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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 the authors as well as trying to evaluate the time period they were likely recorded in their current state. Like many other well written works it re-evaluates the role of women in Christ's ministry. Christian women have often been excluded from religious life- but this did not start with Christ (many resources indicate this began about 100 years after Christ)
This book seeks to address the mystery of Christ by unravelling His Palestinian Jewish world with all of its Greek and Roman influences. Mr. Cahill disects the world Christ was born into in a way that can help contemporary readers appreciate, likely for the first time, the religious and cultural backdrop of Christ ministry. Allowing readers to understand the novelty of a message of love and forgiveness in a world worshipping the relentless military advances of Alexander the Great and the merciless Roman Empire. This book is likely to bring readers a new (and possible better) understanding of Jewish-Christian relations; the true role of women in the early church (finally clearing the long besmirched name of Mary Magdelene ); and a fresh look at Christ's message of COMPASSION and RESPONSIBILITY that is consistent from Gospel to Gospel.
Christians like to say that no one has influenced modern Western life as much as Christ, but do we really understand his original message? This book should be required reading in EVERY adult. Even those who subscribe to no formal religion will benefit from the message.
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 captured and portrayed His message and persona in a way I have never before experienced. Many of his conclusions I agree with, some I question, and some I outright disagree with. However, this book, excepting the New Testament itself, has given me more insight and food for thought than any book on Jesus and His times that I have read to this time. I heartily recommend it to all who seek/struggle to better understand how Christ could be both human and divine. An excellent piece of writing.