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Why would anyone think Jesus never existed? Isn't it perfectly reasonable to accept that he was a real first century figure? As it turns out, no. NAILED sheds light on ten beloved Christian myths, and, with evidence gathered from historians across the theological spectrum, shows how they point to a Jesus Christ created solely through allegorical alchemy of hope and imagina Why would anyone think Jesus never existed? Isn't it perfectly reasonable to accept that he was a real first century figure? As it turns out, no. NAILED sheds light on ten beloved Christian myths, and, with evidence gathered from historians across the theological spectrum, shows how they point to a Jesus Christ created solely through allegorical alchemy of hope and imagination; a messiah transformed from a purely literary, theological construct into the familiar figure of Jesus - in short, a purely mythic Christ.


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Why would anyone think Jesus never existed? Isn't it perfectly reasonable to accept that he was a real first century figure? As it turns out, no. NAILED sheds light on ten beloved Christian myths, and, with evidence gathered from historians across the theological spectrum, shows how they point to a Jesus Christ created solely through allegorical alchemy of hope and imagina Why would anyone think Jesus never existed? Isn't it perfectly reasonable to accept that he was a real first century figure? As it turns out, no. NAILED sheds light on ten beloved Christian myths, and, with evidence gathered from historians across the theological spectrum, shows how they point to a Jesus Christ created solely through allegorical alchemy of hope and imagination; a messiah transformed from a purely literary, theological construct into the familiar figure of Jesus - in short, a purely mythic Christ.

30 review for Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tim O'Neill

    This is one of a number of self-published books along these lines that have appeared in recent years and one of several that has been written by a hobbyist who is also an atheist activist. While the idea that Jesus may not have existed is a perfectly valid one, there is a reason this position does not have any serious academic traction - it is very difficult to sustain without resorting to a lot of supposition and some highly contrived arguments. Unfortunately this writer's anti-religious agenda This is one of a number of self-published books along these lines that have appeared in recent years and one of several that has been written by a hobbyist who is also an atheist activist. While the idea that Jesus may not have existed is a perfectly valid one, there is a reason this position does not have any serious academic traction - it is very difficult to sustain without resorting to a lot of supposition and some highly contrived arguments. Unfortunately this writer's anti-religious agenda gets in the way of his objectivity, and I'm saying that as an atheist myself. The result is a work of clumsy amateurish polemic where the author's rhetoric far outruns his argument or even his grasp of the relevant material This book is a object lesson in the dangers of starting with an ideologically-based conclusion and working backwards to your argument. Fitzgerald tries to argue that no historical Jesus existed, but most of the book consists of arguing against the Jesus of the gospels, as though the two are necessarily the same thing. This means that many of his arguments may give some pause to Biblical literalists and fundamentalists, but anyone with a grasp of modern historical Jesus studies will be struck most by Fitzgerald's ignorance of the field and the naiveté of his ideas about who or what the historical Jesus probably was. Arguing that the gospels aren't eye witness accounts or that they contain historical errors might work as arguments against a fundamentalist Christian conception of Jesus (to an extent anyway), but leaves the Jesus of critical scholars entirely unscathed. Vast swathes of the gospels can potentially be shown to be utterly false, but this does nothing to show that there wasn't a historical Jewish preacher as the ultimate point of origin for the later stories. But Fitzgerald seems totally unaware of the work putting Jesus back into his Jewish context done by scholars like Ehrman, Fredriksen, Vermes, Sanders, Allison, Casey, Ludemann and many others, most of whom are not Christians. He does not seem to understand, therefore, that disproving the Jesus of a face-vaulue reading of the gospels doesn't constitute disproving a historical Jesus. The Jesus of the scholars noted above does not depend on the gospel accounts being substantially true at all. Over and over again Fitzgerald seems think that he is on the side of "critics who (dispute) Christian claims" who are battling against "Christian apologists". He doesn't mention and seems totally ignorant of the leading, non-Christian scholars who definitely "dispute Christian claims" (far better than he does, in fact) but fully accept the existence of a Jewish preacher called Jesus. As I reads this book I began to suspect that Fitzgerald's main source of information has been other atheist amateur hobbyists and activists, most of whom also dispute the existence of any historical Jesus. In fact, it reads very much like the work of a Creationist whose only exposure to evolutionary biology is second-hand, via the works of other Creationists. This could explain some of the blunders and weird omissions in the book. For example, while discussing the reference to Jesus in Josephus' "Antiquities" XVIII.3.4 he dismisses the idea that most of the passage is original to Josephus and was simply added to by Christians as a hopeful theory by "wishful apologists". In fact, it is the majority consensus of most modern scholars. I'm sure eminent non-Christian scholars like Bart Ehrman and Geza Vermes would be amused at being described as "wishful apologists" by this amateur hobbyist. Not surprisingly, he seems to have no knowledge of the Arabic and Syriac paraphrases of this Josephean passage, which provide strong evidence that it is original to Josephus and not a wholesale interpolation. Similarly, he makes a totally erroneous statement about Origen taking Josephus to task "for failing to mention Jesus in (his) book", while citing a reference to Origen where Origen actually *quotes* Josephus mentioning Jesus! And he is oblivious to the fact that this is one of *three* places where Origen directly quotes Josephus' reference to Jesus. This in turn undermines his claim that this reference by Josephus, in "Antiquities" XX.9.1, contains a Christian interpolation, since the supposedly interpolated words are found in all three references by Origen, who wrote too early for this to be an interpolation by Christian scribes. Fitzgerald's book is highly confused. He seems to be trying hard to undermine fundamentalist Christianity but leaves a more scholarly and nuanced non-Christian conception of the historial Jesus unscathed. His grasp of the material is shaky and some of his blunders with the Greek are simply funny. This book is one reason why self-published works by amateurs need to be treated with care, especially when they have an axe to grind. For a more detailed version of this review see my full analysis and critique at Armarium Magnum - "Nailed: Ten Christian Myths".

