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Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus ePub download

by Donald Harman Akenson

  • Author: Donald Harman Akenson
  • ISBN: 0195152387
  • ISBN13: 978-0195152388
  • ePub: 1926 kb | FB2: 1643 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Bible Study & Reference
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 20, 2002)
  • Pages: 364
  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Votes: 233
  • Format: txt mbr doc lrf
Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus ePub download

Donald Akenson, a professor of history at Queen’s University, is author of the highly acclaimed Surpassing .

Donald Akenson, a professor of history at Queen’s University, is author of the highly acclaimed Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds (1998). Saint Saul, his second foray into Biblical terrain, is aimed at that literate segment of the general reading public whose attention has been captured by the work of the Jesus Seminar. Scholars have tended to be much more impressed with Paul’s apparent lack of interest in the words and deeds of the earthly Jesus.

A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus. by Donald Harman Akenson

A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus. by Donald Harman Akenson. Akenson (Surpassing Wonder, 1998) concentrates on the Jesus tradition as it first shows itself in the letters of Paul, the oldest portion of the New Testament and the only part of it that predates the destruction of Herod's Temple by the Romans in 70 . The events of that year brought the rich and diverse traditions of Judaism to an end, leaving only two survivors, Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism, and the documents that were written after those events reflect a radically different world than that in which Jesus lived.

Donald Harman Akenson. As the only direct evidence of Jesus we have that were composed before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE forever altered the outlook of the Christian and Jewish faiths, Akenson claims that these letters are the most reliable source of information.

In Saint Saul Donald Harman Akenson shows that the answer to the most persistent question in Christianity - What do we know about the historical Jesus? - is best found in the writings of a caustic itinerant preacher named Saul. Saul, the author of the Epistles and known to Christians as Saint Paul, is the closest thing we have to a direct witness and our only opportunity to encounter Yeshua, as Jesus was known in his time, in something approaching the original.

Saint Saul: a skeleton key to the historical Jesus. Donald Harman Akenson.

Donald Harman Akenson (born May 22, 1941, Minneapolis, Minnesota) is a historian and author. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1998. Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus. Akenson received his . from Yale University and his doctorate from Harvard University. As of 2007 his work included eighteen non-fiction books, including more than a dozen about Irish history, and five novels. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002. An Irish History of Civilization, Volume I. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005.

A brilliantly written, witty, and engaging look at the historical Jesus is filled with insightful new portraits of both Jesus and Paul.

As the only direct evidence of Jesus we have that were composed before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE forever altered the outlook of the Christian and Jewish faiths, Akenson claims that these letters are the most reliable source of information.

Written by. Manufacturer: Oxford University Press Inc Release date: 1 March 2001 ISBN-10 : 0195141571 ISBN-13: 9780195141573. A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus (New York: Oxford University Press, and Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000), 346 pp. French ed. Saint Saul

Donald harman akenson. Saint Saul. Clé pour le Jésus de l’histoire (Montreal: Fides, 2004), 472 pp. Surpassing Wonder.

In Saint Saul, Donald Harman Akenson offers a lively and provocative account of what we can learn about Jesus by reading the letters of Paul. As the only direct evidence of Jesus we have that were composed before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE forever altered the outlook of the Christian and Jewish faiths, Akenson claims that these letters are the most reliable source of information. He dismisses the traditional method of searching for facts about Jesus by looking for parallels among the four gospels because they were handed down to us as a unit by a later generation. Akenson painstakingly recreates the world of Christ, a time rich with ideas, prophets, factions, priests, savants, and god-drunk fanatics. He insistently stresses throughout the Jewishness of Jesus, referring to Jesus and Paul as Yeshua and Saul, as they were then known. As an eminent historian, Akenson approaches his subject with a fresh eye and a scholarly rigor that is all too rare in this hotly disputed field.
Grarana
Akenson's premise seems simple enough: The apostle Paul tells us more about Jesus than usually assumed. But he goes beyond this, claiming that Paul is actually our best source for understanding the historical Jesus. This is news, especially coming from a secular liberal who might be inclined to loathe and distrust Paul to begin with. But Akenson enjoins academics to accept the obvious: "Paul taught the history of the earthly Jesus to the churches he founded, and in writing his letters he took for granted that they had assimilated the basic facts, miracle-stories, and sayings. . . Paul actually tells us a lot about the historical Jesus, but he does so almost unintentionally."

