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The following translation of Renan's Vie de Jesus is made from the 13th edition of the complete work, which embodies the author's more mature views of his subject. The original work was begun, carried on, and, in its first form, completed during Renan's stay in Palestine, in the midst of the scenes in which the tragic story it relates had taken place. Partial Contents: Pla The following translation of Renan's Vie de Jesus is made from the 13th edition of the complete work, which embodies the author's more mature views of his subject. The original work was begun, carried on, and, in its first form, completed during Renan's stay in Palestine, in the midst of the scenes in which the tragic story it relates had taken place. Partial Contents: Place of Jesus in the history of the world; Childhood; Education; First sayings; John the Baptist; Jesus at Capernaum; Disciples; Preaching; First attempts on Jerusalem; Miracles; Institutions of Jesus; Opposition to Jesus; Last Journey; Last Week of Jesus; Arrest, Trial and Death; Essential nature of the work of Jesus.


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The following translation of Renan's Vie de Jesus is made from the 13th edition of the complete work, which embodies the author's more mature views of his subject. The original work was begun, carried on, and, in its first form, completed during Renan's stay in Palestine, in the midst of the scenes in which the tragic story it relates had taken place. Partial Contents: Pla The following translation of Renan's Vie de Jesus is made from the 13th edition of the complete work, which embodies the author's more mature views of his subject. The original work was begun, carried on, and, in its first form, completed during Renan's stay in Palestine, in the midst of the scenes in which the tragic story it relates had taken place. Partial Contents: Place of Jesus in the history of the world; Childhood; Education; First sayings; John the Baptist; Jesus at Capernaum; Disciples; Preaching; First attempts on Jerusalem; Miracles; Institutions of Jesus; Opposition to Jesus; Last Journey; Last Week of Jesus; Arrest, Trial and Death; Essential nature of the work of Jesus.

30 review for Life of Jesus

  1. 5 out of 5

    Adam Floridia

    This historical account of JC’s life is not exactly what I expected; I very naively thought it would be the smoking gun that would disprove the existence of God once and for all. Instead, with a clearly Christian bias, Renan unpacks the Synoptic Gospels as well as other primary sources from the time to present a believable/realistic account of what Jesus’ life most approximately would have been like. I took away from it a much clearer understanding of the tenets that literally constitute the cor This historical account of JC’s life is not exactly what I expected; I very naively thought it would be the smoking gun that would disprove the existence of God once and for all. Instead, with a clearly Christian bias, Renan unpacks the Synoptic Gospels as well as other primary sources from the time to present a believable/realistic account of what Jesus’ life most approximately would have been like. I took away from it a much clearer understanding of the tenets that literally constitute the cornerstone of Christianity, and a sounder belief in how much this cornerstone has eroded over the past two millennia. Suggestions for improvement to Renan (should he be reading this from Heaven): 1) As a historian, avoid conjectures and assumptions about motive. 2) Strive for objectivity by avoiding phrases like “this wretch [Judas of Kerioth]” when referring to historical persons and those like “All that is done outside of this great and good Christian tradition is barren” just in general. 3) Try to come up with a more original ending…I mean I saw this coming from page one! Finally, I wonder if Renan’s history would change were it written today after such discoveries as the Gnostic Gospels. . . God only knows.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Clif

