Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth Audio Online
You can Download on this link #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal. Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy.
Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious â€œKing of the Jewsâ€? whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity. Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazarethâ€™s life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion..
Reviews It's not often I find a book which ends with a sentence so powerful I had to put the book down. It's not often I read a book, indie or not, that leaves me so compelled to leave a review, that I spend two full days trying to compose exactly what I want to say in my head. The book is a controversial one, I'll give you that. It presents and idea that Western theology rails against so often. What was the historical Jesus really like? I'll preface this review by letting you know, I am a studying theologian. I currently possess a BA in theology (Medieval Theology with an emphasis in the compilation of the Canon), so I picked this book up with bias. I was first introduced to Reza Aslan in a Fox News interview in which he spent the entire time defending himself against a woman who could not move past the fact that he was a Muslim writing a book about Jesus. I will just say I sincerely
hope she watches that interview and drowns herself in shame. Reza Aslan has the education I crave, and that alone intrigued me about his writing. I was a little nervous, picking up the book. It wasn't expensive for the hard cover, which I was really excited to see on amazon. Didn't hurt the wallet, which is always a huge plus for a mother of three school-aged children. I'm not sure if many of the readers in this blog spend a lot of time reading theology books, or non-fiction theory books, so in case you are unfamiliar with the general lay-out of these types of reads-- they can be very dry. Dry to the point of wanting to throw the book across the room and never pick it up again. While I was at University so many of the books I was forced to read made me want to cry tears of blood. Luckily Azlan has a real talent for story telling. I was captivated from page one. From his short introduction which introduced the reader to himself, his education, and more importantly, his religious background. He was a convert to evangelical Christianity until (like a lot of theology students I know) he began to study religion. Like me, the knowledge he amassed removed the mysticism and fear from the religion and the ability to believe went with it. That doesn't meant there isn't a story there, or there isn't a very important history. I'll quote from one of the last passages in the book, "...Jesus the man-is every bit as compelling, charismatic, and praiseworthy as Jesus the Christ. He is, in short, someone worth believing in." The truth is, and most theologians-- whether they are religious or secular-- will tell you the Bible is not a historical document. The New Testament's first scriptures ever written (the epistles) were in a time when there was a conflict between the Greek-educated Jews, and those left behind to spread the word of Jesus. The first Gospels written (Mark, Matthew, then Luke followed by John) in a time after Jerusalem had been razed, burnt to the ground, and the Jews forced out. The Gospels are a political tract, in short, to draw attention to why the Christians were okay, because they were so, very different from the Religion they had spawned from.
But therein lies the problem-- there is little to no history about Jesus the man, a poor wood worker, raised in a providence that was steeped in revolution and oppression. Aslan takes information about the area where Jesus grew up, about the people history has recorded, and the politics at the time, and begins to craft a well-told story about what Jesus of Nazareth may have truly been like. The book is theory, there's no denying that. There is no written evidence left aside from a few written words by Josephus, that mentions Jesus in a historical context. The Q document is only theory, and even that was dated after the death of the Preacher. I'll say it again, it's not often I am this captivated by a theology book. Theology is my favorite thing to read, but very rarely do I feel a sense of loss, a craving for more, when the book has ended. This is a must read for those of you even remotely curious about the history regarding one of the most charismatic and flourishing religions in known history. Many times I've asked myself, "But how? How did the words of Paul become so popular, and those of the men who walked with Jesus come to be almost completely forgotten in the religious dogma?" This book answers that question, and it's such a simple answer, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought about it before. In all my studies, in all of my delving into how the canon was complied into the Bible we know today, how did I not, for a moment, put it all together. I won't give you the answer, but the moment you see it, you'll understand it, too. This is a completely unorthodox book review, but I don't care. This book deserves the notoriety it's gained, and I'm happy to give it five stars. ================================================== This is the history of Jesus of Nazareth, not Jesus the Christ. It is packed with little known information, written well and without bias. For example, did you know that Jesus was surely not a carpenter? Did you know that he had 3
brothers and sisters? Did you know that he considered Gentiles "dogs?" This book is a real page turner.
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