Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review: The Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan, through his meticulous research, has comprised an image of Jesus Christ contrary to the Christian held views. His book, entitled The Zealot takes the reader into the time before Christ (BC) that the author refers to CE or Common Era. It is a time of different groups or tribes challenging each other through fighting, infighting and wars with the different powers to be. It was not a peaceful, serene era. The common form of punishment for treason was by hanging on the cross.

During this time there were many Messiahs that came and went; none had the lasting power that Jesus captured from the writers of the time. Jesus was unique in that he performed miracles which the author documents as magic of the era.

The author chronicles the life of Jesus from his birth to his death; he was a simple man who had the gift of preaching in a manner that attracted crowds. Jesus came from a poor family with siblings. Aslan documents the challenges faced by Jesus from his contemporaries who also claimed to promote Christianity. Aslan also traces the roots of Christianity from Judea to Rome with detailed quotes and references from the writers of the time. There is an under current of political involvement that culminated to Jesus having the powers of divinity.

The Zealot is thoroughly researched as the author clearly indicates that most of the writings about Jesus were documented many years after his death.

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