Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth

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by Paul Verhoeven
     
 

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Building on the work of biblical scholars—Rudolph Bultmann, Raymond Brown, Jane Schaberg, and Robert Funk, among others—filmmaker Paul Verhoeven disrobes the mythical Jesus to reveal a man who has much in common with other great political leaders throughout history—human beings who believed that change was coming in their lifetimes. Gone is the

Overview

Building on the work of biblical scholars—Rudolph Bultmann, Raymond Brown, Jane Schaberg, and Robert Funk, among others—filmmaker Paul Verhoeven disrobes the mythical Jesus to reveal a man who has much in common with other great political leaders throughout history—human beings who believed that change was coming in their lifetimes. Gone is the Jesus of the miracles, gone the son of God, gone the weaver of arcane parables whose meanings are obscure. In their place Verhoeven gives us his vision of Jesus as a complete man, someone who was changed by events, the leader of a political movement, and, perhaps most importantly, someone who, in his speeches and sayings, introduced a new ethic in which the embrace of human contradictions transcends the mechanics of value and worth that had defined the material world before Jesus. "The Romans saw [Jesus] as an insurrectionist, what today is often called a terrorist. It is very likely there were ‘wanted’ posters of him on the gates of Jerusalem. He was dangerous because he was proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven, but this wasn’t the Kingdom of Heaven as we think of it now, some spectral thing in the future, up in the sky. For Jesus, the Kingdom of Heaven was a very tangible thing. Something that was already present on Earth, in the same way that Che Guevara proclaimed Marxism as the advent of world change. If you were totalitarian rulers, running an occupation like the Romans, this was troubling talk, and that was why Jesus was killed." —Paul Verhoeven, from profile by Mark Jacobson in New York Magazine

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
• "Verhoeven turns out to be a member of the Jesus Seminar, a collection mostly of scholars devoted to reconstructing the historical Jesus, and much of what he has to say is shrewd and learned." —Adam Gopnik, New Yorker
• "Jesus goes from being a follower of John the Baptist to inspired exorcist to peace-loving proclaimer of the Kingdom of God to a messianic rebel forced by the authorities and Romans into a radicalized corner to fight for his developing and somewhat desperate beliefs. Rather than forcing himself to throw out major portions of the story to make his sense of Jesus fit a given thesis, Verhoeven manages to pull together all the major threads and make narrative sense of it all." —Christopher Napolitano, Playboy
• "Verhoeven has written an excellent book." —Paul Schrader, Film Comment

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609803483
Publisher:
Seven Stories Press
Publication date:
11/29/2011
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
894,637
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

After receiving advanced degrees in math and physics, PAUL VERHOEVEN began to make movies, eventually moving from his native Holland to Los Angeles in 1985, where he also became the only non-theologian admitted into the Jesus Seminar, a group of seventy-seven eminent scholars in theology, philosophy, linguistics, and biblical history. Verhoeven is the director of successful films such as Turkish Delight, The Fourth Man, RoboCop, Basic Instinct, and Starship Troopers.

