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Jesus: An Historical Approximation (Kyrios) Paperback – April 20, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-1934996096 ISBN-10: 1934996092 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Series: Kyrios
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Convivium Press; Revised edition (April 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934996092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934996096
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Pagola has a simple message to convey. God must be understood as compassion, not power. In his book he set out to depict, in clear, accessible layman s language, as much as the historical sources allow, a comprehensive picture of Jesus of Nazareth. Just who was he? What was his contemporary world really like? Why did he want to go beyond complex religious codes and ritual practices? And why did he end up on collision course with the local Jewish authorities and the delegates of imperial Rome? --Mark Dowd, The Tablet, UK. This volume aims to approximate Jesus with historical rigor and in simple language, in order to bring his person and message closer to people today. --New Testament Abstracts. One of Pagola s most controversial stances is that Jesus never described his death in theological terms and did not understand it as a sacrificial atonement for the sins of humanity. The Father doesn t need to preserve his honor with anyone s destruction, Pagola writes. His love for his sons and daughters is gratuitous, his forgiveness unconditional. Rather, Pagola says, Jesus viewed his death as a service to God s reign for the benefit of all. Jesus: An Historical Approximation may frustrate conservatives, who fault Pagola for departing from traditional formulas of faith, as well as liberals, who wonder how a follower of Jesus can analyze the historical sources objectively. --Mark Dowd, The Tablet, UK

One of Pagolas most controversial stances is that Jesus never described his death in theological terms and did not understand it as a sacrificial atonement for the sins of humanity. The Father doesnt need to preserve his honor with anyone s destruction, Pagola writes. His love for his sons and daughters is gratuitous, his forgiveness unconditional. Rather, Pagola says, Jesus viewed his death as a service to God s reign for the benefit of all. Jesus: An Historical Approximation may frustrate conservatives, who fault Pagola for departing from traditional formulas of faith, as well as liberals, who wonder how a follower of Jesus can analyze the historical sources objectively. --Darrell Turner, National Catholic Reporter

This volume aims to approximate Jesus with historical rigor and in simple language, in order to bring his person and message closer to people today --New Testament Abstracts

One of Pagolas most controversial stances is that Jesus never described his death in theological terms and did not understand it as a sacrificial atonement for the sins of humanity. The Father doesnt need to preserve his honor with anyone s destruction, Pagola writes. His love for his sons and daughters is gratuitous, his forgiveness unconditional. Rather, Pagola says, Jesus viewed his death as a service to God s reign for the benefit of all. Jesus: An Historical Approximation may frustrate conservatives, who fault Pagola for departing from traditional formulas of faith, as well as liberals, who wonder how a follower of Jesus can analyze the historical sources objectively. --Darrell Turner, National Catholic Reporter

This volume aims to approximate Jesus with historical rigor and in simple language, in order to bring his person and message closer to people today --New Testament Abstracts

One of Pagolas most controversial stances is that Jesus never described his death in theological terms and did not understand it as a sacrificial atonement for the sins of humanity. The Father doesnt need to preserve his honor with anyone s destruction, Pagola writes. His love for his sons and daughters is gratuitous, his forgiveness unconditional. Rather, Pagola says, Jesus viewed his death as a service to God s reign for the benefit of all. Jesus: An Historical Approximation may frustrate conservatives, who fault Pagola for departing from traditional formulas of faith, as well as liberals, who wonder how a follower of Jesus can analyze the historical sources objectively. --Darrell Turner, National Catholic Reporter

This volume aims to approximate Jesus with historical rigor and in simple language, in order to bring his person and message closer to people today --New Testament Abstracts

About the Author

José Antonio Pagola was born in Spain in 1937. He completed his theological studies in 1962 at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and his studies in Sacred Scripture at the Biblical Institute in Rome in 1963. He also studied Biblical sciences at the École Biblique in Jerusalem. He has dedicated his life to Biblical studies and Christology and has done research on the historical Jesus for more than 30 year. His new books have been recognized as one of the best latest studies on the Historical Jesus.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It is easy to read but has marvelous footnotes.
Helen Rosenthal
The best and most detailed book i've read about the historical Jesus. i highly recommend it.
Victor F. Garate
It makes the life and times of Jesus come alive in a new and vital way.
Mary Pat Fitz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By John H. Clark III on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
An absolutely outstanding work. Father Pagola presents Jesus in his time, his place, and in context, and succeeds in giving the reader a glimpse of what Jesus was like, what was his environment, what was the substantive content of his message and to whom it was directed. In so doing, he reminds the reader exactly how radical Jesus' message was...an affirmation of the value of all humanity, the loving and life-affirming intent of the Father, the need to respond to the God of love with selfless, self-giving love for others.

