Millions of people have thrilled to best-selling authors Bill O'Reilly and historian Martin Dugard's Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln, works of nonfiction that have changed the way we view history. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Nearly 2,000 years after this beloved and controversial young revolutionary was brutally killed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. Killing Jesus will take listeners inside Jesus' life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable and changed the world forever.
© Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
If you are searching for a different take on the Jesus story... You won't find it here. (While NOT a religious book, the book follows the gospels.) Where it excels, is placing the events in historical and cultural context. By freeing the main character (Jesus) from the restraints of strictly gospel and putting him amid the political chaos, cultures, and religious traditions of the time; the story of Jesus simultaneously become more complex and yet amazingly simple. Most Christians are aware of the life and death of Jesus. Most are NOT aware of the politics and religious traditions of the day that led to the series of events chronicled in the gospels.A book aimed at the history buff more than the religious zealot.
Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy
Why: We know how it ends.
It was more about how all the characters work together to form the context of the death of Jesus that is most compelling.
Don't get the book to be inspired to believe nor to find some amazing nugget of faith. Get the book to better understand historical context; Jewish law, tradition, and historical politics; and how those things worked together to ensure the sacrifice.
I truly enjoyed listening to the book. Bill O'Reilly has a distinctive speaking voice that is okay....but the story he told was brilliantly put together and I listened to this book in one day straight through beginning to end.
Conservative Musician. Not many of of out there.
I don't care for O'Reilly on TV. Too much interrupting. As an author and narrator, he's great. As with his other "Killing" books (Kennedy and Lincoln), the author was able to put me in the action. Great book and a solid performance.
Yes -- you have to listen to it over and over because there's so much information that's hard to grasp in one listen.
It made me think a lot about it.
Gave me a sense of the history of the time. It was extremely interesting and gave me a much better view of what really happened in that day.
Bill O'Reilly claims to be writing history here, but he really isn't. What he presents is an awkwardly harmonized (and often lightly fictionalized) retelling of the Gospel story, decked out with tidbits gleaned from history and archaeology (for example, the kind of sandals that would have been worn by the Syrian mercenaries who carried out Herod's slaughter of the innocents).
The scholarship on display here is shallow at best. One key example is O'Reilly's discussion of the authorship of the Gospels. Matthew was written by the tax collector, he says; Mark by John Mark, Luke by the physician Luke, and John by the "beloved disciple," the brother of James son of Zebedee. O'Reilly claims that there is "growing agreement" among scholars as to these attributions. But he couldn't be more wrong, and you needn't go any further than the discussion of the same subject in the notes to the recent revision of the (Catholic) New American Bible to see how wrong he is.
As a harmonizer of the Gospels, O'Reilly leaves something to be desired. A prime example here is the cleansing of the Temple. In three Gospels, it appears at the end of Jesus' ministry, and helps precipitate the final crisis; in John, the last to be written, it appears at the beginning, and seems to be Jesus' way of launching his challenge. The solution, for O'Reilly? Jesus cleanses the Temple twice. This unlikely version of events is a direct result of his insistence on taking John not as a spiritual meditation on the meaning of Jesus, but as a literally true account by an eyewitness who, in O'Reilly's view, should be given "the last word" about chronology. This flies in the face of virtually every scholar who has written on the historicity of the Gospel of John in the last hundred years.
Some of his historical digressions are baffling. One of the longer sections in the book is an account of the reigns of Julius, Augustus, and Tiberius Caesar. O'Reilly is clearly in his element here, and relishes the stories of the financial, political, and sexual corruption of Rome. As fascinating as this material is, it feels like padding: really, in a book about Jesus, the point could have been made in a couple of paragraphs.
As a narrator, O'Reilly is brisk and engaging. He uses his years of experience hectoring people on TV to good purpose. But does he deliver what he claims to deliver in this book? Not by a long shot. He seems blissfully unaware of the massive amounts of scholarship that have focused on how to use the Gospels as historical sources - some of it by eminent Catholic scholars like the Jesuit priest John Meier - and chooses instead to take the Gospels at face value as historical accounts.
(I know that many people of faith will take issue with my opinion on this. But I think what I've said fairly characterizes recent scholarship on the Gospels. For an authoritative account, check out Bart Ehrman's lectures on "The Historical Jesus" in the Great Courses lecture series.)
