Zealot by Reza Aslan


From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to t...

Details Zealot

Release DateJul 16th, 2013
PublisherRandom House (NY)
Number of pages296 pages
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Religion, Biography, Christianity, Audiobook

Reviews Zealot

  • Stephanie
    "Hello there! Jesus of Nazareth.....Right?" "Um, yes that's me, and you are?""Stephanie, nice to meet you.""How did you know my name?" Said Jesus "And what the devil is that contraption you're sitting on?""This is a time machine, a lawn mower/laptop, freak lightning strike.....and ta da! Time machine. A friend of mine let me borrow it so that I could come to your time and talk with you. See, I read this book about you and I decided to stop by her...
  • Mario Sundar
    Oh. My. God. I'm just done with Part I of this book, which is a breathless roller-coaster of a narrative that seems to meld the painfully bureaucratic themes of "The Wire" with the ferocity of "Game of Thrones" to describe the world that was Jerusalem under Roman occupation before, during and after the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The author's attempt here, unlike Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, is not to ridicule the contradictions in th...
  • Marvin
    Let"s face it. Theologians and religious historians will never get along. I am reminded of a scene in Clifford Simaks' clever time travel novel, Mastodonia. The inventor of a patented method of time travel is met by a rabbi, a priest, and a Protestant minister who wants to buy the exclusive rights of travel to the time of Jesus Christ. The inventor says, "That's wonderful. You three can go back and find out the truth about Jesus." But the three h...
  • Marina Nemat
    Mr. Aslan has a thesis, and he has written Zealot to prove it. As we soon find out while reading the book, Aslan intends to accomplish his mission at any cost, sometimes even at the cost of betraying logic and the very historical facts he claims to draw his conclusions from.Very early in the book, Aslan clearly lays out his thesis: Jesus was “a zealous revolutionary swept up, as all Jews of the era were, in the religious and political turmoil o...
  • Jim Marshall
    I was raised and educated as a Roman Catholic, so I don’t know if people from other faith traditions would be as surprised and grateful as I am for the insightful revelations made in this book about the historical Jesus. Aslan is careful to distinguish this Jesus—the historical Jesus—from the Christ who was constructed almost entirely from the writings of Paul, who had never met or seen Jesus, and whose epistles were written between 20 and ...
  • Riku Sayuj
    For the Exhaustive Review: CLICK HERE> In The Shadow Of The Cross: Jesus, before The Christ Once Upon a Time, there was a Great Empire. At its very edges, hardly noticed, was a small region. A minor kingdom in fact. A Theocracy of sorts, now. The Empire was not too concerned about them, but they knew in their hearts that they were the Chosen People. Their religious books and prophesies told them as much. They believed fervently that one day a sav...
  • Alejandro
    Excellent book!Some fellow reader friends recommended me the book and also I noticed the author in a documentary series "Secrets of the Bible" on History Channel since he was one of the people making comments there and identifying him as the writer of this very book. So, I thought that it was destined to read it at some point. Happily I was able to do it sooner that I thought.This is a research book that Reza Aslan, the author, made a 20-years' i...
  • Diane
    This is a fascinating look at the historical, social and political context of the First Century in Palestine and of Jesus the man. The information will be familiar to religious scholars, but Reza Aslan writes so well and synthesizes so much knowledge that he makes it accessible to the layperson. The book begins with a touching author's note, which tells how he first became interested in Jesus. It happened when Aslan was attending an evangelical s...
  • Hadrian
    Like most people here, I first heard about this book thanks to the stunningly ignorant interview they conducted of the author and the further conspiratorial hit pieces about Jewish bankers performed on him by Glenn Beck in the following days. It goes without saying that these attempts all backfired and the book is now a New York Times bestseller.The main points of his argument can be found in Chapter 10, "May Your Kingdom Come". In it, he summari...
  • Darwin8u
