Customer Reviews for

Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2003

    Something to think about, with Bible(s) in hand

    This is deep reading, but it is not light reading, especially if you are not well versed in the Bible and its characters and mythology. I am familiar with Bible study, and, in that light, this book propelled me into a new kind of study, viewing Jesus' words in the historical context in which they may have been written down. I appreciated its scientific, historical, archaeological and literary bases; I pick it up night after night to ponder something new. Jesus' teachings have taken on a more personal, in-the-moment, slant since reading this. I look forward to more of John's books and collaborations.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2005

    Terrible: This Man Doesn't Believe in Christ at ALL

    I purchased this book to learn about Jesus Christ. However, I found-out midway through the book that Crossan doubts that Jesus Christ lived at all! For a REAL glimpse at who Christ was, read To Know Chirst Jesus, by Frank Sheed.`

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2000

    A look at Jesus in the flesh

    If you do not have an open mind, do not read this book. The aspect it is written in is looking at Jesus separate from his divinity so that one can understand the social and cultural and political ramifications of his actions. Having seen Crossan speak on 'Mysteries of the Bible', i am not so sure that Crossan is disputing miracles or Jesus' divinity, but merely taking looks at the events of his life from many different perspectives to satisfy different curiosities. The bibliography and footnotes are exhaustive and it is evident that a great deal of work had to be done for this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Great study

    This is a scholarly reconstruction of the historical Jesus, a peasant Jewish Cynic in the words of the author. The historical Jesus' work was the combination of free healing and common eating - a religious and economic egalitarianism that conflicted with the hierarchial and patronial standard in that period. If you want to learn about theological study this is the right book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2000

    Lot of hard work went into this!

    This book puts Jesus in a more holistic context of the politics and social controversies of the day. Perhaps one day Crossan might complete a work that integrates alternative ways of interpreting scripture and perhaps the messages Jesus brought. Jesus is said to have died for all our sins and there is a timeless component to this: He died for our sins past,present & FUTURE. What if sin equates with the creation of negative karma and Jesus absorbed the collective negative karma of humanity. By curtailing future sins, we may be stemming future karma and a resultant penalty Jesus pays. This hypothesis implies the conduct of right action found in the noble eightfold path in dharmic concepts. It also suggests that the penalty Jesus pays is not fixed and is somewhat within our control to reduce. It might also suggest that the culmination of judgement might be indicative of exceeding maximum karmic liability upon a single individual undeservedly,causing judgement day. This book details how Jesus came as an ordinary man for the time period. When Jesus returns perhaps He will return as an ordinary man of the century and decade chosen. Will the world recognize Him? And perhaps the transfiguration is a message that there is a continuity between Moses-Elijah-Jesus where the Law is not static but dynamic, much like our own laws which begin rudimentary and vague and are refined and clarified in the judicial process.Moses may represent the beginning, Elijah evolution of the beginning to present and Jesus the future of the Law, each representing a stage in its development and clarification as times change and concepts and collective advancement change also.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2000

    Rationalism Masquerading as Scholarship

    The authors start with the preconception that miracles are impossible, and their rejection of the truths of Jesus Christ are a foregone conclusion. The book tells us much more about the rationalistic prejudices of the author than it does about the life and times of Jesus Christ. A waste of time to read.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2000

    What was Jesus the man like?

    Highly comprehensive account of the broad social,political, and practical circumstances of Jesus' life and times by regular consultant to Disney TV series 'Mysteries of the Bible' on A&E.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2006

    Kross'n Crossan

    I¿m not a card shark, so I¿m going to tip my hand. I am both a Christian and a scientist. I want you to know at the outset that as brilliant as this man is, and as logical as his method seems, he nevertheless fails to deliver the Goods. Make no mistake, J.D. Crossan is a creative genius. His brilliance is seen in the scholarly and systematic manner in which he brings together various threads of anthropological and historical data. His work evinces a comprehensive familiarity with the literature. For those of us not versed in ¿stratigraphy¿ and the finer art of reading between the lines of a historical document, he weaves a compelling story. Crossan describes his method as ¿scientific history.¿ Using the word `scientific¿ implies that he is willing to adapt his paradigm if the evidence directs. In the final analysis, Crossan uses his method in the service of his own worldview. Crossan preserves his presuppositions through his analysis of the facts instead of allowing the latter to transform the former. This is not `scientific¿ in the true sense. In this review, I will focus on his method, because it is easy to end up at his final destination unless you can see how and where he might have gone wrong. Crossan¿s methodology - Crossan says that his method analyzes the problem on three levels anthropological, historical and literary. That is true. Further, he insists that these ¿cooperate fully and equally to achieve an effective synthesis, thus demanding equal sophistication on all three levels at the same time.¿ He says, ¿the discipline of this book is to work primarily with plurally attested complexes from the primary stratus of the Jesus tradition.¿ The scope of his program clearly has scholarly merit, and sets him apart from his peers in historical Jesus research. But I think there are some areas where his execution of the program falls short of the promise. (1) He treats all prospective ¿gospels¿ on an equal basis, apparently disregarding traditional canonical lines of demarcation. His primary concern is establishing a probable genetic lineage of Jesus¿ sayings. Crossan appears to believe that God doesn¿t have an interest or a direct hand in the way we get scripture. This may make sense for naturalists or deists even, but not for theists. (2) He uses an analytical concept called the ¿complex¿ for analyzing and organizing ancient texts into their basic units of meaning. The difficulty is that isolation of these complexes is an intensively hermeneutical process with huge potential for disagreement. Are these complexes based on events, or on themes? And, to what extent do these ¿complexes¿ conflate similar but distinct accounts? (3) Crossan uses the familiar phenomenon of geologic stratification as a metaphor to explain his approach to establishing chronological layers within the literature. He presumes Scripture is naturally generated and so looks to establish pathways to explain how the text came to be transmitted. But if we expand on that metaphor, how does one interpret a petrified tree that passes through all of the strata? It forces one to reassess his assumptions. Specifically, what happens to our stratigraphic continuum when there is clear evidence that early documents depend on supposedly later documents? Such anomalies could leave Crossan standing in mid-air. (4) Central to Crossan¿s method is his assessment of attestation. This is his metric for credibility. But Crossan admits that determination of the degree of attestation is in many cases a scholarly best guess. In this, Crossan appears not to allow himself to be guided or influenced by any theological notion that certain New Testament writers are inspired. He employs an editorial process he calls ¿bracketing singularities.¿ In this, accounts of Jesus¿ sayings and actions lacking in plural atte

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2011

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    Posted May 6, 2011

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    Posted April 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2011

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