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Jesus: A Pilgrimage

4.53  ·  Rating Details ·  1,608 Ratings  ·  255 Reviews
James Martin, SJ, gifted storyteller, editor at large of America magazine, popular media commentator, and New York Times bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, brings the Gospels to life in Jesus: A Pilgrimage, and invites believers and seekers alike to experience Jesus through Scripture, prayer and travel.

Combining the fascinating insights of histo
Hardcover, 524 pages
Published March 14th 2014 by HarperOne (first published March 11th 2014)
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Tiffany Reisz
Dec 27, 2014 Tiffany Reisz rated it it was amazing
I read this book as my "Advent Calendar." It has 25 chapters and I read one chapter a day until and on Christmas. It made Christmas much more meaningful to read about my favorite (non-fictional) Jesuit priest visiting the Holy Land and meditating on the works and life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Father Martin has a wonderful voice in his books. You never feel like you're being preached too. He's a wonderful guide along the path. Highly recommended for all Christians, not just Catholics.

Merry Christma
Julie Davis
Good Story #83. Scott watches in horror as Julie says, "um... excuse me, Lord, but he's been in there for three days, I don't think you want to go in there."

My full review is below.

I am a fan of Father James Martin's books, especially A Jesuit Off-Broadway. When Scott chose this book for our next religious book discussion at A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast, I was excited, having been interested since I first saw it mentioned at Amazon.

This is a much thicker and more substantive boo
Mar 17, 2014 Stuart rated it it was amazing
Jesus: A Pilgrimage begins with an introduction that clearly lays out what the book is and more importantly, what the book is not. I point this out because, I generally go in with preconceived notions of what I expect or want from a book. Fr. Martin is quick to point out that this book is not a theological discussion on who Jesus is, nor is it a Bible commentary. This book, however, is a look at Jesus, as we see Him in the Gospels, through the viewpoint of Fr. Martin's education, experience, and ...more
Webster Bull
May 27, 2014 Webster Bull rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, faith
The most inspiring book this year is also one of the more amusing. Jesuits Jim and George on pilgrimage sometimes sound like "Abbott and Costello in the Holy Land."

Martin brilliantly blends Scriptural analysis, his own experience of Ignatian imaginative prayer, and an account of his trip to Israel with a brother Jesuit. This remarkably big, rich book is a tremendous summary of the Gospels and the life story of Jesus.

Martin admits "hubris" in thinking that he could cover every parable, every st
Jun 17, 2014 Edward rated it really liked it
Even since Mark Twain first raised the issue in INNOCENTS ABROAD a century and a half ago, there has been a concern among Americans traveling abroad about distinguishing between what is genuine and what are fake concoctions put together by hucksters. It's a pleasure to read this account of a two week visit to the Holy Land by an American Jesuit who is well-able to tell the difference.

His motives for visiting Palestine are religious ones. He writes, "It is to take a look at Jesus as he appears in
Feb 26, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't believe it's been a whole month since I started this book, but it's easy to pick up again without losing the thread as he has specific points to make at each site. I learned a bit about biblical history - for one thing, I thought Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem; author says it was a colt. Being locked in Jesus's tomb overnight sounds like anything but a contemplative experience to me (author did not try it himself).

I was interested in the travel narrative aspect, which is secondary (as
Harry Allagree
Dec 19, 2014 Harry Allagree rated it liked it
I'd describe this book on Jesus as "travelogue with commentary": very much in keeping with the title. For me it didn't explore particularly new territory, for the most part. (I've read a good number of books on Jesus in my 50 years as a priest!) But it did provide several things: 1) a good comprehensive, usable guide to the life of Jesus, using what I would consider pretty much the best of the theological writing available on the subject, & in a way that can be understood by the "ordinary" r ...more
May 04, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2014-list
I *was* just going to read the book one chapter at a time, but I found that it was just too good a book to put down.

Which makes my earlier hesitation to even crack it open all the more hilarious, doesn't it?

This book is one that (a) I know I'll be buying for my favorite bibliophiles, (b) I know I'll be raving about for at least the next 500 days or so, and (c) I know I'll be rereading. Maybe yet this summer.

Look up "awesome" in your thesaurus and go ahead and just apply all the synonyms here. Th
Apr 13, 2014 David rated it really liked it
An excellently written book of wry humor and experiences in the Holy Land, by a grounded author who isn't bogged down by verbal plenary inspiration, is well versed in Greek in order to shed light on commonly held misconceptions, and offers a variety of novel ways to look at parables that are often held to he "well understood" (particularly the parable of the talents). His experience in the holy land, and the surprising cooperation of people of various faiths and creeds was truly fascinating, and ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this book. Martin brings the gospels to life through his travels in the Holy Land. I feel I can better picture Jesus and his world, and better appreciate how miraculous and revolutionary his life and works were. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Mar 28, 2017 Donna rated it it was amazing
This is a most wonderful book -- part theology, part travelogue, part personal reflection.

