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James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Robert Eisenman

014025773X Retail Price: $28.00
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Format: Paperback, 1112pp.
ISBN: 9780140257731
Publisher: Penguin USA
Pub. Date: March 1998

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Description

From The Publisher:

In a profound and provocative work of scholarly detection, Eisenman establishes James a figure almost entirely marginalized in the New Testament as the leader of all opposition groups in the Jerusalem of his day and spiritual heir to his famous brother Jesus. James, not Peter, was the true successor to the movement we now call Christianity. Once we have found the Historical James we have found the Historical Jesus.

Drawing on the Dead Sea Scrolls and on long overlooked early Church texts, Eisenman reveals in this groundbreaking major exploration the Christianity of Paul as a distortion of what James and Jesus preached. Whereas James and his followers, "zealous for the Law" of Moses, were nationalistic and apocalyptic, Paul's Hellenized movement promoted itself as pacifist, cosmopolitan, and faith-based.

In an argument with enormous implications, Eisenman identifies Paul as deeply compromised by Roman contacts, and James as not simply the leader of Christianity of his day, but the popular Jewish leader of his time, whose death triggered the Uprising against Rome. Creative rewriting of early Church documents has obscured this fact.

Eisenman shows that characters like "Judas Iscariot" and "the Apostle James" did not exist as such and details an actual physical assault by Paul on by James in the Temple. By rescuing James from the oblivion into which he was deliberately cast, James the Brother of Jesus reveals one of the most successful historical rewrite enterprises ever accomplished.


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Reviews

He will not persuade many because his conclusions are improbable, his arguments incoherent and his prose impossible ... He says James, who kept alive the real teaching of Jesus and whose story was suppressed in Jewish and Christian writings, was the rival of accommodationist high priests and the authentic leader of the Jewish community. In arguing this bizarre thesis, Mr. Eisenman ignores the normal canons of historical argument and of literary analysis. He treats later Christian sources, which contain legendary material, as historically reliable ... In Mr. Eisenman's hands ... legend becomes simple history.
The New York Times Book Review, Anthony J. Saldarini

 

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About the Author

Robert Eisenman is Professor of Middle East Religions and Archaeology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Judeo-Christian Origins at California State University, Long Beach. He is is consultant for the Huntington Library in the struggle to free the Scrolls.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction

PART I    PALESTINIAN BACKGROUND
1. James
2. The Second Temple and the Rise of the Maccabees
3. Romans, Herodians, and Jewish Sects
4. First-Century Sources Mentioning James
5. Early Church Sources and the Dead Sea Scrolls

PART II    HISTORICAL JAMES
6. The First Appearance of James in Acts
7. The Picture of James in Paul's Letters
8. James' Succession and the Election to Fill Judas Iscariot's Office
9. The Election of James in Early Church Tradition

PART III    JAMES' ROLE IN THE JERUSALEM OF HIS DAY
10. James' Rechabitism and Naziritism
11. James' Vegetarianism, Abstention from Blood, and Consuming No Wine
12. James' Bathing and Clothing Habits
13. James as Opposition High Priest and Oblias

PART IV    THE DEATH OF JAMES
14. The Stoning of James and the Stoning of Stephen
15. The Death of James in its Historical Setting
16. The Attack by Paul on James and the Attack on Stephen
17. The Truth About the Death of James
18. Peter's Visit to Cornelius and Simon's Visit to Agrippa

PART V    THE BROTHERS OF JESUS AS APOSTLES
19. The Apostleship of James, Cephas, and John
20. James the First to See Jesus
21. Last Supper Scenarios, the Emmaus Road, and the Cup of the Lord
22. Jesus' Brothers as Apostles
23. Simeon bar Cleophas and Simon the Zealot

PART VI    JAMESIAN COMMUNITIES IN THE EAST
24. Judas the Brother of James and the Conversion of King Agbar
25. The Conversion of Queen Helen and the Ethiopian Queen's Eunuch
26. Judas Thomas and Theuda the Brother of the Just One

Epilogue
Chronological Charts
Genealogies
Maps
Note on Translations
List of Abbreviations
Notes
Index



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