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Shattering the Christ Myth [Paperback]

By James Patrick Holding (Author)
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Item description for Shattering the Christ Myth by James Patrick Holding...

How To Get Rid of Jesus: Prove He Didn't Exist! A popular question posed by Christians today asks, "WWJD?" - which stands for, "What Would Jesus Do?" For more and more Skeptics of Christianity, however, the answer to this question is, "JDNE" - which stands for, "Jesus did not exist!" In this volume, edited by prominent Internet apologist James Patrick Holding, a team of Christian authors provide a series of essays giving detailed answers to those who argue for the "Christ myth." Though rejected by mainstream scholars, this theory continues to grow in popularity among popular writers and Internet antagonists. The need for Christians to be ready to give an answer to it will only become more urgent. "Here's a clear and compelling rebuttal to fallacious claims that keep resurfacing in books and on the Internet. It's well-researched, expertly presented, and ultimately convincing." - Lee Strobel, author, The Case for the Real Jesus

Publishers Description
How To Get Rid of Jesus: Prove He Didn't Exist A popular question posed by Christians today asks, "WWJD?" - which stands for, "What Would Jesus Do?" For more and more Skeptics of Christianity, however, the answer to this question is, "JDNE" - which stands for, "Jesus did not exist " In this volume, edited by prominent Internet apologist James Patrick Holding, a team of Christian authors provide a series of essays giving detailed answers to those who argue for the "Christ myth." Though rejected by mainstream scholars, this theory continues to grow in popularity among popular writers and Internet antagonists. The need for Christians to be ready to give an answer to it will only become more urgent. "Here's a clear and compelling rebuttal to fallacious claims that keep resurfacing in books and on the Internet. It's well-researched, expertly presented, and ultimately convincing." - Lee Strobel, author, The Case for the Real Jesus

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Xulon Press
Pages   388
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11" Width: 8.25" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.92 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 27, 2008
Publisher   Xulon Press
ISBN  1606472712  
ISBN13  9781606472712  

Availability  51 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 11:39.
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  1. Tekton Building Blocks

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Jesus
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Apologetics

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Reviews - What do customers think about Shattering the Christ Myth?

It's a Thankless Job, But Somebody's Gotta Do It  Aug 14, 2009
In the last few years there has been a revival of sorts of "Jesus mythicism". This idea is long discard (by scholars) notion that Jesus did not actually exist as a person (there are many scholars who would dispute the miraculous accounts but believe there is a person at the root of the stories) with some going as far as claiming Jesus was some sort of solar deity whose myths are actually astrological metaphors. Films such as Zeitgiest and The God Who Wasn't There popularize such notions in varying degrees with such claims presented as representing the collective wisdom of scholarly investigation.

In Shattering the Christ Myth, James Patrick Holding and his associates at Tekton Education and Apologetics Ministry demonstrate the utter emptiness of the mythicist claims. In a series of sections on the extra biblical evidence for Jesus, the alleged "silence" of historical witnesses of the era, the copycat thesis, the aforementioned films promoting the mythicist view, and a final section on miscellaneous related topics. Each article is based information from their website - in many cases an expanded version - and the overall effect is one of hitting the mythicist view from every possible angle and exposing its origins in among 19th century crackpots.

Since most real historians do not bother with such nonsense, it is often left to the apologists to fight this battle. This is fine as Holding and company seem quite up to the challenge. Like the advocates of all manner of conspiracy theories, the "Jesus mythicist" crowd can seem impressive until someone actually researches their claims. They have done so and saved many others the bother. Shattering the Christ Myth provides an excellent reference for combating yet another contemporary anti-Christian delusion.
Consider it Shattered  Mar 25, 2009
From browsing around what passes for atheist websites these days, I can't help but notice that J.P. Holding has got to be the most loathed extant Christian apologist. Holding's penchant for incisive criticism and outright evisceration has understandably drawn the ire of many of his unbelieving foes who, unfortunately, seem chronically incapable of offering something that Holding cannot answer. As an apologist, Holding occupies something of a niche territory. He does not, for example, wander into the contentious debate around human origins. In fact, I don't even know what view Holding takes vis-à-vis the opening chapters of Genesis (e.g. day-age, 24-hour, framework). That is a good thing! The origins field is already over-saturated as it is. Instead, Holding devotes his energies to debunking pernicious anti-Christian ideas which seem to arise ever more often these days, such as the Christ-Myth. Propounded by fringe scholars or outright layman, the Christ-Myth's central tenet is that Jesus only existed as fiction, which in itself was plagiarized, to use their terminology, from a variety of heathen religions and pagan myths. To anyone who has studied comparative religions, such claims are obviously ludicrous. The similarities they cite are at best superficial, and at worst completely fabricated. Even so, many people have been completely bamboozled by the works of Tom Harpur, Acharya S, Earl Doherty, and the popular internet movie "Zeitgeist." Even the CBC, the taxpayer funded crown-jewel of the Canadian media edifice, had the audacity to air a documentary based around Harpur's "Pagan Christ" which promulgated his "findings" as if they were facts. As the CBC most un-astutely put it, "The mission of The Pagan Christ is not to accelerate Christianity's slow demise but to breathe new life into its holy book and, in the process, bring the world a richer, more spiritual faith." All this in spite of the fact that Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world, numerically speaking! At any rate, Holding's "Shattering the Christ-Myth" is an excellent refutation which exposes the erroneous claims of the aforementioned Christ-Mythers for what they are. In "Shattering," Holding and his team of scholars tackle the subject in a systematic manner, establish the authenticity of Josephus' `Testmonium Flavianum,' Tacitus' `Annals,' and Pliny the Younger's Testimony, among others, before continuing to tackle the "copy-cat" claims head on. Overall, "Shattering the Christ-Myth" is a superlative decimation of the claims made Christ-Myth proponents which not only repudiates their central theses but exposes them as the un-credentialed, fringe cranks that they are. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject, especially those who actually believe that Christ was some-sort of mythological figure.

