THE WILDERNESS REVOLT by Diane Kennedy & R. Scott Kennedy Pike


Email this review


Diane K. Pike is the widow of Bishop James Pike, and this book presents ""a new view of the life and death of Jesus based on the ideas and notes"" of the late Bishop. One should note, however, that it is not precisely a ""new view"" but the explication of a contemporary thesis in the light of new sources and from a new standpoint. The authors', and presumably Bishop Pike's, argument, copiously documented from the Dead Sea Scrolls and other contemporary sources, is that the original Christian community was essentially political in nature, and that the true historical Jesus can be understood only within the framework of the intense Jewish nationalism of his era. Thus, as a political figure endowed with an almost preternatural charisma, he becomes relevant to the crucial social and economic issues of all times -- a relevance that has been obscured by what we know as Christianity, which is a movement that originated not with Jesus but with Paul. From a critical standpoint, much that is written in this book, particularly regarding the miracles and events of Jesus' life, is open to question, since the authors seem inclined to dismiss or accept gospel events (such as the Transfiguration and the Resurrection) on the basis of expedience rather than of evidence. Still, Wilderness Revolt is an interesting report on the evolution of Pike's thought, and a stimulating document in the struggle to drag the Christian churches into the 20th century.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday