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Understanding the Real Jesus

Russell Martin (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-3119-X ©2006
Price: $15.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 277 pages
Category/Subject: RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / History

Jesus proclaimed God’s imminent universal kingdom. His Jewish followers were faithful to him. Paul misunderstood Jesus and subverted his message, but succeeded when the truth was accidentally lost in history.

Jesus proclaimed the nearness of the kingdom of God. It would be an era in which God’s will would become effective throughout the earth. The people of all nations on earth would acknowledge God so that justice and rightness would become the norm in all human interactions. Paradise would be restored and all humans would enjoy God’s unlimited blessings. Jewish Christians were initially faithful to Jesus’ message, but Gentile Christians received Paul’s mistaken view of the kingdom. The original truth of Jesus’ message can be recovered only by excising Pauline influence from the New Testament to reveal the real Jesus.

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Customer Reviews

  Author's self-review , 06/21/2008
Reviewer: Russell Martin
It has always occurred to me that “the new is in the old concealed, the old is on the new revealed” was not only misleading but blatantly false. But it was only when I carefully examined the Hebrew prophets to find out exactly what they thought the world would look like in the future when God reigned on earth that I realized I was absolutely right. The Reign of God would indeed be fair and just for all, and would involve all the people of the earth. The people of all nations would learn how to live by God’s laws, and become a model society. There would be universal peace, joy, security, bountifulness, wealth and happiness when everyone came to know God and live according to God’s laws. There is every indication that Jesus’ Kingdom of God was faithful to the prophets. The Kingdom would grow, develop, mature and eventually replace all the kingdoms of this world. Jesus was certain that it would come to fruition in his lifetime, but he underestimated what it would take to make it all happen. His ideas were not consistent with Rome’s plans for the future of the regions around the Mediterranean, and he lost the struggle to bring it about when he was crucified as a rebel against Rome. Nevertheless, his Jewish followers continued to believe that he would soon return and achieve his objectives. Everything that Jesus taught was turned upside down by Paul. The imminent Kingdom was now no longer on earth, but in heaven. It would be enjoyed only by people who had immortal bodies that could live forever in the presence of God. The earth, on the other hand, would suffer utter destruction because it would no longer be needed. Instead, true believers would sit at the feet of the Lord, continually learning what it means to live righteously by living according to God’s own words. Paul abandoned this earth because he thought it was irredeemable. The path from the prophets to Paul took the prophetic ideas for a model society and threw them away as impracticable. Nevertheless, they are our only hope for generating a future for our children that is better than what we have experienced. It is only by rejecting Paul and returning to Jesus and the prophets that we can understand what it would mean to live according to what life might be if it were perfect, instead of the imperfect world that we must now endure.

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  Historical distortion , 08/22/2008
Reviewer: Bill
I've got to say I was surprised to see the author conduct his own review to five stars. So I decided to take a look. This book gives readers nothing new, but the same "Da Vinci Code" babel: The "real" Jesus, essentially a good teacher, was subverted by Paul into the recognized Jesus of orthodox Christianity. That Jesus was a successor to John the Baptist in expecting an Earthly kingdom of peace. Jesus never claimed to be deity and concepts like the Trinity are later distortions from a community attempting to define itself. Blah, blah, blah, blah. This is actually the same arguments from Muslim and Western Liberal theologians (go to writings from the Jesus Seminar): Jesus was actually a man who wasn't crucified. Paul distorted Christianity into something not intended by Jesus. The followers of Paul actually changed the original writings of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Of course the underlying message from the author is that he is far more sophisticated then the millions of uneducated bumpkins who actually believe the "fairy tale" of the Bible. The thousands of theologians with PhDs (and men like me who have also earned a Doctorate in another field (lawyer), but a very dedicate to the study of Biblical History) who have dedicated their lives to the Bible and Biblical research are wrong about the Bible and Biblical history. Here's the bottom line: One of the ealiest "written" accounts of the life of Jesus from Paul's letters, started only about 20 years after Jesus was crucified (in an oral tradition society, this was not enough time for legends to develop). Corinthians 1:15 makes a definitive historic statement about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul gives the statement of the earliest creed and names the people who witnessed the Risen Jesus Christ. It gives over 500 people "many of whom are still alive" at that time. Therefore, he is telling readers to go ask the question. The Gospel of Mark may have been shortly after that, but within 30 years. It verifies the history Paul mentions. I don't believe in the "Q" source, as this is only a theory and is needed only if you don't believe in divine inspiration. Matthew and Luke were written within about 30 to 40 years of the death of Jesus (go to "Case for a Creator" by Lee Stoebel for the best layman version). These Gospels specifically mention Jesus Claiming himself as God. The Gospel of John is full of claims of deity, and like the other Gospels Jesus makes clear that His kingdom is "not of this world". I don't have the time to go on and on with information rebutting this book. However, readers should understand that anti-Christian themes of this book go back almost 1500 years. It is the Muslim argument against Jesus and the Liberal Western argument against Jesus. Despite many attempts to undermine the Bible, it stands because it is true. The underlying reason the Bible is attacked this way is that it's message is one of accountability. God will judge all men according to what they have done. Those who have accepted Christ as savior will be judged by His life and sacrifice. Those who have rejected him will stand on their own. Scary thought to those who are "too smart" for the Bible.

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