Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Comrade Jesus, zealot

September 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/14/reza-aslan-zealot-fox-news-dawkins

and

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/07/zealot-life-jesus-aslan-review

Just finished reading Azlan’s book, somewhat too hurriedly, and found it, notwithstanding some of the problems as in review above, an engaging thesis with a reminder that the interpretations of the Jesus history, including possibly this one, are sawdust: it is very hard to be sure of anything. And Azlan’s case is, to me, strong, that Jesus was more radical than current Xtians would like. It is hard to avoid musing over the slight ‘fix’ that Azlan puts to the data, there are many examples, e.g. the completely idiotic ‘made up’ portrait of Pilate in the gospels. From what I understand of Azlan it would be very hard for anyone to not be quite a zealot in the context of the Roman empire in Israel. I have read many books on this subject and tend to blow with the wind (dialectically, no less) as to novel treatments of the history here. This one is ‘soup du jour’ then, but I think a point has been made that should stick in the back of one’s mind as the interpretation fights for air.
I think the left should take note of the obvious, what they already know, but which fades from concentrated attention: the gospels are a sanitized ideological rendering of a narrative made to appeal to Romans in the picture after the destruction of Israel. Complain as you will but I think the point is well taken here, whatever the list of scholarly failings here…

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