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Jesus: A Life

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  248 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
What are the facts about the life of Jesus, as opposed to the myths, or
unprovable tenets of faith surrounding the miracles, death, and
resurrection? How and when did Christianity become a separate religion
from the Judaism into which Jesus was born? To what extent was his power
over contemporaries political rather than religious? A. N. Wilson's
answers to these questions will
...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 17th 1992 by W.W. Norton & Company (first published January 1992)
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Terry Bonner
Jul 17, 2012 Terry Bonner rated it it was amazing
I will admit that I'm a reader. Like any reader, I have been enthralled, sometimes even enraptured, by the words I've encountered in scores of good books. There have been very few, however, which changed my life. A.N. Wilson's profound biography, JESUS: A LIFE , is a book which changed my life.



Wilson spent his youth studying to be an Anglican priest. Somewhere along the line he lost his faith, only to later rediscover it. In the process of that journey, he swallowed, digested and spewed forth so
...more
Pete daPixie
Apr 10, 2009 Pete daPixie rated it liked it
Shelves: historical-jesus
A.N. Wilson is a clever writer, but he isn't a biblical scholar, and his picture of the historical Jesus is not quite up to the mark, mathew, luke and john.
I get the impression that the author is a lapsed church attendee of the Jesus of faith, who needs to get closer to his target by viewing his historical first century Judaic setting.
Stacy Croushorn
Mar 23, 2016 Stacy Croushorn rated it really liked it
Really is a good book. Doesn't dispute the divinity of Christ, but tried to figure out what might he had actually said and done without the theological embellishment.
Johanne
Jul 09, 2015 Johanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very scholarly read, full of sound historical detail and speculation. Despite that it was most readable. The historical evidence for an historical Jesus was fascinating and I was amazed how much of the Gospels can be 'proved' historically and archaeologically. In the end what you 'believe' about Jesus may hang on faith but it was very interesting to read about the social and political situation at the time the New Testament events happened.
Nicolas Shump
Jun 01, 2012 Nicolas Shump rated it liked it
Wilson is a good and well-respected biographer who has written other biographies of writers who have religious themes in their writings, namely C.S. Lewis and Leo Tolstoy. Jesus: A Life is a balanced look at the life of Jesus, especially for someone who is no longer a believing Christian. However, his main argument that Jesus is basically too Jewish to have been the Messiah is not particular original.
Wilson relies quite heavily on the work of the Jewish scholar, Geza Vermes.
Still Wilson is adm
...more
Nicolas Shump
Wilson is a good and well-respected biographer who has written other biographies of writers who have religious themes in their writings, namely C.S. Lewis and Leo Tolstoy.
This is a balanced look at the life of Jesus, especially for someone who is no longer a believing Christian. However, his main argument that Jesus is basically too Jewish to have been the Messiah is not particular original.
Wilson relies quite heavily on the work of the Jewish scholar, Geza Vermes.
Still Wilson is admirably sens
...more
Denise Ferrary-Olson
Feb 04, 2015 Denise Ferrary-Olson rated it it was amazing
I read this, purely for pleasure, when I was getting my history degree.
A.N. Wilson treads the line between his own atheism and the due diligence an historian must have extremely well. I really love this book. It doesn't really surprise me that he found his own form of faith a few years ago. There's a certain underlying empathy for Christ as a person and the beauty of his teachings that always shines through.
Jonathan Hockey
Jan 12, 2015 Jonathan Hockey rated it really liked it
Some different insights into the Jesus story from a non philosophical and non theological perspective. He focuses on the impact the writers of the gospels were trying to make on their readers, and how allowing for their intentions here we can try to make some speculations about the historical figure himself of Jesus underlying all these narrative myths.
Jeremy John
May 10, 2009 Jeremy John rated it it was amazing
The gospels were written through the lenses of those who wished to dissociate a Jewish sect from Judaism so that it would be more palatable to the occupying Romans.

So what we know of Jesus is colored by that reality. However, so much of the gospels' content cannot fit into this neat box that it is impossible to categorize it as one thing or another.

The gospels are, in fact, a completely other type of literature, separate from any historical or fictional narrative.

Anyways, as I attempt to frame t
...more
Shannon Rosser
Feb 16, 2014 Shannon Rosser rated it it was amazing
Very interesting, easy read, really helped my understanding of Jesus.
Shawn Thrasher
I'm much too

Stupid
Dense
Dull
Dumb as an ox
Unintelligent
Thick headed
Thick as two short planks
Dim

For this book.

Much.
Elizabeth
Jul 20, 2010 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Comments before reading: I really feel that I need to get back to my faith and I think that this book will help me understand a little bit better. I have no idea if this is based on anything real or not but I hope it's at least educating and will help me get back to my faith that I have been in search of.

Comments while reading: I am only on the preface and already I don't think this book is what I expected it to be. I think it is to debunk the bible. Not sure if I'll finish it or not.
Eric Logan
Mar 31, 2010 Eric Logan rated it really liked it
A.N. Wilson's attempt at a historical biography of the life of Jesus is well written and interesting. The roots of some esoteric belief systems like gnosticism are well explained here. Recommended reading for students of scripture who are well versed in the history of various canons. Not recommend for those seeking affirmation of mainstream belief. Contains lots of controversial subject matter on the life and formation of the Christian church and its schisms.
Ed
Jun 22, 2008 Ed rated it liked it
A look at the historic evidence, with some speculative interpretation thrown in, makes for a gripping biographical study. I read this back when it was "new," so specifics may elude me at present, but I strongly recall the enjoyment of reading this book and appreciating the author's writing and methodology.
Maggie
Mar 01, 2011 Maggie rated it really liked it
Fascinating, easy to reasd info (not like a textbook). Only thing to keep in mind is that the author presents an atheist view in which any magic or miracles must be explained away. Regardless, provides a wonderful and thought provoking perspective into the times.
Keith
Apr 30, 2008 Keith rated it really liked it
I loved this book; included fun stories from other Christian traditions about Jesus as a boy - he was apparently a bully, turning his playmates into goats if they pissed him off. Made Mary a very unpopular neighborhood mom.
Tommy
Jan 07, 2010 Tommy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to consider the plausibility of the gospels and the real life of the historical Jesus. Regardless of your personal beliefs they are amazing works with a noble message of how to live and treat others.
R
A. N. Wilson is a very good writer who is more of a popularizer of scholarship than a dry scholar himself. An interesting read on the Historical Jesus, and an accessible introduction to the origins of Christianity.
Christina Darell-brown
Intereting that he wrote this after he had lost his faith and subsequently became a Christian again.
Laura
May 29, 2009 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jesus : A Life by A.N. Wilson (1993)
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Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views. He is an occasional columnist for the Daily Mail and former columnist for the London Evening Standard, and has been an occasional contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, The Spectator and The Observer.
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