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Friday, August 24, 2007

"Who Was Jesus?" Expanded Version!

At last, I have completed the expanded, hard-copy edition of my book Who Was Jesus?, now subtitled Fingerprints of The Christ.

The expanded version is no longer available as an ebook. Look for the hard-copy edition soon! In the meantime, you can still get the shorter ebook version here:


The target audience of WWJ is Christian, but anyone with an interest in the origins of Christianity and the quest for the historical Jesus Christ will find it to be fascinating research and reasoning - WWJ is for anyone with Christian relatives as well!

In this scientific analysis of Christianity and the life of Christ, I include comments by various Christian authorities, apologists and evangelicals, as well as New Testament scholars, such as the following:

  • John Ankerberg
  • Craig L. Blomberg
  • F.F. Bruce
  • William Lane Craig
  • John Dominic Crossan
  • Bart Ehrman**
  • Norman Geisler
  • Gary Habermas
  • Josh McDowell
  • John P. Meier
  • Bruce M. Metzger
  • J.P. Moreland
  • Ronald H. Nash
  • Lee Strobel
  • Merrill C. Tenney
  • Ben Witherington
  • Edwin Yamauchi
  • And more!
Using the Bible itself, as well as the research of these individuals and others, I demonstrate that what you see is not what you get when it comes to Christ and Christianity.

The hard copy will contain a foreword by Dr. Robert Price.

I have also added some information on my TBK Nation forums - and I will be continuing to add excerpts and info there.

** Dr. Bart Ehrman used to be a sincere and devoted born-again, fundamentalist and evangelical Christian until he started studying the Bible in earnest. See the relevant post at TBK Nation.

37 comments:

Mriana said...

I'm getting the impression this won't be in the larger volume that goes out on sale in bookstores and places like Amazon. Is that a correct understanding?

I'm just trying to decide if I want this AND the book or if I want to wait for the book and surprise myself. BTW, not that I mind buying your wonderful books to have as great resource and to note or highlight in them, nor am surprised, but did you know some libraries don't carry your books? The libraries in this town don't carry it. Oh yes, I'm in the Bible Belt. :roll: Unfortunately.

Acharya S said...

Hi Mriana -

Not sure why you'd get that impression! Except for the foreword, this is the same book that will be out in bookstores and on Amazon (with help and more work)...

As concerns my other books, well, libraries only have them when someone has donated them. Naturally, I love it when people donate my books to the libraries!

Also, you can get just about any available book - mine included - through interlibrary loans!

Here's a partial list of the libraries that have my books so far - there are several libraries, I'm told, not on this list.

Books of Acharya S in U.S. Libraries, according to www.worldcat.org

Christ Con is in 41 Libraries in the U.S.:

Tucson-Pima Public Library, Tucson, AZ
Central Arkansas Library System
Denver Public Library
Bradford County Public Library, Starke, FL
Broward Community College, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Florida State University
Miami-Dade Public Library System
Seminole County Public Library System, Casselberry, FL
Post Falls Public Library, Post Falls, ID
Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL
Chicago Public Library
Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, IL
Anderson Public Library, IN
Elkhart Public Library, IN
Gary Public Library, IN
Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Mishawaka Penn Harris Public Library, IN
Cedar Rapids Public Library, IA
Pittsburg State University, KS
Genesee District Library, MI
Carver County Library Syst, MN
Rochester Public Library, MN
First Reg Library, MS
Saint Louis Public Library, MO
Springfield Greene County Library, MO
University of Missouri, St Louis, MO
Flathead Val Community College Library, MT
Rochester Public Library, Rochester, NY
Mercer County Library, Lawrenceville, NJ
Cleveland Public Library, OH
Shawnee State University, OH
Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, OH
Tulsa City-County Library, OK
Lubbock Public Library, TX
Central Rappahannock Reg Library, VA
Kitsap Reg Library, WA
Port Townsend Public Library, WA
Timberland Reg Library, WA
Oakland Public Library, CA
Riverside Public Library, CA
Santa Cruz Public Library, CA

