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Killing Jesus: A History

(The Killing of Historical Figures)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  28,918 ratings  ·  3,012 reviews
Millions of people have thrilled to bestselling authors Bill O'Reilly and historian Martin Dugard's Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln, works of nonfiction that have changed the way we view 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 years after thi ...more
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published January 1st 2014 by Henry Holt & Company (first published September 24th 2013)
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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…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)
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3.92  · 
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 ·  28,918 ratings  ·  3,012 reviews

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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.
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  ·  review of another edition
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!
Cam James
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
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 transla ...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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
"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
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!

Tamra LeValley
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS) 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
Dec 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Michael Flanagan
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
Craig Patton
The good -

The book is easy to read and one could likely finish it in a week's time span.
There are a number of historical tales of the regional and Roman leaders of time who were instrumental is shaping the Judea before, during, and after Christ's life.
And it provides a view of Jesus and those who were in contact with him in a very humanistic light.

The bad -

If you believe in the divinity of Jesus, all such references are removed and only the human aspect of Jesus is presented.
There are a numbe
Seth Pierce
I will admit right out I did not have high hopes for this book. I am not a follower of any political pundit, and while I lean Republican, I tend to be mostly irritated with both side of the political spectrum. This book was a gift from a very generous church member who had found this work meaningful, and so I read it--and I really liked it.

Give O'Reilly's opinionated persona, I expected this work to be laced with all kinds of propaganda--and it wasn't. It was a pretty neutral biographical piece
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. Since I had already done considerable research on this time period I appreciated his inclusion of details (obviously gleaned from many sources perhaps by a research staff) of the historical backdrop. It is obvious that O'Reilly's Catholic background finds its way into the text from time to time, and oftentimes, to his credit, he identifies it as such, and then occasionally offers a differing point of view. The chapter on Tiberius smacked of sensationalism in my opini ...more
I really enjoyed both "Killing Kennedy" & "Killing Lincoln", so was pretty excited for "Killing Jesus". However, I found "Killing Jesus" extremely flat & completely unoriginal.

After reading "Zealot" by Rasa Aslan, I found it very interesting seeing the 2 very different takes on the "historical Jesus". O'Reilly is a firm believer in Jesus as God, while Aslan certainly does not believe that Jesus is God, rather that He was simply a politcal radical.

I did not like "Killing Jesus" mainly bec
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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 histo

Other books in the series

The Killing of Historical Figures (8 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
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