Author Topic: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed  (Read 2489 times)

rgprice

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Okay, trying this again :)

I just published my first book. The book just came out and is now on Amazon. I’m in the process of sending out copies for review. I won’t discuss all the people I’m working with on reviewing and promoting the book, but its most of the big names in the field.

What sets my book apart is the research I put into identifying literary references within the Gospel of Mark and how those references relate to the other Gospels. I identified dozens of new literary references within the Gospel of Mark that had not been recognized by prior biblical scholars.

The basic thesis of the book is that the idea that Jesus was a real person originated from the writing that is now called the Gospel of Mark, but the Gospel of Mark was written as a fictional political allegory in response to the First Jewish-Roman War of 70 CE. The author of that work was not trying to convince people that Jesus was real, in fact the work has many signs of blatant fictionality that the author clearly made quite conspicuous. That the work is entirely fictional is proven by the fact that virtually every scene is a literary allusion to the Jewish scriptures.

These literary allusions were misinterpreted by Greeks and Romans as evidence of prophecy fulfillment. All of the other Gospels, and indeed every single narrative about the life of Jesus, descends from this one original story. The early Christians, however, thought that each of the Gospels were independently written works that corroborated each other. What this analysis shows is that all narratives about Jesus descend from a single original narrative.

Furthermore, whoever wrote the Gospel of Mark had read the letters of Paul, and in fact the “teachings of Jesus” presented in the Gospel of Mark are all actually copies of the teachings of Paul. Paul’s teachings aren’t similar to Jesus’s teachings because Paul learned about his teachings from the community, Jesus’s teachings ARE Paul’s teachings.

The idea that the ancient Jewish scriptures were divinely true comes from the fact that the Greeks and Romans believed that the life and deeds of Jesus had been perfectly predicted by the ancient Jewish scriptures. Of course, what really happened was that the author of the original story just made many literary references to the scriptures, which they interpreted as prophecy fulfillment.

Anyway, it’s a lot to try and sum up in a few paragraphs.

A preview of the book is here: http://www.rationalrevolution.net/pdf/web/viewer.html?file=/pdf/DecipheringTheGospels_Preview.pdf#page=1

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2018, 03:28:32 AM »
One cannot prove a negative proposition.  Whilst I personally think it more likely than not that the Jesus of the gospels never existed and I accept that from what I have read there is no independent corroborating evidence for his existence, that is an altogether different kettle of fish to saying that it can be proved he did not exist in exactly the same way that it cannot be proved that gods do not exist.  I am not sure what you hope to achieve by promoting your book here, but you might find that exposing it to people who are familiar with using their critical faculties to evaluate claims might not give you the result you expect.  We may be atheists here but that does not mean that we will simply embrace everything said that is written that is apparently against the traditional religious narrative.  We are going to examine such claims with the same searchlight we point at those religious narratives.  Beware.
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rgprice

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2018, 10:39:57 AM »
What one can't do is address material that one has never read :p Quite a bit of the material of the book is available on-line in the preview I linked and the one on Amazon.

Do you think it's possible to prove that Luke Skywalker never existed? How about Huckleberry Finn? Can you prove that someone didn't commit a crime?

These things are proven by proving that alternative explanations are true.

And not even discussing the material in my book, let's just consider an extreme case of evidence against the existence of Jesus.

Let's say a trove a documents was found dating to the early 1st century which explicitly stated that Jesus was a heavenly messiah who had never come to earth and never taken human form.

In fact, we practically do have this in the letters of Paul.

My book easily proves is case based on a overwhelming amount of concrete specific evidence that has never before been published.


Dave

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2018, 11:49:45 AM »
Quote
My book easily proves is case based on a overwhelming amount of concrete specific evidence that has never before been published.

That's very interesting, Mr Price, I hope these sources are fully cited, here or in the book, so that others may decide on their veracity for themselves.
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rgprice

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2018, 01:41:43 PM »
It's interesting because my book gets a lot of pushback from many sides.

1) Before even reading it many people say, "you can't prove someone didn't exist," which is not only not true, but I'm also actually very careful how I address this in the book. Also the title is a counter to the works of early apologists such as "The Proof of the Gospel" by Eusebius and the many claims that they made about "proving the divinity of Jesus" via the Gospels.  What my work shows is basically that the things they thought proved the divinity of Jesus are actually key evidence which shows that Jesus never existed at all.
2) My work goes against many of the claims made by other mythicists. So the work is also challenging to many mythicists.
3) Of course the material is challenging to Christians as well.

So the work shows both that Christians are wrong about the origins of Christianity and much of the case made by mythicists about the origins of the Jesus story and Christianity are wrong too.  There are some points of agreement with other mythicists, but the evidence I present focuses heavily on Jewish origins and sources as opposed to the focus of many mythicists on pagan influences. I also don't really consider the case I put forward to be a case for "mythicism" per se, as what I demonstrate is that there was no "mythic development" of the concept of a human Jesus. What happened was Jesus was worshiped as an immaterial, uncorrupted heavenly messiah and then a single fictional story was written about him. That story, which is now called the Gospel of Mark, is where the idea that Jesus was a real person came from. However that narrative was invented in total by a single individual, it is not the product of community traditions or collective beliefs. So the idea that Jesus was real never stemmed from the development of oral legends or myths, it is the product of Greeks and Romans misunderstanding a single fictional story, and thinking that various copies of that story were independently written accounts, when in fact they are all just derivative from the one single source.

