The Last Temptation of Christ Prime – Albawater.co

The internationally renowned novel about the life and death of Jesus ChristHailed as a masterpiece by critics worldwide, The Last Temptation of Christ is a monumental reinterpretation of the Gospels that brilliantly fleshes out Christ s Passion This literary rendering of the life of Jesus Christ has courted controversy since its publication by depicting a Christ far human than the one seen in the Bible He is a figure who is gloriously divine but earthy and human, a man like any other subject to fear, doubt, and pain In elegant, thoughtful prose Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the greats of modern literature, follows this Jesus as he struggles to live out God s will for him, powerfully suggesting that it was Christ s ultimate triumph over his flawed humanity, when he gave up the temptation to run from the cross and willingly laid down his life for mankind, that truly made him the venerable redeemer of men Spiritual dynamite San Francisco Chronicle A searing, soaring, shocking novel Time


10 thoughts on “The Last Temptation of Christ

  1. Michael Finocchiaro Michael Finocchiaro says:

    This book was scandalous when it was published by Kazantzakis in 1955 and the reason that he despite being a fervent Orthodox Christian was refused an Orthodox burial It was of course the source of the similarly scandalous movie of 1988 with Willem Dafoe as Jesus Why the scandal Well, like when Rushdie imagined in The Satanic Verses that perhaps Satan sat on Mohammed s shoulder and dictated parts of the Qu ran, Kazantzakis looks at the human side of Christ as depicted in the Gospel of Ma This book was scandalous when it was published by Kazantzakis in 1955 and the reason that he despite being a fervent Orthodox Christian was refused an Orthodox burial It was of course the source of the similarly scandalous movie of 1988 with Willem Dafoe as Jesus Why the scandal Well, like when Rushdie imagined in The Satanic Verses that perhaps Satan sat on Mohammed s shoulder and dictated parts of the Qu ran, Kazantzakis looks at the human side of Christ as depicted in the Gospel of Mark where his isof a man than a man god , he allows Jesus to have sexual fantasies about Mary Magdalene and he experiences the guilt of these fantasies and works through them I found the plot quite plausible and challenging to my imagination and my belief system but in a positive way I read it after the Christians went ape shit crazy in 1988 when the film came out and I can say that the book is far better than the film I ended up breaking with my belief system not because of the book butbecause of what I perceived as the hypocrisy of a religion that calls Islam closed minded but that could not accept the slightest interrogation into the psyche of its founding figure Perhaps you should read it and judge for yourselves


