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by Kenneth Humphreys

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ISBN: 0906879140
Author: Kenneth Humphreys
Language: English
Publisher: Historical Review Press (2005)
Pages: 533
Category: Religious Studies
Subcategory: Religion
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 353
Size Fb2: 1745 kb
Size ePub: 1403 kb
Size Djvu: 1692 kb
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Of course there will be question marks.

There never was just one Christianity. Out of the milieu of religiosity that infected the Roman world, dozens of competing and conflicting y cults emerged.

A rescue mission for the "Jesus of history" – The New Apologists. There never was just one Christianity. The first believers in Jesus maintained he was an ethereal spirit, much like other sky/sun-gods.

Jesus Never Existed book. An Awesome Skeptical Book and very informative book to read. I have become a huge fan of Humphreys after reading this book.

Jesus Never Existed: An Introduction to the Ultimate Heresy Nine Banded Books. 7 Eylül 2017, 04:00 ·.

Jesus does not exist in the historical record. All we have is this selfie. Jesus Christ never existed. We have already mentioned the wealth of different books and gospels that were discovered at the Dead Sea and Nag Hammadi

Jesus does not exist in the historical record. As far as the historical record is concerned he just did not exist. We have already mentioned the wealth of different books and gospels that were discovered at the Dead Sea and Nag Hammadi. Many of these writings followed a gnostic tradition that was at odds with what became the orthodox interpretation of Christianity.

Kenneth Humphreys, 2005, Jesus Never Existed. 2012, The Birthing of a Godman. 2014, Jesus Never Existed: An Introduction to the Ultimate Heresy. The author sets this exegesis within the socio-historical context of an evolving, malevolent religion. Kenneth Humphreys holds a Master’s degree from the University of Essex in history and social sciences, a post-graduate pedagogic certificate from the University of Leicester, and a higher national certificate in business studies. He taught for many years in the UK and abroad.

Did Jesus Exist? This article written by former Interim President and current member of the . I have taken it for granted that Jesus of Nazareth existed.

I have taken it for granted that Jesus of Nazareth existed. Some writers feel a need to justify this assumption at length against people who try from time to time to deny it. It would be easier, frankly, to believe that Tiberius Caesar, Jesus’ contemporary, was a figment of the imagination than to believe that there never was such a person as Jesus. The name Jesus occurs only seven times in the entire book, Christ only four times, and Jesus Christ only twice!

Thomas Paine (1737–1809). The Christ myth theory (also known as the Jesus myth theory, Jesus mythicism, or the Jesus ahistoricity theory) is the view that "the story of Jesus is a piece of mythology", possessing no "substantial claims to historical fact". Alternatively, in terms given by Bart Ehrman paraphrasing Earl Doherty, "the historical Jesus did not exist.

Comments:

Gosar
Awesome! You’ll be able to spot Christian reviews easily by their poor reviews for this great read. It’s hard for them to even fathom a person that is good without it’s god construct. Evidence is a bitch when your box of evidence is empty.
Yayrel
When someone with a PHD in Theology, itself an idea pretty close to an Oxymoron,you can't help but suspect his critique of this book is more to do with either keeping hi job or his faith and not an intellectual appreciation or disproof of the authors contentions.Like Edward Gibbon and others who have studied Ancient Rome and particularly the Hebraic Insurrections the arguments put forward deserves better than a dismissal by wanting to find a star rating lower than that offered. No doubt many believe God gave Israel to the Hebrews rather than they inventing the idea to justify their taking it from the original inhabitants. But it doesn't make it so. It's definitely worth a read, as all sceptical tomes are, if produced with honest and impartial scolarly intent.
Sudert
Instead of starting with an open inquiry such as "Who Was Jesus?", to conclude only down the line with the non-existence of Jesus, this book starts with a bang, a "no-buts-permitted" title brutally asserting that "Jesus Never Existed".
This title is a good eye-catcher, but it is terribly misleading.

The book in fact mixes two interlocking subjects:
1) the critique of the traditional story of Jesus Christ;
2) and the dark side of the history of Christianity.

With two overlapping ambitions:
- first, as a popularizing mini-encyclopedia -- introducing neophyte readers to the complexity of Christian history and offering a comprehensive coverage of all its tangle of arcane issues;
- and, second, as a ferocious debunking polemic against traditional interpretations and unquestioned beliefs, revealing the systematic fabrications of all the dogmas.

