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on 29 July 2016
I once told Tom Wright that I had read all his books. Having fallen behind again (he writes a lot!) I picked up Simply Jesus, and discovered again the restless mind and earnest heart of the greatest scholar of the New Testament of his generation. This book puts forth very economically what Bishop Wright has laid out in incredible detail in his academic books. Furthermore, since he is a fine teacher (he left his bishopric early to return to teaching and writing), Simply Jesus is organized as a pedagogy, bringing the reader along through metaphors that unfold as the book's argument advances.

Wright cites the story of the Gloucester fishermen who lost their lives in a "perfect storm", caught in the confluence of three powerful weather systems. He starts by describing the present situation of understanding Jesus as a perfect storm of an aggressive and dismissive secularism, a powerful, blinkered version of Christian faith, and the hurricane of God's own strange work. This triad device reappears as Wright lays out the case for considering Jesus in his own context, which is far stranger than moderns imagine. From this analysis Wright daringly proposes to describe Jesus' self-understanding, using both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, as well as Jewish and Roman history.

He himself admits that he gets into trouble with certain Christians, as well as secularists. Wright's approach is historical and textual, at ease with a huge variety of sources. He handles this material lightly, humbly; he is having a conversation with the reader, not giving a lecture. There is nothing triumphalist here. He is harder on Christians much more than others, in fact.

I learned a lot, and I think that any person of good will shall benefit. For whether you believe or not, there is no denying that Jesus of Nazareth and his followers have had a crucial impact on history down to our own times. Simply Jesus is therefore a fine place to start studying him. For this believer, I was convicted again of what a follower of Christ must be and do. For other readers, there is no proselytizing here. The information and its presentation are of value to anyone trying to understand the signs of our own times.
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on 11 January 2012
I found the book well constructed, full of excellent insights and extremely useful for framing my thoughts on the subject of Jesus. Christology is a really tough subject often poorly taught. This book is an accessible well written introduction to the important concepts with which one must grapple in order to gain an understanding of the most important figure in history.
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on 3 May 2017
I've come late to the writings of Tom Wright - and wish I had encountered them years ago! A one-time Archbishop of Canterbury says 'Wright is... a brilliant at distilling immense scholarship into a vivid, clear and accessible form. This book is yet another of his great gifts to the world-wide Church.' Titled 'Simply JESUS' the author sets out to answer the questions, Who he was, What he did, and, Why it matters. The scope of the book is far from 'simple' but by using the theme of 'The Perfect Storm' Wright attempts to trace the purposes of God to redeem his people and establish his Kingdom, through all ages - the history of ancient Israel, the predictions of the prophets, and the mission of Jesus in his earthly ministry. It is no simple read but it provides a convincing explanation of the nature of God's Kingdom and Christ's crucial part establishing that Kingdom. Far from failing in his mission, Jesus secured the Kingdom through his life, death on the Cross, and rising again. The theme of this book will be disconcerting to those Christians who look for Jesus' return in terms of a regathering of Israel, the rebuilding of the Temple, and a thousand-year reign of the triumphant Christ. The Kingdom of God is not earthly or geographic, it is spiritual; it is not a nation - Israel, but all who respond in faith to the Gospel of Christ; the Temple is not for rebuilding - God meets his people in Christ, and indwells them by his Spirit. Feathers will be ruffled!
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on 2 November 2016
This book helped me to understand the kingdom is here and now and I and you are part if it. We can change things because Jesus is waiting for our prayers and help, because he wants us to see we are part of his promise now not just waiting for heaven when we die. Tom explains this so clearly.
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on 27 November 2017
a must read
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on 22 February 2018
Excellent
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on 25 November 2017
Good book
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on 26 December 2012
Based on a deep and scholarly understanding of the biblical and other contemporary texts, this book is written in a "user friendly" style for the non-academic and explains who Jesus thought he was and who his contemporaries thought he was. It is essential reading for anyone who would like to base their Christian faith on a clear understanding of these two points
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on 13 March 2013
An approachable account of one way of seeing Jesus in his first century racial, theological social, and political environment. Has interesing,but not paricularly radical, implications for modern Chistianity
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on 12 February 2015
Cogent explanation with some interesting insights and much worthwhile information on the first century Jewish mindset but the writing style jumped about a bit too much for me. Title word "simply" was rather misleading for me.
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