    I was raised going to church each Sunday and enduring Sunday School to the point of being confirmed in the Methodist Church when in my early teens. As with most young people, parents determine the direction one takes in early life. My father, an ordained minister who did not preach but worked for the church in administration and was a biblical scholar with two PhD's in theology, insisted on church attendance, but beyond that made absolutely no attempt to instruct me in religion, though impressin I was raised going to church each Sunday and enduring Sunday School to the point of being confirmed in the Methodist Church when in my early teens. As with most young people, parents determine the direction one takes in early life. My father, an ordained minister who did not preach but worked for the church in administration and was a biblical scholar with two PhD's in theology, insisted on church attendance, but beyond that made absolutely no attempt to instruct me in religion, though impressing me greatly with the way he lived his life. You would expect that like most I would follow in the path laid down for me. I did consider myself a Christian into my twenties but had no interest in church or religion. Little by little what faith I had was worn away through reading and simply living a life that seemed to have no need of nor connection to mythology. Eventually, though feeling a bit anxious at merely thinking there is no god, I realized I had no faith at all and could make no sense of the church, the church which over time has come to seem quite bizarre not to mention the practices of professed Christians that could not be more contrary to what Jesus said. Yet I retained respect for what I knew of Jesus' teachings. I wish I had read The Life of Jesus long ago because it is a powerful and persuasive book that presents Jesus as only a man, but a very unusual one suited for the time in which he lived. He was not alone in having a particular outlook that attracted followers. There were many rabbis going about Palestine seeking to influence people. There was plenty of talk about a messiah that would be heralded by the appearance of two ancient prophets. There was emotional unrest with thoughts of end times. Judaism was restless under Roman rule. Some talked of revolt. Expectations were high for something to happen though the specifics could not be told. Yet Jesus had something to say that made him stand out. He spoke of behavior being driven by the heart, not any religious laws. He looked for sincerity in belief, not for religion worn on the sleeve by going through the motions prescribed by religious law. His fought hypocrisy and pride placing the man or woman who could put aside self interest for others as most worthy. He claimed to be the messiah who had come to call humanity to salvation before the generally accepted idea that a day of judgement was coming soon. Turning the other cheek, offering more than was asked, fraternizing with the outcast, being open to all. It all came down to the thought expressed by Gandhi so many centuries later, "the only salvation for a man is if he puts himself last." This is so contrary to human behavior that we naturally wonder how anyone could make it sound attractive. Because virtually nothing was written about Jesus until over a century after he died the question of what kind of person he was has always intrigued people. Renan builds the case that Jesus was adorable (a much overused word today). He impressed by practicing what he preached. It can be done, I do it, now do likewise is far more powerful than preaching. And he was always open to questions, sometimes baffling a questioner but stimulating thought at the same time. Where had this simple carpenter come to hold such consistent and powerful views? A century is far longer than any lifetime so we have to look to the writers of the Gospels as the only source for what Jesus said. Renan takes us into what the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John say, always keeping in mind that science comes first and we cannot use mythology to prove anything. No miracles happened, though it was a time when people were credulous and looked for miracles, setting the stage for the easy spread of stories of raising the dead or providing loaves and fishes. Renan paints a picture of the region, the Galilee on Lake Tiberius, where fishing was the occupation and lives were rural and simple in comparison to that lived in Jerusalem. Jesus had a far easier time with Galileans than with the worldly residents of the big city. This book shines in that all within it is believable. Renan was not there at the time of course, but he never presents anything that is not plausible. The reader also gets introduced in detail to all the people of the time who interacted with Jesus. We learn about Pontius Pilate, even the derivation of his name, of Herod Antipas, of John the Baptist. We get the entire sequence of events with explanations for why Jesus went here or there. Was Jesus deluded? Yes. His own immediate family thought he was mad. Did he experience doubts, anguish, fear like anyone else might? Yes, but he was convinced of his vision and presented a consistent and logical view that has impressed people ever since. Renan is avowedly a follower of Jesus and repeatedly expresses his admiration for the long surviving philosophy that presents no dogma but goes straight to the heart in making a case for human behavior so out of the ordinary that it still impresses us today. To me, the question that stands above all others regarding Christianity is the reliance on an afterlife as a reward for good behavior in this world. Pascal wagered that one should believe because if there is an afterlife and if you have not believed, you are doomed. What do you have to lose by believing? I suspect that at the pearly gates Pascal would be sent below because his wager is really a move based on his own self interest. And that is the problem with what Jesus taught. If he had neglected the promise of eternal life would he have drawn followers? If the first shall be last and the last shall be first, then being humble is just a way to end up first, and for eternity! Kant wrote that all of the mythology in Christianity is not to be dismissed because it wins over the masses who would not otherwise behave in the way that Christ asks us to behave. Renan presents The Life of Jesus with this thought framing it though he never states it. I close with a question for you. Would Jesus' teachings hold power, would they have resulted in the spread of Christianity, would man behave better toward his fellow man, if that behavior was expected without anything offered beyond it being a good thing to do...the golden rule by itself? The Bible is a maze of writings by many people that is so confusing that experts (like my father was) are challenged to make sense of it. At the other extreme are those who simply take it all literally, a cardinal sin for this skeptic. When it comes to the story of Jesus, let Ernest Renan make things clear for you in this book from 1863.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pete daPixie