The author claims to have initially focused on one single objective, stemming from his original obsession to understand the causes of the medieval Dark Ages and the tragic destruction of the classical civilization of the Ancient Greco-Roman world.
Since 2000, he's been diligently compiling all the various strands of critical scholarship on the origins of Christianity. He explains that it is the gradual realization of a serious lack of historical evidence about the figure of Jesus that led him to the development of his online site, "Jesus Never Existed", a critical examination of the Jesus Christ Myth and the extraordinary history of the Christian Church.
The author presents himself as an independent researcher and in the line of previous dedicated crusaders of the Christ Myth thesis. As is the case with most Christ Myth proponents, his critical research is not subjected to the theological limitations and imperatives of academic "Religious Studies".
The articles of the site, which now count about 150, led to the book, which includes only some 50 articles, with a second volume in the works.

The book details the metamorphosis of persecuted illegal Christian cults into a single legal religion endorsed and annexed by the Roman Emperors. How presenting Jesus the man as the god-like figure of Christ "the Lord" became the tool for the newly-formed militant Catholic Church to arrogate to itself absolute spiritual superiority derived from its founder, the new "god-man" Jesus Christ.
Armed with its new Nicaean creed (325), supported by the judicial power of the Roman Emperors, the Catholic Church became a totalitarian machine bent on eliminating all religious competition. First with the persecution of other forms of Christian worship, all demonized as "heretics," and second, the suppression of the ancestral "pagan" cults throughout the Roman Empire.
This systematic policy of destruction culminated in the annihilation of the Ancient Greco-Roman civilization and brought about the stagnation of the West in the medieval Dark Ages.

The author's site, which is the matrix of the book, is the result of ten years of diligent combing of a mountain of facts from the best expert sources. The method is direct: the author compiles for each theme a handful of major scholarly works, about ten to fifteen, mostly shown at the end of each article in the site, or in the bibliography in the book. The result is a combination of two key subjects -- the Christ Myth thesis and the complex history of Christianity -- that is not usually available in one single volume. This is an unusual, very ambitious, and highly controversial mix, and the remarkable feature of this book.

The companion website has been gradually developed into a kind of mini-Encyclopedia covering the same two key subjects about Christianity. In fact, this goal has proved too vast for a single book, with the author presenting only one third of his material in this book, while planning further books in the series.

It is not exactly correct to say that this book preaches only to the choir, that it is only for readers who already believe that Jesus never existed. In its own special way, it does tend to make a case: that the strength of the historical and literary evidence leads to the inescapable conclusion that Jesus Christ, as described by the Christian New Testament, was not a historical person, but was elaborated by the early believers into a powerful mythical figure, the Christ of faith.

This figure started as a gnostic spiritual power with the enigmatic and mystical Paul, founding a new religion with his moralizing and controlling epistles, then given flesh and blood by the anonymous authors of the Gospels and the Acts, and burnished by succeeding waves of pious Christian writers. The "forgery mill" of Christianity is a favorite subject in the book, a well established theme since Joseph Wheless's famous magnum opus "Forgery in Christianity" (1930).

The critique of the Christ Myth presented in this book is a popularization that follows a long line of Biblical criticism which had its debut in the Enlightenment of the 18th century, with two iconoclastic pioneers: Hermann Reimarus (1694-1768) and Baron d'Holbach (1723-1789). Their original scholarly intent was to determine what historical facts could be salvaged in order to reconstruct the life and sayings of a "historical", i.e. real, not mythological Jesus.
Incredibly, this book neglects to mention Baron d'Holbach in any chapter, an unfair omission of a key hero of the Enlightenment. Baron d'Holbach was the main financier of the famous French "Encyclopédie" of Diderot and d'Alembert, the monumental work in 28 huge volumes (1751-1772), plus 7 volumes of additions and index, covering all "interrelations of human knowledge" and whose impact led to the French revolution of 1789-1794.
This omission is the more ironic as the author of "Jesus Never Existed" has an obvious encyclopedic intention as well.

