Christ's Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity
Christ's Ventriloquists is a work of investigative history. It documents and describes Christianity's creation-event, in the year 49 or 50, in Antioch (present-day Antakya, Turkey), 20 years after Jesus had been crucified in Jerusalem for sedition against Roman rule. On this occasion, Paul broke away from the Jewish sect that Jesus had begun, and he took with him the majority of this sect's members; he convinced these people that Jesus had been a god, and that the way to win eternal salvation in heaven is to worship him as such. Paul here explicitly introduced, for the first time anywhere, the duality of the previously unitary Jewish God, a duality consisting of the Father and the Son; and he implicitly introduced also the third element of the Trinity, the Holy Ghost.
This work also explains and documents the tortuous 14-year-long conflict Paul had had with this sect's leader, Jesus's brother James, a conflict which caused Paul, in about the year 50, to perpetrate his coup d'état against James, and to start his own new religion: Christianity.
This historical probe documents that the four canonical Gospel accounts of the words and actions of "Jesus" were written decades after Jesus, by followers of Paul, not by followers of Jesus; and that these writings placed into the mouth of "Jesus" the agenda of Paul. Paul thus effectively became, via his followers, Christ's ventriloquist.
The author explains: "What I am doing in this work is to reconstruct from the New Testament the crucial events that produced it, without assuming whether what the NT says in any given passage is necessarily true or even honest. Instead of treating the NT as a work that 'reports history,' the NT is treated as a work whose history is itself being investigated and reported."
"My skeptical ear detects a very distinct ring of plausibility in this gripping tale ... provocatively interesting ... and forcefully written."
— Richard Dawkins, Oxford University, and author of bestsellers The Selfish Gene, and The God Delusion
— Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus, and Director of the Institute for Advanced Theology at Bard College
"Great writing; great forensic investigation."
— David Davis, participant in the Jesus Seminar's discussion group
"This book is an absolute must-read for anyone investigating the origins of Christianity ... insightful, well-written, and powerfully informative."
— Joe E. Holman, author of Project Bible Truth
"Presents a side of Paul that the general reader of the Bible, or even the scholars, miss."
— Oswald Schrag, Emeritus Professor of Religion at Fisk University, Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, and member of the Westar Institute
"It works for explaining Christian origins ... Paul has to do away with [Judaism's demand for] circumcision. That is so unambiguous."
— James Crossley, Sheffield University Professor of Biblical Studies, and author of Why Christianity Happened
"It is surprising to me that this view of Paul has not been previously written ... I love your boldness."
— Reverend Steven Michael Smith, Colona United Methodist Church, and a participant in the Jesus Seminar's discussion group
"An open-minded reader/juror will come to the conclusion that [Paul] is guilty of inventing a new religion, illegitimately appropriating Jesus."
— Abe Van Luik, Ph.D., former Christian fundamentalist
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