Customer Reviews – from www.amazon.co.uk
Dr. James Gardner (California) – "Comprehensive", 23 Feb 2007
If you believe that Jesus never existed and the gospels are a result of myth making, legend, and mystery religions, and you're looking for a single source that summarizes all the arguments to support this position, then Ken Humphreys' 2005 book Jesus Never Existed is your choice. Humphreys is the founder and editor of the popular website of the same name, and he brings the same flare that he exhibits on that website to this book. He also brings a kind of internet based formatting style to the book, using a two-column model that some readers may find distracting, but personally I found it very appealing.
Humphreys is a good writer, and his prodigious use of images is refreshing. His style alternates between inflammatory language, politically incorrect comments, and outrageously funny lines that force the reader to stay awake and on his toes. This style will make the book unappealing for someone looking for an "academic" text, and it limits the potential audience to the already convinced. Unlike Peter Gandy's The Jesus Mysteries, Humphreys is not trying to make a case - he has his case and he is prepared to crush his opponents with it.
The book is well organized. Humphreys provides a plethora of information about the Oriental, Jewish and Egyptian background to the Christian era (vanquishing some well cherished myths along the way), as well as the early Christian period. There is a bibliography but no footnotes. There is an appendix that consists of Humphrey's heroes - the significant contributions to de-mythifying Jesus, from Reimarus (1778) to Atwill.
The chapter headings are:
- Christianity without Jesus?
- What did the early Christians believe
- The syncretic heritage of Christianity
- Just who were the Jews?
- Christianity's fabrication factory
- Jesus - The imaginary friend
- Rome and the Jews
- Heart of Darkness
- The world that was lost
- Truth and consequence
This book will appeal to anyone interested in the history of Christianity and/or in the life of Jesus. It is written so that the average reader will benefit, yet its breadth and depth insures that even the most experienced scholar will find it informative and challenging.
R. J. Ellison "A Real History of Abrahamic Religion", 14 Nov 2006
One of the best counter-religion books I've read. The people living in Jesus's own time didn't write about him, didn't even know he existed, quite probably because he didn't exist.
If you are dedicated Christian (or Jew) this book could be uncomfortable. If you doubt your 'faith' and need a reality check this book is for you. Straightforward, comprehensive and detailed with an excellent reference section. This book may be a little heavy going in parts but it details the falsity and wanton fabrication, not just of the Gospels and Jesus whatshisname's life but of the 'holy' men throughout the history of the Hebrew/Christ cults. There is also a nice recap of actual Roman history to boot and it's symbiotic influence on the Christ cults.
C. J. Nason "Won't be seeing you in church then?", 19 Dec 2006
As a demolition job on Christianity this work is almost too good! Not only did Jesus never exist but he was, according to the author, also gay (ooh shut that tomb!) and a walking (on water), talking (in tongues) contradiction! What a guy! After reading this one is amazed to see people trundling to church on Sunday and 'Songs of Praise' still on the box. (It's a miracle!) Haven't they heard the news? One would have thought that Christianity had croaked its last breath and that this book hammered home the final nail! Problem: what is there to replace Christianity? (One assumes that the author subscribes to a cheerful brand of atheism.) Christianity looms so large in Western history that even if it is nonsense we are still tied to it and thus unable to severe ourselves from its influence. Even if rationalism were able to provide a substitute it's unlikely that people could live in a purely rational world. Somehow we need the nonsense of religion as no one will be able to supply a substitute. This is not a pleasant state of affairs because one either (i) subscribes to atheism and lives in a meaningless, amoral void; or (ii) subscribes to religion and swallows a load of pious nonsense which one can't live up to anyway in the hope that St Pete will allow one past the pearly gates. Of course there is also the LibDem option: neither believe nor disbelieve. Quite how one manages this doublethink is beyond mere mortals like your reviewer.
For reasons known only to Amazon, the following review appeared and was subsequently removed (and not by Mr Marr himself):
Neil Marr " Debunks and demolishes", 4 September 2007
Far too many authors and documentary film-makers pussy-foot around. Their titles end with a question mark: Are These King Solomon’s Mines? Is There Life After Death? Who Wrote the Plays of Shakespeare? Are UFOs Real? Does the Yeti Walk the Snows of the Himalayas?
Instinctively, you know these books will re-trample old ground and end as they began ... with yet another question mark.