  2. Tom LA Tom LA says:

    Nikos Kazantzakis 1883 1957 was one of the greatest Greek writers of the last century In 1957, he lost the Nobel prize to Albert Camus by one vote One vote Ugh Most people who hear about The last temptation of Christ immediately think of the 1988 Scorsese movie with Willem Dafoe as Jesus and other equally atrociously miscast actors a film that was meant to come across as scandalous and provocative, in the typical Hollywood low brow fashion I never saw the movie and probably never Nikos Kazantzakis 1883 1957 was one of the greatest Greek writers of the last century In 1957, he lost the Nobel prize to Albert Camus by one vote One vote Ugh Most people who hear about The last temptation of Christ immediately think of the 1988 Scorsese movie with Willem Dafoe as Jesus and other equally atrociously miscast actors a film that was meant to come across as scandalous and provocative, in the typical Hollywood low brow fashion I never saw the movie and probably never will That is a very good thing if you re going to read the book, because this is a very complex and beautiful work, that Hollywood would never be able to do justice to I loved many parts of the book The language is very poetic, and I found that NK was great at reproducing the spiritual fervor of the time in Palestine, the social acceptance of visions, miracles, prophecies, and overall a very intense and palpable spiritual reality In short, all that we have lost today in the West Someone will argue for good and for bad , but my opinion is that it is only for the bad Our loss We have shrunk from a large, human dimension to the dimension of things Anyway, that s a different topic see some modern scientist who states that everyone in ancient times suffered from a form of schizofrenia Fascinating theory, although probably wrong Soundslike a way to formalize the mental state of modern westerners as healthy and better , which is obviously extremely arguable Back to the book Is NK s Jesus a credible, authentic, realistic Jesus No, he is not I will summarize here the opinion of Lord Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and one of my intellectual heroes In this video he says that, in his view, from a classical Christian theology perspective, NK gets some things right about Jesus and some other things not so right Lord Williams says One of the things that makes us human is that we can allow the divine light to flood us and fill us, or as some theologians say, we can grow into the divine image So I think Kazantzakis is right in saying that it s not a question of just one eccentric individual who lived centuries ago, but it is about the destiny of humanity, it is about how humanity itself grows into that divine image Where NK s view isat odds with a classical Christian view and perhapsindebted to a 19th century religious perspective is that he tends to merge the divinity humanity tension with the flesh spirit tension, which historically and theologically is not correct Still Lord Williams about this book They said NK tried to portray a Jesus who washuman and relatable than the one in the Gospel I think for a Christian Jesus must be like us enough to understand what he meant, what he was all about, and different enough to spring from the trap of a humanity that s turned on itself However, the paradox in NK s narrative is that Jesus is this extraordinarily unusual, tormented and unique individual To try and make out his psychology in the novel is very hard work, I m not at all sure if I understand quite what the enormous gear shifts in the story are all about In some ways, in trying so hard to make Jesushuman , he created a Jesus at least as difficult and remote as the Jesus of the classical theology And this The notion that Jesus is in a state of constant inner flux about his identity and mission I m not so sure In the gospel, the tension comes from someone who knows who he is and again and again he needs to confront the cost and the consequences of that But that s very different from the unceasing struggle of NK s Jesus to find a place to stand I very much agree with these comments In this book, Jesus is not just someone who has a doubt here and there, and therefore isrelatable He is a man in constant, unceasing spiritual pain, scared of his own shadow and insecure about pretty much everything He lives a life of torment, and even during his short public career, he is constantly shocked in front of the miracles he can make, always reluctant with regards to his mission.The communion of Jesus