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The Essential Jesus: Read the Gospel of…

The Essential Jesus: Read the Gospel of Jesus for Yourself (original 1994; edition 2008)

by Unknown (Author)

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449543,886 (3.77)3
The author translates Jesus's sayings showing him to be a teacher who lived his own radical message that all are equal before God. The portrait shows that he was remembered by the first Christians not as God, but as a revolutionary leader and healer.
Title:The Essential Jesus: Read the Gospel of Jesus for Yourself
Authors:Unknown (Author)
Info:Matthias Media (2008), Edition: Reprint
Collections:Your library

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The Essential Jesus: Original Sayings and Earliest Images by John Dominic Crossan (1994)


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After his definitive The Historical Jesus, John Dominic Crossan delivered Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography-a popularized, bestselling account of what we can know about the life of Jesus. Here he offers the core of his life's work-a concise and astonishing presentation of the authentic teachings and earliest images of the revolutionary Galilean sage. Crossan's fresh translations of Jesus' sayings show Jesus to be a teacher whose radical message that all are equal before God is as timely today as it was two thousand years ago. This picture is dramatically confirmed by the preConstantinian, Christian renderings of Jesus, which show that he was remembered by the first Christians not as God but as a revolutionary healer and leader.
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  tony_sturges | Jan 18, 2018 |
Wonderful, concise presentation of Jesus' sayings as interpreted through oral history, plus an interpretation of the visual representation of his meaning as surviving from before Constatine. First page locates the essential Jesus in the history of his times. Ordered, February, 2014. ( )
  strawberrycreekmtg | Feb 18, 2014 |
This is a book to make one think very hard about what it means to be a follower of Jesus and/or a Christian, and they’re not necessarily the same thing. For instance, I would consider Gandhi a follower, although not a Christian. On the other hand, most people who tout their membership in Christian organizations fall considerably short of what one would think is the ideal, given Jesus’ example and lessons. Most egregious, to me, are public figures and institutions who shout their Christianity even as they hoard millions (or billions) which could be used to give basic needs to the hungry and dying. And many of these insist they are “pro-life”, although apparently the already-living are expendable. Anyway, about the book:

Crossan is a well-known member of the Jesus Seminar and a scholar in the historical Jesus school. In this third entry in his biographies of Jesus, he presents the sayings he considers to be authentically spoken by Jesus (mostly parables and aphorisms, designed to provoke discussion among the oppressed) alongside examples of pre-Constantinian Christian art work. Although the art is mostly 3rd c., it was produced before the religion had any governmental organization and backs up the words written down over two centuries earlier, with both reflecting the message the earliest Christians received: radical egalitarianism, open commensality (indiscriminate table fellowship and healing), and the Kingdom here NOW, wherever people are willing to follow Jesus’ example. Crossan differentiates between John the Baptist’s teaching (apocalyptic eschatology, i.e., imminent and cataclysmic divine intervention) and Jesus’ (sapiential eschatology, i.e., living here and now so that God’s power is evident to all). It’s a huge difference, with the easier path clearly being the former, where we can let God take care of changing things when he’s ready and continue as we are in our day-to-day lives. Just as clearly, Crossan sees Jesus’s way as the more difficult and the reason Jesus, out of so many wandering preachers, dissidents, and trouble makers, got the death penalty instead of a lesser sentence: he was looking for a total change in how people acted right then, and he was convincing at it.

Whatever you’re approach to Bible study or belief, this is a provocative look at early Christian thought: that is, what Jesus said and how he was perceived by the people closest to him in time and still untouched by institutional dogma. ( )
4 vote auntmarge64 | May 1, 2012 |
The most interesting aspect of this book is the use of the images from Pre-Constantinian Christian art to illustrate the sayings of Jesus. Plate # 10 is very interesting. It seems that this fresco is the only surviving meal scene which includes a woman in Pre -Constantinian art. ( )
  cfhillen | Aug 11, 2008 |
Interesting concept, but requires a lot of flipping back and forth between photographs and descriptions and interpretations. worth checking out, but becomes a little bit cumbersome with all the flipping. ( )
  getdowmab | Dec 20, 2006 |
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To my colleagues in the Department of Religious Studies, DePaul University, Chicago
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The author translates Jesus's sayings showing him to be a teacher who lived his own radical message that all are equal before God. The portrait shows that he was remembered by the first Christians not as God, but as a revolutionary leader and healer.

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