First of all I love biographies! Therefore, Sweet and Viola come at this from a profound perspective that is revelatory, biblically accurate, and entertaining!! I love this book and I have read it several times. I serve as a Chaplain at a Christian rescue mission. I have given this book to new and older believers to read. Everyone that I have shared this book with has been blessed by reading it. You will too!! This is why I give this book five (5) stars!!
This is an excellent book bringing historical Jesus research together with theology (biography + theology = theography). As I read through the book, I felt as though a word picture of Jesus was being built through its pages. Jesus: A Theography chronicles the story of Jesus from before creation through His future return to Earth, using both old and new testaments to point toward Christ. There were many new insights to me in this book that caused me to stop and ponder a new aspect of Christ and the Christian faith. The book contains tons of research compiled in extensive end notes. I enjoyed reading some of the additional information in the end notes as much as the main text, but I enjoy reading about Jewish/Christian history. Following is a quote from near the end of the book:
"This brings us back to the original thesis of this book. The Bible is the narrative of Jesus - the Christ, the Savior, the living Lord, and our All. On every page of the First [Old] Testament, God poured out His heart. He bled with His people long and hard before He entered earth through the womb of a young virgin girl in Bethlehem. In the ocean of words that many call 'the Hebrew Bible,' God revealed His character to us. He dispassionately enumerated His heart's desire - and with fiery passion, He laid out His plan. The cry of God through Jesus bled through every page from Genesis to Malachi. And in Matthew, YHWH took on human flesh and broke into planet Earth. The living Word of God clothed Himself with mortality and became one of us. And in so doing, He fulfilled every promise. Jesus, therefore, is God's best and final word."
This was not an easy read but I thoroughly appreciated the insights and the way the authors unwrapped the complexity of the premise of the book. I especially appreciated the last section of the book which was a collection of quotes by writers and theologians through the centuries establishing the same premise.
One of my FAVORITE books!!!! Reading these chapters has uncovered aspects of Jesus, the culture of the times, and modern application in aways I have never experienced before. I have read this along with the Gospels and spent time not praying but LISTENING to Jesus... I started to hear HIM speak!!! Worth the time and money! -Anastasia
Jesus: A Theography, by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, is quite a book at 409 pages. A significant number of those pages consists of footnotes for each chapter. This immense "theography" of Jesus covers Christ, from eternity past to His second coming (and everything in between). It's not only an objective study of Christ, but also very practical at times.
Honestly, Jesus: A Theography is a difficult book to review. I found some parts of the book very enjoyable, but other parts somewhat tedious. There are different perspectives taken throughout the book and I think that this ensures that every reader will find some enjoyment of Christ within its pages.
If you enjoy reading the Scriptures, there are references. If you enjoy types and symbols, these are considered. If you enjoy a historical view, historical aspects are presented. Plus, I think you will find much, much more. But, you can find all of these things in many books.
What makes Jesus: A Theography unique, is that it's entirely focused on Christ. Not only Jesus of Nazareth, but the eternal Christ Jesus. Our Lord Jesus is so lovely, so vast, and so all-inclusive, there is no single book that can fully express Him. But, Jesus: A Theography gives us a wonderful view of Him, and it is rooted in the Scriptures.
I recommend this book to all saints, who desire to know our Lord more deeply.
Although, I received this book for free from Booksneeze, but I also purchased an electronic version, so that I could read the footnotes more easily, and so that I could share it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with theFederal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."