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AD 33: The Year That Changed the World [Hardcover]

By Colin Duriez (Author)
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Item description for AD 33: The Year That Changed the World by Colin Duriez...

In AD 33 an obscure religious teacher died a criminal's death in a distant outpost of the Roman Empire, yet this was an event with world-changing consequences. Duriez's compelling book brings to life events in the Roman Empire and beyond.

Publishers Description
How did Jesus shape history? In A.D. 33 an obscure religious teacher died a criminal's death in a distant outpost of the Roman Empire. Yet this was an event with world-changing consequences. What was the world like in that momentous year? Colin Duriez's compelling book brings to life events in the Roman Empire and beyond.As we look back on that remarkable year, we can see from the perspective of world history that it was dominated by two people--a Roman and a Jew. The Roman was the Emperor Tiberius who was trying to end the mischief caused by his deputy Sejanus, while also keeping a tight reign on the administration of his vast and diverse empire.The Jew was Jesus who was put to death by one of Tiberius's minor governors, Pontius Pilate. Belief in his resurrection from the dead three days later invigorated his demoralized followers, leading within a few weeks to the birth of the Christian movement, which was ultimately to take over the mighty empire without force and to change the world irrevocably. While momentous events unfolded in the lives of these two leaders, one temporal and one spiritual, millions of people carried on their daily routines, rising at dawn and going to their rest in the evening.What is the history that lies behind the Gospel texts? Supplemented by maps, charts and timelines, this richly detailed book reveals what the world that saw the inauguration of Christianity was like. In this breathtaking book we follow the events in the Roman Empire and beyond to obtain a vivid picture of the year of Jesus' death.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: IVP Books
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.35" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.06 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2007
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  083083396X  
ISBN13  9780830833962  

Availability  0 units.

More About Colin Duriez

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Colin Duriez has appeared as a commentator on several mainstream documentaries, has authored biographies of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, and studied for several months under Francis Schaeffer at Swiss L'Abri before reading English and philosophy at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He writes books, edits, and lectures.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > Rome
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > New Testament Studies > Jesus Studies

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Reviews - What do customers think about AD 33: The Year That Changed the World?

A Cross Between Historical Research and Narrative  Oct 19, 2008
I like historical fiction. If writers do their homework, they can make a historical period come alive with details. Colin Duriez's book AD 33 - The Year that Changed the World has no shortage of such details. Duriez manages to capture many of the important moments of AD 33, especially Jesus' death and resurrection. Duriez's book seeks to explain some of the reasons why this year was so important, and how it changed the world.

AD 33 starts off with an exciting first chapter that pits Tiberius Caesar against those seeking to overthrow his reign. Duriez quotes liberally from ancient historians and philosophers, and he demonstrates great command of the period.

But within a few chapters, the very details that were brimming with excitement bog the book down. By the middle of the book, I felt as if I were plodding along in a historical textbook. Perhaps, that is the problem with his book. The content is great, but it seems the author didn't know which genre to pursue. Instead of going in one direction (historical fiction, versus historical textbook), he tries to bring together several genres and winds up not succeeding at any of them.

The most interesting chapter for me was the Appendix, which demonstrated how the author came to the conclusion that Jesus was crucified in AD 33. I remain somewhat skeptical as to the author's conclusion, but the evidence he lays out and the logic he uses is persuasive.

Overall, AD 33 was somewhat disappointing. I would love to see someone do a book similar to this that compares Jesus' Kingdom to Rome's imperial power.
A Good Read  Jan 20, 2008
When I first purchased this book I was expecting a history book that would provide a good insight to the debate on AD30 versus AD33 for the death of Christ. I was a little disappointed in the fact that it was not a historical account but rather the book was told in a storied fashion. However, I must say, he is a very good story teller. The way he weaved the events around the time period chosen was sensational. I was impressed by the way he went back forth between the Roman world and the local setting around Jerusalem.
I could not give 5 stars however because I feel Mr. Duriez misrepresented those on the AD30 side. He seemed to indicate that those who choose AD30 as the death of Christ try to squeeze in the ministry of Christ into one year. This is in no way true! AD30 advocates choose 2.5 or 3.5 years as the time for the ministry of Christ. They usually adopt AD27 as the start of his ministry which coincides with Tiberius' 15th year (using inclusive reckoning starting with his co-regency of AD12). Mr. Duriez states that the 46th year of Herod re-building the temple started in 20bc which would bring this date to AD29 (or the start of Jesus' ministry for AD33 advocates). His math is less to be desired. If one calculates the 46th year starting in 20bc it comes to AD27 and not AD29. AD27 was actually a sabbatical year according to Ben Zion Wacholder. This actually matches up well with John 4:35-37. I am not totally convinced that AD30 is the year of the Lord's crucifixion. That is why I purchased this book. However, I believe I am more aware of the arguments for each side. Mr. Duriez seems naive to the evidences offered from the AD30 advocates.
One final note: In this book, Mr. Duriez makes a statement without further comment. He states unequivocally that all scholars universally accept the Q document. I take exception to this statement. I believe the Q document is almost universally rejected. There are very few "scholars" that accept this as the source for the synoptic Gospels. The few scholars that do accept it are generally liberal in their beliefs.
Not to be too hard on Mr. Duriez. I would recommend this book because he does a terrific job of painting the scene especially piecing together the scenery around the empty tomb.
A wide-ranging survey  Jun 17, 2007
Modern descriptions and Jewish scriptures of the early church contribute to a survey of the city of Jerusalem during the year of Jesus' death: a religious, historical and social odyssey recommended as an item of particular interest to spirituality holdings, particularly at the college level. First-century Palestine comes to life as well as Roman empire history, culture and interactions in a wide-ranging survey which links Biblical passages and history with a reconstruction of the times.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
Solid Amateur Scholarship  Apr 15, 2007
And here we have another volume in the ever-growing collection of books to put their focus on a single year in history. Of course, in reality, a single year can't be isolated from the flow of history in the years around it; still, it is an interesting trend in popular history books that is not without its pleasures. In this case, Mr. Duriez puts the spotlight on 33 AD.

As any good Christian knows, 33 AD is the year that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified outside of Jerusalem. For believers, this was also the year of his resurrection and ascension. It is also the year that the Christianity got its start. Even for non-believers, this was an event that would have a huge impact on the millennia that followed, making this year a good topic for a book. And Mr. Duriez handles it fairly well.

Obviously, much of the book is taken up with the events in and around Jerusalem. The key players are all here--Jesus, the apostles, Pilate, Herod, Caiaphas, Annas--but Duriez goes beyond simple biography and a recitation of events. He gives some real insight into the social structure of the time and why it is likely that events unfolded the way they did. Additionally, he makes an effort to give us the bigger picture. Apart from Jerusalem, he spends quite a lot of time describing events in Rome, the intrigues of Tiberius' court and how that impacted events in the provinces. (He also devotes a few pages to events of Asia and the Americas, but this material is minimal and less successful.)

Clearly, Duriez is coming at his material from the aspect of a believer. Still, he doesn't let his faith overwhelm the text. He works from plenty of non-biblical source material and he tries to address "scientific" evidence. In this, his ability varies, but the attempt makes for a book that respects a more universal readership.

In the end, I would call this a book of good amateur scholarship. There is a nice synthesis of historical and religious sources molded into the story Duriez wants to tell. It has definite appeal to a Christian audience but is not so religious that it would overwhelm readers of other faiths. It is a solid history book for a popular audience.

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