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Gospel Fictions Paperback – January 1, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
The first Gospel to be written was that of Mark. It however from a doctrinal point has some problems. There is no mention of the Virgin birth, Mark in quoting a number of prophecies in the Old Testament misunderstands and misquotes them, the description of Jesus?s Baptism suggests that he only becomes the Son of God at that point and not at his birth and lastly the women who observe the resurrection tell nobody.
Helms suggests that the Gospel of Luke attempts to deal with these issues by providing details about the birth, it quotes correctly from the Old Testament and it tries to make sense of the baptism of Jesus and gives a different account of the resurrection. The process of working out the events of Jesus life rather than coming from a historical narrative are often constructed by looking at Old Testament prophecies and then creating events which mirror these prophecies. Helms gives as an example of this Mathew?s use of a prophecy in Isa 7:14-16 to predict the Virgin Birth. It is clearly a passage which illustrates a suggestion that King Pekah of Israel will not reign for long. Mathew has misunderstood the nature of the prophecy.
The writing of the Gospels has thus not come about from an inquiry into the historical Jesus but rather as a result of the Gospel writers creating a legend that fits in with their communities view of the personality and nature of Jesus.Read more ›
Helms begins by giving the description of a man who lived in the first century and"taught the worship of one true god...the practice of charity and piety and the shunning of hatred and emnity...leading his followers to claim he was the son of God".
The similarities to Jesus go on and on including his death and resurrection,then we find out that we are learning about Appolonius of Tyana,who died around 98A.D. Claims such as these were not uncommon in the ancient world, and they certainly were not exclusive to Jesus.
In Helms' view the gospels were not written as historical biographies but as narratives "whose purpose is less to describe the past than to affect the present".In following the consensus of biblical scholars that Mark was the first gospel written, he shows how Matthew and Luke used it as a source for there own gospels.Each of the four gospels was written for a specific religious community with different theoligical purposes behind the writing of each one.When they are held to be inspired of God in makes no sense that they contradict one another,and not only in small details.When one realizes that they were never meant to be a literal recounting of historical events,and that these types of writings were a common form of religious literature,they make much more sense.
This is certainly not the last word on new testament scholarship,but it is a great place to start.I was a Jehovah's witness for eighteen years and took the bible as God's inspired word.If my blind faith can be shaken and I can begin to think for myself anyone can.I highly recommend this book.Others may dispute some of Randell Helms' claims,but he doesn't claim to be inspired of God.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Typically, the first thing a negative reviewer does when complaining about a book like "Gospel Fictions" is attack the writer for being biblically illiterate and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by The Parentals
A great look at the contradictory scriptures in the gospel and how those contradictions may have evolved from one generation to the next.Published 4 months ago by alex ashanti
Well done, written, and researched. Highly recommended to anyone looking for an explanation of texts, often quoted, and little understood. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Rick Theis
It's amazing how much fresh information on an important subject is packed into this little book.Published 6 months ago by Mitchel Fidel
This is one of the best books I've ever read. Tells you all you need to know, and is backed by solid evidence and research. Most highly recommended.Published 7 months ago by Stephanie Fairey
Starts off pretty convincing but near the end it fizzled out. I've been looking for counter arguments for this book, but haven't really founded any. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Anony
Essential reading for making an informed choice about the mythical status of JC.Published 9 months ago by Russell Dowsett
This is a book that should be considered mandatory reading by anyone even remotely interested in how the stories in the gospels were motivated. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mark Twain