Books: Who Really Killed Jesus?
By Ray Saadi - Book Editor
ZEALOT By Reza Aslan (Random House $27)
KILLING JESUS By Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt $28)
Here are two fascinating looks at Jesus; the man, not as God or the Messiah, in the religious and political context of his time: Zealot, written by Aslan, a Muslim and noted biblical scholar; and Killing Jesus by O’Reilly, a Roman Catholic and author of Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy. Both attempt to clarify or correct errors, omissions and contradictions in the Bible. Since they find few references to Jesus in non-biblical sources, they rely on familiar ancient writers, notably the Jewish historian Flavius who mentions Jesus in a passing remark. The writers themselves don’t always agree; Aslan argues Jesus was crucified and executed by Rome for the crime of sedition while O’Reilly points to Pilate’s concession to the demands of the High Priest. Killing Jesus, although billed as “A History” reads like a novel and might be more popular, while Zealot, benefiting from Aslan’s 20 years of historical study, may be more daunting. Either or both will have you running for your Bible.
Pick up the November 2013 Issue on stands now for more reviews by Ray Saadi