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Who Was Jesus?

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Did the historical person Jesus really regard himself as the Son of God? What did Jesus actually stand for? And what are we to make of the early Christian conviction that, following his execution by the Romans, Jesus physically rose from the dead? N. T. Wright's Who Was Jesus? considers these and many other questions thrown up by the latest wave of controversial books ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published March 9th 1993 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (first published December 10th 1992)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  225 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Kells Next Read
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Actual 3.25
Jared Naidoo
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
“But there I shall of course take as my conversation partners, not the recent maverick popularisers, but the serious scholarly writers in the field, particularly Vermes, Meyer, Harvey, Borg, Sanders, Horsley, Crossan and Meier.”

These ‘maverick popularisers’ like Thiering and Spong certainly present Wright with some easy target practice. Yet, the bias Wright so openly admits, does not excuse him from his own, just because he admits it. I have not read Schweitzer in great detail, yet I find
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
A good response to a few of the "historical Jesuses" but not as interesting to me as his more proactive approaches
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: faith
He focused primarily on refuting arguments in other books. It wasn't what I was expecting but is pretty interesting.

Chapter 5 though is what I really wanted: a summary of how Jesus saw himself, why he was significant to the Jews. This chapter alone is gold.
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: faith-religion
I heard an interview with Reza Aslan recently regarding his new book, Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. The interview piqued my interest because many things Aslan said were exactly contrary to what I have most often been told about Jesus. As an example, I’ve been told Jesus was not trying to lead a Jewish rebellion against Roman rule. Aslan says this was in fact his very purpose, to stir up a revolt.

Apparently the search for the “historical Jesus” has been on for quite some time,
Silvia Iskandar
Nov 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
I've been in denial.

No more.

I'm NOT going to finish this book.

It was such a tempting title and in the beginning was quite OK, listing the history of archeological search for the real Jesus. But it went on criticising this author, that author. If I have read the works by the other author, that would be nice, but I haven't! It's so frustrating, like when I picked up a used UK gossip magazine in a motel laundry room. It doesn't feel nice at all to read about something you have no knowledge of.

Chris Hilson
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly informative and balanced critique of 3 works that arose in the 1980s/1990s which contested a biblical account of the life of Jesus. Classic NT Wright fashion ... structured, scholarly, and defending of biblical orthodoxy. He is generous in saying that in a marketplace of ideas, all ideas are welcome. But he demonstrates that not all ideas can be true and support the evidence. A compact and helpful read.
Shane Wagoner
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Well executed but I am surprised that Wright would spend 100 pages refuting the likes of Theiring and Spong... Not to mention Crossan emerged unscathed.
Chris Gill
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Wright is defending orthodox beliefs of Jesus over and against modern, popular books on the life of Christ. Much different than I was hoping, but filled with hidden gems!
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wright’s first chapter presents a brief overview of the historical Jesus quests. This is very helpful for anyone wanting to know more about the topic, as Wright has done well to summarise a large sweep of scholarship.

As for the rest of this short book, it is quite dated. This is due largely to the fact that chapters 2 - 4 are critical responses to three unfortunate authors, intersected with Wright’s own interpretations of relevant materials.
These works that he is responding to have not aged
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting little read. N.T. Wright responds to three authors who have questioned what we can know of the historical Jesus via the Christian scriptures - Barbara Thiering, A.N. Wilson and John Spong. I've read Spong and found his thinking on this quite compelling. The other two I
have not read. I've also looked to N.T. Wright in the past for guidance on interpreting scripture. So I wanted to see how Wright and Spong might duke it out. Wright didn't completely win me over but he does make
Thomas Peters
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Title is misleading. (I didn't read the description about the book.)
was disappointed in reading this book, in that, when I picked this book up. I thought that it was going to be talking who Jesus is and what he did. but instead it felt like a large collection of short essays on the points that the author agrees on and disagrees on, with different authors. it doesn't feel like he is talking about Jesus and what he did until the last chapter.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio-books, theology
This might be one of the most pointless books I have ever come across. It is basically a dissection of three authors from the 1990s and why they’re wrong. This really should have been several blog post, and certainly did not warrant a full book. If I had had anything else downloaded for my road trip I would’ve listened to that instead. A complete waste of time.
Paul Herriott
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a good book for scholars and skeptics, most people will not have much interest in the intricacies of Wilson, Spong, and Thiering’s books on Jesus. As Wright does so well he dismantles their views but not without saving the few valuable contributions they have to make.
Austin Hood
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Not quite what I expected, but a reminder that far-flung examples that supposed “historians” attribute to biblical events are built on shaky ground.
Shawn Paterson
This isn’t a positive case by Wright but instead a thorough critique of others from a believing scholar.
Steve Bender
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting book and good finish, but I thought the author was overly sarcastic in his treatment of three theologians from the 1990's.
vittore paleni
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a very helpful book that spends most of its time answering the questioning title negatively. The bulk of this thin book reads as three separate middle-brow reviews. I would not be surprised if Wright just reshaped some earlier reviews he wrote elsewhere. The three books that he seeks to converse with (thats putting it lightly) are: Barbara Thiering's Jesus the Man: New Interpretation from the Dead Sea Scrolls; A.N. Wilson's Jesus: A Life; and John Spong's Born of Woman.These three ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Wright takes three popular authors who have put forth their version of the “real historical Jesus” and effectively skewers the arguments of all three. Rather than taking every little point they make and contradicting it blow-by-blow, he instead focuses on why their main themes and methodologies are incorrect.

NT Wright is a very good Biblical scholar, and the three authors who he is contradicting, despite their popularity, are not. As such, it is quite difficult to take issue with his argument
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology, apologetics
Wright's book does two things: (1) it condenses his own understanding of who Jesus is into something actually readable by a lay-person (the more thorough books are Jesus and the Victory of God and The Resurrection of the Son of God, both multi-hundred page books; there is also a somewhat shorter book called The Challenge of Jesus) and (2) it critiques three recent attempted reconstructions of the historical Jesus - which turns his book into something of an extended review of three other books ...more
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2011
Top notch.
Joseph Hogan
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it

A pretty good read, but mainly it's a teaser for his other works. Can't wait to read Jesus and the Victory of God, The Resurrection of the Son of God and The New Testament and the People of God.
Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is Wright's best field. He's great on Jesus studies and puts the right amount of devotional material in along the way.
Douglas Wilson
Jan 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Josh Long
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Graham Heslop
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Mar 02, 2017
Jeffrey Swartwout
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Jul 11, 2008
Shannon Lewis
rated it it was ok
Sep 21, 2007
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N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England (2003-2010) and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air, and he has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, ...more
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