Simply Jesus - Who He Was, What He Did, Why it Matters Paperback – 18 Nov 2011
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'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
About the Author
Tom Wright is Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of over fifty books,
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Top Customer Reviews
A compelling read I would recommend it to Christian and non-Christian alike.
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?Read more ›
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!
I recommend this book wholeheartedly: [...] for a longer review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although it took me a while to read this book, as I read half of it then read some other books and came back to it again. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a challenging read for anyone prepared to engage with Christianity with an open mind. Wright's central thesis, explored at length, is that Jesus has brought about God's... Read morePublished 6 months ago by M. V. Clarke
Don't think I am a Tom Wright fan which probably makes me a little outnumbered. This book provided a historical picture of who Jesus was, where he lived, the culture, the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Paul W.
This is an excellent book and the task it sets itself is a much needed one – to offer an approach to Christianity which is neither the sort of conservative fundamentalism which... Read morePublished 8 months ago by D. J. Favager
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Tom Wright should stic at his day job. A bishop? Suggestion - why not read wilbur smith, or randell wood, or LT Ryan different types of authors but know how to describe technicals... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kenneth W. Day
Extremely readable. Thorough and profound, but written with the clarity and 'simplicity' one expects from Tom Wright.Published 15 months ago by Dr A C Howie
This is a thought provoking book which brings many issues about Jesus and how He operates in the church today .I found it changed some of my long held attitudes to heaven.Published 16 months ago by jean greenwood