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Misreading Judas: How Biblical Scholars Missed the Biggest Story of All Time
by Robert Wahler
NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award winner for nonfiction 2018
U. S. Review of Books
reviewed by Donna Ford
"Please, everyone, read the Gospel of Judas as the Gnostic text that it is. Stop importing a New Testament bias into it."
Lost for 1,700 years, the Gospel of Judas has an approximate origin in the 2nd century and was found preserved in an Egyptian cave. The Coptic language text was written by Gnostic Christians and elevates Judas from traitor to teacher of sacred mysteries. While this find has been touted as a great revelation, early Christians labeled it heresy.
Wahler defines self-sacrifice as the goal of Gnosticism. According to the book, when Jesus and Judas spoke together before the handover to Jewish leaders, their conversation concerned the personal sacrifice of Judas to become one with the Master. This would occur through the mystic practice of the Name (Logos, the presence of the divine). There is no mention of betrayal in this history. The author goes on to explain that a Gnostic Master is succeeded by the installation of another. Using New Testament text, he establishes the claim that the Apostle James became the Master following Jesus’ death.
With the popularity of Dan Brown’s pulse-racing books, including The Da Vinci Code, some who question the Christian interpretation of the New Testament gospels are now accepting the Gnostic viewpoint. Even the Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby concurs in rejecting the idea of Judas as a traitor with Jewish involvement. This 103-page book is the author’s call to fellow researchers of Biblical texts to join him in validating the Gospel of Judas’ place in history. His own thorough research results are meticulously presented, comparing Nag Hammadi Library codes in Gnostic text to chapter and verse of Christian works to prove controversial points. Also included is a substantial bibliography.
A revelatory interpretation of the Gospel of Judas.
In this book, Wahler (The Bible Says "Saviors," 2009) surveys the existing literature on an early gnostic Gospel that features Judas Iscariot as its main character, and he finds it lacking. He maintains that the Gospel's underlying narrative has been misread by biblical scholars, and he ascribes their errors to two main factors: a nearly unthinking deference to the orthodox New Testament texts (great chunks of which he dismisses as "Pauline propaganda"), and a scholarly ignorance of mystic gnostic traditions and their relationship to the canonical Gospels: "Is there no awareness in the ivy-covered academic halls of the long and storied tradition of the Eastern mystics?" he asks. Wahler provides an invaluable verse-by-verse close-reading of the Gospel of Judas and then widens his view to include other key works from the Nag Hammadi library of gnostic texts and, eventually, the canonical Gospels themselves. Along the way, he asks key questions, such as "who is this character, Judas? Is he the man that Paul never mentioned, the one he never knew, just like the Jesus he never knew?" Some of his answers to these questions are revolutionary ; for instance, he contends that the bulk of the New Testament amounts to a conscious coverup of the incendiary contents of the Judas Gospel, in which, he says, Judas essentially spiritually transforms from man to Messiah, supplanting Jesus. This is a comparatively short but densely packed exposition of a breadth of material that the Christian church has deemed apocryphal. Wahler offers readers very little in the way of introductory context, and many readers may wish that he'd slowed down at times to provide more explanatory information. However, his fellow experts will find thrilling, deep thought in these pages.
A tightly argued presentation of an explosive, Judas-centered counter-narrative.
Is it possible that orthodox Christianity is based on a lie? For Robert Wahler, the answer is an unequivocal yes, an argument he pursues in his new book.
The evidence for this radical idea, the author notes, can be found in the Gospel of Judas. This recently rediscovered manuscript paints Judas, not as a betrayer, but as an heroic figure.
Wahler believes there's even more to this story: that this text needs to be read, not in light of modern Christian scholarship, but through the lens of Gnosticism (in which it was written) with a focus on Western and Eastern mysticism traditions. The author argues that the obscure manuscript provides evidence of bait and switch, namely that Judas was a stand-in, or alias, for James the Just, whom the author believes is the true successor of Christ (which undermines St. Paul's role in the development of the Church). Moreover, the text reveals hidden truths about the metaphysical nature of sacrifice and inner work that needs to be done to reach higher levels of consciousness.