The book offers an important list of the "Jesus deniers" -- courageous scholars who have developed critical arguments about Jesus's historicity or the Christ myth since the 18th c. Enlightenment -- including: Reimarus (but no d'Holbach!), Voltaire, C.F. Dupuis, Count Volney, Thomas Paine, Robert Taylor, Godfrey Higgins, Bruno Bauer, David Strauss, Ralph Emerson, F.C. Baur, Ernest Renan, Robert Ingersoll, Gerald Massey, W.C. van Manen, Joseph McCabe, Albert Schweitzer, G.R.S. Mead, W.B. Smith, John Remsburg, Arthur Drews, J.M. Robertson, Rudolf Bultmann, James Frazer, P.L. Couchoud, Joseph Wheless, John Allegro, G.A. Wells, Hermann Detering, Gerd Lüdemann, Alvar Ellegard, Earl Doherty, Freke & Gandy, Robert Price, Burton Mack, Israel Finkelstein, Thomas L. Thompson.

I found it instructive to review the history of the the Christ Myth over the last 250 years, how its major themes emerged in Europe and the US and became a feature of the modern Zeitgeist. It is too long for this review, and I pushed it over into two posts of the comments section.

However, I discovered another "Customer Review" on the author's site, among four such reviews from the UK Amazon site, all with a five-star rating, dating from 2006 and 2007.
This additional review throws a sharp spotlight on the thrust of the book, describing its author as "a popular international radio personality" who "is no pussy-footer" and a courageous "debunker."
This review, inexplicably, is the only one not appearing today on the UK Amazon site. It is shown here below.

AN ADDITIONAL REVIEW, PRESENTED BY THE AUTHOR HIMSELF!

(As a 5-star Review from the Amazon UK site, by Neil Marr, entitled " Debunks and demolishes", 4 September 2007. Published by the author in his "Jesus Never Existed" site, in the book review section)

Far too many authors and documentary film-makers pussy-foot around. Their titles end with a question mark: Are These King Solomon's Mines? Is There Life After Death? Who Wrote the Plays of Shakespeare? Are UFOs Real? Does the Yeti Walk the Snows of the Himalayas? Instinctively, you know these books will re-trample old ground and end as they began ... with yet another question mark.

Kenneth Humphreys is no pussy-footer. He doesn't pose questions; he strives to answer them. His title, therefore, is a bold statement: "Jesus Never Existed". Not Did Jesus Exist? "Jesus Never Existed!"
And he leaves his readers with compelling answers to a puzzle others have been afraid to even attempt to solve.

Not content with lack of evidence being evidence of lack, Humphreys takes 533 pages to explain exactly why the story of Jesus Christ is just that ... a story; a clever myth concocted to justify a new theology and, later, formulated, embroidered, honed, twisted and exploited to lead even the greatest scholars of the 21st century to assume his existence in the face of complete absence of fact.

A thousand books try to plumb the days and the mind of Jesus, taking as holy writ that he once walked the sands of the Levant as flesh and blood. But Jesus, according to Humphreys, has all the historical substance of the Lone Ranger. You might as well psychoanalyse Robin Hood. And he courageously and effectively sets out to prove it!

With encyclopaedic attention to detail and energetic and meticulous delving into the hidden nooks and crannies of Christianity and a score of other religions, he may well have done just that after a lifetime of research.

* Jesus, he reveals, is a composite of an entire pantheon of heroic gods, sharing their supernatural virgin births, their alleged miracles and their clichéd returns from the dead.

* Christian theology, as a break-away Jewish sect, may well have pre-dated the alleged birth of the traditional Christian messiah by a century and a half.

* Canonical gospels and even the wealth of first century apocrypha are nothing more than fairy tales, invented and edited by anonymous scribes and tailor made to suit the often nefarious intent of their patrons and taste of a gullible target readership.

* The phenomenal rise of Christianity in the fourth century was the result of political manoeuvring rather than spiritual enlightenment.

* Christianity's little known history has been as the tool of political sharks and power hungry, blood thirsty megalomaniacs.

* Jesus Christ never existed ... and - what's more - many of those who wrote of him, his philosophies and his miraculous deeds knew that all along.

Humphreys' book effectively debunks the popular sacred myth and demolishes all Christian apologetics struggling to root the ectoplasmic Christ figure in reality. And it goes even further, also exposing the legends of the Old Testament as plagiarised fiction and detailing the horrors of the Christian establishment over two millennia.

