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The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity Hardcover – 1998
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Has very little wear on the cover.Has clean, unmarked pages. Binding is tight and in excellent condition.Buy with confidence!
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Top customer reviews
Paul, on the other hand, was a megalomaniac that changed teams after he "had a vision." He never even met Jesus unless you believe Paul's vision! We have people today that are still having visions. One woman saw Jesus or his mom in her grilled cheese sandwich which she later sold for $70.000.
And to the reviewer below that gave this book one star, you would have been more convincing if you had shared even one of the elevn pages of notes you composed listing all the authors flaws, mistakes, etc.
Great job, Dr. Maccoby
I am writing this review not as a Christian, but as an Orthodox Jew with an interest in Pauline thought. There are plenty of well-researched books out there which challenge traditional Christian views of Jesus and Paul. This is not one of them. Maccoby takes his simplistic view of Second Temple Judaism (which is really just his understanding of Medieval Judaism which he projects onto antiquity) and forces it on the New Testament.
What's even worse is that he trusts Ebionite teachings on Paul as more historically accurate than Paul's own writings! Not only is this enormously ad hoc (there is no evidence Ebionism existed before the year 70 C.E., but the earliest records of these Ebionite teachings are very late. The earliest record we have of Ebionism is in a work by Irenaeus in C.E. 180. In order to get a full treatment of what Ebionites believed, you have to go to Epiphanius's Against Heresies published in C.E. 375. Maccoby also relies on the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions, which was Published in C.E. 350.
Maccoby's method of separating fact from fiction reminds me of typical Internet conspiracy theorists:
Any evidence which contradicts his theory is dismissed as outright fabrication, no matter how early or multiply attested it is.
Any evidence which supports his theory is accepted as fact, no matter how late or sketchy it is.
Finally, Maccoby goes full retard on page 95, where he asserts that Paul is not only a Sadducee, but also a convert to Judaism with no Jewish lineage. The problem is that the Sadducees were not a political party based on ideology, but one based on identity. The whole point of being a Sadducee is to claim that you are a paternal descendant from the line of the high priest Zadok (the name Sadducee is based on the name of Zadok). A convert with no Jewish blood could no more be a Sadducee than he could be a Kohen or a Levi.
For a real Jewish look on Paul, I'd recommend Joseph Klausner's From Jesus to Paul. Klausner clearly did his homework for this book as he did for his previous work Jesus of Nazareth. The only downside is that it's a bit dated. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the publication of Paul and Palestinian Judaism by E.P. Sanders have convinced most scholars that Paul's "innovations" are not the result of Greco-Roman influences, but the result of Second Temple Jewish thought.
that first meeting in Jerusalum between Paul and Peter. I have often wondered what ever happened to Peter, and his leadership, and now I have a better idea. I need to read this book again.