Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus - Donald Harman AkensonOxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, Paperback.
Condition: Near Fine.
First in this, paperback, edition.
From the cover: “Recreating a time rich with prophets, savants, and god-drunk fanatics, Donald Harman Akenson shows that the answer to the most persistent question in Christianity — What do we know about the historical Jesus? — is best found in the writings of a caustic, itinerant preacher named Saul. The author of the Epistles and known to Christians as Saint Paul, Saul is the closest thing there is to a direct witness to Yeshua, as Jesus was known in his time, in something approaching the original.
Scholars agree that the Gospels were written after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. This catastrophic event forever altered the outlook — and the agenda — of the Christian and Jewish faiths. But of all the New Testament writings, only Paul’s letters were composed before 70 CE. Thus they are the only direct evidence of Yeshua untainted by this profound shift in perspective. While Saul did not know Yeshua personally, he knew his most important followers, and wrote immediately after Yeshua’s death. Furthermore, Saul’s teachings were approved (though sometimes reluctantly) by Yeshua’s brothers and other early leaders.
An eminent historian, Akenson approaches his subject with a fresh eye and a scholarly rigor that is all too rare in this hotly disputed field. The result is a vibrantly written and provocative book that will captivate anyone seeking to know more about the historical Jesus and the earliest Christians.”