Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth: In His Own Words by Simon Parke, Jesus Christ (Paperback, 2010)
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- DescriptionWho was Jesus of Nazareth? Many admire his spiritual teachings; some go further and claim him as the messiah, while a few deny he ever existed at all. But everyone has an opinion about this obscure preacher who lived his brief life in one of the less significant regions of the Roman Empire; and who, in being crucified, died the traditional death for criminals and trouble-makers. Jesus lived in turbulent times. Under Roman rule, Judea was a hotbed of nationalist, political and religious interests, all vying for power. Jesus was caught in the middle of these, allied to ne and ultimately reviled by all. 'My kingdom is t of this world,' he said, though he agreed taxes should be paid to the Romans. 'Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.' He taught simply but challengingly, advocating love for our enemies, a spirit of forgiveness and respect for children. What else was new about Jesus? He spoke of a new way of being which he called 'the kingdom of God.' This was t a place but an inner state, and the doorway to this kingdom was trust in a heavenly father. As he would often say: 'Have anxiety about thing.' It was a trust Jesus himself required in a life full of conflict; t least with his family who largely disowned him. 'Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?' he famously asked when they attempted to rein him in. In 'Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth', the questions are imagined, but the words of Jesus are t; they are authentically his, taken from the various records of his life in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas. Jesus himself never wrote anything down, but in a culture of oral transmission, his words, deeds and stories were well-remembered, and it's t hard to see why. 'It's the shape of our heart which Jesus is interested in,' says Simon Parke. 'This is what comes across when talking with him. It's t what we do that matters, but who we are, and that's why he upset the religious people of his day: he didn't give them anything to hide behind. He's t always easy company, I agree, but his life and his words - they have the undoubted ring of truth.'
- Author BiographyJesus of Nazareth - born Joshua bar Joseph - lived for 33 years in the 1st century AD, before he was executed by the Roman authorities on charges of blasphemy. He was taken to Skull Hill outside Jerusalem and crucified. He died a lonely figure, with only four supporters at the foot of the cross, one of whom was his mother. Few could have imagined a world religion would take shape around this broken and defeated body. So who on earth was Jesus and what was he like? He was from artisan stock, from the world of small farmers and independent craftsmen; a son of the Galilean countryside and never at home in the cities. He was also a man of supreme courage, prepared to take on the power structures of his day, in word and deed, whenever they threatened the principles of justice and mercy. He did not spare opponents, calling Herod 'a fox' and the Pharisees, 'whitewashed tombs.' He could be physically violent, evicting salesmen from the temple using a whip. But he had an eye for those who needed help, those on the edge of society. His opponents regularly criticised him for mixing with the wrong people; Jesus, however, looked not at outward appearance or status but at the heart. He ridiculed much religious practice, but exalted children. He told stories about the Kingdom of God; reputedly healed many; fell out with his family and despaired of his followers. Amidst his busy life, he would withdraw into the hills early to pray; and when his opponents finally had him crucified, he shouted from the cross, 'Forgive them, father, they don't know what they're doing.' Palestine in the first century was a political time bomb and a place of hardening religious codes. It was in this setting that Jesus preached the Kingdom of God, an inner state which began with trust in God and the openness of a child; for this he was killed. The twist in the tail is that his followers claimed he came back to life; that death couldn't hold him. It's a claim still made by Christians today. In 'Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth', we meet the man behind the myth. The questions are imagined, but Jesus' words are not; all of his words are taken from the records of his life in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas. Some called him the messiah, others a blasphemer; but you will come to your own conclusions. As Jesus himself once asked Peter, 'Who do you say that I am?'
- Author(s)Jesus Christ,Simon Parke
- PublisherWhite Crow Books
- Date of Publication10/09/2010
- SubjectChristianity: General
- Series TitleConversations with...
- Place of PublicationGuildford
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintWhite Crow Books
- Content Notecolour illustrations
- Weight224 g
- Width216 mm
- Height140 mm
- Spine9 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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