definitive work on Jewish Christianity."

Rev. Jeff has also written a screenplay on James with Hollywood producer Harvey Rochman and is featured in the new groundbreaking Robert Orlando film on Paul and James - A POLITE BRIBE (www.apolitebribe.com).

Rev. Jeff's website: www.thebrotherofjesus.com

(Author photo by Joy Beth Holley)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Goudge on March 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Secret Legacy of Jesus: the Judaic Teachings That Passed from James the Just to the Founding Fathers by Jeffrey Bütz, Rochester, Vermont: InnerTraditions, 2010.

The idea that a suppressed tradition could "be recovered and used to bring about the reconciliation of Christians, Jews, and Muslims throughout the world", is one that immediately sets my ears perking. "The Secret Legacy of Jesus" by Jeffrey Bütz promises just that. Since the church I belong to has long been passionate about bringing about such a rapport, I immediately began promoting it for a book study. Having just finished the book, I agree that some of its insights could aid in bringing about peace between the religions -- if only we could get the ears of the right wing extremists, both Christian and Muslim. That's a big if.
However I found myself gripped from start to finish, partly (at least) because of Jeffrey the author's leaps of faith over rather vast abysses that left me dizzy, but since time, heretic hunters, book-burners, and the destructive mayhem of conquering armies have destroyed the stepping stones, such leaps were the only way to get to his goal. Looking back, it was part of the fun.
That said, there are some big problems with the book, some of which come from the author's uncritical reliance on Hugh Schonfield. On page 252, he states that the Nusairiyeh can be "directly traced back to the earliest Jewish Christians." Bütz quotes Schonfield: "Their existence, as well as their name, remains... a link with the past which should not be ignored." This is sloppy scholarship on Schonfield's part. The name has nothing to do with Nazarenes, as I presume Schonfield implies.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Dr. James Gardner VINE VOICE on December 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Butz' new book "The Secret Legacy of Jesus" is a major contribution to the study of the historical Jesus and provides a thorough and scholarly look at a previously under studied area - the history of the Desposyni. As in his previous book, "The Brother of Jesus", Butz manages to deal with extremely complex phenomena yet retain an easy reading style. Such an accomplishment is made even more challenging by the scarcity of facts surrounding the Desposyni, which makes this book as much a mystery solver as an historical document.

One of the great joys of reading this book is that Butz gives us a sweeping panorama stretching across two millennia demonstrating how the central issues inherent in Jesus' philosophy and ministry were kept alive even while the religion that kidnapped his name sought to obliterate all traces. Butz moves us through the Essenes, Gnostics, Ebionites , Nazoraeans, Elkesaites, Mandaeans, Nestorians, Manichaeians, into Muhammad, Islam, The Knights Templar, and Freemasons, tracing the common threads and demonstrating how "the Way" was kept alive and nourished.

One of the many characteristics of this book that I admire is the reliance on Hugh Schoenfield's work. Schoenfield was a major biblical scholar of the mid 20th century who wrote more than 40 books and is best known for "The Passover Plot" and "The Jesus Party." While these two books took some liberties with the facts to posit an interesting theory, they earned Schoenfield an unfortunate disregard by the traditional scholarly world, yet many of Schoenfield's ideas and insights have held up, and his other works, though less well known, were major contributions to the field. Butz manages to mine this ignored treasure trove.
Read more ›
19 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By S. E. Moore on February 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is well written and interesting in regard to the development of Jewish Christianity which the author expounded upon in his previous book, "The Brother of Jesus". The rebuilding of the Jerusalem synagogue which housed the upper room by the refugees from Pella and the subsequent preservation of some of its traditions by the Armenian Church was especially interesting. I also found the author identifying the Didache as a primitive Jewish Christian catechism and the Odes of Solomon as an ancient Jewish Christian hymnbook to be something worth looking into.

However, the author tries to uncover an unbroken stream of religious thought from Jesus and James to the Templars and Freemasons by grasping at straws which just aren't there. As a proud third degree Mason, I think I am qualified to make that opinion. In addition, some of his research is flawed and I have to disagree with some of his theories by referring to other scholars.

To say that the church begun by Paul fostered apostasy from the true teachings of Jesus is terribly misleading. Paul was executed by Romans some 260 years before Constantine established the Holy Roman Empire. Paul yearned for the imminent return of Christ and the rule of God no differently than James and the other apostles. He hardly envisioned the Vatican.

The author's premise that the Ebionites were the direct heirs of James and the Jerusalem community is another assumption that has serious flaws. If the Pseudo-Clementine literature reflects their beliefs, they could not have been. Jesus and James had serious conflicts with the Temple establishment but continued to revere the Temple itself as a place of pilgrimage and a house of prayer. The scathing attitude toward the sacrificial system in the Ps-Clem.
Read more ›
8 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews