Book Summary Of "A Spectator's Guide To Jesus"

1628 words - 7 pages

John Dickson, an Honorary Associate in the Department of History in Macquarie University, unfolds the myths and the religiosity that often blurs the image of Jesus. Dickson explores the many roles and identities that are given to Jesus, healer, teacher, Christ. "A Spectator's guide to Jesus" is a book dedicated to discovering the truth to the most controversial religious topics, from Jesus' replacement of the temple, his divineness, meaning of his death and his words and deeds that inspire.In the first chapter, "How we know what we know about Jesus?" Dickson discusses the certainty of Christianity, mentioning the various ancient manuscripts of Jesus from the Greco-Roman references, to the ...view middle of the document...

In Chapter 6, Dickson explores the human nature of ignoring the rules that God had set up for us, we tend to modify these rules to suite our own preferences. It is in this chapter that Dickson explores the role of Jesus, to overcome the wrongs of this world on behalf of God and also represent God as a loving creator. An example of Jesus' role is explored in the previous chapter (4), where Jesus and God had saved the Israelites from the tyrannous Egyptian invasion, under the command of the famous Pharaoh Ramses II.Dickson points out in Chapter 7 of Jesus' death and resurrection which had borne divine judgement for all those who accept his hand of friendship. Jesus' openness towards sinners was a deliberate sign of God's grace unlike the Jewish way of rejecting non-Jews. Jesus' preaching declared that his suffering and scandalous social life embodied grace in a tangible way. Through his meals with the undeserving, he sought to demonstrate the friendship with sinners he believed God so keenly desires. Jesus' acting as a replacement of the temple in Chapter 8 not only suggests a mere religious radical, but the thought of allowing the whole community to embrace the Messiah.Chapter 9, "The meaning of his death," as Dickson once again assesses, is the aim of Christ's mission. Christ had died for us to win God's forgiveness, "cancel his judgement and guarantee us a place in his kingdom." Chapter 9 is a follow on from Chapter 5 which described the significance of Jesus' title. Dickson tells of the importance of the title 'Christ', an Anglicised form of the Hebrew name Yeshua, which had endowed his divine authority as 'saviour', rescuing people from divine judgement. Dickson also explains the significance of the traditional Passover themes of 'blood' and 'forgiveness' of God's people. God's judgement would fall upon the lamb (Jesus) so that it might pass over 'sinners'.Chapter 10, 11 and 12 shows the importance of Christ's resurrection which had shaped the Christian belief of the afterlife. Christ rising to life is central to the biblical faith and not merely because it marks out his life as a unique moment of history, but because in it God shows he is willing and able to breathe a new life where there is currently death and disorder. Dickson then makes the comparison between 'The Great Caesar' who conquered a massive empire with the imperialness of Jesus. Nonetheless, Dickson emphasises the fact that God is more significant than Caesar, every empire will pass into oblivion while Christ's kingdom reigns all and forever. In Chapter 12, Dickson talks of Christs and God's divineness. The letter from the Roman administrator Pliny to Emperor Trajan in AD110 indicates Jesus' oneness with the almighty, "Jesus is the image of the invisible God."Dickson uses irony in the last chapter. For centuries, the church has been seen as the preacher and basis of knowledge for the Christian faith, but Dickson questions the church's battle for power, land, and welfare over the...

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