The following bibliography is presented with the latest publication date as most recent to show the influence of modernity on religious attitudes of the authors. A brief detail of the authors will show the authority of the authors for knowledge of their subject matter. Comments will follow the listings. [NB: Reviews of all these books can be found in Amazon.Co.UK reviews.]
REVIEW: JESUS 15 May 2014 – Neither God Nor Man – Earl Doherty (Published 2009) Paperback, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: Jesus: Neither God Nor Man – The Case for a Mythical Jesus (Kindle Edition)
Earl Doherty’s critical examination of the Biblical text
Earl Doherty’s critical examination of the Biblical text reveals perspectives that Christians have often accepted as historical and taken its legends for granted without ever raising any doubts of its authenticity. Thus I found Doherty’s quest for the historicity of Christianity searching all the available historical text available, with his very detailed analysis plausible and illuminating. It is one of the most comprehensive researches undertaken of examining Biblical and non-Biblical historical text that is available from the very early period of Christian history, and methodically extracting and dissecting the underlying significance of the text in minutiae for every possible interpretation intended by the author. I found Doherty’s analysis revealing and convincing.
But by the very nature of the topic (Biblical) and the depth that Doherty had delved into to make detailed, in depth comparisons often prolonged the analysis beyond reader patience but I soon realised it was necessary in order to put to rest some of the more common `evangelical Christian’ arguments that has existed about this topic. These lengthy discourse tend to make the reading rather demanding and laborious. But I can see why it was necessary in a document such as this; Doherty had to cover all bases.
The Quest of Doherty
Doherty a scholar in Ancient History and Greek and Latin has used his background to good use in studying many of the original early documents written in Greek. He studied many, many early manuscripts, Biblical and historical, and analysed them minutely to come to a better understanding of the origins of Christianity. `Jesus Neither God Nor Man’ evolved and enlarged from his earlier book, `The JesusPuzzle,’ which took 14 years of study.
This leads to in-depth studies of the Gnostic phenomenon, the Johannine community, the nature of the Gospel of Q and that of the Gospel of Thomas, and the origins of the Biblical Gospels, with Mark and his introduction of `the son of man’ who eventually emerges as the incarnate of God in the form of Jesus. Doherty studied historical records of Flavius Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny, Thallus, Phlegon, Mara and others in the attempt to substantiate the authenticity of such hearsay at great lengths and depth and discusses his reasoning with intellectual skill and ability. Doherty finally says:
“To the rest who have open and inquisitive minds I offer the work itself, trusting in the power of its observations and arguments and the lucidity of its presentation. No mathematical proof is available, not laboratory demonstaration. All we can achieve is a judgement as to balance of probability, although perhaps such a thing can get close to definitive. In the field of history this is all we have . In the area of religion, a little more is first required: and its rational interpretation a chance to commend itself. If the probability is arrived at that the Gospel Jesus of Nazareth is a fictional or symbolic character, the world will not come to an end. It need merely change, and it has usually rather good at doing that.” Earl doherty Sept. 2009.
Those are exactly my sentiments especially to those who get so agitated when views contrary to the Bible are expressed. The book is recommended to all, especially those evangelical Christians who are determined to insist that only they have the right views on Christianity. On the balance of probability, based on all the available historical evidence available, and with the views of other books on this topic, I can only come to the conclusion that Jesus of Nazareth was a legendary character that was created to unite the concept of the spiritual Kingdom of God in Heaven with the man-made Kingdom of God on earth, and was the basis for the foundations of the Christian faith.
15 Nov 2012 Brian Cox’s How The Universe will End
Brian Edward Cox, OBE (born 3 March 1968) is a British particle physicist, a Royal Society University Research Fellow, PPARC Advanced Fellow and Professor at the University of Manchester. He is a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester, and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. He is working on the R&D project of the FP420 experiment in an international collaboration to upgrade the ATLAS and the CMS experiment by installing additional, smaller detectors at a distance of 420 metres from the interaction points of the main experiments.
13 Sep 2012 Triple Jeopardy for the West: Aggressive Secularism, Radical Islamism and Multiculturalism by Michael Nazir-Ali
Michael James Nazir-Ali was the 106th Bishop of Rochester in the Church of England: he retired in September 2009, taking up a position as director of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue.Born: August 19, 1949 (age 63), KarachiOffice: Bishop of Rochester since 1999Education: University of Karachi, Ridley Hall, Cambridge, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
1st Sept 2012 Mortality by Christopher Hitchens 106 pages
21 June 2012 The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw
Jeff Forshaw is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Manchester, specializing in the physics of elementary particles. He was awarded the Institute of Physics Maxwell Medal in 1999 for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics. He has co- written an undergraduate textbook on relativity and is the author of an advanced level monograph on particle physics.
Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw began collaborating on scientific papers in 1998 and have published on topics ranging from Pomerons to Higgs Bosons. Their first book togetherWhy Does E = mc2? became a critically acclaimed international bestseller:
18 Aug 2011 The Grand Design Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularities theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vocal supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009.
Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist, author and screenwriter.
Mlodinow was born in Chicago, Illinois, of parents who were both Holocaust survivors. His father, who spent more than a year in the Buchenwald concentration camp, had been a leader in the Jewish resistance under Nazi rule in his hometown of Częstochowa, Poland then Generalgouvernement (für die besetzten polnischen Gebiete). As a child, Mlodinow was interested in both mathematics and chemistry, and while in high school was tutored in organic chemistry by a professor from the University of Illinois.
24th March, 2011 (Digital version) The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin
25 Jan 2011 The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ by D.M.Murdock and Acharya S
D.M. Murdock is an independent scholar of comparative religion and mythology D.M. Murdock, also known as “Acharya S.”