I was truly impressed with how easily Father Pagola carries his immense scholarly knowledge relative to scripture. This book is accessible and erudite at the same time, a very rare combination. In examining the footnotes, it is clear that he is well versed with cutting-edge scriptural issues, and yet he does not become bogged down in minutia. This work is clearly a labor of love--much more focused on the subject than the author. In addition, Pagola's treatment of the historical setting that Jesus operated in is absolutely first-rate. I don't know that I have ever read anything that brought home more clearly the dire circumstances of most of the people of Israel during Jesus' time, how powerless they were (economically, religiously, and politically) and how delighted and suprised they must have been to have received his message of God's love

Well worth reading.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Pierre Simson on February 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been teaching the Bible since 1954, and I am still giving lectures on the Scriptures. I have read José Pagola's book, and I must say it is the best book I have ever read on Jesus.
Pagola's approach is not 'theological', but 'historical'. His aim is to tell us in what sort of world Jesus was born and lived. And as we read on, we are touched by how close to us, human beings, Jesus was. I must add that Pagola's book is very readable, and the many friends who have bought and read it are unanimous in saying that reading it was a wonderful experience and helped them in their faith.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dubious Disciple on May 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Who was the Jesus of history? A wandering sage? A penniless do-gooder? An apocalyptic preacher?

If you're tired of all the one-dimensional labels and want to find the real Jesus, this is the right book. Pagola begins by affirming his devotion to the Catholic Church, and his analysis overemphasizes canonical scripture just as one would expect of a confessing Christian, but this is not a book about the "Christ of Faith." While resorting to neither evangelism nor sensationalism, Pagola tells the simple story of a very human Jesus, his beliefs, dreams, ambitions, and values. I'm well-read on the topic of the historical Jesus, and I have to say, I am very impressed by the picture Pagola paints. This is about as down-to-earth as any exposition of the life of Jesus I've ever read. Any more down-to-earth would be dishonest, for Jesus truly was exceptional. The result may be the most inspiring book I've ever read about Jesus.

This is a Jesus who desperately wants his audience to embrace what he calls the reign of God, or the kingdom of God, and who gently teaches in parable and example how it can come about. It's a historical Jesus that is, finally, believable and consistent with the picture provided in both scripture and history. It is a Jesus we can both love and admire. A Jesus whose teachings might actually explain the following that sprang up after his death. But still a very human Jesus, with real problems.

"Jesus put the honor of his family at risk when he left. His vagabond's life, far from home, without fixed employment, performing exorcisms and strange healings, and proclaiming a disturbing message without authorization, brought shame to the whole family."

Clearly, this book is not about Christianity.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Edgar Hart on June 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a pastor I have read many books on the history of Jesus and the historical setting. With non scholarly language the author allows you to understand Jesus's world more as he lived it and perceived it than any "historical" presentation I have read. It is more like a living history and gives great insight on the world of Jesus behind the parables. Very much like the contributions of Kenneth Bailey.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gervase T. M. Shorter on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As its title indicates, `Jesus: an Historical approximation' is not about the Jesus of Faith but about the Jesus that emerges from the historical evidence, in other words the scriptures, Dead Sea Scrolls, apocrypha and other broadly contemporary written sources and also from archaeological and other kinds of research. So this is a Jesus seen as he actually was, not as reinterpreted by the evangelists forty years later and not as distorted by centuries of pious writing. And not only the events of his life but also what he actually said and what that signified in the time and place in which he lived. In other words we are at the end of the trail that started from Albert Schweitzer's Quest for the Historical Jesus: José Pagola's book can only be `an approximation' but I doubt whether we will ever get closer than this to the real, actual Jesus.

The freshness of this portrait owes nothing to sensationalist theories and everything to the author's meticulous scholarship. Controversial points are discussed in concise footnotes so that the main text flows without interruption and, with the extensive bibliography, a detailed review of the various sources and trends in current research, the notes give the reader all he needs to delve more deeply if he wishes to do so. However, for all its scholarship this is a very readable book. In fact, I could hardly put it down.

It's an account of someone who changed the world - changed it more than anyone else has ever done: Jesus is a figure whose importance cannot be ignored irrespective of what one does (or does not) believe. In Pagola's pages he comes across as intensely human, filled with a humble compassion for the downtrodden. I found his story incredibly moving and, when I finished the book felt I had really come to know Jesus in a way I never had before.

If you only buy one book in 2012 this is the book you should buy.
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