After more than a century of New Testament scholarship, it has become clear that the Jesus of the gospels is a fictive amalgam, reflecting the hopes and beliefs of the early Christian community and revealing very little about the historical Jesus. Over the millennia since the beginning of Christianity various congregations, from fundamentalist to liberal, have tended to produce a Jesus figurehead that functions as a symbolic cloak for their specific theological agendas. Through extensive research and fresh textual insights Robert M. Price paves the way for a new reconstruction of Christian origins. Moving beyond the work of Burton L. Mack and John Dominic Crossan on Jesus movements and Christ cults, which shows how the various Jesus figures may have amalgamated into the patchwork savior of Christian faith, Price takes an innovative approach. He links the work of F.C. Baur, Walter Bauer, Helmut Koester, and James M. Robinson with that of early Christ-myth theorists-two camps of biblical analysis that have never communicated. Arguing that perhaps Jesus never existed as a historical figure, Price maintains an agnostic stance, while putting many puzzles and scholarly debates in a new light. He also incorporates neglected parallels from Islam, the Baha’i Faith, and Buddhism. Deconstructing Jesus provides a valuable bridge between New Testament scholarship and early freethinkers in a refreshing cross-fertilization of perspectives.
Robert M. Price is adjunct professor of theology and 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… More about Robert M. Price