Book Review: Killing Jesus

killingjesus-3dKilling Jesus: A History by co-authors Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard is an extraordinary account of the most influential man who ever lived: Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus is born surrounded by fear, fear that the baby boy will be slaughtered like other baby boys in the small town of Bethlehem and surrounding area. King Herod will kill anyone who threatens his throne. For centuries, Jewish prophets have predicted the coming of a new king to rule their people. What people of power don’t realize is that the “power” is not of this world.

Jesus’s parents, Mary and Joseph, strive to keep a low profile. As the baby Jesus is presented in the temple, it becomes obvious that he is a special child. He leads a fairly normal childhood, learning his father’s trade as a carpenter. He often shows signs of wisdom beyond his age.

As he becomes an adult, it is clear to Jesus that he must see to his Heavenly Father’s work. He acquires a following, and he acquires enemies, people who fear they will lose their political power.

Killing Jesus is not a religious book, it is a study of a man “who galvanized a remote area of the Roman Empire and made very powerful enemies while preaching a philosophy of peace and love.” Many familiar people play roles in the political and historical events that made Jesus’s death inevitable: Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Caesar Agustus, Herod the Great, Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist.

Throughout the book extensive footnotes support facts presented. In the forward, Bill O’Reilly states, “To understand what Jesus accomplished and how he paid with his life, we have to understand what was happening around him.” O’Reilly and Dugard do a thorough job of helping the reader understand the political mind-set of the time.

I found Killing Jesus riveting. No matter what religious beliefs the reader follows, this book brings to light the meaning of Jesus’s life. The book is quite graphic in describing extremely cruel executions. Life was cheap and political power safe-guarded at all costs.

Authors Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have also co-authored two other notable books, Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy. To learn more about these books and the authors, visit

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Killing Jesus

  1. Too much busy-ness has kept me from reading your blog for awhile, Mary, and I’ve just enjoyed a good coffee and a time spent “with your thoughts and reviews.” You always have such an eclectic mix of sharings to inspire thoughts and inform the lucky readers of your blog. Thanks again from me (glad to be reading your blog)!

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