Seller: ancientgifts (4,181) 99.3%, Location: Ferndale, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381684995064 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Jesus: A Life by A.N. Wilson. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 269 pages. Publisher: W.W. Norton; (1992). In “Jesus: A Life”, the acclaimed biographer of Tolstoy and C.S. Lewis undertakes the most daring and most profound challenge of his career: the search for historical reality in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through 2,000 years of myth, miracle, sacred and profane texts, Biblical commentary, and archeological scholarship, A.N. Wilson overturns long-cherished legends about every aspect of Jesus' life; from the accounts of his birth in a stable in Bethlehem, to his role as the founder of a new religion, to his relationships with family and friends, and finally to the progression of events leading up to the Last Supper, his betrayal and crucifixion. By comparing the four Gospels and examining them against the established facts of history, Wilson identifies eyewitness details that ring true, points out obvious inconsistencies, and separates the invented, the myth, and the unprovable. What emerges is a vivid, gripping narrative that combines impeccable scholarship with the dazzling intuitions of a brilliant literary mind. In “Jesus: A Life”, we discover anew the true beauty and wrenching drama of the life of the central figure in Western civilization. CONDITION: New, never read. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: What are the facts about the life of Jesus, as opposed to the myths, or unprovable tenets of faith surrounding the miracles, death, and resurrection? How and when did Christianity become a separate religion from the Judaism into which Jesus was born? To what extent was his power over contemporaries political rather than religious? A. N. Wilson's answers to these questions will fascinate readers of every shade of faith or skepticism. Sifting through 2,000 years of myth, miracle, sacred and profane texts, biblical commentary, and archaeological scholarship, Wilson overturns long-cherished legends about Jesus' life, from his birth in a stable in Bethlehem to his crucifixion, and recreates "the real Jesus." The author, A. N. Wilson, was born in 1950. He was a scholar at New College, Oxford, were he later taught English language and literature for a number of years. From the late 1970’s on, he was a prolific journalist, contributing to the Times Literary Supplement, the Observer, the Saturday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and the Spectator. He is currently literary editor of the Evening Standard. In addition to his widely acclaimed biographies of C.S. Lewis, Sir Walter Scott, and Tolstoy, he has written a number of novels, including “Incline Our Hearts”. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he lives in London. When the bestselling Jesus was first published in 1992 it caused a sensation, and it was followed with A. N. Wilson's equally controversial Paul. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: His book demands reading. So deeply engaged in the topic and in contemporary scholarship that Christians should give it careful consideration. What sets Wilson’s treatment above the myriad others? Perhaps it’s the depth of his thinking, incisive, insightful, yet full of wonder and curiosity. No matter how strongly faith has grabbed you, though, Wilson contends it is important to remember that somewhere in the midst of all the hopes, fears, and dreams, a real man did exist. A man who healed, fought with his family, who spoke to sinners. This “biography” brings this real man to life. Wilson gives us a surprisingly dispassionate, respectfully skeptical study that makes the best biblical scholarship accessible to general readers. Wilson’s eminently readable book also serves as an excellent introduction to the New Testament. REVIEW: Noting that Matthew, Mark, and Luke "claim that the Eucharist was instituted during or after the traditional Jewish Passover meal," A.N. Wilson says that the stories concluding the synoptic gospels, "the arrest of Jesus, his trial, his execution, must be works of fiction, since it is unthinkable that the Jews would have broken their most sacred religious observances in order to put a man on trial”. In “Jesus: A Life”, A.N. Wilson spends most of his energy on such demythologizing. Like Renan, Schweitzer, and Crossan before him, this biographer strives to tell a story about the "historical reality" of Jesus' life. To that end, Wilson summarizes scads of contemporary biblical scholarship, sifts through loads of archeological evidence, liberally cites the Dead Sea Scrolls, and, most productively, attends his finely-tuned literary ear to the biblical texts. You can take or leave Wilson's secondhand scholarship; that