73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Set yourself apart, & read this.,
This review is from: James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
Eisenman's "James" is the BEST work of non-fiction I have EVER read. It should be required reading for anyone who makes ANY claim to (Western) Religious Knowledge -- theological, historical, or spiritual. It is not for the faint of heart: It is both physically massive and conceptually dense. In my case, six months, cover-to-cover. My wife called it the "Omnipresent Tome." To pick it up is a true investment -- But boy does it pay.
Though deep scholarship, Eisenman's tale is nonetheless gripping. He outlines his premises, then weaves and connects them with meticulous care. His book reads like a detective story. But "James" is much more -- a monumental struggle to recover lost memory. A Deleted History, to which each of us has a real and important relation. It is a story of intrigue and transcendence, of subterfuge and conflict.
For some readers, the book must imply a dark, unspoken theme. Dark, because there is the most Insidious and Ironic Purpose behind our forgetfulness. Eisenman is not just reproducing the shattered. He is not merely recreating processes of undirected time. He is helping us to name the Culpable, the Robbers of Self-Memory, the Perpetrators of the Shattering. "James the Brother of Jesus" shines a very direct light on the shadowy foundations of Western religious assumption.
I was fascinated by the principal personalities of Eisenman's story -- James, Josephus, and Paul -- as well as the dozens of fragmentary echoes of voices that were silenced long ago. One is left wondering at the Systematic Erasure of early witness. So much history (yet so little) exists only as attributed quotes, eviscerations which appear in others' writings, as if they had crawled there to be hidden, like the Treasures of the Copper Scroll... Eisenman gathers a thousand such fragments and very carefully plots the implications. Separately, the pieces are puffs of air; together, they constitute a secret, essential, and yet sad, Forbidden Gospel.
The major points the author makes are:
James was the undisputed successor to Jesus;
Early Christianity was very Jewish and very messianic;
Early Christianity was stronly allied with the Qumran-Essene population;
Paul's philosophy of inclusion is antithetical to the real tenets of early Christianity;
Luke was the quintessential propagandist;
The New Testament is corrupted by forgeries, which Authorities even now use to justify themseleves;
... and goodness, a thousand other things....
If you want to understand Christianity, "James" is a giant first step.
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Showing 1-10 of 38 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 6, 2012 3:19:51 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 6, 2012 3:20:35 PM PDT]
Posted on Sep 6, 2012 3:19:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 6, 2012 3:21:32 PM PDT
I'm seven years late, but this is the most literate review of Eisenman I've ever read. It even helped me to understand why I've been such a fan of his all these years.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2012 7:11:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 9, 2012 7:12:28 PM PDT
Well... Thanks! Never too late for a kind word lol.
Posted on Dec 1, 2012 9:29:08 AM PST
You only know half the story. I agree this is the best non-fiction there is. But Eisenman, and I know him personally, doesn't acknowledge the corollary important fact of his conclusion, "Who and whatever James was, so was Jesus". That is: Masters come in ENDLESS succession. I wrote a book detailing the implications of his conclusions. You may not believe your eyes when you see the full story. I tried to explain to him the concept of mastership, but he doesn't accept it, at least not for now. Both John the Baptist and James were systematically hidden from the public by church forces as saviors in their own right.
The Bible says 'Saviors' - Obadiah 1:21: The New Testament coverup of saviors John the Baptist and James the Just
Email me at yahoo dot com and I'll send the manuscript as pdf for free. That goes for anyone.
