Monday, 9 January 2017

Reza ASLAN - "Zealot. The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth"

Reza ASLAN - "Zealot. The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth"

UWAGA! Na LC istnieje strona poświęcona edycji w języku polskim pt "Zelota....." i tam zamieszczam opinię po polsku, r ó ż n i ą c ą się od tej, którą napisałem po angielsku dla moich kanadyjskich znajomych, którzy mnie do tej książki zachęcili. Skoro odkryłem stronę z angielskim tytułem, to postanowiłem ją tu zamieścić, choć na portalu dominuje polski. To nie ze snobizmu

I found this book's page in the Polish blog portal "Lubimy czytać" ("We Like To Read") with a 5,33 rating (on a scale of 1 - 10) and 5 readers. The Polish language edition of this book was rated 6,51 and 53 readers.
Below is an excerpt from the editor's note:

".....Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious “King of the Jews” whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity.
Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth’s life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion...."

The main problem I have with this book is in the question: "Are we interested in it?".
My answer is: NO!!
I am not interested in mixing the historical Jesus of Nazareth with the apologetical image of God's Son.
But first.....

I was reading an article in the Polish edition of the "Newsweek"' (30.08.2013), called "Wojna o muzułmańską biografię Jezusa" or "The War about the Muslim Biography of Jesus" which reads:

"A Muslim has written the biography of Jesus as a revolutionary. The book caused the storm and became the bestseller in The United States.
This bizarre interview, was done several days ago on the Fox News Chanell. Laureen Green asked Reza Aslan, the author of the book "Zealot. The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth":
""You are Muslim, so, why would you write a book about the Christianity's founder?""...
.
....Many people, indignant of Green's extremely partial treatment of the author, rushed to buy the book. Opinions are extreme "5" or "1".
And the book, after this controversial nad provocative interview, has become a bestseller..."
http://www.newsweek.pl/swiat/wojna-o-muzulmanska-biografie-jezusa,107580,1,1.html

Now, returning to my answer: No, we are not interested.
Why?
The fact is, we know nothing about historical Jesus and we don't need to.
Everybody knows that Christian doctrine was formed over many centuries, starting with St. Paul, through St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Thomas of Aquinas and many other to the Second Vaticano Council in 1965. You can read about historical doubt in the fine novel "The Procurator of Judea" (1891) by Anatole France.
You can also listen to it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHPIREWnZ4w Clou of this story" Pilate does not remember Jesus of Nazareth.
In the end, I want to underline that I'm not the Christian, I'm a PANENTHEIST with an interest in Christian doctrine who believe that people don't need to speculate about a historical Jesus, because:
God had the only son. His name LOGOS (WORD) and he was incorporated in Jesus.
The Polish theologian Józef Tischner compared God's love to the Son, as Pygmalion's love to Galatea, and the feeling between God and God's Son was called the Holy Spirit. Filioque!!!
For the reasons, I don't like this book and believe it's commmercial success was the result of the author's controversial interview with Laureen Green interview, and nothing more.