Hi Tim, thanks for letting me know you're "out there" and enjoying the site.
I was intending to concentrate exclusively on Eisenman's "James the Brother of Jesus", but became more than a little distracted by Atwill's "Caesar's Messiah". This new book revolutionizes our understanding of Josephus and his writings, especially in their relation to the New Testament. Eisenman's position was that Josephus could in no way have been responsible for the anti-Semitic/Jewish sentiments expressed in the Gospels. This view cannot be sustained. First of all for the reasons put forth by Atwill. Secondly, I will attempt to show that Josephus was a member of the Herodian family and only a Hasmonean in the same sense as certain other Herodians, that is, by virtue of Herod the Great's marriage to Hasmonean Mariamne.
Anyway, I do intend to get back to Eisenman. There are a number of topics in his book that are not substantially impacted by Atwill and can be discussed independently. I made a list of topics in a previous post. They are still relevant. For example, I think that Eisenman's conclusion is valid that Essene typecasting in the Hasmonean period was readapted in the Herodian period to apply to James and other leading figures. We'll be able to explore this in more depth later.
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