Content

Titelei/Inhaltsverzeichnis in:

Steuart Campbell

The Rise and Fall of Jesus, page I - XXII

A Complete Explanation for the Life of Jesus and the Origin of Christianity

3. Edition 2019, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4346-2, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-7327-8, https://doi.org/10.5771/9783828873278-I

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
Steuart Campbell The Rise and Fall of Jesus Steuart Campbell The Rise and Fall of Jesus A Complete Explanation for the Life of Jesus and the Origin of Christianity 3rd, revised edition Tectum Verlag The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de ISBN 978-3-8288-4346-2 (Print) 978-3-8288-7327-8 (ePDF) British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 978-3-8288-4346-2 (Print) 978-3-8288-7327-8 (ePDF) Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Campbell, Steuart The Rise and Fall of Jesus A Complete Explanation for the Life of Jesus and the Origin of Christianity 280 pp. Includes bibliographic references. ISBN 978-3-8288-4346-2 (Print) 978-3-8288-7327-8 (ePDF) 3rd, revised edition 2019 © Tectum – ein Verlag in der Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden 2019. Cover image of the Christ Pantocrator taken from VLAD55, # 93231604 and Transparent broken glass background llustration taken from aberdin, # 425898280 | shutterstock.com. The author asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work. This work is subject to copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Under § 54 of the German Copyright Law where copies are made for other than private use a fee is payable to “Verwertungs gesellschaft Wort”, Munich. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Nomos or the author(s)/editor(s). 'and thou hast the keys of Paradise, oh just, subtile, and mighty opium!' (Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 'The Pleasures of Opium') Contents List of Glosses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XI List of Illustrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XI List of Tables and Charts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XI Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XII Preface to the Third Edition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XV Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XXI Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 1 Looking for Jesus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Rising and falling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 ‘In the name of Jesus’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Christian beliefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Did Jesus exist? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 15 The argument for historicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Wells’s theory of Christian origins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Did Josephus mention Jesus? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Did Rome know of Jesus? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 The Jesus of Paul. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Jesus’ origin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 45 Where was Jesus born? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 The Birth Narrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 VII When was Jesus born?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 59 Early influences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Jesus’ trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 What languages did Jesus speak? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Jesus’ Scriptures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Jesus and the Nazarene sect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Nazarene organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Nazarene interpretation of Scripture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Jesus’ philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 This world and the next . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Commitment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 105 Signs of the times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 The Announcer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Baptism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Temptations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 Who did he think he was? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Was Jesus sane? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 What was Jesus’ strategy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 The resurrection drug. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 Miracles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 137 Sight to the blind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Water and wine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 Loaves and fishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Walking on water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 Transfiguration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 149 A time to die . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Contents VIII Countdown to the kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 The Anointing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 The triumphal entry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Cleansing the Temple. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 The Tribute Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 The Upper Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 The ‘betrayal’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Judas takes a message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 Consequences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 167 The Arrest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 Interrogation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171 Trial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 Crucifixion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 Aftermath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 193 Burial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193 The empty tomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197 Resurrection? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Mission impossible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 Appendix A: The search for Jesus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 Appendix B: Schweitzer’s Jesus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255 Contents IX List of Glosses JOSEPHUS ON JESUS 28 SHOULD THERE BE A YEAR ZERO? 57 WAS JESUS JEWISH? 