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Simply Jesus: Why he was, what he did, why it matters

Simply Jesus: Why he was, what he did, why it matters [Kindle Edition]

Tom Wright
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'His engaging writing style grips the reader from the opening pages and readers will find this work difficult to pull down. Wright's insights are always worth reading, regardless of theological disposition, and his efforts to address some of the seemingly simple questions about the life of Jesus are to be commended.' --Lynne McNeil, Life and Work

'Wright knows as well as anyone the many difficult historical questions about the life, teaching and death of Jesus, and he writes, as often, with expertise and clarity.' --Neil Richardson, Methodist Recorder

Product Description

We begin with a thought experiment. Modern critical biblical scholarship often points out how the church’s teachings about Jesus have become encrusted with tradition so that it is hard to see what the core documents—the New Testament—really say about him. Now, with the insight of 200 years of modern critical scholarship and assuming an audience that includes both the well-churched and the non-churched, how should the church present the story and identity of the central personality of their faith, Jesus of Nazareth? Many people will be surprised at the story they hear.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 445 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK (19 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00722SDY4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,578 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 31 Jan 2012
I found this book challenging to many of my pre-conceived ideas (and dare I say 20th century worldview) about the life of Jesus. His words and actions so often seen in isolation suddenly came together in a continuous story. I found the opening "Perfect Storm" analogy set the scene as the military might of Rome and the religious fervour of Judaism was met full on by the love of God.

A compelling read I would recommend it to Christian and non-Christian alike.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 11 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the book well constructed, full of excellent insights and extremely useful for framing my thoughts on the subject of Jesus. Christology is a really tough subject often poorly taught. This book is an accessible well written introduction to the important concepts with which one must grapple in order to gain an understanding of the most important figure in history.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so simple ... 26 Jan 2012
By Mark CE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having grown up in an evangelical, Anglican clergy family, studied Biblical Studies at university, taught Alpha courses and led various Christian basics groups, I have been finding Tom Wright's work, which I have arrived at only recently, thoroughly earth-shaking.

Simply Jesus is no exception.

Readers might have to drop some assumptions. If your Christian faith has an add-on pack which says, "When you read the Bible, especially the bits about Jesus, you must believe x, y and z about it, or you're not a real Christian" then you might have trouble with Tom Wright's thinking.

However. If you're prepared to let the New Testament, and the world in which it was written (about which Wright is a world authority and all-around genius), speak for itself, you're in for a treat. And a world-view altering one at that. Why did Jesus have to die? Wright's answer is unexpected - revolutionary - but convincing.

Wright talks about the clash of three forces: the all-powerful Roman Empire, the immanent expectations of 1st century Jewish people that God is about to rescue them from Rome (based on their understanding of their scriptures), and the redemptive creation purposes of Israel's God: purposes that redefine the Jewish covenant hopes of God's arrival as redemptive ruler of a new earth into one man: Jesus the Messiah.

Wright concludes: Jesus is in charge of the earth, now, and he wants to run it through us (the Church). But how? What does Wright say we should do about it? Answer: Initiate and multiply Kingdom-like, Beatitude-inspired projects. And remind the powers (governments, etc) that Jesus is Lord, and that he is calling them to account for their rule.

The final chapter, where he answers his own "What now?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tom Wright is an expert in historical Christianity. As a result he is able to lay out the historical context for Jesus entry into the world which gives a very different perspective to traditional christian thinking. Rather than taking away what the Christian believes, he methodically adds to the historical Jesus using the example of "The perfect Storm". He revisits this throughout the book showing what the Jews wanted, what the political powers of the time were doing and finally what God wanted... the result being "The perfect Storm".

The end view turned out to be very different than anyone thought at the time. Jesus came into a very political and world view context which is often ignored by the church. The Christian mission is therefore much greater than our own "personal" faith. Jesus death and resurrection was not just so we could all go to heaven when we die, but instead, the Kingdom has begun and we are to do our "heavenly work" now. Wright demonstrates this throughout.

Wright also comes back to the "Exodus" theme. Tyrant, Leader, Victory, Sacrifice, Vocation, Inheritance and Presence are huge themes throughout scripture and Jesus played into this context. Whereas with Egypt and the tyrant Pharoah, ultimately ending with God dwelling in the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus beats the tyrant sin and death with God's presence dwelling in us through his Spirit. Heaven and earth meet... in us. I wish people "got" this.

I found it an easy book to read. I must admit, my much more "traditional" mother-in-law found it harder going than me. I think it's much more to do with what we have already studied as I have read much of Wright's work anyway so it maybe because he never had to convince me.

I just wish everyone in the church would understand it. We may actually end up changing the world after all!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meek and Mild as If.... 20 Jan 2012
Wright's new book "SIMPLY JESUS" is a book that should be read and enjoyed by Christians from across the evangelical spectrum, but sadly I doubt it will be as many have made their mind up about Bishop Tom before they even open its covers. I interviewed Bishop Tom recently about the book and asked him who the book was intended for. He explained it was aimed at that nebulous and elusive category "the thinking lay person." This book will make you think. It is a meaty volume that is in my opinion a great way to engage with Wright's more academic offerings in the " Christian Origin and the Question of God" series, but the book is seasoned with some wonderful illustations and really helpful insights so there's enough sugar to help the scholarship go down.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly: [...] for a longer review.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Classic imaginative
Fantastic! Classic imaginative, stimulating Tom Wright
Published 1 month ago by REV A M PETIT
5.0 out of 5 stars Awake, o sleeper, and arise from the dead.
A call for us to live the kingdom now, not just be saved to go to heaven. This is challenging stuff.
Published 4 months ago by Nm Ovens
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I have just begun to read this and find it enthralling and am enjoying it
Published 5 months ago by Jane Dixon
3.0 out of 5 stars Very attractive account, but shallow on some Marian aspects
I can recommend this very readable book by the able bishop Tom Wright. However as a Roman Catholic I found his views on purgatory and some Marian dogmas rather shallow and so... Read more
Published 8 months ago by denisj
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Wright
As usual Tom Wright has some very deep things to say and I recommend this Book. But, as is usual with this author, his style makes reading a slow and difficult process.
Published 9 months ago by William R Brough
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Wright my favourite
Once again this is a very interesting book by Tom Wright.
I find it very thought provoking and certainly useful in my training.
Published 11 months ago by jkcssa
2.0 out of 5 stars Not So Simple Jesus
Having read Spong on the subject, I wanted another view of Jesus. Wright too quickly dismisses the historical discrepancies of the gospels and presents a model of Jesus' teaching... Read more
Published 15 months ago by p
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus is King now
An excellent book to get you thinking and living in the light of the "truth" that Jesus really is The King of Kings and has defeated the powers of darkness. Read more
Published 16 months ago by j fox
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulled together a lot of themes
Another excellent book by Tom Wright. A good introduction for those new to his work. Also pulls together a lot of themes from earlier works.
Published 17 months ago by Sharon Morad
5.0 out of 5 stars A whole new perspective
This is a brilliant book for putting Jesus in a new perspective. It explains the historical and political situation at the time of Jesus and for me shed a whole new light on His... Read more
Published 17 months ago by J. Fothergill
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