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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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This work presents a meticulously researched biography of Jesus that draws on biblical and historical sources to place his achievements and influence against the turbulent backdrop of his time. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, the author sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus Christ 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. Presents a meticulously researched biography of Jesus that draws on biblical and historical sources to place his achievements and influence against the turbulent backdrop of his time.
Authors: Aslan, Reza
Title: ZEALOT
The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, 2013.
Edition: First Edition.
Characteristics: xxxi, 296 pages ;,24 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Contents: Map: first-century Palestine
The temple in Jerusalem
A different sort of sacrifice
A hole in the corner
King of the Jews
You know where I am from
The fourth philosophy
Where is your fleet to sweep the Roman seas?
Year one
Zeal for your house
The voice crying out in the wilderness
Follow me
By the finger of God
May your kingdom come
Who do you say I am?
No king but Caesar
God made flesh
If Christ has not been risen
Am I not an apostle?
The just one
True God from true God.
Summary: [This work presents a meticulously researched biography of Jesus that draws on biblical and historical sources to place his achievements and influence against the turbulent backdrop of his time. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, the author sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus Christ 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., Presents a meticulously researched biography of Jesus that draws on biblical and historical sources to place his achievements and influence against the turbulent backdrop of his time.]
Local Note: 1 6 7 8 9 15 16 17 18 27 29 35 37 53 54 57 59 60 61 62 63 65 66 68 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 97 109 112 118 122 127 133 138 143 148 149 150 151 152 153 159 160 167 172 173 175 182 188 203 210 211 216 222 224 226 231 233 242 243 244 250 258 260 262 263 264 268 272 276 278
ISBN: 9781400069224
140006922X
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Report This 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.

Report This 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.

Report This 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

Report This 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.

Report This 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.

Report This Dec 26, 2013
  • BlueHippo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I love the comment below about how Mr. Aslan is "not a historian". Allow me to copy a quote from Wikipedia regarding his background: "Aslan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in religions from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. Aslan also received a Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology, focusing in the history of religion, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation was titled "Global Jihadism as a Transnational Social Movement: A Theoretical Framework"". I guess that Ph.D. that focused on the history of religion doesn't count, huh? Okay, now that I've got that out of the way, I thought this was an excellent book. For any one wondering why the Jewish people today do not see Jesus as their Messiah, read this book. For anyone who has noticed contradictions in stories by different authors in the New Testament, read this book. For anyone who has wondered why Paul's theology became the dominant theology of the Christian faith, read this book. Asan's book is readable and his extensive use of citations of biblical passages in the text makes its easy for anyone who cares to "check it out" to do so. If you would like to do more extensive research on his source material and alternative theories, read the notes and check out the bibliography. I found the last two chapters about James and Paul just fascinating. Aslan never implies criticism of anyone who chooses the Christian faith-he just elucidates how that faith got where it is today and how the man from Nazareth really became Christ. Alsan clearly states that regardless of the differences between what we can surmise about the actual historical man that Jesus must have been, the one thing no one can prove or disprove is whether he actually rose from the dead. In fact, Aslan gives some interesting points in favor of that actually happening. This book is not an attempt to distort anyone's Christian faith. Read with the proper attitude, this book can enlighten Christian thinkers and help them understand the "Jesus" in "Jesus Christ".

Of course we all knew that christianity was on shakey foundations anyway. But after this you really will need faith to move your mountain. Abandon hope all ye sinners who enter here - only if you leave your logic and appreciation of history behind will you retain your blind faith.

Report This Dec 14, 2013
  • StarGladiator rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A very good book, but one factoid not mentioned: the existence of Ralph of Nazareth. Isn't that always the case, one person is accorded superstar status (Jesus of Nazareth) while another innovative contributor to humanity goes all but unrecorded. Yes, there was indeed a Ralph of Nazareth, and yes he did great things (although he evidently never mastered that water into wine trick?).

Report This Dec 14, 2013
  • hypocracy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

THE BEST HISTORY BOOK one can read; once you start reading, you will not want to put this book down. Jesus (Yesus) the Man, ‘the son of man’- ho huios tou anthropou- and his brother James ‘the just one’ a meqdash always praying, Peter and John. Was Paul of Tarsus an impostor? Paul the former Pharisee ‘Saul’ was he an agent of Rome or Hellenistic Jews; his mission to separate the followers of Jesus Judaism from the “mother church” in Jerusalem? Vespasian and his son Titus burn it to ashes, not for victory over its people but over their god. It was Judaism that had been defeated and eventually an act of comedy of irony a new religion Christianity created. After all Jesus of Nazareth first and finally was a Jew who believed in Law of Moses. Paul the imposter referred to them as “Law of Death”. Long before Judaism there were Zoroastrian Pharisees who came from Persia to Jerusalem to establish a temple to worship one god. With their magian magi who were the oral story telling magids transformed to oral torah telling Pharisee magids & Essenes, plus the Hellenistic Sadducees. Oh, the Qumran and Qumranis with their nazarite vow presently living in city of Qum (Qumran) Persia the center of zealots & zealotry, Hosanna the holy martyred one with his seventy-two companions, the twelve apostles with returning of the 12th the messiah. Giving their nazarites for his sooner return every year in meherram. Hellenized herodian elites mostly the Sadducees and final roman period bringing the end to temple. It was during the Persian period control of Jerusalem when the temple became more than the center of worship and served as center of society, giving power to priests held important positions in fine cloth. Then democratization forces under Hellenistic period followed by the roman, the end to the central power of the mother temple in Jerusalem and the Importance of Mosaic Law, oral Torah, the Mishnah an authoritative codification of pharisaic law. Then came the transition from pharisaic to rabbinic with sages of Talmud see a direct link to the Pharisees largely out of the group of scribes & sages. Present day Hasidim – (the pious) and anti Hellenistic are of Pharisees, Paul of Tarsus “I am a Pharisee”...

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Report This 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.

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

Yesus ho Xristos

Report This 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.

Report This 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.

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

No lord but God!

Report This 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.

Report This 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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