New Birth or Rebirth? Jesus Talks with Krishna   -     By: Ravi Zacharias
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New Birth or Rebirth? Jesus Talks with Krishna

Multnomah Books / 2008 / Hardcover

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* Listen in on an imaginary conversation between Jesus and a deity of the third-largest religion in the world. Interrupted by Subramaniam, a real-life 20th-century Hindu, and a fictional character, Richard, Christ and Krishna answer questions about life, the afterlife---and why what you believe really matters. Great for seekers and Christians wanting to know more about Hinduism. 96 pages, hardcover from Multnomah.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 96
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 6.25 X 5.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1590527259
ISBN-13: 9781590527252
Availability: In Stock
Series: Great Conversations

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Publisher's Description

Ultimate truth. The destiny of souls. The individual heart. Can Krishna and Jesus agree on anything?

This is what Subramaniam, a real-life Hindu of the twentieth century, wonders as he enters a fictitious conversation between two religious figures who have changed the lives of millions. As Jesus and Krishna respond to each other’s view of life and the afterlife, they speak words straight from the texts of Christianity and Hinduism and straight into the soul.

Subramaniam asks Jesus and Krishna hard questions about faith. Meanwhile, a fictional character, Richard, eavesdrops, asking himself the most important question of all:

Does it really matter what I believe?

Author Bio

Born in India, Ravi Zacharias earned a master of divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School before he began an international speaking ministry as a recognized authority on comparative religions, cults, and philosophy. Zacharias holds three doctoral degrees and is the author of numerous award-winning books, including Can Man Live without God? He also hosts a weekly international radio program called Let My People Think. Zacharias lives with his wife, Margaret, in Atlanta. They have three grown children.


If you want to delve into all the similarities and differences between Hinduism and Christianity, there are many thick, laborious theological works that will aid you on your quest. But if you want to understand the core differences in an easy-to-follow, brief format, Ravi Zacharias’ New Birth or Rebirth? Jesus Talks with Krishna fills the need.

Zacharias’ brief book (less than 100 pages) is part of his Great Conversations series in which he scripts out conversations between Jesus and historical figures. Previous books had Jesus face off with Buddha and Hitler, and now Krishna steps forward to debate Jesus. The conversation style proves very effective and allows Zacharias to develop his points without sounding preachy or getting bogged down in complex theology.

In New Birth or Rebirth?, Zacharias employs two other characters, Subramaniam (Subra) and Richard, who discuss Hinduism from a practitioner’s viewpoint while traveling together. They also eavesdrop on the conversation between Jesus and Krishna from behind a veil, and Subra eventually enters the discussion and asks questions of both speakers to clarify points he does not fully understand.

Hinduism is a very complex religion, so the early part of the conversation lets Krishna give a brief but succinct explanation of how he came to exist and the role he was to play. Zacharias does a commendable job of giving enough information without getting too deep. The dialogue covers such Hindu topics as the caste system, the reliance on works and not grace, and the philosophy of one’s life merely being a play or drama on a universal stage. Jesus clearly maintains that such reliance on man’s works are worthless, and states: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Zacharias’ comparisons between Hinduism and Christianity allow readers from both sides, and all other religions, to better understand the basic tenets and see the stark differences between the teachings of Krishna and Jesus. -- Jeff Friend,

Product Reviews

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  1. Will Li
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 24, 2010
    Will Li
    Having an open dialog between two of the most famous religious figures throughout history is a daunting task for any writer. However, Ravi Zacharias has pulled together Christ and Krishna to give us one of the most engaging, precise, and veracious dialogs put in written form. There is a saying that "All religions are fundamentally the same, with some superficial differences." Ravi says, "All religions are fundamentally different, with some superficial similarities."
  2. Jennifer @
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    August 21, 2008
    Jennifer @
    The aim of New Birth or Rebirth is to educate and inform Christians about the Hindu faith, and to contrast the major figure of each. In attempts to establish evidence of an archetypal theme of the sacrificial God, comparisons pointing out the similarities between Krishna and Christ have become somewhat commonplace. Zacharias points out the differences between the two, correcting any misunderstanding that Krishna and Jesus play the same role in their respective faiths.Zacharias ultimately uses the contrasting of the two faiths to clearly illuminate the heart of the Gospel message: that Christianity is not a religion, not following a set of rules or trying to reach God on our own terms, but a real relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I was so thankful for Zacharias depiction of this often overlooked truth (even by Christian authors, who bandy the term religion about far too freely) that it brought tears to my eyes as he reminded me of Jesus never-ending love and compassion for us.Following this moving revelation, the author moves on to a conclusion that left me confused at best. Using an analogy that was unclear, and not previously anchored to existing references in the text, he left me completely in the dark with what he was trying to communicate in his wrap-up. I believe that Zacharias depiction of Jesus is fairly true to scripture. He manages to include scriptural truths throughout this fictional Jesus words without quoting directly, leading to a naturally flowing conversation throughout New Birth or Rebirth. The author has taken a risk in the Christian marketplace. Some readers are certain to be rubbed the wrong way by the very idea of a fictional conversation between Jesus, a real figure, and Krishna, a mythological one. However, I feel that Zacharias - while using Hinduism as a foil - succeeds in accurately depicting the heart of Jesus, for all people to be made free of the law of sin and death.
  3. Stacey
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 26, 2008
    New Birth or Rebirth Jesus talks with Krishna by Ravi Zacharias is a fascinating way to gain perspective on Hinduism in relation to Christian beliefs. A brief introduction by the author explaining the topic is followed by a scripted conversation between Jesus, Krishna, Subramanian and a fictional character named Richard designed to enlighten the reader about the differences between Christianity and the Hindu faith.This sometimes easy to digest, other times philosophical, dialogue brings to light the major differences in the beliefs of Hindus and Christians in a very creative way. As a drama ministry participant, I can almost see this book being used to put on a play to educate my congregation. I look forward to reading Zacharias other Great Conversations books: The Lotus and the Cross Jesus talks with Buddha and The Lamb and the Fuhrer Jesus talks with Hitler.
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