Top positive review
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A clear and convincing historical analysis
on 22 April 2012
Believers in the death and resurrection of Christ will have a hard time with this book. They will pick and poke at details just as some do over Darwin's theory of evolution or the new sciences of the universe and the brain. But Kersten's destruction of the orthodox position of traditional faith is clear and convincing, for me at least. His own research and his summary of the research of a vast number of other careful scholars has shown with some clarity that (1) Jesus was a teacher in the tradition of Buddhism and Hinduism who quite possibly learned his trade in advanced and extended Indian or Buddhist training, (2) Jesus survived the crucifixion, as he would have hoped, using Yogic skills developed during his training plus the cooperation of friends who may have seen his suffering Roman cruelty as a Jewish victory, and (3) Jesus probably headed back east after his recovery and became a wandering teacher called Yuz Asaf who finally settled in Kashmir and is buried in Srinagar.
Any attempt to reconstruct the events of so long ago with any clarity is doomed to be debatable, and any attempt to do so for a historic figure like no other in (Western) history is going to raise organized resistance from vested interests, but Kersten has given us a platform for doing so that is really good, in my humble opinion. I have read several books on this and related themes, and this is the best, for me. The balance of fine detail and judicious overview, the insistence on hard facts and the sober appraisal of probabilities, the sympathy extended to people of faith, whether Indian or Mediterranean, and the overall scholarly tone of the enterprise together make this for me the fiducial source on this topic. I have no hesitation in recommending it to seekers after the true story and giving it five stars.