    I read this book almost exactly forty years ago. A mid nineteenth century biography by Ernest Renan, this was the very first book I read, setting me off on my odyssey search for the historical Jesus. I have never entered the Christian faith, but back in 1972 I was a care free beach bum when I borrowed this work from a library in Cornwall. I certainly recall being glued into this. In spite of Renan's christology, this came across to me as a very descriptive and realistic travelogue. The land was P I read this book almost exactly forty years ago. A mid nineteenth century biography by Ernest Renan, this was the very first book I read, setting me off on my odyssey search for the historical Jesus. I have never entered the Christian faith, but back in 1972 I was a care free beach bum when I borrowed this work from a library in Cornwall. I certainly recall being glued into this. In spite of Renan's christology, this came across to me as a very descriptive and realistic travelogue. The land was Palastine and in the mid nineteenth century the author seemed to be able to delineate a time and place in the first century. If I discovered this book sat upon my library shelf today, I wouldn't hesitate to read this once again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I read most likely a good thirty years ago. I am rereading it now, and simply marveling at this tremendous work. Renan's encyclopedic knowledge of ancient history shines through every page, and yet the work is not turgid or wearisome (although I believe the first chapter was one I hurried through). It is beautifully written, and lyrical to a degree I have seldom experienced. His description of the people and countryside of Galilee made me utterly transported to that time, people and place. Altho I read most likely a good thirty years ago. I am rereading it now, and simply marveling at this tremendous work. Renan's encyclopedic knowledge of ancient history shines through every page, and yet the work is not turgid or wearisome (although I believe the first chapter was one I hurried through). It is beautifully written, and lyrical to a degree I have seldom experienced. His description of the people and countryside of Galilee made me utterly transported to that time, people and place. Although M. Renan was not a believer, the fact that he dearly loved Jesus the person permeates his observations. It is a generous portrayal and, although I am a believer, I am still the richer for having read it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    This is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, historical biographies of Jesus which does not appeal to the miraculous and which treats its sources, particularly the Christian scriptures, like any other documentation. I read it because of Albert Schweitzer's description of it in his history of the quest for the historical Jesus. Although dating from the mid-19th century, the text still holds up as a plausible reconstruction. This is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, historical biographies of Jesus which does not appeal to the miraculous and which treats its sources, particularly the Christian scriptures, like any other documentation. I read it because of Albert Schweitzer's description of it in his history of the quest for the historical Jesus. Although dating from the mid-19th century, the text still holds up as a plausible reconstruction.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Warren Fournier

