Book Review: Jesus, a short life
I noticed Mercredan was often bringing up “The Great One” or “The Master of all Teachers” in our lessons, meaning Jesus. So I thought it was high time I read some of the New Testament. I don’t think I’d ever sat down and read a decent chunk of it in my life. Though, when I went to church as a child we would pull out small single stories and talk about those. Time to get reading!
I got through Matthew, Mark and half of Luke and already the questions in my head were pouring out.
Why were these books so similar? If you put two people in front of even the most extraordinary event they would always write from their own perspective with their own words and yet, these books had so much content that was pretty much word for word.
Why did the writing style so obviously change in parts of each book? Was this the massive editing job that was done on the bible back in the 4th Century?
Why was there no mention of Reincarnation?
Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
Was Mary Magdalene his wife/partner?
Did she fund the tour of Jesus and the disciples?
Was Jesus really famous in his own era or did his reputation grow? And why did his teachings last for 2000 years while so many other teachers’ work fell by the wayside?
These books repeat a lot of his parables but did the disciples truly understand them? I wondered because they offer very little explanation of what the parables mean so we are left to figure it out for ourselves.
So many questions. I know whenever I’d asked my mother these sorts of questions (she is still a Presbyterian elder today) all she would ever say was “Well, because that’s just the way it is.” which used to drive me crazy.
Anyway I set the intention to find the answers somehow and, sure enough, I was walking through the beautiful village of Balmain here in Sydney last Sunday, found myself walking into a bookshop and picking up this little book. Jesus: A Short Life
I read the back and realised I’d just picked up what would answer most of my questions. Thank you for answering me, Universe.
I continued on down through the village to the park and settled myself on the grass with a coffee in the new Spring sunshine. I got through 90% of the book that afternoon and found it very easy to read.
It’s written by historian John Dickson PhD who is careful to keep his own personal beliefs aside in order to give a strict historical report. He’s done some great research with many interviews, checking non-religious documentation from the same period of time to get a broader context and even travelled to Jesus’ stomping ground to see where all these events happened.
I felt very satisfied with his studious approach and conclusions. My own personal view is a little broader because I am happy to learn from non-physical teachers these days but, for a purely scientific piece of work he’s done an admirable job.
So if you find yourself with unanswered questions about the New Testament and who this Jesus bloke was, I highly recommend this book. 🙂