If this book serves as anything like a prelude to the next book in Holding's "Building-Block" series, we certainly have a lot to look forward to.
Excellent resource  Sep 5, 2008
Wherever you stand in the debate over the historical existence of Jesus, this book is an excellent resource. There has been a huge resurgence of interest in "Christ myth" and "pagan copycat" theories, mostly owing to 'Zeitgeist' and 'The God Who Wasn't There'. This book deals directly with both movies, and goes into incredible detail in picking apart the underlying theories. Unlike either movie, this book contains genuine scholarship on these subjects. If you have ever read Acharya S, Jordan Maxwell, Gerald Massey, Blavatsky, etc, you will immediately be struck by how rigorous genuine scholarship is. One of the central claims of the mythicist and pagan-copycat theories is that there is NO modern scholarly support for the historical existence of Jesus. This book completely obliterates that outrageous claim, as modern scholarship strongly supports the view that Jesus actually did exist as a historical person.

"Shattering the Christ Myth" is a large 350+ page book, packed with information and analysis. This is not a light inspirational read, but rather a very serious scholarly look at the arguments and evidence concerning the historical existence of Jesus.

Unfortunately, there does not exist a convenient video on the internet extolling the historical Jesus with quite the same force as 'Zeitgeist' and others. For some reason, going through the Testimonium Flavianum line by line and concluding that most of it is authentic is just not as exciting to most people as the blanket unsubstantiated claim that "There is no evidence for Jesus whatsoever!!" However, if you are truly interested in these questions, you would do well to at least read a serious presentation of the arguments on both sides. This book is an excellent place to go for the evidence that Jesus really did exist as a person in history.

Confirming the Historical Jesus  Aug 25, 2008
Around the year 56AD, St. Paul wrote to remind his converts in Corinth that: "We preach Christ crucified: to the Jews a stumbling-block and to the Greeks foolishness; but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." The event to which he refers had happened little more than two decades before; and it was the core of the message that had been preached by the earliest disciples of Jesus since the Day of Pentecost, and by their successors.

There had - as Paul reminds us - always been those who disbelieved that Jesus was the Christ, and who rejected what his earliest followers taught about him as mere 'foolishness'. But those who maintain that he never even existed are a rather more recent phenomenon. Probably the first was Bruno Bauer in the Nineteenth century. One of the ultra-Hegelians, Bauer convinced few others in a field where denial of orthodox beliefs was nevertheless fairly common. Over the next hundred years, proponents of the view that Jesus never existed can be counted on the fingers of one or at most two hands: they include Arthur Drews, JM Robertson, and GA Wells. None of these men were historians, all were dependent on arguments from silence. Furthermore, none of them could make sense of the New Testament documents on the basis of their theories, all of which required ignoring or rejecting most of the evidence. It is one thing to claim that there are mythical elements in the gospels - most likely around the nativity stories in Matthew and Luke: it is quite another to claim that there was no historical Jesus at all.

It is quite understandable that no historian worth his salt has tried to defend such a view: those who do so must therefore be motivated by unhistorical - indeed anti-historical - considerations. But while serious scholarship rightly rejects the notion that Jesus never existed, there has been a recent resurgence among anti-Christian elements in the sensationalist press, and the twilight zone of internet chatrooms, of this preposterous notion. The `arguments' put forward to support their case have been eagerly seized upon by some of those who have ulterior motives for rejecting not just the historicity of Jesus, but the whole fabric of the Christian faith. The ensuing mischief has unsettled some who are not well-enough informed to withstand it. This book - by internet apologist JP Holding and a group of well-informed fellow-workers - goes a long way towards answering their `case'. It is a thorough and painstaking achievement, and the only sad thing is that it was necessary.

