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Posted October 30, 2014
Closer to the truth than ever before
What if Jesus of the Bible is really a composite character, a blend of several anti-Roman movement leaders of the time? Retired forensic auditor Daniel T. Unterbrink approaches this question like the trained investigator he is. Using his considerable analytical skills, he challenges the historical origins of Christianity. Using data gathered from historical writings and analysis of a myriad of Jewish political-religious movements, he theorizes that Jesus never existed as one man. Instead, he is a literary composite of figures who led several anti-Roman movements. What we think we know about Jesus is from sources who never met him in person and fictional stories created by Paul of Tarsus. Judas of Nazareth is a good read for anyone who loves both history and mystery. Unterbrink examines what is the known history of the time, confirmed writings and anecdotal evidence of disagreements between Paul, Peter and James over the tenets of the "fledgling gentile religion." This book is a statistically detailed approach to a question that may never be answered. But perhaps Unterbrink has come closer to the truth than ever before.
-- Marilyn Ellis, New Connexion Journal
Posted March 25, 2014
As a Christian, I find Judas of Nazareth a fascinating and compelling must read. It is amazing to me that historians and theologians have not already documented the facts found in this book. It seems that every Time, U.S. News and World Report etc. that we pick up now-a-days discusses something about Christianity, yet the claim that Jesus was just a title for Judas the Galilean has never been mentioned. After all, the Jewish historian Josephus never mentioned Jesus Christ, the greatest religious leader of the time, but emphasized the actions of Judas the Galilean. It doesn’t seem so far-fetched that the name Jesus was the Messianic title for Judas, especially since their actions mirror each other from the Temple cleansings to the fact that Judas had a new philosophy and Jesus had a new religion. It is mind-boggling how the story-lines fit together perfectly when we put the New Testament into the time period of Judas the Galilean.
I have been deeply troubled by the traditional Pauline Christianity of today, emphasizing that “faith” alone will save you, not accounting for one’s good deeds. Somehow the teachings of God have been taken out of the equation. Judas of Nazareth argues that Judas the Galilean and Jesus are one and the same, and that Jewish Christianity thrived during the ministry of Judas the Galilean and beyond (4 BC to 70 AD). Thus, according to Unterbrink, Jewish Christianity differed greatly from Paul’s Gentile Christianity. In fact, Paul hated James and Peter. Paul actually met with Nero three years after he slaughtered the Jewish Christians after the Great Fire of Rome (64 AD). Unterbrink also meticulously details the conflicts between Paul and James, claiming that the Jewish Jesus Movement attached the labels “Liar,” “Enemy,” and “Traitor” to Paul.
Judas of Nazareth invites skepticism, challenging theologians, historians, clergy, ministers, and lay people to question the hypothesis put forth that the Gospel Jesus Christ was a literary creation of Paul that replaced the historical Judas the Galilean.
Sandy Young, Retired Spanish Teacher, Ohio
Posted March 24, 2014
"Dan Unterbrink’s Judas of Nazareth is a relentless and unapologetic interrogation into who Jesus was and, as a consequence, who he was not. Brilliantly vetting a veritable ocean of ancient historical documents/sources, Unterbrink comes to two revolutionary conclusions: 1) that the Gospels, our hitherto chief source of information of the historical Jesus, were in fact theological-political manifestos largely influenced - if not actually penned - by Paul of Tarsus and 2) that our hitherto image of Jesus as a reactionary "Prince of Peace" with an otherworldly agenda is but a pale gloss on someone far more real and exciting, an actual human being fighting for his vision of the Kingdom of God in the midst of a brutal Roman occupation.
Ultimately, Unterbrink’s work sets the stage for a much needed shift in the study of early Christianity, away from the uncritical use of Gospel materials towards an investigation into the underlying ideological framework that shapes the documents the Church chose to canonize. For me, what Unterbrink has done is truly ‘good news’."
Posted March 24, 2014
Back in 2004, I read Daniel Unterbrink’s provocative book entitled, Judas the Galilean: The Flesh and Blood Jesus. In this book, Unterbrink presented a compelling and logical argument that the Gospel Jesus was really a rewrite of the Jewish revolutionary, Judas the Galilean. He supported his thesis with data from the Jewish historian Josephus, as well as the writings of the Roman historians Suetonius and TacituWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 24, 2014
Daniel Unterbrink has written another masterpiece. This book “Judas of Nazareth” deals with a lot of the same material to be found in one of his earlier works, “Judas the Galilean.” This book contains three parts, a conclusion, and four appendices.
Part I is about the life and times of Judas the Galilean and Jesus of Nazareth; and, the history of the “Fourth Philosophy,” a religion of the first-century that can be identified with early Christianity. Following is a chapter on primary text references to Jesus as found in Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny and Josephus. Some of these sources suggest that, what might be considered as, an early Jewish Jesus movement existed, but this movement was fully Jewish and unlike present day Christianity.
Part II discusses Paul and designates him as an Apostle to the gentiles. This part also compares the Teachings of James and Paul in various things such as, for example, Faith and Deeds. In this part, there are also chapters on Paul’s family ties, like his relationship to King Agrippa. Finally, there is a discussion of what motivated Paul.
Part III deals with what might be referred to as the creation of Jesus of Nazareth; and, also, the hand of Paul, indirectly at least, in the writing of the Gospels. This part also discusses the dependence of Acts on Josephus and can be looked at as a proof that Acts had to be written after the publication of the “Antiquities” in 93 CE.
The Appendices have the following interesting titles.
A: The Messianic Time Lines;
B: John the Baptist;
C: Pontius Pilate;
D: The Slavonic Josephus.
All in all, the book is very well written, well worth reading, and might be considered Daniel Unterbrink’s best.