Christian Books, Bibles, Music & More - 1.888.395.0572
Call our Toll Free Number:
1-877-205-6402
Find us on:
Follow Us On 

Twitter!   Join Us On Facebook!

Christian Bookstore .Net is a leading online Christian book store.

Shop Christian Books, Bibles, Jewelry, Church Supplies, Homeschool Curriculum & More!

How Jesus Became Christian [Hardcover]

By Barrie Wilson (Author)
Our Price $ 22.06  
Retail Value $ 25.95  
You Save $ 3.89  (15%)  
Item Number 95210  
Buy New $22.06
Out Of Stock!
Currently Out Of Stock

Item Specifications...

Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.5" Width: 6.38" Height: 1.16"
Weight:   1.23 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 4, 2008
Publisher   St. Martin's Press
ISBN  0312362781  
EAN  9780312362782  


Availability  0 units.


Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Hardcover $ 25.95 $ 22.06 95210
Paperback $ 22.99 $ 19.54 1502781 In Stock
Item Description...

Barrie Wilson is Professor of Humanities & Religious Studies at York University in Toronto. A specialist in early Christian origins, this is his first book intended for a general audience. Building on contemporary critical scholarship, it addresses some of the major puzzles he has identified in teaching biblical studies over a twenty-year period. An award-winning educator, his previous academic books focused on textual interpretation. "How Jesus Became Christian" looks at how one of the world's great religions prospered and grew at the cost of another and confronts a fundamental question about religious history: Who was Jesus Christ--a Jew or a Christian?
How did a young, well-respected rabbi become the head of a cult that bears his name, espouses a philosophy that he wouldn't wholly understand and possesses a clear streak of anti-Semitism that has sparked hatred against the generations of Jews who followed him? Wilson seeks the answer by recreating the Hellenistic world into which Jesus was born--a theologically cacophonous world guided by Greek philosophies, oriental religions such as Mithraism, and the Egyptian cults of Isis and Osiris. He looks at the rivalry between the "Jesus movement," led by James, informed by the teachings of Matthew and adhering to Torah worship, and the "Christ movement," headed by Paul, which shunned the Torah.
Wilson suggests that Paul's movement was not rooted in the teachings and sayings of the historical Jesus, a man Paul never met, but solely in Paul's mystical, idealized vision of Christ. Wilson goes on to show how Paul established the new religion through anti-Semitic propaganda, which ultimately crushed the Jesus Movement. This is a provocative, well-written religious history about the core differences between Christianity and Judaism. "Wilson, professor of religious studies at Toronto's York University . . . helpfully surveys the political, social and religious contexts of ancient Palestine, demonstrating that the religion of James, the brother of Jesus, was much closer to the religious practice of Jesus himself, but that the followers of Paul suppressed Jesus' teachings in favor of their own leader . . . Wilson's instructive book introduces important questions about early Christianity for those unfamiliar with the debates about the historical Jesus."--"Publishers Weekly" "Wilson, professor of religious studies at Toronto's York University . . . provokes new thoughts about Jesus' identity. Taking up where Robert Eisenman left off in "James, the Brother of Jesus," Wilson calls his argument the Jesus Cover-Up Thesis and claims that the religion of Paul displaced the teachings of Jesus so that Paul's preaching about a divine gentile Christ covered up the human Jewish Jesus. Wilson helpfully surveys the political, social and religious contexts of ancient Palestine, demonstrating that the religion of James, the brother of Jesus, was much closer to the religious practice of Jesus himself, but that the followers of Paul suppressed Jesus' teachings in favor of their own leader. Wilson challenges the veracity of the book of Acts, arguing that the followers of Paul created these tales to support the heroic character of their founder in his quest to establish a new religion. Wilson's instructive book introduces important questions about early Christianity for those unfamiliar with the debates about the historical Jesus."--"Publishers Weekly"

Buy How Jesus Became Christian by Barrie Wilson from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780312362782 & 0312362781

The team at Christian Bookstore .Net welcome you to our Christian Book store! We offer the best selections of Christian Books, Bibles, Christian Music, Inspirational Jewelry and Clothing, Homeschool curriculum, and Church Supplies. We encourage you to purchase your copy of How Jesus Became Christian by Barrie Wilson today - and if you are for any reason not happy, you have 30 days to return it. Please contact us at 1-877-205-6402 if you have any questions.

More About Barrie Wilson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! BARRIE WILSON is Professor of Humanities & Religious Studies at York University in Toronto. A specialist in early Christian origins, How Jesus Became a Christian is his first book intended for a general audience. Building on contemporary critical scholarship, it addresses some of the major puzzles he has identified in teaching biblical studies over a twenty-year period. An award-winning educator, his previous academic books focused on textual interpretation.

Are You The Artisan or Author behind this product?
Improve our customers experience by registering for an Artisan Biography Center Homepage.



Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology   [2037  similar products]



Similar Products
The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity
The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity
Item: 390172

The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity
The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity
Item: 4413661

The Secret Legacy of Jesus: The Judaic Teachings That Passed from James the Just to the Founding Fathers
The Secret Legacy of Jesus: The Judaic Teachings That Passed from James the Just to the Founding Fathers
Item: 571257



Reviews - What do our customers think?
A better recovery of Jesus' Jewish message  May 16, 2008
Like many of us, Barrie Wilson wants to know "How did the Jewish Jesus of history become the Gentile Christ of faith? How did early Christianity become a separate religion from Judaism? What really accounts for Christian anti-Semitism?" He seeks answers partly by comparing different accounts within the scriptures -- Paul's own accounts compared with Luke's version of the same events in Acts, or Jesus' teaching about the Jewish law compared to Paul's. The results are fascinating, and come close to demolishing any justification for a wall between Christianity and Jesus' own Jewish faith.

Where Jesus pushed the spirit of the Torah beyond external deeds to deal with the inner conflicts behind deeds, later Christians presented Christ as invalidating the Old Testament law. Where Jesus urged "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matt. 5:19), Paul, with his independent revelation, argued that the entire law of Moses was needless. Since Abraham had faith before the law appeared, everything which happened since (until Jesus) was irrelevant. Now, Paul claimed, anyone who continued to observe the Jewish law was "under a curse", and "No one will be justified by the works of the law" (Gal. 2:16). At least, as Wilson points out, Paul did not try to cite Jesus himself as the source of this teaching.

The book holds much more, but let me quote one among several conclusions: "What we have today in Christianity is largely Paulinity, a religion about the Gentile Christ that covers over the message of the Jewish Jesus of history. Second, it involved a hostile differentiation, with scathing attacks by the Proto-Orthodox on anything Jewish. Third, the cover up resulted in the entrenchment of anti-Semitism, directed against Judaism and the Jewish people" (p. 255)

In looking over Wilson's research, there's just one factor I'd like to add in explaining the hostile division of Gentile Christianity from Jesus' Jewish faith. That is the factor of war. Where Jewish nationalists rose in revolt against Roman colonial rule (twice, in the 70s and 130s AD), Gentile converts sought to prove their loyalty to Rome by distancing themselves from the rebels. While Rome crucified the Jewish nation, many Gentile Christians tried to deny they ever knew the accused.
 
A good summary of the history of Christianity but....  May 10, 2008
This book provides a good summary of current views concerning the"known" history of Christianity. It provides the historical context behind the phenomena of Christianity along with providing rich details of Jewish life and religion at the time of Jesus. I read it as a follow on to the Tabor book "The Jesus Dynasty". It provides plausible rationales for:

- The split between Ebionites and "followers of Paul" called Proto -Orthodoxy (he also suggests a new taxonomy)
- The evolution of Christian thought through the Council of Nicea
- Roots of anti-semitism

The analysis of the "Book of Acts" in papering over schism(between the Ebionites and "the followers of Paul") in the early church is compelling.

Overall I think this book is the best historical analysis of this period available but unfortunately Professor Wilson...

- expresses contempt for "Hellenistic" values and thought
- dismisses Paul's view of Spirituality as not genuine i.e. it doesn't come from the Torah
- is overly defensive of Jewish orthodoxy

Some are already using this book to "slam" Christianity - see earlier reviews here on this site

Even with the above reservations I highly recommend this book.
 
The truth is really so simple, but simply ignored   Apr 29, 2008
While some scholars and writers try to find truth in dubious Coptic Gnostic gospels the truth about Jesus is really staring us in the face. It is obvious, but it has been ignored, that those who knew Jesus the best were those led by his brother James, namely the earliest Christians. They were devoted to the temple, regarded Jesus as a prophet sent by God who would return but not a divine being. They had no trinity, no salvation by his bloody death, etc. These were ultra-orthodox Jews who believed in Jesus. They were very anti-Roman and expected God to destroy Rome. They were dispersed by the Roman war and condemned by the gentile church as heretics. Some of their beliefs persisted and found their way into Islam. The so-called Ebionites survived for several hundred years but were finally gone. What we call Christianity is either a terrible misunderstanding of what Jesus intended or a total fraud. Paul and the author of John's Gospel began the process of creating a religion about an imaginary Jesus. This is the Christianity of the churches. It has been known for centuries but the orthodox version of things, which is false and fraudulent, has had the power to suppress the truth. Wilson has written a valuable popular account of what Jesus was really about and how he was stolen by Paul and the gentiles and made into a God. Unfortunately evangelicals who need to read this book will not do so.

I shudder when I contemplate the fact that this Christian foundation of Western Civilization is based on lies and deceits.
 
