Ecce Homo: Jesus the Man by Enrico Nicoló

Ecce Homo: Jesus the Man

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An alternative reading of various New Testament stories about Jesus.

Through a close reading of New Testament Scripture, debut author Nicolo espouses a revolutionary interpretation of various passages regarding Jesus’ interactions with others. The author suggests that several passages mask scenes of conflict through the language of healing and teaching. In Nicolo’s reading, Jesus is an itinerate preacher who runs for his life, gets into intense physical altercations, and survives multiple ambushes and angry mobs. For example, in the story about the miraculous catch of fish, Jesus gets into a boat not to better address the crowd but in order to flee a hostile mob. The catch of fish is in fact made up of people wading out to attack him, caught up in a net. Elsewhere, the tale of a paralytic let down through a roof for healing is reinterpreted as a “Trojan horse” brought by a “commando unit” intent upon harming Jesus. Healings are reinterpreted as physical altercations, such as when Jesus heals a leper in the Gospel of Mark: “Jesus then fought back physically, not only to defend himself but also to subdue the man while telling him, ‘Be made clean.’ ” Nicolo brings forth an intriguing new analysis that may be based in some truth, since Jesus did in fact face many detractors throughout his ministry. Nicolo doesn’t provide a context for why these stories would be retold in such a different way. Unfortunately for the reader, he does not introduce his theory but instead jumps right into textual analysis. Similarly, there is no conclusion to explain his thesis. Given the substance of his argument, he leaves the reader with an impression that this interpretation is little more than a fanciful reading.

Requires further argument and explication to convince the reader.

Publisher: Dog Ear
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:


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