with God is portrayed as a curse almost a mental illness rather than a loving relationship Rather than Jesus being highly educated in the Scriptures as he must have been, and a confident leader, God seems to be using this poor, sickly and bizarre fool as a mere instrument for his plans Meanwhile, Jesus as a person comes across as a mentally unstable man who s gifted with deep sensitivity and extraordinary intuition, but has no confidence at all about what he is doing and no real idea where he is going Despite what the Hollywood movie tried to imply, the real last temptation of Christ in this narrative is not sex, but domesticity While on the cross, Jesus dreams of being old, married and with kids and grandkids, as his final temptation Another issue I have with this work is that Mary is presented as a very embittered woman, a mother with a heart closed on itself, constantly thinking about her own misfortunes rather than the good of Joseph and Jesus Such a huge difference between this Mary and the one shown in Mel Gibson s The Passion , who unflinchingly supports her son until the very last moments of his life Also, while Jesus of the gospels simply warned the rich about the fact that it will be difficult for them to enter the kingdom of God, NK s Jesus keeps referring to them as enemies, as people without any hope As for the movie, Scorsese wanted to bring this peculiar Christ to his audience in his modern guise, as an unsettling, tortured Jesus, unsure whether his inner voices are divine or demonic, and torn between his love of the flesh and his need for the spirit Like he demonstrated with his latest movie Silence as well, Scorsese seems to be drawn towards extremely contrived versions of Christianity, that seem to lack spontaneity and heart And, of course, for him there needs to be sex and violence In any case, if you are accustomed to Jesus as he is portrayed in the gospels, Kazantzakis Jesus will be shocking He is a troubled young man, attacked by pains that mimic bird s claws, nagged by his mother, and disappointed in his father But most striking is how passive and inept he is and how constantly unsure he is of his divine calling And without Judas he would be lostYes, one of the many inventions of NK is the role of Judas in the story of Jesus Judas is the strongest apostle, the only one who is able to give strength and courage to Jesus, and in many instances he turns out to be the one who actually leads Jesus Quite a weird, interesting take.Don t get me wrong this is a powerful, poetic, wonderful novel.There are many scenes that draw you in with their sheer power and intensity, and I think anyone can enjoy this work, no matter where their heart is in terms of spiritual matters.But the Jesus portrayed here has probablyto do with NK s personality than with Jesus Christ p.s NK did not believe in any traditional God, nor did he believe in a spiritual afterlife As a catholic reader, I think I could feel that this book was written by someone who was not religious This transpires especially from NK s incredible effort to build this monument of a novel to the historic man Jesus of Nazareth, and to squeeze all the layers of meaning of the Gospel into the life of an individual using the tools of historical research This effort does not make sense, and it shouldn t make a lot of sense to a catholic Like Joseph Ratzinger said, Jesus was entirely man, but he was also one thing with God Starting with the 1950 s, in many writings the hiatus between the historic Jesus and the Jesus Christ of Catholicism became wider and wider But what meaning can Faith have, if the real Jesus was in fact so different from how he is described in the gospels In trying to study and analyze in the most subtle ways the historic Jesus , scholars ended up in a foggy mist, losing sight of Jesus Christ as he is proclaimed by the Church In other words, the evangelists described Jesus and the facts that took place in his life, but they also went beyond the historicity of those facts, therefore allowing Jesus to have an eternal presence and eternal life, and not only a human life Christian faith is based upon an intimate relationship with God and with Jesus If you limit Jesus only to the historic perspective, which is quite vague because we don t have a lot of available data, you risk undermining this relationship and having the faithful reach for something that is very elusive The reality of Jesus Christ, his presence in the Church today, goes beyond and is much broader than the life of the historic Jesus


