FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Who Was Jesus? has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Brit-Books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Simply Brit: We have dispatched from our UK warehouse books of good condition to over 1 million satisfied customers worldwide. We are committed to providing you with a reliable and efficient service at all times.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Who Was Jesus? Paperback – 21 Jan 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.99
£5.09 £4.24
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing; New edition edition (21 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281057419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281057412
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

-- Calvin Theological Journal"A gem. . . . Instead of buying and reading one of the avant-garde portraits of Jesus discussed by Wright, spend your money and time more wisely with this witty and devout rebuttal and alternate portrait."-- Image"In eighteen pages, Wright provides the nonspecialist with more useful information about the research on the history of Jesus than most seminarians know at graduation. . . . This book will provide reliable guidance for those wanting to better understand who Jesus really was and what he was about."

"-- Calvin Theological Journal"
"A gem. . . . Instead of buying and reading one of the avant-garde portraits of Jesus discussed by Wright, spend your money and time more wisely with this witty and devout rebuttal and alternate portrait."
"-- Image"
"In eighteen pages, Wright provides the nonspecialist with more useful information about the research on the history of Jesus than most seminarians know at graduation. . . . This book will provide reliable guidance for those wanting to better understand who Jesus really was and what he was about." --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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, including the For Everyone guides to the New Testament, the highly acclaimed series, Christian Origins and the Question of God, and the best-selling Simply Christian, Surprised by Hope, Virtue Reborn, Simply Jesus and How God Became King (all published by SPCK).


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I cannot praise this little book highly enough. Do not be put off by its brevity. Though short - about 100 pages - it contains more substance than many a larger volume, and though written in popular style, never compromises on the quality of content. After summarising the Jesus Quests of the past, Wright brings his discussion into the contemporary scene, brilliantly demonstrating how unlikely are the reconstructions of Jesus by the likes of A. N. Wilson, Barbara Thiering and Bishop John Shelby Spong. He ends by sketching a more plausible picture of Jesus, based on the new appreciation of Jesus' essential Jewishness. Thank you N. T. Wright, this is a gem.
Comment 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
n.t wright has never written a bad book and who was jesus? is no exception,excellent in every way this book is clear and precise,easy to read yet without compromising on scholarship.
1 Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another great book by NT Wright!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
fine
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A damning critique of some media darlings 30 April 2000
By Wayne Symes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At the beginning of the 1990's a media bandwagon around `new' outlooks on the life of Jesus was in full swing. In particular the works of Bishop John Spong (USA), A.N Wilson (UK) and Barbara Thiering (Australia) were given popular acclaim. Wright (a well credentialled New Testament scholar) takes each of these `writers' and shows how flawed their accounts are. He is strong, concise and rightly critical of poor scholarship. While the times that occasioned the book may have passed, the issues remain and Wright's discussion of what we can say about Jesus is very helpful.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lemonaide from lemons. 23 Feb. 2004
By David Marshall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At first glance, this seems a rather odd book. What is a first-class historian like N. T. Wright doing, refuting the likes of Spong and Thiering? Does one need a bulldozer to squash ants? (Wilson, I personally find more intelligent, and thus perhaps rising to the dignity of being run over.) Yet Wright gives their arguments a fair hearing, then a fair and gentle hanging.

But there seems to be method to Wright's mildness. As an alternative to the fumbling and bumbling of his protagonists, he offers a simple and readable description of who he has found the historical Jesus to be. Their errors prove a useful foil for explaining the methods and conclusions of legitimate New Testament scholarship. Wright's critiques of those with whom he disagrees are always a delight -- he shows a sincere appreciation for what is worthwhile, then refutes errors with wit and the gentle precision that comes of great intellectual power matched to thorough knowledge of the subject.

The subject here is Jesus, a fox in pursuit of whom academic hounds have banged their heads on many trees. Wright rightly follows him to the cross. "The Christian doctrine is all about a different kind of God -- a God who was so different to normal expectations that he could, completely appropriately, become human . . . To say that Jesus is in some sense God is of course to make a startling statement about Jesus. It is also to make a stupendous claim about God."