Good summary of topic, especially for layperson  Apr 7, 2008
As another reviewer wrote, most of this is not new material, but Wilson does a pretty good job summarizing it - particularly for the layman. What is also not new, but is controversial, is that he also pins Christian antisemitism very directly on Paul's theology - particularly the "Christifying" aspect (and the proto-orthodox writings of others). John Gager wrote more extensively about the origins of antisemitism in the early centuries of Christianity in 1983. Wilson's book is provocative, particularly in how much it positions Paul's theology as essentially a new religion.

I see three basic scholarly schools of thought in the new Paul research: 1) Paul is misunderstood by most Christian theologians as advocating supersessionism of Judaism, he actually meant those ideas to apply only to Gentile converts (Gager, based much on Lloyd Gaston); 2) Paul is fully supersessionist and dimisses the torah completely (Wilson, Macoby, et al); 3) Somewhere kind of in-between: N.T. Wright. I'm really intrigued by Wright, but don't fully understand his position (or maybe I'm just not convinced). He certainly seems to be "softening" the typical evangelical/conservative "justification by faith" position, but he still views Paul within the realm of torah is meaningful only as transformed by belief in Jesus.

Wilson's book lays out the issues and dilemma one faces when trying to really come to terms with Paul in history. I offer the previous three as a quick summary of the debate positions (I may not be fully accurate in them). I'm finding myself somewhere in between #1 and #2 - I have more reading to do by Dunn, Gager, Gaston, and Sanders.

Here's a few specifics on Wilson's book:

1) His analysis of Galatians is quite good, particularly on its exegesis in relation to Genesis (regarding the theological points) and Acts (regarding the historical inconsistencies). I was surprised, though, that he relied soley (essentially) on Galatians, but didn't touch Romans. I know as a layman's book, he can't touch it all, but Romans - being Paul's latest and most developed thesis - needs to be addressed. This does not diminish his legitimate criticisms of Paul's argument in Galatians (as some will try to claim), but it leaves the argument incomplete.

2) The Acts factor. Wilson is clear that Acts plays a pivotal role in transforming Paul's theology into a Gentile converting, empire winning formula. I certainly think that aspects of his Acts/Paul comparisons demand some serious explanation (there are some definite dissconnects in what Acts reports and what Paul himself claims), and I further agree that Acts paints Paul as the "hero" of Christianity, I'm just not sure that Acts can support the full weight of Wilson's thesis. I can imagine that Acts reflects the zeitgeist, but I think it may be too difficult to argue causality.

3) The main punch of his book - based on all of this - is that it explains the incessant Christian antisemitism throughout history. Basically, Christianity so usurped, dismissed, and deligetimized Judaism - at the expense of historical truthfulness to Jesus' original message - that the proto-orthodox leaders needed to completely disenfranchise Judaism.

Definitely a provocative book. His theses can certainly be challenged, but they should also certainly be looked at. As an non-trinitarian, I certainly think that the High-Christology of the first four centuries needs some serious challenging in its pagan, hellenistic roots and its complete deligitimizing of Jesus' Jewishness. In that, I agree with Wilson.
 
The Question Christians should not avoid  Apr 6, 2008
Virtually all Christians assume that Christianity was the religion of Jesus, the man they believed to be the divine Messiah from Nazareth. Barrie Wilson delved deep into history and the Bible to pose a question that every Christian should have asked himself - How Jesus became Christian? The historical Jesus, if he existed, was born of Jewish parents, brought up in the religion of the Jews, and preached his own brand of Judaism. Wilson traced with detailed analysis, the change from the Jesus Movement to the Christ Movement of Paul. He expounded with clarity, how "the Christ Movement swept Jesus up out of his Jewish context and landed him in the midst of a new, strange Gentile environment. That changed everything, since the Christ figure is not a Jewish Messiah. The whirlwind caused by Paul has had a profound effect on how we understand the Jesus of history, his teachings and his mission. Everything is now seen through the eyes of Paul and his new landscape." This may be criticized as another revisionist account, but it is a very plausible account. It adds a clear and plausible account to the one that Christians hold. One needs an equally learned scholar to refute it. That has yet to emerge.
 

Write your own review about How Jesus Became Christian





Customer Support: 1-888-395-0572
Welcome to Christian Bookstore .Net

Our team at Christian Bookstore .Net would like to welcome you to our site. Our Christian book store features over 150,000 Christian products including Bibles, Christian music, Christian books, jewelry, church supplies, Christian gifts, Sunday school curriculum, purity rings, homeschool curriculum and many other items to encourage you in your walk with God. Our mission is to provide you with quality Christian resources that you can benefit from and share with others. The best part is that our complete selection of Christian books and supplies is offered at up to 20% off of retail price! Please call us if you have any questions or need assistance in ordering at 1-888-395-0572. Have a blessed day.

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Customer Support