What Jesus Meant

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Penguin, Mar 2, 2006 - Religion - 176 pages
7 Reviews
“Garry Wills brings his signature brand of erudite, unorthodox thinking to his latest book of revelations. . . . A tour de force and a profound show of faith.” (O, the Oprah Magazine)
Look out for a new book from Garry Wills, What The Qur'an Meant, coming fall 2017.

In what are billed “culture wars,” people on the political right and the political left cite Jesus as endorsing their views. But in this New York Times-bestselling masterpiece, Garry Wills argues that Jesus subscribed to no political program. He was far more radical than that. In a fresh reading of the gospels, Wills explores the meaning of the “reign of heaven” Jesus not only promised for the future but brought with him into this life. It is only by dodges and evasions that people misrepresent what Jesus plainly had to say against power, the wealthy, and religion itself. But Wills is just as critical of those who would make Jesus a mere ethical teacher, ignoring or playing down his divinity. An illuminating analysis for believers and nonbelievers alike, What Jesus Meant is a brilliant addition to our national conversation on religion.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kvrfan - LibraryThing

The title, "What Jesus Meant," gives the impression that what Garry Wills is going to do here is focus directly on the teachings of Jesus themselves and interpret them for the reader. And indeed he ... Read full review

Read Thoughtfully

User Review  - Philip Tutt - Christianbook.com

This work is what I would call a good devotional gloss on the gospels. It is not a scholarly exegesis (it does not pretend to be), nor does it cover any of its subjects in sufficient detail. Those who ... Read full review


A Note on Translation
Christ Not a Christian
1 The Hidden Years
2 The Work Begins
3 The Radical Jesus
4 Against Religion
5 Heavens Reign
6 Descent into Hell
7 The Death of God
8 The Life of God

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About the author (2006)

Garry Wills is one of the most respected writers on religion today. He is the author of Saint Augustine’s Childhood, Saint Augustine’s Memory, and Saint Augustine’s Sin, the first three volumes in this series, as well as the Penguin Lives biography Saint Augustine. His other books include “Negro President”: Jefferson and the Slave Power, Why I Am a Catholic, Papal Sin, and Lincoln at Gettysburg, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

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