Some, but certainly not all, of this composite and simplified view is held by my friends and colleagues Marcus J. Borg and J. Dominic Crossan. But I am not here trying to describe their positions, which deserve, and to which I am giving, more detailed attention elsewhere. The phenomenon of which I speak is what I meet at the more popular level.


See the interesting work of Richard A. Horsley and Neil Asher Silberman, The Message and the Kingdom (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1997).


See Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1996).