From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher from Galilee launched a revolutionary movement proclaiming the 'Kingdom of God', and threatened the established order of first-century Palestine. Defying both Imperial Rome and its collaborators in the Jewish religious hierarchy, he was captured, tortured and executed as a state criminal. Within decades, his followers would call him the Son of God. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic figures by examining Jesus within the context of the times in which he lived: the age of zealotry, an era awash in apocalyptic fervour, when scores of Jewish prophets and would-be messiahs wandered the Holy Land bearing messages from God. They also espoused a fervent nationalism that made resistance to Roman occupation a sacred duty. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against historical sources, Aslan describes a complex figure: a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity secret; and the seditious 'King of the Jews', whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his lifetime. Aslan explores why the early Church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary, and grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself. Zealot provides a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel, and a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time and the birth of a religion.