In this fascinating portrait of the fiery and brilliant preacher who changed the world, Vermes returns to the historical reality of Jesus and his gospel to discover 'the genuine message of the Galilean master'.
How, in the shadow of the Roman Empire, did a humble preacher and his followers spread his message so far and wide? Vermes returns to the preaching of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke to separate ‘the genuine message of the Galilean Master’ from the ensuing 2,000 years of theology and tradition. In so doing, he reaches the very heart of original Christian teachings and addresses many questions and misconceptions. What is the historical provenance of early Christian doctrine? How did Jesus see his own relationship to God? Was he seeking to preach only to his Jewish compatriots or was his mission to found a broader Church?
New prologue by the author
Three-quarter-bound in buckram
Modigliani paper sides
Printed and blocked with Christ Pantocrator, 7th-century encaustic painting
Set in Miller
Frontispiece and 12 pages of colour plates
Book size: 10" × 6½"
'I have simply tried to put the record straight and to reconstruct a genuine likeness of Yeshua, son of Joseph of the Galilean townlet of Nazareth.’
This is the stated aim of Geza Vermes, ‘the greatest Jesus scholar of his generation’ (Sunday Telegraph), in his acclaimed reassessment of the fiery and brilliant Aramaic-speaking Jewish healer who changed the world.
Vermes’s approach is groundbreaking. He links many of the best-known Gospel parables, such as that of the prodigal son, to far older Hebrew traditions; he shows that in transition from oral Aramaic to written Greek, and through the spread of Jesus’ ministry from Palestine into the wider Graeco-Roman world, variations arose. There is compelling evidence to suggest that Jesus’ public ministry may have lasted as little as six months, from autumn to spring ad 30. By returning to the reality of Jesus, the preacher and healer, Vermes shows just why this brief ministry reset the course of history and of faith.
‘Wonderfully accessible … This book will demand that Christians rethink their faith’
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