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Jesus of Nazareth 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am finding Mr Verhoeven's book to be a most enjoyable, and highly informative, read. I especially appreciate the fact that he translates certain words and phrases of the quasi-Elizabethan English of the King James Bible to the original Greek, which clears up alot of former incongruities for me. However, sadly he ultimately misses the all-important point; the Jesus Christ was/is the Only begotten Son of Almighty God. He was either this or a pathological liar and deluded Himself, and His countless followers, both in His time and long after, into believing that He truly was born of divine birth as well as God's appoint Messiah to the Jewish people and Lord and Savior, when His Chosen People ultimately rejected Him, because He was not the warrior-king it was expected that He would be upon His appearing. And if it so happened that The Christ was not divine, then my faith in Him which is supposed to save me from God's Wrath is completely baseless and i am doomed to eternal damnation, even as Mr Verhoeven himself is....Against all the "evidence" that the author has provided herein, i just don't believe that. In studying this athiest's "evidence" my own Christian faith is renewed and i can almost (though not quite) pity the author, when he misses the very things that he himself dug up in his theological studies, that a "casual reader" of the Bible like myself can see as plain as daylight! Yeshua (Jesus's actual Hebrew name) did not impart to Himself the role of God, though i believe He was truly born of a divine birth He never ascribed to himself the power to perform any of the miracles he performed. He told His followers that the things He did, He did only because He was the conduit thru the which God the Father had chosen to act, and to speak And this is where i believe Christians today and for hundred, perhaps thousands of years have gotten it wrong. Yeshua didn't tell his followers to pray, "Lord Jesus" He told his followers to pray to the Father in My Name, thereby they that do are signifying that they are represented by Him, thru the spilling of His perfectly innocent blood When they (we) do this they are signifying their belief in His works and in the words He spoke. Mr Verhoeven clearly doesn't. In fact, he blasphemes The Christ in either saying he did not say the things or do all that He was recorded by his frail human followers as have having said or done. Perhaps not word for word or in the exact sequence, but i believe my God is perfectly capable of preserving the words that He would have read by those His Only Begotten Son ( and by extension) Himself had chosen at the foundation of the earth. It appears that Mr Verhoeven was not one of those predestined to enter into the Kingdom of God, but his studies and his words can still lead God's Chosen in the right direction. Some of the points the author makes, verify what i already always thought (if not believed) and that is, that Yeshua was a revolutionist and that his words and actions were considered by many to be incredibly inflammatory and or accusatory. He wasn't accusing the average man of the streets, but the appointed religious leadership of the day, pointing out the fact that what God had appointed to be of a help to His people, a source of hope and inspiration, unto not only momentary hope and freedom, but eternal salvation to their own greedy and selfish advantage Yeshua shed unwanted light on their evil doings and upon their very collaboration with the servitors of the Enemy in fear of losing their wealthy livelihoods and or lives, when it was their own eternal souls and those of the thousands over whom they'd been set up to serve as watchmen! Of course Yeshua was angry at this traitorous act. No man (or woman) with any real sense of righteous indignation would not had been so. And yet and still He knew it was all a part of His appointment. All the words spoken of Him and to Him and all the terrible things said of Him and to Him had to be said and done It all had to be because it had been prophesied hundreds of years before, because there were those watching and listening for these words to be spoken and for these deeds to be done, so that they might know, afterwards and feel their shame and be enlightened to their own wickedness and be shown their very real need for a very real and absolute salvation. I don't for the life of me understand how the author can have put in that much time and effort to come to know the true Jesus Christ and missed Him! But Thank God he did put in all that time and effort; Thank God, indeed! But i digress. One very telling part of the book, and one that Mr Verhoeven referenced a few times himself, is when Yeshua turns to his follower Peter and in rebuke says, "Get you behind me, Satan!" Now then, Jesus/Yeshua was not refuting the claim made that he, indeed, was the looked-for Messiah, as the author postulates. Rather, in emotional turmoil and trepidation, he is thinking on his own impending gruesome and unspeakably cruel flagellation at the hands of the Romans followed a torturous death of the cross at Golgatha that awaits Him. I imagine (or rather i believe) that when he is confronted by Peter's heartfelt words and suggestion that God's Plan of Eternal Salvation can be brought to fruition by another, easier and less personally painful route, Yeshua's mind harkens back to the moment before he set out in earnest on his path as a homeless itinerant evangelist and teacher, Satan, whom He must have known quite well, tempted Him to take the easy route to His much prophesized Ascension. But had he done so, He'd have been succumbing to the temptation to commit sin (to disobey the Father and upset His plan for Man's Eternal Habitation in His Kingdom) and had He done so, He cannot have been counted blameless and thus full and proper propitiation for the Sins of the World He'd have undercut the whole reason for our very existence, whatsoever, and all in one fell swoop. Even as Satan had tried to do in the Garden of Eden, making necessary the sacrifice of Yeshua in the first place. How unspeakably tragic that Mr Verhoeven and those countless souls, who adhere to his atheistic ideologies, don't get that! But this is only one point that the author makes that will help reiterate the truth of God's word and help point, "those who have an ear to hear" the words that Mr Verhoeven is try to communicate (or rather that God is using to communicate thru his writings) in the right direction. All in all an highly enlightening and incredibly educational read for any serious student of Christian theology. Yeshua/Jesus Himself said, " Seek and ye shall find, knock (actively seek entry into the Kingdom of God) and it shall be opened unto you...."As a Christian, who often struggles with his own lack of faith, i highly recommend this book. In it i found a portrait of the Christ i always have known (believed) existed, and i was not dissuaded by the author's , sometimes, very convincing arguments. I thank the Holy Spirit for His guidance, for i read (am still reading, actually) this book in the hope and belief that He would help keep me vigilant and steer me clear of error.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting read, it was well researched. " Miriam's Secret"and" Miriam's Garden" are mysteries that also bring up similar theories that are found in this book.