Alan Watson argues that a close examination of the Gospels in their historic and religious context reveals St. Mark’s text as the most plausible account of how Jesus saw himself and how he was perceived by his contemporaries. In the gospel of Mark, Watson says that we see a Jesus who felt he was beyond the law—a man who was basically apolitical, hostile to dogma, and deliberately incomprehensible to his followers and enemies. Watson concludes that Jesus was essentially a cult leader—a charismatic individual who demanded personal faith from his followers with little regard to consistency or content of his message. Jesus: A Profile joins three other works by Watson—The Trial of Jesus, Jesus and the Law, and Jesus and the Jews—to examine the early dynamism of western religion through refocused attention on biblical texts and other historical sources.
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