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    NAILED takes a serious look at the inconsistencies and problems with the Jesus myth, offering a rational take on it all while delving into the actual history behind current beliefs. This book is a must-read for skeptics and non-skeptics alike.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    One of the most fundamental weaknesses of Christianity is that many, perhaps most Christians are afraid to hold up their faith to the same level of scrutiny as they would to buying a new fridge. It makes it difficult to review a book like this because from the outset the discussion is antagonistic. It's not my intent to offend, only to review. So... This book has strengths and weaknesses. It presents a bunch of factual arguments which aren't in dispute. I think pretty much all Christian scholars One of the most fundamental weaknesses of Christianity is that many, perhaps most Christians are afraid to hold up their faith to the same level of scrutiny as they would to buying a new fridge. It makes it difficult to review a book like this because from the outset the discussion is antagonistic. It's not my intent to offend, only to review. So... This book has strengths and weaknesses. It presents a bunch of factual arguments which aren't in dispute. I think pretty much all Christian scholars and perhaps most Christians accept that the Book of Mark was written anywhere from 30~100 years after the the events described, and Matthew, Luke and John followed. Most people now accept that references to Jesus attributed to Flavius Josephus were added later and not by Josephus. There is nothing wrong with his arguments. I guess the problem with this book is it's preaching to the converted. Christians won't read it or they'll rate it 1 Star. Atheists will read it and think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. And that's why I don't think this is a particularly great book. It really needs to communicate with Christians to be of value and I don't think it does. So 3 Stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jim Whitefield

    I have got to know David Fitzgerald a little as a friend and agreed to review his work. I had been looking for a one-stop review of the evidence concerning the very existence of Jesus Christ and have to say that this volume more than exceeded my expectations. Meticulously researched and developed over a ten year period, this book is the result of a huge amount of painstaking analysis. There is no argument not considered and no stone left unturned in an effort to discover any evidence that actual I have got to know David Fitzgerald a little as a friend and agreed to review his work. I had been looking for a one-stop review of the evidence concerning the very existence of Jesus Christ and have to say that this volume more than exceeded my expectations. Meticulously researched and developed over a ten year period, this book is the result of a huge amount of painstaking analysis. There is no argument not considered and no stone left unturned in an effort to discover any evidence that actually conclusively verifies the existence of such a character. There is none - none at all. Everything ever written about Christ (specifically including all of the New Testament) serves and combines to create a 'construct' for the early church members to believe in. David's conclusions at every stage of the ten aspects covered leave no doubt in the objective reader's mind that Jesus Christ is as mythological an individual character as any of the now proven myths of the Old Testament. Well written and well rounded, fully referenced and brilliantly explained - this is a 'must read' for anyone who wants to put the lid on the idea that Christ was real and later Christianity his personal baby. The one thing that this volume contains that the Bible and all other pretended 'proofs' of Christ and Christianity do not, is evidence - and it is as conclusive as it can get. The only reason any reader will not agree is if they have 'faith in fiction' from a preconceived belief in God which must not be offended, rather than a willingness to face and accept evidence of the truth without reservation. As I comment in my own books, "As long as people want something to be true, more than they are willing to face the possibility that it is not, they will not entertain evidence or reason. Delusion becomes a choice." Jim Whitefield. Author of 'The Mormon Delusion' series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    As other have said, the title overstates the case and some of the so called myths are only held by non scholars, but the book is an excellent summary of the mythicist argument that should leaves anyone who goes into it with an open mind, not already convinced that there must have been a historical Jesus, but that is not the case. 1) The idea that Jesus was a myth is ridiculous This is a pretty brief introduction, though it briefly refutes the claim that there is more evidence for Jesus than Juliu As other have said, the title overstates the case and some of the so called myths are only held by non scholars, but the book is an excellent summary of the mythicist argument that should leaves anyone who goes into it with an open mind, not already convinced that there must have been a historical Jesus, but that is not the case. 1) The idea that Jesus was a myth is ridiculous This is a pretty brief introduction, though it briefly refutes the claim that there is more evidence for Jesus than Julius Caesar. It doesn't really address the main thrust of this claim, that it is extremely unlikely for people to have invented a man who lived only 40-50 years earlier 2) Jesus was wildly famous He does show that if the Jesus described in the gospels had existed, it is highly implausible that no secular historians would have mentioned him. The counter claim, that they weren't interested in that sort of thing, is demonstrably false. What this doesn't show, is that there wasn't a less spectacular Jesus, who didn't perform miracles, didn't address crowds of many thousand and didn't clear the moneylenders from the temple. He also shows that the claim there are ancient historical witnesses is utterly unreliable. 3) Joephus wrote about Jesus Almost all historians accept Josephus was at least tampered with. The extent to which this happened is the issue. There are many attempt to "reconstruct" the original but all fail because they have Josephus writing of a rebel executed just a few decades earlier in glowing terms normally reserved for the giants of Jewish history, with no attempt to justify such language. Although the book doesn't cover these, it does mention the lack of early mentions of the Testimonium. The second argument, that the passage disrupts the flow, is usually countered by it being the equivalent of a footnote. The problem here, is that it wouldn't work as a footnote either, it is unrelated to the topic at question, so without examining if there are examples when Josephus did this, it is impossible to judge if this is a valid argument 4) Eyewitnesses wrote the gospels Again, this is only believed by fundamentalist Christians and those who are uninformed. Nailed makes a brief case that they were not written shortly after the events by people familiar with the culture and geography of the area, and also that the gospel were unknown by the end of the first century, but doesn't cover the growing awareness of them from the mid second century, or just how weak the Christian argument for traditional authorship is 5) The Gospels give a consistent picture of Jesus This is a pretty common claim that is demolished. It doesn't in itself show Jesus to be fictional, but does pretty much demonstrate that the gospels were at the least full of fictional elements inserted to sell a specific theology, and that the writers probably had little interest in what any historical Jesus actually said. 6) History confirm the gospels This is another chapter that shows the gospels to be non historical, which weakens the case for their being good evidence for Jesus as a historical figure, but doesn't support the Mythicist argument 7) Archeology confirms the gospels This is an odd chapter. It mixes geography, archaeology and ancient manucripts, but further demonstrates that not only were the gospels in their original form not historically reliable, but they are corrupted 8) Paul and the Epistles confirm the gospels Another common claim, but one that comes from people interpreting the epistles from a gospel framework, rather than reading what they actually say (and typically doing so in English). The book does show that not only does Paul have no interest in the historical Jesus (something even conservative scholar accept, coming up with some utterly implausible justifications, such as "everyone already knew all the stories and sayings", which even if it were true, would only weaken their own argument), but that he largely talks about a mythical Christ. The coverage of the phrase "Brother of the Lord", commonly used as evidence for historicity is pretty brief. It successfully argues that it does not make sense given the way Paul dismisses James, and that it is not implausible for it to be a later interpretation, but doesn't address the possibility that it did not mean a literal brother and that Paul used the phrase commonly, which might be out of the scope of a summary book like this, relying on some extremely technical readings of Greek, differences between brother of/brother in and a brother/the brother/brother as well comparisons of all times Paul uses the phrase or a similar one 9) Christianity began with Jesus and the apostles This chapter largely focusses on the multiple Christian sects in early times, and the lack of evidence for the apostles as historical figures, but doesn't do much to advance the overall thesis 10) Christianity was totally new and different This is another chapter that seems to have little to do with the title. The idea that there were multiple dying and rising gods before Jesus is common, but for many, such as Mithras, the evidence does not support the idea that it predates the Jesus cult, but there are genuine examples. Though the book alludes to them, and the excuses apologists have made to avoid the problem, it doesn't really go into the details, so it is hard to judge how strong these parallels are. Most of the chapter details the growth of Christianity, which isn't really relevant to whether or not Jesus was a real person. 11) Conclusion Ends with the unavoidable statement that either Jesus was totally made up, or the early Christians had little to no interest in the real Jesus, but then plumps for the first, which is probably not justifiable on the evidence presented.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jane Upshall