sort of thing is outdated before it gets printed. But you cannot deny the power of his original literary observations. He thinks the most trustworthy clues for answering the question of who Jesus really was are to be found in the Gospel passages that resist or rupture neat theological readings. "Almost in spite of the Christ of the theologians, Jesus has survived: a man doodling in the dust with his finger; a man who could liken the love of God to a fussy Jewish mother searching a house high and low for a lost coin." This is trustworthy writing. For some readers it will be emotionally upsetting. But it's hard to imagine anyone for whom it wouldn't be ethically edifying. “We can accept some Church version of Jesus, or if it makes more appeal to us, we can accept a 'heretic' version; or we can make one up by ourselves," Wilson writes. "A patient and conscientious reading of the Gospels will always destroy any explanation which we devise. If it makes sense, it is wrong. That is the only reliable rule-of-thumb which we can use when testing the innumerable interpretations of Jesus' being and his place in human history." REVIEW: Wilson, who has written biographies of Tolstoy and C. S. Lewis, here critiques the Gospels and offers a lucid and absorbing meditation on the historical Jesus: the "’real' Jesus amid so much religion and folk-lore”. In Wilson's interpretation, Jesus was a Galilean holy man, an heir to the prophetic tradition, who possessed charismatic healing powers. It is improbable that this monotheistic Jew ever believed himself to be the Second Person of the Trinity or that he instituted the Eucharist. Wilson proposes that the feast at Cana may have been Jesus's own wedding; that the woman who poured ointment over his feet and wiped them with her hair is a detail "too strange" to have been invented; that Jesus's cousin John the Baptist came to disbelieve that Jesus was the Messiah; and that the Stranger seen by Jesus's disciples after his death was probably Jesus's brother James. This biography also suggests that Judas was innocent of betraying Jesus, that "the Pharisees were among the most virtuous men who had ever lived," that Jesus was never tried by the Jewish Sanhedrin, and that Paul was the high priest's servant who supervised Jesus's arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. REVIEW: Wilson begins the preface of his life of Jesus with, "The Jesus of History, and the Christ of Faith are two separate beings, with very different stories”. Wilson, current literary editor of The Evening Standard, novelist, journalist, and biographer of Tolstoy and C.S. Lewis, writes clearly and imaginatively. REVIEW: A controversial biography reaches some startling conclusions about the life of Jesus--he never set out to establish Christianity, he was probably married, and there was no resurrection. A masterly work of demystifying iconoclasm. REVIEW: An interpretation of the historical Jesus. Impressive.! Wilson has managed to extricate the complex figure of Jesus from the egregious distortions. Rewarding. This grand, enigmatic figure continues to astonish. REVIEW: A very profound and subtle examination of the religious imagination. Many aspects of Wilson’s book will anger or amuse believing Christians and serious New Testament scholars. Anybody who knows the Gospels at all should find their understanding much challenged and enriched by this book. Extraordinarily entertaining. Learned and witty, Wilson is a gifted novelist and diligent biographer. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: I have read many books about Jesus in the past few months, all of them trying to get a scholarly handle on the "historical" Jesus. Two things stand out about this one. First of all, it is written by an accomplished novelist and biographer. Secondly, although his investigations into critical textual scholarship cost him his faith, he is more of an apologist for the spirit of religion than the others, even though he doesn't buy into the theology. Wilson describes an uncomfortable alliance between the ultra-orthodox and the religious modernist. The former is so afraid of Biblical textual criticism that he tends toward censorship of the subject. The latter fully buys into the mythological origins of the whole Bible, taking virtually none of it literally, but maintains that religion matters more and at a deeper level than academic speculations. I'm not quite sure where Wilson fits into this scenario, because he meanders back and forth. Over and over, he demonstrates why the irreconcilable contradictions of the New Testament render the whole thing unreliable. Then he reverses himself: "Yet, almost in spite of the Christ of the theologians, Jesus has survived: a man doodling in the dust with his finger, while all around him, self-righteous men are shouting for the death of a sinner." What results is a