The Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth Essay

1398 Words Dec 4th, 2015 null Page
When Reza Aslan appeared on the Fox News webcast “Spirited Debate”, he was asked by its host, Lauren Green, “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” This question, along with Aslan’s reasoned response to it and other inflammatory questions asked during the interview, set off a firestorm of criticism of Fox News across the web. Fortunately for Aslan, the publicity this generated played a role in the eventual popularity of the book in question, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Green’s question was ill-advised for many reasons, but it also missed an opportunity for actual criticism of Aslan’s book. The more appropriate question to have asked would have been to inquire about Aslan’s academic background and credentials, as well as how he backs up some of the more outlandish claims made in Zealot. These, among others, are criticisms seen across the many reviews of this book from reviews published in Christian, Jewish, and secular magazines and newspapers. Donald Senior, in his America Magazine review entitled “Messiah Complex”, lays out his basis for considering Zealot to be more of a work of fiction than a work of scholarship. Senior describes how Aslan bases his understanding of a new historical Jesus on the purification of the temple written about in the gospels. Aslan uses this scene to argue for a Jesus who advocated the “overthrow and destruction—violent if need be—of the ruling powers and their replacement by a…

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