I’ve finally finished the “gazillion” books my niece gave me several months ago. I had no time frame—I could read as quickly or as slowly as I wished. And she doesn’t want them back, so I can in turn gift them to someone else.
Now, I’m back to my frequent visits to the library and I can pick and choose books just waiting for me.
I must have learned to read somewhere along the way, but it seems to me that I’ve “always” read, and written. I know I wasn’t yet in school when I’d lie on my stomach on the floor and draw pictures on a paper bag, telling a story I made up as I went along.
Some people are “turned on” to watching television. I, however, find it annoying unless a remarkable program is on. Otherwise, give me something to read any day. Especially with fiction, there’s no end to what the mind can conjure up while reading…how the people look, the landscape, etc. You can’t do that watching TV.
So I’m back to the library. I enjoy looking at the book jackets to see if I’d like to delve into that story or not.
Recently, while browsing, I noticed the book, “Killing Jesus,” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.
Usually I can’t abide the slanted, arrogant, conservative O’Reilly. However, I knew he’d written “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy,” and the reviews were good.
He wrote about two legendary men and desperate times in our nation’s history.
But “Killing Jesus”? Wasn’t that a stretch even for O’Reilly?
The jacket stated, “The story of Jesus’s crucifixion as it’s never been told before,” and “Killing Jesus not only takes readers inside this most volatile epoch, it also recounts the seismic political and historical events that made Jesus’s death inevitable—and changed the world forever.”
Intrigued, I checked out the book, curious about what would be covered in such an undertaking. It wasn’t what I expected.
“Killing Jesus” isn’t a re-hash of what we’ve read and heard over and over again from the Bible. Nor is it speculation. And, most important to me, it did not have an agenda to prove or disprove what and who Jesus was/is. Once you complete the book, whatever your faith is, it’s left intact. But it was quite a ride to get to the end of the book.
The book starts with a bang: “The child with thirty-six years to live is being hunted.”
However, “Killing Jesus” doesn’t focus only on Jesus’s life. It covers in great detail the time, the people, the politics, and the mindset of those who finally succeed in “Killing Jesus” and why they did it.
Finally, the many characters we may be somewhat familiar with by name only are fleshed out. I now know much more about Herod, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Pilate and numerous other rulers. There are also in-depth descriptions about the land, the towns, the buildings, the mores of the time. Also, the writers take the time to explain certain things with copious, often fascinating, footnotes. I’ve read a couple of criticisms about the book, but I was impressed with the thoroughness.
Just as one couldn’t understand Lincoln’s assassination without understanding the period of time, of getting acquainted with John Wilkes Booth, and some of Lincoln’s background, neither would a book about the crucifixion be complete without in-depth historical fact.
What’s more, they “follow-up” on what happened to many of the principle players, including the Apostles, Pontius Pilate, Caligula and others.
I was impressed. The writers took a most daunting subject, and produced an unforgettable history.
Who was there when they crucified the Lord?