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Jesus: An Intimate Portrait of the Man, His Land, and His People [Kindle Edition]

Leith Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jesus the Christ
His Story

Expanded to include the Culture, Politics, and the Personal Relationships That Shaped His World

Come explore the life of Jesus in this new biography that harmonizes and synthesizes the four Gospels from the Bible in chronological order. In vivid detail, it weaves in the first-century setting--historical, societal, and political perspectives of the time with contemporary readability. Well researched and finely crafted, this book will provide you with a new understanding of Jesus--an obscure rabbi with a handful of followers whose imprint is found in every generation that came after him.

Here is a superb introduction to the most significant person in human history as well as a fascinating new approach to Jesus' story for those very familiar with the original biographers' accounts.

A Remarkable Rendition of a Remarkable Story!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 772 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (1 Sept. 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AFWM4U2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #576,917 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not literature but useful nonetheless 17 Nov. 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What to say about this ... on a literary level, it doesn't really work. The author's trying to tread a very fine line between the readability of fiction and the factual content of biography and I'm not sure he really pulls it off. The text is very American with phrases such as Jesus saying 'I totally love you.' I found this very jarring. However, I do think that Anderson has pulled together the various Gospel and historical accounts into a very cohesive whole and it was helpful for me to read it. I'd really like to see a British writer attempting the same task.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 3 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! 14 April 2005
By Randall - Published on
I picked this book up as part of a gift card for my birthday and I have trouble putting it down. Anderson really puts you in the time and place and the setting of Christ's last days on earth. You can almost hear the crowds in the Temple as well as feel the heat and dry dust of the desert.

I wound up going back and re-reading several passages of the Gospels that parallel the book and it really adds some great context and historical perspective which leads this reader to a better understanding. And isn't that what any good book should do?
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Meticulously Researched Book 29 Jan. 2008
By Rebecca of Amazon - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In "Jesus," Leith Anderson captures the profound beauty of Jesus' life. This biography is based on the four Gospels from the Bible. However, this is much more than a retelling of the parables and teachings of Christ. Throughout the book there is also an emphasis on history, politics and culture. While the parables seem to be a main focus there are also stories of Jesus having conversations with his family and friends. Leith Anderson also provides insight into what the parables mean.

While most of the book focuses on Jesus' life and teaching there are also interesting stories of how Jesus handles accusations. It is amazing to think of how many people hated Jesus (mostly those in power) when everywhere he went he showed love and compassion to the multitudes. For the most part he seemed well loved by the people but throughout the book there is an undercurrent of hate and dissatisfaction that festers until he is finally crucified for the sins of the world.

"What good is it if someone gains the whole world yet loses his soul?"

This question stands out as one of the most important ones in this book. If you have ever wondered why Jesus is called the Savior or the Son of God, then you can read Jesus' thoughts on the subject as well as the thoughts of his followers. As someone who has believed in Jesus since I was seven I can say that this book made me even more of a believer. I can highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Jesus' life even if you have heard his teachings for your entire life.

~The Rebecca Review
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Story Ever Told 6 Nov. 2005
By S. Peek - Published on
This is a quality biography of the Savior of the Universe, Jesus Christ.

The author draws on accounts from all four Gospels. He combines miracles, parables, and the entire life of Jesus from birth to death to resurrection.

The contents will be very familiar to those who have done lots of reading in the Bible. Even to those readers though, this book is valuable. There are lots of teachings and events that are put into the context of the times in which the Lord lived on Earth. Mr. Anderson also gives explanations of several of the parables, which may be helpful to many readers.

This is a very readable, enjoyable, and informative work on the most important and influential man who ever lived. I recommend it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Provocative and informative retelling of Jesus' ministry 27 July 2007
By Lisa D. Bowman - Published on
During his three-year ministry, Jesus frequently preached in parables and healed infirmities. But only once did he give his disciples a specific prayer to utilize. The story of The Lord's Prayer is recounted in two of the four Gospels: Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11:2. The disciples often had observed him in early morning prayer when they awoke; they'd seen him pray before he made important decisions, and around spiritual encounters. And although they had prayed with him, that day they asked for a lesson on how to pray on their own. Since then, Christians have clung to The Lord's Prayer, treasuring it as their Lord's directive.

