Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
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Well written personal look at Jesus' sayings1 avril 2006
Dr. James Gardner
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This is an extremely well written book in which the author, Stephen Mitchell, gives us his account of what be believes Jesus said and how he said it. This is not a scholarly book vis-a-vis Funk's Jesus Seminar edition, nor is it a throw away like Cayce's book of nearly the same name. Instead it is a personal book that flows from Mitchell's experiences in a variety of religions over many years.
The book is really a companion to Mitchell's early book "The Gospel According to Jesus". For people unfamiliar with that book, there is a very good notes section at the back of this book that expands on many of the themes raised in the first part. Unfortuanely as you are reading the first part there are no notations to refer you to the back part, so I suggest you read the back part first. Note to Mitchell - please correct this flaw in subsequent editions.
All in all I think Mitchell's translations capture the authentic Jesus better than I have seen it captured in most popular works (Revised Standard, King James, etc.). He does make a few errors (e.g., Jesus didn't live in Nazareth because Nazareth didn't exist at that time; the Gospels were written about 70 AD when almost all evidence is early 2nd Century) but he equally clears up a few issues that others have interpreted incorrectly (e.g., tekton is not "carpenter" but builder, "Son of Mary" = [...], "Abba" can be translated as "papa").
I agree wholeheartedly with Mitchell's continual reminder that Christianity today "would have been incomprehensible to Jesus."
Scholars will probably not benefit from this book. Nor would it be very beneficial to people looking for the "historical Jesus". But as an introduction to Jesus, especially for young adults, this book would be an excellent addition. Also, for someone who seeks to know what was Jesus like, without all the trappings of footnotes, citations, and references, this is an excellent book.
19 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Mitchell's Jesus for teens and young adults31 mai 2002
John S. Ryan
- Publié sur Amazon.com
One of the editorial reviews of this book says: "his plug for the self-help work of Byron Katie seems out of place and disingenuous as Mitchell wrote the introduction for her new book." So let's clear that up right away: Stephen Mitchell is married to Byron Katie. His only "plug" for her work is a brief mention of some material available for free on her website, and it's offered as an alternative that some people find more helpful than the meditative techniques Mitchell is discussing at that point in the text. There's nothing disingenuous going on here. Now on to the book itself. If you've read Mitchell's _The Gospel According to Jesus_, there won't be many surprises for you here. This book is a stripped-down, somewhat simplified version of that one; the text is part new, part used. The style is intended to be accessible to teenagers and young adults. Mitchell's translation of the "gospel" is included as well, and it's essentially the same text as before but with some rewriting (mostly paraphrasing). Mitchell admits in his 1991 book that he may have excluded some passages "whose light [he hadn't] been able to see," so the reader may wonder whether he's added anything since that time. Well, not much -- two or three short parables, a paraphrase of a line from the Gospel of the Nazoreans, and a couple of excerpts from the epistle of James. (I think this latter is an excellent choice; I think well of James and there's good reason to think the text is based closely on Jesus's oral teachings.) What's really new here is Mitchell's introduction, in which he tells us quite a bit about how he came to write a book about Jesus in the first place. This stuff will be of interest not only to the book's ostensible target readership but also to readers of his earlier Jesus book who want to know more about what motivated him. And among other things, he admits candidly that in selecting what he regards as the "authentic" sayings and acts of the historical Jesus, he's deliberately erring on the side of leaving things out rather than including too much. Despite some disagreements with some of his interpretations (e.g. his downplaying of the political importance of Jesus's teachings), I really like the positive features of his 1991 other book; in fact it was instrumental in getting me re-interested in the world's most famous Jewish spiritual teacher. But in my review of that book (which see), I gave it only three stars because of its questionable scholarship and its attitude of "spiritual one-upmanship" toward believing Christians (of whom, for the record, I am not one, so I'm not speaking here out of personal pique). This new book gets four stars because so much of that stuff has been toned down or omitted altogether. Oh, some of the problems are still there. The resurrection, for example, is still treated as a "legend" with no explanation about why it can't be regarded as historical. Sure, the gospels' post-resurrection stories can't be reconciled with one another (e.g. did the disciples return to the Galilee or remain in Jerusalem?), but that doesn't mean _nothing_ happened. Jesus's being in some way "raised" doesn't commit anyone to a Christian theological understanding of the event. And if all Mitchell means is that Jesus's corpse didn't just get up and start walking around again -- well, I don't think that's what Christians believe either. And we're still suggesting that Jesus might have been illegitimate. For the record, folks: under Jewish law, _any_ child born in wedlock is "legitimate," no matter who the biological father is. Sure, if people suspected that Joseph wasn't Jesus's father, there might well have been some unpleasant talk. But that wouldn't make him "illegitimate"; "mamzer" is not the same concept as "bastard," and I (again) wish Mitchell had said so. But this time around, Mitchell has enough sense not to present his book as suitable for "believers and nonbelievers" (as per the subtitle of his earlier book). In fact he expressly warns Christians that some of them may _not_ want to read this book, which is a nice change (and an indication of why I awarded him that additional star). This new book is suitable for its intended audience as long as they (or their parents) know what they're getting. And as I said, it will also be of interest to readers who want a little more of the "backstory" for _The Gospel According to Jesus_. If you like Mitchell's work, this one is worth the investment.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Get past the incidentals and you'll find a pretty good book1 octobre 2010
Jason A. Greiner
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Books like this tend to get either the love it or hate it treatment. There's very little in between.
In "Jesus: What He Really Said and Did" author Stephen Mitchell uses his research, personal experience and spiritual soul searching to help convey a simple yet often missed message.
While some of the details are likely to be a bit disturbing to some fundamentalist Christians, the bottom line of the book is something that is very hard to refute as that it is at the very basis of every major religion - love.
Mitchell writes about his experiences with Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam along with offering his personal insight into several accounts taken from the Bible itself.
If the reader looks past the things that he or she finds debatable, considering they are not the key purpose and arguably not even of crucial importance in this book, he or she will surely be able to gain some interesting insight from this simple yet lesson-filled piece of literature.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Fills a Huge Gap in Any YA Lit Collection21 octobre 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
It appears that many of the disappointed reviewers have overlooked the fact that this is YA lit, not adult lit. Where others see watered-down or overly-cautious language, I see accessible, age-appropriate language that takes teen sensibilities into account. No doubt many will disagree with Mitchell's views of the historical Jesus, but it's difficult, if not impossible, to say who is really 100% right on that score, so I'm not going to critique him as a historian, nor even as a theologian. I'm simply going to say that the book is well-written and that it fills a huge gap in any YA collection, because it is one of the only books available to teens which offers a perspective on Jesus of Nazareth that is neither hostile nor superstitious. I, for one, found it refreshing.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
bias11 juin 2008
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I gave this book a 5 star, to off set the unfair bias against it. It seems that most who have reviewed this book so far are those who lack an open mind. Mitchell, gives a good summary of a realistic Jesus written tword young adults. I lent a copy out to a friend and it has yet to reappear so I am buying an other one so my daughter can give it a read. In closing it is a well written amusing journey of a book about Jesus.