Customer Reviews for

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

139 out of 170 people found this review helpful.

Wow! Ignorance abounds!

Just to set matters straight here folks; Aslan was raised Christian and converted to the Muslim faith. More importantly, he has a PHD in spiritual studies. So essentially, he studies religions of ALL TYPES and writes about them. So his personal choice of religion is irr...
Just to set matters straight here folks; Aslan was raised Christian and converted to the Muslim faith. More importantly, he has a PHD in spiritual studies. So essentially, he studies religions of ALL TYPES and writes about them. So his personal choice of religion is irrelevant to this book. If you want to discredit the man, read the book and present credible evidence that he's wrong. "But, he's Muslim" doesn't tell us anything about the quality of the information in his book.

posted by Anonymous on July 28, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

104 out of 225 people found this review helpful.

Here's some truths behind this author that he and no other media

Here's some truths behind this author that he and no other media source have bothered to point out, that you as a reader should be aware of:

Reza Aslan has four degrees. In 1995, he got a BA in religion, in religious studies. In 1999, a Masters in world religions from ...
Here's some truths behind this author that he and no other media source have bothered to point out, that you as a reader should be aware of:

Reza Aslan has four degrees. In 1995, he got a BA in religion, in religious studies. In 1999, a Masters in world religions from Harvard. In 2002, a Masters in fine arts in fiction. In 2009, a PhD in sociology. So he’s studied us. He’s learned how to write fiction, and he's learned how to speak the religious language. But there’s no history degree. He’s not a PhD in religions, and he’s not a fully-credited historian. It’s possible that his Harvard theology degree included some history credits, but it’s not the same, not even on the same planet as an expert with a PhD in the history of religions.

Currently, he's teaching at UC Riverside, in the department of Creative Writing. He also teaches at the University of Southern California in Public Diplomacy. He’s also a contributor to The Daily Beast. But what's most notable is that he is an assistant professor at Drew University, and what he’s teaching is something fantastic. He’s teaching people about Middle Eastern revolution.

He isn't who the media says he is (or who they allow him to say he is), and he’s not about what the detractors say either. The media said he’s got a PhD in Gospel history. He doesn’t. He’s a Muslim -- not exactly. He is a Muslim, but that isn't what motivated him to write the book. It begins with his productions of Aslan Media. What is he teaching at Drew University? He’s teaching the art of revolution “on the art of protest in the Middle East", examining protest literature, film, art, and music. He’s producing literature and media.

Who is Aslan Media? Well, they’re operating under the fiscal sponsorship of this group, the Levantine Cultural Center. Who are they? Well, they’re partners with CODEPINK on the founding committee of a project called Narrative 4. What’s Narrative 4? That’s a project dedicated to creating social change, and that’s a project of the Tides Center. He’s also a board director on the National Iranian American Council. So who is he, really? He’s a radical Progressive. He's also hardcore anti-Israel. He wants to change our understanding of history and our relationship to God to create social change. That’s what he’s been teaching (occasionally) at Drew University. At least when he’s a visiting professor at Drew University, the class knows what they’re walking into, to witness the art of protest in literature, film, art, and music.

Just thought you might be interested to know some of this information before you read the book for yourself. There's more... but you can do your own homework. For myself, I wasn't really impressed. The author has made claims that he doesn't accept the Gospels as a reliable source because they were written 30 or 40 years after Jesus' death. That's a logical point to make, but how are we supposed to take his book any more seriously 2,000 years later -- when he's not even a true historian???

posted by Loverien on August 2, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013

    Wow! Ignorance abounds!

    Just to set matters straight here folks; Aslan was raised Christian and converted to the Muslim faith. More importantly, he has a PHD in spiritual studies. So essentially, he studies religions of ALL TYPES and writes about them. So his personal choice of religion is irrelevant to this book. If you want to discredit the man, read the book and present credible evidence that he's wrong. "But, he's Muslim" doesn't tell us anything about the quality of the information in his book.

    139 out of 170 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    No matter your beliefs, Zealot is a captivating book. It takes a

    No matter your beliefs, Zealot is a captivating book. It takes a new look at the life of Jesus, his mission, and the impact he had. It is a very good book, excellently researched and well written.

    131 out of 151 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Here's some truths behind this author that he and no other media

    Here's some truths behind this author that he and no other media source have bothered to point out, that you as a reader should be aware of:

    Reza Aslan has four degrees. In 1995, he got a BA in religion, in religious studies. In 1999, a Masters in world religions from Harvard. In 2002, a Masters in fine arts in fiction. In 2009, a PhD in sociology. So he’s studied us. He’s learned how to write fiction, and he's learned how to speak the religious language. But there’s no history degree. He’s not a PhD in religions, and he’s not a fully-credited historian. It’s possible that his Harvard theology degree included some history credits, but it’s not the same, not even on the same planet as an expert with a PhD in the history of religions.

    Currently, he's teaching at UC Riverside, in the department of Creative Writing. He also teaches at the University of Southern California in Public Diplomacy. He’s also a contributor to The Daily Beast. But what's most notable is that he is an assistant professor at Drew University, and what he’s teaching is something fantastic. He’s teaching people about Middle Eastern revolution.