    What a rollercoaster of emotion this was! There were times when I wanted to rage quit this book and other times where I was completely engrossed. If you are at all interested in the life of JC from a historical, psychological, ethnic, and sociological perspective, this controversial classic will be sure to both offend and inspire at the same time as tickle your intellect. If you decide to read this book, let me give you some fair warnings so you know what to expect without spoiling too much. The What a rollercoaster of emotion this was! There were times when I wanted to rage quit this book and other times where I was completely engrossed. If you are at all interested in the life of JC from a historical, psychological, ethnic, and sociological perspective, this controversial classic will be sure to both offend and inspire at the same time as tickle your intellect. If you decide to read this book, let me give you some fair warnings so you know what to expect without spoiling too much. The author, Ernest Renan, was a Frenchman from the 19th Century. This impacts the book in several ways. First of all, he was raised Christian, so even though he states that he outgrew his blind faith in Jesus as being literally divine and that he was trying to put together a cohesive narrative and psychological profile of the historic man from multiple source texts, he does tend to have a Christian bias. In addition, he is a smart-ass in the classic French style. What I mean is that he sounds more snippy and insulting than he actually is. Like a modern stand-up comic, he uses humor to poke fun at behaviors and cultural norms in a blanket way that can seem bigoted, and just when you think he really means what he says, he turns around and deconstructs what he just said in the most sensitive and emotional way imaginable. I believe he does this to catch the reader off guard, not just to keep them paying attention, but to challenge any internal bias or bigoted ideas that the reader may be inwardly bringing to the table. For example, he seems to make academic conclusions that are entirely nihilistic at first. According to Renan's studies, he concluded Mohammed was a basket case suffering from epilepsy. But then he goes on further to say, "Let medicine have names to express these grand errors of human nature; let it maintain that genius is a disease of the brain; let it see, in a certain delicacy of morality, the commencement of consumption; let it class enthusiasm and love as nervous accidents—it matters little. The terms healthy and diseased are entirely relative... The narrow ideas which are spread in our times respecting madness, mislead our historical judgments in the most serious manner, in questions of this kind." If you are too busy being offended, you'll miss these wonderful insights. Similarly, Renan further pontificates that the Jews at the time of Christ didn't even believe half of what they were saying anymore except when they could use their religion as special status wherever they wanted to avoid taxation or other undesirable integrations into society. He also says in several places that Jesus was at best a passive fraud who allowed his followers to spread outrageous rumors about his power and made no attempts to quell the fires of legend surrounding his godhead. On top of all this, Renan points out that the last thing Jesus would have ever expected would have been a thing known as the Christian Bible. Jesus was against all these written codes and sacred texts that distracted from the God in all of us. Besides, he and his followers held the belief that the world was going to end soon, so what good would a book for posterity be if there were to be few new generations to benefit? So in a sense, The Bible is anti-Christian? Gee... And I thought Chris Chibnall was bad for blowing up "Doctor Who" childhoods for old nerds everywhere. But what Renan has done is strip away all the legend and religious dogma that keeps the reader biased toward whatever faith in which they have embraced, Christian, Muslim, Jewish or otherwise. He doesn't even let people with no particular faith escape before he hits the reader with what he sees as the ultimate meaning behind what Jesus did for the world through his actions and choices in life. I won't go into what Renan's conclusions and feelings were about the life of Jesus, as that would certainly spoil too much. But what I will say is that the way Renan concluded his treatise left me almost in tears, and I never could be accused of being a religious zealot, nor have I been so moved by the New Testament stories before. But the life of Jesus is a life that anyone can relate to and be inspired by. Who has ever worked for a place and realized there was something very wrong with how they did things there? Do you play it safe, or do you speak out? And anyone who has been in a leadership role has learned that your very successes ignite angst and vitriol because you threaten the status quo that has been the source of power and security enjoyed by others. To maintain courage, belief in equality and justice, and love for everyone in the face of adversity. Such is the life of the big JC. Renan does intentionally try to get under your skin but only to bypass your brain's defenses so as to plant a seed which may grow into a more mature understanding of Jesus. Long-time believers of Jesus as the Messiah may be shocked to find themselves thinking how far the various Christian religions have strayed from the Founder's original mission throughout history, and non-Christians might be hardput to deny that their is real potential for beautiful growth in every human being who studies the life of Jesus with an open mind. Now, I do not think this is the best example of pure academic scholarship. This book is the product of the so-called "First Quest" for the historical Jesus, and religious scholars are now well into the "Third Quest" and beyond. Therefore, there's a lot we have learned since this book was written, and a lot more mysteries have been uncovered over questions that Renan assumed to have foregone conclusions. So I do not pretend this is a perfect book. But I think you will be surprised at the mustard seeds that may sprout within you, no matter where you are in your spiritual journey, if you stick with this book until the end.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pavel

    This is a brilliant attempt to create historical biography of Yeshua from Nazareth in Galilee, who became Jesus as we know him, and changed human civilisation forever. Renan, French scholar from XIX century, tries to look at him as a historical figure who never claimed that he was god, never performed any miracles, but was the greatest philosopher of all times. The book is free from any desire to expose something false or controversial in the Bible. Renan just wants to clear it from the latest a This is a brilliant attempt to create historical biography of Yeshua from Nazareth in Galilee, who became Jesus as we know him, and changed human civilisation forever. Renan, French scholar from XIX century, tries to look at him as a historical figure who never claimed that he was god, never performed any miracles, but was the greatest philosopher of all times. The book is free from any desire to expose something false or controversial in the Bible. Renan just wants to clear it from the latest additions and readjustments and see how Jesus (as a person!) has achieved what he achieved. How his teaching was monstrously misinterpreted and driven into Inquisition, church rituals and hierarchy and all the hypocrisy of it. Renan stops his story at the Crucifixion and doesn't go into whole Resurrection story, he just doesn't need it, because from his point of view Jesus has already created whole new way of thinking and living for thousands years to come, even without that main miracle. For me as a mild non-believer, who never goes to Church or pray, but appreciates what Christianity brought into art and literature and politics, this book was like a gift. I definitely recommend it to anyone who feels the same way.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hou

