Hyam Maccoby. The Myth-Maker, Paul and the Invention of Christianity Maccoby concludes that Paul cannot have been a Pharisee, that his claims are. circles (the later successors of the Nazarenes) from the second to the fourth centuries. * Hyam Maccoby. The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity. Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only.

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The Mythmaker. Paul and the Invention of Christianity

So we need Apocalypse Now! Let us turn the passage front to back and see what we have: Or is this common knowledge for those of us who actually bothered to study Religion at the university?

His book is full of what I refer to maccobu “sleight of tongue. Almost everything in this book runs counter to conventional wisdom; for instance, his conclusions that Jesus was probably a Pharisee or that Paul almost ce Early Christianity is a topic most classical mythmakker shy away from, the pool having been muddied by centuries of devotional presupposition.

Scholars would recognize the truth of Maccoby’s case if only they weren’t so biased and tendentious. The holocaust and mass death before the modern age “Maccoby’s last work has been devastatingly reviewed, and quite properly so, by John Gager, “Maccoby’s The Mythmaker”, JQR Yet this is what “in Christ” means: Thus it is clear that while Maccoby’s extensive source list looks impressive, he’s simply listed volumes to make it look like he’s done the work.

Luke and Matthew include lengthy birth-narratives, each of which is quite different and therefore unlikely to have originated from a single source, like mafcoby sayings of Jesus.

The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity

I found this text to be most illuminating and it helped me to revise my opinions of Paul slightly – from a raving misogynistic fanatic mytthmaker a very sad ma I will start off by saying I never much cared for Paul, nor for the fact that his writings – all dated decades after the death of Jesus – were the ones that made up most of the New Testament. Maccoby also follows the standard erroneous line interpreting 1 Cor.


Drawing on non-canonical sources and his own reading of Hyxm and Paul’s epistles, Maccoby concludes that not only was Paul not a Pharisee as he claims in his epistles and as is claimed in Acts but that Paul was actually not even Jewish.

Even a cursory glance at the Gospels suggests that Jesus and some Pharisees not all, of course had disagreements.

Tell that to James the brother of Jesus and Josephus. As a zealous Catholic adolescent, I once met with this maccoby from a Jewish acquaintance: Nor is th This book was given me as a gift by Chris Meyers when he was still working on his philosophy dissertation at Loyola University Chicago.

The play centres about King James, who is portrayed as a complex, troubled soul who comes to accept the rabbi’s ideas. Now, before Paul invented his gospel, the only gospel which existed was that of the apostles.

He wanted to restore the Jewish monarchy of David. He interprets Galatians 1: It is literally the Anti-Christ. He acknowledges that those who obey the Commandments serve the “ruler of this world. The is no debate, excepting, of course, biblical inerrancists who stand outside of any scholarly pale, that Christianity as we think of it bears little resemblance to what Jesus and his brothers and the later Ebionites believed. Likewise, Paul could not have derived his doctrine of the cross simply by meditating on the crucifixion of Jesus: His works cited list is impressive, but a little digging makes me wonder how much he actually uses his sources at all.

We engage no further details as Maccoby himself provides none we can engage. Maccoby’s hypothesis is that Christianity as a separate religion didn’t exist until Paul invented it; that Jesus himself never intended to found a church separate from Judaism.


Yeah, right guy, at the right place, at the right time, fomenting a con that desperate, uninformed, paranoid and fearful people buy, even today, and victimize [their children] others with.

Why would a man who believed his salvation depended upon believing the gospel not believe in the gospel preached by the apostles of Christ? Here also Maccoby selects from Acts that which suits his case, and discards the rest: Thus I must conclude that Maccoby’s book is not good history, not even history at all. None of jyam were part of the apostles’ notions about Jesus or Jesus’ place in the scheme of things; so it really wasn’t Jesus who was being tempted, but Christendom; and Christendom mostly flunked.

The story in Acts of mjthmaker conversion of Cornelius is merely a conspiracy to cover up differences between the Pauline and Petrine factions.

Paul, Student of the Rabbis?

Hyman Maccoby, a critique

Dunn describes Maccoby’s revival of Graetz’ accusations that Paul was a Gentile as “a regrettable reversion to older polemics”. Demystifies the life of Jesus, a man perceived by his followers as a human blessed by God. He set out to invent a new religion, and the religion he founded incorporated hham of the animus that a rejected Paul felt toward Judaism.

This view, he tells us, is “entirely wrong, being based on ignorance or misunderstanding of rabbinical exegesis and logic. Views Read Edit View history. But Maccoby builds his case on centuries of Talmudic and New Testament scholarship; and his reasoning, though daring, is scrupulous. The Temptation of Jesus is a peculiar sort of “teaching of Jesus: His grandfather and namesake was Rabbi Hyam or “Chaim” Maccoby —better known as the “Kamenitzer Maggid”, a passionate religious Zionist and advocate of vegetarianism and animal welfare.