    He isn't who the media says he is (or who they allow him to say he is), and he’s not about what the detractors say either. The media said he’s got a PhD in Gospel history. He doesn’t. He’s a Muslim -- not exactly. He is a Muslim, but that isn't what motivated him to write the book. It begins with his productions of Aslan Media. What is he teaching at Drew University? He’s teaching the art of revolution “on the art of protest in the Middle East", examining protest literature, film, art, and music. He’s producing literature and media.

    Who is Aslan Media? Well, they’re operating under the fiscal sponsorship of this group, the Levantine Cultural Center. Who are they? Well, they’re partners with CODEPINK on the founding committee of a project called Narrative 4. What’s Narrative 4? That’s a project dedicated to creating social change, and that’s a project of the Tides Center. He’s also a board director on the National Iranian American Council. So who is he, really? He’s a radical Progressive. He's also hardcore anti-Israel. He wants to change our understanding of history and our relationship to God to create social change. That’s what he’s been teaching (occasionally) at Drew University. At least when he’s a visiting professor at Drew University, the class knows what they’re walking into, to witness the art of protest in literature, film, art, and music.

    Just thought you might be interested to know some of this information before you read the book for yourself. There's more... but you can do your own homework. For myself, I wasn't really impressed. The author has made claims that he doesn't accept the Gospels as a reliable source because they were written 30 or 40 years after Jesus' death. That's a logical point to make, but how are we supposed to take his book any more seriously 2,000 years later -- when he's not even a true historian???

    104 out of 225 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Zealot is a remarkable book. It is a very well researched accoun

    Zealot is a remarkable book. It is a very well researched account of the life of Jesus, put in the context of the times that he lived. The writing is easy to follow and the story is fascinating.

    95 out of 109 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    As Mr. Aslan has stated in many interviews, this is an academic

    As Mr. Aslan has stated in many interviews, this is an academic work about the historical Jesus of Nazareth, not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Catholic Church, as well as many other faiths. This is about the rebel, the seditionist, the zealot. The descriptions of the Jerusalem during Jesus’ lifetime, the politics, laws, economy, and hierarchy of the Sanhedrin and the Roman rule are both educational as well as insightful. It is amazing at what a provocative and powerful, how bold a figure He must have been amidst that era, as He challenged all the powers-that-be as He fought for a different “Kingdom” for His people. Aslan shows us how extraordinarily passionate the historical Jesus was as he reveals to us the compelling story of a radical who defied the Sanhedrin and the Roman empire, as both were enslaving His people. We now ponder and question the Gospel writers (as we will never know who they really were), what their agenda was, and how true to the actual events they were permitted to write. This was evidenced by the information given regarding the conflict between Paul and the Twelve Apostles, particularly with James in Jerusalem and Peter in Rome, as the New Testament clearly shows a Pauline influence. Thank you Mr. Aslan for enlightening us to the historical Jesus of Nazareth. Even though this book may have brought to light many challenges to what Christians have been taught to be true for centuries, one thing that will never be challenged is our faith in Jesus the Christ.

    89 out of 100 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Zealot is a very well researched and very informative look at th

    Zealot is a very well researched and very informative look at the life of Christ in the context of the times he lived. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel like I learned a lot.

    68 out of 84 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 28, 2013

    I love how the author is being attacked because of his religious

    I love how the author is being attacked because of his religious beliefs. I wonder how you would feel if you discovered the religious, political, or sexual orientation of all your favorite authors? Aslan is a scholar, he is not just some crazed Muslim who is attempting to change your opinion of Jesus. It's not like they give away PhDs. Why don't you read the book, then criticize.

    With that out of the way, I found it to be interesting. I loved the insight I gained about Jesus as a man, not just the Son of God.

    67 out of 87 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013

    The idiots reviews here have convinced me to give my money to Reza Aslan

    I have not read the book yet but I will buy it and read it if only because there are a lot of clearly stupid people on here telling me not to. It must be good!

    66 out of 112 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    I give 4 stars because there are some limitations to this book,

    I give 4 stars because there are some limitations to this book, which I'm glad that Mr. Aslan clearly and tries to account for.

    If you're interested in the historical Jesus rather than the biblical Jesus, then this book may be for you. Mr. Aslan provides a good background and cultural insight into the region around the time that Jesus has lived. He then tries to extrapolate these findings into understanding who this historical Jesus might be. You will find out that Mr. Aslan obviously uses a lot of would-be's and would-have-been's in his writing, so Mr. Aslan does know that that people will critique his findings which he is open to.

    Personally, I don't get the 1-2 star critiques on this review board, because Mr. Aslan tries to use anthropology, sociology, and history to study this historical Jesus, rather than rely only on the Bible

    63 out of 73 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Amazing

    Amazing read. Ignore the ignorant racists. A muslim writting on the new testament is no different than a christian looking at the torah. Get over yourself. I highly recommend this for people of all faiths.

