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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go on - challenge yourself and your set ideas!
If you've been brought up as I have, with a 'belief' in the virgin birth, the miracles, the death on the cross and the resurrection - and you've gradually realised that you can't really rationalise these concepts, now that you're an adult; if you feel you are still looking, even though you know you have your Christian faith and shouldn't that be enough? - well this may...
Published on 9 May 2001

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to digest.
I appreciate the researches that Thiering had done on behalf of the religious realm. The book Jesus the Man may have many things to reveal to us, but it seems inundated with too many information that yearns for evidence or supporting documents, which in turn the book was unable to suffice. Because of this, I find Thiering's Jesus the Man difficult to digest. The book...
Published on 9 Mar 2010 by hyobel


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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go on - challenge yourself and your set ideas!, 9 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
If you've been brought up as I have, with a 'belief' in the virgin birth, the miracles, the death on the cross and the resurrection - and you've gradually realised that you can't really rationalise these concepts, now that you're an adult; if you feel you are still looking, even though you know you have your Christian faith and shouldn't that be enough? - well this may very well be the book you need to completely frazzle your train of religious thought.
Barbara Thiering is a supreme academic and goes to great lengths to justify her theories with much referencing, to the point where I have to admit that I probably need to re-read this immediately and I do confess to only really reading the narrative chapters at the start - which is very readable. A great deal of the theory just feels 'right' as you read it. The social and political contexts of the time are explained brilliantly and all of a sudden the bible story is bang up-to-date and you feel the relevance of it - as if it happened only yesterday; you can see how and why matters were recorded as they were. If you repel the literalism of Christianity today, it will appeal to you. But at the same time, don't expect to think of Jesus in the same way ever again, even if you think only a small proportion of the material is nearer the truth.
Reading this has led me on to find a whole welter of knowledge and discussions and further reading.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally some sense behind stories in the New Testament!, 26 Jan 2000
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This review is from: Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
I belong to the mass of people that just cannot swallow the amazing stories about Jesus and his "son of God" status, however many time I attempt to read the bible. I cannot buy the idea of someone giving a virgin birth, walking on water, rising from the dead, and so on, it is just too amazing to believe. On the other hand I have always believed that the man, Jesus, existed and was a very intelligent person with wonderful ideas about human equality, compassion, etc. The book "Jesus the Man" finally brings some sense behind the amazing stories in the New Testament and makes the whole story about Jesus and his preachings belieavable, however not as some devine beeing but as the wise and intelligent man that he was who also had strong convictions he wanted to bring to others. I can finally believe in Christianity again, not in the sense that the church wants us to believ in it, but from a point of reality and not mystery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to digest., 9 Mar 2010
I appreciate the researches that Thiering had done on behalf of the religious realm. The book Jesus the Man may have many things to reveal to us, but it seems inundated with too many information that yearns for evidence or supporting documents, which in turn the book was unable to suffice. Because of this, I find Thiering's Jesus the Man difficult to digest. The book contains many conclusive statements that leave readers lingering in bewilderment. Due to statements that lacked supporting documents, the book acts like it tries to forcefully feed to the reader the "pesher technique".

One of the statements which left me petrified is in the section Exodus-Holy War Schemes. After the author said that "the term 'forty year time' correspond to the pesher sense 'at year 40'", she said:

The Old Testament names "Samuel", "Saul", "David" were used as pseudonyms for real figures who appeared at this time.(p.169)

