Review of Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

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Oct 262013
 

Killing Jesus is a somewhat controversial book about the historical life of Jesus of Nazareth written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. There have been many negative comments about it perhaps because many don’t seem to understand that it was never meant to be a spiritual book – it was meant to be a history book.

Killing Jesus

It was a good read and only took me a few days to read it in it’s entirety. I’m a slow reader so that is a record setting pace for me. The authors did an excellent job of immersing the reader in the story – for you old time gamers out there – like the first person shooters’ Wolfenstein, Blake Stone, and Doom all did. Thus, although I have not read them, I suspect Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln to also follow this full immersion, first person paradigm.

The story started with Herod’s slaying of every male child under the age of two years in Bethlehem. It then takes an unexpected turn and describes in vivid detail the life and death of Julius Caesar. It also describes how Cleopatra, Octavian (Caesar Augustus), Caesarion, and others interacted with and/or succeeded Julius. I found the historical background of these related people to be very interesting and a nice touch.

While going on to tell the stories of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, this book describes in detail the depravity of Herod Antipas. Specifically, the graphic depiction of Herod’s sexual immorality and corrupt sexual games is my only criticism of the book. This makes the book unsuitable for younger readers and even, in my humble opinion, some older readers as well. Killing Jesus would have been a better book without this negative information.

The book continues to follow Jesus through his life up until he is crucified on the cross at the place of a skull – Golgotha or Calvary.

killing jesus

One of the best parts of the book for me was how the authors proved certain events that are noted in the Bible by using external sources. For example, they reference a journal that notes Chinese astronomers who observed a long-tailed, slow-moving comet in their skies during March of 5 B.C. This additional pertinent information is oftentimes written in footnotes at the bottom of the pages and should be read in order to get the full effect of the book.

All-in-all, in spite of the colorful information about Herod’s depravity, I would recommend Killing Jesus to adult readers. My prayer is that God would use this book to prove his existance and Jesus’ divinity (he is the Messiah, the Christ, the son of the living God) to many who do not believe.

Feb 182013
 

For an unknown new Christian author like myself, the Christian marketplace can be a hard place, real hard. Not only did I have to write the book and do much of the editing and layout myself, I’m also primarily responsible for marketing it.

Since the market is now inundated with books due to the low cost of self-publishing, it can be quite difficult to land book reviews, for example. The book reviewers are flooded with way more books than they can possibly review.  This is driving the demand for paid book reviews.

In my effort to get our book reviewed, I sent emails to many different book reviewers.  Only two responded.

Friendship_Quotes

The first, Kathleen Samuelson, Director of Publications for CBA Retailers+Resources Magazine, responded that she couldn’t guarantee a review due to the number of books that she received. Nevertheless, I proceeded to mail our book to her attention and sent a follow-up email asking her to confirm receipt. She promptly responded that she had received it. The email correspondence alone was HUGE considering the number of folks who didn’t bother to respond to my emails.
The second, Margaret Lukasik, informed me that she would create a book promotion webpage for free. For free! Really, what’s the catch? There is no catch. Ten days later she delivered the page as promised.
She also explained that for a small fee she would do a guaranteed book review and much more!
The first package for $19.95 offers the following:
  • 1 full page review of your book on this site, Life Purpose Books.com.
  • 1 review with different keywords on my Christian Book Review Blog.
  • 1 announcement of my review on my blog for this site.
  • Reviews will be written with specific keywords placed strategically for SEO ranking.
  • Announcements in my two monthly newsletters
  • Free banner advertising on specific pages of this site (I will make the banner free if needed).
  • Announcements posted on three of my Facebook pages
  • Broadcasts posted on my Twitter Account
  • I will include your email and website address if you wish to promote them and any other information you may have such as interview links for example.
The second package for $49.97 offers even more:
  • Page construction for Search Engine Optimization to achieve great page ranking
  • 1 full review on this site, Victory Bible Studies (click on examples below) with specific keywords placed strategically for SEO ranking with a post on it’s blog
  • 1 full review on my popular Christian Money Growth.com site which will be slightly different than for this site to achieve better page ranking and to target a larger audience. It also includes a post on it’s blog.
  • Announcements in my monthly newsletters
  • Announcements posted on four of my Christian Facebook pages
  • Regular broadcasts posted on my Twitter Account and the major social networks.
  • Your other books will be listed.
  • Amazon.com ads on my websites to sell your book if you have your book listed on their site.
  • Free ads created to advertise on my Victory Bible Studies and Christian Money Growth sites
  • 1 free ad for your book on my Victory Thru Christ site.
  • I will include your email and website address if you wish to promote them
  • I will continue to promote your book!

I decided to go with the second option and, thus far, she has delivered all of this:

Book Review Pages:
http://lifepurposebooks.com/Christian-life-book.html
http://victory-bible-studies.com/books/slaying-life-s-dragons-and-beasts.html
http://christian-money-growth.com/reviews/spiritual-growth-book.html

Blog Posts:
http://lifepurposebooks.com/blog/christian-guidance-book-by-gary-millner/
http://christian-book-review-blog.blogspot.com/2013/02/new-christian-book-slaying-lifes.html

http://christian-money-growth.com/blog/spiritual-growth-book/
http://www.victory-bible-studies.com/blog/slaying-life-s-dragons/

Pages that Contain an Ad for your Book:
http://victory-bible-studies.com/child-abuse-victim-recovery.html
http://lifepurposebooks.com/tools.html
http://christian-money-growth.com/free-Bible-study-notebook.html

When I do a Google search for the title of our book, one of her pages comes up first even before Amazon’s or my own website’s! Impressive!

Due to the small fees that she charges, she certainly isn’t in this to get rich.

Margaret Lukasik provides a priceless service to Christian authors for very small fees.

Finally, I would like to mention Sarah Bolme, author of the book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. Sarah also provides valuable services to Christian authors. Her book is an excellent resource that very practically describes what the author should be doing in every step of the book publishing process.

Sarah has been very helpful to me. In fact, she even referred me to my publisher, Tate Publishing.

In addition, for an annual fee, she offers membership to Christian Small Publishers Association. This service is very valuable, especially to self-published authors. She offers book distribution and many other invaluable benefits to members.

I would love to hear from you. What has been your experience as a Christian author? Have you found it to be hard? Who has helped you out along the way?