The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about Jesus, from the host of CNN’s Believer
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Good Housekeeping • Booklist • Publishers Weekly • Bookish
Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.
Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God.
Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy.
Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious “King of the Jews” whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity.
Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth’s life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion.
Praise for Zealot
“Riveting . . . Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account.”—The New Yorker
“A lucid, intelligent page-turner.”—Los Angeles Times
“Fascinatingly and convincingly drawn . . . Aslan may come as close as one can to respecting those who revere Jesus as the peace-loving, turn-the-other-cheek, true son of God depicted in modern Christianity, even as he knocks down that image.”—The Seattle Times
“[Aslan’s] literary talent is as essential to the effect of Zealot as are his scholarly and journalistic chops. . . . A vivid, persuasive portrait.”—Salon
“This tough-minded, deeply political book does full justice to the real Jesus, and honors him in the process.”—San Francisco Chronicle
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
I was only browsing through this book, and turned to the page in the middle of the book where he said, the author; that the resurrection of Jesus was not an historical event. The resurrection hinged on that event and that solid fact only, w/o it the apostle Paul claimed, that if it hadn't that our faith was in vain, I think Paul knew a bit more than this fool...
A must read
As an ordained minister, I was compelled to read this book simply to address concerns from the congregation. Dr. Aslan has penned a fascinating work that is a scholarly and historical masterpiece. There are no attacks upon faith within, rather one will find an intriguing historical perspective. Invest the time to read the book and though you may not agree with all of the conclusions you will certainly find it was worthy of the time. Bravo Dr. Azlan.
Not for the weak hearted. Read if you are honest with yourself
No opinion on the content. It is to be judged by you. But critisims on grounds of “how dare a muslim …” is not valid. Judge content, not the messenger.
- Category: Religion & Spirituality
- Published: Jul 16, 2013
- Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
- Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
- Print Length: 336 Pages
- Language: English