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Jesus

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Overview

"Extraordinarily entertaining....Learned, witty....Wilson [is] a gifted novelist and diligent biographer."—Newsday
What are the facts about the life of Jesus, as opposed to the myths, or unprovable tenets of faith surrounding the miracles, death, and resurrection? How and when did Christianity become a separate religion from the Judaism into which Jesus was born? To what extent was his power over contemporaries political rather than religious? A. N. Wilson's answers to these ...

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Overview

"Extraordinarily entertaining....Learned, witty....Wilson [is] a gifted novelist and diligent biographer."—Newsday
What are the facts about the life of Jesus, as opposed to the myths, or unprovable tenets of faith surrounding the miracles, death, and resurrection? How and when did Christianity become a separate religion from the Judaism into which Jesus was born? To what extent was his power over contemporaries political rather than religious? A. N. Wilson's answers to these questions will fascinate readers of every shade of faith or skepticism.

In a book that is as daring and unconventional as it is scholarly, the celebrated biographer of Tolstoy and C.S. Lewis searches for the elusive historical reality in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Wilson enables readers of every shade of faith or skepticism to discover the man who became the central figure in Western civilization and whose teachings have survived nearly 2,000 years.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wilson, who has written biographies of Tolstoy and C. S. Lewis, here critiques the Gospels and offers a lucid and absorbing, if inconclusive, meditation on the historical Jesus: the `` `real' Jesus amid so much religion and folk-lore.'' In Wilson's interpretation, Jesus was a Galilean holy man, an heir to the prophetic tradition, who possessed charismatic healing powers; it is improbable that this monotheistic Jew ever believed himself to be the Second Person of the Trinity or that he instituted the Eucharist. Wilson proposes that the feast at Cana may have been Jesus's own wedding; that the woman who poured ointment over his feet and wiped them with her hair is a detail ``too strange'' to have been invented; that Jesus's cousin John the Baptist came to disbelieve that Jesus was the Messiah; and that the Stranger seen by Jesus's disciples after his death was probably Jesus's brother James. This biography also suggests that Judas was innocent of betraying Jesus, that ``the Pharisees were among the most virtuous men who had ever lived,'' that Jesus was never tried by the Jewish Sanhedrin, and that Paul was the high priest's servant who supervised Jesus's arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Wilson begins the preface of his life of Jesus with, ``The Jesus of History, and the Christ of Faith are two separate beings, with very different stories.'' Wilson, current literary editor of The Evening Standard , novelist, journalist, and biographer of Tolstoy and C.S. Lewis, writes clearly and imaginatively. However, his admittedly speculative reconstruction of the gospels and extrabiblical sources sheds little light on the figure of Jesus. Many of his interpretations reveal a limited familiarity with biblical scholarship. In addition, he frequently lapses into making sensational assertions as insupportable as those he criticizes. Not an essential purchase.-- Cynthia Widmer, Downingtown, Pa.
From the Publisher
“A masterly work of demystifying iconoclasm.” — Patrick Skene Catling, The Spectator

“Many aspects of Wilson’s book will anger or amuse believing Christians and serious New Testament scholars. Anybody who knows the Gospels at all should find their understanding much challenged and enriched by this book.” — Jenny Turner, Guardian

“A very profound and subtle examination of the religious imagination.” — Andrew Brown, Independent

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393326338
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 815,772
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

A. N. Wilson is the author of the acclaimed biographies Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, Jesus, and Paul; God's Funeral, and several celebrated novels. He lives in London.

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Table of Contents

Preface
I Jesus the Jew 1
II Paul 15
III The Cooked Fish, or How to Read a Gospel 45
IV His Wondrous Childhood 71
V The Fore-Runner 93
VI Galilee 117
VII Shalom: The Loaves 147
VIII The Man on a Donkey 165
IX The Man with the Pitcher and the Naked Boy 189
X The Trial 207
XI Jesus Christ 237
Bibliography 257
Index 263
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Customer Reviews

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