How Jesus Became Christian

Front Cover
Random House of Canada, Limited, Mar 10, 2009 - Religion - 336 pages
22 Reviews
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.

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Review: How Jesus Became Christian

User Review  - Mj Harding - Goodreads

Wilson's thesis, while interesting, wasn't as compelling as I first assumed. He places far too much weight on the Ebionites as proto-Christians (or followers of the Jesus movement and therefore a ... Read full review

Review: How Jesus Became Christian

User Review  - Bernard Nel - Goodreads

Brilliant. Provocative. Enlightening. If you are a sensitive Christian fueled by fear and beliefs in talking donkeys this book is definitely not for you. Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Barrie Wilson is the Humanities and Religious Studies professor at Toronto’s York University. He lives in Toronto.


From the Hardcover edition.

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