This is all heady stuff, and for those not well versed in Gnostic thought, the author's exegesis of the text can be challenging. Yet, Wahler makes a valiant attempt to unpack the text, acting like a semiotics detective, exploring symbolism, and sometimes offering line-by-line commentary of ancient texts.
In his exuberance, however, Wahler's prose can turn dense and awkward, making his meaning hard to discern (e.g. : "The disciples ask that they be granted not to be tempted at 4:30, the same as Jesus tells them to 'watch and pray that you enter not into temptation.'").
As Wahler admits here, most scholars will balk at his claims. Still, the author's ideas are well-argued with citations, and while Misreading Judas sits outside the mainstream, it does provide an thought-provoking, if challenging, alternative look at Christianity.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.
4 out of 4 stars
What if someone provided proof that our long-held beliefs about Jesus of Nazareth were incorrect? Author Robert Wahler is attempting to do just that with his 2016 non-fiction book, Misreading Judas: How Biblical Scholars Missed the Biggest Story of All Time. The author’s thesis offers a new interpretation of the relationship between Jesus and Judas. Wahler asserts the story of Judas was not a betrayal and sacrifice of Jesus at all but rather a self-sacrifice by Judas as part of the Gnostic tradition called mastership succession. The author’s research holds both Jesus and Judas in a very different light from that of orthodox religious teachings. Could Jesus really have been merely one in a succession of many spiritual Masters?
The Gnostic Gospel of Judas was likely composed by second-century Gnostic Christians. The surprisingly intact papyrus containing the text first surfaced publicly in 1970. It reveals conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot. Wahler claims no one has correctly translated the Gospel of Judas until his research emerged. He faults the Christian scholars who initially interpreted the text, saying they were ignorant to the Gnostic orientation necessary to adequately understand the ancient writings. In Eastern spiritual traditions, mysticism is the practice of spiritual knowing (gnosis) through meditation and other vehicles for merging with Spirit. A longtime student of Eastern mysticism, Wahler insists the story of Judas and all of the Gnostic Gospels must be interpreted through the lens of mysticism.
In addition to Gnostic texts and the New Testament, Wahler’s comparative analysis draws from the work of Eastern spiritual teacher Maharaj Charan Singh. From this viewpoint, Wahler contends when Jesus tells Judas to “sacrifice the man who bears me,” he is referring to a mystical sacrifice, not the physical sacrifice of Jesus. In the mystical interpretation, Jesus is telling Judas that he (Judas) will sacrifice his individual self to become one with his spiritual Master. This form of self-sacrifice is a traditional practice by the Gnostics of that time. In addition, the author asserts that Judas is the same person as the lesser-known apostle, James the Just. If they are one in the same, according to Wahler, then the Judas-as-betrayer story was a cover for what really happened: James (Judas) succeeded Jesus as Master.
Robert Wahler maintains that the mystical self-sacrifice by Judas, and his subsequent mastership, was misinterpreted and “inverted” by biblical scholars to hide the uncomfortable truth that other great Masters preceded and succeeded Jesus. The simple existence of a succession of Masters through self-sacrifice challenges the conventional knowledge of Jesus’ role in history. Wahler is not saying that Jesus wasn’t a prophet and great spiritual Master. He is saying Jesus wasn’t the only one and that he didn’t die for anyone’s sins. Wahler challenges, “There is no reason to think that the New Testament canon is the original text of the story of the first-century Master, Jesus Christ.”
For a relatively short book, 102 pages, Misreading Judas delivers volumes worth of sound comparative analysis. It is packed with quotations and line-by-line examination. I thought I might tire of the density but found I was fascinated by Wahler’s methods and conclusions. Misreading Judas is not an easy read but is worth the effort. Some of the logic is complicated but at the same time convincing.
