James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls

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Drawing on the Dead Sea Scrolls and on long overlooked early Church texts, Eisenman reveals in this groundbreaking major exploration the Christianity of Paul as a distortion of what James and Jesus preached. Whereas James and his followers, "zealous for the Law" of Moses, were nationalistic and apocalyptic, Paul's Hellenized movement promoted itself as pacifist, cosmopolitan, and faith-based. In an argument with enormous implications, Eisenman identifies Paul as deeply compromised by Roman contacts, and James as ...
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Overview

Drawing on the Dead Sea Scrolls and on long overlooked early Church texts, Eisenman reveals in this groundbreaking major exploration the Christianity of Paul as a distortion of what James and Jesus preached. Whereas James and his followers, "zealous for the Law" of Moses, were nationalistic and apocalyptic, Paul's Hellenized movement promoted itself as pacifist, cosmopolitan, and faith-based. In an argument with enormous implications, Eisenman identifies Paul as deeply compromised by Roman contacts, and James as not simply the leader of Christianity of his day, but the popular Jewish leader of his time, whose death triggered the Uprising against Rome. Creative rewriting of early Church documents has obscured this fact. Eisenman shows that characters like "Judas Iscariot" and "the Apostle James" did not exist as such and details an actual physical assault by Paul on James in the Temple. By rescuing James from the oblivion into which he was deliberately cast, James the Brother of Jesus reveals one of the most successful historical rewrite enterprises ever accomplished.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In previous writings (most recently, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, LJ 2/1/93), Eisenman drew attention to apparent parallels between the Qumran community reflected in the scrolls and the early Jewish Christian community led by James, the brother of Jesus. In his latest work, he attempts to examine further those parallels and to rescue James from "the scrapheap of history." Eisenman believes James's role in early Christianity has been downplayed in the tradition(s) preserved in the New Testament, primarily the Gospels and Acts. Vestiges of the real James are blurred. Eisenman, therefore, chooses to place more confidence in extra-biblical writings, especially the Dead Sea Scrolls, for understanding James and his role in early Christianity; he takes every opportunity to deprecate the writings of the New Testament (except where they can be pressed into service to strengthen his case). At times it is difficult to determine whether the author's goal is to reclaim James or defame the New Testament. This piece of tendentious research is not the key to unlocking anything about early Christianity.-Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama Lib., Birmingham
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670869329
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Pages: 1056
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 6.36 (h) x 2.31 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1 James 3
2 The Second Temple and the Rise of the Maccabees 13
3 Romans, Herodians, and Jewish Sects 31
4 First-Century Sources Mentioning James 51
5 Early Church Sources and the Dead Sea Scrolls 70
6 The First Appearance of James in Acts 93
7 The Picture of James in Paul's Letters 126
8 James' Succession and the Election to Fill Judas Iscariot's Office 154
9 The Election of James in Early Church Tradition 185
10 James' Rechabitism and Naziritism 217
11 James' Vegetarianism, Abstention from Blood, and Consuming No Wine 258
12 James' Bathing and Clothing Habits 310
13 James as Opposition High Priest and Oblias 353
14 The Stoning of James and the Stoning of Stephen 411
15 The Death of James in its Historical Setting 466
16 The Attack by Paul on James and the Attack on Stephen 521
17 The Truth About the Death of James 553
18 Peter's Visit to Cornelius and Simon's Visit to Agrippa 598
19 The Apostleship of James, Cephas, and John 647
20 James the First to See Jesus 689
21 Last Supper Scenarios, the Emmaus Road, and the Cup of the Lord 725
22 Jesus' Brothers as Apostles 770
23 Simeon bar Cleophas and Simon the Zealot 817
24 Judas the Brother of James and the Conversion of King Agbar 853
25 The Conversion of Queen Helen and the Ethiopian Queen's Eunuch 883
26 Judas Thomas and Theuda the Brother of the Just One 923
Epilogue 959
Chronological Charts 964
Genealogies 967
Maps 970
Note on Translations 977
List of Abbreviations 980
Notes 983
Index 1037
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