    “...most people in the ancient world, did not make a sharp distinction between myth and reality. The two were intimately tied together in their spiritual experience. That is to say, they were less interested in what actually happened, than in what it meant." ― Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of NazarethLet me just throw in here now that Fox skeptics need not worry, while this book was written by a Muslim, it wasn't written by ...
  • jordan
    Reading Reza Aslan's short history of Islam, "No God but God," one quickly understood the book's purpose. As a Western educated theologian, Aslan wished to take Islam back to its roots. He sought to compose a portrait of the prophet Mohammed that was enlightened and egalitarian. Likewise, by "contextualizing" early Islam, he sought to redefine certain key terms, as well as crack the veneration of the prophet that has with the centuries has grown ...
  • Joseph
    Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan is a study of the historical Jesus and the Jewish people and their relationship with the Romans. Rez Aslan is an Iranian-American writer and is on the faculty of University of California, Riverside. He came to America in 1979 with his parents who were fleeing the Iranian Revolution. Aslan holds a BA in Religions, a Masters in Theology in from Harvard Divinity, and a PhD in Sociology of...
  • Jason
    The author seeks to balance the Jesus of the gospels with the “historic Jesus.” It is important for readers to know this, as it impacts the possible reception of the book.As a believer in Christianity, I hold the words of the Bible in high regard, believing scripture to be true. “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be comple...
  • Jimmy
    Let me start off on a tangent. I've been watching some Reza Aslan clips on YouTube and been really pleasantly surprised by some of his perspectives. This one for example:Q: As a historian and scholar, as you read all this, how can you still believe any of these religions?A: I don't believe in a religion, I believe in God. The only reason that I call myself a Muslim is because the symbols and metaphors that Islam uses to talk about God are ones th...
  • Roger DeBlanck
    Dr. Reza Aslan sets forth at once a fascinating, insightful, and impassioned study of the historical life of Jesus. In portraying Jesus as a man with all his lifelike faults and ambitions, Aslan brings us closer to understanding the individual who became known as Christ better than any scholarly investigation before. The focal thesis of this impressive biography is to put Jesus in the context of his time period and reveal him as a man of substant...
  • Jan-Jaap van Peperstraten
    Aslan is a good writer, he knows how to put an exciting yarn on paper. He is, unfortunately, also a poor theologian and "Zealot" certainly doesn`t do what it says on the tin. "Zealot" is riddled with factual errors and based on an extremely limited selection of verses from the hypothetical Q-source. Anything not fitting in his fairly idiosyncratic interpretation of the life and meaning of Jesus is either "inauthentic", "christian projection" or s...
  • peter
    some interesting things I learned in this book about Jesus the man:- Jesus was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. - Nazareth was a small village but he had to often travel to the big metropolis close by, so he saw the rich/poor gap.- Jesus was a radical Jewish nationalist, who opposed the Roman occupation of his homeland. He also hated his fellow Jews who were in higher positions who were basically puppets of the Romans and made money off of it.- N...
  • Ivonne Rovira
    I first bought Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth in a fit of pique; I’m not sure if I ever seriously intended to read Reza Aslan’s scrupulously researched and well-conceived account of the historical Jesus. I had seen the travesty of Aslan’s interview on Fox News, which you can witness for yourself here. The interview by the exceptionally dim-witted Lauren Green was so incredibly dreadful that it proved hilarious, and it led t...
  • Maryellen
    This book was an interesting and consuming read, intriguing and challenging to what I've known about Jesus and Christianity. I'm certain it will get a lot of press and be vilified by some readers for the questions it brings into focus about the development of Christianity. Having said that I think that the author does an extraordinary job in researching his subject and trying to pull together a historical picture of what the man called Jesus's li...
  • Greg
    I have read quite a lot of books written by Scripture scholars attempting to "unpack" both the First and Second Testaments (a more respectful way of saying "Old" and "New" Testaments), and this ranks as one of the very best.Why!1) It is very approachable. Mr. Aslan may be a scholar -- and he is a very good one! -- but he is also a novelist at heart. In the first part of his book he takes information from many disparate sources and introduces us t...
