Jesus as a Jewish Jihadist

Review of Zealot by Robert Gundry

In his New York Times #1 best seller for nonfiction, Reza Aslan portrays the historical Jesus as a zealot who preached sedition against Rome. According to Aslan, Jesus’ message of God’s kingdom promised the overthrow of Rome, the expulsion of all foreign elements from the Holy Land, and the Jews’ world-wide political dominance under Jesus’ kingship. Though he himself did not take up arms, he said he came not to bring peace on earth, but the sword; and he told his disciples to arm themselves with swords for the coming conflict. Since the Jewish hierarchs who controlled the temple served as lackeys to the Romans, Jesus’ cleansing the temple challenged not only the hierarchs’ authority, but also that of the Romans. Hence his crucifixion as “The King of the Jews” counted as the execution of a messianic rebel. But the kingdom of God as Jesus envisioned it did not come. In fact, even the nearly successful Jewish rebellion against Rome in ad 66-73 collapsed under the onslaught of Roman power. As a result of these embarrassments and the influx of non-Palestinian Jews and non-Jews into the Jesus movement, the historically human Jesus of zealotic rebellion was transformed into the fictitiously divine Christ of a peaceful, heavenly kingdom.

You can read my review of Zealot here.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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