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Number of Pages: 464
Vendor: Penguin Random House
Publication Date: 2005
|Dimensions: 7.75 X 5.13 X 0.50 (inches)|
In his new book, acclaimed religious scholar Geza Vermes subjects all the sayings of Jesus to brilliantly informed scrutiny. Profoundly aware of the limits of our knowledge but immersed in what we do haveboth the "official" gospels and associated Jewish and early Christian textsVermes sieves through every quote ascribed to Jesus to let the reader get as close as possible to the charismatic Jewish healer and moralist who changed the world. The result is a book that creates a revolutionary and unexpected picture of Jesusscraping aside the accretions of centuries to approach as close as we can hope to his true teaching.
DavidandhisharemBristol EnglandAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Jewish scholarship made easy for the layman.October 31, 2013DavidandhisharemBristol EnglandAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is not a book for everyone. The author sets himself the task of distinguishing between the authentic words of Jesus in the synoptic gospels (with minimal reference to the Gospel of John) and those that have been invented by the gospel writers themselves and the early christian community. I am not going to engage with such issues as divine inspiration or what any particular church may teach about 'scripture' and just to say that whatever one's beliefs, this book is of considerable merit if you are prepared to take it on its own terms.
The book starts slowly and because many passages can fall into several categories there is quite a lot of repetition but there are two quite major plus points. Vermes is arguably the leading scholar on the Dead Sea Scrolls and obviously know rabbinical literature inside out. Time and time again he puts this knowledge to use in dealing with the various gospel passages and it is insightful information stated very succinctly and pertinently. Moreover he argues his case very methodically and reasonably with pretty much no bias. One could be forgiven for thinking that he is more of a fan of Jesus than of christianity but expressions of his own opinion on more dogmatic matters are very much in the background. He has definitely mellowed since he wrote Jesus The Jew!
I was particularly impressed with the chapter on the parables, and the closing chapter and epilogue are successful in bringing everything together in a way that many authors would do well to imitate.
For anybody interested in gospel studies, this is a book to look out for and whether you read it from cover to cover like I did, or dip into it, there is much to be found that is not so easily and readily found elsewhere at this level. It is a very good example if not a model of scholarship made accessible to the layman. No knowledge of Greek or Hebrew is necessary and technical terms are kept to the very minimum.
An articulate and easily digested book with just a little bloatware