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Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls Paperback – 1 Jul 1993

3.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Books; New edition edition (1 July 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552139505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552139502
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3.6 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,018,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Jesus was the leader of a radical faction of Essene priests. He was not of virgin birth. He did not die on the Cross. He married Mary Magdalene, fathered a family, and later divorced. He died sometime after AD 64.

This controversial version of Christ's life is not the product of a mind which wants to debunk Christianity. Barbara Thiering is a theologian and a biblical scholar. But after over twenty years of close study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gospels she has developed a revolutionary new theory which, while upholding the fundamental faith of Christianity, challenges many of its most ingrained supernaturalist beliefs.

Jesus the Man will undoubtedly upset and even outrage those for whom Christianity is immutable and unchallengeable. But for many who have found the rituals of the contemporary church too steeped in medieval thinking, it will provide new insights into Christianity in the context of the 1990s.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: 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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