    Was surprised to find so many discrepancies in the Jesus story. Wow I need to research further.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    I’m pretty much on board with Fitzgerald here. For me, whether or not Jesus ever existed; he has become a fictional figure. As artifacts the bible stories come too late, are too contradictory and outlandish to be taken as primary sources. Without any primary sources to establish as a baseline around where, when, and who Jesus may have been to compare with the latter biblical accounts - then I regard the texts as fiction. The real basis for Jesus may have existed, but for practical inquiry he’s b I’m pretty much on board with Fitzgerald here. For me, whether or not Jesus ever existed; he has become a fictional figure. As artifacts the bible stories come too late, are too contradictory and outlandish to be taken as primary sources. Without any primary sources to establish as a baseline around where, when, and who Jesus may have been to compare with the latter biblical accounts - then I regard the texts as fiction. The real basis for Jesus may have existed, but for practical inquiry he’s been lost to time. Or if he continues to exist in some other-worldly realm as an all-powerful god, it's up to him to make a public appearance to set the historical record straight, if he cares at all what we think of him. I hesitate to say he never existed having recently finished reading 1984, I recall the scene of O’Brian explaining to Winston’s face, that Winston doesn’t exist because the party doesn’t acknowledge his existence. This analogy isn’t one-to-one with the Jesus issue, but there are elements. O’Brian mentions destroying all records of certain historical events, and convincing or mandating everybody from acknowledging that they ever happened, then for all practical purposes the event never happened. In the case of Jesus, the people who destroyed and altered so many records from antiquity were Christians. So the piece of primary evidence that could corroborate elements of their doctrine might’ve been destroyed by their own hands. Fitzgerald’s book isn’t enough to conclude that Jesus never existed, logically no book really could be. I think Fitzgerald is writing directly to other skeptics and atheists, and the book won’t gain much traction outside that niche. It felt a bit intellectually incestuous to read something so catered to my current mindset. I would’ve preferred something a bit more neutral and academic. I’ve already started reading a bit of his Mormon book, and it seems like he’s really doubled down on appealing to atheist readers. Still, I mostly agree with it, so stars for that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael Jr.

    Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All By: David Fitzgerald Paperback: 248 pages ISBN-10: 0557709911 ISBN-13: 978-0557709915 Overall: 4 out of 5 stars I first heard about Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All while listening to The Dogma Debate. The Dogma Debate is an absolutely outstanding Spreaker internet radio show hosted by David Smalley, the author of Baptized Atheist (and his partners in crime Daniel Moran and Shayrah Akers). The show explore Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All By: David Fitzgerald Paperback: 248 pages ISBN-10: 0557709911 ISBN-13: 978-0557709915 Overall: 4 out of 5 stars I first heard about Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All while listening to The Dogma Debate. The Dogma Debate is an absolutely outstanding Spreaker internet radio show hosted by David Smalley, the author of Baptized Atheist (and his partners in crime Daniel Moran and Shayrah Akers). The show explores Atheist subject matter in a professional manner, free of the condescending attitudes that close the door on intelligent debate. By the way, I am the 4th listener. The author of Nailed, David Fitzgerald, was a guest on the show and was just as compelling on air as he is in his book. Nailed explores the legend of Jesus in the same lens that we explore so many other things in history, with facts and rationality. There is no way that any sane mind can come away from reading Nailed with the believe that Jesus ever existed, was influential in that time, or that there is even evidence that his story coincides with what is know about the first century. There is no doubt that apologists will continual to dismiss the evidence presented by Fitzgerald. If only they could be so critical in their self analysis because if the empirical evidence that Jesus never existed isn't enough, I can not see any way possible to argue that Nailed does not demonstrate that the Biblical stories about Jesus never happened. Sadly, there will never be anything that completely proves that Fitzgerald is right because you simply cannot kill what never existed. Some will walk away from reading Nailed and say, "AH HA it doesn't prove Jesus didn't exist, only that your SCIENCE doesn't prove that he did!" Well, okay then, let Jesus join the ranks of Santa Claus, Leprechauns, The Easter Bunny, and whatever other mythical creatures of folk lure that you can think of. If any of this offends you, then please read Nailed and come back to comment on here. Some of my favorite things that a reader needs to contemplate... Why does no one else in history document the biblical events, despite many with tremendous motivation to do so? Why did the Christians feel that it was necessary to forge so many things and destroy so many others that may have shed light on the subject? Why is there so much Christian anger? Why is it that despite the millions who claimed to be Christians, I have never met a single one that followed anything Biblical? Some problems with Nailed... Jesus (pun intended), why is it so expensive? I read the Kindle version because, despite buying many books, I couldn't justify the paperback price. The benefit of having the paperback would have been being able to break it out in debates with the blind to reference, but I have many like this and the blind will fight you before they try to listen for a moment. It is very dry and held my intention only because of my personal interest. You need to be wanting this knowledge to read it all, but hey, the knowledge is worth it. Please, I am begging you, no matter what your back ground, read Nailed. If you are stuck on being Christian, you can learn where Atheist are coming from. If you are Atheist, you will understand more of why you are, and if you are just curious, the break down here is excellent. Everyone benefits from taking the time to learn.

