Item description for Jesus Before Christianity by Albert Nolan...
Overview Nolan's portrait introduces readers to Jesus as He was before He became enshrined in doctrine, dogma, and ritual, a man deeply involved with the real problems of His time, which are the real problems of our time as well. In a new preface, Nolan reflects on recent work in Christology and how a book written in South Africa in 1976 still has a message for people today.
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Studio: Orbis Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.25" Width: 5.44" Height: 0.57" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2001
Publisher Orbis Books
ISBN 1570754047 ISBN13 9781570754043
Availability 0 units.
More About Albert Nolan
Albert Nolan is a South African Dominican priest, widely known for his classic work, "Jesus Before Christianity" and his recent best-seller, "Jesus Today."
Reviews - What do customers think about Jesus Before Christianity?
Jesus the Man, Before He Became the Object of Christian Faith Oct 2, 2008
Albert Nolan does an admirable job of putting the life of Jesus into historical and social context. The work is obviously highly researched, but is in an easy-to-read and highly understandable format.
Rather than recount the Biblical stories, he analyzes them to uncover Jesus' intentions by looking for evidence of his decisions and choices. He concentrates heavily on the people to whom Jesus gave his attention: the poor, the blind, the lame, the crippled, the lepers, the hungry, the sinners, the prostitutes, and the downtrodden. There is a constant theme throughout this book emphasizing the compassion of Jesus for such people. He was himself a middle class man, neither poor nor oppressed, but moved with compassion for those who were "like sheep without a shepherd."
The author shows how Jesus differed from his contemporaries, and the political and social climate that drew great crowds to see him. He points out Jesus' motive for performing miracles of healing was simply compassion, not a desire to prove that he was the Messiah. The mission of Jesus was to awaken the same compassion and the same faith in the people around him. It will be impossible to finish this book and not be moved to rethink your own life, refocusing it on the priorities Jesus demonstrated daily.
Best Book I have ever read ... May 22, 2008
This is absolutely the best book I have ever read. It is so intriguing that I have read it at least twice and have extensively highlighted and marked the text.
It is got to be one of the greatest masterpieces of our age.
A glimpse of the Jesus movement before Jesus died Mar 31, 2008
Nolan wants to understand what people saw in Jesus before anyone could call him "the risen one". There was a movement of Jesus' followers before Easter or Pentecost. What was it like? Nolan's clear, common-sense approach presents reasonable distinctions between Jesus' own teaching and the theological interpretations of later followers. He notes where the later interpretations do or don't fit with Jesus' own words, or with the context of Jewish history. For example, concerning the accounts of Jesus execution, Nolan notes that the gospel accounts say that Jesus gave himself up to the executioners, believing that this was God's will. But the accounts also report that Jesus was a wanted man, and the authorities in Jerusalem argued as follows:
"This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone like this the whole population will believe in him. Then the Romans will come and sweep away our temple and our nation .... it is more expedient for one man to die than for the whole nation to be destroyed." (John 11: 48-50)
Nolan points out that this logic was very traditional. The wanted man must be handed over lest the entire community suffer on his account. Perhaps, Nolan suggests, this was the real sense in which Jesus was "a sacrifice for the people". And possibly it was this threat of punishment from imperial overlords which was later ascribed to God -- so that it was God who had Jesus die rather than make all of humanity suffer.
--author of "Different Visions of Love"
Amazingly Relevant Mar 1, 2008
Fr. Nolan wrote this book over 25 years ago. It has recently been republished to celebrate its 25 anniversary by Orbis Press, a progressive Jesus centered Catholic press.
I have read books exploring the real Jesus by Marcus Borg, Geza Vermes, Brian McLaren, Dominic Crossan and other more recent authors, and frankly, I was not expecting any new insights from this book.
It is wonderful, and for its small size delivers a picture of Jesus from the more historical perspective that seems, to me, could have been written last year.
It strikes me how many of the insights of the above mentioned authors and Nolan are "in the same ball park". They point out that Jesus taught the "kingdom of God" as a way of living and being that God wants to exist NOW on this earth. Jesus has little to say about heaven and how to get there. Jesus cares for the poor; opposes the domination systems; wants his followers to form a community of love, caring, and faith -- not in the future, but in this very present.
This book is very short, but very rewarding. Make time for it.
Jesus before Christianity Jan 18, 2008
This book was recommended in a tape I had heard of a 1992 Retreat given by a Jesuit. It was all it was cracked up to be. Clear, informative and thought provoking.