Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: Killing Jesus

Killing Jesus is a book about the life of Christ.  O'Reilly and Dugard don't just reiterate the Bible.  They infuse history and politics, giving the story even more depth than it already has.
I learned quite a bit beginning with Julius Caesar.  The authors claim that his assassination is critical to setting the stage in Jesus's crucifixion.  Julius Caesar, although ruthless, generally let conquered regions keep their cultures whereas his successors micro-managed.  Much attention was spent on the rise and fall of Julius Caesar which helped me understand the inferred politics of the era.
The writers also added some of the idiosyncrasies of Rome's most notorious leaders.  For instance, Tiberius had slaves perform sex acts for him.  If they failed to arouse the emperor, he would push them off of the cliff.  Some of the Jewish tetarchs weren't much better.

The authors claim that Jesus died at thirty-six years old whereas I always thought He was closer to thirty-three.  At the end of the book, the authors go over several theories of what happened to the other key characters.  Supposedly, Pontius Pilate was fired and left for Ethiopia where he and his wife became followers of Christ.  Other reports state that he left for Europe where landmarks were named after him in France and Switzerland.  I also learned about the horrible deaths of the disciples with exception of John.  John was exiled to Patmos where he wrote Revelation and died a natural death.  Years ago, I heard from a preacher that John never died but rose to Heaven alive. 
Killing Jesus is definitely a Christian book, but the authors treat the subject on a historical level.  I enjoyed it tremendously and understand why it is a best-seller.  I recommend this book to anyone who believes Jesus is the Messiah and/or want to learn about the history of his life. It's the perfect read for Easter.  5/5 Stars



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