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Jesus: A Biography, from a Believer Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 4, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Johnson argues that Christ lived a comfortable and educated life as a God with men and loved it--His was a real life. Jesus loved people, loved a good meal; He was supremely observant and compassionate, He missed nothing and saw everything. My favorite part of the book was Mr. Johnson's telling of the miracle at Cana; his portrayal of the relationship between Jesus and Jesus' mother was illuminating. The genius of the book is that it is not an explanation of why and how Jesus, at once the most intelligent and powerful being to ever walk the earth, allowed Himself to be made a sacrifice for mankind; rather, it is a biography, a description of what kind of Man He was according to the historical record. A deceptively difficult task that only a seasoned expert at the height of his powers could pull off as effortlessly as does Mr. Johnson.Read more ›
As a believer, I had to adjust my perspective while reading the first three chapters, mainly because I am accustomed to more analytical text with footnotes and cross-references when reading about Jesus or God's Word.
The subtitle is true to the text - this is a biography, and it paints a visual image of its subject. Johnson summarizes the era of Jesus' birth and life on earth with fresh insights on cultural practices and gives you a sense for the man behind the red letter verses in the Bible.
Johnson's economy of language hits the nail on the head. No fluff. No sense that the author has to jam one more thing in to prove his point. It reads like eloquent campfire storytelling, relating the author's recollections of his old friend, Jesus. "You should have seen the way Jesus addressed the leaders of his day...like nothing you can imagine. Calm, poised, one step ahead of the game. He was forever a paradox, loving the unlovable and turning conventional wisdom and rule-following on its ear." (my own paraphrase, not a direct quote from the text).
This may be the most winsome, read-it-in-a-day portrait of Jesus you will find, and may be the book about Jesus that intrigues the skeptic to want to learn more.
Johnson reminds us that, while many of Jesus' teaching have become maxims, that they were startling new in his day and provoked anger and disgust as well as approval.
He also notes how breathtakingly new was the concept of love as Jesus preached it. It had no limitations. Love of mankind did not exist in Jesus' day as a concept. The idea of loving all humanity did not occur to anyone - Greek or barbarian, Jew or Gentile. Everyone's compassion - love - was selective.
There are some flaws. Johnson said Jesus referred to all as children of God. He told one crowd they were children of the devil. Not everyone is a child of God. They can be but it's not automatic.
All in all, a very good book
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an inspiring and moving read. I liked how Johnson looked at the parables and miracles in depth.Published 2 months ago by nathaniel lathy
I bought this because I had to, for a class. Dropped the class; gave the book to Goodwill. Couldn't stand his "believer" views.Published 9 months ago by Marilyn Blanck
Paul johnson makes an extraordinary account of Jesus life. It is so vivid, it is like he is a man who is contemporary to us. Read morePublished 11 months ago by JorgeBarbatH
The author's clear style and thorough understanding of scripture make for a wonderful addition to anyone's understanding of Jesus. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gene Nagle