57 ENOCH’S APOCALYPSE OF WEEKS 69 THE JUBILEE PROBLEM 85 PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM 102 THE SUPERSCRIPTION 191 WHEN DID JESUS DIE? 192 PENTECOSTAL PHENOMENA 213 List of Illustrations Plate 1: The Roman boar emblem 81 Plate 2: The Ermine Street Guard 83 Fig. 1: Jesus’ universe 98 Fig. 2: Mappa Mundi 103 Fig. 3: Jerusalem in the time of Jesus 158 Fig. 4: Histogram of books on Jesus over three centuries 237 List of Tables and Charts COMPARATIVE CHRONOLOGY OF THE TIMES OF JESUS 58 JESUS’ SCRIPTURES 68 A CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD BASED ON ENOCH’S APOCALYPSE 87 TIMETABLE OF HOLY WEEK 151 XI Foreword In his Life of Lytton Strachey, Michael Holroyd tells us that in a letter to her son Lytton, written at a time when he was abandoning such Christian faith as he had possessed, his mother, Lady Strachey wrote that she ‘would not be surprised if the decay of Christianity led to some really interesting appreciations of the New Testament that might stimulate perceptions which, like mine, have been blunted by ceaseless iteration and vitiated by the theological standpoint’. Steuart Campbell’s The Rise and Fall of Jesus is just such an appreciation, although one that would have appealed rather more to the son, I suspect, than to the mother. Taking up the torch from where Albert Schweitzer’s The Quest of the Historical Jesus left off, Campbell offers a provocative, and what will be for many a deeply disturbing, account of the life, mission, death and ‘resurrection’ of the historical Jesus. Rightly rejecting the views of those who have denied the existence of the historical Jesus, Campbell offers a fascinating and, from what we know today about the genesis of religious cults, a not implausible reconstruction of Jesus’ own view of himself and his mission—a reconstruction which, being the trained scientist that he is, he seeks, in Popperian fashion, to test in the light of such evidence as can be got about Jesus from a critical reading of the Gospels constructed by the early Christian Church. As Campbell notes, for far too long Christians (and Christian sympathizers) have had a virtual monopoly on scholarship relating to the life of Jesus. Campbell, who is well read in nineteenth and twentieth century New Testament scholarship, seeks to break that monopoly by offering a critical reconstruction of the intentions of the historical Jesus which, to the best of my knowledge, challenges all currently available views. In one of his early works, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche claimed to be the first European thinker to challenge not just the truth, but the ethical value of the Christian religion, although Nietzsche himself never went so far as to challenge the integrity and ethical teaching of the historical Jesus as such. Campbell, on the other hand, XII has no such reservations. Whilst many will be deeply offended by Campbell’s account of the life and death of Jesus, his book offers a serious challenge to much of what has, largely uncritically, been said about Jesus by both Christians and non-Christian admirers of Jesus throughout the ages. Steuart Campbell’s book is also, if I may say so, a good read, and I trust I am not trivializing it when I say that it has some of the merits of a good detective story. I do not, therefore, intend in this foreword to pre-empt the reading of the book by giving away the plot. That readers must discover for themselves. This is a book which will, I hope, receive the critical attention that such a labour (I will not say of love, nor, most certainly, of hate, but rather of sheer intellectual curiosity) merits. Campbell has taken much time and trouble to try to come to terms with the historical Jesus. Those who claim to be his followers might repay the compliment by reading his argument and giving it the critical attention that, in my opinion, it most certainly deserves. James Thrower Professor of the History of Religions The University of Aberdeen November 1995 (Professor Thrower died in 1999) Foreword XIII Preface to the Third Edition In my youth I was an evangelical Christian (why is another story), but gradually I argued myself out of the faith and in 1970, at the age of 33, became an atheist. But I had spent 17 years following Jesus and needed to exorcize him. If he was not a divine figure, what was he? Who was he and what did he do to create Christianity? Are the Gospel’s accounts reliable and, if not, in what way? They tell a confusing and nonsensical story. A rabbi who implied that he was the expected Messiah of the Jews, predicted his betrayal, arrest and execution by the Roman governor, but did nothing to stop it happening. Consequently he was executed for sedition. Afterwards his body disappeared, but his followers claimed to have seen him alive afterwards. The mystery of the life of Jesus and the origin of Christianity is one that has not been completely solved or explained, as I found out when I started on a literature search of those books that deal with the subject. There are a great many works on the life of Jesus but the most useful ones are those that are critical to various extents of the usual interpretation of the gospel record. Christian writers tend not to see anything except the usual story. So I read all I could find written by critical writers, rationalists and some academics who dared to express an unconventional view. I also relied on the only historian to cover the Jewish history of the period: Josephus. All these sources produced clues as to where to look for the necessary answers but I found no one with a completely believable explanation. While working as a research architect, I had to write reports and so became used to writing based on thorough research. Consequently I began to write my own book about Jesus. By that time I had the use of a word processing program. In 1983, after about 10 years work, I had a digital text and found a title which, surprisingly, had not been used by anyone else. Another surprise was finding a new solution to the puzzle of Jesus’ life, one that explained more than any previous solution and XV one that seemed likely to be close to the truth. I could not understand why no one had discovered the explanation I had found. It may be asked how I could arrive at a new solution when so many words have already been written on this