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Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels
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Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  105 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Almost all our information about Jesus is found in the four Gospels bearing the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John--though these were almost certainly not their real authors. Who their authors, the evangelists, were cannot now be determined; the Gospels themselves probably reached their final form between thirty-five and sixty-five years after Jesus' death. The essenti ...more
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published May 1st 1977 by Charles Scribner's Sons (NY)
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Oct 05, 2017 added it
Shelves: 2009
2009-06 - Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels. Author, Michael Grant. 264 pages. 1977.

I picked this book up for free at a local library give away last year. I finally got around to reading it. I picked it up because I was familiar with the writer’s work on the Roman Army and wanted to see what he brought to the table on this topic.

This book review has been one of the most difficult I have written. Partly because this book was very good, thought provoking, and I thought the author did a v
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A classical scholar and distinguished numismatist, Grant during his long life also wrote scores of popular books on topics related to ancient and imperial Rome, including this one in 1977, though I don’t believe it was one of his bigger sellers. Unlike the much more recent book by Reza Aslan this is not a biography of Jesus but, as the subtitle states, an historian’s take on the Christian Gospels. Still there is overlap and points of agreement, despite over three additional decades of scholarshi ...more
David Withun
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
To be completely honest, I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. I came in with no preconceptions whatsoever. I had never heard of Michael Grant at all, much less this specific book. I simply happened to come across it while looking for some new reading material in my local library and decided to give it a read.

It had amazing and insightful high points but when there were low points they were very, very low. Unfortunately for my review, this boils down and averages out to mediocre.

Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: christians and non-xians alike
Recommended to Marfita by: Michael Grant's cute knees
Shelves: religion-atheism
Grant makes Jesus' failed ministry sound much more interesting than I had ever thought possible. His failure makes his triumph after his death that much more amazing. There's nothing new in this book to anyone who has read any biblical criticism, but it is cogently argued and logically arranged. Every now and then I demanded to know his source for his assertions and have made note of them for further review, but I think Grant knows his onions here. And besides, he looked really cute in those sho ...more
Erik Graff
Nov 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to Erik by: Janny Marie Willis
Shelves: biography
While Michael Grant was certainly a competent scholar and writer, his popular works have been usually unsatisfying, probably because they repeat so much that is already familiar. This is particularly the case with his biographies of ancient persons.

Jesus is such a case. At best, it was a refresher. There was nothing new to it either in terms of evidences or in terms of interpretation. A Christian might find this book helpful, however, in that it does treat the historical Jesus much as a normal b
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed reading this book with it's emphasis on the historical aspects of the life and times of Jesus. These aspects were unfortunately ignored or rather skewed in my upbringing. I felt the book needed to provide a little more investigation and analysis of the resurrection stories. Otherwise a rigorous treatment of the subject matter.
Wes Pue
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Good grief, did this author work hard to produce this readable, intelligent book. Knowledge of ancient languages such as aramaic, greek, and hebrew, and first century culture - especially the diverse streams of Judaism- is just a starting point. It only rarely foregrounds its own 1970's origin.
Feb 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Grant does an admirable job of applying historical methods to a reading of the gospels. This is a brief but fairly convincing account of the man Jesus might have been, had we only historical tools in order to understand him.
Carl Williams

Though perhaps a bit dated in some of the research presented and interpenetration of traditional points of view, this book remains a good dock to jump from in considering the significance and work of the historical Jesus.
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very good book, but it is difficult to read for vocabulary. Moreover, I strong recommend to have knowledge about gospels. I dont recommend this book to people whose dont like to thinking about your religion or about real story of Jesus.
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Michael Grant was an English classisist, numismatist, and author of numerous popular books on ancient history. His 1956 translation of Tacitus’s Annals of Imperial Rome remains a standard of the work. He once described himself as "one of the very few freelances in the field of ancient history: a rare phenomenon". As a popularizer, his hallmarks were his prolific output and his unwillingness to ove ...more
More about Michael Grant...
“...if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned.” 0 likes
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