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Publisher's Summary

James was a vegetarian, wore only linen clothing, bathed daily at dawn in cold water, and was a life-long Nazirite. In this profound and provocative work of scholarly detection, eminent biblical scholar Robert Eisenman introduces a startling theory about the identity of James - the brother of Jesus - who was almost entirely marginalized in the New Testament. Drawing on long-overlooked early church texts and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Eisenman reveals in this groundbreaking exploration that James, not Peter, was the real successor to the movement we now call "Christianity". In an argument with enormous implications, Eisenman identifies Paul as deeply compromised by Roman contacts. James is presented as not simply the leader of Christianity of his day, but the popular Jewish leader of his time, whose death triggered the uprising against Rome - a fact that creative rewriting of early church documents has obscured.

Eisenman reveals that characters such as "Judas Iscariot" and "the Apostle James" did not exist as such. In delineating the deliberate falsifications in New Testament documents, Eisenman shows how - as James was written out - anti-Semitism was written in. By rescuing James from the oblivion into which he was cast, the final conclusion of James, the Brother of Jesus is, in the words of the Jerusalem Post, "apocalyptic" - who and whatever James was, so was Jesus.

©1998 Robert Eisenman (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about James, the Brother of Jesus

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Regretable. Hard to follow. Repetitive.

The book suffers from a need of a serious copy editing scrub. There are entire sections that are repeated over and over and over again. I didnt trouble myself to count but the white linen undergarment worn by James was repeated dozens of times, sometimes in the same sentence. I didnt realize that undies had such an important role.

This could be a far better book at half the length.

I hung on and finished it expecting that I would be rewarded in the end. Instead, I was horrified to learn that there will be a sequel.

15 people found this helpful

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Some Material but a Hard Listen

While there was some substance here it was hard to get too. The author's dripping bias often distracted in tangents made me question his own authenticity. He would, at points in the book, drift away on emotion filled tangents which might have been okay if he supported them with discovery or well developed arguments but he did not. I made it about half way because only because there was some interesting material and a potential for perspective I had not before considered. I welcome alternate perspectives which is why I continued reading but it must be supported with objectivity, in the end I questioned his objectivity because it became apparent he had a deep bias against anything Pauline in nature. His tangents became repetitive and degenerated into unsupported opinion at times. Opinion is nothing more than a hypothesis to develop a theory which must be researched and developed before it can be made into an argument. There is simply no historical basis or relevance to base his tangents on and it distracted so much from the actual knowledge that I could not continue.

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So repetitious

A good editor would make a short pamphlet out of this 1,100 page book. I finally couldn’t take hearing the same words over and over again and bailed about three quarters of the way through the book.

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Sublime

Best in its field. The research is overpowering. It really puts the newish generation of Biblical scholars to shame., not to mention their shallow populist approach introduced to this world by Dan Brown.

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Contra-Orthodox Messianic History

An extremely cynical view about the historic authenticity of the Biblical narrative about Jesus and the movement associated with him. Of course, James is the focus, but the book hypothesizes how and why James was eliminated from Biblical narrative. The theory paints a very different view of the involvement of Jesus' family, that if correct, most definitely means that the Bible is not the inerrant, infallible, inspired word of God. The book has tons of information from various sources that are not readily available to average readers. Very interesting, but also very repetitive.

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enjoyed a fascinating theory

I love this narrator. fast paced. the book also goes quite deep into various chunks of history for the period. so I managed to listen to the entire book and kept coming back to it.

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Wonderful research

I have followed Robert for a very long time. The book is by far the most thorough research on who the original church of Jerusalem was and exactly who it was that led them. more people should learn this important information. Many parts are redundant but simply to connect very subtle points that tie everything together. Great job Robert. The world can be a better place because of knowledge like this.

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Indispensable!

This book is indispensable for understanding the ideas and the personalities that were in play in first-century Palestine. The book is over forty hours long, but is so densely packed with information that you always have to pay attention. However, this is not difficult as the narrator is truly excellent and the information is fascinating. Yes, as one reviewer said, I think a section or two of the book is repeated, but I didn't mind this at all, as it only served to help me absorb the material. This is certainly one to listen to more than once, as I have not seen any Bible scholar who's been able to dive so deeply into the subject matter. In my opinion, extremely brilliant and highly recommended!

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  • 04-15-20

A true masterpiece of New Testament scholarship

I can't say enough about Dr. Eisenman's research, analysis, and clarity of writing. This book is quite literally one of the best books I've ever read on the origins of Christianity, the historical Jesus, and the mystery of the Qumran community. An absolute must have for any Biblical, New Testament, or Christian students looking to deepen their understanding. Thank you Robert Eisenman for this masterpiece!

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Thought Provoking

This is a long book - but it’s also a testament to the author’s exhaustive research into “extra-biblical” texts. The book builds a solid case for the idea that the histories of Jesus, his biological brothers James, Simon and Judas, as well as the histories of Paul and early Christianity itself, have been corrupted and re-written. It took me several weeks to get through it, but it was well worth the effort. The narration was excellent - which was a big help.