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A good introduction for the study of Jesus
on 23 August 2007
This is a good introduction for those interested in studying the historical figure of Jesus. Deceptively short as the text is quite small, Sanders provides a welcome antidote to the sensationalist pseudo-history such as Holy Blood Holy Grail and others.
Sanders is correct to state that the study of the historical Jesus is a perilous and frustrating task, not least due to the lack of sources. Sanders cleverly provides a setting for Jesus, putting him fully in his times of first century Galilee and Judaea. He places Jesus vis a vis Judaism and the political climate of Jesus' time. The strength of this book is that it is not encumbered with theology, but is an appraisal of Jesus the man, someone who had, or believed he had, an intimate relationship with God and who saw himself as the man to prepare the Jews for the coming of the kingdom. As Sanders correctly concludes, as a result Jesus was more of a teacher and a prophet than a preacher of repentance.
All in all a recommended book for both Christians and non-Christians wanting a good introduction to Jesus, without sensationalism, be it theological or pseudo-historical.