The Historical Figure of Jesus by E. P. Sanders, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Historical Figure of Jesus

The Historical Figure of Jesus

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by E. P. Sanders
     
 

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A biography of the historical figure of Jesus. The book studies the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, distinguishing the certain from the improbable, and assessing the historical and religious context of Christ's time. The spread of Christianity is also discussed.

Overview

A biography of the historical figure of Jesus. The book studies the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, distinguishing the certain from the improbable, and assessing the historical and religious context of Christ's time. The spread of Christianity is also discussed.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
What, if anything, can be known with certainty about the life and work of a first-century itinerant preacher named Jesus of Nazareth? Since the 19th century, scholars have attempted to answer that question; and out of their studies, Jesus has emerged variously as a Cynic philosopher (Crossan), a ``marginal Jew'' (Maier), an apocalyptic preacher (Schweitzer), a teacher (Robbins) and a magician (Smith). Sanders (Jesus and Judaism) portrays Jesus as a miracle worker and eschatological prophet whose deeds point to a coming Kingdom of God where good will reign over evil. Sanders's book is a masterful historical reconstruction of the political, social and theological context of the life of the enigmatic Nazarene. The first half of the book provides a detached examination of late Judaism and the Hellenic world into which Jesus came, as well as an exploration of the authenticity of the gospel accounts of Jesus's life. Following such introductory matters, Sanders recounts the gospel narratives in an attempt to separate myth from history and to determine how much we can actually ``know about the historical figure of Jesus.'' The result is a thorough, accessible and conservative study that should have a wider appeal than other recent work on the historical Jesus. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Sanders neither pronounces on the Jesus of faith nor sets his view against later Christian dogma in this study of "Jesus the human being." Thus he closes the door at the outset to the polemic passion such agendas can inspire (as in Uta Ranke-Heinemann's Putting Away Childish Things, LJ 6/1/94). Beginning with a brief look at Jesus' life and its religious/historical context, Sanders next evaluates source materials and then-in the bulk of the book-explores what he thinks we can confidently say about Jesus' miracles, for instance, or his attitudes on the kingdom of God. Regarding the latter, Sanders believes (unlike John Dominic Crossan in Jesus, LJ 12/93) that "picking and choosing among the sayings" is misguided and opts instead to "calmly survey all sayings," seeking apparent convergence. Highly readable, this is a key addition to literature on the historical Jesus. For academic, theological, and larger public libraries.-Elise Chase, Forbes Lib., Northampton, Mass.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140144994
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/28/1996
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
499,037
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Ed Sanders was a Professor of Religion at Duke University until 2005. His other works include Paul and Jesus and Judaism.

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Historical Figure of Jesus 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DWHK More than 1 year ago
An inviting topic but a disappointment overall. The quality of the scholarship is not high and use of language careless. At the very beginning the author wants to "ascertain with certainty". It's an oxymoron to ascertain with uncertainty. Then he writes in the first person (brags about himself, really), "I am an academic, a professional scholar. and a historian... I shall do what I can to fill in the gaps..." It is not standard practice for authors to boost their credibility with the equivalent of "Believe me, I know what I'm talking about." Thirdly, he is judgmental and dismissive of other people's work and opinions. For example he characterizes one opinion as "a desperate measure". If he's really the scholar he cliams to be he would simply give us his evidence without the spin and let us draw our won conclusions without his "supplemental" guidance. Theologically, he wades into deeper waters than he should, goes way off topic on his search for the historical Jesus, and bases some of his assertions on stunningly incorrect conclusions. One of many examples is that John and the synoptic Gospels contradict each other because the synoptics say Jesus is in his 30s where John claims he is in his 40s. He bases this on John 8:57 which in no way states that Jesus in his 40s. The book is filled with this kind of thinking. Very disappointing.