Suns of God, 22 copies:

Arizona State University
Central Arkansas Library System
University of California, Davis, Shields Library
Colorado State University
Denver Public Library
University of Colorado at Boulder
Broward County, Library Div, FL
Georgia Southern University
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL
Schaumburg Township District Library, IL
Pittsburg State University, KS
Tulane University, LA
Saint Louis County Library, MO
Saint Louis Public Library, MO
Drew University Library, MO
Fordham University, NY
Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH
Alexandria Library, VA
Sno-Isle Libraries, WA
Pewaukee Public Library, WI
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Zena said...

ThXs, but I already know Jesus. I have a bible and he walks with me everyday. He doesn't judge me or put me down, but I feel bad everytime I do something bad or wrong because I know it disappoints him. Have a great weekend!

Acharya S said...

That's great that an imaginary friend makes you feel better!

Sometimes Hercules hangs out on my couch.

22 said...

I've just read "Who Was Jesus?" Expanded Version! and it is one of the very best books ever written on the subject. It demonstrates the absurdity of the apologist arguments from the very beginning in the creation of Christianity through to today. You will want all of your Christian friends and family to read this one.

In the past, Christians could dismiss atheist and other freethinker views on the severe lack of evidence for Jesus and the bible simply because they weren't Christian.

Now, Christians hands are tied. They're either going to have to claim that all of these top Christian experts in their fields are lying when they admit that when it comes to "evidence" for Jesus - they got NOTHING, or that their credentials are meaningless, blasting their own Christian brothers and sisters.

Either way, Christianity loses this time.

"Apart from the New Testament writings and later writings dependent upon these, our sources of information about the life and teaching of Jesus are scanty and problematic"
~ F.F. Bruce, "New Testament History" founder of the modern evangelical movement

Once again, Acharya delivers the goods.

Amen

Anonymous said...

Hercules hangs out on my couch :)

Thats a good one.

manfromupton

SKEP said...

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT HERCULES OR ZEUS-BUT I HAVE THIS BIG 6FT WHITE RABBIT THAT FOLLOWS ME AROUND AND I PRAY TO HIM EVERY NIGHT. I CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT BUT HE NEVER SEEMS TO ANSWER ANY OF MY PRAYERS.

Craig Blomberg said...

Hi! It looks like you have a quite interesting blogsite. Just a few comments on this post and some of the responses. John Dominic Crossan and John Meier are also not evangelicals. Both are Catholic; Crossan is a very skeptical one and Meier is intentionally very middle-of-the-road. Ehrman did not abandon evangelicalism after he started to study the Bible in earnest; he had been doing that already for a decade. He just began studying it with quite different presuppositions. He tells his own story in his introduction to Misquoting Jesus.

As for something having recently changed in scholarly circles, I'm not aware of it. At least since David Hume and Baruch Spinoza a few centuries ago, atheism has had a strong case that no truly educated and thinking person could safely dismiss out of hand. I read a lot in this area and there are no new arguments in its favor that have not been debated at length for some time. On the other hand, there is also a strong case (in my opinion, considerably stronger) for theism and especially Christian theism centered around the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, which requires at least some reasonable measure of reliability of the canonical Gospel record. In my first book-length work twenty years ago I defended this in detail and a substantially updated and expanded edition is due out this fall on its twentieth anniversary, far more significant I think than Ankerberg's anthological popularization. Perhaps you will consider promoting, then, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2007) when it appears. Or, if that sounds self-serving (it was not intended to be), a similar result can emerge from Paul Eddy and Greg Boyd's newly released The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus (Grand Rapids: Baker).

Blessings on your and your readers' ongoing quests for truth!

Acharya S said...

Thank you for your civil and informative remarks, Dr. Blomberg. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Certainly, people are free to read what they wish, so you can plug these books.

Drs. Crossan and Meier would fit under the heading of "Christian authorities" in my sentence describing the individuals in my book. Perhaps I should have clarified with the words "and/or."

