For those who love history, you’ll love O’Reilly’s & Dugard’s book, “Killing Jesus” – especially with Easter on the horizon.
From the authors: “This is not a religious book. We do not address Jesus as the Messiah….Much has been written about Jesus, the son of a humble carpenter. But little is actually known about him…. This is a violent story centered both in Judea and in Rome itself….To [better] understand what Jesus accomplished and how he paid with his life, we have to understand what was happening around him….. Researching and writing a book about the life and death of Jesus was much more daunting than either of our past two efforts, “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Lincoln.” (Both, Lincoln & Kennedy, by the way, believed Jesus was God.) This book, in short, is a book that gives context into the life of Jesus.”
The authors do a tremendously responsible job of providing that context. And, after recording facts about Jesus, they begin their Postscript with questions any intelligent reader has to ask: “Why did thousands of common people seek out Jesus of Nazareth?….What was Jesus doing that prompted so many people to set aside their daily labor to be near him? Christians attribute Jesus’ popularity to his message of love, hope, truth, and miraculous healings. But even non-believers must admit that something extraordinary was happening in Galilee.”
Indeed there was.
For a more theological treatment of Jesus’ final days I would strongly recommend John MacArthur’s, “The Murder of Jesus.”