Friday, September 27, 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Chat – Killing Jesus

From the ArmChair Squid: 
“The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.”
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Chatter and Review: Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Initially, I didn’t intend to buy this book. I read and enjoyed the other books by this duo, Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy, but the title of this one made me squirm. Still, I was intrigued after reading the first chapter.

Killing Jesus is historical. Not a religious book. It gives context and sensory texture to the background of the life of Christ, pulling eyewitness accounts from the Bible but also from sources of the day. Historian Josephus and Roman accounts of the times painted a rich scene. The authors used the dust of the roads, taste of the olives, and heat from the sun to give the reader a flavor of the world of Jesus. I learned about the harsh worlds of a soldier, the Roman Senate, and of treachery. The historical accounts of the deaths of the Disciples, of Pontius Pilate, and the high priests provided a satisfactory closure.

This book comes from the point of view of a man, his angers and fears. Insight into his emotion and possibly his thoughts caused me to consider the attributes of Jesus long after I read the last page. The individual’s faith determines whether the man, Jesus, was also the Son of God. 

The conclusion is left up to the reader. The authors don't try to sway the reader one way or the other. Again, this is a historical accounting not religious.

Five Stars. For courage to write this book and for excellent writing. And count me in the column of Son of God.

26 comments:

  1. Wow! Sounds like a fascinating read. Religious history is tricky territory.

    Huntress, I'm so glad you're joining us!

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  2. The title would've made me nervous as well. You can count me in the column of Son of God as well.

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    1. I absolutely was Not Going To Buy it. Then I read the first chapter. Wow. Okay. Wow. Highly, highly recommend this one.

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  3. I tried reading Killing Lincoln, too, but couldn't get into it, even though I love history. Glad you enjoyed this one :)

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    1. I don't read much history. But these authors have a way a writing that makes it fascinating.

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  4. Hmm... I may have to check this one out. It sounds like my kind of thing.

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  5. I am not religious, but I am fascinated by the historical side of religion. This sounds like something I would really enjoy - thanks!

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    1. It is thoroughly historical. Miracles are described second hand.

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  6. I think I would probably enjoy reading this one. Yeah, the title would make me question what was really written, but after you described it, I had a better understanding at what the authors were getting at. Plus, I enjoy most anything told from a historical slant!

    Good to have you along!

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  7. I'm not a Bill O'Reilly fan, to say the least, but it sounds like he paired up with someone who could write, which is good. So many books have come out about the life of Jesus and his kith & kin lately, from the historical to the whimsical! I am somewhat keen to read "Zealot," by Reza Aslan, which is right next to O'Reilly's book at Amazon. "Mary, Called Magdalene" is probably my favorite, though it's not new.

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  8. It seems like his main characters tend to die in the end;) Interesting post, thanks for the review:)

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  9. I've heard great things about Killing Lincoln, though I haven't read it yet. Thanks for this review. I'm in the Son of God column too and I love to feel the human part of Christ---bring me so much closer to the God part, which I think was the whole point of Him, right?--and this book sounds like it does an excellent job of that.

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  10. I don't read too much in the way of nonfiction (although, I can only read nonfiction when I'm out in public). Might be an interesting change.

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    1. I don't either probably three books in the last five years. Er. Killing: Lincoln, Kennedy, and Jesus.
      Kind of a pattern.

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  11. Killing Lincoln was great history which read like a novel. I think I'd really like Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus (the books, not the acts).

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  12. Kinda not okay with the "Killing xxx" aspect of the titles, but I've heard about Killing Lincoln. Reading non-fiction is something I'm trying to do more of, though, so maybe? Maybe I should read this.

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    1. I Absolutely agree with the "aspect of the titles". That was the reason I cringed when I heard the name. The first chapter tore into me though.

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  13. The title really grabs you, that's for sure. I like that it is an historical account, rather than religious. I like to read this type of book. All good for the mind. Thanks for the review. :D

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  14. 'And count me in the column of Son of God.'

    Intrigued by this statement but not sure what you mean by it.

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    1. The book leaves it up to the reader whether Jesus was only a man or the Son of God.
      I believe the second is true.

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  15. I am going to have to put this on my must-read list. The title is...off-putting. But your review is awesome!
    -Michelle

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  16. I'm not religious, but I think this would be a really interesting read even for me. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  17. I read through a similar book earlier this year. It's right in my wheelhouse.

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