“An Atheist for Jesus” written by Kenneth A. Schei takes an honest look at the differences between the message of Jesus and the message continued after him by Paul and his disciples. Kenneth asks bold questions concerning the integrity of the modern cannon. The book explores the excluded writings of the Ebionites, Peter and James; proposing alternative paths that the Christian faith could have taken had their writing been included in the Biblical Canon.
Personally, I was interested in his thoughts concerning obvious contradictions between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Paul. Ken gives valid evidence that Paul’s writings, along with the apostles, were knowingly attacking the writings of those who actually “walked with Jesus”. Schei also presents the idea that perhaps the book of Revelation was written about events during which the author lived rather than the widely accepted view that Revelation was written about end times. The book suggests that perhaps Paul was referenced as the beast/666; and raises questions concerning the validity of Paul’s spiritual authority considering he did not follow Jesus.
This is a great read for anyone interested in why the Bible is is so widely accepted without critical evaluation from laypersons. While I am still executing private research on several of the theories and questions raised in “An Atheist For Jesus” I would highly suggest this book.
Excerpts from “An Atheist For Jesus”
“Jesus asked that you live a good life; St. Paul asked that you give lip service to living a good life. Jesus demanded more than most people were willing to give…”
“So, once again, we find evidence that when confronted by the reasoning of those who had actually traveled with and learned from Jesus during his ministry, many of Paul’s followers recognized the truth of the teaching of these eye-witnesses and turned away from Paul and his mistaken version of the religion of Jesus.”
“I can’t imagine a Bible that accurately portrayed Jesus’ teaching of love and forgiveness being used as an excuse for such atrocities as the crusades, the inquisitions, the witch-burnings, and the holocaust.”
“A religion based on the principles that were put forth by Jesus and his original followers would be acceptable to an extremely large number of people. It would provide people with the moral and ethical guidelines needed to attempt to lead a good life, while not requiting them to deny the scientific knowledge that humanity has gained.”
“I have always been disturbed by the fact that I see so many good people- people who share so many beliefs as far as HOW to live a good life here on earth – driven apart by the reason WHY
they feel that it is important to live a good life here on earth.”
Slightly Over Dramatic Girly Optimist