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Who Killed Jesus? Paperback – 3 Aug 1996

2.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins; 1 edition (3 Aug. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060614803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060614805
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 634,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

With his work on Jesus, Crossan joins the ranks of the truly great biblical scholars of the twentieth century. --Robert W. Funk, editor of The Five Gospels and founder of the Jesus Seminar

Crossan paints his Jesus with great warmth and power. He achieves a portrait that both takes in the contemporary background yet accounts for Jesus' distinctiveness. --New York Times Book Review

This is an extremely interesting, erudite, informative, must-read for anyone interested in the New Testament. Read it. --National Catholic Reporter

About the Author

John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus at DePaul University, is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus and Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. He lives in Minneola, Florida.

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A riveting and much needed book! Analyzes religious propaganda which was included in the New Testament by the early Christian church in which the Jews are blamed for the execution of Jesus. Crossan shows how that this did not really matter at the time, because Christianity was just a bunch of disconnected movements without much power. But after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, these passages were used in programs of Jewish extermination. The Nazi Holocaust was built on this Christian foundation.
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By A Customer on 22 July 1997
Format: Paperback
John Dominic Crossan multiplies his works by mutating one scholarly volume into several "popular" spinoffs, including the present work. The problem with "Who Killed Jesus?" is that, despite its title, which promises an enthralling true-life mystery, the book fails as a "popular" work. Crossan proposes in his introduction to answer another scholarly work, which he finds too sympathetic to the theory of historical origin for the Gospels, by pointing out that many of the incidents involving the death and resurrection of Jesus are really adaptations of Old Testament prophecy. Such an "answer" is perfectly suited to an essay in a scholarly journal, but certainly not to a monograph intended for the "masses". Moreover, as in most Crossan texts, the author quotes long, undigested passages from his sources, which is quite tedious to the general reader. As to the content of the volume, the case for the composition of the gospels based on Old Testament prophecy has been made succinctly, and quite disturbingly, by other modern, liberal NT scholars, (even though they cannot explain how, if the prophecies are the source of fictions about Jesus, they are more clearly "plagiarized" in Matthew than in Mark, although Matthew is agreed to be the later author), but in the present volume, this thesis is mired in polimics and is further bogged down in Crossan's premise that an early version of the second-century Gospel of Peter fragment is the source of the canonical gospel narratives. I ask again: "Why write this book?"
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Format: Paperback
My education at UCLA wasn't all that good. Much of what the professors taught as "stable, reliable, scientific facts" have subsiquently turned out to be incorrect. The one thing I did learn was a love for logic. I learned how to spot fallacious reasoning, unwarrented jumps (nonsequitors), and best of all ***unsubstantiated asumptions***. This book is really a collection of the last two items. I was truly disapointed by the number of suspect assumptions made by the author, and the enormous conclusions derived from these assumptions. Basically, to accept his argument, you must accept the proposition that (A) the gospels are only propoganda for Christianity, and (B) therefore contain little factual value. If you do not accept (A) or (B) the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. Moreover, to love this work, you must believe that a historical fact should be erased from the record if it is dangerous to any one group of people. This is the historical revisionist argument wrapped in sympathy.
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Format: Paperback
Crossan is missing the point. No one killed Jesus. He chose to give His life on the cross. To tie Christianity with anti-Semitism is ludicrous. I can not believe that one man would dedicate so much time to such heresy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Argument of Power and Honesty 20 Feb. 2000
By Albert M. Zaccor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am not a scholar in theological or Christian studies. I am a specialist in Eastern Europe. I came to this book seeking an explanation for the origins of Christian Anti-Semitism. I got far more than I bargained for: a satisfying and profound answer to my questions on Anti-Semitism, and a powerful analysis of the origins and meaning of the central story in the Christian drama. This is simply one of the finest books I have ever read. I recommend it to the general reader as an introduction to the world of historical Jesus research. It has certainly opened up a whole new world for me. I have read two more of Crossan's books, and find myself coming back to this one over and over again. The author's autobiographical epilogue is a work of great rhetorical power and integrity and can stand by itself as a work of genius. Reading it is worth the price of the whole book. I regularly recommend this book to believing and non-believing friends alike. The moral conclusions to be drawn from this book are too important not to share.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book 28 Jan. 2005
By Michael Mcarthur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Some of the other reviews need to be ignored by people unfamiliar with the topic. To say, as one of the reviewers did, that Christianity has never claimed that the Jews killed Christ is either ignorant or naive. As I don't know the person, I cannot comment either way. The Gospels are an infamous source of anti-semetism and anyone who has studied theology in an academic setting knows this to be fact.

As for the book being "another angle on Mel Gibson's film," well of course the Gibson film is flawed in many resepcts, particularily historicity. And Crossan's book is an "angle" on the Bible, not a film.

The book is exceptional and I would recommend it without hesitation.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but slow-going at times 27 Jan. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although Crossan says he aimed at writing a "popular" book, his task of showing the gospel roots of anti-semitism is too ambitious. While he starts out strongly, his bent for detail and covering all the angles will lose many readers, especially those unfamiliar with modern biblical scholarship. I don't think one can read Crossan carefully and not conclude he is honest and sincere in coming to his views about Jesus. His Christianity will seem heretical to most fundamentalists who refuse to look at the Gospels as anything less than the absolute historical truth. However, for those seeking thoughtful questions and possible answers on an important topic--how the gospels depict Jews in relation to Jesus' death and how much of that treatment is (1) real history or (2)creative application of old testament biblical prophecy presented as history--this book will provide much of substance. It takes some work to get the whole message of this "popular" book, but it is worth the effort.
32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Killed Jesus? 6 July 2000
By William R. Bunge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Just finished reading a wonderful book: "Who Killed Jesus?" by John Dominic Crossan (1996,Harper, San Francisco). Crossan is a former Catholic priest. At the time the book was published he was professor emeritus of religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago, and co-director of the Jesus Seminar. In his book Crossan develops several theses: 1. The followers of Jesus constituted one among the diverse group of Jews extant at the time of Jesus, such as the Pharisees, Essenes, Zealots,etc., with the difference that they carried Jesus' message to the Gentiles. 2. The Gospels are not a true biographical relation of the life of Jesus. They are "prophesy historicized" rather than "history remembered." 3. By the way in which they were written, the Gospels place the blame for Jesus' death on the Jews and exonerates the Romans. Therefore, the seeds of anti-Semitism are imbedded in the Gospels. 4. Christianity didn't really take off until Constantin converted, which gave Christians the powers with which they would persecute dissenters. The book draws not only on the four canonical Gospels, but also on the Gospels of Peter and of Thomas, and on the writings of Tacitus, the Jewish historian Josephus, and others. This is a very important book. You'll enjoy it.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting approach and courageous effort! 9 Jan. 2004
By Vahania63 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book definitely represents a very interesting approach towards 'historical Jesus', which was very unexpected for me. The author supports his reasoning with convincing research that takes a very different, from established, look on Jesus crime, arrest, trial, abuse, execution, burial and and resurrection. The epilogue, where the author talks about himself and how his personal history could have affected his view, very well worth mentioning. Although I would highly recommend this book I have two reasons for caution. First, although the author intends this book for wide audience, it pretty much reads as scholarly work, meaning it is not an easy read. This point is also confirmed by many references to the other book on this subject that the author is constantly argues with. Second, although the subtitle of this book is 'roots of anti semitism', this book is not really about it. Yes, relationship between Jews and Jesus plays very important role in this book. Bot not the main role as somebody could expect from the cover.
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