As a popular international radio personality, Humphreys comes across as a softly spoken man, calmly reluctant to offend and even humbly respectful of those who have never questioned the historical basis of their deity. In his book, on the other hand, he doesn't pull punches. He avoids the satanic temptation of cruel sarcasm, but makes no allowances for wilful ignorance of available fact. Radio's Humphreys might speak low, speak slow - but he carries a big stick that it's impossible to dodge.

"Jesus Never Existed" is presented in an unusual format that reflects the layout of Humphreys' popular and information-packed website, [...]. But, although not the traditional layout for an epic paperback, its presentation allows easy reference. This is not a book you read and then stack away in your bookshelves; it's a tome to have ready at your elbow whenever a question of religion arises.

The author, I believe, overuses the device of bold type to make some points ... such points are amply emphasised in the deceptive simplicity of the writing itself. Others, though, might find the bold print helpful in drawing attention to some important lines and passages.

I also feel that illustration may have been a little overused. Again, though, I do realise that this book is meant to represent the feel of Humphreys' website and, as such, might benefit from the inclusion of margin photography and extended captioning to break up what might otherwise be a daunting body of text.

All in all, this reviewer - no stranger to controversial books on theology - feels Jesus Never Existed is a most satisfying read; one that will be referred to again and again. I highly recommend this painstakingly compiled book for its no-nonsense, no-quarter-given approach to a subject other authors prefer to address with question marks rather than exclamation points.

"Jesus Never Existed" is a brave, heavily researched, accurate and eminently readable book that should be prized by any reader concerned with the birth of religion, the insidious influence of neo-Christianity in the western world - or merely gathering information in a personal quest for truth. Of course there will be question marks. But they will be your own, not the author's. Kenneth Humphreys has stated his case. [END OF THE OUTSIDE REVIEW.]

Another outstanding feature of this book (and site) is a layout different from the dense masses of learned text usually found in academic scholarly studies, usually larded with cryptic-looking numerical references to biblical verses, and rebarbative notes, the opposite of "fun" reading!

Both the site and the book use a format inspired by tabloids, a double column with an abundance of illustrations in the left-hand column (more than 450) enhanced by pertinent quotes from great authors. Some illustrations are INCONGRUOUS, even preposterous, as the selection vacillates from the low-grade cartoonish lampoon to the precious historic document. There's no effort at exploiting the artistic potential of the illustrations.

All this substantial information is delivered with acerbic British humor, and a whimsical relish for the story's eccentric characters. Pages are sprinkled with ironic or sarcastic comments on the ridiculous or implausible aspects of the drama. All this adds a dose of comic relief to the grim description of the dark side of Christian history.

The book is all infused with an undisguised hostility to Christianity, presented as a monumental fraud perpetrated on mankind. It focuses on the irrationality of beliefs, as seen from a modern perspective, all artificially fabricated through the centuries, and the dark side of the history of Christianity, described in a highly sarcastic style.

In this genre, invectives usually flavor polemics. A whole litany of set words are big favorites -- "demolishing," criminal," "mythical", "fraud," "forgery," "fabrication," "invention," "fable," "fakery," "fiction," "legend," "creation," "construct," "superstition," "anachronism," "plagiarist," "palpable nonsense," "contradiction," "absurdity," "rubbish," "fictitious," "fantastic," "imaginary," "artificial," "implausible," "suspect," "doubtful," "recycled," "manufactured," "plundered," "misquoting," "mining," "re-hashed," etc...-- and they come up relentlessly.
The use of "pious," "dark," and "darkness" is especially overdone, and that of "yarn" so ANNOYING that it is a good enough reason to subtract one star off the rating.

Nonetheless, the general style of writing remains lively, varied, never pedestrian or academic, and always arresting, or shocking -- Each chapter wants to tell a story that never lets our interest down, and it succeeds every time. This is one of the great merits of this book.

Occasionally the authoritarian tone in the debunking becomes too grating, the mockery does not seem to let up, and the sarcasm is spread a bit too thick, a tone which may deter many gentler readers who are not that attracted to the harsh polemics of debunking Christianity. The author's frontal attacking style offers some pluses, but also comes with some drawbacks. In small doses, this is digestible. But over the whole book, this one-dimensional, domineering, "truer-than-thou" pounding can also become very tiring. There's no mistaking this for Jonathan Swift's elegant satire or Thomas Paine's playful irreverence.