Dave

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2018, 04:28:28 PM »
Rgprice, feom my experience any and every book that makes bold claims to have discovered/explained/solved/decoded/etc ancient history (or many things scientific if it comes to that) is going to get a sceptical reception by any thinking person. (If they are not sceptical they are not thinking IMHO.)

Don't take it personally, there have been thousands of claims, over the history of the written word at least, and even ones by (formally) respected authorities have proved wanting.  Sorry, no-one here is going to take any such claim as "gospel" at first glance, every clsim and sub-claim must be inspected, discussed, considered and accepted or rejected.

Do you supply full disclosure of all the sources you cite for others to inspect?
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Icarus

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2018, 12:05:56 AM »
I have a hefty book on a nearby shelf that is titled: Inventing Jesus by Paul Gabel.  It is impressively thorough in its assignations and bibliographies.  Gabel does not claim absolutely that the Jesus of the bible never existed.  He does give the reader overwhelming reasons to believe that the Jesus person is/was an invention of man, not of God, a virgin teenager or seemingly cuckolded husband.

I presume that  Mr Price has done his due diligence and that he is quite aware of Gabel's book, all 702 pages of it. 

rgprice

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2018, 02:09:20 AM »
Yes, everything is sourced, but one aspect of my book is that I include a lot of large full context quotes. My analysis deals primarily with translations of primary sources, so there really isn't much need for use of references as most of the analysis is presented directly so you can read the source material for yourself.

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2018, 02:29:59 PM »
Hi

Glad you made it. I'll read all the posts a little late.

Regards
Chris
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rgprice

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2018, 08:34:11 PM »
I've posted a new summary of the book on my website: http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/deciphering_the_gospels.htm

I've heard back from Robert M. Price and he said he should be posting a review of the book soon. I'll post it here when he does.

g2perk

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2018, 05:56:51 PM »
What are your primary sources you say you have that proves Jesus never existed. One of the main reasons the Bible is misunderstood is simply because it’s not for everyone. It’s only for those of us that have Faith. It’s literally a guide for us to keep to a certain path to ultimately gain eternal life.


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Dave

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2018, 06:02:33 PM »
What are your primary sources you say you have that proves Jesus never existed. One of the main reasons the Bible is misunderstood is simply because it’s not for everyone. It’s only for those of us that have Faith. It’s literally a guide for us to keep to a certain path to ultimately gain eternal life.


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Hi, g2perk, welcome to the forum, hope you stay and debate.

That is an interesting perspective, just ignore the truth or otherwise of the bible and just think of it as a  believer's manual. I don't have a Rolls Royce so a manual for one would provide me with no more than academic interest, I could not apply it to my Toyota Aygo.

Yup, it fits!

Oh, hang on, I can go and actually touch the Roller, even drive it if I get lucky, so perhaps my parallel deviates . . .
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g2perk

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2018, 02:57:41 PM »
Ok. That is a typical unbelievers reaction. I’m sure my comment made you feel some type of way.  But all honesty it is true with all facts to back that up. The Bible was written for believers (Hebrews). If anyone reads this book with a closed mind then the outcome will be limited. It introduces the Spirit to the human body. If you would like we can go into detail.  One misunderstanding I would like to start with is this. Many ppl think when Jesus comes back he is going to judge our sins. That cannot be further from the Truth. Believers Faith comes because we know Sin was dealt with when Jesus Died on the cross. It’s no longer important. The only thing that remains is the consequences of sin in this earthly realm.  “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/heb.9.27-28.esv


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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 03:13:02 PM »
Ok. That is a typical unbelievers reaction. I’m sure my comment made you feel some type of way.  But all honesty it is true with all facts to back that up. The Bible was written for believers (Hebrews). If anyone reads this book with a closed mind then the outcome will be limited. It introduces the Spirit to the human body. If you would like we can go into detail.  One misunderstanding I would like to start with is this. Many ppl think when Jesus comes back he is going to judge our sins. That cannot be further from the Truth. Believers Faith comes because we know Sin was dealt with when Jesus Died on the cross. It’s no longer important. The only thing that remains is the consequences of sin in this earthly realm.  “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/heb.9.27-28.esv


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Hey, if you feel it makes you a better person then go for it. I and many others do not feel we need an outdated morally contradictory book to 'help us deal with our sins', and certainly see no value in quoting passages of the bible to claim the veracity of the bible...

(That's called circular reasoning)  ::)
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Dave

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Re: My new book: Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2018, 04:11:52 PM »
Ok. That is a typical unbelievers reaction. I’m sure my comment made you feel some type of way.  But all honesty it is true with all facts to back that up. The Bible was written for believers (Hebrews). If anyone reads this book with a closed mind then the outcome will be limited. It introduces the Spirit to the human body. If you would like we can go into detail.  One misunderstanding I would like to start with is this. Many ppl think when Jesus comes back he is going to judge our sins. That cannot be further from the Truth. Believers Faith comes because we know Sin was dealt with when Jesus Died on the cross. It’s no longer important. The only thing that remains is the consequences of sin in this earthly realm.  “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/heb.9.27-28.esv


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I would guess that it was originally a codification of common sense rules, probably for getting your tribe to survive in a time of lousy health care, rough justice and very few comforts, when the rulers were even further above the ordinary person than they are now.

Later those with a thirst for a bit of authority of their own embellished it in terms Joshua Public could understand. Once a bunch have a hold on a bit of piwer they tend to build on it and use it as an authority.

Then centuries later, a bunch of foriegners try to translate it into terms that their common masses can understand, as translated from Latin by some local priest (who has his own opinions.)

Maybe a smidgeon or two of the original intent survived the process.
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