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A Life of Jesus de Shūsaku Endō

A Life of Jesus (edição: 1978)

de Shūsaku Endō (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
290267,848 (3.63)1 / 18
Translated By Richard A. Schuchert; My book called A Life of Jesus may cause surprise for American readers when they discover an interpretation of Jesus somewhat at odds with the image they now possess.
Título:A Life of Jesus
Autores:Shūsaku Endō (Autor)
Informação:Paulist Press (1978), Edition: non stated, 192 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Lista de desejos
Etiquetas:to-read, Goodreads import, Shari

Detalhes da Obra

A Life of Jesus de Shūsaku Endō

  1. 00
    The Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton, Vol. 16: The Autobiography de G. K. Chesterton (EustaciaTan)
    EustaciaTan: Both of them explain Christianity in a way you may not have considered before.

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It was a pleasure to read this book. The author’s humility in naming it A Life of Jesus and not The Life of Jesus is refreshing. Many authors have tried to capture the life of Jesus. Each of these biographies has been written within the values and purposes of the particular author. Many have fallen short of their goal.

Endo, who is Japanese, steps out to help us walk beside the man Jesus. The most valuable content in this book is the author’s ability to describe in detail the major social, cultural, political and religious environments in which Jesus lived and died. He does this with a warmth and an empathy which was very helpful to me. He presents an understanding of Jesus’ life and death which accents Jesus’ constant expression of the love of God to the powerless, the sick, the poor and the sinful. You will understand why Jesus’ ministry drew such opposition from those in control, both Jewish and Roman. The humanity of Jesus is presented in a refreshing and sympathetic way.

Endo does not present a full understanding of Jesus. The divinity of Jesus receives very little attention in this book. It is a relatively short book with a well-defined purposes. It draws a portrait of Jesus which has helped me to clarify for myself the marks of discipleship as I seek to follow him here and now.

-Ken Hindman, April, 2019
  CovenantPresMadison | Apr 3, 2019 |
Last year Shusaku Endo’s Silence topped my list of fiction favorites for the year so I was very interested in reading Endo’s non-fiction, A Life of Jesus. A Life of Jesus is Endo’s attempt to make the character of Jesus, and Christianity, make sense to his Japanese compatriots who “tend to seek in their gods and buddhas a warm-hearted mother rather than a stern father.” Richard Schuchert, the translator here, explains this further in the “Translator’s Preface:” “There is a saying in Japan that the ‘four most dreadful things on earth are ‘fires, earthquakes, thunderbolts, and fathers.’ ” Endo then focuses his work on Jesus’ ministry of love “… the image of God that prevailed in people’s hearts were one of fear. … the overriding theme that ran through his life was his concern for how he might demonstrate the existence of the God of love and make it possible for other people to know the love of God.”

While Endo’s main focus is on Jesus’ profound compassion for those around him, he also does an exceptional job of placing Jesus in his historical and political context. At no time does Endo claim any historical or theological expertise but he appears to be well versed on both. This is a more three-dimensional look at the life of Jesus than anything I have read so far and there are times when Endo fills in the “gaps” of the synoptic Gospels and reads between the lines. Most of the time these are Endo’s conclusions and his alone; however, most of his solitary conclusions made sense to me. I came away from this book feeling that I had a better grasp of the times Jesus’ was living in and the political climate of the day.

The historical/political aspects of Jesus’ life that Endo writes about are enlightening, to be sure, but the beauty of Endo’s writing comes through when he writes about the profound compassion Jesus had for those around him. “Jesus knew that poverty and disease in themselves are not the hardest things for people to bear, the hardest things to bear are the loneliness and the hopelessness that come with being sick or being poor.” Endo’s Jesus is an eternal companion, someone who more than having the capacity to alleviate suffering is actually willing to suffer with the suffering – even to the point of laying down his life for them.

The really captivating part of the book for me is Endo's writing on the crucifixion. “At the hour of three, Jesus suddenly raised his sunken head, …. Then he shouted aloud: … ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ … the Jews of that time, who knew the prayer by heart, could easily supply the rest. Psalm 22 begins with a cry of sadness … but as the psalmist speaks … he turns more then to singing the homage of God … In brief, Psalm 22 I not at all a song of despair; it is actually a song of praise to the Lord.”

Endo then brings up “The Question”. What happened to the disciples, a cowardly lot who were ready to deny Jesus at the drop of a hat in order to save their own skins, that turned them into the courageous and fervent proponents of Jesus’ message a short time later? “In this case, we can’t avoid thinking that some kind of electrifying event actually occurred, in some dimension so altogether different as to defy the power of tongue or pen to describe it.”

After being a Christian for most of my adult life, it is refreshing and awe-inspiring to see Jesus from a fresh perspective. Endo’s vision of Jesus is not too far from my own but there were times when I did not agree with Endo’s version/vision of Jesus. I found his physical description of Jesus as “emaciated,” the implication here that Jesus was physically “weak” rather annoying. The question of where Jesus was born that Endo brings up at the very end of the book seemed a bit superfluous but it didn’t detract from the rest of the book in which Endo paints a beautiful picture of a man misunderstood by his contemporaries, a man of profound compassion who the world is still trying to understand. “He is still trying for all his worth to plead the defense of men and women of no love. It isn’t that they have received no love; they have simply failed to realize how love operates. They have not yet fully understood the nature of love.”

A Life of Jesus is one of those books I’ll probably return to and read again. Endo’s writing is elegant and beautiful; there is a peaceful cadence to his writing that I am drawn to. I really loved this book, both as an objective reader and as a Christian. ( )
5 vote avidmom | Feb 4, 2013 |
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Translated By Richard A. Schuchert; My book called A Life of Jesus may cause surprise for American readers when they discover an interpretation of Jesus somewhat at odds with the image they now possess.

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