In his new book The Christianity Myth, K.A.G. Thackerey examines what little we know about first-century Christianity. He also examines what little we think we know about first-century Christianity. He concludes that there are two ways of explaining how Christianity started. One way is the traditional way, with divine intervention, and the other way is Thackerey’s way, without divine intervention. Thackerey’s way is both novel and intriguing, and his very provocative ideas are destined to ruffle more than just a few feathers. The Christianity Myth is a very controversial, eye-opening expose that challenges Christianity’s very essence, and both Christians and non-Christians alike will find it a riveting read.
After thirty years of regular church going, I still wasn't convinced that Christianity's claims about the resurrection of Jesus were well founded. So, eventually I attended a Christian run Alpha Course to see what really committed Christians had to say on the subject. They offered a few flawed statistics that were obviously biased in favour of their argument. They then supplemented these with a few references to flimsy historical records to prove that Jesus existed-their Jesus of course. The rest of the course, which was most of it, revolved around personal emotions and personal emotional needs, and how the bible addressed all these personal needs. Out of interest, I persevered and finished the course, but I finished it feeling even more dubious about Jesus than when I started. The course may have totally failed to reassure me about Christianity's resurrection claims, but it did prompt me to start thinking about the subject more seriously. Was there any possibility, however small, that Christianity rose to be a major world religion based entirely on a flawed premise? This was an intriguing question which I felt deserved some attention. I was retired with time on my hands, and I had broadband access to the internet. I also had a scientific research background, and no “emotional baggage” to “influence” the outcome of any investigation. After many years of mental laziness, I had at long last found something interesting enough to tempt me to climb back in the saddle. Before long, I back into work-mode and enjoying every minute. This book essentially addresses two fundamental questions. First, are the Christian claims that Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem 2000 years ago well founded? Second, if not, how come 2000 years later, we have a major world religion based entirely on a false premise? Christians may well find themselves challenged by my attempts to answer these questions. Throughout the book, I have used the term historical-Jesus whenever referring specifically to a purely historical mortal character called Jesus, and I have used the term Gospel-Jesus whenever referring specifically to the Jesus found in the New Testament Gospels. This Gospel-Jesus is the Jesus who Christians claim was resurrected on the third day after his crucifixion. I deliberately use these more specific terms to minimise confusion. I also use the term New Testament somewhat loosely throughout the book. Mostly I use it to mean just the four Gospels and the seven genuine Pauline Epistles. The rest of the New Testament is just supporting acts added later to augment these main acts.
Thackerey was born of working-class parents in 1941. He had a good all-round education at a local grammar school and graduated with a chemistry degree in the 1960s. He is now enjoying retirement, having spent most of his working life in research and development. Married with three sons, he now lives a very quiet and unremarkable life in semidetached suburbia. Thackerey likes taking long country walks, and he invariably rewards himself en route with a good pub lunch. From time to time, he relishes the freedom to think the unthinkable. His dislikes include watching sport, anchovies, playing sport, aubergines, and talking about sports. He thinks the modern generation has unrealistically high expectations, and he believes that these have been deliberately created by unscrupulous advertising, funded by unscrupulous large businesses. If Thackerey had to choose two words to describe himself, he would choose “skeptical pessimist.” For him, the glass has always been half-empty rather than half-full, but he realistically accepts that half-empty is far better than empty.