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What Jesus Meant [Paperback]

By Garry Wills (Author)
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Item description for What Jesus Meant by Garry Wills...

Arguing that Jesus subscribed to no political program, the author draws on the gospel to explain Jesus's radical views about class and power and how the Resurrection and Christ's divinity are key factors in his teachings.

Publishers Description
"Garry Wills brings his signature brand of erudite, unorthodox thinking to his latest book of revelations. . . . A tour de force and a profound show of faith." ("O, the Oprah Magazine)"
In what are billed "culture wars," people on the political right and the political left cite Jesus as endorsing their views. But in this "New York Times-"bestselling masterpiece, Garry Wills argues that Jesus subscribed to no political program. He was far more radical than that. In a fresh reading of the gospels, Wills explores the meaning of the "reign of heaven" Jesus not only promised for the future but brought with him into this life. It is only by dodges and evasions that people misrepresent what Jesus plainly had to say against power, the wealthy, and religion itself. But Wills is just as critical of those who would make Jesus a mere ethical teacher, ignoring or playing down his divinity. An illuminating analysis for believers and nonbelievers alike, "What Jesus Meant" is a brilliant addition to our national conversation on religion.

Citations And Professional Reviews
What Jesus Meant by Garry Wills has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Commonweal - 05/23/2008 page 22
  • New York Times - 04/01/2007 page 24

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Pages   143
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.78" Width: 5.06" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2007
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
Age  18
ISBN  014303880X  
ISBN13  9780143038801  

Availability  9 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 10:03.
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More About Garry Wills

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Garry Wills is one of the most respected writers on religion today. He is the author of Saint Augustine s Childhood, Saint Augustine s Memory, and Saint Augustine s Sin, the first three volumes in this series, as well as the Penguin Lives biography Saint Augustine. His other books include Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power, Why I Am a Catholic, Papal Sin, and Lincoln at Gettysburg, which won the Pulitzer Prize."

Garry Wills was born in 1934 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Northwestern University.

Garry Wills has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Anthony Hecht Lectures in the Humanities
  2. Emblems of Antiquity
  3. Penguin Classics
  4. Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions
  5. Penguin Lives Biographies
  6. Simon & Schuster Lincoln Library

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Inspirational

Christian Product Categories
Books > General Interest > General Topic > Philosophy

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Reviews - What do customers think about What Jesus Meant?

don't confuse a story with history  Mar 17, 2007
If Wills was actually a scholar, he would know that most of the story in the New Testament was copied from a biography of Julius Caesar that was popular around 50 AD. The "real" - and I use the term loosely - the "real" Jesus never said any of the learned phrases that were attributed to him in the decades after all of the people who actually knew him passed away.
So, as far as telling us "what Jesus really meant" goes, nothing in this book is credible. The title is just another empty sales pitch.
What Jesus Meant  Mar 16, 2007
This book stunned me in its ability to elucidate. I highly recommend it to anyone striving to understand the meaning behind the words and deeds of Jesus.
Bringing Jesus back  Mar 11, 2007
The book did a good job cutting through millenia of church doctrines and traditions and gave me a glimpse of the Jesus I remember from the gospels. It was really about the Jesus of the bible bypassing all additives. The biblical Jesus was not concerned with church attendance, tithing, legalism, wealth, doctrines, or building mega churches. You will find in this book that Jesus was opposed to institutional religion, politics, and the abuses of the wealthy. His life was about showing the downtrodden a spiritual path to the kingdom of God where they were all welcome. His path was one of love.

"A new instruction I have given you: Love one another. All will know that you are followers by this sign alone, that you have love for one another" (John 13.34-35) Oh, how we have lost our way. Read this book to find it again.
Returning to the Truth Again  Mar 9, 2007
This book is highly recommended. I personally attend an Evangelical Vineyard Church so that you can have an idea of my background and have a frame of reference concerning my review. That being said, I can safely say I agree with about 95% of what Wills says in his book and I highly recommend it. He removes the veneer of 2000 years of church history, dogma, and spiritual overgrowth in order to look at the words of Christ in a refreshing first century way. He scrapes off the old to get down to the "wood" of meaning in the original text.

Wills taught Greek for many years at John Hopkins University, which gives him expertise to provide his own New Testament Translation in the passages he deals with. His translations are fresh and can give slightly different nuances to what Jesus meant in some of His saying. Generally I enjoyed his translations as they gave further insight into some of the passages. Other passages however, I felt like he chose words a little to foreign to be of much use, for example he uses the word sensate for flesh in 1 Cor 15. On the positive side as I understand it he would say that the "give this day our daily bread" in the Lords prayer would be understood as the bread of the Kingdom or eschatological bread. This gives rise to contemplation of texts, which through overuse have lost their punch but with his own translation it, gives it an opportunity for those words to become fresh again.

Wills challenges both the Evangelicals and the Catholics in some their accepted thoughts and practices. With laser like precision he zeros in on some of the Catholic Ecclesiastical abuses of the past and present as well as exposing the Evangelical political religious agenda as a perversion of Christ's teaching. He claims that Jesus was killed by religion and killed by politics. I am over simplifying but basically Jesus rejected the religious formalism of Judaism but Catholicism has essentially replaced it. Trying to bring Christ into a "faith based" politics also does grievous injury to the gospel.

The gospel is solely treating every person you meet regardless of being poor, homeless, outcast, hungry, sick, thirsty, as you would Jesus. They are Jesus in this world and the love of God as displayed in Christ Jesus is to be poured out to them through each of us as individuals and corporately in our communities.

There is much to gain from the reading of this book. I think both Catholics and Protestants (for lack of a better word) will benefit from his work. After reading it I am interested in reading some of the other works by this author.

Look no Further  Feb 24, 2007
In my search for the meaning of Christianity, I have yet to find anything like this! This is the treasure in the field, the pearl. Read this book and share it's message with everyone you come in contact with. Amen.

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