Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jesus” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  239 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
This man: Consider this man who, by his power, his peace, his simple presence, and his fierce purity, quietly turned the whole world upside down. None other could evoke such joy at his astonishing deeds, such anger at his strange aloofness, such fear when he began to draw the attention of powerful enemies . . . and such heartbreak when the inevitable came to ...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published January 1st 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Jesus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Jesus

The Cross of Christ by John R.W. StottSeeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John PiperThe Passion of Jesus Christ by John PiperThe Jesus I Never Knew by Philip YanceyThe Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Books About Jesus
36th out of 186 books — 96 voters
Mere Christianity by C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters by C.S. LewisThe Pilgrim's Progress by John BunyanThe Pursuit of God by A.W. TozerThe Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
Must Read Books for the Thinking Christian
179th out of 640 books — 490 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ty Melgren
Jan 02, 2016 Ty Melgren rated it liked it
Well, again, as usual but not on purpose, the first book I finished in the new year was about Jesus. I downloaded this one night when I got lonely a few days before Christmas. I loved Wangerin's novel about Paul, but here he does the same thing to Jesus that he did to Paul: makes him unlikeable. I don't need to like Paul, it's easy for me to not like Paul, and not liking him feels fun and righteous and rebellious and heretical. But I want to like Jesus. Maybe I've just made him into what I want ...more
A connoisseur of words, Walter Wangerin takes the life story of Jesus from the point of view of John, the beloved apostle, and Mary, the mother of Jesus and breathes life and character into it. From the annunciation to the death of Mary, Wangerin weaves a spellbinding novelization that will capture the attention of those who have read the biblical story numerous times as well as of those to whom it is a new story. Although the author develops some characters in such a fashion that they might not ...more
Sep 17, 2009 Gary rated it really liked it
This is an interesting novelization basically of the Gospel of John. It is fairly faithful to the Biblical account and only takes liberties to flesh out the story. It provides certain insight to the responses of the disciples, especially John and Peter and to Mary the mother of Jesus.

I would recommend it very much. It is an easy read, but does generate contemplation and meditation on aspects of the life of Christ that you might otherwise skim over without thinking.
Oct 09, 2014 Jānis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tikai pēc grāmatas pabeigšanas izlasīju, ka tas ir reliģiskais romāns, jo sākumā man likās tāds kā neliels watafaks - itkā romāns, bet visi notikumi jau lasīti un diezgan precīzi atstāstīti...

Jāsaka, ka ļoti interesanti un man patika. Tas vai ticēt tur rakstītajam vai to uztvert kā daiļliteratūru, atstāju katra paša ziņā, bet lasās raiti un ir interesanti. Sevišķi tiem, kas par nav aizrāvies baigi ar reliģijām.
Nov 01, 2013 Mesu rated it really liked it
Walter Wangerin writes like he speaks. I heard him speak at a conference in the late 90’s and thoroughly enjoyed his dramatic, poetic flare. He swept his audience into the biblical world with his rich, deep voice and lyrical prose. Breath-taking. Heart-stopping.

But 400 pages of it was a little more than I had bargained for.

