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Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus Hardcover – 6 Apr 2001


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Books (6 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745950434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745950433
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Desire of the Everlasting Hills is another present from the pen of Thomas Cahill, author of How the Irish Saved Civilization and The Gifts of the Jews.

In this, the third volume of the bestselling Hinges of History series, he knits together history, politics, sociology, and faith with contemporary insights that yield remarkable results. After painting with broad brush strokes an entertaining picture of the Greek, Jewish, and Roman world, Cahill focuses on Jesus. With illuminating deductions and clever speculation, Jesus is seen though the eyes of his biographers in their Gospel accounts. Each of these authors' lives is reconstructed in such a way that the richness of their writing and their subject matter is wonderfully enhanced.

The section on Paul, detailing how his life and letters shaped the early church, should be required reading for every student of the Bible. From his beginnings in the cosmopolitan city known as Tarsus through his calling, like the patriarchs and prophets before him, he becomes "the perfect vehicle for this moment in the development of the Jesus Movement." His mix of Greek reasoning with rabbinical training casts the stories of the early church into a thoughtful theology. He is seen here as the earliest egalitarian who not only impacted the early church but all of western civilization.

Cahill challenges many traditional religious ideas, while also taking on some of the more radical contemporary interpreters of biblical literature. As with the other volumes in this series, the marginal notes are filled with a wealth of interesting information. Combining his own fresh translation of many New Testament highlights with respect and humour, Thomas Cahill's book is for the believer and non-believer alike. --Tracy Danz

Review

A re-evaluation of the impact of Jesus on the shaping of Western Civilization and a stunningly original interpretation of the New Testament that will delight readers and surprise scholars. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn A. Fahm on 2 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover
In this book Thomas Cahill analyses Jesus and how his life changed our perception and understanding of God. Jesus was of a particular time and place, so we learn of the world into which he was born. We then hear how his contemporaries, saw him, and, finally, how his message was delivered to us in the voices of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, the four evangelists,each with his own unique perception. Paul, who never met Jesus but whose conversion led to a lifetime of journeys to distant emerging Christian communities and whose own words we can hear in his letters, is the other voice interpreting Jesus to the young church and to us today.
Cahill uses the American idiom of today, which can at times be jarring, but the succeeds brilliantly in bringing us closer to understanding Jesus - who He was, what he taught us, and why it still has deep meaning for millions around the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 22 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Oh wait -- that's another matter.
Thomas Cahill's third outing on the hinges of history brings us to Jesus Christ, and appropriately so, for so much of the word 'hinges' on this person (and we'll define that word more closely in a moment) in many, often unknowing ways. Obvious hinges are the calendar which, even when modified to be BCE/CE rather than BC/AD cannot escape the fact that break is with this phenomenon.
Cahill has taken up the task not of showing who Jesus is, either as person (and that can be God-man, special prophet, political activist, or mythological figure) but rather to show some of the differences, a before-and-after, if you will, of what the world was and came to be due to the influence of this person, which obviously requires an examination of the influences on other persons, too.
Cahill uses ancient historians, modern scholarship, Biblical texts, and simple logic and reason to show influences and changes brought about by the Jesus Movement/Christianity. Packed with details written in an interesting manner, Cahill manages to interest, challenge and enlighten all at the same time.
Put together with the other two books (Gift of the Jews, which might serve as a prequel, and How the Irish Saved Civilisation, which carries Christianity further), this trilogy is a good introduction to the history of modern theology, philosophy, intellectual sensibilities, and how the world owes so much that is never quite realised to so few.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 21 Feb. 2005
Format: Hardcover
. . . although it doesn't miss by much. As part of his Hinges of History series, Cahill places the Jesus story in its historical setting. Whatever your view of Jesus' divinity, there's no gainsaying the importance of his followers in the stream of history. Not only the history of Europe, but given the migrations of his adherents, throughout the world. Although the book is filled with the message of love and peace, Cahill's opening statement about hills lists all battle sites. Not an auspicious beginning for a study of a "new word" supplanting the turmoil of the age. Like nearly all Christian historical writers, Cahill's description of the pagan world is bleak. Only by making the social environment of the era as desolate as possible does the arrival of the "good news" concept work. Cahill would have us believe the pre-Christian civilization offered no solace, had no love, no joy, people suffering empty lives with no hope. It's difficult to believe that the Mediterranean world was that much different from any other.
This being an historical treatise, Cahill must rely on his sources. These are naturally scant, since Jesus went unnoticed by contemporary commentators. Another agitator in a backwater Roman colony was of little import. Cahill must, perforce, turn to the Gospels for his relation of this vital historical character. He omits reference to the long history of critiques of these documents. Instead, he grants them high validity. This is surprising in light of the long duration between the events and their written recording. The time lapse is decades, not just weeks or a few years. He uncritically credits the accounts as being retrieved from the memories of those who supposedly witnessed the events. This is startling.
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By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 22 Dec. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Oh wait -- that's another matter.
Thomas Cahill's third outing on the hinges of history brings us to Jesus Christ, and appropriately so, for so much of the word 'hinges' on this person (and we'll define that word more closely in a moment) in many, often unknowing ways. Obvious hinges are the calendar which, even when modified to be BCE/CE rather than BC/AD cannot escape the fact that break is with this phenomenon.
Cahill has taken up the task not of showing who Jesus is, either as person (and that can be God-man, special prophet, political activist, or mythological figure) but rather to show some of the differences, a before-and-after, if you will, of what the world was and came to be due to the influence of this person, which obviously requires an examination of the influences on other persons, too.
Cahill uses ancient historians, modern scholarship, Biblical texts, and simple logic and reason to show influences and changes brought about by the Jesus Movement/Christianity. Packed with details written in an interesting manner, Cahill manages to interest, challenge and enlighten all at the same time.
Put together with the other two books (Gift of the Jews, which might serve as a prequel, and How the Irish Saved Civilisation, which carries Christianity further), this trilogy is a good introduction to the history of modern theology, philosophy, intellectual sensibilities, and how the world owes so much that is never quite realised to so few.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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