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Customer Review

on May 11, 2000
I guess it all started with the pre millennium madness. More and more biblical scholars are following the footsteps of scholars who have attempted to find the actual person behind the gospel accounts.
"Deconstructing Jesus" isn't an easy read. Unless you have been diligently studying in this field you will find many references to authors you have never heard about. The field is rife with people studying this question.
Bottom line, as I understand it, is that the Jesus that contemporary Christianity follows is a multi-layered construction that has evolved over time to fit the needs of the current culture and political climate. The roots of this construction are all over the first century Middle East and various philosophies. From Cynic, to Gnostic, through Zealot, and everything in between has been woven into the picture that we get of "The Man From Nazareth" (or, was he a Nasserite or Nasorean?).
For the serious student of Christology or church history this book is an excellent criticism of all the current thinking in this area of scholarship. I doubt that the average pew-sitting Christian will be overjoyed with this book but the scholarship will, eventually, be the stuff of many homilies.
Will you find the historical Jesus in this book? No. But you will find an early Church struggling with a polyglot of beliefs attempting to blend them into a cohesive fabric of faith. Perhaps it is that dynamic that has kept "The Church" alive for two millennia. Mysticism and Gnostic thinking are on the rise again and "The Church" on the eve of another evolutionary move -- here's the first map of the territory ahead.
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