Akenson minces no words with the academics who thrive on 2nd-century documents (Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter), hypothetical documents (Signs Gospel, Q), and an obvious forgery (Secret Mark) -- and who likewise have made a pseudo-science of "downward-dating" these documents so that they antedate 70 AD. Instead of dissecting Q, scholars would do well to consider that annoying apostle who preceded all of the above.

According to the author, Paul believed the following about the historical Jesus: (1) He never declared himself to be the messiah, and he did nothing in his lifetime which certified his messiahship. The resurrection did that. (2) His transformation into the Christ (the resurrection) was a cosmic and not a physical event. There never was a physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus, for "flesh and blood could not inherit the Kingdom of God" (I Cor. 15:50). (3) The only valid way of understanding his life on earth is to see him as the Son of God, but in a way incompatible with later "virgin birth" theology.

Admittedly, some of the author's arguments are hard to swallow. His understanding (of Paul's understanding) of the resurrection is only half correct, and it's curious that he doesn't engage Tom Wright, who has written much on the issue. He also overreacts against the criterion of multiple attestation: "In the entire New Testament there is no independent confirmation of anything. The New Testament is a single source, and by definition a single source cannot produce multiple attestations of anything." These statements are howlers. Akenson does offer a sobering reappraisal of some methodologies used by the "flaming liberal wing" of Jesus-questors, but he could stand a few lessons himself.

Donald Akenson is an engaging writer, simply incapable of writing a dull sentence. He can make you laugh, he can make you angry, but hopefully, above all, he'll make you think and reconsider a lot of the nonsense being touted these days about Jesus. Hopefully, too, he'll get you interested in that guy who went around Asia Minor and Greece preaching the real historical Jesus.
Cildorais
I'm not a student. I enjoy reading books about historical eras that I like, although this is not really one of them. The book was very well written but the writing style was rather academic. It was full of words I had never seen before. I spent a lot of time looking things up in the built in dictionary on my Kindle. There were also a lot of words the dictionary had never seen before. I have a very large vocabulary, so finding words that even the dictionary had never seen before was rather funny. He also has the habit of explaining all of those new words in his text the first time he uses them. You don't really need the built in dictionary.

Still, this is a complicated subject, and the writer pulls you along so you understand it. He doesn't just tell you what happened. He tells you why and what both what happened and why it happened means. I enjoyed reading the book.
Fordrelis
I came across this book a few years ago while being hosted by a member of a choir I belong to. I only recently bought the book.

Mr. Akenson is an historian interested in Biblical history. In this book he makes a strong case that where one should begin looking for the historical Jesus is not in the gospels, but in the attested letters of St. Paul. St. Paul is the person closest to the time of Jesus for which we have writings. They were written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the second Temple in 70 C.E. All other New Testament writings fall after that date.

He purports to show that that event was pivotal for both Judaism and Christianity. The destruction of the temple eliminated the focal point for the many forms of the Yahweh faith, of which the Jesus followers were among the many. Afterward, new focal points had to be found to replace the temple and they were found in Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity.

In my view, he takes an array of delicate tools to pick out what can be learned about the historical Jesus and the early ideas of the Jesus movement by dissecting carefully Paul's letters and showing how the subsequent gospels built upon and sometimes altered the evidence. He makes a good case that the proponents of the Jesus seminar lack the historiographical tools to build their propositions.

The book is not an easy read, for Akenson is not a particularly good writer. His writing is a bit turgid and convoluted and, at times, he seems a little overwrought. However, it is a valuable book and should be in everyone's library of Biblical history and textual criticism. I find it very valuable.
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