Acharya’s work is designed to bring to light fascinating lost, hidden and destroyed religious, mythological and spiritual traditions that reveal an exciting core of knowledge dating back thousands of years.
18 Feb 2010 The Historical Jesus: five views by James K Beilby and Paul R. Eddy
James K. Beilby (PhD, Marquette University) is professor of systematic and philosophical theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has coedited four successful multi-view volumes and is the author or editor of a number of other books, including For Faith and Clarity: Philosophical Contributions to Christian Theology.
Paul R. Eddy (Ph.D., Marquette University) is Professor of Theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. His books include John Hick’s Pluralist Philosophy of World Religions (Ashgate), Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology (with G. A. Boyd, Baker) and Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views (with James Beilby IVP).
29th April, 2010 The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL (born 26 March 1941) is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.
30 July 2008 Who Wrote the Bible? : a Book for the People by Washington Gladden
Washington Gladden (February 11, 1836 – July 2, 1918) was a leading American Congregational pastor and early leader in the Social Gospel movement. He was a leading member of the Progressive Movement, serving for two years as a member of the Columbus, Ohio city council and campaigning against Boss Tweed as acting editor of the New York Independent. Gladden was probably the first leading U.S. religious figure to support unionisation of the workforce; he also opposed racial segregation. He was a prolific writer, with 40 books to his credit, as well as a number of hymns. (He had the 19th Century outlook on religion.)
18 Mar 2008 Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ayaan Hirsi Ali full name: Ayaan Hirsi Magan Isse Guleid Ali Wai’ays Muhammad Ali Umar Osman Mahamud; (born 13 November 1969) is a Somali-Dutch feminist and atheist activist, writer and politician who is known for her views critical of Islam.
As of 2013 Hirsi Ali is a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a member of the The Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center, and lives in the United States. She is married to British historian and public commentator Niall Ferguson.
15 Nov. 2007 The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer by Christopher Hitchens
21st May, 2007 The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
8 Sept 2007 God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was a British-American author and journalist whose career spanned more than four decades.
A noted critic of religion and a self-described antitheist, he said that a person “could be an atheist and wish that belief in God were correct”, but that “an antitheist, a term I’m trying to get into circulation, is someone who is relieved that there’s no evidence for such an assertion.”
According to Hitchens, the concept of a God or a supreme being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom; and, that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization. His anti-religion polemic, God Is Not Great, sold over 500,000 copies.
Hitchens died on 15 December 2011, from complications arising from oesophageal cancer, a disease that he acknowledged was likely due to his lifelong predilection for heavy smoking and drinking.
26 Feb 2006 Conviction and Conflict: Islam, Christianity and World Order by Michael Nazir-Ali
6 Feb 2006 The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris
Sam Harris (born 1967) is an American author, philosopher, public intellectual, and neuroscientist, as well as the co-founder and CEO of Project Reason. He is the author of The End of Faith. Harris is a well-known contemporary critic of religion and proponent of scientific skepticism and the “New Atheism”. He is also an advocate for the separation of church and state, freedom of religion, and the liberty to criticize religion.
Ahmed Osman (Arabic: أحمد عثمان) (born 1934) is an Egyptian-born author. He has put forward a number of theories, some revisionist in nature, about Ancient Egypt and the origins of Judaism and Christianity.
Born in Cairo in 1934, Osman was a law student at Cairo University before becoming a journalist. He has a Master’s Degree in Egyptology.
Osman moved to London in 1964. He became interested in possible links between the Hebrew Bible and archaeological discoveries in Egypt.
3 Dec 2002 Moses and Akhenaten: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus by Ahmed Osman
Ahmed Osman :Ditto
1st March 1998 On the Origins of Species By Means of Natural Selection, or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle For Life by Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin, FRS (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.
Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species.
9 Jun 1996 Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth by Burton L Mack (336 pages)
Burton L. Mack is an author and scholar of early Christian history and the New Testament. He is John Wesley Professor emeritus in early Christianity at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. Mack is primarily a scholar of Christian origins, approaching it from the angle of social group formation. Mack’s approach is skeptical, and he sees traditional Christian documents like the Gospels as myth as opposed to history (“myth” in New Testament studies is not meant to imply “falsehood” or “lie”, but rather it is meant to take into account the social, cultural, and political situations of their author. The gospels, then, he sees more as charter documents of the early Christian movement than as reliable accounts of the life of Jesus).
1993 The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins by Burton L Mack
Burton L. Mack: Ditto
28 Feb 1992 Jesus in the House of the Pharaohs: The Essene Revelations on the Historical Jesus by Ahmed Osman
Ahmed Osman: Ditto
early 1900 est.Lectures delivered. Digital text 30 Nov 2007. The Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia: The Clifford Lectures on the Ancient Egyptian and Babylonian Conception of the Divine Delivered in Aberde by Archibald H. Sayce
The Rev. Archibald Henry Sayce (25 September 1846 – 4 February 1933), was a pioneer British Assyriologist and linguist, who held a chair as Professor of Assyriology at the University of Oxford from 1891 to 1919.
early 1900 est. Book completed . Digital copy May 17, 2012:Legends of the Gods. The Egyptian Texts, Edited with Translations by Sir Wallis Budge (134 pages)
Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge (27 July 1857 – 23 November 1934) was an English Egyptologist, Orientalist, and philologist who worked for the British Museum and published numerous works on the ancient Near East.
early third of 1900 est. Book completed . Digital copy May 12, 2012: The Religion of Ancient Egypt by Sir William Mathew Flinders Petrie (114 pages)
William Matthew Flinders Petrie, FRS, (3 June 1853 – 28 July 1942) commonly known as Flinders Petrie, was an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology and preservation of artefacts.