Zealot: The Story of a Good Story

There is a lot of interest in Reza Aslan’s newest book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. I have posted comments concerning this book earlier (here, here, and here), but now I have read it for myself and perhaps can offer a simple review.

The premise of this excellent book is that despite all the religious followers around the world, we really don’t know much about the man known as Jesus. Aslan attempts to combine what little we do know about the historical Jesus with the stories developed in the Bible; however, the stories are not uncritically accepted as gospel, but rather are measured and analyzed against the accepted knowledge of the culture and society around the area centered on Jerusalem at the start of the Common Era.

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Zealot on Fox News

The Fox News interview with the author of Zealot, Reza Aslan, has gone viral and is openly considered Fox News’s most cringe-worthy interview. Interestingly, it has put the sales of Zealot through the roof and I’m sure Aslan and his publisher are more than pleased with Fox News’s stupidity.

You decide:

For additional commentary on this, go to Slate and read:  Reza Aslan Knew Exactly What He Was Doing in That Fox News Interview By Josh Voorhees. Fun stuff and Fox News certainly showed its lack of expertise and class. Fair and Balanced? (that deserves the classic “laughing my ass off and rolling on the floor” response but I refuse to use internet clichés).


JesusI watched the author Reza Aslan discuss his newest book, Zealot: The Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth, and downloaded a copy so I could better understand his position on the historical Jesus.

… even if you believe that Jesus was God incarnate, God-made flesh, you still believe that Jesus was also a man. That’s the core of orthodox Christianity; that he was fully God and fully man. Well, if you believe that, then as a man, Jesus lived in a specific time and place. He confronted a specific set of social ills and his teaching, his work, his actions, must be understood in the context of that world in which he lived. So if you truly call yourself a follower of Jesus, then shouldn’t you know something about the world in which the man that you follow, lived in? Because that world, it turns out, was enormously influential in shaping who he was and the teaching that he espoused.

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