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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Killing Jesus

Stephen Mansfield is the New York Times best-selling author of numerous popular books about the interplay between  religion and culture.  His works include The Faith of Barack Obama, The Faith of George W. Bush, The Search for God and Guinness, and Lincoln's Battle with God.  He lives in Nashville and Washington, DC with his wife, Beverly, an award-winning songwriter and producer.
You can connect with and learn more about Stephen at

It is the most fiercely debated murder of all time.  Its symbol is worn by billions of people worldwide.  Its spiritual meaning is involved daily in time- honored rituals.  In Killing Jesus, Stephen Mansfield masterfully recounts the corrupt trial and grisly execution of Jesus more than two thousand years ago.
Approaching the story at its most human level, Mansfield uses both secular sources and biblical accounts to bring fresh perspective to the human drama, political intrigue, and criminal network behind the killing of the world's most famous man.

My Thoughts:
Killing Jesus is probably one of the most straight forward but unique books I've ever read.  Mansfield says (of writing about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus), "Over the years, I read what I could find on the subject and hoped one day to retell what I had learned in a manner that was consistent with scripture but also incorporated Roman and Jewish writings on the subject."
The information in the book is relayed in "novel" form.  Mansfield's writing is a perfect blend of Scriptural truth and historical fact.  This isn't a book for the faint of heart and at certain points is almost unbearable to read.  Mansfield does not skim around the gruesome details but thoroughly covers the trial and crucifixion in vivid detail.
While reading the book, it was very apparent to me that Mansfield had done his research and had mulled over the subject matter for quite some time.  Mansfield incorporates into the "story" explanations of customs and culture that brings the general reading of the scriptural account to life.  I wonder if Killing Jesus is Mansfield's answer to his own question:  Why was Jesus killed?  And while the book tells the "story", it lacks the "story behind the story"...that Jesus died as a sacrifice for your sins and my sins building a bridge so that we could cross over into fellowship with God.

*I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.