Judas of Nazareth: How the Greatest Teacher of First-century Israel Was Replaced by a Literary Creat (BOK)
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Scholars have spent years questioning aspects of the historical Jesus. How can we know what Jesus said and did when Jesus himself wrote nothing? Can we trust the Gospels, written by unknown authors 40 to 70 years after Jesus' death? And why do other sources from the time not speak of this messianic figure known as Christ? Drawing on the histories of Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls, Daniel Unterbrink contends that the "Jesus" of the Bible was actually a composite figure, a clever blend of the Jewish freedom-fighter Judas the Galilean and Paul's divine-human Christ figure created in the middle of the first century CE. Revealing why Paul was known as a liar, enemy, and traitor in other Jewish literature, he shows that the New Testament Gospels are not transcripts of actual history but creative works of historical fiction designed to promote Paul's Christianity and serve the interests of the fledgling Gentile Christian communities. He demonstrates how each Gospel is written in light of the success of Paul's religion and dependent upon his later perspective.