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Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography [Paperback]

By John Dominic Crossan (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   209
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.18" Width: 5.24" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.48 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 1995
Publisher   HarperOne
ISBN  0060616628  
EAN  9780060616625  
UPC  099455014007  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
John Dominic Crossan's bestselling and critically acclaimed biography of the historical Jesus. "This is an outstanding book--both popular and intelligent. Accessible language and direct, dramatic narration . . . a compelling portrait of Jesus."

Buy Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780060616625 & 0060616628 upc: 099455014007

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More About John Dominic Crossan

John Dominic Crossan John Dominic Crossan is the author of The Historical Jesus (T&T Clark, 1991). He chairs the Historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature. Luke Timothy Johnson is Woodruff Professor of New Testament at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. The author of a number of best-selling books, he is also editor of the Anchor Study Bible. Werner H. Kelber is Turner Professor of Biblical Studies at Rice University.

John Dominic Crossan currently resides in Clermont, in the state of Florida.

John Dominic Crossan has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Biblical Scholarship in North America

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( C ) > Crossan, John Dominic   [26  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
a brilliant distillation of Crossan's earlier work  Nov 4, 2007
Crossan, a Jesuit, essentially distills his earlier book, _The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant_ into a much more lucid and well organized presentation. The flip side of this, however, is the lack of references (which were given in _The Historical Jesus_.)

Certainly there will be controversy with any historical, liturgical and anthropological analysis of the historical Jesus, if for no other reason than it at least "de-mystifies" Jesus, and at most "de-deifies" him. That Crossan outright denies the miracles attributed to Jesus gives one some idea of the tone and approach Crossan takes. (I would point out that he is right to do so, as there can be no empirical, historical evidence to support a miracle by its very definition.) In a similar vein, Crossan goes on to deny the infancy narratives of Luke and Matthew.

For me, the strongest parts of his book were his analysis of Jesus in a political context, as he essentially claims that Jesus' teachings - specifically his attitude towards political oppression, cultural materialism, and imperial domination - were a threat to both the Romans and the Jewish politicians working with and for the Romans.

A solid introduction to some of the historical interpretation surrounding Jesus; I would, however, point out that Crossan is only one voice of many. With that said, I recommend Crossan's work to the arm-chair historian or those with a passing interest in the eastern Mediterranean in the first and second centuries CE. Christian fundementalists (those who take a literalist interpretation of the New Testament rather than a metaphorical interpretation) will get less out of it.
An Important Perspective on the Historical Jesus, but only ONE side of the issue  May 14, 2007
I read this book for a class on the historical Jesus. This is an important book, but readers must keep in mind that the views Crossan expresses are largely his own interpretations, and there is a lot of controversy in the field about the right way to interpret the historical Jesus. But the fact that this book was "chosen" to represent an entire "side" within the scholarly debate on Jesus is a clue that it is a good book, based on sound scholarship.

This book bases its claims on anthropological (and contextual) research. It is readable and engaging. This, to a degree, actually made me suspicious of it; I thought it might be a sensationalist type, but my professor assured me that it's an established and respected work in the field.

Christians curious about scholarly work on the HISTORICAL Jesus will enjoy what this book has to offer. You will not read anything too disappointing (relatively speaking), and the message will be hopeful. Jews might be better off reading "The Historical Figure of Jesus" by E. P. Sanders: the best work representing the *other* side of the debate. (Although if you're particularly critically inclined and like to read views that oppose your conceptual tendencies, then you can swap these recommendations: Christians read Sanders, Jews read Crossan).
Hit and Miss  Aug 14, 2006
J.D. Crossan's conclusions are really hit or miss in this book. I found his work on the infancy narratives and Jesus' egalitarian philosophy to be generally on the mark but I have some major disagreements elsewhere.

First, he admits that he does not believe in miracles. I'm OK with such a sentiment as long as one explains the numerous miracle stories in the Gospels. Crossan fails to do so in a convincing manner.

Second, Crossan pretty much ignores Jesus' apocalyptic utterances, passing them off as later additions to the Jesus tradition. However, he provides little evidence to convince the reader of that conclusion.

Finally, his take on the resurrection stories is absurd. He wants us to believe that they weren't meant as historical narratives but as stories used to prop up the Twelve or Peter or the Beloved Disciple above the general community. To me, it seemed like eisegesis and not exegesis. I can't imagine the four evangelists had anything like that in mind.
Not his Best Work  Jun 1, 2006
John Dominic Crosson is generally regarded as a "Jesus scholar" but you can't tell from this rather pedestrian effort. There is very little new in this book that isn't covered in 100 similar books. While it is well written and has the virtue of being relatively well organized, there are no notes or footnotes nor any bibliography.

In addition, the book suffers from some common errors, that a man of Crosson's standing should not make, or if he makes them, at least he needs to acknowledge that these issues are contentious. For example...

- He claims that Jesus comes from Nazareth, when almost everyone knows that the only reason to place Jesus in Nazareth is Matthew's mistaken translation of Nazarite. Indeed, some scholars believe that Nazareth as a town did not exist until mid 1st Century.

- He accepts the common translation of tekton as "carpenter" while many scholars translate it differently (e.g., crafstman, general contractor, and scholar to name a few alternatives).

- Having labeled the family as carpenters, he assumes they are poor, while there are many indications that the family is not poor (e.g., Joseph goes to Jerusalem many times; they pay taxes; they look for a room at an Inn; the wedding at Cana, etc)

- He mistakenly ascribes comments by Tacitus to Jesus, when in fact Tacitus only refers to Christus which is a generic name and doesn't necessarily apply to Jesus as the Christ figure.

Don't get me wrong. Crosson has lots of hidden gems in this brief book, including his discussion of John the Baptist, his analysis of the healings, his redaction of the passion story, etc. This isn't a bad book, but there are so many better books that you should look elsewhere, including some of Crosson's other books.
An intriguing collection of ideas about Jesus, based on circular reasoning  Apr 25, 2006
"If, by the way, our eyes or heads are now spinning, this is part of the process. We are persuaded of the validity of the argument by the sheer difficulty in taking it apart. It is almost easier just to listen and nod or read and agree that to analyze, explore, and disentangle." Although Crossan makes this comment (on page 150) about those who historicized prophecy by reading the texts of the past into the events of the present, it is just as readily applied to his arguments in this book. While I do not necessarily disagree with his conclusions, most of which boil down to the idea that Jesus threatened the fabric of the social order (both Jewish and Roman) by preaching and living a gospel of radical egalitarianism, I take umbrage with his incessant use of circular reasoning to make his points. For example, Crossan will read a passage from Josephus that explicitly makes a claim, he will assert that this explicit claim was added to Josephus by later Christian editors, and will then use his edited version of Josephus (minus the alleged addition) as evidence to support his thesis; interestingly, he assumes his thesis when editing out the explicit claim made in the first place. This sort of "argumentation" occurs so frequently in the book, which is otherwise very nicely written, that the reader can be forgiven if she begins to accept Crossan's assertions as arguments and facts.

One further problem that continues to plague me about Crossan's vision is why this illiterate peasant made such an impact on the world. I ask this question because, by Crossan's own admission, revolutionaries and sapiential teachers were quite common at the time. Crossan fails to adequately explain how the Jesus of history became the risen Christ of faith, and by extension how this illiterate Mediterranean peasant came to claim the hearts and minds of billions, which is a major hole in an otherwise interesting collection of ideas.

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