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In his 1997 book, James the Brother of Jesus, Eisenman (Middle Eastern religions & archaeology, California State Univ.) argued that James is to be identified with the Teacher of Righteousness of the Dead Sea Scrolls and that he was really the one around whom the Messianic movement in first-century Palestine revolved. In this sequel, he culls a number of sources, non-Christian as well as Christian, to show that the writings of the New Testament-especially those of Paul-are anti-Semitic, Greco-Roman works that elevate Jesus into the central role. Once one cracks the code, Eisenman contends, one will find that many of the New Testament's familiar phrases refer to Essene concepts found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The connections Eisenman makes between New Testament texts and Essene concepts seem at times a stretch, but those who accept the argument he made in his earlier work will appreciate his extensive use of sources. With a style verging at times on ridicule, Eisenman puts forth an argument that challenges the traditional view of early Christian origins. Joseph A. Fitzmyer's The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Originsoffers a less contentious treatment of the topic. For comprehensive religion collections.
—Augustine J. Curley