Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This book will challenge your faith

 Zealot The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.jpg
I had heard a lot of hype about this book and it was on the best seller list. I put it on hold at the library and it came available at the end of October.  I am torn over how I feel about it. In the first chapter, the author states that it is difficult to know much about Jesus apart from the gospels, but that he planned to portray Jesus from the standpoint of the historical times.  He then picks and chooses which parts of the gospels to believe as accurate and which parts to see as made up by the authors at a later date to match the theological case they are trying to make. The book has challenged me to think of Jesus in a new way. I have always taken it for granted that the Bible is true. There is still a lot of conflict over the dates of the gospels and authorship.  I have heard many sides including this book and this lecture (https://vimeo.com/58113932 19:39-25:00). One part that I still need to look into is the nativity story and the historical accuracy. I know there are scholars on both sides who want to be right (that Jesus is or isn't God), so I feel it is tricky to tease out the truth. At the library booksale, I got a book containing the extra biblical works written about Jesus long after his death. I plan to read these to supplement my knowledge on what different groups have believed about Jesus over time. I feel I need to research this stuff on my own as it's hard to simply trust someone else's research knowing their biases.