The Life of Jesus - E. Renan
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The Life of Jesus, by Ernest Renan. The Complete Book, FREE


In this classic work, renowned rationalist and scholar of religion Ernest Renan is the first biographer of Jesus to present him as entirely human. Renan describes Jesus as a popular religious leader and self-proclaimed Messiah who increasingly advocated the overthrow of Roman rule and the establishment of a theocracy. To support his apocalyptic vision, Renan's Jesus was not above using trickery and deception, as in the raising of Lazarus. The impression left by Jesus on his disciples was so profound that they began to proclaim his Resurrection and presence among them shortly after his death. Even conceding Christ's historicity, it is still seriously debated by modern biblical scholars whether a reliable life of Jesus can be gleaned from the gospels. For this very reason, the questions raised by Renan a century ago about the facts surrounding Jesus' life and the authorship of the gospels are still far from settled. "The Life of Jesus" has provoked both controversy and praise since its publication in 1863.


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