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