There is no need here to rehearse the contents, as a full description of its various chapters and contributors can be found on the Tektonics website of JP Holding - where earlier versions of many of the chapters have previously appeared. The book is a tremendous resource for all those engaged in countering the mischief and misinformation promulgated by deniers of the historical Jesus, and is a worthy complement to the excellent `Re-inventing Jesus' by Ed Komoszewski, James Sawyer and Daniel Wallace published in 2006. I found a few misprints, but nothing serious enough to compromise the value of this outstanding book. The editor and his contributors are to be congratulated. It is worth five stars.
Shattering the Internet Mythicists  Jul 23, 2008
Having been aware of this so-called "debate" on the Internet (please note: it is entirely an "online debate" not one advanced by serious NT or historical Jesus scholars) since the mid 1990s, I am glad that J.P. Holding has finally transcribed and edited some of his impressive "Tektonics" online articles for an entire book on "Shattering the Christ Myth." He and his amateur scholar contributors have pulled together an excellent set of articles and chapters debunking both the "myth" hypothesis and the "copycat" or "pagan parallel" thesis presented by many an anti-Christian conspiracy buff and uninformed skeptic of historical Christianity.

Chapters include an introduction on the history and origin of the "Christ myth" claims dating from the early 1800s; detailed defenses of the standard non-biblical references to Jesus from the Jewish historian Josephus (his two passages), the Roman historian Tacitus, Lucian, Pliny the Younger, and Papias; responses to the various "silences" argued by "mythicists" from Remsburg to G.A. Wells to Earl Doherty; analysis of the supposed "pagan Christs" from Mithra to Krishna to Horus to Dionysos; reviews and refutations exposing the abysmal scholarship and poor arguments of recent "Christ myth" movies "The God Who Wasn't There" and "Zeitgeist"; and additional material on the city of Nazareth, the academic and Internet mythicists, and more.

This book shows there is really nothing at all to the "mythicist" claims: they are groundless historically, poorly argued based on "silence" and refuted by numerous reliable witnesses to Jesus, and that includes the canonical Gospels and the earliest writings of St. Paul. The real debate among scholars is not whether there was a historical Jesus who was crucified under Pontius Pilate around 30 AD, but on Christ's claims to divinity and being the unique Son of God, the miracles of the Gospels as signs of that divinity, and especially the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ -- i.e. the whole "Jesus of history" vs. "Christ of faith" debate among conservative evangelical and more "liberal" scholarship.

Jeffery Jay Lowder of Internet Infidels: "There is simply nothing intrinsically improbable about a historical Jesus; the New Testament alone (or at least portions of it) are reliable enough to provide evidence of a historical Jesus. On this point, it is important to note that even G.A. Wells, who until recently was the champion of the christ-myth hypothesis, now accepts the historicity of Jesus on the basis of 'Q'." ("Josh McDowell's 'Evidence' for Jesus")

British historian Michael Grant: "...if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned...To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has 'again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars'. In recent years 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus' -- or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." (Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels [1977], pages 199, 200)

Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright: "It is quite difficult to know where to start, because actually the evidence for Jesus is so massive that, as a historian, I want to say we have got almost as much good evidence for Jesus as for anyone in the ancient world....the evidence fits so well with what we know of the Judaism of the period....that I think there are hardly any historians today, in fact I don't know of any historians today, who doubt the existence of Jesus [aside from one or two]....It is quite clear that in fact Jesus is a very, very well documented character of real history. So I think that question can be put to rest." ("The Self-Revelation of God in Human History" from There Is A God by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese [2007])

Robert Van Voorst: "Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [i.e. Jesus-mythers] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely....The theory of Jesus' nonexistence is now effectively dead as a scholarly question....Biblical scholars and classical historians now regard it as effectively refuted." (Jesus Outside the New Testament [2000], pages 6, 14, 16)

Shattering the Christ Myth is a welcome addition to the many evangelical defenses of Jesus Christ by well-known scholars such as R.T. France (The Evidence for Jesus), Moreland/Wilkins (Jesus Under Fire), and recently Boyd/Eddy (The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition). As a Catholic apologist, I also appreciated the brief chapter on "Leo's Line" explaining the "fable quote" sometimes attributed to Pope Leo X by mythicist skeptics.

My only complaint is the book is slightly "oversized" so it is not the size of your normal paperback and may not fit easily on your bookshelf. Nevertheless a definite 5-star effort from apologist J.P. Holding and company.

Phil Porvaznik

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