Posted on Nov 9, 2014 10:31:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 9, 2014 10:32:11 PM PST
Kurt must read a lot of fiction. The notion that this book is non fiction is quite hilarious. Then, of course, we have Robert Wahler flogging his own book in this thread and everywhere else here on Amazon in the fruit loop literature reviews. Eisenman is the gift that just keeps on giving. Its a real shame he is not yet on Comedy Channel.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2014 6:00:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2014 6:04:52 PM PST
Take a moment to think critically, please. What is indisputable is that Orthodoxy made a systematic effort to destroy & expunge non-doctrinal (eg. heretical, Gnostic, etc.) texts. That we have Nag Hammadi at all is the closest thing I've seen to a modern day miracle! You can see the same thoroughness and zeal in the dearth/destruction of Myan codexes as well.. So, having the modus operandi of the Church in clear evidence -- and having moreover the endlessly proven propensity for humans to conflate, distort, redact, ammend, etc. any text that suits their particular aims, you must at least agree that, as far as "fiction" goes, "Church teaching," and the "common knowledge" of the story of Jesus & his early followers must be very far indeed from historical fact.
As regards Eisenmann. First, "non-fiction" does not mean "truth." It means the author tried to be clear and systematic in warranting his many hypoteses. It means he didn't write his book thinking, "Yeah! That sounds good... I'll try that..." It means Eisenmann made every attempt he could muster to ground his notions in (what he considers) material evidence. He made an effort to raise a raft of inter-related assumptions to the status of a theory. Whether he succeeded is not for me -- and likely not for you -- to say, but for a peer review of non-partisan academics to rule upon. I did not find the premises "hilarious," nor my own interest in wondering on them. I don't know who "Wahler" is, but certainly, I've never seen Eisenmann "flogging" his book, so why do you equate the two?
Certainly, there is a large body of off-the-cuff, loosey-goosely authors willing to link any two hair-brained ideas that'll earn them a buck from the lunatic fringe of readership. Eisenman, however, is smart enough that he doesn't have to invent. He can make plenty of hay on formal, professional speculation, because he can back-fill his ideas to an incredible depth. The value in "James" is that it has sufficient heft to wonder on -- if only, for some, as a practice in suspension of disbelief, then so be it, but it must qualify at least as that. I'm a tough critic, and much of "James" I found wordy &/or redundant. But the main thread of his "vision" I found, if not without weakness, then far from weak.
Maybe... "James" can only qualify as crackpot and "fruit loop" -- it can only evoke an emotional, negative, visceral response -- in two sorts of people: A) A qualified investigator of equal or greater caliber than Eisenmann himself -- ie., a true, life-long professional who can see directly into mistakes the author might have made, or B) A biased, invested and (dare I say it?) somewhat fearful lay-person who sees a personal threat in another's inquiry into Orthodox Presumption.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2014 10:16:27 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 15, 2014 11:26:36 AM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2014 1:53:30 PM PST
Thank you for your kind and gracious reply to my rather snarky post. Equally appreciated is the fact that you did not immediately categorize me as "Fundi wing nut." I will shortly attempt to compose a substantive response both to your review and comment.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2014 2:23:47 PM PST
Hey! I'm a dialectic guy -- If you don't separate the person from the argument, things get emotional and discussion ends. And where does that get anyone lol
I will say, I tend to read books at random, rather than follow particular authors -- maybe Bart Ehrman is an exception? -- so I was unaware of "New Testament Code." I will also say, any book with "Code" in it is, well, usually wink-&-nod code to a "particular" audience. Red meat, if you will. So the question for me was, in using that title, did Eisenmann mean, "There are loaded messages/attitudes in NT & rel texts, intended as, well , red meat! to the authors' contemporaries?" That is, is there a subtext, still extant, which we today have culturally forgotten -- or never been invited to learn? This, I could accept -- he would be using "Code" to hook and then perhaps counter-educate a fundi/w-n audience to his own theories. It would be slightly crass, but pragmatic.
If however "Code" implied a supernal, or alien, or likewise otherworldly conspiricist origin for a particular dogma, etc... Eisenmann would immediately lose a lot of sway with me. I've read "The Bible Code," for example. It's a fun idea, but it has to stop there -- I back out of any hypothesizing that an author turns into prescription.
On your mention of "NT Code," I did some (admittedly light) research: I am"relieved" to see Eisenmann was merely being crass ;-)
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2014 7:58:12 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 18, 2014 7:58:29 PM PST]