  9. 4 out of 5

    C. Varn

    While the title may slightly overstate the evidence, this is an excellent overview of the current state of problematic record for Jesus historicity. It being nearly impossible to prove a negative, I remain agnostic to a historical persona behind the gospels; however, Fitzgerald's--drawing on the arguments of Richard Carrier, Earl Doherty, and Robert Price--lays out the evidence based on the complete lack of non-problematic first century evidence. Furthermore, some of the issues in Paul are laid While the title may slightly overstate the evidence, this is an excellent overview of the current state of problematic record for Jesus historicity. It being nearly impossible to prove a negative, I remain agnostic to a historical persona behind the gospels; however, Fitzgerald's--drawing on the arguments of Richard Carrier, Earl Doherty, and Robert Price--lays out the evidence based on the complete lack of non-problematic first century evidence. Furthermore, some of the issues in Paul are laid out more clearly here than in many other sources as well as problems with specific missing texts from the first century. Fitzgerald draws a quite about bit from Carrier and those familiar with Carrier's work may find certain points repetitive, the overall overview is unique in both it's scope and brevity. Even if you remain solidly unconvinced of Christ myth hypothesis, the evidence in this book would be a good guide to some of the best arguments one could have to overcome to truly defeat the position. The focus on somewhat facile comparisons between Jesus and Gods are largely left out of the text with only referent to the similarities between mystery meals and the description of the "Lord's Supper" in Paul's writing. This is important because the comparative argument is actually quite easy for historical Jesus defenders to rebut, but focus on incoherence and literary flourish within the text as well as lack of sources for most of the events in the text from without makes it very clear how thin some of the claims made for historicity are.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric Wojciechowski

    I used to think that there was a historical Jesus behind the figure represented in the New Testament. However, that Jesus had long since been lost in history because no one cared to preserve anything. It seemed that a very ordinary apocalyptic preacher (many roamed around that region in those days) had undergone a euhemerism. That is, until I discovered the works of Richard Carrier. After reading Richard Carrier's, "On The Historicity of Jesus", and after reviewing several of his lectures and pre I used to think that there was a historical Jesus behind the figure represented in the New Testament. However, that Jesus had long since been lost in history because no one cared to preserve anything. It seemed that a very ordinary apocalyptic preacher (many roamed around that region in those days) had undergone a euhemerism. That is, until I discovered the works of Richard Carrier. After reading Richard Carrier's, "On The Historicity of Jesus", and after reviewing several of his lectures and presentations preserved on YouTube, I became convinced there's not even a historical figure behind the myth. Jesus, it seems, is just as unreal as Osiris, Hercules, Perseus, etc. But Carrier's "Historicity" is rather large. About 900 pages or so, Nook edition. It's not a volume I'd expect to hand to a historicist or devout Christian and expect them to dedicate the time necessary to evaluate the material, especially if they're casual readers. That's where David Fitzgerald's, "Nailed" comes in. "Nailed" is a rapid fire, simple to understand, why we must now conclude there was no historical Jesus tour de force. I read it in only a few hours. It makes most of the same points as Carrier's work (and cites Carrier quite a lot). But it also cites many other professionals in New Testament studies as well. "Nailed" dwells on the ten biggest reasons why Jesus never existed. These ten make up a compelling case for non-historicity. It's a short and quick read and I'd recommend anyone interested in New Testament studies take a look.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I have always believed it possible that there was a man or men name Jesus in history. But was the Christian Jesus a real person? David Fitzgerald attempts to answer this question in Nailed. Using historical evidence and the Bible to create a convincing argument that shows that the Christian Jesus was nothing more then a myth. This book also discusses the rise and creation of Christianity. Along with the great lengths they went to prove that Jesus was a real person. It is a bit shocking how desp I have always believed it possible that there was a man or men name Jesus in history. But was the Christian Jesus a real person? David Fitzgerald attempts to answer this question in Nailed. Using historical evidence and the Bible to create a convincing argument that shows that the Christian Jesus was nothing more then a myth. This book also discusses the rise and creation of Christianity. Along with the great lengths they went to prove that Jesus was a real person. It is a bit shocking how desperate they were to not look like liars. I found this book very insightful and stated many simple, obvious things I never really stopped to considered. It made me feel a bit dumb when I realized them but it is a part of learning and I learned a lot from this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Misty

    Heads-up Christians you're going to hate this book. So just go ahead and skip it. But I found it fascinating and quite compelling. I will probably end up reading it again. It contains a wealth of information that really gives you things to contemplate. I found it truly interesting. Your mileage may vary.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brent Phillips