Wahler’s writing is clear and easy to follow. The book’s organization facilitates the reader’s understanding of the material. Divided into four sections, the book traverses The Gospel of Judas, The Nag Hammadi Library, The New Testament, and resources on mystic readings of scriptures. Considering the complex punctuation required for the dense quotations, parenthetical and bracketed insertions, I was surprised that there were so few errors. The editor gave impeccable attention to precision in grammar and punctuation. A summary at the end of the book reviews the passages of text that directly support the thesis. Both the summary and Wahler’s concluding remarks help to connect the dots. Note: In deference to Eastern mysticism, Robert Wahler capitalizes the word “Master” in his book. I have done the same for consistency.
Wahler is not entirely alone in his progressive positions. Some cursory research on my part revealed that there is growing consensus among religious scholars for Wahler’s view of Judas as beloved and obedient disciple, rather than betrayer. The author’s belief in the succession of Masters is, however, another story. This is where he is out on a limb. Save non-Christians and very progressive theologians, support for this conclusion is less enthusiastic, to be sure.
I rate Misreading Judas: How Biblical Scholars Missed the Biggest Story of All Time 4 out of 4 stars. If you are open-minded and are interested in biblical history or Eastern mysticism, I think you will be fast captivated by this book. If you are outraged by Wahler’s conclusions, you might enjoy being engaged in what can only be described as the debate of the millennia.
The Gospel of Judas is the most important discovery in history. It bridges the gap between Eastern mystic teaching, Gnosticism, and the three Middle Eastern Abrahamic religions, informing all of them. Unfortunately, the Christianity-biased scholars assigned to its interpretation and those who have followed them do not understand it -- at all. They miss that Judas is the gnostic sacrifice, and that there is no traditional orthodox Jesus sacrificed in the original version of the narrative. Therefore, they miss the most important revelation of all time: that 'Jesus' didn't die to save anyone, and that he was in truth preceded and succeeded by other Masters of equal stature. Here from gnostic texts that only just recently arose from the desert sands of Egypt, phoenix-like, is the detailed story of how the New Testament canonical 'Betrayal of Jesus' became the inversion of the gnostic mastership installation story of James the Just, first-century savior. The true origin of the Christian message and its nullification of mystic Truth can now, at long last, be fully told.
Proof from connecting verses in the Gnostic Apocryphon and Apocalypses of James, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Gospel of Judas to the New Testament narrative showing that Judas was James in the Canonical Inversions, both sacrifice and Master:
Apocryphon of James
"Woe to those who have seen the Son [of] Man;" (3.;17-18) > "Woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed ['delivered']" (Mark 14:21) "blessed will they be who have not consorted with the man, and they who have not consorted with him, and they who have not spoken with him" (3.19-22) > "sacrifice the man" (Gospel of Judas 56.21).
"that, when I [Jesus] have come, I might ascend (again)" (14.40) > "and again he came ... Rise, let us be going" (Mark 14:40-42).
"But pay heed to the glory that awaits me" (14.26) > "When he [Judas] had gone out, Jesus said 'Now is the Son of man glorified'" (13:31).
I [Jesus] shall depart from you ... I shall strip myself" (14.33-35) > "a young man [James] followed him ... and fled naked" (Mark 14:51-52).
"And I [James] pray that the beginning may come from you [his fellow disciples], for thus I shall be capable of salvation, since they [the disciples' disciples] will be enlightened through me" (16.14-15) > "and he touched his ear and healed him" (Luke 22:51. Also John 18:9-11. Malchus is initiated by "one of those"/"one of them"/"Peter" [James], illustrating in the canon the Apocryphon of James dynamic of mastership succession. "Touching the right ear" struck by the symbolic sword of the Word is spiritually healing for "him.")
Proof from the Gnostic Apocalypses that Judas was James in the Canonical Inversions:
Compare the inversions in the canonical Betrayal of the Apocalypses of James with the inversion of Jamesian purity observances in the Dead Sea Scrolls of Pauline theology (see Dr. Robert Eisenman). The "betrayal" happens in the Gospels and in Acts 1 just when a successor to Jesus would be expected to be chosen. The "traitor" Judas in the canonical Gospels is really James the Just, successor Master to Jesus in the Gnostic Apocalypses of James, inverted tendentiously to hide his coming.