    I like this book very much. The narration is full of passion and poetic praises to Jesus. This books gives a very clear picture of Jesus Christ as a great religion founder, his pains and joys as a human being, and his compromises. It also helps me understand the complex relationship between Judaism and Christianity. I was deeply moved by this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Onyango Makagutu

    what a great read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Basel

    Renan’s book “Life of Jesus” is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, in the modern sense of the term, if not the Earliest. Renan, a French philologist, historian of religions and philosopher, wrote one of the most famous accounts regarding one of the most influential figures of human history. True that his main source was the Bible, and true that he himself was a Christian, but what makes this book an interesting read, especially for the time when it came out during the 19th century, is tha Renan’s book “Life of Jesus” is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, in the modern sense of the term, if not the Earliest. Renan, a French philologist, historian of religions and philosopher, wrote one of the most famous accounts regarding one of the most influential figures of human history. True that his main source was the Bible, and true that he himself was a Christian, but what makes this book an interesting read, especially for the time when it came out during the 19th century, is that Renan treats history as a science. This is not a religious account of Jesus the Son of God, but a historical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, from his birth to his death. Renan treats Jesus as a man, the greatest of men to have lived, but as a man of his time and puts all social, cultural, political and religious norms of that time in context. True that Jesus for Renan brought the “one true religion”, but he carefully highlights how a revolutionary figure Jesus was/is for his. Whether with various messages such as always speaking to the poor or religious aspects, Jesus of Nazareth for Renan was a man of revolution, so no wonder he ended up receiving opposition. That said, the most striking aspect of Renan’s account of Jesus’s life is that it is devoid of miracles. He puts doubt on the supernatural accounts of Jesus’s live as historically dubious, and critics the very notion of “miracle” itself. To truly construct a valid account of Jesus, we should focus on what is probable. Since we cannot validate any account of a miracle that happened in the past, and the Bible itself to Renan does construct a “legend of Jesus”, we cannot admit them. That said, there an important aspect I personally noticed while reading the book. As much as Renan was trying to construct a valid “objective” account of Jesus of Nazareth, he was mostly constructing a “European” Jesus. To understand this point better, we should know Renan’s positions on race. Renan considered people of “sematic races” to be inferior to other races. Even their languages. He states several times in this book that the Jews were not capable of reasoning or truly appreciating and accessing the divine. This goes for other sematic people as well. He states this point not only in Life of Jesus, but also in different publications. This creates a paradox. How can, then, Jesus be the figure he was with the message he had considering his own Jewish origin? This is why in my opinion in many places Renan had to do everything he can to distance Jesus from any “sematic” aspect. In sense, Jesus is more akin to the Europeans who had their mission civilisatrice, bringing the good word about the Kingdom of God to the commoners. Of course, a Semite could never ever conceive such a good word, just as European colonizers could never consider that the people they colonize to be capable of great intellectual production equal to them. This is an important aspect while reading the Life of Jesus as we can even feel today. This is resumed by a simple, yet crucial question: How many Christians around the world do see Jesus of Nazareth as a Semite coming from the city of Bethlehem in Palestine, and not see a more “westernized” Jesus?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Berrett

    This was a pretty good, but not great, account of the (probable) life of the historical Jesus. When Renan was writing about historical context, food, work, and play, I was glued to the pages. But there were other times when he seemed to guess a little too much, filling in gaps where no reliable historical record exists. I also really loved some of his comments about the teachings of Jesus. For example: He is, in the highest degree, a revolutionary; he calls all men to a worship founded solely on t This was a pretty good, but not great, account of the (probable) life of the historical Jesus. When Renan was writing about historical context, food, work, and play, I was glued to the pages. But there were other times when he seemed to guess a little too much, filling in gaps where no reliable historical record exists. I also really loved some of his comments about the teachings of Jesus. For example: He is, in the highest degree, a revolutionary; he calls all men to a worship founded solely on the ground of their being children of God. Love of God, charity, and mutual forgiveness - in these consisted his whole law. Nothing could be less sacerdotal. It was on his return from Jerusalem, as he passed near Shechem, and when talking with a Samaritan woman, that Jesus gave utterance to the saying upon which will rest the edifice of eternal religion: "Believe me, the hour cometh when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem shall ye worship the Father .. but the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." On the day when he said these words he was truly Son of God. Pretty sweet.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leonardo