I think Wright over-emphasizes the genius of Biblical scholarship. He tends to give the impression that nobody knew anything worth knowing about Jesus, until the question was brought to the attention of modern academics. Having read many "Jesus Seminar" books, I think credentialed scholars like Crossan, Borg, Mack, and Pagels, are often as foolish as Wilson -- and less truly knowledgeable about the historical Jesus than the average Pentacostal grandmother.
Wright also knocks C. S. Lewis for his "odd" criticism of the "quest for Jesus" as "the work of the devil," in the Screwtape Letters. Aside from the unfairness of ignoring the humor in a satire, I think the substance of Lewis' arguments, made more seriously in Fernseed and Elephants, is entirely sound, and makes an excellent critique of many recent historical Jesus reconstructions. I think Wright's historical reconstruction, and Lewis' literary critique of shoddy skeptical arguments, complement one another nicely.
In sum, I recommend this book both for people who have been bamboozled by the particular works it refutes, and also as an antidote to recent works of a similar nature, like the Da Vinci Code, Jesus Mysteries, The Jesus Puzzle, or perhaps Elaine Pagel's new book, Beyond Belief. I am working on a book that will combine Wright and Lewis' approaches, to answer recent attacks on the Gospels.

author, Jesus and the Religions of Man /
christthetao@msn.com
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars State of the Quest 12 July 2003
By Labarum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Each year as we approach Christmas and Easter, we are inevitably greeted at magazine racks by news journals trumpeting the "latest scholarship" on the "historic Jesus". The fact that very little of what appears ever has lasting scholarly value seems to of little concern to the journals in question. The attraction of the sensational and the scandalous governs media coverage in our age and any "scholar" who claims things about Jesus Christ that ordinary Christians would find disturbing is enticing to a cynical media looking for a "story" - even if the views promoted lack any credibility with the vast majority of experts in the field.
N. T. Wright, one of the world's leading biblical scholars, has provided in Who Was Jesus? a potent antidote to the faddish output of several popular characterizations of Jesus making the rounds in press reports at the time it was written. With clarity and power, he destroys the arguments of popular revisionist arguments with comparative ease. By placing Jesus in the proper historical and cultural setting, the pet theories of various contributors to the radical fringe in studies of the historical Jesus are found to owe more to the temperaments and cultural presuppositions of the writers than anything likely to relate to the true life and times of Jesus. As a leading figure in the study into the historical and cultural settings of the New Testament, Wright could never be accused of putting his head in the sand. However, Wright insists an understanding of the complex interplay of cultures in fist century Judea is essential to grasping the true meaning of the New Testament writings,
Wright begins with an overview of the quest among scholars for the historic Jesus. While sympathetic to the goals of many of these investigations, he points out they are often as guided by their own prejudices as many forms of traditional Christian belief. The beliefs of many Christians about Jesus may be distorted at points but they are not without historical basis. Indeed, the beliefs of the Church certainly have a greater correspondence with the historical realities of the time than the pet theories of many revisionists. Wright assures traditional believers that any honest investigation into the Jesus of history should leave them with a more robust faith - not a weaker one.
Wright then turns to the particular projects of three major revisionists: Barbara Thiering, A.N. Wilson, and John Shelby Spong. Rather than dismissing them outright, Wright takes the path of considering their ideas seriously and applying the same critical analysis to them given to any serious scholarly hypothesis. In many ways this proves to be even more devastating, as rather than attempting a knockout blow, Wright counters their arguments with surgical precision and leaves their novelties to die of a thousand cuts. Thiering is particularly skewered as both a proper historical understanding of Judaism at the time and archeological discoveries of the period refute her concept of a coded pesher language in the New Testament. Once Wright is finished, her theories are exposed as little more than figments of a fertile imagination. Of the three, Wright shows the most empathy for Wilson for at least attempting to place Jesus within Judaism, but the rather bland figure from Wilson's account could hardly have been expected to found a movement to concern both Jewish and Roman authorities. Wilson's peculiar explanation of the Easter event (the Apostles mistook James for Jesus) comes in for severe criticism as an ad hoc conjecture giving no likely explanation for subsequent events. Spong is calmly refuted as simply taking part in a discussion over his head. Spong tries to paint the Gospels as an exercise in midrash , but as in Thiering's use of pesher, the description does not meet the reality. Spong simply has no idea what midrash is and misapplies it in an attempt to make the Gospels say something they do not. The critique by Wright in all three cases leaves the respective theories lying in ashes.
Wright finishes with an outline of the major points in an honest evaluation of the historical evidence about Jesus. First, the events chronicled in the Gospels must be understood in the context of a Judaism that had endured the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and their being taken into captivity, the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem under Persian rule, the attempts to Hellenize the Jews under Greek dominance, and the current humiliations of pagan Roman occupation. It was these Jews, looking for the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies, to which Jesus came. The Gospels themselves must be understood within the literary forms of first century Judea. The language of the New Testament must not be read within a flat literalism but examined within the particular form in question. By moving forwards from first century Judaism and backwards from the Gospel, we are most likely to grasp the true Jesus. Most importantly, Wright sees nothing in such an endeavor to threaten the Jesus of faith. Wright even suggests the New Testament accounts of the resurrection make little sense as a developed tradition - unless it actually happened.
