Paul Verhoeven talks about his new book on Jesus

Paul Verhoeven

I saw Verhoeven speak about his new book Jesus of Nazareth last night. It was a great talk and I really look forward to reading the book. I particularly liked the comparison of the last year of Jesus’s life with the final year of Che Guevara’s life.

Here’s an interview Verhoeven did with a local alt weekly:

WW: Many books have been written about Jesus, at least one of which is still in print. So why this book, and why now?

Paul Verhoeven: You could argue that nearly all books that are written about Jesus where people have done thorough research, are written by Christians. And here is somebody [me] who looks at it from a completely secular point of view. So I think that would be interesting for people who also have their doubts about divinity, but are still perhaps interested in the figure of Jesus, as a historical person who changed the whole world by his teachings. That’s what it is all about and not, not in my opinion, that Jesus was elevated to divine status. That, I think, was a mistake.

You’re trying to restore what you see as his ecumenical ethics to the man himself.

Yeah, clear. In my opinion Jesus was wrong about certain things, but even as he was really wrong in thinking that the Kingdom of God was going to be there shortly, and that the exorcisms were approved, at the same time—I call it a paradox nearly—he invented these parables, and the parables are expression of an innovative ethics.

Willamette Week: The man who made RoboCop dies for our sins.


  1. Yes, this is all we need: hobbyist historians and theologians giving us their two cents worth on Jeebus.

    What’s next? Australian footballers decrying evolution..?

    Oh, too late.

  2. wilbourn mcnnuu

    May 31, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    For at least a few seconds every day since 1944. I have wished that others might have been in the cockpit with me when enemy flak began cracking all around like bullwhips. Then they too might have nightmares as they tried to fall asleep in preparation for the next mission.
    Then they too might rise up in an insane rage, curse God, repent, fall asleep, and wake up to find the that the God of conditional love has been replaced by the God of unconditional love. Or, as Tillich has written, “You are accepted.”

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