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The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity
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The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  98 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Reveals the true role of James, the brother of Jesus, in early Christianity

• Uses evidence from the canonical Gospels, apocryphal texts, and the writings of the Church Fathers to reveal the teachings of Jesus as transmitted to his chosen successor: James

• Demonstrates how the core message in the teachings of Jesus is an expansion not a repudiation of the Jewish religion
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by Inner Traditions
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William Poe
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
This book is worth reading. I can't speak for Christians, but I don't see how any variety of them would be upset by this book if they read it through to the end. Christian theologians have rewritten the story of their religion so many times one would be hard-pressed to outline it in a paragraph. One thing you won't hear many Christians talk about though is the "man," that is, the "Jewish man" Jesus the Nazirite who lived in the first century of the common era. Or that he strictly followed the La ...more
Keith Akers
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Best introduction to James, the brother of Jesus. Much, much more readable than Eisenman's book on James.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book clearly has its origins in an academic thesis written for a seminary and it is a bit wordy in places, but I very much appreciated the survey of past research and the incisive investigation connecting the Bible to later extrabiblical material. This is exactly what I was looking for with regards to forming a larger picture of James the Just. Glad to have this in my library for future consultation.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting book. It seemed to allow me to cover similar material to that displayed in Robert Eisenman's James the brother of Jesus, but in a far more accessible format. It emphasised the Jewishness of Jesus and the significance of James when establishing the early Christian followers.

This book will shift the focus to a more realistic, for me, picture of Jesus and his mission. A Messiah, yet not Devine.
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
The reader won't miss anything should they begin this book at pg. 104 (unless you are not familiar with the scripture of the bible - in which case; read your bible first!)

Throughout the first half of the book (atleast up to the beginning of chapter six)the author weaves in and out of the proverbial bush, dancing to the fiddles and flutes of scholars with what culminates in an unyielding display of academic posturing and intellectual sport. More than discovering or divulging anything of concrete
Jul 11, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
The New Testament is replete with the conflicts in the Early Church.
Jesus, like many others, was attempting to reform his faith -- Judaism.
After his death, followers of Paul (the now victorious majority) saw Jesus as almost totally leaving behind Jewish Law. The followers of James (Jesus' brother) remained Jews. The New Testament is a cannon of writings approved of by Paul's camp. This book plus many others point to the diversity of varieties of Christianity that existed before the victorious (t
Richard Goff
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jeffrey Butz uncovers the story of James, Brother of Jesus in an attempt to explore the origins of Christianity. Butz's thesis is that in order to understand Jesus and the early Christians, we must know the story of James. Although Jesus's family (except the perpetual virgin Mary) were pushed to the background in the Gospels, Butz argues that they are central to understanding the truly Jewish origins of Christianity; and just as James was eventually "lost" by later Christians, so was the Jewishn ...more
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
very well thought out and documented argument for what the early church was like, and why Paul spent so much time arguing for why he taught the way that he did.
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 star book with a 1 star ending

It is fascinating to learn about a new way to look at an historic individual deeply rooted in religion. As a Catholic, James is a lost entity. The confusion of biblical common names is baffling even to the devout. Anything to help sort the jumble is reason enough to read this book, but being able to get enough historical facts to understand the personality of the giant pillars of early Christianity is a true treasure. The first 98% of this book seems fact based an
Br. Fred Jaxheimer
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I know the author and consider him a friend. He is an ordained Lutheran Pastor, Penn State University, world religions professor. He serves as Pastor at my Sister-in-law's church. We have a personally autographed copy of this book.

Pastor Jeff, examines the character of James, the brother of Jesus and his role as leader of the Jerusalem Church. While James leads the Jews that accept Jesus, the church is splitting apart with this group of disciples emphasizing the Jewish roots of the movement and
Patrick McFarland
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well thought out and exceptionally researched, Mr. Butz's book is infinitely more readable than Eisenman's "James the Brother of Jesus". My only objection (and it is a minor one), is that Butz seems to feel he must prove the same points over and over while quoting numerous biblical scholars (from every side of the issue) along the way. If one is writing a research paper on the subject, then a better book cannot be found but the definitive book on James for the general reader, at least in my opin ...more
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Bütz examines the character of James, the brother of Jesus (James the Just) and his role as leader of the Jerusalem Church from the crucifixion of Jesus, to James death in AD 67. An alternative Christianity is offered, one that emphasizes the Jewish roots of the movement, and suggests friction between James and Paul. Bütz utilizes this focus on Jewish Christianity to question the nature of orthodoxy and heresy in traditional Christianity.
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about James in this book. Fascinating stuff. But His conclusion that recovering the true story about James could lead to some sort of unity between Christians, Muslims, and Jews doesn't make sense. Otherwise, a very thought-provoking book.
A must -read for all interested in early church hisotry. The author explores the marginalization of James and the rise in importance of Paul by early church leaders and th eprofound effect thi shad on the development of the Christian church.
Kristi Duarte
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the better books I've read on Jesus' brother James. Well researched and concise, and easy to read.
Clay Mosby
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Recommended for the general reader interested in proto-Christianity.
Steven Price
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Very readable and easy to follow. The topic of the historical Jesus and his family is fascinating. Mr. Butz has done his homework.
Stephen Miletus
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Tony Foxhoven
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Carole Booth
Recommended by L. Michael Mints
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May 06, 2018
Katherine Baublis
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Jan 09, 2018
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“[E]verything points to the conclusion that the leaders and members of the so-called “Jerusalem Church” were not Christians in any sense that would be intelligible to Christians of a later date. They were Jews, who subscribed to every item of the Jewish faith. For example, so far from regarding baptism as ousting the Jewish rite of circumcision as an entry requirement into the religious communion, they continued to circumcise their male children, thus inducting them into the Jewish covenant. The first ten “bishops” of the “Jerusalem Church” . . . were all circumcised Jews. They kept the Jewish dietary laws, the Jewish Sabbaths and festivals, including the Day of Atonement (thus showing that they did not regard the death of Jesus as atoning for their sins), the Jewish purity laws (when they had to enter the Temple, which they did frequently), and they used the Jewish liturgy for their daily prayers . . .  . . . the first follower of Jesus with whom Paul had friendly contact, Ananias of Damascus, is described as a “devout observer of the Law and well spoken of by all the Jews of that place.” (Acts 22:12)” 0 likes
“But my overriding goal all along has been a quest for truth—no matter where it may lie, and no matter what inherited dogmas may need to be abandoned in order to attain it.” 0 likes
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