And that was the end of the section, leaving no explanations whatsoever where she got this from, or why she claims these are pseudonyms, or how the pesher technique arrived into this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very convincing, 17 May 2014
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This review is from: Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
Excellent interpretation of the scripture that the early Christians left for posterity. When she explains that the original Greek text talks of both a single Jerusalem and a plural (Jerusalems), and that in one part of the New Testament someone walks from one to the other, you immediately get the message that there is something hidden in the text. Her subsequent explanations have the ring of truth. Although if you believe what is explained here you will come to believe that Jesus was perhaps not divine, his message that God loves all people and not just those who are perfect comes through clearly. The book also explains how, while Jesus was a practicing Jew, the subsequent Christian church evolved into a separate entity - something I had often wondered about.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars opening the doors of history to let in natural light, 5 Dec 2000
This review is from: Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
this is a crucial book. not only have the mists of time romanticised Jesus and the rest, but Dr Thiering sets the complex scene of political intrigue and religious discipline/dogma at the time. there were not in reality goodies and baddies - the author even suggests Jesus had a hand in a politically-inspired death - but all sorts of parties and interests manouevring for power. The Herod family was a religious leading group at the time, not (just) bloody ogres, Jesus and John the Baptist did not have a too fraternal relationship, and there were close ties between the Roman leadrership - I.e. in Rome, and the Jewish administration. a very densely textured picture of Jewish politics is painted, and this is what brings the gospels to life. Her thesis is that the language of the gospels and new testament is heavily symbolic, partisan, political but always intensely accurate and not a fantasy. read and learn. Jesus won't be any less worthy, but the superstition will dissipate.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent account of the True Jesus, 5 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
Jesus The Man as brought me closer to the teachings of Jesus and the Pauline Myth as been shown what it is just myth. For 2000 years Christians have been fed fairy stories and the truth was there all the time.
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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars File under 'fantasy'!, 7 Sep 2002
This review is from: Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
Jesus Christ, father-of-three, is married to Mary Magdalene. He's employed as a priest at Qumran, famous these days for the Dead Sea Scrolls. Despite being no more 'holy' than you or I, he decides to go down in history as the Messiah. So, he arranges for his crucifixion (which takes place just outside the Qumran toilets) to be faked, and then he writes - or possibly dictates - the four Gospels. After a few years he travels with Paul, via Malta, to Rome, where he is potentially linked to the destruction by fire of the city. He retires to France, at the age of 70, where he later passes away from old age, in retirement.
How do we know all this? Barbara Thiering claims that it's all in the New Testament, but hidden in a secret 'Pesher' code, to which she alone has apparently found the key.
The fundamental weakness in her theory is that, if the 'Pesher' secret coding system was actually in use at the time the Gospels were written, anyone familiar with the system would surely have decoded the Gospels nearly 2000 years ago and realised that they were an elaborate hoax. And why, if Jesus wanted to lead mankind up the garden path with false accounts of miracles, the story of the Resurrection, etc, would he write the books in such a way that they could later be proven false? It defies logic.
Ms Thiering is clearly very knowledgeable about many matters concerning early Christianity, and this gives the book a degree of credibility that I personally do not think it deserves.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One for the conspiracy theorists, 12 July 2004
By 
G. Perkins "graham" (Milton Keynes, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
Barbara presents the gospels as two-level stories. A "surface" level gives a blurred and miraculous life of Christ, while the "pesher" level (a code which she alone of all biblical scholars has decrypted) reveals a genuine account of events concerning factional struggles within Judaism.
Read her account at two levels. A surface level presents an internally self-consistent argument that seems entirely reasonable and totally explains many of the puzzles, contradictions, and unbelievable magic of the gospels and letters. A deeper level of meaning reveals complete incompatibility with mainstream academia (eg with the dating of the Dead Sea scrolls, the dating of Zealot movements). Total refusal to acknowledge such disagreements. Proof by appealing to the theory itself with no corroborating evidence. An interpretation technique that invents symbolism and metaphor on the fly to force *any* period writing into the theory.
I was carried away by her thesis until I recognized my own positive teenage response to Eric von Daniken. Then, it took me 6-12 months to realize the idiocy (perhaps less .. time seems so long when reminiscing). Now the alarm bells rang within a few hours. Why was I finding this so appealing? Why did it all fit so very well? Where were all the other scholars who should have noticed the same things, or followed up the same research?
It's classic conspiracy theory, the same as von Daniken, creation "science", illuminati, fake Apollo missions, Oliver Stone's JFK assasination fantasy, or New Age crystal healing. We are little people with little control over our lives in a complex world governed by experts: we yearn to regain power by any means; and subverting the professional wisdom of established academia is the most appealing of those means. Thiering leads us up the same path, with the same careful manipulation, appeal, and consistent disregard for facts as the best of the conspiracy theorists.
The book gets a grudging one star for revealing, yet again, how such falsifications work. And, I have to admit, for attempting to give Jesus a real life in the actual events and politics of the time, even if desparately wrong in the analysis.
What's my bias? Like Thiering, I don't believe the mythology and magic of the gospels. Like Thiering, I do believe that Jesus was a real man who participated in the actual events of factionalised Judaism under Roman occupation. But I'm a scientist and a historian, and she completely fails to meet the standards of either discipline.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting interpretation of the life of Jesus., 15 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
This may be a little offensive to some, but if you're willing to look at the story of the New Testament with an open mind - then this book is a great place to start.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A myth-busting book. Essential for Freethinkers!, 27 April 2004
This review is from: Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Paperback)
The only people who seemed to have taken offence at this exceptional bookare Christians, whose very belief is wrapped up in the myth of theResurrection. Therefore anything that might point to Jesus not dying onthe Cross but instead living out his life, must be debunked at all costs,which is a shame.
This is a brave depiction of the life and times of Jesus and I feel isessential reading for anyone who has an iota of freethought, especially asirrational thoughts and beliefs have reached an all time high.
Free your minds of the superstitious mumbo-jumbo of your upbringing andinstead appreciate this volume for what it is, an honest and movingdocument of a remarkable man and the religious and political machine thattwisted his life and death into something a lot more sinister.
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Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls
Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls by Barbara Thiering (Paperback - 1 July 1993)
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