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The Jesus Legend   G. A. Wells

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$37.0       paper
320 pages
(November 1996)

The Jesus Legend

G. A. Wells

In The Jesus Legend, G. A. Wells shows how the story of Jesus developed through telling and re-telling, from an early version in the letters of Paul (who does not mention Jesus in connection with any specific time or place) to the more elaborate and detailed picture later presented in the gospels.

Wells discusses the earliest pagan and Jewish references to Jesus, the dating of the various New Testament documents and the contradictions among them, the authorship of documents as indicated by stylometric analysis, the influence of anti-Semitism in early Christianity, and the various stratagems resorted to by apologists to deflect historical criticism.

"In this forcefully argued book, Wells presents evidence for the thesis that the New Testament writings form a part of a developing legendary tradition concerning the earthly life of Jesus. Wells engages incisively the works of the most ardent critics of the mythicist view of Jesus . . . his critical treatment is nothing less than exemplary."
—Library Journal

"Exemplifies first rate scholarship. I know of no other author who has shed more light on the question of how Christianity came into being."
—J. E. Barnhart
University of North Texas

"An important addition to George Wells' growing corpus of writings on the New Testament and Christian origins which will not disappoint those already acquainted with and enthused by his earlier works. On the other hand, it does not presuppose familiarity with those works, and may therefore safely be recommended to anyone coming afresh to a consideration of the origins of the Jesus legend."
—New Humanist


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