    I may as well be upfront, as probably expected I don't think this is a good book. Had I not been personally asked to read and review this book, I'd have given up somewhere between chapters 2 or 3. I realize however, that a negative review from a Christian is easily dismissed as the conclusion of a closed mind unwilling to entertain or give credit to the arguments being presented. The problem is that Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed's flaws are extensive even before we ge I may as well be upfront, as probably expected I don't think this is a good book. Had I not been personally asked to read and review this book, I'd have given up somewhere between chapters 2 or 3. I realize however, that a negative review from a Christian is easily dismissed as the conclusion of a closed mind unwilling to entertain or give credit to the arguments being presented. The problem is that Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed's flaws are extensive even before we get to the points it raises. Nailed is written as a deconstruction of ten Christian beliefs that in truth are nothing more than myth. Two of the myths, Myth No. 2, that “Jesus was wildly famous” and Myth No. 10, that Christianity was a “miraculous overnight success”, are claims I don't believe I've ever heard from other Christians, as an Atheist or even since becoming Christian. Other Myths, such as Myth No. 4, that “Eyewitnesses wrote the Gospels” would be a belief held commonly by evangelical apologists. Sure Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony has renewed discussion on the topic, but among the consensus of biblical scholarship the reaction would be “Yes, and?”. That isn't to say these myths aren't sincere beliefs held among the fringe of Christianity, but Nailed doesn't claim to be a rebuttal of fringe fundamentalism but rather Christianity as a whole. In the opening chapter Fitzgerald declares his purpose is to highlight "evidence gathered from historians all across the theological spectrum" yet the vast majority of the book's content comes from quoting arguments from just three noted Jesus Mythicists: Richard Carrier, Robert M. Price and Earl Doherty. Carrier for instance is called upon more times than there are chapters (21 mentions in all) and is surely deserving of a co-author credit. Yet even when Fitzgerald isn't directly quoting or referring to them and appears to be making his own arguments we often find him to be simply paraphrasing from those exact same sources. For instance in a chapter discussing the growth of early Christianity in Not the Impossible Faith, Richard Carrier introduces the work of Keith Hopkins in this manner (emphasis mine): A more thorough survey of the evidence and scholarship pertaining to Christian numbers was provided in a landmark paper by Keith Hopkins. Fitzgerald, having just quoted from a later portion of that very same chapter of Carrier's Not the Impossible Faith, then introduces Keith Hopkins by saying (again emphasis added): Keith Hopkins surveyed the evidence and scholarship on early Christian populations in a landmark paper... Such instances are unlikely to be the result of coincidence and this kind of plagiarism is rampant throughout Nailed. While I'm sure these are merely sins of omission rather than intended malice, it creates massive confusion and doubt as to what specifically is authored by Fitzgerald himself. On the occasions when Fitzgerald does appeal to sources other than Carrier, Price and Doherty, there are still issues. For example in Myth No. 4 - Eyewitnesses wrote the Gospels, Fitzgerald cites Steve Mason, whom he considers a “Josephan scholar”, and his work Josephus and the New Testament showing that Luke may have been copied from Josephus' works. However in the previous chapter, devoted entirely to Mason's area of specialty, namely Josephus, he is not mentioned at all. The likely reason is because Mason argues strongly against Fitzgerald's conclusion that the Testimonium Flavianum is entirely forged saying: one is hard pressed to find a single example of serious scribal alteration. To have created the testimonium out of whole cloth would be an act of unparalleled scribal audacity - Mason, Steve. Josephus and the New Testament. Readers of Nailed would be entirely oblivious to the fact Fitzgerald disagrees on Josephus even with those he himself considers respectable scholars on the issue. While it would not be feasible for Fitzgerald to cover every instance of where the scholars he cites disagrees with him, it seems rather obvious that if you appeal to a “Josephan scholar” they should probably get a mention in the chapter specifically on Josephus. There are also numerous errors and issues with Fitzgerald's citations that show they were never fact-checked before being included such as when in Myth No.3 - Ancient historian Josephus wrote about Jesus, Fitzgerald writes: Edward Gibbon, author of the classic Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, said with disdain, “What can be gleaned of Eusebius does not endear him to modern scholars”. This quote is nowhere to be found in the cited work, Fitzgerald is actually (mis)quoting via an intermediate source, which unhelpfully he doesn't cite or footnote. In reality the actual quote from Gibbon is that he calls Eusebius “a writer who has so openly violated one of the fundamental laws of history”. There are also quotes where basic factual details are wrong and never corrected, such as in Myth No. 7: Archeology confirms the Gospels, where Fitzgerald citing Price says: Price notes: “Like Judas, Joseph of Arimathea is a fictional character who grows in the telling. As Dennis R. MacDonald has shown, he is based on King Priam, begging Agamemnon for the body of his son Hector” Price and Fitzgerald both miss that in the Iliad King Priam petitions Achilles, not Agamemnon. How are we to have any confidence in either's familiarity with the story when they don't remember one of the main characters in it? Such mistakes are common throughout Nailed and tracking them down is made all the more frustrating by Fitzgerald's lackadaisical attitude to citing quoted works. It is often difficult to discover if these are Fitzgerald's errors or someone else's. Finally another issue is Fitzgerald's arbitrary criteria for whom he considers a respectable scholar. Having already mentioned that Fitzgerald calls Steve Mason a “Josephan scholar” in Myth No.4, in Myth No.3 Fitzgerald argues that those “try to argue that Josephus really did mention Jesus” such as Mason does are simply “wishful apologists”. Fitzgerald dismisses the examination of the Gospels and conclusions of highly respected secular ancient historian Michael Grant (Litt.D.) from his work Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels in a single line as the product of “wishful thinking”, while the arguments of Frank Zindler, an amateur historian with degrees in Biology and Geology, gets eight paragraphs of consideration. There are even a couple of arguments lifted from Freke and Gandy's The Jesus Mysteries: Was the “Original Jesus” a Pagan God?, which even Richard Carrier, Fitzgerald's major source used in Nailed, warns his readers away from: I absolutely do not want you to buy it: it will disease your mind with rampant unsourced falsehoods and completely miseducate you about the ancient world and ancient religion These are just the surface issues, I haven't even begun to debate the merit of Fitzgerald's various arguments in the book. In closing, the most charitable thing that can be said about Nailed is that it highlights the need for a solid and critical editorial process. The only thing left is for me to hunt down the person who challenged me to read this and beg their forgiveness. I've no idea what I did to them to deserve such cruel and unusual punishment, but it must have been something awful because they clearly hate me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Derrick Stormblessed