    Y así que vuelvo y revuelvo sobre los inteligentes, hermosos, cansadores e inútiles libros modernos; el título de uno de ellos detiene mi mirada. Se llama "Juana de Arco" de Anatole France. Solamente lo he hojeado, pero una mirada bastó para recordarme la "Vida de Jesús", de Renán. Sigue el mismo método que el reverente escéptico. Desacredita los relatos sobrenaturales que tienen algún fundamento, simplemente contando historias naturales que no tienen fundamento alguno. Porque no podemos creer e Y así que vuelvo y revuelvo sobre los inteligentes, hermosos, cansadores e inútiles libros modernos; el título de uno de ellos detiene mi mirada. Se llama "Juana de Arco" de Anatole France. Solamente lo he hojeado, pero una mirada bastó para recordarme la "Vida de Jesús", de Renán. Sigue el mismo método que el reverente escéptico. Desacredita los relatos sobrenaturales que tienen algún fundamento, simplemente contando historias naturales que no tienen fundamento alguno. Porque no podemos creer en lo que hizo un santo; debemos pretender que sabemos exactamente lo que sintió. Pero no menciono a ninguno de ambos libros con objeto de criticarlo, sino porque a causa de la accidental combinación de los nombres, recordé dos sorprendentes ejemplos de sensatez que hacen desaparecer todos los libros que tenía ante mí. Juana de Arco no se turbó en la encrucijada, ni rechazando todas las sendas como Tolstoy ni aceptándolas todas como Nietzsche. Ortodoxia Pág.25

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cross the Styx

    Este libro fue uno de los tantos textos que ingreso al salón de la fama de el Index librorum prohibitorum (Índice de libros prohibidos), que no es otra cosa que la lista de aquellas publicaciones que la Iglesia Católica catalogó como libros perniciosos para la fe. Admirador de Hegel y Kant, en este libro, Renan describe la vida del Cristo-Hombre, alejándolo del contexto mitológico y sobrenatural de la Biblia, para ponerlo en un contexto mucho más terrenal y humano. Si bien, en ningún caso niega l Este libro fue uno de los tantos textos que ingreso al salón de la fama de el Index librorum prohibitorum (Índice de libros prohibidos), que no es otra cosa que la lista de aquellas publicaciones que la Iglesia Católica catalogó como libros perniciosos para la fe. Admirador de Hegel y Kant, en este libro, Renan describe la vida del Cristo-Hombre, alejándolo del contexto mitológico y sobrenatural de la Biblia, para ponerlo en un contexto mucho más terrenal y humano. Si bien, en ningún caso niega la incalculable importancia de su presencia en la tierra como maestro, profeta, e incluso, como agitador político, para el momento histórico de su publicación, esta biografía causó una gran controversia en Roma y en toda Europa, convirtiéndose en uno de los más grandes ajís en el hoyo de la Iglesia Católica hasta el día de hoy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    In this book the Positivist Historian Ernest subjects the texts of the New Testament to pitiless critique. He cites multiple contradictions between the four gospel stories of Christ's life. He expresses severe reservations as the reliability of the Gospel of St. Jean. He notes frequent use of mythological stereotypes in the New Testament. In other words, Vie de Jesus is the work of a profound sceptic. The book has an unquestionable value to any Christian about to set out to read the New Testamen In this book the Positivist Historian Ernest subjects the texts of the New Testament to pitiless critique. He cites multiple contradictions between the four gospel stories of Christ's life. He expresses severe reservations as the reliability of the Gospel of St. Jean. He notes frequent use of mythological stereotypes in the New Testament. In other words, Vie de Jesus is the work of a profound sceptic. The book has an unquestionable value to any Christian about to set out to read the New Testament. There are clear problems in the New Testament with respect to factual accuracy and parts of it read like a fairy tale. If you are not prepared for this, the New Testament like the Old Testament can serve to undermine your faith as much as it can to reinforce it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

    A classic Leben approach to the historical Jesus. Renan's brief narrative documents the life of Jesus from a rationalistic slant much in the tradition of his day. Miracles are explainable due to the charismatic personality of Jesus, the resurrection of Lazarus was a hoax contrived by his sisters, and Jesus's post resurrection appearance to Mary was a figment of her overactive imagination. Yet despite that Hist Jesus research has moved on from these largely unsubstantiated claims, Renan's influen A classic Leben approach to the historical Jesus. Renan's brief narrative documents the life of Jesus from a rationalistic slant much in the tradition of his day. Miracles are explainable due to the charismatic personality of Jesus, the resurrection of Lazarus was a hoax contrived by his sisters, and Jesus's post resurrection appearance to Mary was a figment of her overactive imagination. Yet despite that Hist Jesus research has moved on from these largely unsubstantiated claims, Renan's influence remains in the minds of modern scholars who still reiterate such explanations for Jesus's life.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alfredo Acosta

    Historic views of Christ-Jesus are difficult to face, because of the lack of information, as we understand it today. Renan tries to give material insights of a spiritual phenomena, making harder the comprehension of the spiritual - material connection of Christ. Meanwhile is a good recopilation of facts.