Importantly, "Jesus Never Existed" is the sole product of the author working strictly on his own and covering an immense universe of data -- with no assistance from an established religion publisher, no professional editing, fact-checking, proofreading, no lay-out artist, no endorsement by any established scholar.
The author, for his defense, presents on his site the four reader reviews from Amazon.co.uk, already mentioned, all five-star, and very laudatory. But the insightful outside review quoted above does not appear on the UK site, which is a puzzlement. As was the absence of any other review on the Amazon US site before I posted this one. Such silence was numbing.

The first edition was published by a marginal firm of fringe books, of highly questionable repute. The second edition was switched to Vancouver, BC Iconoclast Press, specializing in "spiritual favorites," a wide enough net for a lot of New Age fishing.
Publishing a first book, in a field as immensely crowded as Biblical studies (10,000 new books in English per year), already occupied by well-known scholars with excellent academic accreditations, is a tough challenge. Especially for this unusual book, considering its extreme counter-establishment matter, although the provocative title and richly illustrated layout could have proved a plus. So, if not "self-published", this is a "self-produced" book, lacking some the fine aspects of professional polish.

The author has the frustrating habit of using PUZZLING titles, headings, or captions meant to sound amusing, even shocking, but providing no information on the material to the reader -- like merchandise in a package, without a label to identify its content.
For instance, "Piety and Dreams Sire a Godman": Any inkling as to what is being announced here? Same in "Growing the dream", "Composite Hero", "Silk and Spice", "The Church of the Shadows," "Waiting in the Wings", "Dwarfs on the Bones of Giants," etc...Such titles are baffling, absurd enigmas that are utterly mystifying and useless in a work with the grand ambition to debunk the gigantic edifice of Christianity. As McEnroe used to scream to the Wimbledon referee, "You cannot be serious!"

The author forgets that the average believer knows next to nothing about the immensely complex facts of Christianity, and, like any student, needs first to get the facts and understand the issue before being amused with opaque phrasing. Without an honest title or heading, the book turns into an immense labyrinth of facts where the reader has no signpost to follow the thread of the story. This habit is terribly confusing and irritating -- a turn-off. It is one of the self-defeating weaknesses of this book.

Why on earth prefer indulging one's "creativity" rather than consider the needs of a reader for solid information? This bias for entertaining and intriguing may come from the author writing primarily for a blasé British market, with its taste for the bizarre and outlandish, taking religion as an object of amusement, much more so than in the US.
This reminds me of the story about Robert Eisenman's impossibly convoluted style and a commentator explaining: "I know the man. I told him face to face his writing style was too dense and impenetrable. His comment: 'I like my style.' You will not change him. He is my father's generation". Indeed, it is not easy to teach a new trick to an aging writer who's never been subjected to the critical review of a professional editor.

The author confuses "EXPOSITORY" headings or captions and "COMMENTS". An obscure or silly comment offered in lieu of a clear title is the wrong method for what the outside reviewer glorifies as an "encyclopedic presentation allowing easy reference." It adds: "It's a tome to have ready at your elbow whenever a question of religion arises." Well, good luck if you can always discover the right spot where your info might be tucked away.
It is a proven psychological fact that the brain understands and remembers far better a new presentation of data when the subject is labeled or summarized at the beginning rather than at the end. The author is not aware of this essential law of communication.

Irony works only with people already in the know. All those enigmatic comments -- satirical, ironical, skeptical, or sarcastic -- sound awfully "clever" to the writer only because he already knows the material. To the reader they may be mildly intriguing for a second, but they are soon forgotten and leave no trace. They're wasting valuable prime space on the page. While expository titles, headings or captions, nourish the mind and provide an efficient framework of solid keywords for hanging new information in the brain and organizing it in memory.
However, both aspects, exposition and comment, could be retained in double-headed titles, as in: "King David, The Boy Wonder," "Jesus - The Imaginary Friend," or "Nazareth - The Town that Theology Built." And British tabloids also do favor this style of double heading. It would make this book (and the site) much more valuable to a non-British market.

Fact-checking seems a herculean task, given the huge quantity of material accumulated over ten years of patient compilation. Only a top Christianity scholar could do some cursory fact-checking, and only in the context of a "peer-review" evaluation commissioned by an established publisher and duly remunerated for his work.
Instead, the author has a standing invitation to "email the author" on top of each article in his site, relying on benevolent inputs from readers to spot errors and problems with the material or the format, or suggesting improvements. This shoestring and amateurish formula allows feedback from readers while avoiding the cost of a professional editor.

