Jesus from Outer Space: What the Earliest Christians Really Believed about Christ

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Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA), Oct 20, 2020 - Religion - 232 pages
The earliest Christians believed Jesus was an ancient celestial being who put on a bodysuit of flesh, died at the hands of dark forces, and then rose from the dead and ascended back into the heavens. But the writing we have today from that first generation of Christians never says where they thought he landed, where he lived, or where he died. The idea that Jesus toured Galilee and visited Jerusalem arose only a lifetime later, in unsourced legends written in a foreign land and language. Many sources repeat those legends, but none corroborate them. Why? What exactly was the original belief about Jesus, and how did this belief change over time? In Jesus from Outer Space, noted philosopher and historian Richard Carrier summarizes for a popular audience the scholarly research on these and related questions, revealing in turn how modern attempts to conceal, misrepresent, or avoid the actual evidence calls into question the entire field of Jesus studies--and present-day beliefs about how Christianity began.
 

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Contents

Preface
7
1 Which Jesus Are We Talking about Exactly?
11
2 There Is a Good Chance Jesus Never Existed
35
3 A Plausible Jesus Is Not Necessarily a Probable Jesus
51
4 All the Historians on a Single Postcard
69
5 But Isnt Jesus as Attested as Any Other Famous Dude?
79
6 More Like All the Other DyingandRising Savior Gods of Yore
111
7 How Did Christianity Switch to a Historical Jesus?
152
8 The Cosmic Seed of David?
171
9 The Peculiar Cult of the Brothers of the Lord
191
Bibliography
207
Concordance to On the Historicity of Jesus
213
Index
219
About the Author
232
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

Richard Carrier, PhD, is a philosopher and historian of antiquity. He is the author of numerous books, including On the Historicity of Jesus. Richard Carrier, PhD, is a philosopher and historian of antiquity, specializing in contemporary philosophy of naturalism and Greco-Roman philosophy, science, and religion, including the origins of Christianity. He blogs regularly and lectures for community groups worldwide. He is the author of numerous books, including Sense and Goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism and On the Historicity of Jesus. For more about Dr. Carrier and his work see www.richardcarrier.info.

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