Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $14.99
  • Save: $0.98 (7%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Jesus for the Non-Religio... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Support Your Planet. Buy CLEAN EARTH BOOKS. Shipping orders swiftly since 2008. A great value for the avid reader! GOOD can range from a well cared for book in great condition to average with signs of slight wear. Overall, All text in great shape! Comes with our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Our customer service can't be beat! Tracking included on all orders.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Jesus for the Non-Religious Paperback – February 26, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 202 customer reviews

See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.90 $0.36

2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
$14.01 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Jesus for the Non-Religious
  • +
  • Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell
  • +
  • Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World
Total price: $38.68
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Spong, the iconoclastic former Episcopal bishop of Newark, details in this impassioned work both his "deep commitment to Jesus of Nazareth" and his "deep alienation from the traditional symbols" that surround Jesus. For Spong, scholarship on the Bible and a modern scientific worldview demonstrate that traditional teachings like the Trinity and prayer for divine intervention must be debunked as the mythological trappings of a primitive worldview. These are so much "religion," which was devised by our evolutionary forebears to head off existential anxiety in the face of death. What's left? The power of the "Christ experience," in which Jesus transcends tribal notions of the deity and reaches out to all people. Spong says Jesus had such great "energy" and "integrity" about him that his followers inflated to the point of describing him as a deity masquerading in human form; however, we can still get at the historical origin of these myths by returning to Jesus' humanity, especially his Jewishness. Spong so often suggests the backwardness and insecurity of those who disagree with him that his rhetoric borders on the fundamentalist. His own historical and theological reconstructions would be more palatable if he seemed more aware that he too is engaged in mythmaking. (Feb. 27)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Shelby Spong, the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000, has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard and at more than 500 other universities all over the world. His books, which have sold well over a million copies, include Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy; The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic; Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World; Eternal Life: A New Vision; Jesus for the Non-Religious, The Sins of Scripture, Resurrection: Myth or Reality?; Why Christianity Must Change or Die; and his autobiography, Here I Stand. He writes a weekly column on the web that reaches thousands of people all over the world. To join his online audience, go to www.JohnShelbySpong.com. He lives with his wife, Christine, in New Jersey.

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 76%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060778415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060778415
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tired of Bible-thumpers, door-to-door evangelists and televangelists? Ashamed to call yourself a Christian because people will think you're a bigoted know-nothing? Do you have a deep attachment to the man Jesus but wouldn't be caught dead in a church? Well, take hope!

Jack Spong has thrown religious clutter overboard in this exciting new book and allowed people of the 21st century to see the wonder and awe which Jesus' original followers must have experienced in his presence. Not superman just a super man!

In the first third of the book, Spong, dismantles all the man-made supernatural rubbish layered on the human Jesus. The reasons why the early Church did these things are many and varied but "modern" scholars, over the past 150 years or so, now know that things like the virgin birth and bodily resurrection were NOT things that the earliest followers of Jesus would have recognized as having anything to do with what Jesus was about.

The middle third of the book focuses on how and why the original evangelists made Jesus look like the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy and/or a figure of importance like Moses or David. Most of us read this stuff in the Bible and just assume that it's "history" but once again, Spong points out that modern scholarship recognizes this as interpretive material to make Jesus the next logical step for Jews and eventually Gentiles in God's "plan" for us.

The final third of the book is really the pinnacle of Spong's thinking regarding where people of a spiritual inclination (Christian or otherwise) can go with this de-mythologized human Jesus.
Read more ›
4 Comments 192 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed all of Bishop John Shelby Spong's books. This latest addition weaves together Bishop Spong's interpretation of how the gospel stories came about and how they should be viewed by the contemporary Christian. He makes a compelling argument that much of what appears in the gospels represents a reformulation of pre-existing Jewish folklore as expressed in the Old Testament in an attempt to understand the significance of the historical Jesus. I especially enjoyed his chapter that discusses how the Christian church will ultimately fail if it continues to struggle to hang on to old and outdated interpretations that even the faithful no longer take seriously.

I had hoped that Bishop Spong would further develop what it was about the Jesus of history that made the writers feel compelled to wrap Jesus's story in such complex mythology. The latter parts of the book I felt were weak in this regard. His premise is that a man like Jesus who transcended the boundaries of prejudice, stereotype, and other human frailties was deemed to be a reflection of God and consequently became wrapped into the mythology of the Jewish Old Testament. To my mind, there must have been more than that. There have been other great men of history (Gandhi comes to mind) that did not produce the impact that Jesus Christ did. I could not help feeling that there must have been something more to the Christ story...much more to make the evangelists go through the trouble that they did to produce the gospel stories of this great man.

Despite this shortcoming, I found the book to be well-written, informative, and very interesting. I highly recommend it for Progressive Christians. Orthodox Christians will not like this book and I look forward to their reviews that will undoubtably follow.
14 Comments 199 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Shelby Spong is an excellent theologian, making faith possible for persons for whom integrity of belief is important. He argues that NT events from the life of Jesus are not based in actual happenings but are creations by NT writers drawing from OT images that are then applied to Jesus and his ministy. Thus, Spong is able to dismiss virtually all historical references in the gospels. This reviewer is thoroughly familiar with the theological meaning of mythology (PHD in NT studies from St. Andrews Univ. Scotland), and agrees with many of the conclusions that Spong reaches, but I prefer to see a core element of historical data which led the NT writers to return to the OT for religious language that will describe the event and input meaning to it. They see events in the life of Jesus with OT history and in order to tell the story they use Ot imagery and language. Thus Spong is correct in challenging specific details in the story telling, but for me, he is far to quick to dismiss far too much of the gospel data.

We agree that Jesus was an historical figure--but I do not believe Spong has done his research in extra-biblical data that provides evidence that could be understood to document events particularly from Luke's gospel.

Spong's book might be very helpful for persons looking for theological meaning in the Jesus story, but too much data surrounding that ministry is dismissed as creative story telling. I began making a list and quickly found 25 things that Spong dismisses as having no historical identity (no star, no Bethlehem, no Judas, no 12 disciples, no burial in a tomb, no cleansing of the temple, etc.etc).
Read more ›
3 Comments 222 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Jesus for the Non-Religious
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Jesus for the Non-Religious