By the way, I read your article the "Historical Reliability of the Gospels" and quoted you a few times in my book.

Thanks again for the remarks.

Acharya

Mriana said...

Hi Acharya

Spfd. Greene County has it? Last I checked I couldn't find it in the search. Maybe they didn't have it listed yet, but that's OK I bought if off of Amazon. It was well worth it. :D

Neophyte said...

Congratulations on your new release. Also, some folks got all the luck. I have been praying for Aphrodite to hang out on my couch (or wherever) for over 30 years. So far, she will not even come to me in my dreams.

I hope to purchase your Expanded Version soon.

22 said...

"...I include comments by various Christian authorities, apologists and evangelicals, as well as New Testament scholars..." ~ Acharya

Dr. Blomberg "John Dominic Crossan and John Meier are also not evangelicals. Both are Catholic"

Just like I said, "Now, Christians hands are tied. They're either going to have to claim that all of these top Christian experts in their fields are lying when they admit that when it comes to "evidence" for Jesus - they got NOTHING, or that their credentials are meaningless, blasting their own Christian brothers and sisters. Either way, Christianity looses this time."

As I predicted, "Who Was Jesus?" is already making top Christian experts squirm.

Here's a quote I found in "Who Was Jesus?" that I liked and thought maybe a few others here would too ...

"The only definite account of his life and teachings is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All other historical records of the time are silent about him. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations; in Jewish writings there is no report about Jesus that has historical value. Some scholars have even gone so far as to hold that the entire Jesus story is a myth…"

~ The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (v. 6, 83)

;

Zabu said...

Heh..
I can't really see why you and the fundies can't get get along better.

After all, you both make statements based on nothing but personal belief. :)

I guess it is with you as it is with most fundies, it comes down to WHICH faith you are:
Fundy Muslims don't hang with fundy Christers.
While fundy atheists don't hang with.. well, anyone religious!
You ain't better simply because you have absolute belief in the opposite of what they do.

Your beliefs may vary, but the attitude's the same.

Acharya S said...

I don't know what you're talking about, but I suspect you don't either.

Cheers.

Travis said...

Will this book be available in book stores like Chapters and Indigo in Canada? I really want to get it, but I don't enjoy shopping on line. BTW zabu, I don't know what you're talking about but I have plenty of "fundie" friends. It doesn't stop us from having intelligent deb- well, err.. debates at least, and still being friends. Also, "fundie" doesn't really fit with the term Atheist.

Acharya S said...

Thanks for the query regarding distribution for the hard copy of Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ.

I do not know how far we will be taking the physical distribution - it depends on a number of factors, including how much support we receive.

The print-on-demand should be available in Canada, but, again, you will need to shop online for that...

Anonymous said...

Acharya
Thank you for the information. I'm glad that I
subscribed to your updates.
I bought a copy of "The Christ Conspiracy" 3 years ago
and have read it through twice.
It is without a doubt an amazing book and more than a
specific explanation of what the Christian Right is
really up to these days. Especially the Evangelicals
and other fundamentalists.
I ,too, became a born-again baptist in 1974.
I don't think it ever really took; because I had too
many questions unanswered as soon as I began asking
the church elders. They instead kept referring to
chapter and verse as though THAT was the only
explanation I needed.
Needless to say, I am far far removed from all of that
now. I wondered, though, what your thoughts were on
how
these insane people can be dealt with? They have
clearly infiltrated the U.S. Govt and are making
military policies from the pentagon, based on books
such as "Left Behind" and other 'End Times'
publications.
This worries me greatly. Are all of us 'non-believers'
going to be herded together into camps and ultimately
be shot for our 'hereticism'?
I believe they are extremely dangerous. I take only
small solace from the Conclusion chapter of TCC where
you write that Christianity must own up to all of
their BS or perish as a religious force in this world.
I think that if any of those nut bags have anything to
say about it; it will be a long long time before they
do either..probably after I'm dead, with my luck!

