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The Life of Jesus Paperback – December, 1989

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Text: English, Italian (translation)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco Pr (December 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880012382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880012386
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,887,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This is an eye-opening book. Craveri is clear-eyed about the evidence in the various biblical accounts and in other historical testimony about what exactly went on in the early days of Christianity. His narrative even has a villain: St. Paul, who translated, transformed Christ's message into an other-worldly vision of what should be the aim of the ordinary Christian. For Craveri, Christ's message is a focus on this world, particularly on the relationship of the Christian to the poor. The 'kingdom of heaven,' if it was to occur, was to occur in this world, where all men and women would be brothers and sisters. Paul, the outsider, one who never was close to Christ, altered this vision to a "kingdom of heaven' that was in some other world. With that, the Christian message was diluted, distorted, twisted. The influence on the early Church was tremendous, and in effect we have not recovered yet. i.e. we have not recovered Christ's original message. It is a tragedy of tremendous impact. This book should be read by every Christian, in power, or out of power.
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Format: Unknown Binding Verified Purchase
Buy this book. It is an absolute gem. Step by step Craveri takes us through the life of Jesus and provides a plethora of explanations for what appears in the original Gospels, how it was changed, and how it was interpreted. His fluency in Latin and Greek is extremely helpful. Unlike so many other books of this type, Craveri does not appear to have an agenda. He goes where the evidence leads him, sometimes landing on traditional interpretations and sometimes supporting non-traditional views.

The writing style is conversational and easy to read. Documentation is extensive, but most of the references are to works in non English languages. Having been written in 1967, the book is a bit dated, and doesn't reflect the wealth of data on the Essenes that has appeared since then. However, a subject 2000 years old isn't handicapped by ignoring the past 50 years and it is surprising how scholarly this book is and how well it would compare with the very best books that are published today.

In addition to the direct topic, Craveri takes us on several excursions which are interesting and informative. For example, he shows us how people actually lived in the small villages, or the value of the sheckel, or the history of the place of Mary in the catechism of the Catholic church from the 4th Century right up until the 20th. Good stuff, and rarely dealt with by other authors.
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Format: Unknown Binding
Marcello Craveri (1914-2002) was an Italian biblical scholar. He wrote in the Preface to this 1966 book, "I have undertaken 'The Life of Jesus'... with the intention of remaining as impartial as possible toward the often contradictory approaches of the various schools. The aim that I have set myself is that of never losing sight ... striving to understand his life, his ideas, his behavior as the product of a particular culture and unique historical circumstances..."

He observes, "Luke contends that [Joseph and Mary] had to make the uncomfortable journey from one city to the other to be counted in the census. This statement is rather debatable. It is unlikely that the Roman authorities would have imposed such ridiculous displacements on the Hebrew population... It is all the more improbable... that Joseph would have dared to subject Mary, who had already come almost to term, to the exhaustion of such a journey (nine or ten days on camel- or donkey-back...). Preferable, therefore, is the assumption that Jesus was born in Nazareth itself..." (Pg. 34-35)

He asks, "Why, if Jesus did not baptize, do the Evangelists attach so much importance to the fact that he was baptized by John? What need had Jesus, if he were the Son of God and therefore immune to human failings, of such a ceremony to purge him of sin?... the evangelists were not able to suppress the fact that the Nazarene was a disciple of John... Indeed, it was the Baptist who first made Jesus aware of his own ministry..." (Pg. 79-80) He states, "the word 'Messiah'... was originally a title of the kings of Israel because they were 'anointed'... later it became... the designation of the ... [one who] would one day ... restore the independence and prosperity of his country. It does not follow, however...
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Format: Hardcover
Marcello Craveri (1914-2002) was an Italian biblical scholar. He wrote in the Preface to this 1966 book, "I have undertaken 'The Life of Jesus'... with the intention of remaining as impartial as possible toward the often contradictory approaches of the various schools. The aim that I have set myself is that of never losing sight ... striving to understand his life, his ideas, his behavior as the product of a particular culture and unique historical circumstances..."

He observes, "Luke contends that [Joseph and Mary] had to make the uncomfortable journey from one city to the other to be counted in the census. This statement is rather debatable. It is unlikely that the Roman authorities would have imposed such ridiculous displacements on the Hebrew population... It is all the more improbable... that Joseph would have dared to subject Mary, who had already come almost to term, to the exhaustion of such a journey (nine or ten days on camel- or donkey-back...). Preferable, therefore, is the assumption that Jesus was born in Nazareth itself..." (Pg. 34-35)

He asks, "Why, if Jesus did not baptize, do the Evangelists attach so much importance to the fact that he was baptized by John? What need had Jesus, if he were the Son of God and therefore immune to human failings, of such a ceremony to purge him of sin?... the evangelists were not able to suppress the fact that the Nazarene was a disciple of John... Indeed, it was the Baptist who first made Jesus aware of his own ministry..." (Pg. 79-80) He states, "the word 'Messiah'... was originally a title of the kings of Israel because they were 'anointed'... later it became... the designation of the ... [one who] would one day ... restore the independence and prosperity of his country. It does not follow, however...
Read more ›
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