Really liked this one and read it twice and will read it again. Filled with information and it made me want to go find out if some of the things were true, partly true or false. Found it very interesting and thought provoking. Not so sure people with fixed ideas are going to like this book. Have a friend who thought it was blasphemy and refused to read the whole book. This book didn't bruise my faith but did make me look at history during this time. Found out how much I didn't know and was amazed at the things learned with a little research outside this book.
What distinguishes this reading from others is that the author himself is reading it and he puts all kinds of passions into it in a way that only the author can do it. The story itself may be a well worn one, but the author succeeds in transporting us back to the time of Jesus himself and some decades afterward, the time of immense upheaval in the Jewish world.
The title drew me. I'm always looking for information that helps make Christ more real to me....
Unfortunately what's starts out as a promise to help the listener understand the times and environment that Christ lived in, quickly degenerates into an attack on the person of Christ and His disciples. Motives are questioned, and fantastic suppositions made, characters are trashed (I'm being modest) and the New Testament is essentially left in the dog house. I really tried to stay the course with this book, but it became a bit unbearable around chapter 11-13.
If you want to arm yourself with unbelief and scorn in the deity of Christ and everything else that a Christian may hold dear, this is the book for you. The author does a thorough job of it. Bravo!
Aslan does a great job narrating ZEALOT. Now I want to get the printed version so I can examine the sources for this work. While the narrative of Jesus's life was what first attracted me to getting this book, the story behind the rivalry between the Church Leaders in Jerusalem and Paul was enlightening. I've read the New Testament a few times and the contradictory teachings always left me scratching my head. The explanation of the Messianic era and the Roman occupation of that part of the world was really concise.
I really love the fact that the author is also the narrator. I could hear his enthusiasm and passion through the book, that really helped keep the book interesting even at the parts that were a bit dry. Overall really well done and definitely worth the read or listen!
I enjoyed this book but with a major caveat. Please understand that I only listened to the book, I didn't read it, but I relistened to the majority of it. But I came away with the sense that the author didn't acknowledge the true greatness that some individuals possess. I won't pretend expertise in ancient history or language as to argue with any specifics. But there have been modern day individuals who have defied expectations as to their understand and grace and have not adhered to what "historically" would have been expected from them. This book is a good history but history falls short in knowing an individual's true nature. Some individuals have insights and genius that most of us could never fathom. I suspect Jesus was one of those people. Inspired or of God? Let your own faith determine that.
I've finished this audio book twice now and it's easily one of my favorites. Reza Aslan, the author, reads from his own book and takes us on an in-depth walk through the colorful history of the Christian religion. Having grown up under the faith myself, there were many inconsistencies in The New Testament of The Holy Bible which made me uneasy about "belief" in Jesus Christ. This book cleared up everything I'd read in The New Testament that didn't shake out on its own and gave me a new perspective on Jesus's life and His affects on the world following His death. My ideas and knowledge about Jesus and His Jewish heritage were forever changed, stabilized, and strengthened after reading this explanation of history and I could not be more grateful. Everyone should know this book if they claim to know Jesus.