New York, NY (PRWEB) April 30, 2012
Might Christianity have been created by the self-styled “apostle” Paul, and by his followers, instead of by Jesus?
Paul was the earliest Christian writer, before any of the Gospel-writers, and he admitted that he had never met the living Jesus. But no historian, until now, has considered whether the four Gospel-writers might actually have been his followers, instead of followers of Jesus. A book published today examines this very question, for the first time anywhere, and it concludes that Christianity was, indeed, started by Paul, in the year 49 or 50, about twenty years after Jesus’s death.
The Mencken award-winning investigative historian, Eric Zuesse, has applied modern legal-forensic methodology to analyze the evidence concerning Christianity’s start, and he has found that Christianity began when Paul perpetrated a coup d’etat against Jesus’s brother James, whom Jesus (a respected rabbi) had appointed to lead the Jewish sect that Jesus had actually started.
Zuesse’s book, published today, Christ's Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity, documents, from a letter by a participant, that this event culminated a 14-year-long conflict between Paul and James, concerning the question of whether the commandment from God, to Abraham, in Genesis 17:14, “No uncircumcised man will be one of my people,” pertained to Jesus’s followers. Paul said it didn’t; James finally concluded that it did – and this precipitated the split.
Over the prior 17 years, Paul had established many congregations whose members were not born Jews, and so they hadn’t been circumcised at birth (as other Jews were). Christ's Ventriloquists notes that the medical operation of circumcision was excruciating and dangerous in the First Century, when anesthesia, antibiotics, and antiseptics, didn’t exist. Imposing it upon Paul’s adult male Gentile congregants would thus have driven many of Paul’s men to abandon the sect, to avoid the pain, and also to protect their safety. Paul’s 17-year career converting Gentiles to this Jewish sect would thus have turned to dust if circumcision were to be imposed.
Zuesse documents that right after the council in Jerusalem that’s described in Galatians 2:2-10, James sent Peter and other agents to Paul’s headquarters in Antioch, to tell Paul to require circumcision for his men. Paul, in Galatians 2:12-21, refused, and shocked everyone by asserting that God had replaced the Jewish covenant with a new, Christian, one, in which merely believing that Jesus was the Messiah or “Christ” was the path that God now set for a person’s salvation. This new path to heaven became the basic Christian doctrine; it had never been stated before. Paul invented it, on that occasion, in order to avoid losing his followers over the circumcision issue.
Zuesse documents that the four canonical Gospel accounts of “Jesus” were written by followers of Paul, not by followers of Jesus/James. None of the men who wrote those documents had ever met Jesus, and they were all followers of Paul, and enemies of Jesus’s followers. However, even those Gospel accounts referred to Jesus 13 times as “rabbi” (in addition to another 31 times referring to him more generically as “teacher”). Jesus’s followers (including Peter and all of the disciples) remained Jews, just as Jesus had. Jesus’s sect died out. Paul’s followers survived and increased, emerging as the Roman Catholic Church.
Among the pre-publication accolades, that Zuesse’s account of Jesus has received, is Bruce Chilton, head of the Institute for Advanced Theology at Bard College, and internationally recognized Jesus scholar, calling it “a winner.” And Rev. Steven Michael Smith of Colona United Methodist Church said, “It is surprising to me that this view of Paul has not been previously written.”
Review Copies of Christ's Ventriloquists are available to members of the media. Simply e-mail the publisher at hyacintheditions(at)mail(dot)com, with “Review Copy” in the Subject line. (Review copies will be sent only on a case-by-case basis, to qualified media.)
Contact (for author interviews): Eric Zuesse, directly, at 1-802-623-6651 or at cettel(at)shoreham(dot)net.