Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing the Story

Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing the Story

by Brian Griffith


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“[Griffith] is a thorough independent scholar, and his concise writing makes historical facts engaging and relevant. His most important take-home message: it is not verboten for people of faith to ask why beliefs and practices developed in a specific way. In fact, it could even be considered an obligation for healthy, committed believers to do so.” —Publishers Weekly

“I love Brian Griffith for having the heart to try to scrape away the barnacles of ideology and prejudice that keep attaching themselves to those four, frail little gospel boats. Part of this book will break your heart as he describes how little compromises and strategic emphases grow into huge errors and disasters.” —FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE, author of Millions, a Carnegie Medal award-winning book adapted into a feature film directed by Danny Boyle

In Correcting Jesus, Brian Griffith patiently and clearly untangles the many strands of the story of Christianity, and the many changes made over the centuries to the original story of Jesus and his message. If you’ve ever wondered, “Where did that rule come from?” and “Was it always this way?” this book will provide enlightenment.

Brian Griffith grew up in Texas, studied history at the University of Alberta, and now lives just outside of Toronto, Ontario. He is an independent historian who examines how cultural history influences our lives, and how collective experience offers insights for our future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935259022
Publisher: Exterminating Angel Press
Publication date: 11/01/2009
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 1220L (what's this?)

About the Author

Brian Griffith is an independent historian who's interested in the whole world's "culture wars." His two previous books are The Gardens of Their Dreams: Desertification and Culture in World History, and Different Visions of Love: Partnership and Dominator Values in Christian History, with a foreword by Riane Eisler. He's married and lives near Toronto, Ontario.

Table of Contents

1 Correcting Jesus in Sunday School 1

2 Correcting Jesus' Jewish Religion 7

3 Correcting Forgiveness 41

4 Correcting Respect for Women 84

5 Correcting Freedom 137

6 And How About Equality? 195

7 Correcting Non-Violence 219

8 Correcting Compassion 259

Postscript 291

Notes 294

Bibliography 308

Index 318

What People are Saying About This

Barrie Wilson

The Christ of today is not the Jesus of history. The man - along with his message - became radically altered along the way. In this readable and insightful book that spans the centuries, Brian Griffith carefully documents how Jesus' teachings became changed to suit the predilections and fads of later audiences. This book is an excellent read for anyone concerned with moving beyond popular preaching to what the Jesus of Nazareth really taught."--(Barrie Wilson, Professor, Religious Studies, York University, Toronto. Author, How Jesus Became Christian)