devastating critique of the New Testament as real history, mixed with a touching appreciation of the man Wilson found behind the myth. No wonder this was a best seller. REVIEW: Anyone who tried to find the historical Jesus is bound to run into sharp criticism. For true believers the attempt itself is close to blasphemy and for the non-believer perhaps a waste of time. However most of us who are in between find the question quite fascinating. Now A. N. Wilson has written a book about what we can know about the historical Jesus and indeed the book is both well written and fascinating. Evidence for the historical Jesus is quite thin and he is almost not mentioned at all except in the gospels and later writings of Paul and a few others. However it is reasonably certain that a preacher/rabbi named Joshua or some such version of Jesus actually lived. Wilson has, however, had to speculate a lot to uncover any plausible description of Jesus the man. Fortunately Wilson generally labels speculation as speculation, as an honest scholar must and he does present a believable portrait of what Jesus may well have been like. In the process he pretty well destroys the gospels as historical documents. Indeed, the Bible should never be read as exact history, but a collections of moral tales, poetry, metaphors and spiritual guidance. Those who would have it otherwise in reality degrade the book into some sort of absolute text, almost a cook book, rather than the spiritual guide it was apparently meant to be. It is my opinion that this absolutist fallacy has been the cause of much of the violence between faiths and has certainly not helped produce the kind of spiritual and philosophical basis that Jesus may well have intended, based on many of the sayings he apparently left behind. This is an excellent book for readers who have not made up their minds on the subject and I recommend it highly. REVIEW: A.N. Wilson's fascinating "Jesus: A Life" is a well-written and provocative attempt to discern the man who may have been the historical Jesus through a comparison of the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. "Jesus: A Life" is provocative in attempting to separate the historical Jesus from the Jesus of faith and two thousand years of adoration. Starting with an understanding of Jesus as a Jew living in Roman-occupied Palestine, Wilson seeks to separate the implausible, the unlikely, and the unprovable from the narrative of the gospels to highlight that information which fits the context of the times and therefore constitute possible facts about the historical Jesus. Wilson takes no position on the resurrection of the Christ as a physical fact or on the nature of the miracles said by the gospels to have been performed by Jesus. He is more interested in what the contradictions and differences between the four gospels may show. Wilson was clearly mindful of the debates over the historiography of the bible as a document in writing this book, and one wishes he had shared more of his understanding of this debate. What comes out of his examination is a very human Jesus who was many things to many people, and whose life on earth is likely only incompletely portrayed in the versions of the gospels that have come down to us. Wilson's book may be offensive to those who insist on a literal reading of the bible. Those who are more skeptical of any product of human hands may find this thought-provoking and full of insights. REVIEW: Wilson's book is a well-written partial reconstruction of Jesus' life from a relatively neutral perspective. He offers very little that is startling, but many of his ideas are thought provoking and interesting. There's good information about the setting and customs of first century Israel, although the subject has been handled better and at more length by many other authors. It isn't sufficient, nowadays, to simply say that Jesus was a Jew and let's understand him in that context. Wilson does a good job at this level, but doesn't take it beyond. Today thanks to Vermes, Chilton. Schonfield, Meier, and others, everyone knows that. Given that, where do we go from there? Was he a Jewish Zealot? An Essene Saint? A Rabbi par excellence? For us to truly benefit and increase our understanding of Jesus and his life, we need to know what kind of a Jew he was, not simply that he was a Jew. One of the commendable virtues of this book is that Wilson identifies a theory as a theory, and doesn't try to masquerade it as a fact. Usually his theories have a reasonable evidentiary platform, so I found them interesting if not necessarily valid There is a hint of anti-Church sentiment here, but what scholar examining the words of Jesus and looking at the deeds of the Church can help but express some such sentiments. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). 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