For anyone interested in understanding the profound effect Jesus had on the world, it’s important to realize that his actions and teachings didn’t emerge from a vacuum. Rather, they were the product of a fascinating dialogue with—and reaction to—the traditions, cultures, and historical developments of ancient Jewish beliefs. In fact, early Judaism and Jesus are two subjects so inextricably linked that one cannot arrive at a true understanding of Jesus without understanding the time in which he lived and taught.
“What are the distinguishing qualifications of those that are in favor with God, and entitled to his eternal rewards? . . . What is the nature of true religion? And wherein do lie the distinguishing notes of that virtue and holiness that is acceptable in the sight of God?”
How do the major religions answer unanswerable questions? What can we gain from their answers? Why are we here? What is my purpose? Where do we go when we die? Will I be forgiven? Will we ever discover the source of the mystery? Each of these questions raises countless more.
A riveting investigation of the jagged fault line between Christian and Muslim worlds.
Confucius. Buddha. Jesus. Muhammad. Four extraordinary sages who influenced world civilization more deeply than any other human beings in history. As just one measure of their importance, current rankings of the most influential people in history consistently put them at or near the top of the list. Four centuries after the rise of the scientific worldview, their influence in human affairs continues to be fundamental, underscoring issues ranging from questions of ethics and justice to religious and political conflicts to other issues that dominate today's headlines.