James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Front Cover
Penguin, Mar 1, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 1136 pages
James was a vegetarian, wore only linen clothing, bathed daily at dawn in cold water, and was a life-long Nazirite. In this profound and provocative work of scholarly detection, eminent biblical scholar Robert Eisenman introduces a startling theory about the identity of James—the brother of Jesus, who was almost entirely marginalized in the New Testament.

Drawing on long-overlooked early Church texts and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Eisenman reveals in this groundbreaking exploration that James, not Peter, was the real successor to the movement we now call "Christianity." In an argument with enormous implications, Eisenman identifies Paul as deeply compromised by Roman contacts. James is presented as not simply the leader of Christianity of his day, but the popular Jewish leader of his time, whose death triggered the Uprising against Rome—a fact that creative rewriting of early Church documents has obscured.

Eisenman reveals that characters such as "Judas Iscariot" and "the Apostle James" did not exist as such. In delineating the deliberate falsifications in New Testament dcouments, Eisenman shows how—as James was written out—anti-Semitism was written in. By rescuing James from the oblivion into which he was cast, the final conclusion of James the Brother of Jesus is, in the words of The Jerusalem Post, "apocalyptic" —who and whatever James was, so was Jesus.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KeithAkers - LibraryThing

Eisenman is a really smart guy with a lot of information at his disposal. However, he can't write worth beans. This is really hard to get through. This book is interesting for early-Christianity geeks ... Read full review

JAMES, THE BROTHER OF JESUS: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls

User Review  - www.kirkusreviews.com

Gripping but partisan conjectures from Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Eisenman (Middle East Religions/ California State Univ.), arguing that St. James is the missing link between Judaism and a supposed pre ... Read full review


Romans Herodians and Jewish Sects
FirstCentury Sources Mentioning James
Early Church Sources and the Dead Sea Scrolls
The First Appearance of James in Acts
The Picture of James in Pauls Letters
James Succession and the Election to Fill Judas Iscariots Office
The Election of James in Early Church Tradition
The Apostleship of James Cephas and John
James the First to See Jesus
Last Supper Scenarios the Emmaus Road and the Cup of the Lord
Jesus Brothers as Apostles
Simeon bar Cleophas and Simon the Zealot
Judas the Brother of James and the Conversion of King Agbar

James Rechabitism and Naziritism
James Vegetarianism Abstention from Blood and Consuming
James Bathing and Clothing Habits
James as Opposition High Priest and Oblias
The Stoning of James and the Stoning of Stephen
The Death of James in its Historical Setting
The Attack by Paul on James and the Attack on Stephen
The Truth About the Death of James
Peters Visit to Cornelius and Simons Visit to Agrippa
The Conversion of Queen Helen and the Ethiopian Queens Eunuch
Judas Thomas and Theuda the Brother of the Just
Chronological Charts
Note on Translations

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

Robert Eisenman is Professor of Middle East Religions and Archaeology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Judeo-Christian Origins at California State University, Long Beach; and Visiting Senior Member of Linacre College, Oxford University. The consultant to the Huntington Library in its decision to free the Scrolls, he was the leading figure in the worldwide campaign to gain access to the Scrolls. A National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, he was a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies.

Bibliographic information