36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
, 8 Dec. 2011
This review is from: The Greatest Lie Ever Told (Paperback)
Although this work purports to be well researched and carefully compiled, don't be deceived. It will not take the discerning and unbiased reader long to discover that, behind the seemingly well studied and clearly presented argument, lies a hidden agenda whereby the author seeks to foist his own Akenaten based religious beliefs on the unsuspecting and/or gullible reader. It soon becomes clear that evidence for his own quaint beliefs are every bit as unprovable as are those he seeks to denigrate.
Some readers will find it strange that little or no mention is made of the great eastern faiths such as Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism. Why should the author's interpretation be any more believable than those contained in these great faiths? As for Akenaten being a monotheist, the facts are that he advocated worship of the aten or sun disc, which made less sense than the traditional form of ancient Egyptian religious beliefs. All that we know about him suggests that he fell well short of being one of the best rulers Egypt ever had. More than that, why should the ancient Egyptians have been any more adept at discerning the truth about our place in the cosmos than, say, the ancient Chinese or Indians?
Although the author writes about how we shall all continue living after death, he fails to explain precisely where this will be and whether or not our beloved dogs, horses, cats, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs and pet tortoises will be living there with us. All too often we read and hear about learned people who believe in an afterlife and how much irrefutable proof there is for this state only to discover that 'irrefutable' is an euphemism for 'don't know'.
This work gives all the appearances of having been based on the painstaking and erudite discoveries and research of genuinely learned men and women, which has then been honed and adapted to support the conclusion the author had already reached when contemplating the writing of the book. Although the general consensus among genuine scholars is that we cannot be sure whether Jesus actually ever existed or not with the balance of probabilities being that there was a man called Jesus hidden somewhere behind all the legends that grew up around him, the author is adamant that Jesus never existed.
This work has all the appearances of being an assembly of cherry-picked information from the painstaking work and research of bona fide historians, archaeologists and researchers, which has then been adapted to suit the author's own beliefs. There's no shame in this; it's being done all the time. We just need to be aware of what actually is going on. This book is well written and shows great promise, which is then utterly ruined by conclusions every bit as ridiculous and devastatingly unprovable as the biblical myths and legends that the author dismisses with so much contempt.
In places the author contradicts himself. For instance, having stated, quite correctly, that only seven of the epistles attributed to Paul are genuine, he then quotes from the Epistle to the Ephesians as if it were a genuine Pauline epistle when it is not held to be so by the majority of leading biblical scholars. The writing style and words used are markedly different from what is found in the genuine Pauline epistles. This is just one example of how one gets the impression that 'cherry picking' has taken place in an effort to find proof for the author's own peculiar beliefs, which I find totally unconvincing and I'm quite sure I'm far from being the only one who will feel like that.
Worse still, scientists come in for a gruelling because they are supposedly too dogmatic. Where are these 'dogmatic' scientists? If scientists don't know they say so; if they are not sure they say so. This happens over and over again. If scientists are so very careful not to be dogmatic, why should any of us believe any religious dogma for which there isn't a trace of evidence? The author seems to believe that we should do just that, which is a great pity. This work is certainly a readable work of love by a dedicated author and is worth five stars for that. Unfortunately I am able to award it no more than one star on account of the totally unproven and ridiculous conclusions it reaches.
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