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The Jesus Scandals: Why He Shocked His…

The Jesus Scandals: Why He Shocked His Contemporaries (and Still Shocks…

by David Instone-Brewer

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This is all fairly standard stuff. Not bad. Well presented. But hardly up to the hype on the back. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Apr 15, 2016 |
Was the life of Jesus scandalous? According to David Instone-Brewer it was. In the context of modern scandals like we see on the news it wasn’t, but certainly it was in the minds of 1st century Jews and pagans who were not prepared for the claims of Christ. According to Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, Jesus was a stumbling block to the Jews and a scandal to the Gentiles.
Instone-Brewer takes the reader back into the culture of first century Palestine and examines the life and ministry of Jesus in that context. His dubious birth claims, his questionable associations and his unorthodox teachings – all accepted by moderns who have had 2000 years to examine them – were quite scandalous to those early hearers.
The Jesus Scandals is divided into 3 sections, all dealing with how the message and ministry of Jesus was viewed as radical in the context of his life and culture. The first section is called “Scandals in His Life” and it covers such things as his questionable birth, his life as a single man when marriage and family were the norm, and his shameful execution as a common criminal.
Section Two is called “Scandals among Jesus’ Friends.” In this part, one reads of those people with whom Jesus’ associated. The Pharisees continually harangued about the cadre of people who were attracted to Jesus. That Jesus would associate with such people was a scandal in itself.
Section Three is “Scandals in Jesus’ Teaching.” These are perhaps the “scandal’s” with which most of us are more familiar. During his ministry, Jesus taught on a variety of topics, all which seemed to contradict the teaching of the Pharisees and confound and amaze his hearers. Some of these include divorce and remarriage, dishonesty, cursing, and “the unpardonable sin.”
The Jesus Scandals reminds us that his teachings are still scandalous and becoming more so as our culture embraces pluralism and postmodern ways of thinking. Jesus brought a radical message that when understood is still scandalous.
  RonStarcher | Mar 1, 2013 |

Some excellent background on Jesus and the gospels from an expert in Rabbinic Judaism that enriches one's understanding. The author's motivation is to show, in part, that the gospels continue historically reliable information because Jesus' behaviour, friends, and teachings were so outrageous for his time that they wouldn't have been invented by his followers. Valuable for anyone interested in the history and culture of Jesus' time. ( )
  spbooks | Jul 21, 2012 |
The Jesus Scandals by David Instone-Brewer is written in a lively, bold style with a strong scriptural basis. Biblical references are found through out each chapter.

This book delves into how Jesus' friends and enemies really thought about him and their reactions to his teachings. The author then takes the next step and shows us how Jesus' teaching are still shocking the world today.

It's separated into three sections: Scandals in Jesus' Life, Scandals Among Jesus' Friends and Scandals in Jesus' teachings. It can be read as a whole or broken down into stand alone chapters. I recommend reading it in chapters as I found the book to be a bit overwhelming when trying to read it as a whole.

The concepts and parallels shared in The Jesus Scandals are definitely thought provoking and interesting but overall. I didn't particularly enjoy reading this book.

Many thanks to Kregel publications for the opportunity to review this book. My views and thoughts are an honest representation of my thoughts and feelings regarding this book. ( )
  mrsrenee | Jul 20, 2012 |
Jesus often shocked his listeners with his teachings. His views were seen as radical by his contemporaries, and clashed with the teachings of the Jewish leaders of that time. His very birth was scandalous, and he was not shy about spending time with those considered less than desirable. He had compassion for those who no one else wanted. His very ministry, his life, death, and resurrection was a scandal.

Dr. Instone-Brewer has taken thirty areas of the teachings of Jesus and broken them down into short, easy-to-study chapters for the average Bible student. Each chapter covers an area of the ministry of Jesus or His teaching that was found scandalous in His day. Chapters include His illegitimate birth, his bachelorhood, Judas Iscariot, and His views on polygamy. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Mary Magdalene. Because I believe in avoiding spoiler alerts whenever possible, I'll just say that not only do I appreciate the fact that Dr. Instone-Brewer set the record straight once again, but he also explained why we dye Easter eggs. Yes, it's all in that one chapter. In the chapter "Second-Rate Disciples", I so appreciated the idea that perhaps Jesus was making a joke at Simon Peter's expense when he said he would be a "rock". Again, no spoiler alert; you'll just have to read it for yourself. But I have always felt that Jesus had a sense of humor while He walked upon the Earth, and I'm sure we'll discover some day that He still does. That has nothing to do with the book; just a personal observation.

This book would be excellent for a study group, as well as for individual reading. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have to give it 5 stars.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Kregel Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Kregel Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising* ( )
  Tammy.Ford.Cuevas | Jun 21, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0857210238, Paperback)

Although Western culture has been shaped for centuries by Christian teaching, a closer study of the Bible reveals that we routinely ignore the uncomfortable heart of New Testament ethics. It's too extreme, too confrontational. Even Christians pander to the world's way of thinking, making the astonishing bland.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:48 -0400)

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