    David Fitzgerald is either not really a brilliant writer or he has dumbed down his book to make it readable to the masses who are allergic to reading. Don't get me wrong. I think this book has a lot of positive things about it. But the writing is amateurish. It reminds me of the teenage boy who throws tantrums while rebelling against the status quo. Fitzgerald doesn't try to sugarcoat his distrust and distaste for Christianity which turns out to be both positive and negative. Positive in the sen David Fitzgerald is either not really a brilliant writer or he has dumbed down his book to make it readable to the masses who are allergic to reading. Don't get me wrong. I think this book has a lot of positive things about it. But the writing is amateurish. It reminds me of the teenage boy who throws tantrums while rebelling against the status quo. Fitzgerald doesn't try to sugarcoat his distrust and distaste for Christianity which turns out to be both positive and negative. Positive in the sense that he doesn't take anything historical at face value. Negative because as the book unfolds and you begin to see his arguments he begins to seem more illogical and more close minded. He doesn't even try to hide the fact that he's got a biased take on the research done on Christian mythology. He seems to be using research done by other respected people in the historical Jesus field like Richard Carrier, Robert Price and Bart Erhmann but doesn't tackle opposing viewpoints from other scholars for me to think he has an airtight argument. But anyway that's just my silly opinion. I'm not a religious scholar. I don't believe there was a historical Jesus but I would not say this book has added anything new or fresh to what I've read from the other scholars I've mentioned above. It doesn't lay out all the talking points but at least it's a small brief read for those who don't want to read mundane long books on the historicity of Jesus. The writing is so simple that even a 7year old could read it without getting overwhelmed. It could make a good intro to the Jesus myth hypothesis but not the best if you want to know about the overall arguments.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Malum

    It's always entertaining to look through the Goodreads reviews of books of religious criticism and find the one star reviews, which are usually people that seem upset that anyone dare question their religion rather than actually and honestly reviewing the book. Why bother reading something that you know you are going to hate? So, anyway, Fitzgerald gives us ten myths that show that Jesus never existed. A lot of these I have heard before, but Fitzgerald delves pretty deep into them and gives us a It's always entertaining to look through the Goodreads reviews of books of religious criticism and find the one star reviews, which are usually people that seem upset that anyone dare question their religion rather than actually and honestly reviewing the book. Why bother reading something that you know you are going to hate? So, anyway, Fitzgerald gives us ten myths that show that Jesus never existed. A lot of these I have heard before, but Fitzgerald delves pretty deep into them and gives us a lot of background and references on them. The main thing I took away from this isn't that Jesus never existed, but that the sources of the words, sayings, actions, and history of the figure are so unreliable that any source of information about him can't really be taken seriously, whether he existed or not (let alone devote your entire life to them). I was going to go with four stars, but the book does exactly what it says on the cover, so I don't really have any arguments against it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Book

    Nailed: The Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All by David Fitzgerald "Nailed: The Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All" is an interesting book that covers ten Christian myths regarding Jesus. Each chapter covers a myth. David Fitzgerald provides some food for thought and compelling arguments that support the position that Jesus Christ was invented driven by hope and imagination. He completes his thesis with how different things would be if there had been a Nailed: The Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All by David Fitzgerald "Nailed: The Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All" is an interesting book that covers ten Christian myths regarding Jesus. Each chapter covers a myth. David Fitzgerald provides some food for thought and compelling arguments that support the position that Jesus Christ was invented driven by hope and imagination. He completes his thesis with how different things would be if there had been a historical Jesus. Writer and historical researcher, David Fitzgerald's admirable research leads to a brief reference-quality book regarding the historicity of Jesus Christ. This 248-page book is composed of the following ten chapters: 1. The idea that Jesus was a myth is ridiculous!, 2. Jesus was wildly famous - but..., 3. Ancient historian Josephus wrote about Jesus, 4. Eyewitnesses wrote the Gospels, 5. The Gospels give a consistent picture of Jesus, 6. History conforms the Gospels, 7. Archeology conforms the Gospels, 8. Paul and the Epistles corroborate the Gospels, 9. Christianity began with Jesus and his apostles, and 10. Christianity was totally new and different. Positives: 1. A well written, well researched book 2. An accessible book for the masses. 3. A fascinating look at the historicity of Jesus Christ. Thought-provoking theories with sound arguments in defense. 4. Good quotes interspersed throughout book. 5. Tackles ten Christian myths regarding Jesus Christ head on. 6. Provides further reading material at the end of each chapter. 7. Gospel events that should have made history but surprisingly didn't. Quite eye opening. 8. Very helpful timeline and diagram of supposed eyewitnesses to Jesus. Great stuff! 9. A look at the forgeries and how we can reasonably conclude there were in fact forgeries. 10. A thorough look at ancient historian Josephus. 11. When were the Gospels written? And who wrote them? Very helpful look at the differences between the Gospels' authors. 12. Many interesting insights and takes. Take for example, the section of "Pilate Light" is very strong and compelling. Also the section of "Inexplicable Acts" is really convincing. 13. Does a really good job of describing Paul's role in Christianity. The section of "Who is Paul's Jesus?" is quite revealing and provides an excellent summary. 14. The early history of Christianity. A war going on in the early church. 15. The growth of Christianity, how it occurred. 16. Constantine's role in perspective. Some myths debunked. 17. An interesting section on how differently would thinks have looked if Jesus had been real. Some examples. 18. A solid Appendix: Apologist Sources. 19. Endnotes and Bibliography provided. Negatives: 1. Links did not work for the Kindle. 2. The section on Archaeology would have been strengthened had the author included or referenced, "The Bible Unearthed" by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. An excellent book that would have only strengthened the author's arguments. 3. The format of the book could have been better. Low production value for a book of this caliber. 4. Despite the fact that the author does provide some endnotes, books of this ilk are open to scrutiny so needed to be footnoted extensively instead of casually. 5. This topic can be a little dry, Fitzgerald tries to liven it up a little but usually keeps it straight. Overall, I learned a lot from this book. These kinds of books are hard to review because of the nature of the topic and difficulty for a layperson like myself to verify how factual the book is. Be that as it may, I found the arguments to be sound and convincing. There are two new books that are out that address this issue and offer opposing views that I have yet to read but will add to my further suggestions section. I give this book four stars overall, I have to take a point away for low production value and because it can be a little dry at times. I commend the author for the excellent research, these kinds of books are daunting to write and Fitzgerald deserves praise for a job well done. If you are interested in the topic, by all means get it! Further suggestions: "Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus" by Richard Carrier, "Did Jesus Exist?" and "Forged" by Bart D. Erhman, “Why I Became an Atheist” and “The Christian Delusion” by John Loftus, “Man Made God” by Barbara G. Walker, “The Invention of the Jewish People” by Shlomo Sand, “The Portable Atheist” by Christopher Hitchens, “Godless” by Dan Barker, and “The Invention of God” by Bill Lauritzen.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dale Penn