  3. Greg Greg says:

    Back in October of 2002 my parents had the wacky idea to take a family vacation in Florida I wasn t too keen on the idea, but I went along with it because none of the excuses I could come up with sounded good I started thinking about this book because the it was something I read while on this vacation, and this vacation was the scene for one of my big anxiety induced breakdowns, where I acted out in very undesirable ways, made everyone around me really uncomfortable and probably baffled my fam Back in October of 2002 my parents had the wacky idea to take a family vacation in Florida I wasn t too keen on the idea, but I went along with it because none of the excuses I could come up with sounded good I started thinking about this book because the it was something I read while on this vacation, and this vacation was the scene for one of my big anxiety induced breakdowns, where I acted out in very undesirable ways, made everyone around me really uncomfortable and probably baffled my family by wondering why their son brother ended up curled up on a couch crying less than two hours after landing and since I pulled a minor reprise of the Greg completely loses his shit anxiety show this evening it made me think about this vacation And then this book And to get my mind out of the anxiety ghetto I thought maybe I d write a review to help move my brain back to it s usual state The flight down was a horrific ordeal I hate to fly under the best circumstances Flying for me is physically painful the pressure of taking off and landing feels like needles are being stuck into my head I can barely hear anything while I m in the air or for a couple of hours once I land , my sinuses generally feel like they are filled with expanding balloons and I find the seats in airplanes to be really uncomfortable with not inadequate legroom so my knees are usually jammed into the seat in front of me That is my situation in the best possible conditions for flying On this particular flight I was flying on Jet Blue, which was the equivalent in 2002, at least for flights from NYC to Orlando, as being about as white trash as riding the Greyhound bus between rural area A and rural area B This flight was all the pain of flying coupled with all the worst parts of any bus ride I d ever taken This is going somewhere At the time I took my awful flight to Florida I was reading this book My plan had been to bring the book, read it on the plane and hopefully make the two hour flight go by really quickly That didn t work I succeeded in getting my seat and started to read the book while the rest of the cretins were boarding And I was reading my book, minding my own business when the person sitting next to me sat down It was a woman, and she probably weighed close to three hundred pounds She didn t fit into her own seat and spilled out liberally into my personal space I don t like having physical contact with strangers so I wedged myself as far from her as possible, but still couldn t really escape some physical contact She loudly complained to her equally large husband that she didn t have enough room and about the rudeness of other people who take up too much space I guess that would be me , she then proceeded to dig through a large paper shopping back filled with snacks and began eating I was feeling disgusted by my neighbor It was after I began to think, what a disgusting and loud person this is she was loudly commenting on what she was eating with her husband who sat across the aisle, who was also eating from his own big paper bag of snacks that she turned her attention briefly away from her feeding to notice what I was reading She then loudly told her husband that I was reading a disgusting book and how could anyone read something like that She may have gone on about my book for a while longer but her attention returned to her feeding Once the plane started to take off my ears and sinuses did their thing and I couldn t read any I spent the rest of the flight staring at the little TV screen, watching the progress of where the plane was on a map I m amazed that a person had the kind of reaction she had to this book It had been quite a while since the movie had pissed off Christians and caused a sensation But she remembered and probably lots of other people did too, but what they thought of the book and movie didn t necessarily have anything to do with what was actually in either I remember when the movie came out all the uproar, and what passed into my young teenage mind was that Jesus has fantasies of graphic sex with Mary Magdalene while he s on the cross This isn t what the last temptation of Jesus is in either the book or movie The temptation that the devil gives to Jesus is the possibility of living a regular life Marrying Mary Magdalene, having a family, not being crucified, not having the weight of being a savior on his shoulders Having a happy life Being a man instead of the son of God so yes in the temptation he would have had sex, but it would be like the sex people normally have who are married and have kids I don t understand what the problem Christians have with this Personally, after reading the book and seeing the movie I d bewilling to take the Jesus story seriously It adds a humanity to the figure of Christ and creates a sort of existential hero out of Jesus, as opposed to a rather boring story of a thing that knows it s a God and goes through with an ordeal of pain knowing full well that it can t really hurt him since he isdivine than human The story in this book is almost a reverse of Pascal s Wager Jesus could be divine, but he s uncertain The Devil offers him the choice of taking the consolation prize, grabbing the sure thing of a happy life Not taking the Devil s offer is taking the old Kierkegaard leap, trusting with faith and knowing somewhere in the back of your mind that all the suffering could be in vain What I find disgusting is the idea that Christians would be so disturbed with the humanity and doubts of Jesus I d get it if they found the whole Jesus was a man thing disgusting, but they have no trouble with knowing he was man enough to be die What sick fucks The only humanity that they will give to the guy who they claim to worship is the human condition to die To live, to be human, is an outrage to them I loved this book and the movie


