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In The Birth of Christianity: Reality and Myth, Joel Carmichael argues that Jesus was executed by the Romans in 32 A.D. as a rebel against the state. It was only after his execution that he was hailed as the Son of God, a fact that has been widely ...
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In The Birth of Christianity: Reality and Myth, Joel Carmichael argues that Jesus was executed by the Romans in 32 A.D. as a rebel against the state. It was only after his execution that he was hailed as the Son of God, a fact that has been widely misinterpreted by both Jews and Christians.
Carmichael maintains that it was St. Paul, after the death of Jesus, who provided the organizational structure, the meaning and the drive behind the Christian movement. It was his vision that triggered the exaltation of Jesus, and after the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 A.D., his letters and papers became the core of Christian doctrine. In centuries since, the "Kingdom of God" has become a hazy ideal and metaphor.
Posted August 13, 2002
In the Foreword of his book 'The Birth of Christianity: Reality and Myth,' Joel Carmichael portrays his effort as one that would give us the true and objective story of the advent and development of Christianity in its first century or so of its existence. The very title of the book indicates that Mr. Carmichael is most likely to offer us something different, possible radically different, than what has come down through the Christian experience as the received tradition. In essence, this belief holds that Jesus Christ was the incarnated second person of the Blessed Trinity who took on a human nature to atone for humankind¿s sinful nature through his passion, death and resurrection. All other doctrines and theological inferences drawn by Christian thinkers over the last two millennia are intrinsically and inseparably linked to this core belief. Now one cannot hold in an a priori fashion that Christian thinkers of and from the apostolic age on were preserved from making exaggerated or false claims. Nor, for that matter, that, if new and persuasive evidence can be found, one should not consider alternative explanations as being closer to the truth than is the received tradition. The onus, however, falls to the person offering the alternative view, and the more this interpretation varies from the conventionally accepted one, the more stringent the evidence he must present in support of his claims. If, however, all the new version offers is a re-interpretation by twisting terms, making connections between persons, events and attitudes that are not clearly accounted for in the text (or other physical evidence) while ignoring material that makes this new version less plausible than the former one, as does Carmichael, only someone motivated by leanings other than the dispassionate search for truth will take them seriously.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 8, 2001
Outstanding read for both Jews and Christians who want to know the real political environment of Palestine between 6 B.C.E. to 73 C.E - which lead to the Jewish Holy War against Rome (66-70 C.E.) - and, as a by-product, launched a new religion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.