"... Carrier contrasts the most credible reconstruction of a historical Jesus with the most credible theory of Christian origins if a historical Jesus did not exist. Such a theory would posit that the Jesus figure was originally conceived of as a celestial being known only through private revelations and hidden messages in scripture; then stories placing this being in earth history were crafted to communicate the claims of the gospel allegorically; such stories eventually came to be believed or promoted in the struggle for control of the Christian churches that survived the tribulations of the first century. Carrier finds the latter theory more credible than has been previously imagined. He explains why it offers a better explanation for all the disparate evidence surviving from the first two centuries of the Christian era. He argues that we need a more careful and robust theory of cultural syncretism between Jewish theology and politics of the second-temple period and the most popular features of pagan religion and philosophy of the time. For anyone intent on defending a historical Jesus, this is the book to challenge."
"The most compelling argument ever published in support of the theory that Jesus never existed as an historical person." --Frank Zindler, editor, American Atheist Magazine, Autumn 2000.
"Doherty has written a potential modern classic, which deserves to be widely read and discussed." --Jan Koster, Professor of Linguistics, Groningen University, The Netherlands
"I have never read such scholarship in so easy a style. You have a wonderful way of conveying complex ideas." --Judith Hayes, author of "In God We Trust...But Which God?"
From the Publisher:
"During three years of exposure on the World Wide Web, where he has presented convincing evidence, on a half a million word website, that no historical Jesus existed, to enthusiastic (and not so enthusiastic) reaction from around the globe, Earl Doherty's first published book has been eagerly awaited. The wait will not disappoint. In a highly attractive product (the cover itself is stunning), the author presents all the details of his argument in an immensely readable and accessible format."
From the Back Cover:
"Why are the events of the Gospel story, and its central character Jesus of Nazareth, not found in the New Testament epistles? Why does Paul's divine Christ seem to have no connection to the Gospel Jesus, but closely resembles the many pagan savior gods of the time who lived only in myth? Why, given the spread of Christianity across the Roman Empire in the first century, did only one Christian community compose a story of Jesus' life and death-the Gospel of Mark-while every other Gospel simply copied and reworked the first one? Why is every detail in the Gospel story of Jesus' trial and crucifixion drawn from passages in the Old Testament? The answer to these and other questions surrounding the New Testament will come as a shock to those who imagine that the origins of Christianity and the figure of Jesus are securely represented by Christian tradition and the Gospels. With the arrival of the third millennium, the time has come to face the stunning realization that for the last 1900 years, Christianity has revered a founder and icon of the faith who probably never existed."
"Earl Doherty has established himself as today s standard bearer for the re-emergent Christ Myth theory. This book, a greatly expanded edition of his earlier volume, The Jesus Puzzle, updates the original case and interacts with the debate as it has raged since the original book....
Earl Doherty is a masterful writer and an indefatigable scholar who leaves no relevant stone unturned. Any critic who seeks (desperately) to write him off because he writes without establishment academic credentials only demonstrates how far he himself falls short of recognizing real scholarship when he sees it. Has Doherty had to resort to publishing his own books? So did Hume. That s no excuse for anyone interested in the Christ Myth or the historical Jesus not to read this all-encompassing book...Earl Doherty's masterpiece." Robert M. Price
"The chunks of the debate on the historical Jesus that typically reach the lay person are, as a rule, too shallow to attract sharp intellects with no dog in the fight. The result is the simultaneous preaching to parallel choirs of believers and infidels with little or no progress on the general understanding of the origins of Christianity.
A refreshing exception to this rule is the monumental work of Earl Doherty, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man, a revised and expanded edition of The Jesus Puzzle on top of which a decade s worth of new research has been added. This hefty tome presents an argument so bold it is no surprise it comes from outside the mainstream of New Testament scholarship, yet so compelling in its ability to explain contradictions in the existing theories that it may prove to be nothing less than a paradigm shift...
The bombshell conclusion that there was no flesh and blood Jesus ever is nothing new: The concept of the mythical Jesus has been in and out of vogue for centuries. What makes Doherty s theory a force to be reckoned with is its power to explain why the New Testament looks the way it does, and where all those puzzling inconsistencies came from. By unscrambling the two traditions and setting them in the right order, he has provided us with significant explanatory power..." Michael Martin, author of The Case Against Christianity
"If you aren't afraid to open your mind and learn about how everything about religion is man made then this is the book for you." Brian Lysaught
"This was an excellent summary of the basic issues with the historicity of Jesus.I would recommend this as a start for a reader interested in seeing what the issues are regarding the historicity of Jesus. This is covered in the first part of Lataster's book. Lataster deals with the matter from several points of analysis. These are covered in the first part of the book by chapters: biblical scholars and their methods, problems with the sources, the evidence for a non literal Jesus, and similarities to earlier mythical figures. There are other books that go into more detail on these issues, such as Doherty and, more recently Carrier, but require more time and effort. ..." Brian Asalone
"Robert M Price ends this brilliant book with the words 'Jesus [probably] never walked the earth,' and he backs up this assertion with abundant evidence and persuasive argument, so that, I believe, any unbiased and intelligent reader would either have to agree with him or at least be strongly swayed towards his conclusion. In an amazing 205 page chapter he puts one after another New Testament story about Jesus side by side with one or more Old Testament stories, so the reader can see clearly for himself that the NT stories are only rewritten or reworked OT stories; and as Dr Price points out, if Jesus really existed, why didn't the NT authors write about him instead of describing him only in terms of ancient stories about other biblical figures? In addition, Price points out that the Jesus story fits a common story pattern of mythic heroes in ancient times, and that there is no good historical documentation that he ever existed as a real person." Steve Beck.
"This is one of the very best get togethers of a group of scholars to discuss Jesus anywhere in print. I really enjoyed their controversial and interesting ideas. No not everyone agrees with them, so what? THey get me thinking, and I LOVE a book that makes you go hmmmmmm! Well this one did that for me. THANKS for the great efforts!." Kerry Shirts.