The History of the Origins of Christianity, Volume 5 : The Gospels, 13th Edition
Joseph Ernest Renan (1823 -1892) was a French expert of Middle East ancient languages and civilizations (philology), philosopher, historian, and writer, devoted to his native province of Brittany. He is best known for his influential historical works on early Christianity, and his political theories, especially concerning nationalism and national identity. Within his lifetime, Renan was best known as the author of the enormously popular Life of Jesus (The History of the Origins of Christianity, Volume 1, 1863). Renan attributed the idea of the book to his sister, Henriette, with whom he was traveling in Ottoman Syria and Palestine when, struck with a fever, she died suddenly. With only a New Testament and copy of Josephus as references, he began writing. The book was first translated into English in the year of its publication by Charles E. Wilbour and has remained in print for the past 145 years. Renan's Life of Jesus was lavished with ironic praise and criticism by Albert Schweitzer in his book The Quest of the Historical Jesus. Renan claimed Jesus was able to purify himself of Jewish traits and that Jesus became an Aryan, his Life of Jesus promoted racial ideas and infused race into theology and the person of Jesus, he depicted Jesus as a Galilean who was transformed from a Jew into a Christian, and that Christianity emerged purified of any Jewish influences. The book was based largely on the Gospel of John, and was a scholarly work. It depicted Jesus as a man but not God, and rejected the miracles of the Gospel. Renan believed by humanizing Jesus he was restoring to him a greater dignity. The book's controversial assertions that the life of Jesus should be written like the life of any historic person, and that the Bible could and should be subject to the same critical scrutiny as other historical documents caused some controversy and enraged many Christians, and many Jews were enraged because of its depiction of Judaism as foolish and absurdly illogical and for insisting that Jesus and Christianity was superior.
- Paperback | 310 pages
- 152 x 229 x 17mm | 417g
- 25 Jun 2015
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- United States
- black & white illustrations