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The Changing Faces of Jesus Paperback – 5 Apr 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (5 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140265244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140265248
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 413,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

In 1926, the Protestant scholar Rudolph Bultmann wrote, "I do indeed think that we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus." Modern Biblical criticism had turned the gospels from solid rock to quicksand and suddenly the attempt to glimpse the real Jesus seemed pointless. Then Geza Vermes published Jesus the Jew, in which he presented Jesus as a charismatic Jewish teacher. In his latest book, The Changing Faces of Jesus, Vermes consolidates his thesis by trying to show how the divine Jesus was a later invention of the Christian Church. To do this he dissects the New Testament, picking out the later "divine Jesus" traditions from the earlier "Jewish teacher" traditions. There are two problems with this kind of scholarship. First the temptation is to reject as "later" the bits of the New Testament which don't fit your thesis. Secondly, all the evidence is so tenuous that as soon as one scholar comes up with a convincing thesis another argues just as convincingly for the opposite view. Vermes writes well in an accessible style and it's good to have readable religious history, but the general reader may not realise this is just one portrait of the historical Jesus among many. If this is the only book one reads on the topic the picture is distorted. However, if Vermes' portrait of Jesus is taken with all the others, a fascinating mosaic portrait of Jesus can be assembled. In that respect, Vermes' work is a valuable piece in the puzzle. --Dwight Longenecker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A bold effort to sift out the ''real'' Jesus from the theological embellishment in the New Testament that (according to Vermes) turned him into a divine persona." --The Washington Post

"Geza Vermes is one of the most distinguished living scholars of ancient Judaism. While he has specialised in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, in which his reputation is unsurpassed, he has an impressive command of all the Jewish sources from antiquity. Those who want to understand the historical Jesus and the evolving ways in which he was perceived in the following decades can do no better than to read his book. It is the masterly statement of a great scholar who has spent decades considering his topic, and whose work is gentle, irenic, relatively unargumentative, and written with exceptional skill ... in Vermes Jesus has found his best Jewish interpreter."--The New York Review of Books



"Sound research and passionate engagement with the subject make this a useful volume. The straightforward exposition of Johannine and Pauline interpretations of Jesus sheds light on the Jesus figure. A comprehensive study, certain to evoke both critique and praise." --Hal Warlick High Point University, NC



"A bold effort to sift out the 'real' Jesus from the theological embellishment in the New Testament that (according to Vermes) turned him into a divine persona." The Washington Post

"Geza Vermesis one of the most distinguished living scholars of ancient Judaism. While he has specialised in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, in which his reputation is unsurpassed, he has an impressive command of all the Jewish sources from antiquity. Those who want to understand the historical Jesus and the evolving ways in which he was perceived in the following decades can do no better than to read his book. It is the masterly statement of a great scholar who has spent decades considering his topic, and whose work is gentle, irenic, relatively unargumentative, and written with exceptional skill ... in Vermes Jesus has found his best Jewish interpreter."--The New York Review of Books

"Sound research and passionate engagement with the subject make this a useful volume. The straightforward exposition of Johannine and Pauline interpretations of Jesus sheds light on the Jesus figure. A comprehensive study, certain to evoke both critique and praise." Hal Warlick High Point University, NC

" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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