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Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing the Story 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is definitely worth a read before rating, even (especially) if you think it will challenge some of your preconceptions. Interestingly, in other forums it has received over 90% 5-tar ratings and thoughtful, articulate comments.There is merit to reading its contents and weighing the evidence for yourself, even if you end up ultimately rejecting the premise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a very open and honest review of modern Christianity and its ability to create a god and demi god in its own image. This is a sweet man commenting on the manipulation of people through a book which has been mis handled since its conception. As we get better at translating older texts I will not be surprised to find the whole bible to be a sham. The Jesus figure was once used as a sign of rebellion is now being used as a method of oppression. Read and question everything you read.
wazdat More than 1 year ago
I just bought this book because I am curious. I do have questions. I believe one can have faith and be curious. The desciples were human. To err is human. Much of what we know was a oral history before it was put on page. I believe the bible to be based on fact. I also must accept that an event related over time by various people will be tainted by thier own perceptions. Why else can ten people witness the same car accident and have different versions? I noted one reviewer who said there is proof Jesus existed, look at the records. Proof of existence is not proof his words were recorded verbatim. I believe we were given the ability to reason and question. Love and hate. I have faith. I have faith that me having questions is good and will not damn my soul because he gave me the ability to do so. Buy the book because you wish to learn more about our past. Our religious history. Our lord because ultimely all he asks is we listen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No one alive now was there at the time of Christ so how do we know what really occurred? I find people who are not religious are kinder and less condeming than those who preach it. Live and let live...Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many of these reviews are fine examples of how and why Jesus' teachings have been twisted and misinterpretted over the years. So very many closed minds...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't going to purchase this only because I have too many books on my unread list. However, when someone threatens people with HELL if they even consider an alternate view, I feel I must protect my right to purchase and read anything of my choosing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It looks like most of the one star reviews are merely reacting to the title, and have not read any of the book. The book is about correcting our understanding of the Jesus of the Bible, an understanding which, as the author points out, has shifted hugely from the understanding of early Christians. The book makes some excellent points about how we self-focused mere humans twist the Bible and its contexts to suit our own ends. If you are not yet aware of the limitations of human understanding when it comes to humans trying to grapple with God, this book will give you food for thought. It may also be helpful to those who have dismissed Christianity as hopelessly prejudiced in the ways that it helps to draw lines between what IS in the New Testament and what is not. Whatever your motivation for reading it, it is worth your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it front to back. Will be putting this on the reading list of all my students next time it is updated. Thank you for the amazing read! Can't wait for the next thing you have installed for us!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here's some of what the book says about the disciples: Reading over the gospel accounts, I noticed how much the first disciples tried to correct Jesus. When he said that men and women are equals in marriage, they answered, “If that is the position between husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” (Matthew 19:10) Were lines like that from stand-up comedy routines? When confronted by a crowd of 5,000 hungry people, Jesus asked the disciples to share all the little food they had. And like most modern pragmatists they replied, “Are we to go and spend twenty pounds on bread to give them a meal?” (Mark 6:37) When Jesus said it was difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom, the disciples “were more amazed than ever, and asked, ‘Then who can be saved?’.” (Mark 10:26) The disciples repeatedly argued over who should be greatest among them. They wanted to form a new monopoly on religious power: “John said to him, ‘Master, we saw a man driving out devils in your name, and as he was not one of us, we tried to stop him’.” (Mark 9:35–38) When Jesus said that speaking or eating with “impure” people pollutes no one, the disciples admitted they didn’t understand. They also admitted he replied, “Are you as dull as the rest?” (Mark 7:14–18)
Guesty More than 1 year ago
I think it’s hilarious that people who haven’t read the book are so “Upset” that they condemn it and give it four stars at the same time. Not to mention that it’s so “Bad” that people become “horible" at spelling! Come on guys, try actually reading a book.
kpretzel More than 1 year ago
Haven't read it yet, but seeing how upset people get when FACTS conflict with the mythology brainwashed into their minds, it sure makes me interested in reading this book!!
Wendy2013 More than 1 year ago
The author does not presume to 'correct' Jesus, or anyone else for that matter. He is carefully and accurately showing how the story of Jesus has been changed over the last two centuries, by who, and by what historical forces. Actually, this is a very useful, as well as fascinating book--I haven't seen this done anywhere else. Highly recommended to anyone interested in cultural history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book very interesting and truthful. It explains how the religion evolved and people's ways of thinking were added to it. The book is very fair to Judaism and honest about the church.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book explains how traditions and people in power have influenced the Christianity throughout the history that seems to be true for all religions and believers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is sad to see how prejudges can blind us. Some of the reviewers are so afraid of the light that are willing to close their eyes to the truth. Griffith has written a scholarly book that the title threatens the beliefs of those of us that are afraid of anything than the fables we are told. I see a number of people commenting as if they were there with Jesus and recoding a reality show. They know what exactly t he LORD told the disciples!!!! And if you question it, you sure will go to hell!!! Come on let’s be just a little open minded. The author isn't saying he's correcting Jesus. It's about how lots of later Christians corrected him, as shown in the historical record.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tell me- do you understand all the principles of quantum physics? Judging by your closed-minded review, I assume not. How can you believe that the desciples knew EVERYTHING about Jesus?? Do you know every detail about everyone you've known the majorty of your life, like your parents? Your grandparents? Your best friend? Your spouse? I HIGHLY DOUBT IT!!!! Next time, think before you review, because you're what's wrong with America.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So many people are under the misconception that the bible has been passed down over the millenia without ever being altered or modified, and never having so much as a single typo. Those holding that mistaken belief will have their views challenged as they learn of the editing and "improvements" made to the new testament over the years. Perhaps the biggest misconception is that the gospels were written by thrir namesakes. The gospels are copies of copies of copies, each one different from the last, and ultimately based on the retelling of oral traditions attributed to the original Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Of the 5,400 copies of the new tedtament that pre-date the KJV bible, the oldest is from the third century CE, and no two of the copies are the same. Many even have margin notes that found their way into later copies. So much for the inerrant and unchanging word of god. The bible is a laughable collection of legends ordained by Constantine, not any imaginary diety.
nebuless More than 1 year ago
If you have a fixed bias before you read this book it will be a waste of time for you as evidenced by some of the angry comments made against this book. The author did a lot of research to pull this together as evidenced by his footnotes and documentation. This book has the apperance of being written by someone who tried to be an objective observer. I had a philosophy professor in college who could be objective in the classroom but was an extremely conservative Christian in real life. He took a lot of heat from the ministerial types. Their loss because one narrow viewpoint blocks out possibility and puts one in a self imposed prison. How nice to read a book that flows nicely through the history of Christianity and gives me some alternate perspectives about the religion in which I was raised. All of life beliefs are speculation that will be unmasked or not when we die.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Using only the Bible, and contemporary writings, the author describes how Christianity became something unrecognizable by those who understand what Jesus preached. This will greatly offend many people, especially Catholics, but it would be very difficult to dispute what is in the book. We shouldn't be afraid to learn how the religion became what it is.
cajon_chick More than 1 year ago
The author discusses aspects of Jesus' life and legacy that I have suspected since I was a child -- what we have been told about Jesus by the church have often by distorted throughout history. Christianity was created to serve the church leaders. Jesus was here to serve mankind - often the lowliest in society (lepers, prostitutes, etc.) while the church seems to cater to the wealthiest or most respected. I found this book to be a refreshing outlook on the enigma that was Jesus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the author to be factual in his comparisons of the actual teachings of Jesus and how they have progressed into today's theology. I highly recommend it.
Ewa Zielinska More than 1 year ago
As Griffith tells it, the story of Christianity is highly dramatic. The issues are explosive, and the struggle over clashing visions races on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book shows a doubter, questioning everything, and finding real greatness in the Christian tradition. He finds both the worst and the best in church history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago