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The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man

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"This book should be mandatory reading for all scholars concerned with Christian origins ... nothing of comparable importance has been written for at least a decade." - Freethinker
For more than a century scholars have been examining the Gospels and other traditions about the life of Jesus to determine their historical accuracy. Although the results of these scholarly efforts are sometimes controversial, the consensus among researchers today is that the four Evangelists? accounts cannot be taken at face value. In...

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Overview

"This book should be mandatory reading for all scholars concerned with Christian origins ... nothing of comparable importance has been written for at least a decade." - Freethinker
For more than a century scholars have been examining the Gospels and other traditions about the life of Jesus to determine their historical accuracy. Although the results of these scholarly efforts are sometimes controversial, the consensus among researchers today is that the four Evangelists’ accounts cannot be taken at face value. In fact, a team of more than 100 scholars called the Jesus Seminar has come to the conclusion that on average only about 18 percent of the four Gospels is historically accurate.
An active member of the Jesus Seminar, Dr. Robert M. Price presents the fruits of this important historical research in this fascinating discussion of early Christianity. As the title suggests, Price is none too optimistic about the reliability of the Gospel tradition as a source of accurate historical information about the life of Jesus. Indeed, he feels that his colleagues in the Jesus Seminar are much too optimistic in their estimate of authentic material in the Gospels. After an introduction to the historical-critical method for nonspecialists and a critique of the methods used by the Jesus Seminar, Price systematically discusses the narrative and teaching materials in the Gospel, clearly presenting what is known and not known about all of the major episodes of Jesus’ life. He also examines the parables for authenticity as well as Jesus’ teachings about the Kingdom of God, repentance, prayer, possessions and poverty, the Atonement, and many other features of the Gospels.
Written for the general reading public in a lively and accessible style, Dr. Price’s highly informative discussion will be of interest to anyone who has wondered about the origins of Christianity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591021216
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 8/25/2003
  • Pages: 389
  • Product dimensions: 5.57 (w) x 8.37 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Price, Ph.D. (Selma, NC), professor of scriptural studies at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is the editor (with Jeffery Jay Lowder) of The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave and the Journal of Higher Criticism. He is also the author of Top Secret: The Truth Behind Today’s Pop Mysticisms; The Paperback Apocalypse: How the Christian Church Was Left Behind; The Reason-Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For?; The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man; and Deconstructing Jesus; among other works.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Criteria 9
Ch. 1 Sources 25
Ch. 2 Birth and Lineage 43
Ch. 3 Childhood and Family 73
Ch. 4 Jesus and John the Baptist 101
Ch. 5 The Miracles 131
Ch. 6 Ministry to the Outcasts 165
Ch. 7 The Twelve Disciples 183
Ch. 8 The Hinayana Gospel 205
Ch. 9 The Mahayana Gospel 225
Ch. 10 Jesus and Judaism 247
Ch. 11 The Anointed One 269
Ch. 12 Jerusalem 291
Ch. 13 Crucifixion 319
Ch. 14 Resurrection 333
Conclusion: The Name of the Lord 349
Index 357
Scripture Index 371
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2009

    poor scholarship but recommended

    As an evangelical Christian, I found this book very helpful in reaffirming and strengthening my faith in Christ. This might seem odd, given that Robert Price, in this work, concludes that Jesus Christ was a legendary fabrication rather than a historical figure. However, it is precisely the poverty of Price's arguments that was so reassuring to me. For anyone who has spent any time reading the biblical accounts or has an independent knowledge of ancient history, it is clear that Price ignores the copious amounts of archaeological and documentary evidence that we have for the historicty of the New Testament documents. Similarly, Price's use of higher theory to assess the Biblical documents enables him to ignore any evidence that contradicts his theories of the early church. For people interested, I've written a somewhat length essay discussing Price's book which might provide a useful counterpoint:<BR/>http://www.chem.yale.edu/~tully/nashenvi/Price.html<BR/>I also recommend the following essay from atheist Jeffrey Jay Lowder, former president of infidels.org, in which he discusses the Christian arguments for the resurrection of Jesus and concludes that there is strong evidence for it:<BR/>http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jesus_resurrection/<BR/>Nonetheless, I think this book is very helpful for Christians who would like to better understand the arguments and methods employed by modern critical scholars.

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    Posted January 4, 2009

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