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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
218
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 21 December 2015
Staunch student of philosophy/history of religion, though an atheist. This is an incredible read. Brilliantly researched, leading to an original and convincing reinterpretation of the man as predominantly a political dissident, with 'the rest' developing after his death in the maelstrom of confusion and disagreement amongst his followers. Definitely will be uncomfortable reading for the mainstream Christian: all the more reason, in my opinion, for them to read it. Can't recommend it highly enough. Respect to author.
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on 24 June 2017
The middle and later half of this book were so interesting. For some the historical Jesus is missing in their understanding, Reza addresses this in a readable journey through the early Christian challenges. Very respectful and well researched book, the controversy surrounding it may be from the terrible Fox interview with Reza.
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on 14 June 2015
In the preface of this book the author states his case clearly. This is not a Christian history of Jesus, but an attempt to place the man in the times he lived in. The book gives a sense of place and context of the times of Jesus which adds leaders to what we already understand of the man. The gospels are used as source material and then compared to the historical reality of the time which makes for an effective method throughout.
This is not an easy subject, the author recognises such and the huge gaps in historical data and knowledge of the time, however the piece trips along at a great pace, chapter by chapter.
In the end while offering little new about the life lived by Jesus it offers and new prism through which to view that life and as the author says there are few more interesting men in history to re-examine than the life of Jesus.
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on 4 March 2017
There's been some controversy surrounding this book and I don't think it's fair. It's beautifully written and actually a very believable insight into who Jesus was. I have read a few others on bible and historical Jesus and so easy of the things I'd read elsewhere ( Christian authors ) were included in Aslan's book. It reads very well and it's really quite difficult to put down
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on 22 May 2015
This guy is a well-known scholar, a Muslim but someone who is extremely knowledgeable about historical matters including Christianity. It is a well-written and well-argued book, not at all disrespectful to Jesus (not that it particularly mattered to me) but certainly putting a hole in many of the myths about who he was and what was written about him from Day One.
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on 12 May 2017
Excellent, everyone should read it.
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on 20 August 2015
A lot of people think that the 'man' rather than the church was what was important. That if only we can get back to what the 'man' said, then we find the message.

But what if the 'man' had a philosophy similar to Osama Bin Laden? What if he was a violent man living in violent times.

That his core message was to get rid of the corruption, the rich, the powerful, the priestly caste and the foreign soldiers in the Holy Lands.

This book suggests that Jesus was not unusual in what he was saying or how he lived. That Jesus became important because (Saul / Paul) and the early Church adopted him as the core of its belief systems. That is quite a radical suggestion and rather than argue against it, I imagine it will just be ignored.

For me, it suggests that the focus of study should move to (Saul /Paul) and the early church. However the whole basis of the Christian religion is removed if it is not 'divinely inspired' and is just an invention of men.
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on 6 November 2015
I'm not a big reader of books, nor am I religious by any means, but was compelled to read this book after learning of all the controversy it caused in the States. I have to say, I thought it was a very good read, very interesting and informative, and very well written. I'll leave the argument of its validity to the scholars, but it seems his arguments are very substantial. The book is predominantly a historical recollection of Palestine during the Roman occupation, and gives a very interesting insight into what life was like back then. At the same time it offers a true insight into not only the origins of Christianity, but into Jesus himself. It's much different to the story of Christ foretold by persons from the religious community.
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on 23 April 2017
Having an interest in the historical Jesus meant that I was very interested in reading this book. It was a little bit of a disappointment though. The author has obviously done a lot of research but at times it felt as if there was an agenda behind the writing.

I enjoyed the sections on the true nature of Pontius Pilate and the removal of the importance of James the Just from early Christianity in favour in Pauline Christianity. Now I am no big fan of Paul, but if as the author asserts people left Pauline Christianity in droves when James and Peter warned them about his teachings, then who was Paul writing to? Also I can't reconcile the portrait of Jesus as a violent Zealot when the only scene of him being the least bit forceful was him driving out the money changers from the Temple. Yes, some his disciples took swords to the Garden of Gethsemane, but Jesus immediately healed the soldier whose ear was cut off. All in all, some parts were excellent whilst other parts were unconvincing. Rating: 3 stars.
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on 13 October 2013
I was not sure how I would react to this book. However, I found it riveting and very well written. The research appears meticulous and the author has strictly divided the book in to two; the narrative without footnotes and a second portion which outlines the sources. The author challenges many of the Christian views held by millions. But like so many others who have written on the subject of Christ or Jesus of Nazareth, there is insufficient evidence that things are as they seem to be be or not to be. You cannot criticize the gospel writers for their presentation of the "story" as "fabricated" to fit a desired scenario, then use the gospels themselves as providing evidence as a primary source.

Nevertheless, the book is well written and generally convincing which will upset pious Christians. So, the author states that Jesus did not restore the Kingdom of God as he envisaged. I believe that whatever or whoever this man was, he has left a legacy. We may not accept the mythology but there is no doubt that in the subsequent development of Rabbinic Judaism, the so called "parting of the ways" between the early christian community and the synagogue, the rise of islam, Jesus of Nazareth is a figure to be reckoned with. He has left a profound legacy which stimulates a certain sprituality and even if the story as propounded by the author is true (ie., that Jesus was just another healer/zealot), does it really matter.

A lot more might be said but the reader must come to his/her own conclusion. There is much to consider here and I really believe that the book is well researched and provocative. Individual piety will determine if it is all a stage too far.
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