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

Killing Jesus: A History

(Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  32,021 ratings  ·  3,247 reviews
Millions of readers have thrilled to bestselling authors Bill O'Reilly and historian Martin Dugard's Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln, page-turning works of nonfiction that have changed the way we read history.

Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Nearly two thousand y
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co.
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 Killing Jesus, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sidney Fitzpatrick I am almost finished with Killing Jesus and I have to say I have never read anything written by Bill O'Reilly before. I am very impressed so far. He i…moreI am almost finished with Killing Jesus and I have to say I have never read anything written by Bill O'Reilly before. I am very impressed so far. He is making this story of great historical and religious events very much human. It is easy to get pulled into the scenes. Sometimes, I almost feel like it is happening right in front of me.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  32,021 ratings  ·  3,247 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Killing Jesus: A History
Tom Patterson
Oct 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Can't wait to read his next historical fact-based book, Killing Santa. ...more
Jim Razinha
This is a very fast read...if you don't stop to check on the countless elements the authors present as "facts". I got tired researching during the first third, and as it was still a familiar story, I stopped trying for the rest of the book. They get two stars for writing an engaging, imaginative work of supposition, peppered with some actually historical information. They would get one star for sloppy off-handed non-scholarship, but I gave them the extra one for the effort. Disclaimer: I conside ...more
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When I borrowed this book from the library, the guy who checked me out looked like he thought I was weird for getting out a book with such an "interesting" title. It also didn't help much that you don't see a lot of 17-year-olds checking out a book about Jesus written by that Fox News guy whose name may leave a sour taste in some people's mouths.

But don't let the title fool you. This book really is historical. And it's not only about Jesus. It's about political and religious leaders, both Jewis
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Bill O'Reilly's KILLING JESUS begins with the heading: Bethlehem, Judea.....March, 5 B.C......Morning. "THE CHILD WITH THIRTY-SIX YEARS LEFT TO LIVE IS BEING HUNTED."

This is a violent story set both in Judea and Rome where a condemned man could be killed in a variety of horrific manners including "hanging, burning alive, beheading, being placed inside a bag filled with scorpions, then drowned.....or crucifixion." It follows the life of Jesus as a carpenter to when he first began spreadi

Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine going to a baseball game and only being able to see the pitcher and catcher. You'd see them playing catch, throwing hard, discussing strategy, flashing signs, nodding, etc. Much would be confusing, though. Then, imagine you suddenly were able to see the rest of the field, the other players and the opposing team. Everything about what the pitcher and catcher do would make more sense.

To me, that's what this book does. Nothing in here about Jesus' life was new. However, all the historical
Cassandra Cantrell
Political commentators and roman historians should leave biblical scholarship to the biblical scholars. The biggest affront is the Mary Magdalene as prostitute which has been recanted and well known not to be true! Also, nothing new was presented! anyone with even just a bit of biblical education would already know the information presented in this so-called "scholarly" work! ...more
Cam James
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
About twenty pages in, I started treating this book as historical fiction, rather than a serious attempt to delve into the history of Jesus of Nazareth. I think it may very well prove to be popular, but it is very unfortunate timing to be released so close to Reza Aslan's Zealot, a far superior book in terms of research. Even choosing to interpret the book as a novel doesn't stop the many "oh my god, are you serious?" moments. I'm no historian, but it would seem that the Old Testament has been t ...more
Jason Golomb
Just so I'm laying my cards on the table: I'm Jewish. I'm not deeply religious, but I was certainly brought up to believe that I was of the "chosen people", and all Christians, no matter the "flavor" were "them", while I was an "us".

And then I married one of "them". And all three of my kids are raised to be "them"...Catholic no less. I'm still Jewish, but I've reconciled the them and us. I even loved visiting The Vatican...TWICE!

I received this book as a Christmas gift this year. The problem wit
Wow! a history of the day that Jesus was murdered! That, I was very interested in, especially since, in my opinion it was the day that changed the entire trajectory of civilization. Since B&N allows prospective buyers to read a sample of the ebooks they're selling, I was reassured, not only by the title, but by Bill O'Reilly's vowing that this was a history, not just a retelling of the Gospels, which I have read. I have also been reading modern translations of the Jewish Bible. These translation ...more
C.D. Coffelt
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Initially, I didn’t intend to buy this book. I read and enjoyed the other books by this duo, Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy, but the title of this one made me squirm. Still, I was intrigued after reading the first chapter.

