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The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David Hardcover – 13 Jul 2006

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 13 Jul 2006
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (13 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022406200X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224062008
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,636,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"stimulating, controversial"
-- The Good Book Guide


Since the eighteenth century, scholars and historians studying the texts of the Bible have attempted to distil historical facts and biography from the mythology and miracles described there. That trend continues into the present day, as scholars dissect the gospels and other early Christian writings to separate the 'Jesus of history' from the 'Christ of faith'. But in "The Messiah Myth" Thomas L. Thompson argues that the quest for the historical Jesus is beside the point, since the Jesus of the gospels never existed. Like King David before him, the Jesus of the Bible is an amalgamation of themes from Near Eastern mythology and traditions of kingship and divinity. The theme of a messiah - a divinely appointed king who restores the world to perfection - is typical of Egyptian and Babylonian royal ideology dating back to the Bronze Age. In Thompson's view, the contemporary audience for whom the Old and New Testament were written would naturally have interpreted David and Jesus not as historical figures, but as metaphors embodying long-established messianic traditions.

Challenging widely held assumptions about the sources of the Bible and the quest for the historical Jesus, "The Messiah Myth" is sure to spark controversy and heated debate.

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3 customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

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28 January 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
One person found this helpful
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12 September 2007
Format: Hardcover
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.3 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
Rick Theis
5.0 out of 5 starsVery interesting
12 November 2016 - Published on
Verified Purchase
David E. Blair
3.0 out of 5 starsLess Than Convincing, But Still Useful to Some Readers
30 July 2006 - Published on
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
34 people found this helpful.
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent Insights into OT Textual World
24 April 2005 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
86 people found this helpful.
S A Moran
5.0 out of 5 starsVery interesting
29 March 2006 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
21 people found this helpful.

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