One of the main reasons I left seminary school was the problems with historical Jesus research. After reading books like "The Jesus Mysteries" and "The Jesus Puzzle" I began to do my own research.

After a decade of study I've just published my own book "Jesus Potter Harry Christ" which uses Harry to identify the mythic nature of the Bible and reassesses the history. The reason I wrote this book was to draw awareness to the fact that a strong case can be made for the fully mythical Jesus, and spread that message to the general public. But I'm afraid the project is going to sink without support. I'd like to invite anybody who's interested to grab the free ebook files I've left on the site and please comment on amazon if you agree with the aims of the book (www.jesuspotterharrychrist.com).

I don't mean to be self-promotional, and I don't expect to make much profit with this book, but I'd love to see it shared and cited as fuel against the Christian epidemic. I'm working on my PhD and this is a heavily researched book. I'd be happy to hear your feedback, opinions or discussions as well in this discussion.

Views: 14

Comment by Boci Boci Tarka on April 24, 2011 at 1:43pm
I personally subscribe to the 'Jesus is a personification of the Sun' theory, which was described in Zeitgeist: The Movie. I find it very sound and logical, I mean what else would they promote to be a God other than the Sun, the ultimate lifegiver? :)
Comment by no2ndhandgod on April 24, 2011 at 1:52pm

Start reading Michel Onfray, The Atheist Manifesto 2006. Also the only well-preserved anti-xian text from antiquity is a sometimes very funny skewering by the otherwise unknown Celsus (ca 175 CE): The true doctrine - against the xians. (trans/intro RJ Hoffman) Oxford. 1987.  Be aware, however that ---

The fiction-history dichotomy presents a false choice --

• start with the story of Buddha

The fictional enlargement of Siddharta Gautama from the Buddha of the Dhammapada into a much later transcendental Buddha figure of the Diamond Sutra took hundreds of years. His deification should be a less difficult mental process for brainwashed westerners to cope with than the parallel deification of Jesus, which also took hundreds of years to complete. "Jesus" and "Gautama" belong to that genre called 'historical fiction' --

A perfect secular example of historical fiction is Meyer's novel, 'The 7% Solution'. Sherlock Holmes meets Sigmund Freud in Vienna. While Freud pursues a cure for Holmes's cocaine (= a 7% solution) addiction, Freud, Holmes, and Watson chase Moriarity across the City of Dreams circa 1888. Freud lived in late 19th century Vienna -- he and it create the reasonably accurate historical background. Alas, Holmes and dear Dr. Watson belong only to the fertile mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Thus, by analogy, I suggest that "Jesus" arises as a historical fiction set in a backwater of the Roman Empire, a hell-hole of religious fanatics made more fanatical by unrelenting foreign oppression.

• find out what modern paleography say about the canon

Teachings and sayings attributed to Buddha in the Dhammapada appear to be early writings from the Pali canon and function as indicators of what the Enlightened One may have said.

Buddha does not suffer from deification in early texts — he is and he remains a human being. His early views are broadly non-theistic.

As for the xian religion, a Jesus figure may have left behind teachings or sayings which may be authentic -- but Jesus can not be separated from a context of deification even in the earliest of so-called gospels, "Mark" (70 CE). P/Saul of Tarsus creates the deified "Christ" between (50-65 CE).

 

• what scholarship says about a "historical" Jesus

Before there were any xians, or members of Jesus cults within Judaism -- hellenistic Jewish writers constructed texts which were intentionally what we would call resistance propaganda against macedonian occupiers.

The Book of Daniel with its three resisters of royal oppression -- and Judith, always shown cutting off the head of enemy general, Holofernes, are complete fiction.

Putting a human face on an ideology is nothing new. We remember Daniel in the lions’ den and Judith with her sword dripping blood — long after any trace of their immediate context was erased.

Like them the Jesus persona belongs on the level of a character in a cultural fable directed against an occupying roman army and a harsh puppet regime.

But his persona was able to "to rise from the grave" to be employed totally out of context. Those who wrote in bad koine Greek became freed to address themselves to the masses of ignorant and revenge filled non-jews throughout the eastern empire who knew nothing about occupied Palestine, but who hated intellectuals, the educated, those in power. (See 1Cor1:26-28 NIV in particular; but all of 1Cor1 merits reading.)

the anti_supernaturalist.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on April 24, 2011 at 4:15pm
I welcome your self promotion here and feel it is completely appropriate given the subject matter. You'll need plenty of promotion to build up a readership and, if you lack a big publisher, the cheapest way to get the job done is to do it yourself.

A agree that there is a HUGE case for the entirely mythical Jesus, although I subscribe to the idea that the story is rooted in an historical Jesus that we know very little about. There are a few passages in the gospels that seem to indicate the cult of Jesus was aware of a couple of authentic details that they had to massage a bit to fit into the rest of the mythology. Either way, the Jesus that Christians know is definitely a mythical Jesus and I applaud your all your work in researching enough material to put together a book on it. Not sure when I'll have the time to read it though, but I may skim a bit.
Comment by Kenneth Montville D.D. on April 24, 2011 at 5:06pm
Very interesting. I just purchased the Kindle version from Amazon. I will probably get to it as soon as I finish up Jesus, Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman.
Comment by Derek S Murphy on April 25, 2011 at 2:57am
Thanks for your comments. Yes, I basically argue the original motifs for the story are astrological (the sun myth, but other pieces as well. Actually Zeitgeist used a lot of the same source material.) But there is much more to it also; I'll keep working on getting the word out.

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