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Zealot

The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Aslan, Reza (Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Zealot
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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.
Authors: Aslan, Reza
Title: Zealot
the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
Characteristics: 296 pages :,illustration, map ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Reza Aslan
Summary: 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.
ISBN: 9781400069224
140006922X
Branch Call Number: 232.901 J685a 2013
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Headings: Jesus Christ Bible History of Biblical events Church history
Topical Term: Church history
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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.


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Sep 13, 2014
  • Chidad rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is first-rate scholarship, witty, and learned and captures, what has been standard stuff in the more progressive seminaries, and theology programs. Brimming full of the latest biblical scholarship, Aslan gives us an eye into the real character of Jesus the man, and how his actions were shaped by the political and socio-economic events of his day, and debunks much of what has been only legend, and reveals a fierce, passionate and devoted Jew, hell-bent on reforming a religion that he, like others, felt had lost its way in the protection of the poor, and the purity of the voice of the prophets. A must read for the layman!

Aug 30, 2014
  • Luvgoodreads rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A long slog that keeps flipping back on itself and repeating what's already been said. I kept waiting for clarity, and didn't really find it until the last few pages. I found the voluminous notes section to actually be more interesting and informative (and more enjoyable) to read than the rest. Confirmed what I've always thought - the bible is comprised of exaggerated stories written to forward a certain political agenda.

Aug 15, 2014
  • rafavallina rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I'm surprisingly disappointed. I was looking forward to this book after I read all the reviews praising it, but it did not deliver to my expectations.

Although many of the historical elements it mentions are really interesting and informative, I found lots of contradictions and apparent omissions in the book: the author affirms that a specific point is "more complex than it seems" in one chapter and then moves on to base a whole chapter on it; he also uses the Bible extensively as a source for the arguments, but seems to only use those texts that fit his thesis.

I guess the media coverage made me expect quite a bit too much from it...

Aug 03, 2014
  • snooker56 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Says nothing new and says it very badly.

Apr 13, 2014
  • AEPowers60 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Very informative history of the politics of first century Judea. Also very enlightening regarding religious terminology and what words like "messiah" meant to someone living in that region and time versus how they are commonly understood now. This book can be enjoyed by historian and spiritual reader alike and contains thought provoking commentary in each area.

Feb 16, 2014
  • BTVS rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Nothing new in this book to those who have studied the topic but this is an excellent synopsis of known documentation placed in easy to understand context for a politically complex time. The conclusion is a thought provoking polemic. Christianity is a development of Hellenistic philosophy and man's search for justice.

Feb 16, 2014
  • richibi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

the facts about Jesus and his ministry, and how these were subverted for essentially political reasons after a power play between James, Jesus' brother, and Paul, all supported by the available, though necessarily scant, documentation, which suggests, significantly, that Jesus was merely a man, not God, as we've been led to believe these last 2000 years

Jan 30, 2014
  • lcdguy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very compelling investigation of historic correlations to biblical content with the purpose of giving perspective on how the impact of Jesus was influenced by the nature of the times. Given the New Testament was written well after Jesus's death, the intent of the gospels must be understood to separate factual, historic content from the purposefully constructed teaching through parables.

An important book for the faithful and undecided.

Jan 10, 2014
  • son_of_puddleglum rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Was Jesus a violent revolutionary? The book’s epigraph wants to give this impression. Unfortunately, this selection is misguided. A reading in proper context shows that ‘sword’ in verse 34, refers to inter-family conflict. ‘Sword’ is not a metonymy for violent action. This misuse of Matthew 10:34-35 is a rather inauspicious beginning to the book. Unfortunately, it gets worse. Aslan cites a lack of interest of Paul in the life of Jesus, when a close look at the Pauline letters shows a familiarity that is dispersed throughout the letters. These exist mainly as echoes and allusions because, of course, Paul was writing occasional letters, not biographies. He claims the gospels are not eyewitness accounts. Here he shows he is unfamiliar with recent scholarship in this area. He has no interaction with Richard Bauckham’s book “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” In fact, most scholars today accept that the gospels are of the genre of Greco-Roman biography (i.e. bios). This has been one of the more startling developments in recent New Testament studies. Aslan wants to date the gospels as late as possible. However, historian Colin Hemer has argued that Acts (and thus Luke and Mark) should be dated no later than 65 CE. (see Hemer’s book “the book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History”) Space precludes more, but perhaps his biggest error is: he cherry-picks the passage that support his thesis, and then declares the parts that undermine his thesis were “obviously invented”. If in fact he thinks the gospels are written late and are not the products of eyewitnesses, then we should not take his thesis seriously, since his entire thesis depends on events recounted in these (in his view) unreliable gospels. He cannot hold to his thesis without at the same time undermining it. For readers who want a scholarly and readable account of the Jesus of history (who is also the Jesus of faith), I recommend reading the Christian Origins and the Question of God series(4 volumes so far) by N. T. Wright. They’re long, and detailed, but worth the effort.

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Dec 30, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

And the more the movement was shaped by these new 'pagan' converts, the more force fully it discarded its Jewish past for a Graeco -- Roman future.

Dec 30, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Yesus ho Xristos

Dec 30, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Little by little over the following decade, the Jewish sect founded by a group of rural Galileans morphed into a religion of urbanized Greek speakers.

Dec 30, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

God has granted us the power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom, which was not the case for those who were conquered unexpectedly.

Dec 30, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

No lord but God!

Dec 30, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What Pilate was best known for was his extreme depravity, his total disregard for Jewish law and tradition, and his barely concealed aversion to the Jewish nation as a whole.

Dec 30, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Crucifixion was a punishment that Rome reserved almost exclusively for the crime of sedition.

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app07 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/16 16:30