I found myself tempted to skip over portions of the book because I knew that portion of the story, or I wasn’t interested in the character he was portraying at the moment. How
Jan 28, 2012 Annie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-paper, own-audio
This is a historical fiction on the life of Jesus, told primarily from the point of view of the apostle John and Jesus’ mother. The outline does not deviate from the Gospels, however, it goes beyond the familiar story. Wangerin takes the skeletal style of first century authors and gives it flesh, bringing the Gospels to life on the page with gestures, facial expressions and historical background. It delves into what scenes of life from Jesus’ home village may have inspired a certain parable; ...more
Dec 18, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
While some may wonder at the author's interpretation of the reactions and thoughts of the characters (would Mary really have thought that? Would Peter really have said it that way?), all of that is easily set aside in reading for one who really wants to read a fresh perspective. If you've read the Gospels so many times it's hard to find something new in them, then this book is a great way to remember that all those characters mentioned were real people, those miracles real, and Christ himself ...more
Dec 26, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to consider afresh the life of Jesus.
After reading this book, I praised God for Jesus Christ and thanked him for Walter Wangerin, Jr. This book is not Scripture, and should not be treated as if it were. Nevertheless, this book touched me in a way that no other novel ever has. Filled with Scripture, Jesus is a compelling novel about the Son of God. Wangerin bases this novel on the Gospels, but, of course, he takes liberties to fill in the blanks in order to tell a story. The greatest story. I am not suggesting that Wangerin gets the ...more
Steven Slaughter
Feb 03, 2015 Steven Slaughter rated it really liked it
Just finished this and enjoyed it as an alternative or companion to the Bible. Wangerin is quick to point out in all of his fictionalize biblical books that he is indeed writing fiction. This should not worry anyone who thinks he is playing fast and loose with scripture. Instead, what he brings is a picture of the cultural settings of the stories, as well as the drama of character development and dialogue, none of which veer from very plausible possibilities. The real value, to me, of these ...more
David Cole
A bit slow and cumbersome at the begining, but as you read on it grows on you especially if you are a fan of the New Testiment. This story gives life to the stroies and parables that many of us grew up hearing and shows them from a new perspective.

I truely wold recomend this book to anyone who has been strugling with the meanings of any of the stories in the New Testiment. Read it slowly and contemplativly, just as you would the bible. You will see that it begings to give you a new vision of Jes
Ray Mullen Sr.
Dec 20, 2014 Ray Mullen Sr. rated it it was ok
Rarely do I rate a book this low but unfortunately this was a tough read for me. Walter Wangerin Jr. is a highly rated and accomplished author but he took extreme liberties in this work. If you are a Christian and know the 'Real'
Jesus, the book might be somewhat interesting just from the standpoint of a novel in general. After having said that, I feel than a person seeking Jesus could easily be led down the wrong path. The book is using the Bible's Book of John as its' reference point but distor
Derek Emerson
Disclaimer: I did not finish the book.

Why? It is not a bad book, but it is not a very interesting book. Of course, it is tough to write a book where we not only know the ending, but everything leading up to it. What I enjoyed was learning about the culture and community of the time. What I did not like was the stereotypical portrayal of Simon Peter as a buffoon. Mary was coming off as a stereotypical Jewish mother. I could handled all that, but it just not keeping me engaged, so half way through
Mar 28, 2013 Annette rated it it was amazing
This book had a very slow start. I know the gospels well and I was tempted not to finish. I am so glad I did. The readers understanding of Jesus builds as the story and builds and more relationships unfold.
There are still many aspects of this great story that will remain mysterious and that's the wonder of it. However, this author did a wonderful job in creating a setting full of human emotion which builds a greater understand of this story's context. I especially love the character Mary and th
Mar 28, 2009 Tucker rated it liked it
I'm listening to the audio, read by the author, and I can't imagine reading it myself now. He loves his characters, and feels like a verbal story teller before a writer. His fictionalization captures an earthy, mid-eastern, agrarian feel that is surprising. Jesus is dusty and exotic and unpredictable here. As a downside, Wangerin feels overly reliant on the structure of the Gospels, like a drawn out overview of them, rather than a whole story of it's own. Jesus still feels too far away to touch.
Julie (Smiling Shelves)
It is a monumental task to write a novel about Jesus' life. It's certainly not a task I would take on, so props to Wangerin for giving it a try. But couldn't he make his Jesus more lovable? Less intense and angry? And seriously, would Jesus really say "shut up"? I'm sure the historical research is accurate, and he clearly took a lot of the dialogue straight from the Bible. But it was missing the sort of loving, compassionate, emotional connection that one would expect from a book about Jesus.
Apr 30, 2014 ~mad added it
Shelves: booksiveread
Very good read! I recommend.