First Apocalypse of James
"I have given you a sign" (NHC 24.10) "gave them a sign" [the "kiss"]
"Cup of bitterness to the sons of light" (25.15) "let this cup pass from me"
"This is the second Master" (30.25) "Those who seek enter through you"
(Second Apoc. 55.1) "I know whom I have chosen." (John 13:1 8).
"Then the disciples dispersed, but James remained in prayer" (30.25) "he
withdrew and prayed" (Luke 22:41).
"I am he who was within me" (31.15) "I know whom I have chosen" and
"I am he" (John 13:18-19).
"You have embraced and kissed me" (32.5) "He said 'Hail Master!' and
kissed him" (Matt. 26:49).
"You are aware and stopped this prayer" (32.5) "Sit here while I pray"
"The flesh is weak" (32.20) "the flesh is weak" (Matt. 26:41).
"It will receive what has been ordained for it" (32.20) "thy will be done"
"A multitude will arm themselves against you" (33.5) "band of soldiers with
weapons" (John 18:3, Mark 14:43).
"Seize you" (33.5) "seized him" (Matt. 26:48, 50, John 18:12)
"In particular, three of them will seize you." (33.5) "A band of soldiers, their captain, and their officers seized Jesus." (John 18:12) "... chief priests, scribes and elders" (Mark 14:43, Luke 22.52).
"When you come into their power, their guard will call to you." (33.13-14) "Whom do you seek?" They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth." (John 18:4-5)
"You are to say to him, "I AM a son, and I AM from the Father." (33.16-17) "I am he." (John 18:6)
Second Apocalypse of James
"I am he [twice] who was first summoned by the Great One ...who stripped himself and went about naked" (2 Apoc. 46.15) "I am he." (John 18:8), "stripped him, put his own clothes on him" (Matt. 27:31) "As a brother he was sought" (46.20) "Whom do you seek?" (John 18:7). "For just as you are the first, having clothed yourself, you are the first who will strip himself" (2 Apoc. 56.10)
"He is the one who will come ... He was the virgin, stripped and rising naked" (2 Apoc. 58.10-20) "And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body, and they seized him, but he leftthe linen cloth and fled naked" Mark 14:51-2) and "stripped him, and led him away to crucify him" (Matt. 27:31)
"Hail, my brother, hail!" (2 Apoc. 50.10) Hail, Master!" (Matt. 26:49). This is a very important match. It shows that the gnostic version is earlier. Later developed theology of the virgin birth dictated that it must read "Hail, MASTER!" instead of "Hail, Brother!"
"Bring me from a tomb alive" (2 Apoc. 63.5) "He is not here. for he has risen," "risen from the dead," and "tomb" (Matt. 28:6-8).
In most cases in these parallel occurrences, the order is roughly the same: the sign, the bitter cup, "on a rock," "the flesh is weak,"thy will,"what is ordained," "Hail!" and then the kiss, an "armed multitude" coming (John 18), "naked," and then "fleeing" (up, in spirit).
Apocalypse of Peter
"He [Jesus] was about to reprove you [Peter] three times in this night" (Apoc. Peter 72.3, final line of first paragraph).
This passage is about Peter denied inner vision of the Master in his meditation. It is inverted into a denial of JESUS, BY Peter in all four canonical Gospels. Three elements: the denial, three times, and "in this night" cannot be coincidence.
"Crowning" of light (71.30) "Soldiers plaited a crown of thorns" (John 19:2).
Gospel of Judas
Passover setting in both texts. Main character "walking" and "twelve disciples" called.
"Apophasis Logos" is "Word" in John 1.
"Anami Desh" (Sant Mat's "No name region" - see Sar Bachan) is "region never called by any name" (47.13)
"You will be replaced by someone" (36.1). Matthias isn't mentioned as he is in Acts 1. This is Judas merging into Jesus.
