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July 27 , 2010

Who was Jesus?

A Critique of the New Testament Record


What do we know about the historical origins of Christianity? How reliable are the 27 books of the New testament? Is Jesus a historical or a legendary figure?
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In the last 150 years, scholars have established many facts about the New testament, facts still largely unknown to the general public or to most church members. They have shown that the letters of Paul are earlier than the gospels and that many of the gospel stories about Jesus were unknown to Paul, that the earliest New Testament gospel is Mark and that the other gospels draw upon Mark and a now-lost gospel scholars call "Q", that none of the gospels is the work of an eye-witness, and that all the gospel writers were out of touch with events in Palestine.

In Who Was Jesus?, G.A. Wells presents a survey of critical scholarly findings on the New Testament, in each case explaining the reasons for the scholars' conclusions, and describing those issues where scholars still disagree. By lucidly recounting the principles on which New testament criticism is based, this book enables readers to make up their own minds, while gently pointing to Wells' radical conclusion that the totality of the evidence supports the hypothesis of an entirely legendary Jesus. In the author's opinion, the analyses of most critics have been inhibited by their theological preconceptions, so that they have failed to draw the disturbing conclusions warranted by their findings.
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