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How Jesus Became Christian: The Early Christians and the Transformation of a Jewish Teacher into the Son of God

How Jesus Became Christian: The Early Christians and the Transformation of a Jewish Teacher into the Son of God [Kindle Edition]

Barrie Wilson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A distingushed Bible scholar, Wilson pushes the boundaries of contemporary scholarship in an exciting new direction. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE )

Book Description

How the early Christians rewrote history, turning a Jewish teacher and messiah into a 'Christian' man-deity, bringing eternal life to all who believe

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 723 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (3 Nov 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005ZTC2IE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #376,087 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why si it so hypnotically repetitive ? 16 Jan 2013
This writer has an agenda. As a convert from Christianity to Judaism, he wants to make Jesus fit what he likes. Religious writers often do this with Jesus, everyone wants him to be on their side.

Unless you are predisposed to sympathise with the old Jewish Torah, this book should do your head in. The same conclusions get repeated every few pages, and the writer's particular obsession, his claim that Jesus was an enthusiastic supporter of the Jewish Torah and fiercely for complying with it, is repeated every few lines all through the book. It is so maddeningly repetitive it feels like thump thump thump as you read, it gets to be unreadable for too long at a time. This is a device that cults' literature uses. Numbing repetition of the same claim, while you are trying to read a discussion of it, becomes hypnotic and makes you more suggestible. This after the claim is not established as a fact either, his grounds for the claim are mostly speculation, but he takes for granted he has proved it to you as a fact.

I actually do write this as a believer that Paul took Christianity over and that the mumbo jumbo of substitutionary sacrificing and "getting saved" came from his imagination. Practically any other book on that will be more satisfying and objective and less manipulative than this one. A critical realisation that Paul took over does not prove anything about what Jesus's views were. The book wriggles defensively around all the gospel stories of Jesus getting into challenges against the law, e.g. the corn on the sabbath story, where the writer makes up a lame explanation that it must have been an emergency - and he admits the story does not explain how it can have been.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, deserves more clarification 22 Mar 2010
This panoramic book encompasses Jewish history as it was being subject to Hellenic and Roman influences leading up to Jesus and the creation of modern Christianity. Wilson's book is absorbing and interesting leading us to sources of the new Testament and the fact that ultimately, they represent a radical transformation of the religion of Jesus into a religion about him, rather than by him. The true author of modern Christianity was Paul.

This should not come as news to anyone who has studied the history of Christianity. We are presented with a critical overview of Galatians and why the book of Acts probably represents a historical forgery that links the true Christianity of James to the Christ movement that replaced it. The original Christians represented by the Ebionites died out and were actively persecuted by the Christ movement. The reason for the anti-Semitism of Christianity and the de-Judaisation of Jesus's teachings through authors like Marcion are revealed. We also get a reasonably accurate picture of the "real" Jesus and what he probably stood for. Modern day Christianity represents the victory of a conspiracy that has undermined the true roots of Christianity. The order that the New Testament is presented in is a rehashed order that represents a pseudo history. Christianity is rooted first in the letters of Paul.

Wilson states that the Gnostic movement and Paul's Christ movement were two religions independent of the religion of Jesus. I have problems about just how accurate this is. After all, Paul still used the figure of the historical Jesus as the foundation for his religion as did Gnostic Christians. What was the relationship between these two movements and the original Jesus movement, however tenuous? Readers are left guessing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have read many excellent books on the origins of Christianity but this is by far the best. It is well written, very readable and not too academic, although Barrie Wilson is obviously very familiar with the most recent research concerning the origins of the various documents which make up the Bible as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi documents. His wonderful book takes us on a fascinating journey, from the origins of the books in the Old Testament to the time of Jesus. He explains the mission of Jesus the Jew in the historical, religious, political and cultural context of Galilee and of Judea under Roman occupation. He then explains, through a comprehensive exploration of the books in the New Testament, how the teachings of Jesus the Jew were effectively hijacked by the Helennised, mystical teachings of Paul, most of which are diametrically opposite to the beliefs and teachings of Jesus. This books is a tour de force. It will upset a lot of Christians, particularly fundemantalits, who may conclude that they have been sold a lemon and should be shouting `Praise Paul' instead of `Praise Jesus'.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The real story of early Christianity 20 Aug 2009
Although a confirmed atheist I have always been interested in the life and works of Jesus. It has fascinated me how, what appeared to be a fairly orthodox Jewish teacher urging people to follow the Jewish laws and practices more closely, turned into a divine being connected to all that Holy Trinity business. This book really covers the subject remarkably well, in an easy to follow style, with lots of references. A load of auxillary information is included in the form of notes, terminolgy and timeline sections. I have deleted one star because of the use of excessive repetition, especially in the early chapters. This gives the book the feel of some of those appalling, usually American made, TV documentaries seen on C4 and Five.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My eyes were opened
Having been brought up in my secondary school on a daily diet of compulsory Bible readings, it was inevitable that I, as an earlier Sunday School child, should embrace in my... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Graham C. John
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
An intensely interesting scholarly interpretation of the origins of Christianity which those without a degree in theology should be able to understand. Read more
Published 15 months ago by John Edward Pigden
4.0 out of 5 stars How Jesus became Christian
Every bible reader must have pondered the fact that Jesus died a Jew. The significance of that fact must be important for all sorts of thinkers. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Truant
2.0 out of 5 stars I am annoyed!
I am annoyed by the other reviewers of this book because I wonder that none of them have any power of realising in themselves the power of arguing with an author. Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2010 by J A R P
5.0 out of 5 stars The paulinistic approach and the parental of catholic church
Very clear and one of the best books concerning the subject of the early years of christianity. The subjets are well explained and clear to understud. Congratulations Prof Barrie! Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2010 by Eng Vaz Serra Sousa
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, life & times of Jesus.
best book of its kind,easier to read than Eisenman (who has long been my hero).
Published on 22 Feb 2010 by Mr. H. L. B. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing book
I am not sure whether you mean a review of the book's condition or its contents.

Condition is good. Read more
Published on 11 Feb 2010 by M. Steinmann
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling reconstruction
Overall, I found this book the most compelling reconstruction of the early days of Christianity that I have come across. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2010 by wa233
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