Again, thanks for doing all the research that you have
done. I intend to purchase "Suns Of God", and eventually "Who Was Jesus?" I'm sure both books
will be every bit enlightening as TCC
Shobuz99

Lucy Stewart said...

Hi Acharya

I have only recently discovered your work and i would just like to say that i absolutely LOVE it and plan to get myself all of your books!!

I absolutely LOVE the subject of Astrotheology and have recently completed a degree in Celtic Civilisation, where i have studied quite a bit of Celtic mythology.

I plan on going on to major in psychology as i have hopes to become a psychologist, but i also hope to be a writer too....well, i'm a pessimist so i shall see how all turns out! :)

I actually feel quite guilty and annoyed that i have never discovered your work until recently! Oh well....better late than never!

Anyway...i certainly look forward to learning more in my research, i have learned so much in the past couple of years and it only becomes more interesting the more i research!!

Anyway...yes, to all people out there who think us atheists have some kind of agenda...well, i'm sorry to disappoint you, but really...i don't apart from wishing for people to be able to discover what i have discovered and...well...i won't say anything more because i am sure that it will be interpreted as atheistic preaching!! LOL!!
I love mythology...yes...it's possible to love mythology AND understand it for what it is....actually...makes it all the beautiful in my opinion! :)

My apologies for the rant!! LOL!!

Anonymous said...

http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/copycathub.html
Here's a good website debunking much of this book: "Who Was Jesus."

Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks there's a direct comparison between someone talking to Jesus to someone else talking to a giant bunny or Zeus then, they haven't really invested much intellectual integrity to the matter. Millions and millions of people around the world in almost every culture talk to Jesus--- not a giant bunny, not Zeus or, any other made up thing. People who have confessed to God they are a sinner and have acknowledged Christ as their Savior-- paying the penalty of sin for them-- these people are willing to give up their lives rather than to recant. Don't you think there might be something to that?

22 said...

"Millions and millions of people around the world in almost every culture talk to Jesus"..."Don't you think there might be something to that?"

- Yeah, there's something to it alright, downright fraud, lies, deceit, manipulation, forgery, interpolation, politics, power, insanity, etc, etc.

"7:54 PM Anonymous said...http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/copycathub.html
Here's a good website debunking much of this book: "Who Was Jesus."

Where? That link says NOTHING about "Who Was Jesus?" nor does WWJ have anything to do with any copycat theory. So either you're an idiot or you've just lied. If JP and others choose to believe in an invisible bearded Jewish guy in the sky, that's fine but he really shouldn't even try to argue about topics he knows NOTHING about.

Here are just a few links about the dishonesty of JP Holding exposing why he & his entourage cannot be trusted & why anyone claiming to hold any credibility while using him as a source can't be trusted either. Anyone who uses JP Holding as a source or reference for anything deserves absolutely no credibility whatsoever & should be humiliated & embarrassed for it.

JP Holding has no qualifications whatsoever in any Biblical field, knows no Biblical languages, and has no relevant training, yet has the temerity to presume that his OPINION is enough, and that his personal FAITH is all that he needs, to offer a vicious and vitriolic critique of credible credentialed scholars who are trained in this area of expertise. JP Holding has no training in comparative religion. No training in mythology. No training in archaeoastronomy. No training in astrotheology.

So, don't take my word for it...see it for yourself.

TEKTONICS.ORG: EXPOSED!


'James Patrick Holding, the Want-to-Be Apologist'

'Dishonesty by Robert Turkel (J.P. Holding)'

A Reply to J. P. Holding

"Writing James P Holding Off!"

Prove Jesus Existed, Please!

James Patrick Holding: Another Apostate With Selective Education

Turkel and the Evil Eye: Trouble for Tekton

JP Holding's only credentials seem to be as a prison librarian and a foul-mouthed bully

Do a google for JP Holding and his alt. "Sheila Rangslinger" -

"DISCLOSURE FROM ADMIN: "Sheila Rangslinger" was discovered to be a sock puppet identity created by J.P. Holding. Any statements about J.P. Holding in this post were written by J.P. Holding himself."

