According to A.N. Wilson

Patricia Beer

  • Jesus by A.N. Wilson
    Sinclair-Stevenson, 269 pp, £15.00, September 1992, ISBN 1 85619 114 1

This is a book which is, in both senses of the expression, difficult to put down. As a cliché indicating readability, the phrase is deserved; those interested in the subject – nowadays it is hard to guess how many that would be – are almost bound to be intrigued by the book. When ‘putting down’ means trouncing or violently refuting, the book is safe, principally because one experiences no wish to do either of these things. The arguments are presented in mannerly fashion; though the writer is currently agnostic, he makes no attempt to stampede or manhandle the readers into agnosticism. The style is light, to the point of sprightliness sometimes, but without becoming facetious. Even when, for example, Wilson speaks of Jesus in the same breath and tone as he speaks of the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood, he is making a serious point about the traditional techniques of rhetoric as used by St Luke, who, in this instance, drops historical names such as Caesar, Herod and Quirinius into his narrative to make his main character sound more authentic; and this point can be appreciated both by believers and unbelievers.

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