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.
It was the earliest followers of Jesus, the Jewish Christians, who understood Jesus better than any of the gentile Christian groups, which are the spiritual ancestors of modern Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox churches. In this detailed and accessible study, Keith Akers uncovers the history of Jewish Christianity from its origins in the Essenes and John the Baptist, through Jesus, until its disappearance into Islamic mysticism sometime in the seventh or eighth century.
Akers argues that only by really understanding this mysterious and much misunderstood strand of early Christianity can we get to the heart of the radical message of Jesus of Nazareth.