Monday, January 20, 2014

The Myth of Jesus [Part One]

Before setting out to write this crazy book, I gave a call to my best friend in this world, Professor Iain 'Rory' Boid formerly of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  I remember the day as vividly as yesterday.  It was Martin Luther King Jr Day.  I was with my son talking in my car through a blue toothed connected wireless phone. 

I had been calling Rory for as long as I can remember.  I don't even remember how we met.  He started off as a teacher, mostly of things related to Hebrew.  Then we started broadening our conversations to the point that we moved past a mere teacher-student relationship. 

In recent years I had been developing a theory about the origins of Christianity centered on Jesus's name, the central conclusion being that Jesus wasn't his real name.  Rory was not at all impressed by line of reasoning at least initially.  Among other things he was a reader in the Anglican Church and what I was suggesting was something beyond mere 'heresy.'  It was crazy. 

There is a very good explanation for why I was approaching Christianity in such an unorthodox manner.  I will develop that understanding in due course.  What matter at least for me on that day was that for the first time I heard genuine enthusiasm in Rory's voice for my idea. 

I don't know why Rory's opinion mattered so much to me.  Perhaps it had something to do with my father dying a few years earlier.  Yet more important than this I think was the fact that I respected Rory's abilities in Hebrew.  While I am Jewish, and have some basic knowledge about the language, I would hardly consider myself an expert on Biblical Hebrew. 

I was certainly aware that if I could Rory interested in what I was doing, I would have someone to double check the soundness of my core arguments.  As I sat talking with my good friend, with my seven year old son interjecting questions about the Lord of the Rings, I felt more and more confident that my crazy theory might actually be right.  Nevertheless the next question was something of a problem.

'Where the hell am I going to publish something like this?' I asked.  Rory had a strong background in academic publishing.  It would only be natural for him to develop a monograph on some subject matter and immediately find a journal of some sort to publish it.  This was not going to be that kind of effort it would seem.

'Don't worry about the publisher,' Rory said, 'just get it in print.  Things will move from there.'

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Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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