"You will not be able to go there but will grieve a great deal" (35.20) "woe to the one who delivers me" (Matt. 26:24).
"You will be replaced by someone in order that the twelve [elements] may again come to completion in their god." (36.1-3) "I tell you this now before it takes place; so that when it does take place you will know that I am he." (John 13:19).
"For your sake they will reign and become Kings" (2 Apoc. 56.5), "generation with no King" (Gospel of Judas 53.24).
"You stirred up wrath against yourself" (1 Apoc. 32.10), "Your wrath has been kindled" (56.23 -- shows Judas was James).
"You will exceed them all, you will sacrifice the man who bears me" (56.20), "Woe to that man who delivers me" (Matt. 26:24). This is Judas sacrificing himself; the "woe to that man" is his sacrifice of himself, merging into his Master!
The author is a life-long seeker and spiritual practitioner. A devoted Evangelical Christian for two years in the early '70's, the discovery of mystic Masters of the East changed everything. Now the mysticism that is the biblical Way became clear. Since 1975, the author has been a Satsangi with the Radha Soami Satsang Beas, of Beas, India. (www.rssb.org)
The main finding of this research is that the climax passage of the Gospel of Judas "you will exceed them all, for you will sacrifice the man who bears me" is Judas sacrificing himself, not Jesus sacrificed, and that he is really a cover for the successor Master as shown in the Apocalypses of James. This pivotal line of the Gospel of Judas is 56,20, in answer to, "What will those who have been baptized in your Name do?" (The 'Name' is Word.) Next line: "Tomorrow they will torment the one who bears me," followed by "you will exceed them all, for you will sacrifice the man who bears me" -- no change in subject! Jesus is answering the question Judas has asked him by telling him that he will sacrifice himself spiritually, not Jesus sacrificed bodily.
The gnostic tradition preceded the canon. There is no Matthias in the Gospel of Judas where he should be in it if the canon preceded the Gospel of Judas (36.1). Instead, "Someone else" will replace Judas. This is the origin of the "Betrayal" myth. Judas is the spiritual sacrifice, and Jesus is never betrayed. Judas 'delivers' himself, he does not 'betray' anyone. "Hail, BROTHER!" in the gnostic First Apocalypse of James in place of the canonical "Hail, Master!" shows that a later virgin-birth theology influenced the canon and primacy for the gnostic version of the story, which was originally one of mastership installation of James the Just, not betrayal of Christ by Judas. The nascent Pauline Church was trying (successfully) to hide that there was a successor. There normally is, even today.
The Acts 1 replacement of Judas has 'Judas' in place of James, falling "headlong" (James falls from the Temple wall in the Pseudoclementine Recognitions 1.70, thrown by "Saul" or Paul). The "vision" that Judas experiences in the Gospel of Judas (44.15-45.2) is of himself stoned by "the Twelve" (other disciples). The only character stoned by fellow disciples in the first century that we know of was James the Just. After being thrown from the wall, he is not killed, but is beaten to death by Saul and his followers. See Dr. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus. Paul is the Spouter of Lying in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and in the Pseudoclementine Recognitions 1.70 he kills James. Not a pretty picture. But this is the right way to read the story. This is what really happened.
Joseph Barsabbas Justus covers James the Just as the 'defeated' candidate in Acts 1:23.
The election (by 'lots' from Acts 1) is for "episcopate of Jerusalem" (from the Church Fathers); Acts 1:20 says "his office let another take" (Psalm 109:8), but an Apostle is not an "office": episcopate is.
Not only this about Judas covering James, but 'Stephen' -- yet another fictional Gospel character -- covers for James. Dr. Eisenman relates all the amazing details of Paul and his attack on and murder of James in this Acts 7 story of the prototypical 'Christian,' Stephen, in chapter sixteen of his book just mentioned above.
James is given "the bread" by a risen Jesus in the Gospel of the Hebrews, noted by a number of early Church fathers -- not Judas, as in the Betrayal story.