  4. Edward Lorn Edward Lorn says:

    WARNING If you do not like your faith being questioned or dissected, I suggest you stop reading now There is a high probability you will be offended I do not have pleasant views regarding religion and I d hate to hurt your feelings without warning you first If you choose to discuss Christianity in the comment section, by all means, go ahead Know that I am an atheist and that I will respect you as long as you re respectful However, I do not respect religion in any form and do not wish to be WARNING If you do not like your faith being questioned or dissected, I suggest you stop reading now There is a high probability you will be offended I do not have pleasant views regarding religion and I d hate to hurt your feelings without warning you first If you choose to discuss Christianity in the comment section, by all means, go ahead Know that I am an atheist and that I will respect you as long as you re respectful However, I do not respect religion in any form and do not wish to be converted I ve hadthan enough religion thrust upon me My view is that religion is like herpes it s easy to catch but everyone is better off without it The Last Temptation of Christ reads like any good fan fiction It s faithful to the original characters while adding enough twists and turns to piss off any avid fan of the source material This book has been upsetting Christians since it was published because it supposes that Christ had a choice So much of a choice that when the time came for him to be tempted one last time, he jumped off the cross to answer Mary and Martha s booty call Not his mother Mary at least I hope not If it was just yuck But that s only the last four chapters Suffice it to say, I was disappointed I was hoping forNaughty Christ shenanigans Example Jesus jerked himself erect Love that quote, even if it is taken out of context.I approached this read differently, deciding to take on a chapter a day until the book was finished, which came out to be thirty three days I looked at it as an assignment While the concept of this book has always interested me, I ve never actually wanted to read it I suppose I could have watched the film adaptation, but I prefer the original over someone else s interpretation whenever possible And since I do not know Greek, I had to resort to the English translation What interested me was the promise of a Christ that was not perfect If Jesus Christ was real, I suspect this is what actually happened He was a magician an illusionist, if you prefer who was deified because the era and area in which he was born was waiting on a messiah After his tricks were outed as illusionsthan likely by his homedude Judas , he was crucified for lying about being the son of God His crew wrote down their version of events, and that became the Bible I would much rather hear something like the Santa Claus Speech from believers Kids, Christ isof a feeling than he is a real person People use him to make children and some adults behave properly in the hopes that he will bring them gifts ranging from their favorite sports team winning the super series pennant cup race playoffs all the way up to eternal life, if you can dig it But I digress Of course your religion is the right one All these other fools are just barking up the wrong invisible man Religion is a reward system that dictates behavior This author understood that There are several quotes I highlighted, but my favorite is True or false what do I care It s enough if the world is saved I won t tell you what to believe because I don t want you telling me what to believe If you want to believe in God so that he keeps bringing you gifts year after year, that s fine by me If it helps you be a better person, awesomesauce If religion makes you want to do good deeds, by all means, do em up What I have a problem with is the vilification of nonbelievers What also annoys me is the idea that nonbelievers are somehow in danger Point in fact I saw someone on Facebook reply to an atheist s post with I know you won t take me seriously, but if I don t say something it would be like me watching a good friend stuck in a burning building and not trying to save them Who wants to burn alive Not me Odd, because, the way I look at it, it slike someone standing on the sidewalk screaming up to me that the building is on fire when it s obviously not Religion is the only acceptable form of insanity and mob mentality If you hear voices, you re mad If you hear God, you re a prophet Dig it Hearing from God is so acceptable by the religious right that politicians use God told me to run in their campaigns, as if that isn t the wackiest shit Imagine the results of a politician saying The Easter Bunny told me to ask for your vote or Martians want me to be president Then you have the people who believe just in case religion got it right My question to them is How do you know you picked the right religion Wouldn t it suck to pop into the afterlife only to find Cthulhu instead of Saint Peter In summation Yes, I have used this review as a soapbox Not pleasant, is it Now, if you would like to proclaim how you ll be praying for me in the comment section, pray on, Christian soldier I ve been ostracized by half of my family for not believing, because that s what Christians are good at Making everyone else feel wrong by being passive aggressively right You haven t met the right Christians Oh honey trust me, I ve metthan enough As far as the book is concerned, read it or don t It won t make a difference in your life Final Judgment Made me jerk myself erect


  5. Peycho Kanev Peycho Kanev says:

    This book is a scream Pure scream made out of love and pain And it will sound until the end of time That is all I can say Maybe because of this book Nikos Kazantzakis is buried on the wall surrounding the city of Heraklion near the Chania Gate, because the Orthodox Church ruled out his being buried in a cemetery His epitaph reads I hope for nothing I fear nothing I am free.


