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Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters [Hardcover]

N T Wright
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 17 2011

In Simply Jesus, bestselling author and leading Bible scholar N.T. Wright summarizes 200 years of modern Biblical scholarship and models how Christians can best retell the story of Jesus today. In a style similar to C.S. Lewis’s popular works, Wright breaks down the barriers that prevent Christians from fully engaging with the story of Jesus. For believers confronting the challenge of connecting with their faith today, and for readers of Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God, Wright’s Simply Jesus offers a provocative new picture of how to understand who Jesus was and how Christians should relate to him today. 

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Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters + Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense + How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels
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Product Details

Product Description


“N. T. Wright’s introduction to Jesus is erudite (and yet also entertaining), and decidedly thought-provoking. Somewhat to my surprise, I felt that, in reading Simply Jesus, I was really coming to know Jesus better; reading Simply Jesus, I actually felt Him near.” (Lauren F. Winner, author of Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis)

“Tom Wright is, as always, brilliant at distilling immense scholarship into vivid, clear and accessible form. This book is yet another of his great gifts to the worldwide church.” (Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury)

“No one living today is writing more thoughtfully and compellingly about Christian theology than N.T. Wright. With Simply Jesus, he takes readers on an illuminating intellectual expedition to recover the Christian Messiah. If you have not read Wright, start now, and start with this book.” (Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House)

“Tom Wright has a fresh way of presenting the story of Jesus, the one and only Savior and Lord of the four canonical Gospels. This book retrieves Jesus from the margins of contemporary ideologies and places him once again at the heart of biblical faith. A compelling read!” (Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture)

“Wright patiently explains the world views that Jesus stepped into, how his parables point to his mission, and, finally, what this truth means in today’s world. Wright’s direct style, reminiscent of C. S. Lewis’ writings, invites readers in but allows for internal argument.” (Booklist (starred review))

When today’s leading New Testament theologian has something new to say about anything, readers pay attention. In his latest work, he again exhibits his gift for making in-depth scholarship vivid and accessible. (Kimberly Mauck, The Christian Chronicle)

From the Back Cover

We have grown used to the battles over Jesus—whether he was human or divine, whether he could do miracles or just inspire them, whether he even existed. Much of the church defends tradition, while critics take shots at the institution and its beliefs. But what if these debates have masked the real story of Jesus? What if even Jesus’s defenders have been so blinded by their focus on defending the church’s traditions that they have failed to grapple with what the New Testament really teaches?

Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright summarizes a lifetime of study of Jesus and the New Testament in order to present for a general audience who Jesus was and is. In Simply Jesus, we are invited to hear one of our leading scholars introduce the story of the carpenter’s son from Nazareth as if we were hearing it for the first time.

“Jesus—the Jesus we might discover if we really looked,” explains Wright, “is larger, more disturbing, more urgent than we had ever imagined. We have successfully managed to hide behind other questions and to avoid the huge, world-shaking challenge of Jesus’s central claim and achievement. It is we, the churches, who have been the real reductionists. We have reduced the kingdom of God to private piety; the victory of the cross to comfort for the conscience; Easter itself to a happy, escapist ending after a sad, dark tale. Piety, conscience, and ultimate happiness are important, but not nearly as important as Jesus himself.” As the church faces the many challenges of the twenty-first century, Wright has presented a vision of Jesus that more than meets them.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This One! Jan. 11 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In my view this is the clearest review of what the Bible has to tell us available. N T Wright is a brilliant Christian scholar and first century historian giving him insights that can't be found by simply reading the Bible with our 21st century mindset.

I have enjoyed several of his books and this is his best yet. No one with even a passing interest in what the Christian faith is all about should miss it. I can't recommend highly enough.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wise Insight May 17 2014
By rhysmc
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very solid work. It seems to take him a while to get into the meat of his work as he spends the first half of the book overworking an analogy that could be done much quicker. However, once you get past that you find him diving into a very clear picture of who Jesus was, what He was really up to, and what it means for us now.

I got a lot of clarity and wise insight from this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Book Jan. 17 2013
A "grown-up" Christian faith begs a question. Is what it says about Jesus true? N. T. Wright's Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters says that it is true. Wright's thoughts suggest a new vision of Jesus, which he hopes will help people understand their lives today in a new way.

The book has three parts. It defines Wright's questions about Jesus and suggests that they are difficult to answer. It then explains the focus, goals, and method of Jesus public career. Finally, it suggests why Jesus still matters.

Wright uses the image of a "perfect storm" coming from three directions. The first direction is Rome. Rome was the primary world power. It considered Caesar divine and called him the "son of god." Rome also needed the Middle East - where Jesus lived - for grain supplies. The second direction is the Jewish people. Rome thought the golden age was in the past. The Jews thought it was yet to come. The Jewish people looked forward to a time when a good rescuer would oppose an evil oppressor. The third direction is how Jesus thought he fit with the first two directions. Israel expected the messiah to come in power and glory. Jesus claimed to do so, but had a completely different definition of power and glory. Jesus stood in a line of prophets who said that Israel's vision for itself and God's vision for Israel were at odds.

Simply Jesus can now propose questions. First, Jesus did nothing that people expected the king and messiah to do. He was also crucified with the mocking title "King of the Jews" above his head. Why should anyone take this title seriously then? Second, how do we say that Jesus is in charge while the world seems to be completely out of his control?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary Read Sept. 11 2014
By Josh
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wright presents thoughts that most evangelical writers seem to miss. He highlights Jesus' humanity throughout and stimulates his postmodern audience well.
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