Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.

Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.

Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God.

Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy.

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.

Title:Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781400069224
Format Type:

About Reza Aslan


    Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth Reviews

  • Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*

    "Hello there! Jesus of Nazareth.....Right?" "Um, yes that's me, and you are?""Stephanie, nice to meet you.""How did you know my name?" Said Jesus "And what the devil is that contraption you're sitting...

  • Mario Sundar

    Oh. My. God. I'm just done with Part I of this book, which is a breathless roller-coaster of a narrative that seems to meld the painfully bureaucratic themes of "The Wire" with the ferocity of "Game o...

  • Marina Nemat

    Mr. Aslan has a thesis, and he has written Zealot to prove it. As we soon find out while reading the book, Aslan intends to accomplish his mission at any cost, sometimes even at the cost of betraying ...

  • Marvin

    Let"s face it. Theologians and religious historians will never get along. I am reminded of a scene in Clifford Simaks' clever time travel novel, Mastodonia. The inventor of a patented method of time t...

  • Anne

    3.5 starsThe entire time I'm reading Zealot, I'm seeing this:Ok, ok.So, I really thought this was interesting, especially the all of the cool history-ish stuff that happened before, during, and after ...

  • BlackOxford

    The Contextual JesusThe textual religions of The Book - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - have a common problem. No matter how hard they try, they can’t stop their adherents from interpreting their...

  • Jim Marshall

    I was raised and educated as a Roman Catholic, so I don’t know if people from other faith traditions would be as surprised and grateful as I am for the insightful revelations made in this book about...

  • Joseph

    Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan is a study of the historical Jesus and the Jewish people and their relationship with the Romans. Rez Aslan is an Iranian-American writer a...

  • Riku Sayuj

    For the Exhaustive Review: CLICK HERE> In The Shadow Of The Cross: Jesus, before The Christ Once Upon a Time, there was a Great Empire. At its very edges, hardly noticed, was a small region. A minor k...

  • Alejandro

    Excellent book!Some fellow reader friends recommended me the book and also I noticed the author in a documentary series "Secrets of the Bible" on History Channel since he was one of the people making ...