THE DEATH OF JESUS by Joel Carmichael


Email this review


To undertake an independent study, evaluation, and interpretation of the New Testament account of the life and death of Jesus and the foundation of the early Christian Church is a formidable task. There are many difficulties, gaps, contradictions and ambiguities in the record, recognized by reputable scholars anxious to stay close to historical reality and to avoid prejudice as much as possible. Mr. Joel Carmichael has written this provocative book to propose a theory to explain the discrepancies in the Gospel narrative, the greatest springing from the enigma of why a seemingly peaceful prophet was put to a cruel death by the Roman authorities through the instigation of his own people, the Jews. In doing so he tries to prove that Jesus thought of himself as no more than the herald of an imminent material transformation of the world (the Kingdom of God), that his message was addressed to the Jews of his own time and to no one else, that he and John the Baptist were in strong disagreement as to how this mission might best be accomplished, with Jesus deciding to force the issue violently by going to Jerusalem,- and his own death. It was the transformation of Jesus memory, especially as aided and abetted by Paul in transplanting it on to Gentile soil, that resulted in a new religion in which the Resurrection was necessary to make acceptable the scandalous fact of Jesus, death on the cross. The serious student of the New Testament and early Christian origins will find this study of some interest; many however are likely to conclude that most of these speculations have been considered before by others,- and discarded. The others have long since been woven into the fabric of our New Testament understanding far more than the author realizes.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1963
Publisher: Macmillan