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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Existential Jesus
Carroll, John

Berkeley, Calif.: Counterpoint, 2007 pp. 274. $15.95


Description: Upending Christianity’s popular notion of Jesus the comforter, the good shepherd, the Lord, and the Savior, this completely new exploration of Mark’s Life of Jesus reexamines the image presented in this earliest of the New Testament gospels—the mysterious stranger, the singular, abandoned, and solitary figure—and rethinks the current role of Western culture through a radically altered view of Christianity. The existential Jesus has no interest in sin, and his focus is not on an afterlife. He is anti-church, anti-establishment, anti-family, and anti-community; a teacher, with himself his only student, he gestures enigmatically from within his own torturous experience, inviting the reader to walk in his shoes and ask the question, Who am I? This book argues that Jesus is the West’s great teacher on the nature of being. Incorporating a new translation of the Gospel of Mark from its original Greek, this radical reinterpretation identifies the philosophical and cultural significance of Jesus in the modern world, based on his life, actions, and reflections.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Mark, Literature

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Review by Stephan Joubert
Published 8/29/2009
Citation: Stephan Joubert, review of John Carroll, The Existential Jesus, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


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