LOL - ROTFLMAO

Anonymous said...

http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/osy.html
This is the link I meant to copy.
Actually, what do we have concerning the existence of Jesus? We have many authors who wrote the Canonical New T. and we have thousands of ancient copies. Actually, quite a bit of historical accounts were written. How anyone can dismiss that is just silly.
Even if J.P. can't be used as any type of source it doesn't matter; any similarities between Jesus and other ancient stories strengthens the authenticity of Christ. Jesus was predicted to be born in Genesis 3:15 -- 1500 B.C. Adam knew well that God would send the Messiah to redeem mankind from the fall of sin so, of course he taught this to his chidren. The eight progenitors of Noah's ark surely taught this to all their children. After the scattering of the people from the tower of Babel (and the origin of the various races and languages) these stories of the coming Messiah were sure to be altered with the passage of time. Any similarities between Jesus and any other ancient stories are because other ancient cultures were unwittingly talking about Jesus the Christ in their own watered down way.

Anonymous said...

Exposing Catholics doesn't bother me as a born again believer. (It's difficult to use evangelical or protestant w/o running the risk of a misunderstanding) I think Catholics-- the Pope in particular-- play a pivitol role in the fulfillment of end times prophecy; that is, they help the anti-christ usher in Armageddon. The Roman Catholic church, I believe is Satan's greatest invention on earth. I have Catholic friends and they're great people -- just deceived.
p.s. Jesus still loves those who don't believe in Him and so do I - I'm certainly a sinner who desreves to go to hell for eternity for my sins against God (we all do) "but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Lucy Stewart said...

Anonymous said = 'Millions and millions of people around the world in almost every culture talk to Jesus--- not a giant bunny, not Zeus or, any other made up thing. People who have confessed to God they are a sinner and have acknowledged Christ as their Savior-- paying the penalty of sin for them-- these people are willing to give up their lives rather than to recant. Don't you think there might be something to that?' =

Yes, i would say that there is something in that. Although, that does not necessarily mean that it has to be anything of a supernatural nature, rather....the completely natural psychological needs that us humans have. By this i mean that, what we cannot explain or understand...we tend to jump to our own conclusions. It is very easy to understand why people (especially the ancients) have a need to believe in the supernatural...much like the 'placebo effect'. That BELIEF DOES impact on our emotional wellbeing, however....it is NOT what the belief in itself is in, but the BELIEF that has the power to cause a feeling of comfort, or feel like one has an understanding that, perhaps he/she would never had, had it not been for this 'faith'.

There are other things in life that can give this very same feeling of comfort, such as music...beauty.....etc. Personally, music does it for me...

The mind is a VERY powerful thing that we are only beginning to understand, but the more we study evolutionary psychology etc, the better understanding we have of how religion and belief can be a positive thing for the emotional wellbeing....this however does NOT mean that what that belief is in is true..just that the belief has a positive (or negative) impact on that person's emotional wellbeing!

Acharya S said...

Thanks, Lucy, for this and your other kind messages.

The fact will remain that millions of people have believed in a "real" Osiris, Isis, Zeus, Krishna, etc. - and many of these individuals have had visions and so on of these ancient gods as well. Being willing to die for a god or having a vision of a god conditioned into your mind since birth does NOT make these gods "real." Millions of Muslims are willing to kill and die for the Arab tribal god Allah - does that make him real? If so, we should all become Muslims.

22 said...

Anonymous 11:10 AM,

"what do we have concerning the existence of Jesus? We have many authors who wrote the Canonical New T. and we have thousands of ancient copies. Actually, quite a bit of historical accounts were written. How anyone can dismiss that is just silly."

