Robert Eisenman's "James the Brother of Jesus"

This is a highly readable one thousand plus pages of text, and that is the only virtue I can find in this book. Allow me first to summarize a few of the highly counter-consensus points that Eisenman expects his readers to believe:

The Dead Sea Scrolls should be dated much later, to the time of the New Testament - but there is an academic conspiracy afoot to cover up that fact.

As for the New Testament, it was written very late - and used the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the works of Josephus (dated c. 90 AD) as sources. It is a far less reliable source than the Pseudoclementine Recognitions, which was a source for the NT: In fact, the story of Paul being surrounded by a bright light from heaven is merely a copy of a story in the Recognitions of the tombs of two brothers that were miraculously whitened every year.

The Gospels are too anti-Semitic to have been written by Jews; they were all written by Gentiles. Anti-Semitism stands out in such teachings as, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first” and “A prophet is never accepted in his own land and in his own hometown.”

Early Pauline Christianity is guilty of a massive conspiracy to cover up the role of James and the Holy Family in the early church.

Many events in the NT are adulterated overwrites of actual events. The election of Matthias to replace Judas is an overwrite of the election of James to apostolic office. The stoning of Stephen is an overwrite of the stoning of James by Paul’s command. Events have even been lifted from the works of Josephus and overwritten, then placed in the NT.

Many persons listed in the NT simply did not exist: Stephen, Judas Iscariot, the apostle James, and Zebedee the father of James and John. Nazareth probably did not exist either. Timothy and Titus are the same person, as are Silas and Silvanus.

Anti-Jamesian polemic is the point behind Paul’s analysis of those with weak faith in the Book of Romans.

The early Christians, the Essenes, and the Sicarii are all pretty much the same movement.

The probable genius behind the conspiracy was Paul’s companion Epaphroditus, who is identical with the Epaphroditus who sponsored Josephus and the Erastus mentioned in the Corinthian correspondence.

Other than that, there are many fallacies involved: Straw men, overreading of texts, outright errors, grasping at straws, semantic equivocations, and so on.

Shall we get into more depth? Indeed we shall, developing these points more specifically.

In sum, there is little to recommend Eisenman's work, much less to recommend it over consensus and mainstream works on the same issues.