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Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews : a Jewish life and the emergence of… (edition 1999)
Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity by Paula Fredriksen
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679767460, Paperback)The epigraph to Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews by Paula Fredriksen includes the following observation by Matteo Ricci: "[A]ll things (including those that at last come to triumph mightily) are at their beginnings so small and faint in outline that one cannot easily convince oneself that from them will grow matters of great moment." This little thought helps to explain Fredriksen's big one, that no one during Jesus' lifetime (including the man himself) considered Jesus to be the Messiah. That interpretation of his life, Fredriksen argues, was occasioned by his death: "Jesus' crucifixion as King of the Jews had come as a shock to his core followers. Their experiences of his continued presence after his death, on the evidence of the Gospels, surprised them, too. Seeking to understand what they had witnessed, they turned to Scripture." Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews makes its argument through careful reconstruction of Jesus' historical context, and dogged attention to the details of his crucifixion and to the fates of his immediate followers. The book's surprising arguments and its lucid style make this a valuable addition to the canon of popular Historical Jesus scholarship. --Michael Joseph Gross
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:11 -0400)
Paula Fredriksen, renowned historian and author of From Christ to Jesus, begins this inquiry into the historic Jesus with a fact that may be the only undisputed thing we know about him: his crucifixion. Rome reserved this means of execution particularly for political insurrectionists; and the Roman charge posted at the head of the cross indicted Jesus for claiming to be King of the Jews. To reconstruct the Jesus who provoked this punishment, Fredriksen takes us into the religious worlds, Jewish and pagan, of Mediterranean antiquity, through the labyrinth of Galilean and Judean politics, and on into the ancient narratives of Paul's letters, the gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Josephus' histories. The result is a profound contribution both to our understanding of the social and religious contexts within which Jesus of Nazareth moved, and to our appreciation of the mission and message that ended in the proclamation of Jesus as Messiah.
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