Leith Anderson's book "Jesus," includes a revelatory sidebar to the story of the Lord's Prayer. "The Lord's Prayer was probably intended more as a sample than a formula. The wording varies in the New Testament reports of what Jesus said, so it was not word-for-word the same every time. The purpose wasn't to memorize someone else's prayer but to learn a pattern that could be adapted and individualized. Most of the disciples probably heard this prayer enough times to memorize it, and they all made their own modifications..." (Pg. 184)

Provocative and informative sidebars like this one abound in Anderson's narrative of Jesus' life. The biography unfolds with pages studded by historical footnotes, translations of terms, and pertinent explanations of the society's traditions, all of which flesh out the well-known story with new insights.

Anderson has undertaken a daunting task here, and one whose potential success inherently is limited. Anderson, who holds degrees from Bradley University, Denver Seminary and a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary, brings academic credibility to the table. Interestingly, however, he has chosen to write to the average Christian. He treads no revolutionary ground; Anderson presents the Gospel accounts without theological or theoretical debate. Most scholars would question his lack of questioning. Instead, he attempts valiantly to weave the four sometimes conflicting, accounts into one linear storyline. No small feat, considering Matthew, Mark, Luke and John jumped between chronological and topical ordering. Here multiple reports of the same event have been merged into a single rendition, with quotes paraphrased and plausible enough emotions attributed to various figures. It's a literary device fraught with the tendency to draw the reader out of the story by wondering how Anderson arrived at the conclusion that Jesus or Peter or whomever, were feeling that way at that particular moment. Yet without the additions, the book would struggle to shed new light on an old story.

American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson is noted for having taken razor blade and glue pot to his Bible, removing Jesus' miracles and attempting to make a sequential humanistic narrative of the Gospels. "Jesus" resonates with an opposing goal: retaining and trying to shed light on the miracles utilizing the context of Jesus' human existence. Anderson then gently amplifies the emotion of the events with cautious extrapolation. It's a tough line to walk, and though he occasionally falters, the reader tends to be forgiving of the noble effort, which most of the time sheds great light.

It's an imperfect process yet it yields an enlightening result for the faithful Christian. Jesus and his apostles become real people with each turn of the page. The frustrating shorthand of the Gospels becomes a fleshed-out tale. The historical footnotes alone bring Jesus' actions into sharper focus. For example, when Jesus heals the 10 lepers in one of the Samaria-Galilee border villages, he instructs them to go show themselves to the priests. Anderson's sidebar explains: "The law required an examination and clearance before anyone cured of leprosy was allowed back into society. Most priests were never asked; leprosy was a life sentence." (pg. 232) Suddenly, we realize that Jesus was telling them to have faith not only that they would be healed, but also that their lives would return to normal within society.

A chilling realization occurs with one particular piece of information: "Jesus had witnessed a crucifixion when he was eleven years old. A man named Judas the Galilean led an insurrection against Roman rule. He attacked the imperial armory at Sepphoris, only four miles away from Jesus' home in Nazareth. The Roman response was swift and severe. Sepphoris was burned to the ground, and all of the citizens were sold into slavery. The two thousand rebels were crucified on the same day on crosses that lined the road near Nazareth. Jesus' memory had been etched with the horror of crucifixion." (pg. 148) Having that piece of knowledge makes Jesus' crucifixion all the more poignant.
--Lisa Bowman of The Religion Network ([...]
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus by Leith Anderson 10 Jun. 2005
By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca - Published on
This is an extensive work on the life and works of Jesus. The author places the birth of Christ at 6BC and the Ministry leading
up to 30 AD or thereabouts. Jacob describes the Son of Man who
bridges heaven and earth. The famous Parable of Wheat and the Weed
sorts out good and bad people allegorically so that G-d can deal
with them at the end of time. The Parable of the Home Owner
points toward the need for those who understand Christ's teaching
to tell others of its existence and meaning. The book explains that Jesus argued with religious leaders for the following reasons:
1. He believed that they weren't teaching the Scripture or the Law
2. Some religionists supplanted teachings with cultural traditions
3. Some citizens simply did not set a good example for the flock

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure points toward the eternal joy in the Kingdom. A strength of this work is that the author discusses some complex theological issues simply. Classic parables are set forth and explained so that the average reader
can glean the essential themes without too much technical knowledge of the theologies involved.

The book is a good value for a wide constituency of readers both inside and outside formal academe.
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