Jesus Lived in India
Holger Kersten, Jesus Lived in India: His Unknown Life Before and After the Crucifixion (London: Penguin), 2001.
This is not the kind of book that I would normally read. It has not received reviews from any recognized scholars. It claims to "prove" a theory that cannot be proven. I'm not much of a fan of the various "quest for the historical Jesus" books in the first place. There is so much about the life of Jesus that cannot be known. The records we have are focused much more on belief and theology than on historical fact. This lack of fact has led, over the years, to a great deal of speculation.
Based on some theological similarities between Buddhism and Christianity, some rather questionable analyses of words that sound similar or are similar when translated into English, and a whole lot of speculation, this book certainly is anything but a proof. It is a bit of wild speculation at best. The book claims to be the result of years of investigative research and claims to present irrefutable evidence. It falls short of both marks. The simple fact that Kersten can cite no other scholars who share his conclusions ought to be a bit of a sign to sensible readers. If his version of the story is irrefutably true, why is he the only one who holds that theory?
Were it not for the simple fact that a friend asked me to read the book and react to it, I'm sure I would have never finished it. I certainly wouldn't recommend that any of my friends even start to read it.