This is an excellent book for anyone who's interested in the history of Christianity or in the Bible and why and how was written. It is extremely informative but also easy to read and understand. The only people who won't benefit from this book are hard-line Christian fundamentalists who will refuse to believe what they are reading because they feel that the Bible is infallible and deny the fact that it was written years after Jesus died or even later View 2 comments.
Jan 11, Pvw rated it it was ok Shelves: religion. I was advised this book in Derren Brown's Tricks Of The Mind , where he claims that he started reading it as an christian agnostic and laid it down as an atheist.
Who Wrote The New Testament?: The Making Of The Christian Myth
That sounded nice! The book doesn't deliver completely, I think there are better options if you want to see someone wiping the floor with religion. In fact, reading Holy Bible: King James Version itself is probably the best choice to get a clear idea of the load of sadistic and patriottic self delusion it contains. But let us return to M I was advised this book in Derren Brown's Tricks Of The Mind , where he claims that he started reading it as an christian agnostic and laid it down as an atheist. But let us return to Mack. He does a good job in showing how the preachings of some historical Jesus figure gave rise to a small cult of followers, who all had different interpretations of their master's sayings.
Instrumental in the rise of Christianity was the Jew Paul, who at first opposed non-jews becoming a christian but then realised that allowing the gentiles to be followers as well, was the key point in making the movement a success. He wrote his famous letters advocating that view to the different Jesus communities and Christ cults that had emerged.
- Walking Dead Weekly #29.
- Environmental Sustainability: A Consumption Approach.
- From Hebrew Bible to Christian Bible: Jews, Christians and the Word of God;
- The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 4).
- Church and State in the Modern World: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography (Bibliographies and Indexes in Religious Studies).
- Grape Expectations. A Familys Vineyard Adventure in France.
Also, some later letters were attributed to him after his death, just as what happened to the evangelists. Mack clearly shows that attributing a large body of text produced by a group of followers to one single, mythical author, was a widely spread practice in hellenistic times. Historically, one can date the production of the gospels somewhere between the first and second century.
The 'official' gospels are by no means the eyewitness accounts they are supposed to be, but more the point of view of a particular group of followers who made sure to work their own agendas into the main focus of the gospel in question. Whereas the early Jesus teachings had no bearings on the Jewish tradition, their Torah was twisted and turned and reinterpreted during the first centuries of Christianity, and the gospels were made to match it, so that finally the Jewish tradition could be adopted by Christianity.
The Messiah-idea and the legacy of King David were very artificially arm wrestled to point towards the Jesus figure, who by that time bore little resemblance to the historical man he once was. It is hard to believe even then that anyone would fall for such an obvious and convoluted construction, but two billion Christians today sadly prove otherwise. The good about Mack is that he proves his point in a detailed, philological way, but the bad is also that he makes his point so academically.
Burton L. Mack - Wikipedia
The lay out of the book is pure boredom, with not a single illustration, no line spaces and hardly any titles in between. It is just pure text, without any humour or literary aspiration. I think that even in a serious work, one can make a slight effort to present one's ideas in an agreeable manner. Burton L. Mack never bothers. So, all in all it is a book with valuable insights, but absolutely no fun to read! Nov 08, Lee Holz rated it it was amazing. The best of the several books I've read on the subject, an analytical, scholarly historian's take on the first two centuries of our era with particular emphasis on the documentary record.
Apr 06, David rated it really liked it. You mean it wasn't faxed down directly from God to the apostles? Apr 26, Beth Kakuma-Depew rated it really liked it Shelves: adult-non-fiction. Truely amazing and ground-breaking. For those who have no problem with the term "Christian Myth". Nov 25, Zach Christensen rated it liked it. This book was mediocre. There are no footnotes. Skeptical assumptions about the development of the Q document are asserted as fact.
The dates he assigns to the Gospels are at best, fringe, and at worst just conveniently chosen for no other reason than to support his assumptions. Then why was he in conflict with his This book was mediocre.
Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth Summary & Study Guide Description
Then why was he in conflict with his Jewish contemporaries? That all sounds like pure madness to me. There were some helpful sections, so this book was not a complete waste. But it just did not wow me. Nothing was groundbreaking for me. Dec 21, Jc rated it really liked it. An interesting study of the origins of the writings that were later compiled into the group known as the christian "New Testament.
Funny — I read much of this in coffee houses where I would try to keep its title away from others, knowing it could lead to awkward conversations, but people kept noticing it any An interesting study of the origins of the writings that were later compiled into the group known as the christian "New Testament.
Funny — I read much of this in coffee houses where I would try to keep its title away from others, knowing it could lead to awkward conversations, but people kept noticing it anyway. Invariably they would ask, "so, who DID write the bible" meaning what individuals. I tried to explain each time that no, the title refers to what groups, not which individuals, authored the letters, gospels, etc.
- Composing Qualitative Research;
- The Computer as Medium (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives);
- Further reading in the BAS Library:.
- Integrated Macro-Micro-Modelling Under Rational Expectations: With an Application to Tariff Reform in Australia;
- Account Options?
- Ecology and Utilization of Desert Shrub Rangelands in Iraq.
- Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion.
This just seemed to confuse people. My suggestion? If you are going to attempt to read this in a public place, either be prepared for some wacko conversations, or use a school-book style book cover. Rather dense, and in a smaller font than necessary, but if you can adjust your eyes, Mack packs this short work with a lot of scholarly information.
Apr 21, Paul Dinger rated it really liked it. My Lenten thing this year was to read more about the Bible. This is my third Lenten book. While a lot of the ground of this book supplied the groundwork for Zealot Aslan lists another of Mack's books on this subject it was in no way any type of rehashing. It wasn't what I was looking for, I wanted to find out how the Bible came to be, and this didn't answer those questions exactly, I wasn't totally disappointed and did learn a great deal about the people and politics involved.
This is a great b My Lenten thing this year was to read more about the Bible. This is a great book even for the layman such as myself about the history of the Old Testament. Jul 13, Eoin rated it it was ok. Disappointed with this book, in large part due to the misleading title. Rather it is an attempt at deconstruction of the New Testament. All well and good if you are looking for a dry literary analysis of the New Testament, but not be recommended for those seeking to learn about the history of the Disappointed with this book, in large part due to the misleading title.
All well and good if you are looking for a dry literary analysis of the New Testament, but not be recommended for those seeking to learn about the history of the bible Mar 18, Paul Marin rated it really liked it. A book about the origins of the gospels and books in the New Testament and the perspectives of the individual writers. Explains why the gospels were written the way they were and the angle the authors were coming from when writing them.
The typeset is small and if it had been set in a larger type, the book would have been twice as long, but much easier to read.
It is not true, just a myth
Could not finish. Not written for a casual consumer. Some good information from what I could tell, although the author writes with a smug assurance that I find grating. He makes no attempt to provide evidence what that evidence would be admittedly I don't know backing his statements.
View 1 comment. Mar 02, Meredith rated it really liked it. Recommend for everyone curious about who came up with these crazy ideas anyway. He's a really good writer. Aug 09, Nathan rated it liked it Shelves: open-your-eyes. Anyone interested in the origins of Christianity and Judaism should give this a read. Jun 19, Arnaud rated it it was amazing. A very compact book, hard to read at the beginning, but as soon as you start to see how events relate to each other and to understand the mythmaking process, everything starts to make sense.
Moreover but perhaps needless to say , disciples, apostles, and almost all stories involving the historical Jesus are fictional and drawn upon Jewish traditions and Greek concepts during a time of cultural diversity with Greeks, Jews, and Romans living together and influencing one another. Finally, traumatic events such as the destruction of the temple had a large share in explaining many myths such as the Passion. I liked the conclusion that the Bible like other sacred books has influenced the world destiny and the mindset of the West but that it should now be open to critical thinking in order to live in peace in our multicultural, postmodern world.
View all 3 comments. Jun 10, Lisa Uotinen rated it it was amazing. This is a well-written book.
The title is a bit misleading; its focus is on the beginnings of early Christianity. The question of who wrote the New Testament is a very small part. Maybe Mack's publisher wanted a "challenging" title in order to sell it.