  6. Sotiris Karaiskos Sotiris Karaiskos says:

    In one of the rare times that fanatical religious and atheists agree, both are absolutely convinced that this is a blasphemous and anti Christian book So the first use this book to denounce the author and in his person everyone else, and they do not use it as a weapon to offend Christians, claiming the second use the book as a weapon against them, claiming that it reveals hidden truths that the church would like not to be revealed Of course, none of this is true, on the contrary, in my opinion In one of the rare times that fanatical religious and atheists agree, both are absolutely convinced that this is a blasphemous and anti Christian book So the first use this book to denounce the author and in his person everyone else, and they do not use it as a weapon to offend Christians, claiming the second use the book as a weapon against them, claiming that it reveals hidden truths that the church would like not to be revealed Of course, none of this is true, on the contrary, in my opinion, it is a deeply Christian book, which penetrates deep into the Christian truth and deals with issues that are at the heart of it.Of course, while reading it, a Christian will certainly face various problems and will have to bypass several things to get to the heart of what the author wants to say There are certainly a lot of heretical views, several points in the story seen with a different eye, some annoying images and of course you have to get used to the fact that the pious protagonists of the gospels are sounding and behaved like Zorba the Greek He should, however, show a little leniency and look behind all and focus on what the author wants to say, not on the way he says it.You see, the author did not intend to write a new Gospel that would reveal the true story of Christ that some have hidden for centuries In fact, he follows the Gospels of the New Testament quite faithfully, without significant differences in events and situations, what changes are the interpretation of these events Following the ideas expressed in several of his novels and other works, the author sees the story of Christ as a repetition of the classic pattern of the struggle between flesh and spirit Kazantzakis Christ is not the sure god man, that has overcome his doubts, he has subjugated his human nature and he confidently takes the road to heaven On the contrary, he is a man who fights with his divine nature, who resists his destiny, who has fears and doubts Of course, the heavenly calling is stronger than anything and in the end it prevails but this prevalence of the spirit towards the flesh is anything but easy and peaceful To use the language of the author, the spirit and the flesh are two beasts struggling to tear each other apart and in the middle are all of us and this struggle is at the heart of human existence Using the person of Christ, the author talks about this struggle in a truly staggering way, making this book particularly important.Of course, there are many other things in the book that may not be directly related to the story of Christ The search for a way to deal with injustice, the issue of violence, the Church s relationship with power, the need for revolution but alsotheological things such as sin, punishment, and forgiveness All of these are given in the author s special way, which, as I said above, may seem strange, but in the end the reader who approaches this book with a free mind will discover a lot and get into the process of thinking evenThat s why it s a really great book, ,, , , , , ,, , ,,, , ,, , ,, , , , ,, , , ,


  7. DROPPING OUT DROPPING OUT says:

    It has been almost 25 years since I read this and I really ought to re read it, for I SO loved it the first time encountered it Two stories I recommended it to a friend of long standing who is a devout Orthodox Christian, thinking he might enjoy the mind game Kazantzakis played But he declined because his priest disapproved of the author and because of the brouhaha in Kazantzakis native Greece involving the Orthodox clergy Pity My friend s loss Just after I finished reading it, I rec It has been almost 25 years since I read this and I really ought to re read it, for I SO loved it the first time encountered it Two stories I recommended it to a friend of long standing who is a devout Orthodox Christian, thinking he might enjoy the mind game Kazantzakis played But he declined because his priest disapproved of the author and because of the brouhaha in Kazantzakis native Greece involving the Orthodox clergy Pity My friend s loss Just after I finished reading it, I received a visit from an acquaintance who was an Orthodox rabbi He saw the book on my desk and went over and picked it up I wonder what he is going to say, I asked myself The rabbi turned to me and with his eyes brimming he choked out the words, Is this not one of the the most incredibly beautiful books you have ever read I remember the controversy surrounding the movie based on the novel made only a few years later, and I felt sorry for those who felt their sense of orthodoxy precluded spiritual fantasy I never saw the movie I felt then and still do that the book was self sufficient As I said, this is a book I need to re visit


