The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity

Excerpts & Samples

By Jeffrey J. Bütz

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Jeffrey J. Bütz

Jeffrey J. Bütz
Jeffrey J. Bütz is an ordained Lutheran minister and adjunct professor of world religions at Penn State University's Berks-Lehigh Valley campus. He lives in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania.



Reveals the true role of James, the brother of Jesus, in early Christianity

• Uses evidence from the canonical Gospels, apocryphal texts, and the writings of the Church Fathers to reveal the teachings of Jesus as transmitted to his chosen successor: James

• Demonstrates how the core message in the teachings of Jesus is an expansion not a repudiation of the Jewish religion

• Shows how James can serve as a bridge between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

James has been a subject of controversy since the founding of the Church. Evidence that Jesus had siblings contradicts Church dogma on the virgin birth, and James is also a symbol of Christian teachings that have been obscured. While Peter is traditionally thought of as the leader of the apostles and the "rock" on which Jesus built his church, Jeffrey Bütz shows that it was James who led the disciples after the crucifixion. It was James, not Peter, who guided them through the Church's first major theological crisis--Paul's interpretation of the teachings of Jesus.

Using the canonical Gospels, writings of the Church Fathers, and apocryphal texts, Bütz argues that James is the most overlooked figure in the history of the Church. He shows how the core teachings of Jesus are firmly rooted in Hebraic tradition; reveals the bitter battles between James and Paul for ideological supremacy in the early Church; and explains how Paul's interpretations, which became the foundation of the Church, are in many ways its betrayal. Bütz reveals a picture of Christianity and the true meaning of Christ's message that are sometimes at odds with established Christian doctrine and concludes that James can serve as a desperately needed missing link between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam to heal the wounds of centuries of enmity.

"[Butz'] scholarly survey of the Gospels, apocryphal texts, and histories of the Church reveals the connection of Jesus to his siblings and their support of his teachings in Jewish Christian orthodoxy....Butz explores the meaning of 'James the Just' and how early Christianity was invented by the Apostle Paul and turned an earthly Jewish Messiah into the divine Son of God."

Leo V. Kriz, Library Journal, Feb. 15, 2005

"This volume is eminently readable and accessible to nonscholars while being thorough in its research. . . . challenges readers to rethink the nature of both orthodoxy and heresy."

Publishers Weekly, Feb. 14, 2005

"The Brother of Jesus is an interesting work which certainly shines a strong light on an undervalued aspect of early Christianity . . . . offers an excellent overview of the Jewish/James approach to Chritian origins that is well-researched and documented."
Robert Burns, New Dawn, Sept-Oct 2005

"In telling the story of James, Jeffrey Butz provides us with a renewed consideration of the profound spiritual interconnectedness between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam . . . "
The Beacon, Mar-Apr 2006