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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book Review: Stephen Mansfield - Killing Jesus

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As the title shows, the subject of this book is the crucifixion of Jesus. The premise of the book is to take us through the events leading up to and including the crucifixion and resurrection.

The book is graphic and does not sugar coat. That is a plus. The crucifixion was violent. I understand why Mel Gibson's movie was rated "R". This book is in the same category. It is not light reading.

Mansfield starts by telling us that he did not write this book in a comfortable office. He wanted to write it in the same sort of places Jesus experienced. He tells of the dozens of places he wrote, with noise, distraction, hustle and bustle.

The book was very good. It will bring tears to your eyes to see the things that Jesus went through to redeem us. It is very graphic and detailed.

This is not a theological book. There is very little, if any, mention of the theology of why Jesus died. It is more a telling of the events in a novel-like form.

The only disappointment was the Epilogue. Mansfield shows that he does not believe in total biblical inerrancy when he says the four Gospels contradict each other about the resurrection. It is a shame that he wrote a very good representation of the death of Jesus, only to end it with an Epilogue stating that the apostles disagree about the resurrection.

The epilogue is sprinkled with phrases like, "But there are four gospel writers, and the other three don’t agree with John.", "Matthew’s account doesn’t match either of these.", "even decades later Jesus’ men cannot seem to agree about what happened.", "they can’t even agree about what happened the day they all say he came back to life", "They never did get their stories straight about that Sunday."

I was happy to see that in the next section Mansfield defends the historicity of the crucifixion through extra biblical sources. I just wished he would have given the same evidence for the resurrection. Paul said if Jesus was not raised we are still in our sins!



Even with the short falls, this was an excellent read.

I recommend this book, but with a caution concerning the resurrection section, and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free of charge from Worthy Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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