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The Mistakes of Jesus   By:

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Author of "Social Progress," "People vs. Wall Street," "Our Gods on Trial," "War Resistance."




Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. Archaic spellings have been retained. Paragraph spacing has been normalised.

A table of contents, though not present in the original publication, has been provided below:

FOREWORD Face the Facts. The True Jesus. Scriptures Unauthentic. Faith in Jesus. Documentary Evidence. Retain the Good. Christianity Must Go.

ANTIQUATED THEOLOGY The Virgin Birth. The Jewish Messiah. Eternal Damnation. The Atonement. Angels and Devils.

FALSE IMPRESSIONS Jonah and the Whale. End of the World. Miracles. Eternal Life. Raising Lazarus. God's Protection. Belief in Prayer.

OBSCURE TEACHINGS Witnesses and Judge. Cannibalism. Religion Only for Children. Difficult or Easy? Charity. The Scriptures Upheld. Illogical. Parables Deceptive.

DEFICIENT INSTRUCTIONS Labor. Usury. Economics. Punishment for Debts. Healing. Peace. Marriage. Celibacy. Adultery. Divorce. Faulty Judgment. Unconvincing. Prohibition. Lack of Experience.

AN INFERIOR PROTOTYPE Cursing Nature. Forgiveness. Vituperation. Destruction of Property. Egotism. Lack of Courtesy. Unethical Advice. Sermon on the Mount. Inconsistency. Fear. Failure.

CONCLUSION Jesus a Myth. Judged by His Works. Ethical Evolution. Gains, not Losses.



The tradition regarding Jesus is so glamorous that it is difficult to review his life and character with an unbiased mind. While Fundamentalists and Modernists differ regarding the divinity of Christ, all Christians and many non Christians still cling to preconceived notions of the perfection of Jesus. He alone among men is revered as all loving, omniscient, faultless an unparalleled model for mankind.

This convention of the impeccability of Jesus is so firmly established that any insinuation of error on his part is deemed a blasphemy. Doubting Jesus is more impious than mocking God Almighty. Jehovah may be exposed to some extent with impunity; a God who destroyed 70,000 of his chosen people because their king took a census[1] is too illogical for any but theologians to worship. But the Son of God, or Son of man, is sacrosanct. Jesus is reverenced as the one man who has lived unspotted by the world, free from human foibles, able to redeem mankind by his example.

Respect for the principles of Jesus is so inbred in American people of all faiths that an attempt to disparage his worth is denounced as bad taste. The detractor is suspected of being an immoral person, no matter how convincing may be the proof which he presents. A conspiracy of silence is directed against any system of ethics advanced as superior to the Sermon on the Mount. In popular opinion Jesus never made a mistake; all his teachings were infallible; no other view is tolerated.

Face the Facts

This unwillingness to acknowledge the shortcomings of Jesus is partially due to fear of sustaining a great loss. The familiar answer to heretical arguments is that faith should not be destroyed unless something can be put in its place ignoring the fact that something always may be substituted for beliefs destroyed. That substitute is faith in the world as it really is. And our modern world, with all its shortcomings, is infinitely preferable to the earth, or even the heaven, of the first century. We now know that man can do more to eradicate sorrow than Jesus ever thought of. We can have greater confidence in the world as revealed today than in the doubtful traditions of Biblical times... Continue reading book >>

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