Why Christians Are Wrong About Jesus

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
184 Pages
Reviewed on 03/21/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

John Campbell is a lawyer, magician, songwriter, photographer, video producer, adventure travel enthusiast, and history buff who lives with his family in the southern United States. John has been a trial lawyer for over twenty-five years, successfully handling cases throughout the country. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock law school.

John was the coauthor of a book on close up magic, Pure Imagination, before writing Cross-Examined: Putting Christianity on Trial, his dissection of Christianity and the case of apologists for the Christian God. John was raised in a Christian household but lost his faith in college, ironically in the process of tying to to strengthen it. Since that time he has had a profound interest in religion, especially Christianity.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite

John Campbell wrote Why Christians are wrong about Jesus in an attempt to prove that the historical Jesus was not who modern-day Christians believe he is. Chapter titles include Why Jesus Was Not the Christ, Why the Christ of Paul Replaced the Historical Jesus, and Why Jesus Was Not Resurrected from the Dead. There are two appendixes. The first is about the prophecies of Daniel, contained in chapter 9 of the Bible. The second comprises statements by theologians and philosophers about Jesus and Paul, who is the author of much of the New Testament. Campbell is an attorney who was raised as a Christian but questioned his faith as a young adult. He now believes that Christians are mistaken about who the biblical Jesus is and that Jesus himself would have disagreed with what modern Christianity represents.

Evangelical or fundamentalist Christians will not like this book. Neither will members of other Christian-based denominations, but everyone should read it. For those with an open mind and who are willing to examine their faith, it’s a terrific, well-researched examination of the Jesus portrayed in the Bible. John Campbell wrote Why Christians are wrong about Jesus with complete honesty and objectivity. Campbell shows his legal background through his logical, thoroughly examined, and well-stated arguments, but avoids legal jargon. He writes in easy-to-understand language and makes a devastating case against making the Jesus of the Bible into the person that Christians think he is. What makes the book especially powerful is Campbell’s statement that he was born into a Christian family, yet lost his faith while attempting to strengthen it. I highly recommend this superb book to everyone, whether they are Christians, non-Christians, Bible scholars, or those who just want to know more about what the Bible teaches concerning the man on whom modern Christianity is based.

Lucinda E Clarke

In Why Christians are wrong about Jesus by John W Campbell, we get a rational account from many historians, universal and independent, who have analyzed the Bible’s story of the life of Jesus. The basis of Campbell's argument is that while Jesus lived and preached, none of his activities were written down at the time and the memoirs were penned over twenty years after his death, followed by further gospels forty and sixty years later. He provides many instances where the gospels contradict each other, while on other occasions they are carbon copies of the story. He also extrapolates that the prophecies of the Messiah coming to earth taken from the Old Testament were cherry-picked and made to fit the facts in retrospect. The translations of the biblical texts vary from Hebrew to Greek, and further language versions have often been inaccurate. Even the King James version from 1611 underwent over four hundred further changes in 1807. From his extensive research into both Jewish and Christian tracts, Campbell suggests that Jesus was intent on preaching only to the Jews and urged his followers to continue the practices passed down from the time of Moses. He also mentions how much of what Christians have been taught such as the end of the crucifixion, the empty tomb, and the rising from the dead can be debunked with simple psychology and modern research from internationally renowned experts in their field.

The very title Why Christians are wrong about Jesus by John W Campbell is intriguing, and I was keen to read his story. Can so many millions of people believe something that cannot be traced as factual? From the information, painstakingly collated, it appears there are huge discrepancies. The first part of the story has many quotes from the Old Testament, and I wondered if Campbell was Jewish as he knows so much about their religion; but no, the biography at the end describes him as being brought up as a Christian and then losing his faith. I learned so much: the early years of the new religion; the infighting of the different sects; Paul versus Peter, James and John; and the desperate scramble for each party to gather together as many followers as possible. Paul focused on preaching to the Gentiles, allowing them to disregard Jewish practices, while other factions stuck closely to the ancient laws. Campbell uncovers that Paul introduced baptism and the eucharist as Christians practice it today and changed the significance of Jesus’ resurrection which, Campbell maintains, were not found in the teachings of Jesus. It is difficult to read and absorb the information without having deep doubts about the authenticity of large parts of the Bible. Historically, information has been lost, mistold, or deliberately distorted which leaves the basis of Christian belief firmly in the realm of faith.

Meenakshi Bhatt

In Why Christians are wrong about Jesus, John W. Campbell discusses what he considers to be wrong about Christians’ knowledge of Jesus. He begins by discussing the origin of the name Jesus and how Christ came to follow it. Subsequently, he talks about the concept of a messiah in Jewish religious texts and how Jesus did not fit those criteria. He writes about alternative explanations for Jesus’s resurrection. He says the teachings of Christianity have little resemblance to those of the historical Jesus. Throughout the book, he draws attention to the fact that Christianity is based not on Jesus’s word, but rather on its interpretations by his followers. These interpretations were modified over several years and were heavily influenced by the needs of the interpreters and the times.

In Why Christians are wrong about Jesus, Campbell approaches the titular question with a scientific spirit. He spends some time explaining to us how historical texts are usually interpreted and asserts that religious texts should be no exception. He mentions that since there is little archaeological evidence of Jesus’s time; we have to rely solely on a critical analysis of the available literature of the era. He underscores the importance of first-person accounts and contemporary documentation in a true understanding of historical facts and bemoans the absence of such texts in the case of Jesus.

John W. Campbell tries to approach all the interpretations of holy texts as a historian. He systematically lists the places where he notes discrepancies and offers alternative scientific explanations. Despite the highly controversial topic, Campbell’s intent appears to be to encourage dialogue as he expresses his differing opinion on this historically important topic. Anyone interested in the history of Christianity should make it a point to read this extensively researched book.