112 of 123 people found the following review helpful
Solid scholarship; fascinating read,
By A Customer
This review is from: Incredible Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable Is the Gospel Tradition? (Hardcover)
Robert Price is amazing. A true treasure. This is his best work yet. He clearly, steadily guides us through the entire Christian scriptures and shows how nearly everything in them is a plagiarism from either Old testament, Jewish aporcypha, or Greek mythology. He goes through Jesus' "life" story -- exposing it as nearly all myth and fiction as opposed to fact. He goes through the miracles, John the Baptist, etc., etc., and his breadth of knowledge is truly astounding.
What is nice is that he just isn't writing this to debunk and deconstruct. Rather, he helps illuminate much about early Christianity. By sifting through the myth-making, the contradictions, and the plagiarisms, he helps paint a fascinating picture of what the early theological and political struggles of early Christianity must have entailed.
The bottom line is that the story of Jesus is clearly and undoubtedly myth and fiction, and this book is perhaps THE BEST at revealing that. Every pages is loaded with information and evdience. And Price isn't out to prove that Jesus never existed (like Wells or Doherty). He takes a more humble/realistic approach: Jesus may or may have not existed, we';ll never know, but what we do know is that the new testament is clearly fiction/myth. That is beyond a doubt. This book lays it all out.
With scholars like Price, rational, clear-thinking individuals are in good hands. May he continue to produce such erudite, solid, fascintaing, well-articulated and compelling work.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 30, 2008 9:32:45 AM PDT
David Marshall says:
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2009 7:46:25 AM PDT
Aww....you had a cold. Good excuse. Reminds me of poor excuses when missing numerous shots at the pool table :-P
Posted on Sep 20, 2009 11:26:56 AM PDT
Reader From Aurora says:
While I have not read this book, glancing at the on-line portion, it strikes me as a rehash of his earlier works, e.g. Deconstructing Jesus, and The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man, etc. Is there anything new?
I remember Price from years ago, when he was attempting to resuscitate the old History of Religions argument. I recall hearing his comments in a late 1990s debate with Craig. Price's argument against the historical reliability of Christianity was in large based on by appeal to perceived non-Christian parallels to the Gospel stories. While initially, this sounded interesting, when pressed on particulars the force of his argument seemed to evaporate. For instance one of his stronger points was a comparison between Jesus and Apollonius of Tyanna. While arguably there are some incidental similarities between the two, The Life of Apollonius of Tyanna is a third century fictional work commissioned by the Empress Julia in response to the growth of Christianity - not exactly a compelling argument against the veracity of the Christian story. Needless to say, this argument was dismantled by his opponent and Price's argument went downhill, devolving into something along the lines of "I disagree with mainstream scholarship, yet have only the most speculative of theories to posit." For those interested the debate is probably available on-line. I appreciated Price's attempts at dismissive humour, however, he did not seem credible and he got his hat handed to him in this encounter.
As an aside, readers interested in ancient Christian - non-Christian parallels in the areas of life after death or resurrection may enjoy The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright.
Posted on Aug 21, 2011 11:57:07 AM PDT
But even the synoptic Gospels weren't written as journalism, history, or something familiar to modern popular or academic readers--consider the audience--they were supposed to be convincing and encouraging to groups who had heard people talk about hearing Jesus and seeing him first or second-hand. There is also a big difference between fiction and myth, and if you don't think there is anything real in a story that's "just made-up", what about the parable of the "Good Samaritan"? It never happened, like Icarus flying too close to the sun, but it's true, isn't it?
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2012 11:04:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2012 1:12:51 AM PST
Vincent Czyz says:
The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man isn't REMOTELY a rehash of Deconstructing Jesus; they have virtually nothing to do with each other. If you haven't read this, you should though you may be dismayed at how much evidence will NOT evaporate. Every gospel scene putting Jesus in a synagogue is a "retrojection" because there WERE no synagogues until after the destruction of the second Temple in 70 AD. This conclusion is based on both Jewish writings and archaeological evidence. And that's just for starters. Price also points out not merely parallels between Pythagoras, who calmed the waves, and Jesus, but a miracle story irrefutably lifted from Pythagorean lore. Unlike Apollonius, Pythagoras lived in the 5th century BC. And next time you're in Greece, take a look at those vases from the 4th and 5th centuries BC that show Dioynsus on a stake (which is "stavros" in Greek and is the New Testament word translated as "cross"; it is not the Greek word for cross, which is just the letter chi). Dionysus is wearing a purple robe, a crown of ivy instead of thorns and two women are bringing 1. wheat (to make a flat cake analogous to the eucharist) and 2. wine. Yeah, coincidence.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2014 4:42:46 AM PST
N T Wright is an apologist joke. Price uses a lot more than non Christian parallels......the strongest influence in P is the reappearance of O T tropes in N T in one form or another as most forcibly expounded by the now defrocked Dominican priest Brodie [defrocked or not]
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