The International Lost Gospel by Burton L. Mack

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This is the 1st full account of the lost gospel of Jesus' original followers, revealing him as a Jewish Socrates who was mythologized into the New Testament Christ. Compiled by his followers during his lifetime, the Book of Q (Quelle, German for source) became the prime foundation for the New Testament gospels. Once lost, it has been reconstructed thru a century of scholarship. In presenting his own translation, Mack explains how the text of Q was determined & explores the implications of the discovery that Jesus was transformed into the dying & rising messianic savior of Xianity by the gospels.

Instead of telling a dramatic story about Jesus' life as the Xian gospels do, the Book of Q contained only his sayings. The 1st followers focused not upon his life & destiny, but on the social experiment called for by his teachings. Their book collected his proverbs, aphorisms & parables to offer instruction in living authentically in the midst of a confusing time.

The Lost Gospel puts forth the 1st popular translation of Q as scholarly consensus has reconstructed it; shows that Jesus' life story as presented in the gospels was fictionalized for theological purposes; reveals Jesus to be a countercultural teacher & leader subsequently mythologized into the Christ of the New Testament; depicts Jesus' followers not as Xians, but as disciples of a wise, antiestablishment teacher; they didn't believe him the son of God, believe he rose from the dead, or gather to worship in his name & concludes that Xianity is a mythologized religion rooted in a historical figure & teachings that in reality are quite remote from conventional beliefs.

HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.
ISBN: 9780060653828. 275 pp.
Softcover. Near fine.