by Brian Griffith
“As a child in Sunday school, Brian Griffith noticed a contrast between what Jesus said in the Bible and the way his community worshipped. . . . In Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing the Story Griffith notes how—starting with the disciples themselves—Jesus has been second-guessed.” —Oregonian
“[Griffith] is a thorough independent scholar, and his concise writing makes historical facts engaging and relevant. His most important take-home message: it is not verboten for people of faith to ask why beliefs and practices developed in a specific way. In fact, it could even be considered an obligation for healthy, committed believers to do so.” —Publishers Weekly
“Brian Griffith’s Correcting Jesus is a fiercely moral, highly learned, and very welcome entry into public conversations about Christianity and social life. Focusing on the way in which Christian interpreters—even as early as the apostles themselves—have “corrected” and adjusted Jesus’ words and ministry to suit their needs, Griffith chronicles this sleight of hand whereby the “hard sayings” of justice and charity are forsaken . . . Where all too many books get sucked into juvenile rants against theism as such, or retreat into the safety of methodological foxholes, Griffith’s book is the real deal.” —JASON C. BIVINS, author of Religion of Fear
“I love Brian Griffith for having the heart to try to scrape away the barnacles of ideology and prejudice that keep attaching themselves to those four, frail little gospel boats. Part of this book will break your heart as he describes how little compromises and strategic emphases grow into huge errors and disasters.”—FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE, author of Millions, a Carnegie Medal award-winning book adapted into a feature film directed by Danny Boyle
“The Christ of today is not the Jesus of history. The man—along with his message—became radically altered along the way. In this readable and insightful book that spans the centuries, Brian Griffith carefully documents how Jesus’ teachings became changed to suit the predilections and fads of later audiences. This book is an excellent read for anyone concerned with moving beyond popular preaching to what the Jesus of Nazareth really taught.”—BARRIE A. WILSON, PhD, author of How Jesus Became Christian
As a historian following cultural stories, Brian Griffith notices when people retell those stories and, in the process, totally change their meaning. In Correcting Jesus, he looks at the story of Christianity as we know it, and the record of Christians as they correct Jesus on subjects like Judaism, forgiveness, women, freedom, war, and charity. What, he asks, have been the results of correcting Jesus on these things? If you ever have wondered how the Jesus who urges ‘think for yourselves’ was turned into the Jesus who thunders ‘my way or the highway,’ Correcting Jesus tells us in plain language how that transformation began—and how it’s continuing today.
Brian Griffith is an independent historian who’s interested in the whole world’s ‘culture wars,’ scavenging history books for 25 years to learn more about them. His two previous books are The Garden of Their Dreams: Desertification and Culture in World History, and Different Visions of Love: Partnership and Dominator Values in Christian History, with a foreword by Riane Eisler. He’s married and lives near Toronto, Ontario. And his latest book, also by Exterminating Angel Press, is a history of the stories of Chinese goddesses, A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization.
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