Kenneth Humphreys is no pussy-footer. He doesn’t pose questions; he strives to answer them. His title, therefore, is a bold statement: Jesus Never Existed.
Not Did Jesus Exist? Jesus Never Existed!
And he leaves his readers with compelling answers to a puzzle others have been afraid to even attempt to solve.
Not content with lack of evidence being evidence of lack, Humphreys takes 533 pages to explain exactly why the story of Jesus Christ is just that ... a story; a clever myth concocted to justify a new theology and, later, formulated, embroidered, honed, twisted and exploited to lead even the greatest scholars of the 21st century to assume his existence in the face of complete absence of fact.
A thousand books try to plumb the days and the mind of Jesus, taking as holy writ that he once walked the sands of the Levant as flesh and blood. But Jesus, according to Humphreys, has all the historical substance of the Lone Ranger. You might as well psychoanalyse Robin Hood.
And he courageously and effectively sets out to prove it!
With encyclopaedic attention to detail and energetic and meticulous delving into the hidden nooks and crannies of Christianity and a score of other religions, he may well have done just that after a lifetime of research.
*Jesus, he reveals is a composite of an entire pantheon of heroic gods, sharing their supernatural virgin births, their alleged miracles and their clichéd returns from the dead
*Christian theology, as a break-away Jewish sect, may well have pre-dated the alleged birth of the traditional Christian messiah by a century and a half.
*Canonical gospels and even the wealth of first century apocrypha are nothing more than fairy tales, invented and edited by anonymous scribes and tailor made to suit the often nefarious intent of their patrons and taste of a gullible target readership.
*The phenomenal rise of Christianity in the fourth century was the result of political manoeuvring rather than spiritual enlightenment.
*Christianity’s little known history has been as the tool of political sharks and power hungry, blood thirsty megalomaniacs.
*Jesus Christ never existed ... and – what’s more – many of those who wrote of him, his philosophies and his miraculous deeds knew that all along.
Humphreys’ book effectively debunks the popular sacred myth and demolishes all Christian apologetics struggling to root the ectoplasmic Christ figure in reality.
And it goes even further, also exposing the legends of the Old Testament as plagiarised fiction and detailing the horrors of the Christian establishment over two millennia.
As a popular international radio personality, Humphreys comes across as a softly spoken man, calmly reluctant to offend and even humbly respectful of those who have never questioned the historical basis of their deity.
In his book, on the other hand, he doesn’t pull punches. He avoids the satanic temptation of cruel sarcasm, but makes no allowances for wilful ignorance of available fact. Radio’s Humphreys might speak low, speak slow – but he carries a big stick that it’s impossible to dodge.
Jesus Never Existed is presented in an unusual format that reflects the layout of Humphreys' popular and information-packed website, www.jesusneverexisted.com. But, although not the traditional layout for an epic paperback, its presentation allows easy reference. This is not a book you read and then stack away in your bookshelves; it’s a tome to have ready at your elbow whenever a question of religion arises.
The author, I believe, overuses the device of bold type to make some points ... such points are amply emphasised in the deceptive simplicity of the writing itself. Others, though, might find the bold print helpful in drawing attention to some important lines and passages.
I also feel that illustration may have been a little overused. Again, though, I do realise that this book is meant to represent the feel of Humphreys' website and, as such, might benefit from the inclusion of margin photography and extended captioning to break up what might otherwise be a daunting body of text.
All in all, this reviewer – no stranger to controversial books on theology – feels Jesus Never Existed is a most satisfying read; one that will be referred to again and again. I highly recommend this painstakingly compiled book for its no-nonsense, no-quarter-given approach to a subject other authors prefer to address with question marks rather than exclamation points.
Jesus Never Existed is a brave, heavily researched, accurate and eminently readable book that should be prized by any reader concerned with the birth of religion, the insidious influence of neo-Christianity in the western world – or merely gathering information in a personal quest for truth.
Of course there will be question marks. But they will be your own, not the author’s. Kenneth Humphreys has stated his case.
No "hidden code", no "secret bloodline", no "arcane
wisdom", no "holy grail", in fact, no mystery at
all – just the unembellished truth about the greatest fraud
in history. Jesus Never Existed is not a book for those
who wish to keep their faith in the cosy bliss of historical ignorance.
50 articles from this website, many revised and updated,
arranged into 10 chapters, each of which shakes Christianity
to its very foundations.
pages • over 450 illustrations • 27