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AD 33: The Year that Changed the World Hardcover – January 22, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (January 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083083396X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830833962
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,478,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Colin Duriez is best known for his studies in the life and work of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. Here he ventures further back in time, offering a compelling case for dating the crucifixion of Jesus to Friday 13 April, AD 33. Much of the book is spent setting the death of Jesus in its historical contexts, Jewish and Roman. Where firm evidence is missing, Duriez suggests plausible scenarios." (Church Times)

"Author Colin Duriez's compelling and wide-ranging work examines the huge Roman Empire which encompassed the Mediterranean region and much of north-western Europe. . . . There is a universal curiousity about the history that lies behind the Gospel texts and the book reveals what the year that saw the inauguration of Christianity as a world religion was actually like." (Belfast News Letter Group)

"Colin Duriez's 'AD 33' offers readers a fascinating and creative view of the most important year in human history. This book takes readers back in time, back to the world of Jesus, back to the culture of Jews and Romans and to the events that changed everything. Scholars and students will learn much from this informed and very readable book. I recommend it enthusiastically." (Craig A. Evans, Ph.D., Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College and author of Fabricating Jesus)

About the Author

Colin Duriez was for many years general books editor for Inter-Varsity Press in Leicester, England. A professional writer, he currently offers acquisitions, editorial and project management services through his own business, InWriting, based in Keswick, Cumbria. He studied at the University of Istanbul, the University of Ulster (where he was a founding member of the Irish Christian Study Centre) and under Francis Schaeffer at L'Abri in Huemoz, Switzerland. He has held a variety of teaching and editorial posts spanning nearly thirty years. Duriez won the Clyde S. Kilby Award in 1994 for his research on the Inklings. He has published many articles, books and other written works, and he has spoken to a variety of literary, academic and professional groups in a number of countries. He has also appeared as a commentator on the extended version film DVDs of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Peter Jackson, director), PBS's The Question of God, which compared C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud, and the Sony DVD Ringers about Tolkien fandom and the impact of Tolkien on popular culture. His best-known books include The C. S. Lewis Encyclopedia (Crossway/SPCK), The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter, Chalice), J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship (Paulist Press/Sutton), Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings (Paulist Press/Sutton) and A Field Guide to Narnia (IVP).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh VINE VOICE on April 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
And here we have another volume in the ever-growing collection of books to put their focus on a single year in history. Of course, in reality, a single year can't be isolated from the flow of history in the years around it; still, it is an interesting trend in popular history books that is not without its pleasures. In this case, Mr. Duriez puts the spotlight on 33 AD.

As any good Christian knows, 33 AD is the year that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified outside of Jerusalem. For believers, this was also the year of his resurrection and ascension. It is also the year that the Christianity got its start. Even for non-believers, this was an event that would have a huge impact on the millennia that followed, making this year a good topic for a book. And Mr. Duriez handles it fairly well.

Obviously, much of the book is taken up with the events in and around Jerusalem. The key players are all here--Jesus, the apostles, Pilate, Herod, Caiaphas, Annas--but Duriez goes beyond simple biography and a recitation of events. He gives some real insight into the social structure of the time and why it is likely that events unfolded the way they did. Additionally, he makes an effort to give us the bigger picture. Apart from Jerusalem, he spends quite a lot of time describing events in Rome, the intrigues of Tiberius' court and how that impacted events in the provinces. (He also devotes a few pages to events of Asia and the Americas, but this material is minimal and less successful.)

Clearly, Duriez is coming at his material from the aspect of a believer. Still, he doesn't let his faith overwhelm the text. He works from plenty of non-biblical source material and he tries to address "scientific" evidence.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. L. Sutton on January 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When I first purchased this book I was expecting a history book that would provide a good insight to the debate on AD30 versus AD33 for the death of Christ. I was a little disappointed in the fact that it was not a historical account but rather the book was told in a storied fashion. However, I must say, he is a very good story teller. The way he weaved the events around the time period chosen was sensational. I was impressed by the way he went back forth between the Roman world and the local setting around Jerusalem.
I could not give 5 stars however because I feel Mr. Duriez misrepresented those on the AD30 side. He seemed to indicate that those who choose AD30 as the death of Christ try to squeeze in the ministry of Christ into one year. This is in no way true! AD30 advocates choose 2.5 or 3.5 years as the time for the ministry of Christ. They usually adopt AD27 as the start of his ministry which coincides with Tiberius' 15th year (using inclusive reckoning starting with his co-regency of AD12). Mr. Duriez states that the 46th year of Herod re-building the temple started in 20bc which would bring this date to AD29 (or the start of Jesus' ministry for AD33 advocates). His math is less to be desired. If one calculates the 46th year starting in 20bc it comes to AD27 and not AD29. AD27 was actually a sabbatical year according to Ben Zion Wacholder. This actually matches up well with John 4:35-37. I am not totally convinced that AD30 is the year of the Lord's crucifixion. That is why I purchased this book. However, I believe I am more aware of the arguments for each side. Mr. Duriez seems naive to the evidences offered from the AD30 advocates.
One final note: In this book, Mr. Duriez makes a statement without further comment.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trevin Wax on October 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
I like historical fiction. If writers do their homework, they can make a historical period come alive with details. Colin Duriez's book AD 33 - The Year that Changed the World has no shortage of such details. Duriez manages to capture many of the important moments of AD 33, especially Jesus' death and resurrection. Duriez's book seeks to explain some of the reasons why this year was so important, and how it changed the world.

AD 33 starts off with an exciting first chapter that pits Tiberius Caesar against those seeking to overthrow his reign. Duriez quotes liberally from ancient historians and philosophers, and he demonstrates great command of the period.

But within a few chapters, the very details that were brimming with excitement bog the book down. By the middle of the book, I felt as if I were plodding along in a historical textbook. Perhaps, that is the problem with his book. The content is great, but it seems the author didn't know which genre to pursue. Instead of going in one direction (historical fiction, versus historical textbook), he tries to bring together several genres and winds up not succeeding at any of them.

The most interesting chapter for me was the Appendix, which demonstrated how the author came to the conclusion that Jesus was crucified in AD 33. I remain somewhat skeptical as to the author's conclusion, but the evidence he lays out and the logic he uses is persuasive.

Overall, AD 33 was somewhat disappointing. I would love to see someone do a book similar to this that compares Jesus' Kingdom to Rome's imperial power.
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More About the Author

Colin Duriez is based in Keswick in north-west England and writes books, edits and lectures. He has appeared as a commentator on extended version film DVDs of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, the 'Royal' 4 DVD set of Walden/Disney's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Sony DVD Ringers about Tolkien fandom and the impact of Tolkien on popular culture. He has also participated in documentaries on PBS and the BBC. He is also a part-time tutor at Lancaster University.