The Nonviolent Messiah


“Simon’s book argues—powerfully and persuasively—that first common-era century Judaism evoked both a violent and a non-violent Messianic option … After this book’s challenge, the debate is no longer the Jesus of History or the Christ of Faith. It is now whether, be it as Jesus in academy or Christ in church, that figure is one of violent or non-violent resistance to inequality, injustice, and oppression.”

—John Dominic Crossan
Emeritus Professor, DePaul University

The Nonviolent Messiah offers a new understanding of the term ‘messiah,’ a remarkable feat in itself. The book should be required reading for all serious students of the historical Jesus.”

—James A. Sanders
Claremont School of Theology
Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center

“an all too rare attempt to integrate scholarship on Second Temple Judaism with the study of the historical Jesus.”

—John J. Collins
Yale Divinity School

“Simon Joseph offers us the finest book to date on the topic of Jesus and nonviolence. Joseph’s findings will incite controversy, but this book is a discerning and compelling look at Jesus’ earliest socio-political message.”

—Anthony Le Donne
Author of The Historiographical Jesus: Memory, Typology, and the Son of David and The Wife of Jesus: Ancient Texts and Modern Scandals

“Simon Joseph provides a helpful entry into understanding the peaceable way of Jesus . . . This massively researched and clearly written study makes Jesus’s message of peace available in fresh and helpful ways.”

—Ted Grimsrud
Eastern Mennonite University

“In his bold new book, Simon Joseph confirms what many have suspected for some time: Jesus was completely, consistently, and incontrovertibly nonviolent. Joseph serves as a reliable guide through a plethora of ancient sources and the tangle of modern scholarship to get us as close as possible to the earliest Jesus traditions. His book is meticulously researched and graciously argued. From this point forward, nobody can suggest Jesus was violent without first contending with the very formidable evidence Joseph has mounted to the contrary. A much needed book!”

—Eric A. Seibert
Messiah College


“an ambitious contribution to historical Jesus studies, particularly Jesus’ non-violence, with which future scholarship must reckon . . . The breadth of material that Joseph addresses in his study of Jesus as a non-violent messiah is to be commended.”

—Benjamin E. Reynolds
Journal of Theological Studies

“This wide-ranging investigation will reward Jesus, Q and Second Temple scholars alike.”

—John R.L. Moxon
Journal for the Study of the New Testament

“This is a mature and well-researched work that would be useful for doctoral seminars or higher-level courses on the Synoptic Gospels . . . Without apparent bias, J. argues for a nuanced reflection on these topics . . . Altogether an intriguing book.”

—Stephen Finlan
Catholic Biblical Quarterly

“Joseph’s project is without question highly motivated and well-researched . . . Joseph’s overall thesis does provide an intriguing and at times compelling argument that ventures upon fairly new territory in the study of the historical Jesus.”

—Blake Jurgens
Review of Biblical Literature

“a provocative and important contribution to scholarship on the historical Jesus and Christian origins.”

—Karina Martin Hogan
Religious Studies Review