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A Historical Approximation

Author(s): Jose Antonio Pagola

ISBN13: 9781934996096

ISBN10: 1934996092

Publisher: Veritas (1 July 2009)

Extent: 560 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 2.5 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm

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  • In this Spanish best-seller, now available in English for the first time, the Biblical scholar Jose Antonio Pagola reconstructs the historical Jesus with a scholarly exegetical and theological approach. He addresses basic questions about who Jesus was; how he understood his life; what was the originality of his message; how the vision of he Kingdom of God centred his life; and why he was executed and who intervened in the process.


    The author presents a lively and passionate narrative of Jesus of Nazareth within the milieu of the first century, locating him in his social, economical, political and religious contexts based on current and accepted research. He also analyses the perspectives and conclusions of the most important scholars in this research and presents a profound and extensive scholarly theological reflection about Jesus.

  • Jose Antonio Pagola

          José Antonio Pagola was born in Spain in 1937. He completed his theological studies in 1962 at the Papal Gregorian University in Rome and his studies in Sacred Scripture at the Papal Biblical Institute in Rome in 1963. He also studied Biblical sciences at the École Biblique in Jerusalem. Pagola is a professor at St. Sebastian Seminary and at the Faculty of Theology of Northern Spain. He has dedicated his life to Biblical studies and Christology and has done research on the historical Jesus for more than 30 years. His is author of numerous books including the best selling "Jesus: An Historical Approximation".

  • Be the first to review this product

    With over 80,000 copies sold in its Spanish edition, this controversial biblical rereading of the life of Jesus is available in English through Convivium Press.


    This volume aims to approximate Jesus with historical rigor and in simple language, in order to bring his person and message closer to people today.

    New Testament Abstracts


    One of Pagola's most controversial stances is that Jesus never described his death in theological terms and did not understand it as a sacrificial atonement for the sins of humanity. Rather, Pagola says, "Jesus viewed his death as `a service to God's reign for the benefit of all":


    Jesus: An Historical Approximation may frustrate conservatives, who fault Pagola for departing from traditional formulas of faith, as well as liberals, who wonder how a follower of Jesus can analyze the historical sources objectively.

    - Darrell Turner, National Catholic Reporter



    This is an extraordinary work of scholarship. Beautifully written, it is also an expression of the author's profound faith commitment. [Pagola] presents a compelling "approximation" of [Jesus'] life ... that deserves a wide readership in the Church and the academy.

    - Roberto Goizueta, Ph.D., Theology Department, Boston College, former CTSA President


    Pagola has a simple message to convey. God must be understood as compassion, not power. In his book he set out to depict, in clear, accessible layman's language, as much as the historical sources allow, a comprehensive picture of Jesus of Nazareth. Just who was he? What was his contemporary world really like? Why did he want to go beyond complex religious codes and ritual practices? And why did he end up on collision course with the local Jewish authorities and the delegates of imperial Rome?

    - Mark Dowd, The Tablet, UK


    What makes this book unique is the author's stated intent to use the best of this scholarship to present a winsome and endearing portrait of Jesus' life and the milieu in which he lived, so as to awaken interest in the historical Jesus, stripped of pious trappings that have discouraged modern people from taking Jesus seriously.

     - Rev. Thomas Strieter, Ph.D., retired Lutheran pastor and professor, Chicago, IL



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