If O'Reilly admitted that he was writing a faith-based account, I wouldn't argue with his approach. But he doesn't; he claims to be following the scholarship, and he isn't.
Someone once said to Alexander Pope, regarding his translation of The Iliad: "It is very pretty, Mr Pope, but you must not call it Homer." This is very pretty, Mr O'Reilly, but you must not call it history.
Only someone who is interested in 1st century life... not the life of Jesus from a religious perspective.
O'Reilly makes a lot of assumptions theologically that ultimately negate the possibility (as outlined in his own faith's canon) for salvation and clearly views Jesus as a man who discovers he is God's son rather than Gods soul assuming the flesh of a mortal and subject to its pains. That aint too Catholic Billy.
I do very much like the historical background of the time period. The politics, historical heroes forgotten in Jewish culture. He lays a great ground work for an understanding of the politics and time of Jesus. BUT, then again is not all that original either because all he is doing is rehashing Josephus in a more modern tone. Actually, the Jewish War is pretty compelling. and this book (in parts) is the abridged form of that book.
sure...for background history. There is another book on audible that does a great job too...Life in 1st century Jerusalem...or some similar title. It did a better job for giving me a visual feel for the place. Again though, just pay attention to the history and cultural aspects. The religious stuff is all fodder for anyone who has spent a great measure of time studying with scholars and archeologists. For example, Asserting Mary Magdalene was a poor woman and was a prostitute cannot be backed up. We only know that she was cleansed of 'several demons'... that could have been insanity. Assuming history is not writing history. This is were Bill falls short. When he does not have Josephus or or a Roman scholar like Tacitus to fall back on to prove his outlooks... he is writing fiction. Shallow fiction. He treats Mary and Joseph, when Jesus is lost in the temple, as though they, at that point, do fully understand the magnitude of who their child is. This again is a far jump from what any real scholar of the bible would call legit. Its the worst part of the book... and its what the book strives to be about.
Stick to the facts you can back up Bill. You do a great job with documented history, and culture. Theologically... I am sorry man... you're a 'pin head.' Just my 2 cents and I am welcome to them.
a must read
history of the Jews and the roman empire
his expression and how he read the book . i get a lot more out of it
kind of sad really. Hard to believe the cruelty then. Just awful. Makes me realize how lucky we really are.
Just an all around great history book.
Recent graduate New York Institute of Photography. Love SciFi and mystery.
I will listen to this book many times. For extreme fundamentalists, there may be some issues, none of which are significant. Mostly because the put the historical evidence in line with what the bible states. Also, most Christians feel the Jesus started his public life at 30, but this references starts his public life at 33. It also puts many of the events into some contect. For everyone else, this is an amazing historical reference to align the biblical life of Jesus on earth with the historical evidence available. In many respects it reminds me of Og Mandino's "The Christ Commission." On the other hand, having a historical alignment makes understanding the times and the events even more prolific.
I'd suggest The Christ Commission by Og Mandino (regretfully not availablel here). Mr. Og was a pen pal of mine before his passing. We first communicated when I just wanted to thank him for my favorite book (The Greatest Miracle In The World). When I read The Christ Commission, it gave me a great understanding of the faith of those that followed Christ in the times immediately following his time physically here. I have strove to do the same ever since.
Perhaps the inflections of the author, also a historian and public figure.
Close your eyes .....
Now imagine that you are listening to Bill O'Reilly's talking points on his fox news show the O'Reilly Factor and the topic is Jesus ....also
You dont have to imagine ...
You can buy Killing Jesus
I am an O'Reilly viewer and have been for close to 5 years now. I am not an O:Reilly hater by any means. ( Full disclosure, I also loyally watch Jon Stewart ). But this book by O;Reilly is nothing more the the "fast food" style of books written by political pundents these days. This is not a serious book about life and times in ancient Judea. Nothing new is presented here. As like his Killing Kennedy book, Killing Jesus appears to have been solely researched via the internet.
The book is written in the style of Bill's prior two books which adds to the fast food flavor of this book
Will I buy another OReilly historical work? Probably not
Will I buy another O'Reilly political work? Probably yes
It's not all history. O'Reilly makes several of his interpretations on the meaning written in the Bible in this book. One in particular that I didn't like was on Jesus's conversation in John 3. I think it's an entertaining, well written book, just with some of Bill's interpretations of meaning within the Bible. I'd still recommend listing to it if you're interested in Jesus.
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