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.
Daniel T. Unterbrink is the author of Judas the Galilean, New Testament Lies, and The Three Messiahs. A retired forensic auditor, he has turned his analytical prowess to the historical origins of Christianity. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.
Foreword by Barrie Wilson Acknowledgments A Brief Explanation of the Major Political-Religious Movements Introduction: The Scholarly Mistake About the Sources The Controversy Surrounding the Slavonic Josephus Building on Previous Scholarship Part One The Life and Times of Judas the Galilean and Jesus of Nazareth The Road to the Fourth Philosophy 1 Hellenistic and Roman Influences A Short History of Hellenism Romans, Herodians, and the Fourth Philosophy The Fourth Philosophy's Plan of Action 2 Primary Text References to Jesus Josephus Suetonius and Tacitus The Letter of Pliny the Younger to Trajan The Dead Sea Scrolls Part Two Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles The Making of a Messiah 3 Traditional versus Historical Paul The Traditional Paul Questions Concerning the Traditional Paul A More Historical Paul Is Paul a Herodian? Is Paul a Pharisee? 4 James the Just and Paul the Liar Rich and Poor Faith and Deeds Taming the Tongue Wisdom The Law The Liar, the Enemy, and the Traitor 5 Paul's Family Ties All in the Family Differing Paths The Making of a Messiah Paul's Revelations Two Messiahs in Jerusalem Questionable Family Ties--Paul's Sister and Nephew Paul's Escape from Jerusalem 6 Paul's Motivation Paul and Jerusalem Paul and Fund-Raising Financial Exploitation Using the Jesus Movement Simon the Magician Paul's Dilemma Part Three The Creation of Jesus of Nazareth Paul's Hand in the Gospels 7 Foundation Legends The Martyrdom of Peter and Paul The Author of the Gospel of Mark The Flight of Jerusalem Christians to Pella 8 The Gospel of Mark Problems with the Composition of Mark Paul's Involvement with the Gospel of Mark Language of the Dead Sea Scrolls 9 The Gospel of Matthew Matthew's Use of Mark Examining the M Material The M Source and the Slavonic Josephus (SJ) To the Gentiles Who? Why? Where? and When? 10 The Gospel of Luke Luke's Sources Paul's Adaptation of Mithraism John the Baptist The Time Lines in Luke The Problem of Q Luke's Agenda Concerning Historical Data 11 The Acts of the Apostles Reliance on Josephus The Agenda of Acts Is Paul of Tarsus Invented? The New Jesus and the New Paul 12 The Gospel of John Dionysus The Word Becomes Flesh Demonization of the Jews What Is Truth? Conclusion: The Real Jesus of Nazareth Forty-Two Similarities Shared by Judas the Galilean and Jesus Appendix A. The Messianic Time Lines The Jewish Jesus Movement and The Fourth Philosophy The Christ Movement (Paul's Gentile Mission) The Jesus of Nazareth Movement Appendix B. John the Baptist The Traditional Viewpoint What Really Happened The Real History of the Jewish Jesus Movement Appendix C. Pontius Pilate Appendix D. The Slavonic Josephus Thirteen Passages The Slavonic Josephus versus Antiquities The Slavonic Josephus versus the Gospels Other Opinions on the Slavonic Josephus Author's Opinion on the Slavonic Josephus Notes Bibliography Index