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Jesus (1st) Paperback – 2009

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: PHoenix Press; 2 edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407220314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407220314
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,070,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I liked the way the author did not dimiss miracles and covered what was probably meant by the "Kingdom" first.

Despite plattitudes that Jesus was the most influential person to have ever lived (the problem being that what exists of his genuine output is rare, and his status as a saint was even at the time pretty ambiguous) - I think this is a portrait which combines facts and impressions with a definite direction and conclusion. The role of St Paul and many of the saints like Peter or lack thereof is revealed. We also get a digest of the search for the historical new testament.

A bit dated, this is an easy read and makes most of what is known available to readers. I'm not sure whether it glorifies or insults Christ but I feel wiser about him in having read this work.
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Format: Hardcover
The great mystery of history is how the life and teachings of an obscure Jewish Rabbi inspired a world religion. Speaking as an historian, Michael Grant examines the life of Jesus, eschewing the spiritual, and puts forth the plausible opinion that Jesus's Ministry was based on the belief that the Kingdom of God --the end of the world as we know it -- was at hand. The Jews, or at least the elect of the Jews, would be liberated from oppression, the oppressive Gentiles would be punished, and God would rule. Jesus, he speculates, went knowingly to his death to further the imminent apocalypse.

Grant's views help explain Jesus's indifference toward worldly things. Why worry about possessions, religious laws, and rendering taxes unto Caesar when the end is near? This leads the author also to maintain that Jesus's Ministry was based on a mistake -- the end didn't come, and hasn't yet come -- and that he was "a total failure turned into enormous triumph" after his death. As a person, Jesus comes across as somewhat abrupt and intolerant, especially with his intellectually-challenged disciples.

These are pretty strong and controversial views but Grant maintains his historical detachment throughout. One can never be sure whether he is a believer or not. I thought the book would have been better had it included more background on the four gospels -- Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John -- which are almost the only sources Grant used to interpret the life of Jesus (he finally gets around to doing so briefly near the end of the book.) He perhaps presumes more familiarity with the Bible than some of us, including this reader, may have. But all in all this is a most interesting book and the interpretation of Jesus is very convincing.

Smallchief
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Format: Hardcover
This is a superb book, reviewing the gospels from a historical standpoint that is neither preachy nor dismissive. Grant boils down the contradicting mess of the gospels and picks out the salient points that appear to have meant the most to Jesus. He reminds us that everything Jesus did, that we now take for proof of divinity and compassion was done to ensure the spreading of his message that: The Kingdom of God is Now and I (Jesus) am personally bringing it to the people on behalf of my father (God). He backs up this claim with ample proof and good prose. This book is inviting and just the right length, right when you have had about all of the Jesus you can take Grant comes to his conclusion and ends his book on a high note. Lovely.
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