  8. K.D. Absolutely K.D. Absolutely says:

    According to the imagination of this Greek writer who was 1 vote away to grab the 1952 Nobel Prize for Literature, Nikos Kazantzakis, the last temptation of Christ happened while he was hanging on the cross In the book, at that point that he was about to be nailed, the sunny heaven suddenly turned dark, the earth shook and Simon of Cyrene the innkeeper saw angels coming down from heaven, were the ones who nailed Jesus to the cross and took him away upon his death This book regularly appears According to the imagination of this Greek writer who was 1 vote away to grab the 1952 Nobel Prize for Literature, Nikos Kazantzakis, the last temptation of Christ happened while he was hanging on the cross In the book, at that point that he was about to be nailed, the sunny heaven suddenly turned dark, the earth shook and Simon of Cyrene the innkeeper saw angels coming down from heaven, were the ones who nailed Jesus to the cross and took him away upon his death This book regularly appears in various lists of banned novels Not surprising because it deviates, horribly or brilliantly depending on your perspective , from the story as narrated in the Holy Bible For somebody like me who is fond of reading good fiction novels, I would say that the non Bible based parts of the story are just too provocative to pass up These parts are also critical to the story because what Kazantzakis would like to impart to the readers that we, as human beings, should not despair and lose hope in trying to stay away from sins and temptations Kazantzakis successfully did this by showing thehuman nature of Jesus not only during the ministerial part of his life but most especially during his trial and crucifixion.A very apt book for Lenten read Some people say that this is blasphemous and sacrilegious just like Dan Brown s The Da Vinci Code I admit that the controversial non Bible entries could turn off some conservative or traditional minded people I read that when the 1988 film of Martin Sorcese was shown in the UK, the movie, shown in parts, got the most number of complaints ever from viewers I have not seen that movie and I am not raring to I am a regular church goer and I finished several units of religion courses in college but I am not disturb in any way by these non Bible entries courtesy of Kazantzakis 1 Jesus had a hard time following the will of the father because he is in love with Mary Magdalene, a prostitute.2 Being a carpenter, he is also a cross maker He was the one making crosses used for crucifying criminals No mention if he was the one who created his own cross though.3 Mary at some point cursed, not just questioned, God for choosing her to bear Jesus and to marry an old bachelor, Joseph In fact, both Jesus and Mary referred to their assignment as curse from God.4 Jesus not only knew the Judas, the redheard and blue eyed disciple, would sold him to Caiphas Jesus even instructed Judas every step of the way, i.e., who to talk to, what to say, where is the meeting point, at what hour they can pick him up, etc Judas struggled with this role as he was also very close to Jesus.5 The apostles did not show themselves during the crucifixion because they were not expecting Jesus to die on the cross When they were recruited, they thought that the promised kingdom of Jesus is similar to that of Roman kings and the promise of eternal life is by Jesus making them like mythological immortal gods.6 In the last temptation dream sequence, Mary Magdalene was killed by stone throwing death penalty and the throwing was spearheaded by one of the apostles Then Jesus became Lazarus and had many, many children with the sisters, Martha and Mary although it was only Mary who Jesus married If you are turned off with any of the above, this book is not for you However, I took them as just part of the fiction part and for Kazantzakis to drive home his point that Jesus, like his mother and disciples are just but human As human, they are like us encountering temptations every day of our lives and trying to raise up from sins during our stay here on earth With this novel, I feel closer to Jesus as I know that he also felt what I feel during times of despair from failing to be good.I also cried a tear this morning It is this part where Simon of Cyrene was berating Jesus disciplines from not coming out and help Jesus carry his cross The apostles did not move So, Simon of Cyrene went out by himself and saw Jesus Simon waved at him Jesus s heart rejoiced Jesus started to nod his head to say goodbye to him but tripped on a stone and collapsed to the ground, the cross over his back He groaned with pain.The Cyrenian Simon rushed forward, lifted him Jesus up, took the cross and loaded it upon his own back Then he turned and smiled at JesusCourage,he said to himI m here don t be afraid It just eases the pain of struggling away from sins This book, this line Brilliant Clever Must read, everyone


