Introducing us first to "the people Jesus knew," Thomas Cahill describes the oppressive Roman political presence, the pervasive Greek cultural influence, and especially the widely varied social and religious context of the Judaism in which Jesus moved and flourished. These backgrounds, essential to a complete understanding of Jesus, lead to the author's stunningly original interpretation of the New Testament--much of it based on material from the ancient Greek brilliantly translated by the author himself--that will delight listeners and surprise even biblical scholars. Thomas Cahill's skill may lie in his ability to bring to life people of faraway world whose concerns seem at first to be utterly removed from the present day. We see Jesus as a real person, sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, but kind, humorous, and affectionate, shadowed by the inevitable climax of crucifixion. Mary, while not quite the "perpetual virgin" of popular piety, is a vivid presence and forceful influence on her son. And the apostle Paul, the carrier of Jesus' message and most important figure in the early Jesus movement, finds rehabilitation in Cahill's realistic, revealing portrait of him.
From the bestselling author of How the Irish Saved Civilization and The Gifts of the Jews, his most compelling historical narrative yet.
How did an obscure rabbi from a backwater of the Roman Empire come to be the central figure in Western Civilization? Did his influence in fact change the world? These are the questions Thomas Cahill addresses in his subtle and engaging investigation into the life and times of Jesus.
Cahill shows us Jesus from his birth to his execution through the eyes of those who knew him and in the context of his timea time when the Jews were struggling to maintain their beliefs under overlords who imposed their worldview on their subjects. Here is Jesus the loving friend, itinerate preacher, and quiet revolutionary, whose words and actions inspired his followers to journey throughout the Roman world and speak the truth he instilledin the face of the greatest defeat: Jesus' crucifixion as a common criminal. Daring, provocative, and stunningly original, Cahill's interpretation will both delight and surprise.
BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes.
Thomas Cahill is the former director of religious publishing at Doubleday. He divides his time between Rome and New York City.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Divertingly instructive—gratifying—. [Cahill] makes Jesus a still-living literary presence."—The New York Times
"Engaging—. Cahill strips away the pious accretions of 2000 years so that a picture of Jesus as an actual human being emerges."—BookPage
"A deft march through time and through theology in the making—. [Cahill's] own gift-giving is his ability to climb inside the scholarship and enliven it."—Philadelphia Inquirer
"Cahill constructs his stories as occassions for celebration...He seeks to encourage a sense of appreciation for the gifts offered the present from the past...Each of his books offers moments of genuine insight into the workings of culture, literature, and the human heart." -Luke Timothy Johnson, Commonweal
"Compelling—powerful—. Cahill is a convivial storyteller."—Portland Oregonian
From the Trade Paperback edition.