Barry's Reviews > How Jesus Became Christian

How Jesus Became Christian by Barrie Wilson
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's review

really liked it

This is an interesting area for me because I am interested in how ideas disseminate. I wasn't that interested in the theology.
That said, the book was interesting if a tad too repetitive. There is a more than pedagogical redundancy to his arguments and he beats on the same issues over and over.
The evolution that the author explains makes plenty of sense. There are basically two religions mixed into a hybrid to make Christianity as it is practised today: Judaism and the mystic Christ worship. While he attributes the cross breeding to The Book of Acts, I was left wondering why Paul even referenced Jesus.
There are many interesting bits that I didn't know, like the role of Jesus' brothers, that the Christian church grew out of those who attended synagogues but weren't Jewish, that Jesus is the Greek version of Joshua and many other things.
So many of us assume that the form of institutions we see today have always been the way they are now. This is an interesting read for that.
I was more than halfway into the book when I went back and read the Intro and saw that the author was a former Episcopalian and is now Jewish, which kind of refutes his argument that the Jews had trouble getting converts.
That tainted some of his harping on the anti-semitic theme. I view "anti-the-other-guy" as being a normal strategy that any off shoot would take to differentiate itself in the marketplace. So it should be expected from the new Christians. Same as the Protestants were anti-Catholic when they started.
The net of this book is we have to rewrite the old Limerick to:
Roses are reddish
Violets are bluish
If it wasn't for Paul
Everyone would be Jewish.

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Reading Progress

January 10, 2010 – Shelved
Started Reading
January 26, 2010 – Finished Reading

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