Author Topic: Jesus Before Christianity  (Read 3416 times)

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Offline Matthew777

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Jesus Before Christianity
« on: April 22, 2005, 08:39:24 PM »
Has anyone read or heard of the book Jesus Before Christianity by Albert Nolan? I've been looking for a copy. Would anyone recomend it?

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« Last Edit: April 22, 2005, 08:40:19 PM by Matthew777 »
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Offline Kizzy

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2005, 11:39:30 PM »
Matthew I haven't heard of the book... However, if you are interested in history of the beginning of the church, there was a very good series called "From Jesus to Christ"  . I think it was A& E or the history channel... the transcript is online, and you can buy a dvd set- it's 4 hours, divided into differen sections of the history... very interesting...

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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2005, 11:49:45 PM »
Thank you for the recomendation.
I found a copy of Jesus Before Christianity at Gonzaga University's library. It is a Dominican priest's biography of Jesus based on the Gospels.

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Offline Ebor

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2005, 11:54:48 PM »
Well, I've found an assertion that Marcus Borg speaks of the Nolan book. (which I do not see as a recommendation)  It looks to be of the "Quest for the Historical Jesus" school of though, which is sometimes dubious, to say the least.

Ebor
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2005, 12:42:28 AM »
I read "Jesus Before Christianity" about 15 years ago. Back then, it was the 'bible' of the Liberation Theology movement here in Australia.

"Jesus Before Christianity" is a Conflict Theory analysis of the life and teachings of Christ.
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2005, 01:49:12 AM »
Rather interesting. Does the author say outright that he is using Hegel's dialectic?
He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2005, 06:37:49 PM »
Speaking of conflict theory, it is possible that the Gospel of John is the synthesis of what the Holy Spirit revealed to St. Paul and the synoptic writers.
He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2005, 07:16:08 PM »
Has anyone read The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey?
He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2005, 10:27:17 PM »
I am almost halfway through this book and so far, it is one of the best works on the person of Jesus that I have ever read.
Jesus did not just come so that we may have salvation, He came so that He may change the world through us.
He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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Offline Strelets

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2005, 10:42:45 PM »
Quote
Has anyone read The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey?

Nah, I'm still re-reading the Jesus I never knew by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
"The creed is very simple, and here is what it is: to believe that there is nothing more beautiful, more courageous, and more perfect than Christ; and there not only isn't, but I tell myself with a jealous love, there cannot be." ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Offline Matthew777

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2005, 10:48:15 PM »
Phillip Yancey is a Christian journalist who wrote a book on how our understanding of Jesus as the Son of God can move beyond what we were taught in Sunday school. He is not a member of the Jesus Seminar movement, and he actually believes in traditional Christianity.
He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2005, 01:09:06 AM »
I finished reading the book today. In Jesus Before Christianity, Albert Nolan does a very good job of presenting the social doctrine of Jesus. He came in order to usher in an age without prestige, wealth, political power, racism and social class. The Jews rejected this message and therefore, they received judgement in the fall of Jerusalem.

Though Nolan presents the meaning of the Kingdom and the person of Jesus in a way especially relevant for our time, he neglects some important doctrines.

For example, Nolan assumes that Jesus did not claim any messaianic or divine titles for Himself. This assumption is discredited clearly with, "Before Abraham was, I AM".

Furthermore, the Kingdom of God is not just a future Kingdom in which God will establish a world without injustice and war.

The Kingdom of God is being and becoming. The Kingdom of God is within you now, for God is in your heart. The Kingdom of God is in Heaven, for that is the throne of God. The Kingdom will come on earth as it is in Heaven, but not on earth alone.

Nolan also does a very good job of explaining how profoundly human Jesus was and how he lived but in doing so, he fails to give enough attention to the divinity of Christ.

No clear mention is made of the divinity of Christ until the final chapter but perhaps this is just to keep non-Christians interested in reading until the end given that Nolan did not intend to write an apologetics book.

This book most importantly elaborates on what actions define a Christian. If you are a Christian, then you must be willing to give up all desires to wealth, power, prestige and other worldly evils. Those who do not give up worldly evils will perish while the poor will inherit the earth.

Given that Nolan admittingly expresses some private opinions which are outside of traditional Christianity, I recomend this book only to gain a better understanding of the historical context surrounding the Gospels, the meaning of the Kingdom of God, and the social doctrine which we must follow to prepare for the Kingdom.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2005, 01:19:11 AM by Matthew777 »
He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Jesus Before Christianity
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2006, 06:44:05 AM »
I just finished reading this book for the second, or perhaps the third time. Though some of it's assertsions are spurious, it is overall an important book for the Christian reader, especially in relating to our times.

Peace. 
He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche
www.aramaicpeshitta.com
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/e/et/et0.htm