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on 21 July 2017
This is an exciting fast-paced story. It feels like it should be on Netflix.

It paints a rich picture of the turbulence of the First Century. You can begin to see how Jesus could emerge and seed a new religion. It is not a new idea that Jesus can be seen as just another preacher/miracle worker whose story stopped abruptly when he was executed before he had chance to bring the Kingdom of God but then was resurrected (by various earthly scribes) and transformed into an entirely different person and proposition- not Jesus the Man but now Jesus Christ.

However you have to realise that once you accept that Jesus was brought back from the dead then you are dealing with mysticism and faith. Academics can't write books about deities because we don't really know anything about them. So inevitably this book is about how Jesus can be understood as a man. It doesn't enlighten Christians in anyway because they don't believe in that. In essence the book un-picks the teachings and writings of Christianity so don't read it unless you are interested in looking at things that way.

Also - as various other critics have alluded to - it is very very difficult to find out the facts. There is a great deal of conflicting material; people didn't bother much about facts or accuracy in those days; many others clearly - blatantly - were distorting things to fit their agendas; very significant interpretations depend on tricky issues of translation and context; and so on. Zealot looks a valid attempt at re-constructing history but is, at the end of the day, speculation.
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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 22 July 2017
If you have any interest in Christianity this might well be a mind changer. Easy to read and seemingly without author bias (a Muslim) this strengthened my faith. Others might find the opposite, especially if you find virgin birth and resurrection essential to your belief.
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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 21 August 2017
Solidly researched and brilliantly told, Reza Aslan goes in search of not just Jesus the Christ but Jesus the man. Jews, Christians and nonbelievers alike will be informed and startled in equal measure as the author reveals the truth about the life of Jesus set against the backdrop of the real first century Roman occupation of his homeland.
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on 12 May 2017
Excellent, everyone should read it.
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on 17 July 2017
Absolutely no dramas. Recommended.
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on 13 September 2017
Absorbing
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on 3 May 2016
Fascinating food for thought.
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