The Origins of Christianity

Read by JoeD

(3.4 stars; 87 reviews)

The full title of this book is The Origins of Christianity with an Outline of Van Manen’s Analysis of The Pauline Literature. Willem Christiaan van Manen (1842-1905) was a Dutch theologian. The vast majority of van Manen’s radical criticism of the New Testament and Christian origins has never been translated into English.

In this book, Thomas Whittaker outlines the arguments of van Manen for an English-speaking audience. Van Manen’s work is not now generally known, but his views obtained notoriety by the articles and books that he wrote, in which he maintained that none of the Epistles that bear the Apostle Paul’s name were in fact written by him. From van Manen’s conclusions, Whittaker goes further and relegates the whole body of the New Testament to the second century, and even places the beginning of the Christian movement until after the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70. Of Paul himself very little is certain, though Whittaker maintains that there may have been an itinerant preacher of that name. Whittaker comes to the conclusion that Jesus of Nazareth is entirely a mythical personage, but holds that what afterwards became Christianity or Paulinism had its origin in a Jewish-Messianic movement. (Summary by JoeD) (8 hr 18 min)


It's good to know origins have beliefs

(5 stars)

It's important to know the start

Excellent Christian History

(5 stars)

Doesn't get too bogged down in theology. Refreshingly rational and unbiased. Might shock some Christians. Nice clear, non-stylised reading

Thought provoking

(3 stars)

If if you are bogged down in your own beliefs, you will not like this.


(1 stars)

This text is short-sighted of historical criticism when written and stands on personal conjecture.


(4 stars)

no lo tienen en español a este audiolibro?


(3.5 stars)

Interesting insights in the life of Paul.

Good critique

(3.5 stars)

Not the best narrator for a serious listen youll laugh


(5 stars)

A very important early work on the bible. Recommended.