Killing Jesus is historical. Not a religious book. It gives context and sensory texture to the background to the life of Christ, pulling eyewitness accounts from the Bible but also from sources of the day. Historian Josephus and Roman accounts of the times painted a rich s
Rick Boyer
Forget, for a moment, that Bill O'Reilly was one of the co-authors of this book. In order to fairly consider the plusses and minuses of Killing Jesus, one must first set aside any strong feelings (positive or negative) that one might have about the Fox News pundit. Only then can we begin to assess the various strengths and weaknesses of the book.

That said, I still give Killing Jesus three stars. Certainly, there are some problems with the book. But there is enough that is good about it to warran
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an account of the known (and unknown) facts concerning the way the historical Jesus lived, died and influenced the world. Miracles are mentioned as rumors, accounts of eyewitnesses or not mentioned at all. Great pains are taken to remove any hint of religious fervor in the narration and the result is a very readable account of the life and death of the world's most famous human being.

Virtually all modern historians agree that Jesus existed. The question is "how acurate are the depictions
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Wayne by: Goodreads
This book is number one in the world for a reason. It is a historical account of the most famous man to ever walk this earth. It is a history book, not a religious book. The Romans kept meticulous data on their everyday events and provided a great source of information. So did The Greek scholars. I was brought to tears reading in vivid detail the account of Jesus's crucifixion. Since I am a Christian I know Jesus did this because God commanded it. There is no way we can earn our way to eternal l ...more
Patrick Hamblin
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history
While it is a very easy read, and for the most part historically accurate, there are other books I would recommend on the life and death of Jesus Christ. My main issues with the book were its lack of acknowledgement of God being supernaturally being involved, the authors’ preoccupation with the sexual proclivities of the Roman rulers (that have nothing to do with the focus of the book), and never getting to the point of Jesus’ death, much less the core of His message during His ministry as well ...more
Ruth Hill
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reads

As my mom and I continued to listen to the unending debate, we finally decided to give it a try. And so I went into the book with a complete open mind. I figured that even if the book was completely blasphemous, I could handle it. I am a Bible college graduate after all, and I have faced theological liberals in the past, so this would be nothing new.

I have to tell you that from the beginning, I was so immersed in the book that it was hard for me to put it down. I learned more history in this boo
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Killing Jesus" is very well researched and its story-like format makes for a good read. Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard did well grounding the text in a brief history of the Roman Empire, stretching back to Julius' Caesar's return to Rome and ultimate execution. Also very well done were the histories of Herod the Great, his sons and the interplay with the Chief Priests and Caiaphas in particular. In addition to my study of scripture over the years, I've read several works of history of this per ...more
Tamra LeValley
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Historical, eye-opening and heart-wrenching!

This historical non-fiction was so amazing and taught me so much more than I thought I knew that I will have to read it again just so I am sure that I did not miss anything the first time. The authors put what Jesus went through in a historical setting with no religion mentioning. I am a Christian and was not offending in the least by this writing. It put what the bible states into a more realistic view instead of a story view.

This book was written as
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Killing Jesus is a historical retelling of the Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. It also details the upheaval and unrest in the Roman Empire during his time. Some of the source materials the authors' used may be questionable for their historical accuracy but it is a well-written book that accomplished its goal of telling this ever fascinating story.

Happy Easter to all my Goodreads friends!

Shawn Kass
Sep 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction or just plan fiction, just like most of Bill O'Reilly's spots on TV. He says what he wants without a care for truthfulness. ...more
Caroline Mathews
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't watch Bill O'Reilly on Fox anymore. You know how he is. Yet, when I listened to him talking about writing his three books Killing Jesus, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Lincoln on 60 Minutes, I was intrigued. After all, I read and enjoyed Zealot by Reza Aslan this summer. I gave it four stars.