One would think a "novel" about Jesus Christ would be odd to read - as novel connotes fiction.
But this book is full of stories of Christ's life from his birth, time as a young man, through to the events leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection.
Much of the disciples, Mary, mother of Jesus, Maryam ., etc.
Heather Pulley
Feb 29, 2012 Heather Pulley rated it it was ok
I'll be honest, I couldn't actually finish this book. I did not like the "voice" taht Wangerin gave to Mary. She was like the stereotypical east coast Jewish mom and I could hardly read her parts. So annoying. The parts in John's voice were OK, but somehow things didn't gel in this book for me.
David Ryan
Aug 10, 2014 David Ryan rated it really liked it
Would recommend this book, and in fact did in my sermon this morning. made me laugh and cry - which is always a good sign for me of liking a book! Enjoyed the perspectives from the novel into imagining the circumstances that might have been behind some well known passages of scripture about the life of Jesus.
Mar 02, 2011 Tom rated it liked it
I feel a little guilty giving Jesus only 3 stars. I guess it has a lot to do with being exposed to the life of Jesus most of my life. I did like the "novel" presentation of Jesus life as seen through the eyes of his parents, relatives, friends and enemies. For a non believer it might be a better read than the Bible.
May 27, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
Understandably in a similar style to Wangerin's "The Book of God." If you pay attention you can learn a lot about the ancient culture in which Jesus was raised, not to mention enjoying (speculative) details about Jesus's relationships with key friends like John, Peter, and Mary from Magdala.
Jan 25, 2010 Alex rated it liked it
Shelves: religion, fiction
The book was a faithful re-telling of the life of Jesus. It seemed a a bit slow at times, and I didn't really see the point of telling the story from the perspectives of Mary and "The Beloved". It just seemed a bit unnecessary.
Ann Hein
Jul 28, 2013 Ann Hein rated it it was amazing
Having read this book, I'm finding it easier to read the New Testament. I can picture Jesus and his disciples through Jesus' years of ministry and death. It makes the disciples and women followers come alive.
May 31, 2016 Ruth rated it liked it
So I was very, very fortunate to have Walt Wangerin as a professor in college, and his sermons in the college chapel were always fascinating and riveting, but I had a hard time getting into this book. I intend to try it again, but I find myself enjoying Prof. Wangerin's short stories better.
Liz Zeller
Apr 01, 2013 Liz Zeller rated it really liked it
It was a bit slow at first but I did enjoy this book. Liked the speculation of what certain people were thinking at certain times - but also keeping in mind these parts are a work of fiction.
This was more like a novel than "The Book of God" and was really the re-telling of the Gospel of John. Which is awesome! I really liked this book, and I really like this author.
Apr 20, 2010 Chuck rated it it was amazing
A fictionalized version of the Gospels, however, the fiction lies only in
descriptions, language, dialog, etc. This is a very good book.
Jan 13, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
It was an interesting story about a biography. It was very Catholic in its content, though.
Mar 04, 2016 Inga rated it liked it
Bībeles stāsts, taču ar papildinājumiem no rakstnieka iztēles. Pārsteidza, ka Jēzus māte tika attēlota kā tik nepatīkama sieviete.
Vicky rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2015
David rated it liked it
Oct 19, 2010
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Day I Was Crucified
  • John's Story: The Last Eyewitness (The Jesus Chronicles, #1)
  • Four Portraits, One Jesus: A Survey of Jesus and the Gospels
  • The Murder of Jesus
  • Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture
  • Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter To Our Faith
  • When God Doesn't Answer Your Prayer
  • The Historical Jesus: Five Views
  • Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life
  • Rebel's Keep (Crown and Covenant, #3)
  • The Book of Revelation
  • Abigail's Story (Women of the Bible)
  • The Hadassah Covenant
  • The God Catchers: Experiencing the Manifest Presence of God
  • The Expository Genius of John Calvin
  • Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were
  • Ruth, Mother of Kings
  • The Forgotten Spurgeon
Walter Wangerin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the most gifted writers writing today on the issues of faith and spirituality. Starting with the renowned Book of the Dun Cow, Wangerin's writing career has encompassed most every genre: fiction, essay, short story, children's story, meditation, and biblical exposition. His writing voice is immediately recognizable, and his fans number in the ...more
More about Walter Wangerin Jr....

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »