In Desire of the Everlasting Hills, Thomas Cahill takes up his most daring and provocative subject yet: Jesus of Nazareth, the central figure of Western civilization.
Introducing us first to "the people Jesus knew," Thomas Cahill describes the oppressive Roman political presence, the pervasive Greek cultural influence, and especially the widely varied social and religious context of the Judaism in which Jesus moved and flourished. These backgrounds, essential to a complete understanding of Jesus, lead to the author's stunningly original interpretation of the New Testament--much of it based on material from the ancient Greek brilliantly translated by the author himself--that will delight readers and surprise even biblical scholars.
Thomas Cahill's most unusual skill may lie in his ability to bring to life people of a faraway world whose concerns seem at first to be utterly removed from the present day. We see Jesus as a real person, sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, but kind, humorous, and affectionate, shadowed by the inevitable climax of crucifixion, the cruelest form of execution ever devised by humankind. Mary, while not quite the "perpetual virgin" of popular piety, is a vivid presence and forceful influence on her son. And the apostle Paul, the carrier of Jesus' message and most important figure in the early Jesus movement (which became Christianity), finds rehabilitation in Cahill's realistic, revealing portrait of him.
The third volume in the Hinges of History series, this unique presentation of Jesus and his times is for believers and nonbelievers alike (for Jews and Christians, it is intended by the author as an act of reconciliation). With the same lively narration and irresistible perceptions that characterize How the Irish Saved Civilization and The Gifts of the Jews, Thomas Cahill invites readers into an ancient world to commune with some of the most influential people who ever lived.
The New York Times Book Review - Paul William Roberts
...a stunning success. In many ways Cahill does a better job than the canonical Gospels of presenting the root mythology of an expansive idea whose time, evidently, is still coming.
The New York Time - Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
...Desire [is] divertingly instructive and imparts gratifying dimension to the beginnings of what later became known as Christianity. Most important, it makes of Jesus a still-living literary presence.
A middlebrow history of Jesus and the development of the early church, the third of seven projected volumes examining what Cahill (The Gifts of the Jews, 1998, etc.) refers to as the Hinges of History.....A straightforward, unremarkable rehash.
[Cahill] triumphs again with this imaginatively written account of Jesus and the early Christian Church.
Booklist - Michael Spinella
Although what Jesus has taught and said may never be agreed upon, the influence Christianity has had on society, even in these postmodern, secular times, is unquestionable. Cahill delights and fascinates in exposing strange twists of history by engaging new and lively perspectives on ancient debates, and here he does it very well indeed.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
This book was just one in a long list of books on the scholarly study of the texts that have influenced Western thought that I have read recently. Like many other books it starts with the scriptures and compares and contrasts the motivations of... Read More
Review (not rated)
by Anonymous Cliff of Ft. Myers, Fla. I am soon to be 62 years old. I have read the New Testament since I was a pre-teen boy. I thought I pretty well knew what I thought about this enigma called Jesus Christ. Wrong! Mr. Cahill has dramatically... Read More
The early life of the Son of God, including the missing years as told by his childhood friend Biff. "An instant classic...terrific, funny and poignant".
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