Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

I knew it was imminent yet said I would not buy it right away, that I have so many books on the shelf to read that I could wait, but I was wrong, I kept wondering and so one day as Jerry was on his way to Sam's I said, "pick it up for me."  He did and I read it in 2.5 evenings, all 281 pages including the Acknowledgements, sources post script and afterword.  Published in 2013 by Henry Holt and Company it is another best seller hit for O'Reilly and Dugard, another historical perspective on events, this time people are mightily confused because they think it will change their faith their Christianity.  If it does, they are not very deeply grounded, they are easily dissuaded and they need to learn.  It does not even approach the beliefs of Christians in the Master, that is no where in the purpose of this book.   

Not since my  high school Latin courses have I read so much about Caesar, back then we read Caesar's Gallic wars in Latin of which I took 3 years, which gave me an excellent foundation in language, and history.  As with  the other "Killing" books by O'Reilly, I learned things I never knew, some of which I am not so sure I needed to know as an example, pages 12-13 descriptions of Herod's illnesses and that Nazi's borrowed tactics from the Romans who also had local officials as puppet rulers (pg. 59.) Despite all my religious studies and academic courses in religions, I  did not realize that the Temple in Jerusalem  was twice as big as Rome's forum, pg. 73.  I never knew about the  Roman crucifixion death squads, four men per squad, i.e. quaternio., pg. 216.  Also on pg. 216 the intricate descriptions of the parts of the cross, the upright, vertical part, staticula  was in the ground awaiting the sentenced who carried  the cross bar, patibulum,  on his back. I believe that   every depiction of Jesus on his way to Calvary shows him carrying the cross in entirety.  Pg 223 clarifies that the temple guards who come with Judas  into the Garden are not Romans but Jews.  Page 272 mentions that Islam began in AD610 by Muhammed, 300 years after the legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire which was in AD 313.  The historical account is  very readable and enlightening.   

There was dissension in my local book club when we chose this book for our November read.  Two of us were reading it; others agreed to it's selection.  But those who did not attend the meeting began an anti email campaign, one excuse and another how they could not get the book from the library, oh tah da, tah da, ta dah.  One who did not attend vociferously complained she did not want to read it, go figure, she's Catholic and that's her excuse? .  I reminded her that O'Reilly is a devout practicing Catholic.  No way to reason with that nonsense so long story short,  those who were not there had their triumph, another blah blah blah book was selected.  I have no tolerance for such adolescent behavior  and I will not be participating in this nonsense. One thing I cannot abide is wasting my time, so no more.   The  group has disintegrated into a ladies chat time, busy bee where thoughtful discussions do not occur. There is no criteria for book selections and as I know all to well, without guidelines, without purpose, whatever happens along is the chosen, good enough.  When absentees carry  more weight than those who show up, there's nothing to be done.  The facilitator recently had knee surgery and  is recovering   so she does not inject any voice of reason. This is not for me.  I am never at a loss of suggestions on books to read, and subscribe to several online services such as Random Reads,  Amazon, Good Reads where reviews are shared as well as thoughtful opinions.   

I give this book a full five stars and recommend it to anyone.  It joins the others as permanent  members in my  home library.