If you believe that Jesus never existed and the gospels are a result of myth making, legend, and mystery religions, and you're looking for a single source that summarizes all the arguments to support this position, then Ken Humphreys' 2005 book Jesus Never Existed is your choice. Humphreys is the founder and editor of the popular website of the same name, and he brings the same flare that he exhibits on that website to this book. He also brings a kind of internet based formatting style to the book, using a two-column model that some readers may find distracting, but personally I found it very appealing.
Humphreys is a good writer, and his prodigious use of images is refreshing. His style alternates between inflammatory language, politically incorrect comments, and outrageously funny lines that force the reader to stay awake and on his toes. This style will make the book unappealing for someone looking for an "academic" text, and it limits the potential audience to the already convinced. Unlike Peter Gandy's The Jesus Mysteries, Humphreys is not trying to make a case - he has his case and he is prepared to crush his opponets with it.
The book is well organized. Humphreys provides a plethora of information about the Oriental, Jewish and Egyptian background to the Christian era (vanquishing some well cherished myths along the way), as well as the early Christian period. There is a bibliography but no footnotes. There is an appendix that consists of Humphrey's heroes - the significant contributions to de-mythifying Jesus, from Reimarus (1778) to Atwill.
One of the best counter-religion books I've read. The people living in Jesus's own time didn't write about him, didn't even know he existed, quite probably because he didn't exist.
If you are dedicated Christian (or Jew) this book could be uncomfortable. If you doubt your 'faith' and need a reality check this book is for you.
Straightforward, comprehensive and detailed with an excellent reference section. This book may be a little heavy going in parts but it details the falsity and wanton fabrication, not just of the Gospels and Jesus whatshisname's life but of the 'holy' men throughout the history of the Hebrew/Christ cults. There is also a nice recap of actual Roman history to boot and it's symbiotic influence on the Christ cults.
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Jesus Never Existed is worth every penny if you value your sanity.Every argument in life has reasons in favour and reasons against, pros and cons.To have a balanced view you need to know both sides. The clergy will only tell you ideas which support the Bible stories but this book shows the reasons to think that the Bible is fictionalized history. E.g most of the stories in the Bible were written decades or centuries after the events they claim to describe.If you read the history of the ancient near east you will see there is hardly an original idea in the Bible. This book is a one stop shop for the background history of religion to the Bible stories. It will save you ages of searching out the information on-line but also point out the direction if you want to explore the sources of its claims. An excellent book to get you thinking in a clear, rational way. I thought I knew the Bible fairly well and was aware of many difficulties in it but this book showed me that I hadn't been reading or thinking nearly as clearly as this author. This book is real education, be naive no more ! The Bible is a snap shot on the evolution of religious thought between the ignorant views of 4000 BCE which held that the gods lived just beyond the sun and controlled natural disasters/health, to the present time when we realise that biorhythms, thermodynamics, germs etc do.
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 mythical 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 theory.Read more ›