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What Jesus Meant

by

What Jesus Meant Cover

ISBN13: 9780143038801
ISBN10: 014303880x
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As the religious rhetoric of the culture wars escalates, New York Times bestselling author and eminent scholar Garry Wills explores the meaning of Jesus's teachings.

In what are billed as "culture wars," people on the political right and the political left cite Jesus as endorsing their views. 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. Jesus came from the lower class, the working class, and he spoke to and for that class. This is a book that will challenge the assumptions of almost everyone who brings religion into politics — "Christian socialists" as well as biblical theocrats.

But Wills is just as critical of those who would make Jesus a mere ethical teacher, ignoring or playing down his divinity. Jesus without the Resurrection is simply not the Jesus of the gospels. Wills calls his book a profession of faith in the risen Lord, the Son of the Father, who leads us to the Father. He argues that this does not make people embrace an otherworldliness that ignores the poor or the problems of our time.

What Jesus Meant will no doubt spark debate about our understanding of Jesus and the Scriptures, especially as we head into midterm elections that will certainly prompt many heated discussions on the role of religion in our society.

Review:

"Christianity has been twisted and warped to such an extent that not even Jesus would recognize it now. This is Wills's thesis in his stimulating, fresh look into the life and message of Jesus of Nazareth. The now-ubiquitous phrase, 'What Would Jesus Do?' encouraged Wills, professor of history at Northwestern University and prolific writer on contemporary religion, to take a closer look at how the Christian message has been used and abused in recent times. Wills believes that most Christians don't understand Jesus' startlingly radical message, so they should not claim to have knowledge of how he would act today. People of all political persuasions have used Jesus' words to rationalize a domesticated, flaccid Christianity that upholds the status quo, or, worse yet, supports discrimination toward those who are on the margins. This attitude, according to Wills, completely misses the truth that Jesus 'walks through social barriers and taboos as if they were cobwebs.' Readers who are familiar with Wills's writing know that he is not shy about critiquing organized religion, and they will not be disappointed. Although his arguments lean toward hyperbole at times, at its core this book invites Christians toward more honest reflection on the life and message of the one they call 'Savior.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The Library of Congress holds close to 17,000 books on Jesus, and about the best thing that can be said about Garry Wills' 'What Jesus Meant' is that it is probably not the worst. Wills tells us in his foreword that Jesus is 'a divine mystery walking among men,' but rather than reveling in that mystery, he tries to solve it — dissolve it, actually — in a strange brew of devotional cant and historical... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Wills' dissent from certain pro-clerical and exclusivist statements Benedict XVI has made assure him the continued opprobrium of institutional church hardliners, but his portrayal of Jesus the radical is so profoundly familiar as to be irrefutable." Booklist

Review:

"Drawing on the wonderful scholarship of N. T. Wright, the late Raymond Brown and others, Wills makes a trenchant case for why Jesus' earliest followers believed in their Lord's physical resurrection." New York Times

Synopsis:

“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.

Synopsis:

As the religious rhetoric of the culture wars escalates, "New York Times" bestselling author and eminent scholar Wills explores the meaning of Jesus' teachings.

About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

chanpaulchang, October 11, 2007 (view all comments by chanpaulchang)
I have read so many books by scholars? All who seem
to know just what Jesus meant! All Jesus' 'hard sayings'
explained, etc etc.Yet, there are scholars,why, they say,Jesus did not exist, and if he did, so much is written about him, who could possibly know him?
Here, we have Gary Wills who also writes a yarn
'What Jesus Meant' but how can Gary be sure? Even
the 4 Gospel writers were not really sure, their historicy
did not run quite true,and Jesus' disciples did not know
what Jesus meant! It would appear only one knew who he actually was! Gary,I must salute you, because you
are the only one who knows what Jesus Meant, please
get in touch with today's churches especially the Catholic Church, and the prosperity preachers riding
around in Mercs. and Rolls Royces all of whom know
what Jesus meant! Have you read Dawkins' Delusions?
I once read a book by a man name of Ingersoll who wrote a book titled 'The Mistakes Jesus Made!!'
I was about 18 at the time,I am now 76 and was recently accused by a Presbyterian Church Librarian of
stealing one of the library books valued at $200.00!
"You will be charged" she screamed at me and with
the help of a lying Policeman and a second-hand
christian bookseller, they proceeded to do just that.
I had a devoted love of the Bible up until I met these
three Judas' I have now become a Pantheist! And what
ever Jesus Meant, sadly,has little meaning for me.
AND, AS IT SO SEEMS, jESUS HAD NO MEANING FOR
A CHRISTIAN BOOK-SELLER AND A PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH LIBRARIAN! AND A POLICEMAN.

JAFFRAY GEDDES
AUCKLAND
NEW ZEALAND

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(8 of 20 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143038801
Author:
Wills, Garry
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Inspirational
Subject:
Bible - Criticism Interpretation - New Testament
Subject:
Christianity - Theology - Christology
Subject:
Inspirational - General
Subject:
Biblical Criticism & Interpretation - New Testament
Subject:
Christian Theology - Christology
Subject:
Christianity-Christology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20070331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
7.78x5.06x.46 in. .32 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Religion » Christianity » Biblical Reference » Criticism
Religion » Christianity » Christology
Religion » Christianity » General
Religion » Christianity » New Testament » Commentary
Religion » Christianity » Theology » General

What Jesus Meant New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 176 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143038801 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Christianity has been twisted and warped to such an extent that not even Jesus would recognize it now. This is Wills's thesis in his stimulating, fresh look into the life and message of Jesus of Nazareth. The now-ubiquitous phrase, 'What Would Jesus Do?' encouraged Wills, professor of history at Northwestern University and prolific writer on contemporary religion, to take a closer look at how the Christian message has been used and abused in recent times. Wills believes that most Christians don't understand Jesus' startlingly radical message, so they should not claim to have knowledge of how he would act today. People of all political persuasions have used Jesus' words to rationalize a domesticated, flaccid Christianity that upholds the status quo, or, worse yet, supports discrimination toward those who are on the margins. This attitude, according to Wills, completely misses the truth that Jesus 'walks through social barriers and taboos as if they were cobwebs.' Readers who are familiar with Wills's writing know that he is not shy about critiquing organized religion, and they will not be disappointed. Although his arguments lean toward hyperbole at times, at its core this book invites Christians toward more honest reflection on the life and message of the one they call 'Savior.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Wills' dissent from certain pro-clerical and exclusivist statements Benedict XVI has made assure him the continued opprobrium of institutional church hardliners, but his portrayal of Jesus the radical is so profoundly familiar as to be irrefutable."
"Review" by , "Drawing on the wonderful scholarship of N. T. Wright, the late Raymond Brown and others, Wills makes a trenchant case for why Jesus' earliest followers believed in their Lord's physical resurrection."
"Synopsis" by ,
“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.

"Synopsis" by , As the religious rhetoric of the culture wars escalates, "New York Times" bestselling author and eminent scholar Wills explores the meaning of Jesus' teachings.
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