Is Jesus relevant to us today? Few figures have had such an influence on history as Jesus of Nazareth. His teachings have inspired discussion, arguments, even war. Yet few have ever held forth as movingly as Jesus on the need for peace, forgiveness, and mercy. Paul Johnson offers listeners a lively biography of the man who inspired one of the world s great religions and whose lessons still guide us in current times. Johnson s intelligent and conversational style, as well as his ability to distill complex subjects into succinct and highly readable works, makes this book an ideal match of a major historian with a major subject. The result is an accessible biography and an insightful analysis of how Jesus is important in the present era.
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PAUL JOHNSON's books, beginning with Modern Times (1985), are acknowledged masterpieces of historical analysis. He is a regular columnist for Forbes and Spectator, and his work has also appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He lives in London.From Booklist:
Journalist-historian Johnson’s deliberately noncontentious account of history’s most famous man is unapologetically, uncarpingly based on the New Testament. Nearly no other sources are mentioned, and the short further reading list admits nothing by any Jesus Seminar scholar or other revisionist. Since the book is longer than all four Gospels put together, it is obviously more than a conflationary synopsis. Johnson weighs what little is said about Jesus’ childhood and youth and why no more is said; discusses Jesus’ personal affect; notes the qualities of his teaching, especially in the parables; emphasizes his reservations about the miracles he performs; and analyzes how he differentially addressed men, women, children, and the aged. Johnson outlines the “new ten commandments” that Jesus introduced in deed as well as word and with which he intended to prepare his followers not to change the world but to enter the kingdom of God. Lastly, Johnson inspects the Passion, the Resurrection, and their aftermath to Pentecost with intelligent faith. An all-but-unalloyed (the Catholic Johnson favors women in priesthood) gift to all believing Christians. --Ray Olson
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