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Book Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus


Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Donald Harman Akenson(Author)

    Book details

The Gospels, scholars agree, were written after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. This catastrophic event, argues Donald Akenson, forever altered the outlook and the agenda of the Christian and Jewish faiths. Of all the New Testament writings, only Paul's letters were composed before 70 AD. Thus, Akenson says, they are the only direct evidence we have that is untainted by this profound and lasting shift in perspective. And yet this most important source on the life of Jesus is also the most neglected. In this study, Akenson offers a lively and provocative account of what we can learn about Jesus by reading the letters of Paul, providing fresh new insights into both Jesus and Paul. Akenson painstakingly recreates the world of Christ, a time rich with ideas, prophets, factions, priests, savants, and god-drunk fanatics. He insistently stresses throughout the Jewishness of Jesus (for example, referring to Jesus and Paul as Yeshua and Saul, as they were then known).

Historian Donald Harman Akenson believes that biblical scholars have gone wrong in searching Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for the historical Jesus. All of the gospels, he points out, were written after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E.; the Jesus of the gospels is therefore "a derivative of texts whose goal was to modify, minimize, or exorcise his Jewishness". Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus is Akenson's attempt to put Historical Jesus studies back on track, by directing attention to the writings of Paul--"the only person who wrote about Yeshua before [the Temple's destruction]". Akenson's readings of Paul/Saul discern a faint vision of Yeshua, the follower of Yahweh, before he was made into Jesus and deemed a "co-partner" with God. Thus, Akenson equips his readers better to understand Jesus as a first-century Jew, while minimising the distortions and anachronisms that so often attach themselves to that designation. --Michael Joseph Gross

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Book details

  • PDF | 356 pages
  • Donald Harman Akenson(Author)
  • Oxford University Press Inc; 1st edition edition (1 Mar. 2001)
  • English
  • 3
  • Religion & Spirituality

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Review Text

  • By on 19 October 2001

    I have read many books on the historical Jesus and the methodology on how to tease out the real Jesus behind the religous myth. This is the first book that got me to revalue cherished beliefs that I had held.He makes seemingly sweeping statements, Paul or Saul as he refers to him did not believe in the virgin birth and although Jesus may well have been crucified it seems highly unlikely to have occurred at passover time. I will not outline his arguments here but rather ask you to read his work so he can outline his own, very reasonable thesis.The crux of his argument centres on the date the gospels were written. As they were written after the fall of Jerusalem everything was viewed through this theological bombshell.His views on the many strands of Judaism, of which followers of Jesus were but one is enthralling.Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is his claim that Paul felt able to contradict Jesus on matters ie divorce, stemmed from the dual consequence that they were both Pharisees and Saul felt able to argue over points of law and Jesus did not become Christ until after he rose. Note this was a spiritual resurrection not a physical one.I would strongly urge anyone who is serious about this issue to read this book and engage with its author on the issues raised.

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