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.
Zealot touches on a subject rarely covered, or perhaps avoided, in the rarely discussed historical Jesus. Using the context of documents from the time, he examines the contradictions of not just the New Testament and history, but the conflict between the gospels themselves. It is more than that, it is a history lesson on the events leading up to and contained in 1st century Palestine, as well. If you're interested in the history of the early church, the various factions of Jews of the time, and the Roman occupation and eventual destruction of Jerusalem, this book is for you.
I listened to it in two sittings the first time, and three years later I found it just as enjoyable during my commutes and gaming time. Aslan's narration is clear and enthusiastic, and his knowledge and expertise in the field comes through in his performance. I highly recommend it!
It's a profound analysis of the life of Jesus. as scientific as it can be. releases the Jews of Jerusalem from the charge of delivering Jesus to the Romans with very compelling arguments. Removes the mysticism's of the gospel and it's varying views of Jesus
intriguing, thought-provoking, captivating.
It made a historical Jesus seem probable. Something I would not have agreed with prior to reading this book.
Great book, great performance. The author covers the life and times of Jesus, but moreover, the oppression he and his people experienced; the people who were for and against him; his brother James, Paul/Saul, etc. I gave the book 4 out of 5 because it really could have been cut in half--he uses a lot of superlatives and superlative phrasing to try and make a concept or scene more exciting. For example, "...such-and-such happened for one reason and one reason only:.." So many times, I was like "Just give me the dang reason.." No need to lead up to it with empty phrases. Also, he would spend a lot of times on one subject, essentially saying the same things over and over, and different ways. It's like, move on to the next thing already! Both of these reminded me of situations where a college student might use "filler" sentences in order to satisfy a word-count requirement for a writing assignment. I just don't think filler text or superlatives are necessary. Books should be concise and interesting on their own. Overall, good information on the historical Jesus and a good oral reading.