His book is full of what I refer to as "sleight of tongue. The writer may then tell the reader what "we have seen" or what "I have shown" or what they may surmise. Having promoted an idea and assumed the reader has accepted it, the writer then proceeds as if the point has been proven rather than merely raised. In "Mythmaker" Maccoby tells us that, according to Ebionite sources which are not cited Saul of Tarsus—later, the Apostle Paul—was not, as he claimed, a Pharisaical rabbi, but rather a Gentile, born of Gentile parents.

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Maccoby was[ when? In retirement[ when? Maccoby argued that the real Jesus was not a rebel against the Jewish law , but instead a Jewish Messianic claimant whose life and teaching were within the mainstream of first-century Judaism. He believed that Jesus was executed as a rebel against the Roman occupation of Judaea. However, he did not claim that Jesus was the leader of an actual armed rebellion.

Rather, Jesus and his followers, inspired by the Tanakh or Old Testament prophetic writings, were expecting a supernatural divine intervention that would end the Roman rule, restore the Davidic Kingdom with Jesus as the divinely anointed monarch, and inaugurate the Messianic age of peace and prosperity for the whole world.

These expectations were not fulfilled and Jesus was arrested and executed by the Romans. According to Maccoby, Barabbas , from the Aramaic Bar Abba , "Son of the Father", originally referred to Jesus himself, who was called thus from his custom of addressing the Father as Abba, Father, in his prayers, or else as a form of the rabbinic honorific Berab.

Many of the disciples of Jesus did not lose their hopes, believing that Jesus would soon be miraculously resurrected by God, and continued to live in expectation of his second coming. Their fellowship continued to exist in Jerusalem , as a strictly orthodox Jewish sect under the leadership of James the Just.

Maccoby partially derived this theory from fragments of the writings of opponents of Ebionites , particularly in the treatise on Heresies by Epiphanius of Salamis. Paul also made an attempt to find prophetic justification for his newly created myth in the Old Testament.

Paul came to present Jesus as a dying and rising saviour deity similar to those from the Hellenistic mystery cults, fused with the historical pedigree of Judaism, thus giving birth to a powerful new myth whose preaching gained him a large following. However, the Jewish Rebellion of 66—70 soon brought a violent end to the Jerusalem sect, and the Gentile Church founded by Paul emerged as the winner by default.

Maccoby viewed the Book of Acts as a later attempt by the Pauline Church to present the relations between Paul and the Jerusalem disciples as harmonious, thus presenting the Pauline Church as legitimised by the chain of apostolic succession reaching back to the original disciples of Jesus.

Maccoby also conjectured that the Jewish-Christian sect of Ebionites may have been an authentic offshoot of the original Jerusalem community. Maccoby also wrote extensively on the phenomenon of ancient and modern anti-Semitism.

The play has been widely performed, and was broadcast by Channel 4 starring Christopher Lee and Toyah Willcox. He set out to invent a new religion, and the religion he founded incorporated all of the animus that a rejected Paul felt toward Judaism. From Gnosticism Paul borrowed a world-weariness that promised salvation without requiring him to assume any responsibility for making the world a better place and also a bitter anti-Semitism Thus for Maccoby Paul was a tormented, confused, vindictive Gentile who lied about his Pharisaism and left a legacy of anti-Semitism.

The Apostle Paul in the Jewish Imagination. Cambridge University Press. Of course, it is always possible to argue that words do not mean what they appear to say, but such a claim requires at least some form of argumentation. When arguments do appear in the book, they generally take the form of assertions" p "As such it is but the mirror image of traditional Christian apologetic treatments of Paul, couched in a polemic against the Pharisees.

Both are unacceptable as good history. Paul is said to be a product of Hellenistic Judaism and Hellenistic Christianity, having minimal contact with the Aramaic-speaking community in Jerusalem and disregarding its theology and authority.

Dunn — "In contrast, H.


Hyam Maccoby Mostly Right About Apostle Paul

The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity. Take it! Read it! Much less was he, as he also claimed, an ex-Pharisee, or as the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament claim, a pupil of the great Rabbi Gamaliel.


The Mythmaker, by Hyam Maccoby

Lawrence Joffe Published on Sat 31 Jul The central thesis of another work, The Mythmaker: Paul And The Invention Of Christianity , was that St Paul, not Jesus, created Christianity, being an adventurer who undermined the disciples who had actually known the living Jesus. It was Paul, said Maccoby, who turned Jesus into God and transformed the early Jewish Christian sect into a Gnostic mystery cult imbued with "Hellenistic schizophrenia". In Paul And Hellenism , Maccoby wrote that a politically savvy Paul deliberately recast the gospels to exculpate Rome from the charge of deicide.

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