For anyone who has studied early Christian history, there won't be many surprises here. However, Aslan has a delightful way of spinning a story based on historical context. His audio books are the next best thing to good historical fiction. In fact, I think he should try his hand at some Dale Brown type writing - he would be very good at it.
I am the stone that the builder refused
This book really filled in some of the holes in my understanding of the relationship of Christianity and it's Jewish origins. The author does a great job of helping you understand the importance of the temple to the people not just religiously but also economically and politically.
If you are Christian or not you won't regret listening to this book. Well paced, and very well researched.
He brings to light that Pilate was not a torn individual who sympathized with the Jews. He was there to govern and was known for his cruelty. He was eventually removed because of it.
His reading was well done. It is his content and he adds the proper context with his easy and clear voice.
The point he makes about Jesus being crucified for sedition by the Romans not stoned for blasphemy by the Jews
Like Reza Aslan I spent plenty of time in Evangelical circles in my youth, so this kind of material always piques my interest. What you learn is that Jesus of Nazareth probably had much more in common with the Taliban than the air-brushed white guy on the cover of my Children's Bible. The Jesus Christ of much of the new testament, Aslan says, was a creation of Paul, who never met Jesus and whose views were significantly at odds with those who did. He highlights passages in different New Testament letters that indicate a feud between Paul and Jesus' brother James over who controlled the truth about Jesus. That was news to me.
I couldn't wait to get back to listening to this book. It goes by quickly and author Aslan paints a vivid picture of the era. At times he appears to take poetic license with the history, given that almost no historical writing about Jesus exists outside of the New Testament. His assertion that Jesus would have been surrounded by MANY other bandits while on the cross, for example, feels like conjecture presented too suredly as fact.
One question the book left me with is, if the traditionally Jewish followers of Jesus who supposedly knew the man himself were so opposed to Paul's teaching that Jesus was God, what were they still following all those years after his death? If they understood Jesus' true mission to be the overthrow of the Romans and their Jewish collaborators, what was the enduring appeal after his "shameful failure" on the cross?
I've been thinking of finally listening to the audiobook of the whole Bible, and "Zealot" provides a very thought-provoking back-story to the New Testament.
Lots of great historical information on one of the most important figures of our time Good narration. Beginning chapter hard to get through but the rest of the story is worth the effort.
Has me completely rethinking so much of what I thought I knew about Christianity. I deeply appreciate the author's approach which is very careful to not focus too much on Jesus, because there is so little to be found outside of scripture itself. This book is so much about the cultural and historical context that it makes the whole New Testament make so much more sense. The overall style is excellent, I felt captivated by the authors prose, and carried along by his arguments.
if you are looking to understand the historical Jesus the real Jesus and submerge yourself into his time and what what's going on at that time when he was around this book is sure. help you accomplish that I think it's extremely enjoyable and very factual and it's easy to tell how knowledgeable and well-documented the author is
Having taken a degree in Religious Studies and Theology, I appreciate the way Aslan constructs a picture of what Jesus' culture would be. I disagree with some points regarding Paul and early Christian movment.....but this is a fun read with a great performance by the author.
the biok is worth a read. i did struggle with some historical parts that seemed to have required pre-knowledge as the author assumes the reader is already aware of.
otherwise, reza gets very descriptive to paint a picture of how life was like back then.
what a fascinating and historic filled view of a very powerful, larger than life character. I listened to it twice and I'll get more of his books. I especially liked hearing about his brothers and the "real Paul"