This is not a comparison between the two books. The bibliographies are, by necessity, the same. Just so much information on the subject of Jesus and the times in which he lived is available. No more.
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well... having read some of the reviews of others, it appears that I am in the minority of readers who really liked Bill O'Reilly's non-religious book about the life and death of Jesus, the Christ. I think the book is just what it claims to be: a presentation of whatever facts are known or can be gleaned about the political leaders of the time, the circumstances of the Jewish people, and the events that lead up to the fervor for the death of Jesus. The book is written in O'Reilly's familiar sty ...more
Josh Wilson
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book to read around Easter. There are no extra details to wade through; everything is tight and meaningful. It seems to be a faithful account of the crucifixion, with background details added that would have been familiar to the original writers.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this commentary on the life and legacy of Jesus of Nazareth, framed as political history, rather than religious, fascinating.
As an alumnus of a couple of church-affiliated schools, I consider myself reasonably well-versed in the story told through the four Gospels, in particular the sequence of events leading up to the crucifixion. I also have a personal interest in ancient civilizations, so the subject matter was right up my street.
In his signature bombastic style (I listened to the aud
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it do I review this book?! First off I would give it like a 3.5 star rating. I read it slower because I knew that eventually I would get to the crucifixion scene and in all honesty I tried to avoid it. I know that's silly! It's inevitable...obviously! It's kind of like the Titanic or Romeo and Juliet where I know what's coming but I'm going to ignore it until it actually happens! It's always been something that is completely creepy, horrifying and sickening to me. And I knew that O'Rei ...more
Christian D.  Orr
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs, persons of faith, Bill O'Reilly fans
Bill O'Reilly presents a detailed, fact-filled (in terms of possible political, geographical, and cultural information, as well as the brutal physiological and medical effects of scourging and crucifixion), and eminently readable account of the life and times--and death--of Jesus.


--p. 93: Say WHAT?? Simon (Peter) was a married man?!?! So why have I been taught all along that all of the 12 Disciples were celibate bachelors?? And whatever becam
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bill O'Reilly's Killing Jesus provides much history about the times before and during the life of Jesus. While I was familiar with much of the story as told through the Bible, I had not connected the world history that is covered in O'Reilly's text. I appreciate this connection and was amazed by the sordid details of the rulers of the times. The Postscript also details the lives of the disciples following Jesus' crucifiction. Jesus changed their lives as he continues to change the lives of follo ...more
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fast-paced, historical murder plot - no religion here. If you change the names of the people in this book to get away from the religious connotations the name "Jesus" evokes, you still end up with a strong page-turner steeped in history. That, to me, is the first sign it is well-written.

At the core, this is a conspiracy story. Everyone knows the essentials, but this book does a solid job of covering the major players and the events surrounding the murder of Jesus, the man. Another couple of as
Dec 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
This was a very disappointing book. 0'Reilly has made a big point to say that this is not a theological book; it is history. Yet there is a lot of theology in it. From the discussion of Jesus' siblings to the Roman Catholic view about the assumption of Mary, it's really filled with a lot of Roman Catholic doctrine. And the history really isn't that accurate. From the first page to nearly the last, the authors have made clear that Jesus was 36 when he died. Not true. He was 33. The Bible never sa ...more
Michael Flanagan
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This book was my first foray into the history of the bible and it read like a novel. The authors have delivered history that is accessible to everyone. They paint a picture of what it was like to live in the time of Jesus. Why the author's go to great length to separate myth from fact I found that not much time was spent on the main man himself.

This is what let the book down in my opinion. It would have been a much fuller and richer read if more time was spent on Jesus. That is something I never
Donna Craig
May 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My husband loves Bill O’Reilly’s Killing series, so I read this book for the Popsugar prompt, “a book your best friend would love.” Now I understand Jerry’s love of the books. The history is written in a story style, with dramatic repetitions pulling the reader along at the right pace. Like him or not, Mr. O’Reilly’s techniques really worked for me.

The blending of Biblical and secular history lent a sense of depth and added understanding to the events of Jesus’ life. I’ve read various other acc
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly - Reviewed
  • Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Real West
  • Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots
  • Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War
  • The Case for Easter: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for the Resurrection
  • Decision Points
  • Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History
  • Killing Jesus: The Hidden Drama Behind the World's Most Famous Execution
  • Killing Hitler
  • Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History
  • Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny
  • Faucian Bargain: The Most Powerful and Dangerous Bureaucrat in American History
  • Killing the Rising Sun Bill Oreilly | Bloody Tropical-Island Battlefields Of Peleliu And Iwo Jima | How America Vanquished World War II Japan
  • Don't Lie to Me: And Stop Trying to Steal Our Freedom
  • Three Days in January
  • The Obama Diaries
  • Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Bill O'Reilly's success in broadcasting and publishing is unmatched. The iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor led the program to the status of the highest rated cable news broadcast in the nation for sixteen consecutive years. His website is followed by millions all over the world.

In addition, he has authored an astonishing 12 number one ranked non-fiction books including the hist

Other books in the series

Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series (10 books)
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever (The Killing of Historical Figures)
  • Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot (The Killing of Historical Figures)
  • Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General
  • Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency (Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series)
  • Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan
  • Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence
  • Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History
  • Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars in America
  • Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America

Related Articles

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
118 likes · 20 comments
“In” 1 likes
“truly believe this child to be the new king. A furious Herod summons his religious advisers. As a secular” 1 likes
More quotes…