Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by R. Aslan

Questions and Topics for Discussion from Random House:  

1. What is the difference in the ancient mind between Fact and Truth?

2. Discuss the Jewish definition of Messiah. Was this a religious or political office, or both?

3. Define the roles of the Jewish priestly hierarchy in Judea. How would a typical Galilean family like Jesus’ view this group?

4. How did Jesus’ upbringing in Nazareth lead him to a deeper understanding of social justice?

5. Discuss the Roman occupation? How did this political context shape Jesus’ outlook and actions?

6. What role did the Temple of Jerusalem play in the lives of the Jews in Jesus’ time?

7. With the above questions in mind, how do the words of the Gospels reflect Jesus’ relationship with both the Romans and the Jewish hierarchy and his call for social justice?

8. After Jesus’ death, his followers formed two separate camps based on two competing interpretations of his teachings. What are your thoughts on James and Paul?

9. How did James’ and Paul’s differences form the Christian church we know today? Why do you think Paul’s interpretation flourished?

Fox News Interview:

Interview with Jon Stewart:

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