  • Jan Rice
    There are some reasons I can't review this book as I normally would, say, by summarizing chapters and key concepts.Once a month for three months (one each for Parts I, II and II) I led a discussion group on it, so I gave it a close read. It turned out that what that entailed was figuring out and recording what Aslan was saying in each chapter, no easy task. I set myself the task of recording what he was saying and only then noting concerns, confu...
  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    Full disclosure: I was raised Catholic and started to question religion around the time I went to college. Since then I'm not sure what I identify as -- perhaps spiritual but nonreligious. Either way, I am always fascinated by history and this book gave me a glimpse of Jesus as an historical figure. I do find it slightly difficult to classify this book as either a biography or even a nonfiction work when it involves so much supposition and relian...
  • Cyndy Aleo
    If there's one thing my lapsed Catholic self is always going to jump on, it's a book that compares the historical facts about the life of Jesus to the religious beliefs that surround him.Like most academic books, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth is dense with information. This isn't a quick read, and I don't think author Reza Aslan intends it to be. As the introduction notes, the author was raised Muslim, embraced Christianity afte...
  • Tom
    I can’t think of a book whose text I’ve highlighted more than Reza Aslan’s fascinating new biography, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” There are so many incredible points I’d never thought about, so many new takes on this 2000+ year-old story.First off, this is not a debunking of Jesus Christ. It’s neither blasphemy nor sacrilege. The author, in his foreword, proclaims his Christianity. Still, this book might still...
  • Elliot Ratzman
    As a non-Christian Religious Studies prof who has read a number of “historical Jesus” books I am delighted that Zealot will lead people to read more scholarly works on the origins and early years of the Christian movement. Aslan’s account of Jesus as anti-imperial revolutionary is fine, nothing new, but told with clarity and panache. In my professional opinion he is a notch too confident in his assertions: if the Gospels are decades-after-t...
  • Yann
    Le Zélote est un livre à thèse, qui s'appuyant sur un exposé de la situation de la Judée au Ier siècle de notre ère, tente d'en déduire un portrait "historique" de Jésus de Nazareth, personnage central des Évangiles. Toute la partie qui s'appuie sur de véritables sources historiques, (historiens gréco-romains, Flavius Josèphe, etc...) est excellente, informative, bien écrite, et offre une très bonne introduction à ce thème absolu...
  • Rebecca
    I never, ever would have picked up this book had it been written by any one other than Reza Aslan, who is high up on my list of intellectual crushes. I still wasn't convinced to read it until I saw him on the Daily Show, and I figured I'd give it a try.I was really, unexpectedly involved in this book, which made me feel more than a little uncomfortable at points, since I am a good little Jewish girl. However, at the same time I also felt justifie...
  • Laura
    "I am thirty-three--the age of the good Sans-culotte Jesus; an age fatal to revolutionists." --Camille Desmoulins during an interrogation under the Terror in the French RevolutionLike many, I started Zealot after Aslan's Fox interview went viral, out of interest. It's an engaging synthesis of Biblical scholarship over the past half-century, and the whole kerfuffle is vastly undeserved. That said, we live in a post-Enlightenment world where no rea...
  • Joe
    I first learned of this book from that crazy Fox News interview with Reza Aslan where they were upset with him for writing a book about Jesus even though he is a Muslim. Aslan pointed out that he is a historical scholar and it is entirely appropriate for him to write this book. I've seen him several times on Colbert/Daily Show, I like the cut of his jib, so I decided to read this book.Full confession: I am a Christian who regularly attends church...
  • KamRun
    شروع مطالعه، بدون پیش فرض ذهنیکتاب را به توصیه یکی از دوستان، بدون شناخت نویسنده تهیه کردم، درباره کتاب تنها این را می دانستم که نویسنده ایرانی- آمریکایی (و البته خواهرزاده لیلی فروهر) در مقام یک پژوهشگر و استاد تاریخ ادیان دانشگاه کالیفرنیا، به با...