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Zealot Audiobook

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

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Publisher's Summary

From the internationally best-selling 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 "King of the Jews" whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime.

©2013 Reza Aslan (P)2013 Random House

What the Critics Say

"In Zealot, Reza Aslan doesn't just synthesize research and reimagine a lost world, though he does those things very well. He does for religious history what Bertolt Brecht did for playwriting. Aslan rips Jesus out of all the contexts we thought he belonged in and holds him forth as someone entirely new. This is Jesus as a passionate Jew, a violent revolutionary, a fanatical ideologue, an odd and scary and extraordinarily interesting man." (Judith Shulevitz, author of The Sabbath World)

"A bold, powerfully argued revisioning of the most consequential life ever lived." (Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief)

"The story of Jesus of Nazareth is arguably the most influential narrative in human history. Here Reza Aslan writes vividly and insightfully about the life and meaning of the figure who has come to be seen by billions as the Christ of faith. This is a special and revealing work, one that believer and skeptic alike will find surprising, engaging, and original." (Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Maxine Harrison 06-17-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book, But "Grandiose" At Times"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce C. Allen Buffalo, New York United States 05-12-16
    Bruce C. Allen Buffalo, New York United States 05-12-16
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    "A Book Worth Reading"

    The author presents a cogent, insightful, yet provocative treatise. This book is by far the best attempt to uncover the historical Jesus that I have ever encountered. I strongly recommend it to anyone that wants a deeper understanding of christian theology.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arno United State of America 04-24-16
    Arno United State of America 04-24-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Read worth reading"

    Interesting how Mr Aslan recollects and does the patchwork, I found his arguments and narrations persuasive enough to take those with me. This book reconfirmed many of my doubts based on my own non-professional analysis. Good piece of work, and another droplet into the ocean of humanism and secularism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Fort Worth, TX, USA 04-24-16
    William Fort Worth, TX, USA 04-24-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Believable"

    For me Zealot brings continuity to an otherwise jumble of accounts and unbelievable tales. Even a Christian could gain much from the history provided in Zealot though they might not agree with the conclusions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan D. Terbush Littleton, Colorado USA 04-14-16
    Jonathan D. Terbush Littleton, Colorado USA 04-14-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Insight into the historical Jesus"

    I loved this book and it gave me a lot of supporting resources to follow-up with. I'm excited to use this as a launching pad into my own journey into Jesus and who he was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicki 03-29-16
    Nicki 03-29-16

    Listening and loving it!

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    "Insightful Analysis of the Historical Context"

    I just finished listening to this book for the 3rd time and each time my understanding of the differences between the historical Jesus and the politically correct version scriptures portray has become deeper. Jesus' mythical context was created over time by well-meaning narrators whose intent was to tell Jesus' story without raising the ire of the Roman oligarchy, who had the power to destroy the Jesus movement as it had almost obliterated the Jews. Well researched and well performed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martinez CA MD Martinez CA 03-22-16
    Martinez CA MD Martinez CA 03-22-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting. Clear"

    I'm not religious. Agnostic I guess. This was enlightening regarding Jesus the man, the culture he lived in & the early evolution of Christianity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sandy 03-17-16
    sandy 03-17-16
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    "Not written by a Christian"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book gave so many false facts right from the get go that I checked online and this author is a "former" Muslim, but after reading his account of Jesus I'd say he still is. This book represents the Muslim viewpoint that Jesus was a good teacher, but not the Son of God.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirazi 03-09-16
    Shirazi 03-09-16
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    "As good a book as I expected. No disappointment"

    Reza Aslan delivers a great book, a brilliant follow up to No God But God

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MEhdiA 03-08-16
    MEhdiA 03-08-16
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    "Refreshing"

    Simple and to the point. Good listen for anyone interested in learning of the historical times of Jesus, and the origins of Christianity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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