Hyam Maccoby. The Myth-Maker, Paul and the Invention of Christianity Maccoby concludes that Paul cannot have been a Pharisee, that his claims are. circles (the later successors of the Nazarenes) from the second to the fourth centuries. * Hyam Maccoby. The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity. Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only.

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Hyram Maccoby, The Myth-Maker

Sanders, and Joseph Klausner, placing Paul firmly in the traditions and methods of rabbinic Judaism? Mythmaker provided some interesting and necessary context to the world of first century Middle East.

In any case I do feel I have a better understanding of who Paul was and how a religion supposedly founded by a Jewish Savior came to be so dissociated from the Jewish religion.

Klausner, who said, “It would be difficult te find more typically Talmudic expressions of scripture than those in the Epistles of Paul,” is disposed of by reference to the “six unconvincing examples” he provides though we are only allowed to have one explained to us in Maccoby’s text and the claim that “rabbinical arguments are never guilty of logical confusions” like Paul’s arguments contained.

Paul, Student of the Rabbis?

However, the Jewish Rebellion of 66—70 soon brought a violent end to the Jerusalem sect, and the Gentile Church founded by Paul emerged as the winner by default. By Maccoby’s Fourth Proposition: The way to do that is by clever use of language.

Maccoby gives Paul a failing grade on 3 out of 4, accusing him of “woolly, imprecise reasoning” and going “far beyond the conclusion warranted” – the bottom line being, Paul cannot be a Pharisee or a rabbinic exegete, because he “was arguing for a doctrine of which the Pharisees would have disapproved strongly.

Well, to find a proof it is customary to dream up the most extreme example conceivable, and if that example “works” we know any lesser one will also. To the apostles this amounted to a loss, since their authority was either ignored or diluted.


One of the main focuses I really enjoyed this book, but I think that there are many people who would not. Now for another example of Paul’s “spiritual words. Where Maccoby strays into unusual territory is in his assessment of Paul. What is really happening here is revealed in part by the tribute Maccoby offers to those who funded his work – The Centre for the Study of Anti-Semitism.

Gnostic myths and traditions, for all their wonderful variety, were the result of interpreting Scripture according to the opinion that God was evil and not good. Thus, like Haim Cohn in The Trial of Jesuswhere it was supposed that the high priests actually loved Jesus and were trying to get him to be quiet mytnmaker stay out of trouble, Maccoby is a historical revisionist on behalf of the elimination of bigotry.

So then if, while here husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adultress: How could Paul, who makes so much of his own authority as an apostle, so disregard the teaching of every other apostle? For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: However, he did mythkaker claim that Jesus was the leader of an actual armed rebellion.

He had no intention of transforming Judaism, which was in any case a far cry from the rigid, ritualistic creed portrayed in the Gospels. Now the word “turning” needs no explanation: I will start off by saying I never much cared for Paul, nor for the fact that his writings – all dated decades after the death of Jesus – were the ones that made up most of the New Testament. Dunn — “In contrast, H. What drew me to The Mythmaker: Okay, what does “under” mean, stripped of its opinionated connotations?

His works cited list is impressive, but a little digging makes me wonder how much he actually uses his sources at all. Paul was not a Pharisee and actually demonstrated a very imperfect understanding of rabbinical Judaism, which was a much livelier and more humane affair than he made out.


He got his gospel by “revelation of God the father and Jesus Christ” instead of learning it from an apostle; 2.

Or that he would emulate apostlolic behavior like extreme humility in his letters even though he was nothing like it in fact? Hyam Maccoby has caused me to read the writings of Paul differently that I have. Drawing on non-canonical sources and his own reading of Acts and Paul’s epistles, Maccoby concludes that not only was Paul not a Pharisee as he claims in mzccoby epistles and as is claimed in Acts but that Paul was actually not even Jewish.

Maccoby dismisses Klausner and another scholar, Schoeps, by remarking that “it is quite startling to see how unconvincing they are” [64] and accusing them of bias, which is not an argument but a statement of evaluation without support. Jan 12, Meen marked it as to-read Recommended to Meen by: One evidence of Paul’s rabbinic background is that he uses a typical rabbinic exegetical method called qal va-homer – or “light and heavy”. Maccoby focused his work on tracing the roots of anti-Semitism back to an early-Christian origin, and on maccob Christianity from a truly Jewish background.

Maccoby makes some great points but fails to follow them up with good footnotes which makes his points dubious.

Hyam Maccoby

Refresh and try again. To Korzybski, father of General Semantics the word is merely a representation of the truth, not the truth itself: Ultimately, Maccoby doesn’t completely condemn Paul, but merely thinks that Paul is less original and authoritative than he is given credit for.

I don’t think the evidence exists to do that, one can only speculate. These people all know that the Torah was ordained by God Almighty, Ruler of heaven mythmqker earth.