    60 out of 81 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Unless you've actually READ THE BOOK, please do not comment with

    Unless you've actually READ THE BOOK, please do not comment with a review. Because those of us who are intelligent, educated, literate individuals are interested in reading valid comments about how the book is written. We do NOT want to read your ignorant and bigoted rants about Islam. Go share your bigotry on the Fox News blogs. Or better yet, keep it to yourselves.

    56 out of 94 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Thanks, one star reviewers!

    The ones who claim this book is biased blasphemy motivated me to read it. Because fundamentalist Christians were right about other scientific matters - the earth is the center of the universe, and the fossil record is completely fabricated. Mr. Aslan reveals nothing new to scientists - basic college courses teach what he says - but he writes in a down to earth style I wish I had. Easily approachable and quickly put in context. He is a gifted writer.

    45 out of 57 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    A lot of ignorant post on here. The author of this book was born

    A lot of ignorant post on here. The author of this book was born Muslim and converted to Christianity. And he is a historian. It really shouldn't matter.

    40 out of 77 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Did you read this..

    Hey did the people who gave this zero stars read this book? I want to know what someone who read it thought not some one who didnt read it and still has an opinion. How close minded.

    33 out of 177 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Aslan is actually a Christian. To refer to him as a Muslim indi

    Aslan is actually a Christian. To refer to him as a Muslim indicates either prejudice or ignorance or both.

    32 out of 101 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013

    Zealot

    There has emerged archaeological evidence that the Ascedics, and their apocolptic teaching, may have had a signifcant influence on a young Jesus during the lost 20 years of his life. This book enforces those findings and the speculations of many biblical scholars.

    29 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013

    Aslan is a brilliant and well-informed thinker who has written a

    Aslan is a brilliant and well-informed thinker who has written another excellent book
    For it to matter whether he is a Muslim or a Christian shows ignorance AND prejudice, 
    as well as simple-minded thinking.  Zealoy is well-worth reading regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion.
    jaty

    28 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    As the author of The Last Moderate Muslim, and a man who was bor

    As the author of The Last Moderate Muslim, and a man who was born and raised in a multi-faith nation, Lebanon, I know countless cultural nuances in applying the Christian and Islamic theologies.




    Zealot is purely academic and as fact-based as any scholar could produce. Having learned the theology and history of Islam, the biography of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and read Zealot, some of my conclusions are reinforced, Jesus and Muhammad shared a holy calling to inject humanity in a region that was and continues to be paralyzed with strife.




    Incidentally and to a great extent, Zealot corroborates the understanding of Jesus by millions of moderate and rogue Muslims worldwide. I hope that those who read "rogue Muslims" internalize that to mean, 'Perhaps we have a lot in common to bridge the differences' in contrast to, 'If the rogue Muslims see it this way; therefore, we should condem Zealot.' Those whose reviews condemen the book, I trust match the latter for another more profound reason. Maybe they are jaundiced by Aslan saying and writing that Jesus was a man,not Lord, over and over.




    Drop your hearing weapons and give yourselves the privilege to learn more about Jesus Christ, whose story and actions made the world a better place.

    26 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    Fascinating description of the historical Jesus.  Excellent abil

    Fascinating description of the historical Jesus.  Excellent ability of author to relate scholarly research findings  to a lay readership. As a Christian by faith I did not find this a threat to my faith but an absorbing description of  Jesus the man.   I want to read more by this author.                     at all.

    22 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    Please accept my humble apologies in advance for writing anythin

    Please accept my humble apologies in advance for writing anything outside of a review. I'm giving a 3-star assessment based on premise. But I would like to quickly address the [apparent] religious zealots (pun intended) who seem bent on marking this piece of literature as anti-Christian Muslim propaganda. I find it interesting - and sad - that many of the individuals whose reviews were poor and had inflammatory things to say about the author are anonymous, and that their rebuttal to the literature in question is little more than a rehashing of the age-old religious argument, "I'm right, you're wrong, how dare you think I'm wrong, you have no right." I would venture to say that any Catholic or Christian historian, scholar, theologian, or exegete, will be the first to tell you that some of the most important discovery made on the topic of Christology has been done based on the inter-faith, and faith-to-non-faith collaborative work facilitated over the last several centuries. Perspectives on Christ's life that allow for non-religious, professionally & respectfully objective review of His history and the times in which He lived are just as important as any Gospel literature, Apocrypha, and religious philosophy carried out by the Church itself. For too long, ignorance and fundamentalist fanaticism have prohibited for actual intense study into this individual, and the fact that members of our society who claim to be Christians are still unable to exercise their minds & free will into understanding the life of Christ from all points of view, opting rather to condemn and dismiss anything that might challenge their views, biased as they are, is a sorry mark against the faith as a whole. In my humble opinion, Christ's message was meant to encourage self-awareness, communal growth, and, of course, love without condition. These things cannot happen without a deeper, intelligent assessment of the world around us. Shame on anyone who would stand in the way of such progress. We have all got to do better.

    20 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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