Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Life of Jesus

Zealot: the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth (M)
by Reza Aslan

"Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry--a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy" - publisher

Killing Jesus: a history (M)
by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

"The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Nearly two thousand years after this beloved and controversial young revolutionary was brutally killed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. Killing Jesus will take readers inside Jesus's life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable - and changed the world forever." - publisher.

The Jesus We Missed: the surprising truth about the humanity of Christ
(M) by Patrick Henry Reardon

"Orthodox Christian theology and spirituality are at once considerably more conservative than mainstream Protestantism and full of shocking surprises. Pastor Reardon (All Saints' Orthodox Church, Chicago; Christ in His Saints) is an eloquent spokesman for these twinned aspects of Orthodoxy. His new book addresses the very heart of Orthodox Christology—that Christ is both of one being with God the Father and of one being with humanity, that is, fully human (albeit sinless). As such, Reardon takes for granted that the Gospels describe literal realities—and that the Jesus they describe was human, with human idiosyncrasies. VERDICT A fine exposition of the Orthodox assertions" - Library Journal

Jesus: a theography (M)
by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

"Biographies of Jesus generally have been written by those trying to investigate the historical Jesus with little attention given to the grand narrative of Scripture. On the flip side, those interested in tracing the theology of Scripture are typically disinterested in historical Jesus studies. These two approaches have yet to converge, until now. Jesus is written for the average reader as well as scholars. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola (authors of Jesus Manifesto) unfold the greatest story ever told in a fresh and invigorating way. Virtually every other "Jesus biography" begins with the nativity account in Bethlehem. In this groundbreaking book, Sweet and Viola begin before time, in the Triune God, and tell the complete interconnected story of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. The first book ever written to combine historical Jesus studies with biblical theology, crafting together one breathtaking saga that tells the Jesus story in both Old and New Testaments." - publisher

In the Footsteps of Jesus: a chronicle of his life and the origins of Christianity (M)
by Jean-Pierre Isbouts

"Using new archaeological discoveries, Isbouts takes readers on a trip back in time to uncover Jesus and the places where he lived, preached, and died. The first part of the book, The World of Jesus, looks at the larger Roman world as well as the locales that nurtured Jesus and his work. The text then goes on to trace the life of Jesus as he moved through Galilee, ending up in Jerusalem for his final days. The book concludes with a look at the Christian communities that sprang up throughout the Roman Empire. An epilogue tracks various pilgrimage routes. Though this volume has the look and feel of a coffee-table book, some of the photos are disappointing (for example, a generic full-page picture of an olive tree with a caption about the importance of oil in the ancient world). In addition, some images are not crisply reproduced. That said, there is a wealth of information here. The book covers all the key topics the Temple, the travels, the teachings and several minor ones as well (Fish Species in Jesus' Time). Good for browsers and students of the period alike." - Booklist

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