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Old 07-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
Toto
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Default Yet another historical Jesus - Jesus the Zealot

Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American who has a PhD in religious studies and now teaches creative writing, has written a biography of the "real" Jesus.

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (or via: amazon.co.uk)

Aslan starts from the idea that the only sure fact about Jesus is that he was crucified, and that therefore he must have been a revolutionary zealot.

There is a good review on salon: The Real Jesus

Quote:
. . . . Much of contemporary biblical scholarship involves parsing and triangulating the various accounts to surmise which bits are the oldest and most likely to represent some real event or statement by Jesus himself.

This, of course, hasn’t stopped anyone from trying to reconstruct a historical account of Jesus’ life, however speculative it must necessarily be. The latest to try is Reza Aslan, a professor of creative writing with a background in religious studies, which seems like just about the right configuration of skills. Aslan is best known for “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam” and his appearances on “The Daily Show,” but his literary talent is as essential to the effect of “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” as are his scholarly and journalistic chops. This book, he explains in an author’s note, is the result of “two decades of rigorous academic research into the origins of Christianity.” It’s also a vivid, persuasive portrait of the world and societies in which Jesus lived and the role he most likely played in both.

. . . Aslan’s Jesus is a provincial peasant turned roving preacher and insurrectionist, a “revolutionary Jewish nationalist” calling for the expulsion of Roman occupiers and the overthrow of a wealthy and corrupt Jewish priestly caste. Furthermore, once this overthrow was achieved, Jesus probably expected to become king.
NPR interview with Reza Aslan
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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wow it's just amazing the distortions that people come up with. Where did Jesus preach against Rome?

"Aslan’s Jesus is a provincial peasant turned roving preacher and insurrectionist, a “revolutionary Jewish nationalist” calling for the expulsion of Roman occupiers and the overthrow of a wealthy and corrupt Jewish priestly caste."
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jdboy View Post
wow it's just amazing the distortions that people come up with. Where did Jesus preach against Rome?

"Aslan’s Jesus is a provincial peasant turned roving preacher and insurrectionist, a “revolutionary Jewish nationalist” calling for the expulsion of Roman occupiers and the overthrow of a wealthy and corrupt Jewish priestly caste."
I personally don't have a problem with a Galilean Jew not happy about oppression, nor the corrupt government. The socioeconomic different between Hellenist and traditional Jews, I would also see as a thorn into a Galileans side.

BUT anything beyond that is wild guessing at best.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:27 PM   #4
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I heard this show today as well. I was struck by Aslan saying that not only did the writer(s) of the "Roman census" story (which places Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, making him messiah-eligible) - that not only did the writer(s) know this story was untrue, but that their readers would have known it as well. Since the Romans never actually conducted such a census (in which they required people to return to their place of birth to be counted), the readers would have understood it to be factually incorrect.

Aslan went on to say that ancient people did not consider *any* of the stories about gods to be factual accounts, but rather stories which were designed to illustrate some important truth. It was only with the advent of the Enlightenment, and the emerging consensus that anything that is "true" can be verified scientifically, that Theists began to claim that the Bible is literal historical fact.

Great interview, worth a listen.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #5
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I heard this show today as well. I was struck by Aslan saying that not only did the writer(s) of the "Roman census" story (which places Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, making him messiah-eligible) - that not only did the writer(s) know this story was untrue, but that their readers would have known it as well. Since the Romans never actually conducted such a census (in which they required people to return to their place of birth to be counted), the readers would have understood it to be factually incorrect..
I don't know

Most listeners were from the Diaspora, far removed from the actual events.

Quote:
Aslan went on to say that ancient people did not consider *any* of the stories about gods to be factual accounts, but rather stories which were designed to illustrate some important truth. It was only with the advent of the Enlightenment, and the emerging consensus that anything that is "true" can be verified scientifically, that Theists began to claim that the Bible is literal historical fact.

Ive heard Crossan and other scholars stating this in similar context.


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Great interview, worth a listen


Thanks ill try and catch it
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:02 PM   #6
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Default facts?

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Originally Posted by Toto View Post
Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American who has a PhD in religious studies and now teaches creative writing, has written a biography of the "real" Jesus.

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (or via: amazon.co.uk)

Aslan starts from the idea that the only sure fact about Jesus is that he was crucified, and that therefore he must have been a revolutionary zealot.

There is a good review on salon: The Real Jesus

Quote:
. . . . Much of contemporary biblical scholarship involves parsing and triangulating the various accounts to surmise which bits are the oldest and most likely to represent some real event or statement by Jesus himself.

This, of course, hasn’t stopped anyone from trying to reconstruct a historical account of Jesus’ life, however speculative it must necessarily be. The latest to try is Reza Aslan, a professor of creative writing with a background in religious studies, which seems like just about the right configuration of skills. Aslan is best known for “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam” and his appearances on “The Daily Show,” but his literary talent is as essential to the effect of “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” as are his scholarly and journalistic chops. This book, he explains in an author’s note, is the result of “two decades of rigorous academic research into the origins of Christianity.” It’s also a vivid, persuasive portrait of the world and societies in which Jesus lived and the role he most likely played in both.

. . . Aslan’s Jesus is a provincial peasant turned roving preacher and insurrectionist, a “revolutionary Jewish nationalist” calling for the expulsion of Roman occupiers and the overthrow of a wealthy and corrupt Jewish priestly caste. Furthermore, once this overthrow was achieved, Jesus probably expected to become king.
NPR interview with Reza Aslan
How is the cruci-fiction of a non-existent person considered to be a fact? Creative writing, perhaps, but objective history, give me a break. Albert Schweitzer disposed of the Jesus myth about 100 years ago, and only the mythology remains.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:34 AM   #7
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Robert Spencer is likewise intrigued.:constern01:
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #8
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Robert Spencer seems to have an unhealthy obsession with Reza Aslan.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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Reza Aslan essay at the Council of Foreign Relations

And on the Daily Show:
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/we...013/reza-aslan
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:25 PM   #10
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Thanks viewed it last night

Reza follows my view for the most part
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