ZEALOT: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth By Reza Aslan Book review By Andre Austin Reza Aslan is a dangerous man because he has upstaged the Christian historians by producing an historical work surrounding Jesus. Reza is Muslim but his wife is a Christian. He teaches a creative writing course in California and his students should be proud of their teacher. His book Zealot would be a good primer to Joseph Atwill’s “Caesar’s Messiah” which is his twin opposite. Aslan went back in time to 160’s BC when the Maccabee’s were duking it out with the Greeks and Romans. Aslan doesn’t even mention the possibility that the NT was written in part to refute everything the Maccabees were fighting for. For example: the real Jews fought against taxation because it was one step away from slavery. Aslan, however thinks Jesus saying render under Caesar’s whats Caesar wasn’t submitting to taxation. Aslan then agrees that Jesus wasn’t born in Bethlehem but omits Luke’s ulterior motive of having Jesus being born in 6AD and having his family submit to a census for taxation (Luke 2:3). Aslan accurately portrays the then General Vespasian and his son Titus burning down the razing the Jewish Temple. He states: “ not only would the Jews be forbidden to rebuild their Temple…they would now be forced to pay a tax of two drachmas a year-the exact amount Jewish men once paid in shekels to the Temple in Jerusalem-in order to help rebuild the Temple of Jupiter, which was accidentally burned down during the Roman civil war”p.68 All Jews except for Josephus Bar Matthias was forced to pay for the upkeep of the central pagan cult of Rome. Josephus wrote that he had a mark/tattoo from Domitian to be tax free (Life 76). When the book of Revelations were written allusions to this tax may be revealed “I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars…him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of my God…These things saith the Amen (Jupiter), the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” (Rev 3:9-14). Now in full context we can match these episodes up in Suetonius biography of Domitian’s agents collected the tax on Jews with a peculiar lack of mercy; and took proceedings not only against those who kept their Jewish origins a secret in order to avoid the tax, but against those who lived as Jews without professing Judaism” (Domitian 12). The translator of Suetonius writings left a footnote below the above sentence saying: The tax had been imposed by Vespasian after the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in 70AD. The writer of Revelations put 666 as the mark that Joesphus had for tax free being able to buy and sell (Rev 13:18). When Vespasian and Titus attack Jerusalem they were following the orders of Nero whose numerical name was 666. The beast or Red dragon now being Domitian in Rev 12. Domitian is bald headed according to Suetonius and pulls women hair out in his bed. This explains why he has women’s hair (Rev 9:8). This is just one example of Aslan not telling the story of Christianity in its full context. Aslan is a Muslim but do not believe Mary was a virgin. He doesn’t state the real reason the NT said he was a virgin in the first place. Rome didn’t want Jesus family to have successors to power so they lied and wrote a phony genealogy tree to defame him with 4 names of women prostitutes and 6 variations of the name Matthias with Joesphus as the father. This same Matthias appears again in Acts 1 as being elected to the Apostleship but the real person was James. The election was between two people and if you put the names together its Josephus Bar Matthias who was adopted by Titus and Vespasian. I’m surprised that Aslan accurately makes Clement of Rome succeeding Peter p.200. The Catholics for some reason introduces two fictional Popes before Flavius Clement (Linus & Anakletus) to avoid the fact that a cousin of Titus and Vespasian took direct control over Christianity after they executed and castrated Peter in Rome. Unfortunately, Suetonius reports that Domitian killed his own cousin clement and renamed his two sons Vespasian and Domitian. Domitian also killed his black secretary Epaphroditus. By a coincidence Clement and Epaphroditus are supposed to be the friends of Paul in the NT (Phil 4:3 & Phil 4:18). Aslan accurately explains the differences between Jesus brother James and Paul. The former being pro-Jew the latter pro-Roman who was the enemy of the Jews and friend of the Hellenized Christians in Rome. Aslan accurately states that Jesus was a Jew not a Christian.