    Faithful Christians and avowed atheists alike may find this a worthy read. Fitzgerald is scorned as a " myther" by many atheists and Christian fundamentalists alike as his simplistic accessible book "Nailed" does something scholars in the broader continuum of academia despise. He asks a simple question then sets about making the case to answer that question. On face value his case seems pretty strong. I've read some scholarly rebuttals that are frankly too dense and arcane to convince me that Fitz Faithful Christians and avowed atheists alike may find this a worthy read. Fitzgerald is scorned as a " myther" by many atheists and Christian fundamentalists alike as his simplistic accessible book "Nailed" does something scholars in the broader continuum of academia despise. He asks a simple question then sets about making the case to answer that question. On face value his case seems pretty strong. I've read some scholarly rebuttals that are frankly too dense and arcane to convince me that Fitzgerald's argument is without merit - but I'm just your average Joe so what do I know? I came away convinced that the pablum I've been served all of my life by the Christian faith is insulting, however. The earth is round - and most people today would readily concur - yet a few centuries ago this seemingly obvious fact would have been scorned by most everyone who could see it was flat - period. Once a critical mass of the population believes something to be true, it is for all practical purposes true. As for the matter of whether or not a historical Jesus existed, there is clearly a critical mass who believe, without a shred of a doubt, that he did. So without any hard evidence to refute the belief, it is a yeoman's task to challenge conventional wisdom. Fitzgerald takes up that cross. To think of the millennia of deaths, injustices and strife resulting from what may well be an elaborate hoax boggles the mind, and is in fact infuriating to me whether or not a Jesus who was known as the Messiah walked the earth 2000 years ago. I don't think this book will answer the question it poses to the satisfaction of most people who read it, but I do think it does a great job of providing a basis for further contemplation, discussion and research regardless of one's present point of view on the subject. I deducted a star, as I think the author underestimates the readers' willingness to go deeper and follow along without the author adopting such a laid back, casual writing style. He also could have sited more authoritative sources and provided some balance, but I believe he is attempting to offer a polemic for the general audience used to having their Christian theology served with a nice warm glass of milk, as opposed to the serious apologist who find fault simplicity of the text. He's fighting the pablum with pablum! I'm looking forward to reading the sequel he mentions in several online blog posts.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I picked this up at Skepticon 3 after David Fitzgerald gave a really good lecture on the historical Jesus, which ended way too soon, which means I really have to read this book! This was a brief overview of the historical (or lack thereof) evidence for an actual guy named Jesus. The title is a bit over the top, but I did enjoy reading the book. It was a bit too brief in my opinion, I've read other historians on this period that are much more thorough.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    I'm not a Christian. I've only read the so-called synoptic gospels. I have no expertise in this area, just some interest. The book seemed to be a well-argued and logical proposition, not some wacky tirade. I found the evidence presented fascinating, particularly the reminders to evaluate the bible keeping in mind when its parts were written and what the authors could have known about Jesus himself and what others had written about him (or, in the case of Paul, hadn't written about him yet).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Victor Manuel

    Good concise review of reasons for doubting Jesus historicity. But you will need to fill in any gaps with more scholarly books. The books reads easily in 1-2 days

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marshall

    This book argues that Jesus Christ is a myth. I think it's safe to say that most readers, Christians and non-Christians alike, are going to be skeptical of this claim. However, it makes a pretty persuasive case. There's no "smoking gun," but it was persuasive enough that it forced me to look twice at the history of Christianity. Some of what he presented was so surprising that I had to confirm his sources, and the facts checked out every time. Actually, this book never argues that Jesus didn't ex This book argues that Jesus Christ is a myth. I think it's safe to say that most readers, Christians and non-Christians alike, are going to be skeptical of this claim. However, it makes a pretty persuasive case. There's no "smoking gun," but it was persuasive enough that it forced me to look twice at the history of Christianity. Some of what he presented was so surprising that I had to confirm his sources, and the facts checked out every time. Actually, this book never argues that Jesus didn't exist per se, only that there is no corroborated historical evidence for the legends about him, nor that his name was Jesus, nor even that it was only one man rather than a mythological construction inspired by various religious leaders at the time. With all those caveats, it is still possible that Jesus existed in one form or another. Lack of proof is not proof of lack, so this book chooses a safer premise: extreme events tend to evoke extreme reactions. If Jesus of legend really existed, we'd expect all of his contemporaries would be talking about him at great length. We even have writings of contemporaries who made it their business to write about the latest popular messiahs, and Jesus isn't even mentioned in passing. The earliest references come much later, and mostly aren't references to Jesus, but to Christians. Put this together with all of the flaws scholars have found with the historical accuracy of the New Testament, and some signs that much of it was forged or plagiarized, plus the striking similarities with mythological legends, and Jesus starts to look a lot more like fiction than historical fact. Here's how I pieced things together from this book as well as others like Jesus for the Non-Religious: My guess is that Jesus probably did exist, but most of what Christians believe about him is false. I doubt his name was Jesus, and maybe he wasn't even a single man, but something definitely happened. That era was one of political upheaval. Rome was collapsing. Jews were facing so much oppression and suffering that they were desperate for a big change, something in line with their biblical prophecies. This spawned many charlatans who claimed to be messiahs promising to lead them from their suffering, each of whom met with an early demise at the hands of Romans, who were eager to crush any beginnings of Jewish rebellion. One or more of these rebels likely taught something so new and profound that he/they lived on in legends and was given the name Jesus the Christ. Then the ultimate irony happened when the oppressors co-opted this popular new religion as a tool for their political power grabs, and pioneered what we now know as the Catholic Church, who then proceeded over the next many centuries forcibly converting pagans, persecuting non-believers, rewriting history in their favor, and destroying or hiding any incriminating evidence. Not that any of this even matters anymore. People who believe in Jesus rely on faith, not historical evidence. The rest don't much care either way. The only Jesus that matters is Jesus the legend, Jesus the religious icon, not Jesus the actual man. But a book like this is great for atheists like me who are just really curious about who this guy actually was and what he was about.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alan Fusco

