Zealot
by Reza Aslan









Zealot
by Reza Aslan

Alternative Titles
the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth

Summary
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Good Housekeeping * Booklist * Publishers Weekly * Bookish From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. nbsp; Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the "Kingdom of God." The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal. nbsp; Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God. nbsp; Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry--a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy. nbsp; Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious "King of the Jews" whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity. nbsp; Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth's life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion. Praise for Zealot nbsp; "Riveting . . . Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account." -- The New Yorker "A lucid, intelligent page-turner." --Los Angeles Times nbsp; "Fascinatingly and convincingly drawn . . . Aslan may come as close as one can to respecting those who revere Jesus as the peace-loving, turn-the-other-cheek, true son of God depicted in modern Christianity, even as he knocks down that image." -- The Seattle Times nbsp; "[Aslan's] literary talent is as essential to the effect of Zealot as are his scholarly and journalistic chops. . . . A vivid, persuasive portrait." -- Salon nbsp; "This tough-minded, deeply political book does full justice to the real Jesus, and honors him in the process." -- San Francisco Chronicle

Biographee
NameJesus of Nazereth
Gender
Dates
AttributesCharismatic
Jesus the man evolved into Jesus the Christ; his image was reshaped by the Christian church


Genre
NonFiction
    --
Christian
    --
Historical
    --
Religious
    --
Biography

Topics
Jesus Christ
Christianity
Islam
Theology
Bible studies
Historical research

Setting
-- Asia
-- Middle East

Time Period
-- -- -- Biblical times






Map: First-Century Palestinep. xiii
The Temple in Jerusalemp. xv
Author's Notep. xvii
Introductionp. xxiii
Chronologyp. xxxiii
Part IPrologue: A Different Sort of Sacrificep. 3
Chapter 1  A Hole in the Cornerp. 10
Chapter 2  King of the Jewsp. 17
Chapter 3  You Know Where I Am Fromp. 25
Chapter 4  The Fourth Philosophyp. 34
Chapter 5  Where Is Your Fleet to Sweep the Roman Seas?p. 46
Chapter 6  Year Onep. 57
Part IIPrologue: Zeal for Your Housep. 73
Chapter 7  The Voice Crying Out in the Wildernessp. 80
Chapter 8  Follow Mep. 90
Chapter 9  By the Finger of Godp. 103
Chapter 10  May Your Kingdom Comep. 115
Chapter 11  Who Do You Say I Am?p. 127
Chapter 12  No King but Caesarp. 146
Part IIIPrologue: God Made Fleshp. 163
Chapter 13  If Christ Has Not Been Risenp. 172
Chapter 14  Am I Not an Apostle?p. 183
Chapter 15  The Just Onep. 197
Epilogue: True God from True Godp. 213
Acknowledgmentsp. 217
Notesp. 219
Bibliographyp. 273
Indexp. 283




#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Good Housekeeping * Booklist * Publishers Weekly * Bookish From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. nbsp; Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the "Kingdom of God." The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal. nbsp; Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God. nbsp; Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry--a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy. nbsp; Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious "King of the Jews" whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity. nbsp; Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth's life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion. Praise for Zealot nbsp; "Riveting . . . Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account." -- The New Yorker "A lucid, intelligent page-turner." --Los Angeles Times nbsp; "Fascinatingly and convincingly drawn . . . Aslan may come as close as one can to respecting those who revere Jesus as the peace-loving, turn-the-other-cheek, true son of God depicted in modern Christianity, even as he knocks down that image." -- The Seattle Times nbsp; "[Aslan's] literary talent is as essential to the effect of Zealot as are his scholarly and journalistic chops. . . . A vivid, persuasive portrait." -- Salon nbsp; "This tough-minded, deeply political book does full justice to the real Jesus, and honors him in the process." -- San Francisco Chronicle





Born in Iran, Dr. Reza Aslan is a writer and scholar of religion. He is also President and CEO of Aslan Media Inc. Dr. Aslan has degrees in Religions from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. Dr. Aslan also serves on the national advisory board of the Levantine Cultural Center, building bridges between Americans and the Arab/Muslim world. Aslan's first book, the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam (Heinemann 2005), has been translated into thirteen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the editor of the anthology Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East: A Words Without Borders Anthology (WW Norton 2010). His latest work is entitled Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (Random House 2013). Dr. Aslan lives in Los Angeles where he is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. (Bowker Author Biography)





In his notes section, Aslan (creative writing, Univ. of California, Riverside; No god but God) remarks that he is heavily indebted to John Meier's multivolume A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. Like Meier, Aslan analyzes historical information from first-century Palestine in order to situate Jesus within the turbulent social and political context of his time, appreciating the man for who he really was: one of many itinerant peasant preachers and teachers who sought to reinvigorate the Judaism of his day with eschatological and spiritual fervor. Aslan takes a somewhat dim view of Pauline Christianity, arguing that Paul's concept of a divine, cosmic Christ is at odds both with the Jerusalem church of James, brother of Jesus, and with the Gospel of John. Likewise, Paul's approach, Aslan believes, is at odds with sacred Jewish norms, e.g., circumcision, and with eyewitnesses who saw Jesus as reviving Judaism. But following the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE, claims Aslan, "the Christ of Paul's creation utterly subsumed the Jesus of history," giving the world the Christianity we have today. This perspective is hardly new but is accessibly and strongly presented here. VERDICT Readable and with scholarly endnotes, Aslan's book offers a historical perspective that is sure to generate spirited conversation. For Christian history buffs of all stripes.-Sandra Collins, Byzantine Catholic Seminary Lib., Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.





The person and work of Jesus of Nazareth has been a topic of constant interest since he lived and died some 2,000 years ago. Much speculation about who he was and what he taught has led to confusion and doubt. Aslan, who authored the much acclaimed No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, offers a compelling argument for a fresh look at the Nazarene, focusing on how Jesus the man evolved into Jesus the Christ. Approaching the subject from a purely academic perspective, the author parts an important curtain that has long hidden from view the man Jesus, who "is every bit as compelling, charismatic, and praiseworthy as Jesus the Christ." Carefully comparing extra-biblical historical records with the New Testament accounts, Aslan develops a convincing and coherent story of how the Christian church, and in particular Paul, reshaped Christianity's essence, obscuring the very real man who was Jesus of Nazareth. Compulsively readable and written at a popular level, this superb work is highly recommended. Agent: Elyse Cheney, Elyse Cheney Literary Associates (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.





*Starred Review* Aslan brings a fine popular style, shorn of all jargon, to bear on the presentation of Jesus of Nazareth as only a man. What's more, as he pares the supernatural or divine away from Jesus, he refrains from deriding it. He isn't interested in attacking religion or even the church, much less in comparing Christianity unfavorably to another religion. He would have us admire Jesus as one of the many would-be messiahs who sprang up during Rome's occupation of Palestine, animated by zeal for strict adherence to the Torah and the Law, refusal to serve a human master, and devotion to God, and therefore dedicated to throwing off Rome and repudiating Roman religion. Before and after Jesus, such zeal entailed violent revolution, but Jesus proceeded against Rome in the conviction that zealous spirit was sufficient. It wasn't, and Rome executed him. This depiction of Jesus makes sense, as we say, though many Christians will find holes in its fabric; indeed, Aslan grants one of the largest, the fact that no one who attested to the Resurrection recanted. But you don't have to lose your religion to learn much that's vitally germane to its history from Aslan's absorbing, reader-friendly book.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2010 Booklist






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