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Jesus: God, Man or Myth? An Examination of the Evidence [Paperback]

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Item Number 445932  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   298
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   1.12 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Book Tree
ISBN  1585090727  
EAN  9781585090723  

Availability  142 units.
Availability accurate as of May 26, 2017 01:53.
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Item Description...
An Examination of the Evidence, by Herbert Cutner. Did pagan mythologies represent Christ's "miracles" in an effort to convince them to accept the Christian faith? Beyond these miracles is there enough evidence to prove there was a Jesus? Cutner says no. He also says that the Apostle Paul never portrayed Jesus as a man, but as a spiritual being. To Paul, Christ is found in a spiritual sense within oneself, as opposed to being an actual historical personage. When the Church accepted Paul, this inner reflection was outwardly projected by the Church into an actual man---a savior, according to Cutner. This might be why Paul was almost rejected by the Church---his views posed a "danger "to those who might rely on their own spiritual knowledge, rather than the authority of the Church. Whether Jesus lived or not, we still have a lot to learn about ourselves and our true place in the universe. This book, although critical, may be useful in that respect.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
the truth  Dec 6, 2003
hey time has passed threw ages, and there only one man who has stood the test of time. we still hold him close in this age. the answer is plain to see he is real, and was a gift from god.
Okay but a bit plodding  Jan 26, 2003
This book is an argument for the proposition that Jesus Christ did not exist as a man and that the tradition of his life was made up. The argument in the book is a reasonably familiar one and has been advanced by other sceptics. Basically there is very little historical evidence for the existence of Christ. Mentions of him by contemporary authors are both ambiguous and probably forgeries. The Gospels themselves are probably written about a hundred years after his death.

Cutner suggests that the creator of Christianity is Paul. His letters are the first surviving material to suggest the existence of Christ. Paul of course never met Christ but had visions of him. Cutner suggests that the construction of the Christian myth has been based on religious concepts that were current at the time. Krishna, Dionysius, Krishna and Osiris all had similar careers. That is being divine personages, born as men, killed and then risen from the dead. The story of Christ seems derived from these similar legends. Cutner does not explain the mechanics of the process he just suggests that it is the overwhelming likelihood.

The structure of the book is to look at the evidence for Christ in the ancient authors and in the bible. The material and approach is similar to another book The Christ by Remsberg. Of the two, Remsbergs book is probably better written and is a much clearer exposition of the theory. This book however has a chapter looking at Jewish sources and it also has a chapter dealing with the response to the Myth theory of Jesus.

The book is not bad but it appears to have been written some time ago. The forward of this version suggests a publication date of 2000 but the style suggests that it is much older. I preferred Remsberg. Still this is interesting for its greater discussion of the Jewish material.

A Superb and Needed Overview  Nov 4, 2001
In 1950, mythicist Herb Cutner published his excellent work, "Jesus: God, Man or Myth?," which not only explores the mythical nature of Jesus Christ but also provides a rare and much-needed summarization of the debate between mythicists and historicizers over the past few centuries. Contrary to popular belief, the idea that Jesus Christ is a mythical character is not new: In fact, the questioning and doubting of the gospel tale started at the beginning of the Christian era and has been continued by thousands, if not millions, since then. The historicization and carnalization of the Christ character was fought by the Docetic Gnostics, and the disbelief was addressed by early orthodox Christians as well, including the writers of the canonical epistles of John. Indeed, 1 John 4 condemns as "antichrists" those "spirits" who do not confess that "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh," as does 2 John 7. Many, says 2 John, have contested the historicity of Jesus Christ, even by his day.

