978-0-679-76746-6 / 0679767460

Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity

by Fredriksen, Paula




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About the book:

The epigraph to Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews by Paula Fredriksen includes the following observation by Matteo Ricci: "[A]ll things (including those that at last come to triumph mightily) are at their beginnings so small and faint in outline that one cannot easily convince oneself that from them will grow matters of great moment." This little thought helps to explain Fredriksen's big one, that no one during Jesus' lifetime (including the man himself) considered Jesus to be the Messiah. That interpretation of his life, Fredriksen argues, was occasioned by his death: "Jesus' crucifixion as King of the Jews had come as a shock to his core followers. Their experiences of his continued presence after his death, on the evidence of the Gospels, surprised them, too. Seeking to understand what they had witnessed, they turned to Scripture." Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews makes its argument through careful reconstruction of Jesus' historical context, and dogged attention to the details of his crucifixion and to the fates of his immediate followers. The book's surprising arguments and its lucid style make this a valuable addition to the canon of popular Historical Jesus scholarship. --Michael Joseph Gross

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