  9. Jeffrey Jeffrey says:

    This is not your grandparent s gospel That s the first thing you must accept if you are going to make it through this novel Nikos Kazantzakis states in the introduction to The Last Temptation of Christ, This book is not a biography it is the confession of every man who struggles He explains that the book explores the dual substance of Christ, the struggle between his flesh and spirit the stronger the struggle the richer the final harmony, a union with God A struggle that he claims al This is not your grandparent s gospel That s the first thing you must accept if you are going to make it through this novel Nikos Kazantzakis states in the introduction to The Last Temptation of Christ, This book is not a biography it is the confession of every man who struggles He explains that the book explores the dual substance of Christ, the struggle between his flesh and spirit the stronger the struggle the richer the final harmony, a union with God A struggle that he claims all men go through with Christ as the ultimate example In other words Christ was a human carrying out God s Will not an easy task And Kazantzakis takes a lot of liberties with the tale to explore his idea which is where all the controversy comes from In the book, after Jesus has asked Judas to betray him, Judas asks Christ, If you had to betray your master, would you do it Jesus replies after reflecting for a long time, No, I do not think I would be able to That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task to be crucified In a lot of ways I think this pretty much sums up Kazantzakis approach to the story How would a normal human deal with the burden of carrying out God s will At every turn Christ struggles with his burden and experiences just about every emotion a human could go through If the reader is prepared to explore man s struggles through a fictionalized tale of Christ then this book is for you I was won over by the first chapter and couldn t put it down It varies greatly from the film which I also enjoyed which barley touched the surface of what the novel explores The writing is a bit heavy at times, it s not an easy read, and some of the minor character s become a bit muddled but it doesn t take away from the story I found the characters of Jesus and Judas to be fascinating and multidimensional which surprised me in a story where I was already familiar with them In short a captivating novel that at times is a bit hard to get through, which sounds like a bit of a contradiction but is true none the less It certainly will give the reader plenty to think about


  10. Brad Brad says:

    Once again, I ve destroyed my love for a book although I do still like it I first read The Last Temptation of Christ in 88, just before Martin Scorsese turned it into a movie, and I remember being blown away Unfortunately, my literary concerns were different back then the me who read The Last Temptation of Christ over the last couple of weeks doesn t match the me who read it twenty two years ago I careabout consistency today I careabout character, theme and message And beaut Once again, I ve destroyed my love for a book although I do still like it I first read The Last Temptation of Christ in 88, just before Martin Scorsese turned it into a movie, and I remember being blown away Unfortunately, my literary concerns were different back then the me who read The Last Temptation of Christ over the last couple of weeks doesn t match the me who read it twenty two years ago I careabout consistency today I careabout character, theme and message And beautiful proseit just doesn t dazzle me like it used to What I always loved about The Last Temptation of Christ was the way Nikos Kazantzakis gave us a mortal Jesus who struggled with his role as the Son of God I loved that he was tempted by Lucifer and truly felt that temptation I loved that he was so weak that he needed Judas, his friend and his strength, to betray him so he could be crucified and die for man s sins But that wasn t Kazantzakis The Last Temptation of Christ that was Scorsese s Kazantzakis Jesus was bereft of free will Sure Lucifer s temptations preyed on Jesus mind, but the power of God s coercion mooted Lucifer s attempts to corrupt Jesus Moreover, Jesus weakness and Judas strength were irrelevant God s hand fated their outcomes, and what I thought was the transcendent power of men choosing divine sacrifices was nothingthan foreordained game play They were God s pawns in a one sided game that couldn t be lost, so the sacrifice that had made me love the novel for two decades was no sacrifice at all.I wish it were otherwise I wish I still loved Kazantzakis version of The Last Temptation of Christ, and that his sensual prose wonderfully translated by P.A Bien could overcome the annoying contradictions between Christ s words thoughts and his actions I wish the Jesus of the novel was the Jesus of the movie But my wishes are and will remain unfulfilled