subject and when I lack the (theological) qualifications that might have been thought necessary. However, adherence to the Christian faith is a disqualification; Christians cannot remain objective, especially when it comes to examination of the life and motives of Jesus. Consequently no Christian writer could arrive at my conclusions. I found myself in an unusual position; I was a rationalist with the necessary Christian background. Having found a new hypothesis, one that undermined Christianity, it was natural that I should want to publish it. Surely my discovery deserved to be shared with others. Everywhere Jesus commands respect and he is upheld as an example to mankind. It is felt that he must be worth following as a good man if not as a god. Also many feel that there must be some special and worthwhile quality about a man who has commanded and still commands the allegiance of so many millions of people. Surely I should broadcast the view, not only that Jesus was deluded, but that there is not even any reason to follow his moral teachings. I needed to explain that loyalty to Jesus is misplaced and that most Christians completely misunderstand him. Consequently the book is intended for Christians and non-Christians alike in the hope that both will see that Christianity is irrelevant to modern life. I want them to forget Jesus and to do something useful with their lives. But it is also a book for historians who should learn what I have discovered about this critical episode in Jewish history, one that formed the foundation of Christian civilization. I also felt the need to counteract the propaganda of the Humanist movement, including most rationalists, to the effect that Jesus did not exist. Humanists appear to have supported the Jesus Myth Theory because it relieves them of debating the complex gospel story. If Humanists wish to offer a rational explanation for the origin of Christianity, they would do better to adopt the hypothesis offered here. Philosopher John Hick advised secular humanists not to identify too closely with 'the eccentric view' that Jesus did not exist. He claimed that it is neither very Preface to the Third Edition XVI probable nor 'at the cutting edge' of research concerning Christian origins (Hoffman & Larue 1986:212).* Without an agent, it was difficult to find a publisher. By comparison, theologians easily find publishers, even when they have nothing to say. Ferguson (1980) admitted his initial poverty of ideas when asked by his publisher to write another book on Jesus. I sent 36 publishers a fair synopsis of the book and some of the text. But I got no encouragement from any. The few replies contained comments like ‘too polemical and not scholarly enough and … speculation … insufficiently supported by facts or arguments’. Also ‘extremely provocative piece of writing’ and ‘lacks the sensationalism … which is sadly much sought after today’. One Edinburgh publisher thought it too shocking, nauseating and far-fetched! Others, after reading all or part of my manuscript, concluded that my hypothesis must be wrong, although it was not explained why that should prevent publication. Most of what is written by theologians is ‘wrong’. Probably, had I been an academic with a higher degree in a relevant discipline I might have secured publication. But I was merely a former architect with a maths and science degree and no reputation in the field. No one took me seriously. Another problem is that this subject is a minority interest: Christians hardly want to hear that their faith is unfounded and the non-religious are not interested. In the West, more and more people now have no religion. Publishers can see that the market for another life of Jesus is probably small. Nearly all the so-called experts on the subject are Christians. There are very few non-Christians who know enough about Jesus and his background to assist the rationalist in comment, encouragement or criticism. Indeed, I found few consultants for this work. Perhaps everyone believes that, because the traditional figure of Jesus is so familiar to them, they are experts. It is difficult to change the popular picture of a historic figure, even more difficult than persuading people that he did not exist. Consequently, in 1996 using a desktop-publishing program, I formatted the book and had it printed and published using the imprint * Readers who are already convinced that Jesus existed may wish to pass over Chapter 2 where I deal with questions of historicity. Preface to the Third Edition XVII Explicit Books. Without proper reviews, most of the stock ended up being remaindered, although I think some copies can still be found on the internet. I was resigned to never seeing it published again, but some 10 years later I was introduced to WritersPrintShop (WPS), who agreed to publish a second revised edition, but subsidised by me. WPS print on demand and that edition appeared in 2009. This enabled the book to be advertised and sold on the Amazon website, although sales were disappointing due to lack of marketing and decent reviews. However it did produce one anonymous US review (the only review on Amazon) where the reviewer declared it the best book he had read on the historical Jesus. I also published an ebook version via Amazon, but there were few sales. Eventually, because WPS proved unsatisfactory and unproductive, I terminated my arrangement with them in 2019. About the same time, I became aware of the German publishing company Tectum Verlag. This was the result of being asked by The Freethinker to review Heinz-Werner Kubitza’s The Jesus Delusion, an English translation of his German original. Tectum was the publisher. Believing that there was more interest in the historical Jesus in Germany than in the UK or the US, I approached Tectum about publishing a German translation of the book. They offered to do this if I funded the translation, which would have been expensive, but they also offered to publish the book in English as a third edition. I accepted the latter option, even though a subsidy was required. It is particularly fitting that this edition should be published in Germany, where so much of the groundwork on the historical Jesus was produced. This edition is an improved and corrected version, with some relevant updates and additions. For the first time, it contains this preface, which necessitated some rearrangement. Nevertheless, it remains essentially the same work I wrote 36 years ago. I have written several articles covering the themes in the book and these can be found listed on my website (www.steuartcampbell.com). I can be seen in a YouTube video giving an illustrated talk about my hypothesis to the Edinburgh Secular Society, of which I am a member. So far that has received 191 views, 3 ‘likes’, but no comments. Preface to the Third Edition XVIII This book is a general inquiry into the life of Jesus, but especially it is an inquiry about his motives and intentions. In any inquiry, it is important to ask the right questions. Technical writer Tom Johnson declared that asking questions seems to drive creativity. ‘It cultivates an open mind. The questions we ask lead us to new knowledge. Questions drive us to answers we never thought to consider until we asked the question.’ I have found that to be true. Most writers on this subject have not asked themselves many questions, usually assuming that they already knew the answers. Some writers ask questions but fail to answer them. This is not in my nature; I do not ask a question without having the intention of answering it. There are about 300 questions in the main text of this book. Not until chapter 4 do I begin to unravel Jesus’ beliefs, starting with the question of what was meant by calling him a ‘Nazarene’. But before that I felt the need to explore the matter of historicity and Jesus’ origin and background, including what trade he followed. In addition and en passant I divert a few times during the main text to explain various associated matters in glosses. Although these might not bear directly on the main hypothesis, they help to confirm Jesus’ historicity and provide a realistic picture. I have taken the opportunity to clear up many misunderstandings about Jesus. Indeed, there are so many myths that it is little wonder that the real Jesus has remained hidden for so long. In trying to answer questions about Jesus’ life and purpose it is relevant to consider the views of others. Consequently I record the views of some of those who have commented on aspects of Jesus’ life, whether or not I agree with them and whether or not their views fit my hypothesis. As a result, the book is partly a survey of the ‘lives’ of Jesus, continuing the tradition begun by Schweitzer in his Quest over a century ago. Appendix A reviews the historical search for Jesus and Appendix B is an essay on Schweitzer’s own contribution. The book is fully referenced by the author-date system, with page numbers where relevant. I hope that readers do not find these references too intrusive. The works referred to are listed in the Bibliography. The use of the year description AD (‘Anno Domini’) is unacceptable to non-Christians, for Jesus is not their Lord. Consequently, in this work I omit AD for years after Christ (occasionally ‘CE’, Christian Preface to the Third Edition XIX Era) and use BC for years before Christ. This does not imply that there was a Year Zero. Quotations from the Old Testament are taken from the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and quotations from the New Testament are freely made from Marshall’s translation of the Nestle Greek Text. ‘AV’ refers to the Authorized Version of the Bible, sometimes called the King James Bible and ‘NEB’ refers to the New English Bible. Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek words have been transliterated into Roman characters, but note that such transliteration is often an approximation. Initial capitals have been used to denote specific nouns and to distinguish them from the same general nouns. The ‘gospel’ is the substance of the apostles’ preaching, but a ‘Gospel’ is a book. The unknown evangelists are referred to as ‘Matthew’, ‘Mark’, ‘Luke’ and ‘John’ without prejudice regarding their actual identity or whether or not more than one author was responsible for a Gospel. However, I have reason to believe that John’s Gospel is the work of the disciple of that name. Abbreviations for all Biblical books are those used in the RSV, while abbreviations for Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphic books are my own. Edinburgh, April 2019 Steuart Campbell Preface to the Third Edition XX Acknowledgements This work could not have been written without access to many books and articles, some of them rare. I wish to acknowledge the help given by the staff of the following libraries: The City of Edinburgh Public Library (Central), The National Library of Scotland, New College Library (University of Edinburgh) and The British Library Document Supply Centre. I am grateful for advice and comment on medical matters by Dr Patricia F Hannaford and for advice and comment on ancient languages by Dr A Peter Hayman and to Lawrence Buckley for proof reading and general advice. I also acknowledge the encouragement of Dr Michael Arnheim* and Prof. J A Thrower. I acknowledge permission to reproduce various illustrations: the British Museum for the boar antefix (plate 1); The Ermine Street Guard (plate 2); The Dean and Chapter of Hereford Cathedral and the Hereford Mappa Mundi Trustees for the drawing of the Mappa Mundi (Fig. 2); and Inter-Varsity Press for the plan of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus (Fig. 3). * A London barrister and author of The God Book (2015), a sequel to Is Christianity True? (1984) XXI

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Abstract

What really happened to Jesus? Did he rise from the dead, and if not why do Christians believe that he did? Did he have a plan and, if so, what was it? Did he accomplish his purpose or did the plan fail? If it failed, what were the consequences?

Steuart Campbell, once a Christian, takes a rationalist look at the problem of Christian origins and shows that no previous writer has completely solved the riddle of Jesus. Here he shows us a new hypothesis, one that explains Jesus‘ curious behaviour.

Here is Jesus in historical context, the leader of an obscure Jewish sect which believed that it was fulfilling a divine plan revealed in the Scriptures. This plan required the Messiah to die and rise again to become the king of Israel, throwing the Romans out of Judaea and even replacing the Emperor as ruler of the known world. Read how Jesus expected to accomplish this.

The author displays immense knowledge of the Bible and the history of the Jews and he explains many mysteries. He builds on the work of many other authors and constructs what is surely the true explanation for the origin of Christianity. This should be the last word on the historical Jesus. It is certainly an excellent review of the many attempts to solve the mystery.