This volume focuses on two major aspects of the historicity of Jesus. The first aspect identifies the sources, which by and large is exclusively the gospels. The next best source is Josephus, who only has a couple short references to Jesus and one of them is in question. He disputes the apocryphal gospels as being written much later and dependent on the actual gospels for source material.
The second major aspect Meier addresses is the roots of who Jesus was. He covers the infancy narratives and also explores the culture of the time to understand things such as what language Jesus spoke, his level of literacy, his relationship with his siblings, etc. Meier concludes this volume with a study on the chronology on Jesus' life (an interesting study, indeed).
The scholarship and readability of this book are profound. The reading does not gloss over evidence, yet it manages to be light enough for the casual reader interested in a deep understanding of the historical Jesus. This alone leads me to grant this review five stars. In general, he handled the historicity fairly. At times I felt his presumptions trended to the left of center (he doubts Jesus' birth in Bethlehem), but he does not take a definitive stance, leaving room for the reader to form his own opinions based on the evidence. I was taken aback by the strange title of this book, but by the end, I understand why John Meier titled it _A Marginal Jew_. Jesus was a man of humble upbringing, from a small town, and there is limited source data to understand who he was from a historic perspective. I look forward to reading the next volume.
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|Title||A Marginal Jew|
|Author||John P. Meier|
|File size||2.6 Mb|
|eBook format||Hardcover, (torrent)|
|Book rating||4.27 (153 votes)
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