TEN YEARS OF FURTHER RESEARCH
The most comprehensive presentation of the case for Jesus Mythicism in one book.
JESUS: NEITHER GOD NOR MAN, at 814 pages and almost half a million words, offers an increased depth of evidence and argumentation in virtually every area of my original case as presented in The Jesus Puzzle, published ten years ago this week (October 1999). There are whole chapters devoted to specific topics, such as Galatians 4:4’s “born of woman,” the usages and meanings of phrases involving the term “flesh” (as in kata sarka), the Epistle to the Hebrews and its statement that Jesus had never been on earth, many facets of ancient salvation mythology and views of the spiritual world both Hellenistic and Jewish, Gnosticism, the existence of Q, the Gospels as midrash and allegory.
The alleged non-Christian witness to Jesus has been greatly expanded, with every key figure covered in detail: Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny, Thallus and Phlegon, Mara bar Serapion; plus a detailed survey of the Jewish rabbinical writings in regard to Jesus, including the Toledoth Yeshu. All are discredited or rendered unreliable as offering any witness to an historical Jesus. The Appendices have been expanded to include items such as Gnostic savior figures, the question of parallels between Jesus and the savior gods, the Apology of Aristides, and Robert Eisler’s physical portrait of Jesus derived from his supposed reconstruction from the Halosis of Josephus. The second century Apologists are dealt with in greater detail, with a new clincher in regard to Minucius Felix.
From the back cover copy:
The Gospels and Acts of the Apostles form one small portion of the early Christian documentary record. They reflect but one category of thought and witness to what that broad movement came to believe in. Modern scholars and believers alike view the world of early Christianity through the prism of this narrow handful of inbred writings, a chain of literary dependency and enlargement on the first one written, and it has distorted all that they see. The Gospels and Acts need to be put in their proper perspective, so that they no longer obscure a more clear-eyed view of what early Christianity constituted. That view can be found in everything from the New Testament epistles to the non-canonical documents, to the writings of the Gnostics and second century apologists. Until we allow ourselves to recognize what broader factors of the era brought the idea of a Jesus into being, and how he evolved over the first 150 years, the Western world will continue to live and perpetuate a fantasy…
|Some initial reviews:
“A tour de force!” Michael Martin, author of The Case Against Christianity
“Earl Doherty is a masterful writer and an indefatigable scholar who leaves no relevant stone unturned. Any critic who seeks (desperately) to write him off because he writes without establishment academic credentials only demonstrates how far he himself falls short of recognizing real scholarship when he sees it. Has Doherty had to resort to publishing his own books? So did Hume. That’s no excuse for anyone interested in the Christ Myth or the historical Jesus not to read this all-encompassing book…Earl Doherty’s masterpiece.” Robert M. Price, author of Deconstructing Jesus, The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man, and The Pre-Nicene New Testament.
“...A refreshing exception to this rule is the monumental work of Earl Doherty, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man, a revised and expanded edition of The Jesus Puzzle on top of which a decade’s worth of new research has been added. This hefty tome presents an argument so bold it is no surprise it comes from outside the mainstream of New Testament scholarship, yet so compelling in its ability to explain contradictions in the existing theories that it may prove to be nothing less than a paradigm shift…The bombshell conclusion that there was no flesh and blood Jesus ever is nothing new: The concept of the mythical Jesus has been in and out of vogue for centuries. What makes Doherty’s theory a force to be reckoned with is its power to explain why the New Testament looks the way it does, and where all those puzzling inconsistencies came from. By unscrambling the two traditions and setting them in the right order, he has provided us with significant explanatory power…Read this book, even if it’s the only one you read on the subject. I did. And when I was done, I felt like a veil had been lifted from my eyes: the quest for truth had set me free.” Roberto Perez-Franco, Staff Writer, “The Tech,” Newspaper of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
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