  17. 4 out of 5

    وسام عبده

    I belive that Ernest Renan was one of the most brilliant and courageous men in his age to write an publish such this masterpiece of human thinking. He introduced Jesus as a man and the Bible like a book written by people. The book should be read by every intellectual man.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Byrne

    a decent book, with some great historical correlations. The challenge is that much of the quotes references soon come amost solely from the bible; quite limited historical analysis

  19. 5 out of 5

    laurentiu

    0

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    Renan was a man of his times (who isn't?) and most of the things he says about jews are distinctly anti-semitic... which is also the reason why this book was/is very popular among far-right supporters, especially in France. The founders of L'Action Française looooved him. On the other hand this book was also deeply disliked by the Catholic Church, with Pope Pius IX saying that Renan was the actual Antichrist (... and it wasn't a metaphor, he truly believed that Renan had been sent there to create Renan was a man of his times (who isn't?) and most of the things he says about jews are distinctly anti-semitic... which is also the reason why this book was/is very popular among far-right supporters, especially in France. The founders of L'Action Française looooved him. On the other hand this book was also deeply disliked by the Catholic Church, with Pope Pius IX saying that Renan was the actual Antichrist (... and it wasn't a metaphor, he truly believed that Renan had been sent there to create differences among christians) Nevertheless, (I know that this is going to sound wrong but) this book is a masterpiece. Not because of Renan's ideas on Jesus, on jews, on the romans... basically anything related to the actual christian theology, but because this is essentially a manual on methodology to do history. The pages about the "historian" Renan are beautifully-written and still valid in the year of our Lord 2019. Those who have read Bloch will find a lot of similarities with his idea of history and what the historian should do: this is because Renan was - perhaps - the actual founder of the Annales school. So, these five stars are for his historical pages and for his actual method of doing history. I would go as far as saying that this book should be a classic for those who want to do this job. I was very skeptical when I started reading it, I truly couldn't believe how he could be considered a historian, but by the end of it I was truly sold. (please beware of those who say that this book contains "truths" about the jewish people or whatever... no, it doesn't. you must skirt around those views of his completely)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Le Blog d'Océane

    J'ai lu ce livre dans le cadre de mes études. Je dois dire que c'est ma première fois avec Ernest Renan dont ma prof la vénère (faisant même la thèse dessus). J'étais donc curieuse de découvrir Renan dans un de ses célèbres vies : Vie de Jésus. J'aimerais qu'on met de côté la notion de foi : on surpasse nos croyances pour lire ce livre comme un objet de la littérature. Je dois dire que j'ai pris beaucoup de temps à le lire car j'ai eu du mal à m'y accrocher sûrement à cause du thème du livre : la J'ai lu ce livre dans le cadre de mes études. Je dois dire que c'est ma première fois avec Ernest Renan dont ma prof la vénère (faisant même la thèse dessus). J'étais donc curieuse de découvrir Renan dans un de ses célèbres vies : Vie de Jésus. J'aimerais qu'on met de côté la notion de foi : on surpasse nos croyances pour lire ce livre comme un objet de la littérature. Je dois dire que j'ai pris beaucoup de temps à le lire car j'ai eu du mal à m'y accrocher sûrement à cause du thème du livre : la religion. Néanmoins, je suis séduite par l'approche de Renan d'avoir abordé de manière scientifique la religion. Comment allier les sciences à la religion ? Voici donc le parfait exemple. Par ailleurs, il profite de relater la vie de Jésus d'après des preuves (des témoignages and co) pour dénoncer la religion de son temps. Pour conclure, une petite pépite qui m'a laissé indifférent mais je reconnais que Renan a eu l'audace de faire ce livre et s'en sort magnifiquement bien. Je ne peux que vous le conseiller.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Deniz Kabaağaç

    If you are a book lover ,what would be more amazing than reading a book printed 75 years ago but written 157 years ago about the life of somebody who lived 2020 years ago.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  24. 4 out of 5

    camille de rijck

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alex Frame

  26. 5 out of 5

    Arturas Kokoskinas

  27. 5 out of 5

    Romain

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christian Deysson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Smith

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alo Vallikivi

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