Cultural conceptions of Jesus today present a man who is virtually unrecognizable. He is not known, above all, for whom he loves or how he loves. In contrast to this misconfiguration, the Jesus of the Gospels is far more beautiful, and loves more broadly and deeply, than many have imagined. The humble, suffering love of Jesus is uncanny, radiantly beautiful, and in the end transformative. There is nothing like it across the religious landscape or current ideological offerings.
In this engaging work—Jesus the Stranger: The Man from Galilee and the Light of the World—Ken Collins invites the reader to see Jesus in a new way. One that focuses on his humanity, especially in terms of his suffering, rejection, and ostracism by numerous oppositional characters and groups drawn from the pages of the Gospels. From hometown folk to family members, from religious leaders to those who will ultimately seek his death, what emerges from this new vista is a more humane and approachable Jesus, one who can commiserate with the pain and sorrow of our own lives and one who can offer rich and abundant healing, the healing of holy love.
“In Ken Collins’s probing new book, we see various sides of who Jesus actually was through the eyes of both friend and foe, disciples and onlookers, the ill and the apparently well, the elite and the ordinary, the rich and the poor. Like touring an art gallery and seeing Jesus through the eyes of all these eyewitnesses, we are surprised, again and again at what we find. This book has both storytelling power, and also theological and spiritual depth while being accessible to all sorts of readers who want to know more about Jesus. Be prepared to be intrigued, be prepared to be challenged, be prepared to be caught up in love, wonder and praise of “the Stranger.’ Highly recommended.”
–Ben Witherington III, Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary; Emeritus Doctoral Faculty, St. Andrews University, Scotland
‘Professor Kenneth J. Collins has written a powerful set of reflections on the deity, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Here we see Jesus cast against the backdrop of the opposition he faced throughout his ministry. For many of his day, Jesus was a stranger, the ‘other.’ Our own day is no different. Jesus remains a stranger to many, but yet he invites all people into a life of holy love. This is a learned work, and at times quite moving. It is informed by scholarship but remains accessible to non-specialists. Readers from laity to pastors to professors will benefit from engaging this outstanding book.”
–David F. Watson, Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament, United Theological Seminary
“Ken Collins invites us on a faith-filled journey through the life of Jesus that draws us more deeply into the gospel. Like the learned theologians of the early church and the Middle Ages, and our best theologians today, Collins reads Scripture in ways that aim at formation in Christlikeness and theological illumination. I highly recommend this book. It’s well-suited not only for personal study but also for small groups.”
–Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary
- Christian or non-Christian readers
- College or student groups exploring faith
- Book clubs or Sunday School classes
In these pages you’ll:
- Discover a portrait of Jesus in the biblical Gospels you may have hardly known
- Become acquainted with the profound opposition and suffering of Jesus and the ways his love conquered it all
- Be both disrupted and encouraged by the holy love of God at work in the person of Jesus
About the Author
Kenneth J. Collins is professor of Historical Theology and Wesley Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. The author and editor of over sixteen books, Collins has also produced scores of articles and numerous reviews. His books have been translated into Russian, Portuguese and Korean—and soon Chinese.
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