How Jesus Became Christian

Publisher: Vintage Canada
In How Jesus Became Christian, Barrie Wilson asks "How did a young rabbi become the god of a religion he wouldn’t recognize, one which was established through the use of calculated anti-Semitism?"

Colourfully recreating the world of Jesus Christ, Wilson brings the answer to life by looking at the rivalry between the "Jesus movement," informed by the teachings of Matthew and adhering to Torah worship, and the "Christ movement," headed by Paul, which shunned Torah. Wilson suggests that Paul’s movement was not rooted in the teachings and sayings of the historical Jesus, but solely in Paul’s mystical vision of Christ, a man Paul actually never met. He then shows how Paul established the new religion through anti-Semitic propaganda, which ultimately crushed the Jesus Movement. Sure to be controversial, this is an exciting, well-written popular religious history that cuts to the heart of the differences between Christianity and Judaism, to the origins of one of the world’s great religions and, ultimately, to the question of who Jesus Christ really was – a Jew or a Christian.

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter One

The Cover-Up

Jesus was thoroughly Jewish. Mary, his mother, was Jewish, and Judaism was the religion he practiced throughout his life. Jesus’ teachings focused on the important Jewish issues of the day – how to interpret the law correctly, when the Kingdom of God would appear, and how...
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"A seminal work…. His style is engaging and meant for a popular audience. This theological detective story deserves wide readership and discussion."
The Hamilton Spectator

"Forget about Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and fictional conspiratorial machinations about whether Jesus and Mary Magdalene had children, Barrie Wilson has produced a significant and sensational work of scholarship. And it is truly religious dynamite." —The Globe and Mail

"Move over, Dan Brown, there's a new Jesus conspiracy theorist in town."
Kirkus Reviews

"The New Testament Gospels, particularly the Acts of the Apostles, are presented as early examples of sophisticated spin.. the book is certainly controversial"
The Times (UK)

"A tour de force."
— Simcha Jacobovici, Producer/Director, The Lost Tomb of Jesus

"How Jesus Became Christian is a groundbreaking and highly controversial work that is sure to provoke considerable attention."
— Prof. Patrick Gray, University of Toronto

"Wilson’s learned foray into the great debate over Christian origins is to be heartily welcomed. Agree or disagree, the eager reader will be gripped — and at times possibly shocked — by the author's bold investigation of one of the greatest mysteries of all time: how did the Christianity of the earliest Church become the orthodox ‘churchianity’ of the mid-fourth and all succeeding centuries?"
—Tom Harpur, author of The Pagan Christ

From the Hardcover edition.