    I'm not sure what to make of the "Jesus never existed" position. It seems extreme but Fitzgerald presents a lot of points to ponder, the strongest being the utter lack of any contemporary reference to Jesus. If indeed the Gospels reflect actual history (hint - they don't), the silence of all contemporary historians and the lack of any eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus is deafening. I wish the text of the book was more detailed. As it is, it is more of a summary account with most of the me I'm not sure what to make of the "Jesus never existed" position. It seems extreme but Fitzgerald presents a lot of points to ponder, the strongest being the utter lack of any contemporary reference to Jesus. If indeed the Gospels reflect actual history (hint - they don't), the silence of all contemporary historians and the lack of any eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus is deafening. I wish the text of the book was more detailed. As it is, it is more of a summary account with most of the meat left to the references. The book does get one thinking and it certainly raises a lot of questions. One thing that gives me pause, is the use of many of Bart Ehrman's publications. While they do support the point Fitzgerald is making at the time, it does give the impression that Dr Ehrman's supports the Jesus is myth position. Unless he has recently changed his position, Dr Ehrman's believes in a real historic Jesus, although much different than the Gospels present. If Fitzgerald's position is correct, it would be ironic that believers not only have an imaginary god/friend in Jesus but also an imaginary "historic" friend as well! I definitely need to read more on the subject.

  23. 5 out of 5

    William Nist

    This is a good summary of the case for the non existence of Jesus Christ. The book is broken down into to easily digestible chapters. I found the chapter on the lack of extra-biblical sources very compelling--the most significant event arguably in western history was somehow missed by the other historians who were writing AT THE TIME or shortly thereafter. I have read the monumental 'Historicity of Jesus' by Carrier and this is a real shortcut to grasping the content of that important academic b This is a good summary of the case for the non existence of Jesus Christ. The book is broken down into to easily digestible chapters. I found the chapter on the lack of extra-biblical sources very compelling--the most significant event arguably in western history was somehow missed by the other historians who were writing AT THE TIME or shortly thereafter. I have read the monumental 'Historicity of Jesus' by Carrier and this is a real shortcut to grasping the content of that important academic book. That work is extensively referenced in NAILED. The book is am important basic read for atheists and a significant challenge read for Christians.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul Mannering

    With reference to a wide range of scholarly sources and the books of the bible itself (even the ones that didn't make it to the current edit) Fitzgerald analyses 10 key claims of Christianity for the existence of Jesus as a person. Obviously the evidence for his existence is lacking and the arguments against him ever being a real person are many and well documented from both contemporary and later sources. I found it fascinating that even the authors of the new testament and founders of the earl With reference to a wide range of scholarly sources and the books of the bible itself (even the ones that didn't make it to the current edit) Fitzgerald analyses 10 key claims of Christianity for the existence of Jesus as a person. Obviously the evidence for his existence is lacking and the arguments against him ever being a real person are many and well documented from both contemporary and later sources. I found it fascinating that even the authors of the new testament and founders of the early church didn't think that Jesus was a real person.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cradg001 Craig

    I've read a few books regarding the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth and this book is one of the best. It explains its claims using easily verifiable evidence. Whilst I was already convinced of the Christ myth theory, this book's chapters covered more than simply that: geological errors of the bible, the inconsistencies between the gospels etc that really drove the nail into the coffin of Christian religions for me. Excellent read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Richard Thomas

    This is a thought provoking book which challenges all that I absorbed when much younger from religious education at school and in my church attending years. It is well researched and sourced and demonstrates to my satisfaction at least that the early church invented the central figure of Christianity. It all comes down to what Clement Attlee said - don't mind the ethics can't abide the mumbo jumbo.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kaddude

    More people need to read this. Most people would never question that Jesus existed, even those who are atheist. This book presents apparently well researched evidence that Jesus is a myth. Bravo to the author for the balls and the research. Religious balderdash needs this type of cannonball right through their lies and delusion, shake em to their rotten core, I say.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    An excellent, excellent book. Funny, witty, interesting, and extremely accurate from what I've been able to research. If you are remotely interested in an honest take on history or if you have an interest in religion, you will like this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patrik

    Excellent book. A clear dissection of the myths surrounding Jesus, well researched and very entertaining.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ashish Samuel

    Even the most fundamentalist of the apologists manage to sound more level headed than this tirade. More than the flimsiness of the arguments, it's the intellectual dishonesty that put me off. In hindsight, the title that doesn't add up (ten myths show Jesus exists or not?) should have been an indication that it's a half baked conspiracy theory. David Fitzgerald enumerates ten myths though it can be reduced to much fewer. The first one is that the idea that historical Jesus didn't exist is not bat Even the most fundamentalist of the apologists manage to sound more level headed than this tirade. More than the flimsiness of the arguments, it's the intellectual dishonesty that put me off. In hindsight, the title that doesn't add up (ten myths show Jesus exists or not?) should have been an indication that it's a half baked conspiracy theory. David Fitzgerald enumerates ten myths though it can be reduced to much fewer. The first one is that the idea that historical Jesus didn't exist is not bat-shit crazy. This is probably the only logically consistent argument among the ten. I believe anyone who decides to read this book is anyway ready to at least entertain that thought in an abstract form. After all, it's a 2000 year old story. But the arguments that follow fail to hold water if you think it through. Another argument is basically the atheist counterpart of the usual apologetic weapon of "argument from silence". The author says there were dozens of historians and personalities of the 1st century Roman empire who don't discuss about the Messianic figure in the strategically critical Palestine province. Apparently they had plenty to say about other Messiahs, but he doesn't even name one of them. This is far from true. Reza Aslan's Zealot shows a more realistic picture of 1st century Judea. The other arguments can be found in any book on textual criticism of the bible - for example, the inconsistencies between the gospels, between Paul and the rest, similarities with Pagan traditions etc. Then somehow he jumps to the ridiculous conclusion that Jesus was a mythical God created by Mark by combining elements from pagan cults, Homer's works and some astrological symbolism and his gospel was actually a secret invitation to his new religious cult. After putting forward such a laughable idea, Fitzgerald doesn't think it's needed to discuss why then the first century converts were ready to be persecuted for this easily refutable myth. This book is not completely useless as some points he made were interesting and provoking, like the possibility that Paul was not talking about the Jesus of the gospels that the disciples knew. But at best, it puts a case of a Historical Jesus that's quite different from the Jesus of a conservative and harmonized combination of the 4 gospels written by zealous Christians. But that's hardly new.

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