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

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

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by Robert H. Eisenman
     
 

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In a profound and provocative work of scholarly detection, Professor Robert Eisenman establishes James—a figure marginalized in the New Testament—as the leader of all opposition groups in the Jerusalem of his day and spiritual heir to his famous brother Jesus. James, not Peter, was the true successor to the movement we now call Christianity. Drawing on the Dead Sea

Overview

In a profound and provocative work of scholarly detection, Professor Robert Eisenman establishes James—a figure marginalized in the New Testament—as the leader of all opposition groups in the Jerusalem of his day and spiritual heir to his famous brother Jesus. James, not Peter, was the true successor to the movement we now call Christianity. Drawing on the Dead Sea Scrolls and on long-overlooked early church texts, Eisenman reveals 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 based in faith. 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 this time. 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.

A Publishers Weekly religion bestseller, and cited as one of the best books available on the origins of Christianity

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670869329
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/1997
Pages:
1056
Product dimensions:
9.32(w) x 6.36(h) x 2.31(d)

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James the Brother of Jesus : The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Drawing upon an impressive array of early church sources, contemporary secular writings, and recent discoveries of ancient texts found at Nag Hammadi (the Gospel According to Thomas, the 1st and 2nd apocalypses of James, etc.) and Qumran (the Dead Sea Scrolls), Eisenman presents a clear alternative to the establishment view of the development of early Christianity. By careful consideration of the implications of non-sequiturs in extant texts as well as glaring omissions, Eisenman clearly presents the working method of Acts and the Gospels as nothing more than deliberate obfuscation and rewriting of early church history in order to downplay the parts played by Jesus' brothers (especially James) and to try to justify Paul's doctrines with those really held by the Jerusalem Community. The ultimate point that Eisenman makes is that to the extent we can identify what James the brother of Jesus was really like, we can also determine what Jesus was like. Eisenman's arguments make it clear the James was a strict observer of Jewish law, a Nazarite, and unwilling to compromise with foreigners in general and with the Roman Empire and their Herodian puppet kings in particular.
EugeneTX More than 1 year ago
This is a very outstanding and remarkable book and I strongly recommend it to all to read. You will never regret it and it will be the best money you will ever spend. It is the story of James, the brother of Jesus and their family, literally and figuretively. It is an entense presentation in the style of a forensic examination where all available parallel traditions are tracked and compared and within which the author points out intrusions of subsequent overwrites over original data. He leaves hardly any doubt who the culprits were and if you do know some of the history surrounging the Bible, the region, and the people, you are going to love being further exposed to the area. Dr Eisenman has two other boos now listed which may still be purchased througyh B&N and the Pseudoclemtine Recognitions are available through used and out of print services. Additionally, have a really great bible available (I recommend the new Oxford Annotated with Apocrypha and the Septuagint for your own parallel studies as you work your way through this. It is long. It is difficult. b You must work at it to understand and complete it. You may have to read a paragraph three times to get it because the inormation is so complex but it is there and it is clear and is is gratifying to finally have a way to separate fact from fiction. I hope the following makes reading it a little easier. In the book, there is a point that James falls from a place called the top of the stairs (steps) or pinnacle of the temple. Well, in aviation lexicon, a mountain summit (highest point) might hace sister peaks of lesser size but still peaks and still a part of the same mountaintop. A helicopter pilot might land to a pinnacle (step-peak, 200 feet down from the summit but still a separate peak and oinnacle in its 's own right. All one does is advise the landing pilot to approach the Southwest low peak 100 ' down from the sunnit on the SW side. If three sides fall away, the top of a cliff becomes a pinnacle approach/landing and egress is out the same way in. So I think the writers could have been right if they called the "top" of the stairs the "pinnacle" of the stairs I still have about 20% of the boo to go but I wanted to get this submitted while other pertinent books were available. If you participate as I have recommended, no one will know the bible better than you yourself ad you will have worked for thew informatio. Please do not let this pass you by and oick up recommended books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a brilliant book that remains under constant attack for not supporting approved traditional interpretations of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Be sure to examine carefully and in depth the credentials of its critics -- few of the critics have many.
Guest More than 1 year ago
BREAK ON THROUGH THE MYSTERY ST. PAUL AND THE EARLY CHURCH LEADERS SHROUDED THEIR NASCENT CHRISTIAN FAITH IN AND GET DOWN TO THE HEART OF WHAT ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY WAS, WHO JESUS WAS, BEFORE IT ALL BECAME THE COLOSSAL ROMAN MYSTERY RELIGION OF CHOICE THAT WE HAVE TODAY. BEFORE PAUL AND THE EARLY CHURCH LEADERS INVENTED THE GOSPELS CHRISTIANITY WAS A SPARK IN THE JEWISH REVOLT LED IN NO SMALL PART BY JESUS AND HIS FAMILY, ESPECIALY HIS BROTHER JAMES AGAINST THE POLITICAL OPPRESSION OF ROME. GREAT BREAKTHROUGH BOOK FROM AN AUTHOR DRAWING ON GREAT PREVIOUSLY UNAVAILABLE RESOURCES LIKE THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i've been through the book completely and found it very othentic. the theme does not contradict from the believes of the christianity but it gives a broad way to find new ways that what had happened to jesus christ. because at the moment history is blind to so some extant in the means that nobody is rralising that where are we going to. involvment of church is not helping anybody to find the true facts and figures in this situation there eas a need of this type of book. when it was asked to 'Mirza Ghulam Ahmed ' of Qadian in late 1800s that if there were any true avidences he replied that God had told me that there were avidences and in one time the earth will prove those avidences itself.