- Clearly, you've not read WWJ. So why are you even commenting here? It is easy to dismiss the so-called "evidence" for Jesus because the so-called "records" do *NOT* support your views. They demonstrate that the canonical N.T. wasn't organized until late in the 2nd century. And the historical and literary records show this to be the case. Plus, the quotes by the earliest church fathers and apologists. Those "thousands of ancient copies" do more harm to your view because none of them are alike which shows the monumental amount of errors throughout the bible from the beginning.

"any similarities between Jesus and other ancient stories strengthens the authenticity of Christ."

- Keep dreaming

"Jesus was predicted to be born in Genesis 3:15 -- 1500 B.C."

- Again, you need to read WWJ as it addresses these issues - you're speaking from TOTAL IGNORANCE here.

"Any similarities between Jesus and any other ancient stories are because other ancient cultures were unwittingly talking about Jesus the Christ in their own watered down way."

- Thank you for proving me correct - you are another idiot following your beloved hero JP Holding. Try actually reading the books *BEFORE* offering your opinion next time.

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
~ Historian Stephen Henry Roberts 1901-71

Lucy Stewart said...

Thankyou Acharya....your work really has been inspirational to me! :)

Anonymous....why do you think that there is zero evidence of the existence of Christ?

I mean, surely such a remarkable being would have been largelly documented?

Especially since there were several well known writers from his apparent life time.

I hate when theists automatically presume that we (us heathens) are attacking your belief simply because we have opposing views. Sometimes what we are suggesting is in complete contradiction with what they believe....but at the same time...it isn't a conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Is "Adventures Unlimited Press" the only publisher willing to publish your works? Is this latest book published by them also? Do you use them because other publishers demand a higher degree of academic credibility than what is delivered in your works?
I think you're trying hard to be like Dan Brown and make a lot of $ regardless of historical accuracy or true scholarship.

Acharya S said...

It is interesting how those who have never read my work pretentiously insult me and my publisher, as if they actually know something about the subject.

Such puerile and ignorant ad hominems serve merely to emphasize that Christianity removes the ability to think clearly and to treat others with common decency.

Lucy Stewart said...

That is VERY mean of you to say 'Anonymous'. I wonder why you choose to remain anonymous? LOL.

I think that people usually resort to personal attack when they don't have anything intelligent or worthwhile to say.

Usually when people resort to that measures with me, i feel happy because i know that i have got to them and they cannot argue their way out of it! hee hee hee, so...rather than admit that they were indeed wrong, they would actually attack the person with the opposing argument.

How intelligent indeed. It reminds me of when i was 4 and in primary 1 in school! hee hee. (1st grade there in the states i would imagine)

22 said...

Anonymous 12:14 AM said...

"Is "Adventures Unlimited Press" the only publisher willing to publish your works?"

What publisher would you prefer? And what publisher did *YOU* use for your scholarly books? Name say, just 2 or 3 of your favorite publishers for us please.

Lucy Stewart said...

Hi Acharya

I was wondering...i would like to ask you a question but was wondering if you would prefer me to ask here, or elsewhere?

Acharya S said...

Hi Lucy -

You are welcome to ask me a question here, at my groups or at my forums, if it is a lengthy question that others may benefit from.

If it's a short and more personal question, you may write to me privately at my email address at acharya_s@yahoo.com

Lucy Stewart said...

Thankyou!! :)

Ulric said...

I read somewhere that Jesus(Je-Zeus) was born around the third conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the year of his birth, this occurred in 7BC, 5th Dec., two days later was a conjunction of Venus and Neptune, which was most likely on his ascendant at birth. I get the idea that feast of St. Ambrose on the 7th is the eve of the birth and not the conception as we led to believe.

kevin said...

Another thing, the only reason I accidentally mistyped my getreal id was because that is the id I use often when speaking against the Klan online, and you are in many ways like Klansmen, bigot-infested and not willing to accept reality

22 said...

Kevin, after viewing your comments here and elsewhere, you appear to have mental issues and are leaning towards being a stalker - you need to cool-it or the appropriate measures will be taken with no hesitation. There will be no patience on this issue whatsoever.

have a nice day.