That Judas is fictional and covers James, a known prominent religious figure of his time-- preeminent actually- casts doubt on the historicity of Jesus as well, since neither one is known to either history (Josephus) or to Paul (both these sources are suspected of later Christian interpolation). The fact that the central train of events in the Gospel story is set in motion BY A LITERARY INVENTION and that the most prominent citizen of the day is minimized out of existence means that this is an early Church or "proto-orthodox" coverup of monumental proportions. James was A MASTER. HE was the savior of his day, not Jesus. John the Baptist, James the Just, Simeon Cleophus (Simon Peter) were the line, Masters all.
It is not possible to overstate the impact of these discoveries. Quite simply, this the greatest revelation in all history. In just one cache of documents we can now see that the two greatest religions of history are embellishment of mysticism. This impacts everyone in the world personally, and the world and societies in general, so pervasive are the influences of Islam and Christianity. When you have garbage in you get garbage out. I don't mean to insult anyone, but the teachings of these two religions are simply not true. They are remakes and overlays of the truth of mystic teaching.
By the way, I said that the true origin of the Christian message and its nullification of mystic Truth can now be fully told, not that I had done it. What I have done is point the way. I believe I am correct in all I say about it, but there always seems to be more to learn. This is a call to scholars and amateurs alike to join me in finishing the story. I don't know Coptic! or even Greek! Help me out. I would love to be part of a translation team to do the Gospel of Judas the justice it deserves. Then we can tackle the rest of the Nag Hammadi collection. And what a treasure trove it is!
SBL Annual Meeting abstract submission (2/15/18, paper later rejected for admission)
The recovery of the Nag Hammadi/Al Minya gnostic texts is the most important discovery in history. We now have period documents proving that the gnostic story of mastership succession and the sacrifice of James --- as 'Judas' -- is the origin of the canonical 'Betrayal of Christ' narrative. Comparing the gnostic Apocalypses of Nag Hammadi to the Four Gospels reveals the monumental revelation that James the Just was inverted as 'Judas,' the Pauline proto-orthodoxy contriving the device of "Judas the traitor" as a way to hide James's personal self-sacrifice and mastership. In the Gospel of Judas, Judas has his vision of being stoned by fellow disciples, an event known to have befallen only James in period sources. A new page 55 fragment shows, "Israel will come ..." leading believers out of worldly bondage, in a likely allusion to Jacob, Greek for "James" -- not the Genesis Patriarch, but a redeemer James who "will come."
All of the following gnostic passages about James's mastership installation have been installed into the canon, usually reversed tendentiously from their mystic original reading, but roughly in order, to apply to the Judas betrayal of Christ: "I have given you a sign;" "walking on a mountain;" "prayer on a rock;" "three times you have told us to become full;" "I know whom I have chosen;" "he who ate my bread;" "the flesh is weak;" the kiss (inverted from a kiss of life to a kiss of death); "stripped and rising naked;" "a multitude will arm themselves against you;" "in particular three of them will seize you;" the three denials of Peter, and more. Second Apocalypse of James, "Hail my brother, my brother, hail," became, "Hail, Master!" in Matthew, proving that the gnostic version came first, since virgin-birth theology came late in the development of the canon.
The New Testament canon was a successful attempt by the proto-orthodoxy to hide that there was a successor Master -- James -- who had come to, most likely, take on the ministry of John the Baptist. Judas, and very possibly Jesus, were fictional inventions by Gospel authors to hide that there was a succession of saviors coming to offer a living salvation -- like it says in red-letter quotations of John 6:35-40 and 9:1-5 (Codex Sinaiticus, "sent US") -- not the cult of the dead as taught by Paul in Romans 10:9-13. Famous John 3:16 isn't even about Jesus at all, but the Son as Spirit 'given,' in past tense, to John the Baptist and others. Mark 10:45 is the granting of 'Life' (Gr.,"psuchen") as a ransom to the archons, not a human body sacrifice to a vengeful God. A death ransom of the Master would have been offered to 'all,' not 'to many' -- whether accepted or not. A careful study of modern mystic sources, many written by recently living Masters, some English speaking, is the spiritual Rosetta Stone to unlocking the real story of salvation.
