John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus at DePaul University, is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus, How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian, God and Empire, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, The Greatest Prayer, The Last Week, and The Power of Parable. He lives in Minneola, Florida.
Based on Crossan's acclaimed and controversial The Historical Jesus ( LJ 2/1/92), this elegant new reconstruction popularizes and occasionally elaborates on that earlier work. Gone is the massive documentation. What remains is an engrossing, often startling exploration of key themes, in which Crossan weighs scriptural texts against anthropological, historical, and literary standards, sifting through accrued layers for evidence of earlier (if noncanonical) sources. He acknowledges his naturalistic assumptions (``I presume that Jesus . . . could not cure . . . disease''), which, together with his critical method, cause him to dismiss the virgin birth, say, or the passion/resurrection narratives, as historically invalid. Yet he also offers nuanced, powerful readings of Jesus' teachings. Bound to disturb some people and stimulate others, this is recommended for all libraries where lay readers are likely to be interested in the issues raised.-- Elise Chase, Forbes Lib., Northampton, Mass.
"Jesus is a magisterial distillation of Crossan's lifelong work on the gospels and Jesus. It deserves careful and extended consideration by everyone seriously interested in the enigmatic sage from Galilee. With his work on Jesus, Crossan joins the ranks of the truly great biblical scholars of the twentieth century. His 'revolutionary biography' is the biography of a revolutionary: the book and its subject are rebels in the cause of truth."-- Robert W. Funk, editor of "The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus" and cofounder of the Jesus Seminar"Crossan paints his Jesus with great warmth and power. He achieves a portrait that both takes in the contemporary background yet accounts for Jesus' distinctiveness...This Jesus is a Jewish peasant, with a direct sense of God's immediacy, who shatters all social restraints." -- "New York Times Book Review""This is an extremely interesting, erudite, informative, must-read for anyone interested in the New Testament...Read it." -- "National Catholic Reporter"