Changing Faces Of Jesus

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9780140265248: Changing Faces Of Jesus

During his life Jesus did not view himself as divine, nor did his disciples. In THE CHANGING FACES OF JESUS the great scholar Vermes works back through successively earlier accounts of the life of Christ to finally reveal the true, historical figureof Jesus hidden beneath the Gospels: a Palestinian charismatic convinced he had an essential role to play in bringing about the kingdom of God.

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Review:

The Changing Faces of Jesus is a reflection on the ways that translations of Scripture have transformed believers' understandings of Jesus. Author Geza Vermes, a biblical scholar perhaps best known for his English translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, reviews the varying portraits of Jesus in Scripture, particularly focusing on the letters of Paul and the Gospel of John. The author contends that, "by the end of the first century Christianity had lost sight of the real Jesus and of the original meaning of his message." The real Jesus, a "religious man with an irresistible charismatic charm," was replaced by "Jesus the Christ, the transcendent object of the Christian religion." Vermes avoids the polemic tone often adopted by scholars who make similar arguments. Here is an example of the modest style in which this author makes his momentous claims:

As a historian I consider Jesus, the primitive church and the New Testament as part and parcel of first-century Judaism and seek to read them as such rather than through the eyes of a theologian who may often be conditioned, and subconsciously influenced, by two millennia of Christian belief and church directives.
This tone will help readers--even those predisposed to disagree with Vermes--to understand his argument that religious belief has skewed understanding of the central figure of the Christian religion. --Michael Joseph Gross

About the Author:

Geza Vermes was brought up in a Christian family, ordained a Catholic priest, and subsequently reverted to his Jewish roots. His work on the historical figure of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls led to his appointment as Professor of Jewish Studies atOxford, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He is the author of THE COMPLETE DEAD SEA SCROLLS IN ENGLISH, which has sold in the region of half a million copies in Penguin to date.

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Vermes, Geza (Author)
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ISBN 10: 0140265244 ISBN 13: 9780140265248
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