I found it MIND-BOGGLING that the four epoch-making events of Christianity were not granted the prominent presentations they deserved.
- First, Emperor CONSTANTINE endorsed all Christian sects with the "Edict of Milan" (313) and "Council of Nicaea" (325),
- Then, Emperor THEODOSIUS annexed one of the multiple "Christianities" to create the "Catholic Church" as an imperial institution with the "Edict of Thessalonika" (380) and "Council of Constantinople" (381),

Still, overall, this book manages to highlight the indispensable role of these two Roman Emperors in the establishment and growth of the Catholic Church as a militant creation of the Roman Empire.

Gallingly, many quotes and illustrations are not properly referenced, making it nearly impossible to quickly verify the soundness of the text and the authenticity of quotes and illustrations. Better referencing of the material (author or artist, name of work, date, occasional chapter and page number, and location of manuscript or art piece) would have considerably enhanced the scholarly value of this book for non-expert readers.

Especially the wide market of young American students, for whom the book (and the site too), IF MORE PROFESSIONALLY STRUCTURED -- with CLEARLY MEANINGFUL HEADINGS, a MORE ARTISTIC pick of illustrations, and TONING DOWN THE VITRIOL -- could have served as a kind of quick-access mini-encyclopedia. This is a point that the author seems not to appreciate.

No notes, to avoid a heavy academic look and save space (and work!). In compensation the left-hand column is used as a garage storage space for extra material complementing the main text, a very useful feature of this book.
On the site, this permits adding copy even after the main body has been produced.
There's a reasonably serviceable index, complemented on the site by a "site search", which strikes me as a discouragingly confusing and INACCURATE Internet function.

So readers tempted to use this book as a first reading should keep their critical thinking cap firmly on and stay on their guard. Indeed, there are important scholarly disputes about many facts and issues discussed in the book, and readers harboring doubts should double-check with outside sources any information that appears too outlandish or controversial.
One first line of fact-checking could be the excellent Wikipedia articles on all aspects of Christianity, to verify how the book's interpretations differ from the standard ones.
Passages of the Bible are instantly accessible from the "Biblegateway" search site, in a multitude of versions (my preferences: ESV, NRSV, NIV, NETS, NEW ADVENT).

Readers are reminded that the author is a dedicated debunker of Christian "pious frauds", with a formidable axe to grind, and in consequence, that he too must be held to strict standards of accuracy and respect of the primary sources in his interpretations. "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence." (David Hume.)
It is too easy for any non-professional historian, waging an impassioned personal crusade, to get carried away by the enthusiasm for his argument and stretch or subtly distort the meaning of his sources, overlaying original data (facts, events) with his own interpretation. Even rigorous professional historians are not immune to this ever-present temptation. Early Christian writers all skewed the meaning of their OT quotations.

The outside reviewer claimed that the author "makes no allowances for wilful ignorance of available fact." However, in quite a few instances, it seems to me that, in his zeal to emphasize the implausibility of some story, the author is manifestly stretching the interpretation of the data.
So, vigilance and need for verification remain paramount for the alert reader. Often it becomes necessary to review the whole discussion, pros and cons, of a controversial issue, and not be satisfied with just the one-sided presentation in this book.

Most regrettably, the cover of this book (2d edition) is AWFULLY PLAIN, and misses a unique chance of catching the eye with an exciting picture. Its black background with the red "Never" , emphasized by a red border on top, looks more like the colors of hell. The promise of a life without Jesus, without sin, without guilt, without the specter of eternal hellfire, deserves a cover of happy, life-energizing colors, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, and a beautiful picture to boot to make the book attractive, especially to female readers.

Christian-inspired art is so full of magnificent pictures that it is unbelievable that this cover is not using any. If due to economic reasons, this choice was misguided. This book, with a sensational content, deserved a sensational cover. As is, its forbidding cover cannot excite much buying passion. This, too, keeps this book from a five-star rating.

Most Western people, even with only the slightest exposure to religion, do have some knowledge about Jesus and Christianity. But, except for scholars and some professionally-trained clerical personnel, most believers, for whom Christianity is just a comfortable habit, don't give much thought to questions on the foundations and history of Christianity, and even less to its effective impact on the world. Those are grand themes on which modern life does not allow us to devote much time.