N. T. Wright has issued a challenge to both believers and skeptics alike for a greater appreciation of historical and cultural settings when interpreting the Gospel. Who Was Jesus? is a wonderful introduction to such a study and ideal for anyone looking to grasp the strengths and weaknesses of various theories commonly promoted in the national media. It also may serve as a primer for Wright's own more scholarly work. As a summary of the state (at the time of its writing) of modern scholarship into the historic Jesus, it is highly recommended.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Relevant Expose of Bogus Scholars 5 Aug. 2005
By Oswald Sobrino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Let's be clear that in this book evangelical Anglican theologian N.T. Wright exposes the absurd concocted fantasies of three writers who in 1992 published works on Jesus. The common thread in all three writers is their willingness to invent fantastical portraits of Jesus with no basis in history or Scripture. In the process of his devastating critique of these bogus writers, Wright gives us telling theological insights, especially concerning the relation of first century Jewish monotheism and the emerging Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus and concerning the proper perspective with which to approach the question of the virginal conception of Jesus. In addition, Wright provides an initial chapter that gives the general reader an historical overview of Jesus scholarship and a final chapter that ties Wright's insights together. Reading this small book is like being treated to lunch or dinner with an insightful and witty professor who is generously willing to share his best insights.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too bad this book is needed 23 Feb. 2002
By Patrick O - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Over the course of the last several hundred years a challenge has been once again raised. This challenge is to come to terms with who exactly was this person Jesus of Nazareth. I say again because the early church dealt with these same issues, giving terms such as Ebionism, or Docetism to what were then formidable challenges to the early Christians. Was Jesus just a good teacher, a fine person indeed, but really nothing more? Or maybe he just appeared to be human, taking on the appearance of being a man, but in reality not truly present in the flesh. Having forced the Fathers to take a hard look and respond to these various heresies, the question of Jesus fell to the background as other questions took prominence. Learning itself became the property of the Church, and it harbored no questioning of its basic doctrine. As the Church lost its authoritative influence, however, a renewed inquiry was taken up. Enlightenment thought turned to the Bible for enquiry and scrutiny. Rather than using Greek or Roman rhetoric, or Hellenistic models of philosophy, the new question was pursued using the burgeoning historical-critical methodology. The Bible was itself made an object of scrutiny, and the presuppositions gained over the centuries were taken apart and closely examined. Various ideas were put forth, some constructive, many well thought out, and all gaining some level of acceptance among various scholars. Most were attacks on the traditional understanding of Jesus, son of God, risen on the third day. Having a priori ruled out any supernatural explanations, the various scholars came up with all sorts of proposals and models which would sort out exactly who Jesus really was, and why Christianity came to be what it is in our era. As in earlier times, though, heroes arose, combating the modern heresies with an even greater logic and scholarship. The battles were not won by running away, retreating into hidden enclaves, but rather by facing head on the challenges and repudiating them with their own weapons. Tom Wright helped to document some of these battles and challenges in his update of Bishop Neil's Interpretation of the New Testament. In his book Who Was Jesus?, Dr. Wright engages what can be called popular modern interpretations of the person and work of Jesus.
I use the term popular in two ways. The first is that the scholars that Dr. Wright critiques have made quite a name for themselves in the media, both print and broadcast. Their thoughts have been sought as intellectual additions to articles and shows meant for a general audience. I also use the term popular as opposed to academic, for their theories and thoughts are not placed primarily in academic publications for professional perusal, but rather they seek to convince those without very much training. And for good reason. Although fascinating and occasionally original, the thoughts that are being put forth are without much academic merit. And thus, we have Tom Wright responding in a clear, though also popular, manner to their theses. He begins by giving a very brief overview of the recent history of the Quests for the Historical Jesus, thereby helping to place these recent writers within an historical context. Following this he takes a look at three different recent examiners of the life of Christ and points out why their arguments about who Jesus was are deficient.
Wright is engaged in a noble goal. While it is for him a condescension to deal with these unscholarly portraits, it is a service which can do great good. In an era of pluralism, it is vital that Christians express who Christ really was, what he really did, and what he really requires. Faulty descriptions and claims of the life of Jesus can influence the thought of those who have not studied the relevant issues, and can cause insensitivity to the truth. These portraits are made popular not because of their scholarly worthiness, but because they are daring to strike at what is sacred for many people. It is not worth the time or effort to attempt to get angry at these people, rather Tom Wright shows us that what is more effective is simply to dismiss them by the same rules and standards which they want to assert. Their claims are not just spiritually disturbing, they are also academically without merit, and this should be made known.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback