The Lost Religion of Jesus : Simple Living and Non-Violence in Early Christianity
Jesus' preaching was first and foremost about simple living, pacifism, and vegetarianism; he never intended to create a new religion separate from Judaism. Moreover, Jesus' radical Jewish ethics, rather than a new theology, distinguished him and his followers from other Jews. It was the earliest followers of Jesus, the Jewish Christians, who understood Jesus better than any of the gentile Christian groups, which are the spiritual ancestors of modern Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox churches. In this detailed and accessible study, Keith Akers uncovers the history of Jewish Christianity from its origins in the Essenes and John the Baptist, through Jesus, until its disappearance into Islamic mysticism sometime in the seventh or eighth century. Akers argues that only by really understanding this mysterious and much misunderstood strand of early Christianity can we get to the heart of the radical message of Jesus of Nazareth.