Fanatical Christian apologists may use this book as a punching bag. But it could have an impact on a routine believer, a tepid Church-goer, a perplexed fence-sitter, a young hesitant doubter, -- all with uncertain faith -- who have never reflected on their beliefs, and have never been aware of the many controversial issues and facts covered in this book.

It is digestible and entertaining enough to attract those who might otherwise be deterred by the forbidding aspect of academic books on religion. And those who can ignore its unattractive cover, who are not put off by the tone of this aggressive diatribe, and find their way despite the puzzling and confusing headings, may end up being fascinated by this immense compilation of facts and issues.
Nobody will fall asleep reading this highly controversial book: it is both intriguing and instructive to any reader eager to survey the complete panorama of Christian history.

Serious readers interested in the "Origins of Christianity" could also turn to four great books by historian Charles Freeman:

- The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason (Vintage, Feb. 2005)
- A.D. 381: Heretics, Pagans, and the Dawn of the Monotheistic State (Overlook TP, Jan. 2010)
- A New History of Early Christianity (Yale Un. Press, 2011)
- Holy Bones, Holy Dust: How Relics Shaped the History of Medieval Europe (Yale Un. Press, 2011)

In particular, "A.D. 381" focuses on the remarkable years of the Emperor Theodosius (reigned 379-395) who created and established the Catholic Church as the only legal form of Christianity in the Roman Empire; and who initiated the persecution of all other Christians as "heretics", subject to the threat of execution.

He later embarked on the suppression and persecution of "pagans" in the Roman Empire, which turned into a raging mania of destruction over the next few centuries that culminated in the annihilation of the ancient Greco-Roman civilization, its monuments, its buildings, its libraries and books, its art, its science, philosophy, its knowledge, even its olympic sports.
This is a fundamental period when the Emperors created a military Catholic Church as an additional agent of their spiritual "control" of the Empire, alongside the imperial administration and the army.

The Catholic Church survived as an institution created by the Roman Emperors. The Church became a rich secular power thanks to gifts and donations, and it adopted the same Roman imperial style -- splendid palaces, rich garments, grand displays of pomp and protocol -- incredibly removed from the humble figure of Jesus Christ.

Alfred Loisy commented: "Jesus was announcing the kingdom of God, but it's the Church that came!" (The Gospel and the Church, 1902)

A history that most Christians don't know or simply ignore.
Bearus
explains in detail the lies and forgery that goes in in christianity, and how humans are so gullable theyll believe in anything. it parallels to this day where people believe everything the tv or president tells them.
this book should be required reading before someone believes in another religion.
and watch how the peopel attack this book because it shatters their foundation of their great truth or myth.
the author does a wonderful job with plenty of humor to break down the walls of fact and fiction.
in a away every human can understand.
and the price is a great bargain considering the amount of information that is detailed in this well researched book.
i highly recommend this to all whos eek the truth about jesus.
Mildorah
It is an absolute embarrassment. Anything that is legitimate evidence is just dismissed based on the author's extremely fixed premise of "Jesus of Nazareth never existed and Christianity is evil."

I cannot believe how people are still re-hashing this debunked and baseless assertion. Oh, wait, I know, because people are willing to support whatever reality they can twist to support their ideology rather than care about factual accuracy.

Historians have without a doubt accepted Jesus of Nazareth's existence since, well, after his death. Graffiti mocking Christianity can be found on Roman ruins that date as early to the early 2nd century.
http://symboldictionary.net/library/graphics/symbols/alexa.jpg

To say that it was just made up and written centuries later by "forged" documents is so incredibly far-fetched I am putting it next to Holocaust denial claims.

The original writings don't exist like virtually all original writings in the ancient world. To put it in perspective, show me Aristotle's or even Gaius Julius Caesar's original writings or else he doesn't exist.
skriper
I have never encountered such ill informed codswallop as this in all my academic career. I am convinced the author is either misguided or the prodigy of a Darwinian throw back. His content borders lunatic conspiracy and despicable fantasy! In all the constellation I cannot find a star low enough to rate this tripe titled Jesus Never Existed.
Rleillin
Very poorly researched. Ignores recorded provable history. I understand now why the book is free Do your research. Facts are stubborn things

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