Fr. Martin tells of his first trip to the Holy Land and reflects on Gospel passages relevant to the sites he visits. Fr. Martin is one of the most down-to-earth religious writers I've ever read; he doesn't hesitate to describe his own thoughts, confusions, or mistakes. He brings you to sites of the recorded miracles, describes his own emotions while there, and explains the Gospel story that took place at (
Mar 21, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
It’s refreshing to read the Gospel narratives through a different perspective. It’s also highly encouraging to read a serious Bible scholar who does not believe in the literal inerrancy of the Bible and yet shares an authentic faith in Jesus Christ. Martin is the perfect guide to walk us through the life of Jesus. Quite literally he takes us to the places where Jesus walked and performed his miracles, in travel-memoir form. But he also provides exposition and sometimes alternative interpretation ...more
Mar 25, 2014 Grace rated it it was amazing
Father James Martin demonstrates once again why he's my favorite Catholic spiritual author. In Jesus: A Pilgrimage, he weaves together a travel narrative of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in-depth (but not overly scholarly) Bible study, and personal meditations on the person of Jesus Christ. He looks not only at the divinity of the Son of God but also the humanity of Jesus the carpenter from Nazareth, and he does so in an inviting, accessible way that anyone, even non-Christians, can enjoy. Wh ...more
Jan 23, 2015 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many people have written books about Jesus, and about the Holy Land.
This book, written by a Jesuit Priest, while on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, as he sought out locations of the Churches, Shrines, and land marks where Jesus, lived, performed miracles, died, was buried, resurrected, and Ascended into Heaven.

By writing it in this manner. Father Martin is able to convey the story of Jesus as written in the Gospel as sort of a travelogue for the reader.

If you are tired of reading Theological book
May 07, 2016 Aneta rated it it was amazing
I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I have ! What a lovely book! Interesting, moving and not at all phony. Would recommend to anyone interested in Jesus regardless of religious beliefs.
Dec 28, 2014 Alexis rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful read for me, and a very nice accompaniment to the season of Advent. I have had it on my shelves in hardcover since it's release and have often been jealous watching other friends and colleagues carrying it around while they read it, but I was not able to pick it up, until other required readings were complete. (That may seem a bizarre statement to some, but when teaching, studying, working, having children - who I always try to accompany on their assigned readings for school ...more
Arielle Elise
Mar 16, 2017 Arielle Elise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing short of beautiful--Fr James Martin shares some very personal stories from the Holy Land, yet these stories resonated with me very much. His writings are very imaginative and insightful, and now, I'd like nothing more than a trip to Jerusalem myself.
Jan 08, 2016 Pedro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Jesus: Um Encontro Passo a Passo” resulta da peregrinação que o autor fez à Terra Santa. Ao itinerário junta-se uma aturada pesquisa sobre o Cristo histórico, a natural leitura do Novo Testamento sobre o Cristo divino e a meditação sobre o mesmo (técnica utilizada pelos Jesuítas e incentivada por Santo Inácio de Loyola, fundador da Companhia de Jesus).
Geograficamente, James Martin leva-nos através dos locais onde Jesus nasceu, exerceu o seu ministério, foi crucificado, morreu e ressuscitou. Atr
Robert D. Cornwall
Who is Jesus? There are many who offer answers from Marcus Borg to Reza Aslan, Bart Ehrman to Bill O'Reilly. One could even turn to Dan Brown -- though I wouldn't. In the course of my studies and my ministry, I've read quite a few books about Jesus. Some I've enjoyed, others not so much. This I can say -- I thoroughly enjoyed Jesus: A Pilgrimage!

James Martin is a Jesuit priest, author, journalist, commentator on matters of church and culture. He even holds his own on Colbert! In this book Marti
Apr 11, 2014 mahatma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
mengapa saya membeli ebook ini?
tidak lain karena kecanduan.
kecanduan tulisan-tulisan james martin yang lucu dan ringan.
sebagai seorang imam jesuit, james martin adalah penulis yang saya butuhkan: membahasakan iman kristiani yang sudah punya sejarah panjang itu ke dalam bahasa masa kini yang ringan dan menarik.
seperti diketahui, iman kristen sudah menempuh perjalanan panjang. tidak lagi terkurung dalam batasan etnik yahudi abad pertama. ia dulu yang sangat berwarna eropa dan kini sangat berwarna
Dec 09, 2016 Joy rated it it was amazing
Confession, this book has stayed with me for months after finishing it. I know this because I’m writing the review months after finishing it. I read this book, loved this book, and got so busy I never reviewed this book. But I will now. Because it’s fabulous.

Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin is part travelogue and part spiritual journey. Father Martin is part of the Catholic church, and his trip to Israel wasn’t planned as a checklist travel trip. But instead, he longed to physically connect
Maggie Boyd
Nov 11, 2015 Maggie Boyd rated it it was amazing
While I had some quibbles with this book I found it overall thought provoking, interesting and a genuinely good read.

Father Martin uses his trip to Israel as a launch point for a journey through the gospels. Blending humor with insight this book invites you to find out about Jesus for yourself and reach your own conclusions about who the man from Nazareth really was. Perhaps the greatest insight I received in my reading was the human nature of the gospels, to see the writers behind the stories a
Tamara Dahling
May 04, 2016 Tamara Dahling rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book when a friend of mine went on a pilgrimage to Israel with Fr. Martin. I wasn't sure what expect, but I did enjoy the book, which is an intriguing mix of theology, history, travel, and memoir. Martin is quite honest that many of the sites he visited may not be authentic, but he explains the historical significance of what is there and often finds meaning in it nonetheless.
Martin writes in a very conversational way and the book is easy to delve into, even for non-Catho
Jun 23, 2015 Cappy rated it it was ok
Shelves: theology
I'm a big fan of Fr. Martin's style and work, but this book suffers, I think, from trying to do too much. Historical information, text criticism, pilgrimage memoir, prayerful reflection. Things get lost.

In fairness, I must admit that Fr. Martin's skirting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict bothered me greatly. Much of this is because of my own time volunteering in Palestine and my own sensitivity to the plight of the Palestinians. Beyond that, Fr. Martin's celebration of Jesus' commitment to justi
Nov 12, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Whew, this took entirely too long to read but it was worth it. I *intended* to read it daily for Advent but I clearly didn't get that done. Anyway! I've finished it!

I've long been a fan of Father James Martin, ever since he was the official chaplain of the Colbert Report. I grew up in the church (not the Church, but the protestant one) and am very familiar with these stories, almost to the point where they've lost some meaning to me. So it was refreshing to hear them again and study them in deta
Jul 31, 2015 Rowena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One chapter in on the ebook, I switched to the audio version, for someone who avoids audio books like the plague this is just one of those perfect books that benefit from and make the experience better by listening instead of reading.

The author narrates his pilgrimage to the holy land and interspersed are various other accounts of his faith and experiences. Would be a great reflective guide for someone to follow while on a trip to the Holy Land.
Mar 28, 2014 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
Published just in time for Lent, I enjoyed all 18 hours of this book on Audible read by the author. It is not a stuffy theological tome but a genuine, down-to-earth, and often humorous retelling of the gospel story. It also brought back a lot of wonderful memories of my pilgrimage to the Holy Land. James Martin is a gifted spiritual writer. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to explore the humanity/divinity of Jesus.
Jul 04, 2014 Margi rated it it was amazing
This book has given me a perspective I have not thought of before--James Martin SJ is taking a journey walking the same paths as Jesus walked. Regardless of belief, the book challenges the reader to think about Jesus and His times. References to other experts give a broad perspective and the insights are well crafted.
Donna Kling
Jan 11, 2016 Donna Kling rated it really liked it
Really opened my mind to the imagery of what it was like during Jesus's time on the earth. While some parts were a bit drawn out, overall I found this book to be interesting and it made me reflect about faith in what we have not seen or do not understand.
Allison P
Feb 05, 2017 Allison P rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the best books I have ever read!!! James Martin is quickly becoming my favorite spiritual writer.
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James J. Martin, born 29 December 1960, is a Jesuit priest, writer and Culture Editor of the Jesuit magazine America.

Education and Career

Martin grew up in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, United States, and attended Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business in 1982 and worked in corporate finance at General Electric for six years.
More about James Martin...

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“Newly confident, Mary says yes. Notice that she does so in absolute freedom. No one coerces her. And she was free to say no. Mary also makes her decision without appealing to a man. She doesn’t ask Joseph for permission. Nor does she tell the angel that she must consult with her father. The young woman living in a patriarchal time makes a decision about the coming king. Someone with little power agrees to bring the powerful one into the world: “Let it be with me according to your word.” 7 likes
“But Jesus accepts what we give, blesses it, breaks it open, and magnifies it. Often in ways that we don’t see or cannot see. Or will not be able to see in this lifetime. Who knows what a kind word does? Who knows what a single act of charity will do? Sometimes the smallest word or gesture can change a life.” 6 likes
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