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Bible says Saviors -- Obadiah 1:21" by Robert Wahler.]
4 out of 4 stars
“The Bible is not the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is” (p 13). This assertion is the basis of Robert Wahler’s bold interpretation of Christian religious history. Wahler, a life-long follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ, examines the Bible, using newly discovered ancient documents to uncover significant untruths in the holy talisman. The Bible says “Saviors” – Obadiah 1:21 offers evidence that Jesus was not the one and only Lord and Savior. Wahler guides the reader through an extensive analysis revealing that John the Baptist and James the Just were also saviors, as part of a traditional succession of many masters.
Recent discoveries of ancient Gnostic texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Judas, and the Nag Hammadi Library provide Wahler with ample evidence of mistranslation, misinterpretation, and an early Pauline church with cause to conceal the truth, in favor of Jesus as sole Lord and Savior. The author’s analysis of three versions of the Holy Bible reveals the existence of dozens of additional masters, one even more prominent in history than Jesus.
Wahler’s research reiterates the fact that The Bible, taken as absolute truth by many, is often distilled from “translations of translations of copies” (p13) of recollections of original oral versions, sometimes recounted years after they were spoken. The material is meant to be understood non-literally, through the context of mysticism. An incorrectly translated tense, word, or even letter, can affect the meaning of an entire verse. The Bible says “Saviors” succeeds at assembling evidence of a Bible several times removed from the truth, and flawed, due to both misinterpretation and intentional obfuscation. It was, in fact, some of the very authors of the scriptures who deceived through their writings. Wahler’s book reveals why the important role of Jesus’ brother James was completely omitted from the Bible and who played the villain who benefitted from erasing James’ existence.
I was riveted by much of this book. It felt important that Wahler dissected the Bible with allegiance to the language of the original period, noting inconsistencies born of careless reliance on contemporary overlays. I think readers will find the analysis of John 3:16 and countless other verses to reflect some fascinating departures from conventional understanding. I appreciate that Wahler draws from seasoned Biblical scholars to build his case for textual inaccuracies. Robert Eisenman’s and Bart Ehrman’s scholarly New Testament work, as well as James Tabor’s analysis of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, provide some scaffolding for the book, but Wahler adeptly connects the elements to reach his conclusions.
I brushed up on reference punctuation to review this book. I detected only a couple of minor errors. It proved to be somewhat challenging to identify small errors amid the density of punctuation elements required for Wahler’s complex in-text referencing style, but I am confident that the book is professionally edited for grammar and punctuation.
The Introduction and Conclusion outline the book’s primary assertions with great clarity, helping the reader stay oriented to the complex material. The book might benefit from a bit more content editing. The author introduces labyrinthine concepts that sometimes want for context. Important takeaways may be revealed miles from the evidence presented, so the thread between the two can get lost. But don’t be discouraged. The book is well worth a couple of evenings of attention, to gain an understanding of the material.
I award The Bible says “Saviors” – Obadiah 1:21 with a rating of 4 out of 4 stars for its impeccable research, analytical excellence, and revolutionary conclusions. While the content was dense at times, I know this was necessary for the author’s comprehensive argument.
Openminded followers of any religion or wisdom tradition, as well as students of comparative religion, will enjoy this book. Jewish readers and those familiar with the Gnostic Gospels will recognize some of the conclusions and appreciate the explorations. I think Christians open to a mystical interpretation of the Bible will appreciate the material. Orthodox thinkers will likely be challenged by Wahler’s entire position, but I don't discourage these readers. I was raised with very traditional Christian teachings, and I find Wahler’s perspectives enlightening, even if provocative. What I recall from my study of neuropsychology is that exposure to information that challenges our preconceptions enhances our intelligence and bolsters our personal wisdom. The Bible says “Saviors” will not only surprise you - it may make you smarter.