The writings of early Christians also verify that Christ was perceived by the Pagans as a typical sun god, an idea that came to fruition in the works of French scholar Charles Dupuis at the end of the 18th century, when he wrote his multivolume "Origine de tous les cultes." Dupuis was followed by Count Volney, another brilliant French mythicist, and the floodgates opened, with the German School of biblical criticism kicking into full gear, the Dutch throwing their hats into the arena, and the British making a tremendous impact that is likely responsible for the extremely low rate of church attendance in Britain today. Particularly notable among the British were Godfrey Higgins, Rev. Robert Taylor, Gerald Massey and JM Robertson, although Higgins was apparently a "sincere Christian" and not a mythicist in the strictest sense of the word. The German school culminated in the excellent works of Arthur Drews, while the French also produced Couchoud and Dujardin. The mythicists made such inroads that by the end of the 19th century the Right Reverend JP Lundy acknowledged the bulk of their arguments as truthful - up to the point where they claimed Christ to be a myth. Lundy was not at all alone in his acknowledgement of the Pagan origins of Christianity; indeed, some decades later Christian apologist Sir Arthur Weigall composed his work "The Paganism in Our Christianity," in which he repeatedly admitted the unoriginality of the Christian fable but declared nevertheless that Christ's Passion, at least, really did happen and was a miracle.

In his remarkable book, Cutner not only provides an abstract of the debate to his day but also establishes - or reestablishes - a number of the most important contentions and facts exposed by mythicists and other Bible critics, including the fact that the four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, appear nowhere in the historical/literary record until the end of the second century, despite the claims and wishful thinking of Christian proponents, many of whom, unbelievably, still maintain that these gospels were written by the apostles/disciples themselves and are "eyewitness accounts." These apologist assertions are simply wrong, as has been demonstrated repeatedly over the centuries by the ablest of scholars and scientists, many of whom were Christians.

It has always mystified believers and assorted other historicizers that the story of Jesus Christ appears in no contemporary historical record. Of at least 40 writers of the first several decades of the Christian era, including philosophers and historians, not one mentions Christ, Christians or Christianity. With such a suspicious development concerning a man who "supposedly shook up the world," apologists have been forced to resort to a few pitiful and inadequate "references" in non-Christian sources dating to decades later. Cutner provides an astute analysis of the purported references to Jesus in secular literature, including supposed Jewish "testimony" such as the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus and the Talmud. In the first place, the authors of these texts are not witnesses at all, having lived many decades to centuries after the supposed advent of Christ. Secondly, it is evident that (non-Christian) Jews of the second century had no clue as to any "historical" Jesus.

Having established that there is no evidence of a "historical Jesus," Cutner proceeds to the Christian mythology at the center of the debate, reiterating the solar-mythos thesis, with its virgin birth and so many other motifs found within Christianity. Regarding astrology or astrotheology and biblical stories and rituals, Cutner remarks:

"...Nearly all the solar deities had a Virgin for a mother... The birthday of Jesus, like that of Mithra and other solar gods, was about December 25, and his twelve Apostles certainly correspond to the twelve signs of the Zodiac. When Jesus (who was the Sun of Righteousness) was 'crucified,' the Sun naturally died; it was eclipsed. And of course, Jesus rose with the Sun on the day of the Sun. It would have been out of the question for him to rise on any other day - say on Moon-day. 'Every detail of the Sun Myth,' says R.A. Proctor, the famous writer on astronomy, 'is worked into the record of the Galilean teacher.' It could hardly have been otherwise." (144)

Cutner ends his book with a further discussion of the history of the debate between historicizers and mythicists, a very necessary and revealing synopsis. He details the arguments on both sides, including further responses to various claims by proponents and opponents as the controversy progressed over the decades and centuries. It is important to note that the arguments put forth today against the mythicist perspective are the same as those used in the past, even though they have been thoroughly addressed and refuted many times. "Jesus: God, Man or Myth?" is a valuable work which handily shows that the subject has been hotly contested behind the scenes and over the heads of the masses, who are almost completely unaware of its existence, to the point where mythicists today are considered oddities who seemingly pop up out of nowhere, a false impression, to say the least.

Acharya S, author "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold" and "Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled."


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