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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Killing Jesus Review


It is the most fiercely debated murder of all time. Its symbol is worn by billions of people worldwide. Its spiritual meaning is invoked daily in time-honored rituals. In Killing JesusNew York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield masterfully recounts the corrupt trial and grisly execution of Jesus more than two thousand years ago.

Approaching the story at its most human level, Mansfield uses both secular sources and biblical accounts to bring fresh perspective to the human drama, political intrigue, and criminal network behind the killing of the world's most famous man.

My Review:

From the opening chapter the grisly aspects of this tale are apparent.  Pulling almost word for word from the accounts of Josephus and his description of the disease that ended the life of Herod the Great we begin the story appalled.  Fortunately, once you get past the graphic details, the retelling of Jesus last days are detailed, and yet fresh.

I found the subtitle misleading, as most of the Christians I know knew of the "conspiracy" behind the Roman execution.  Perhaps that is not true elsewhere though.  Mansfield follows Jesus from his entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey all the way through his horrific death.  The account is written at a level that even my middle school daughter would be able to understand the political environment and the impact that Jesus' actions had on the environment.  You don't need to be well versed in history, religion, or politics to grasp what is going on.  I like that.  It is a book for the average person.

I also liked that the book sticks to the facts.  There isn't a religious leaning, nor a push for one to come to God, making this an excellent book to share with non-believers.  Think of it as a way to open the door, Mansfield leaves the rest to you.

Something that sets this book apart from other books that rely heavily on other sources is that rather than being constantly interrupted visually by footnotes or citations, Mansfield has opted to write the book as a story and save the credits for the end.  I found that it helped me to stay in the accounting rather than feel as if there were numerous "commercial interruptions".

I found this a good book to read during this, the Passion week, and a great reminder of all that Jesus went through to open the doors to heaven for us.

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