Review: Jesus: A Theography by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

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I received an advance electronic copy of this book for an honest review.

I had looked forward to reading this book, but I had no idea what was in store for me. I’ve heard and read that all of Scripture can be read through the lens of Christ, but I had felt, at times, some of the observations were a bit stretched. I have to admit Sweet and Viola have not only convinced me that Jesus is the center, the point, and focus of both testaments, but they have also inspired me to read the bible differently. A few times I felt a bit overwhelmed by Jesus and Scripture.

There are so many things I could write about this book, but I will limit my comments to the scholarship and vastness of the research. I am more familiar with Sweet’s works more than Viola’s, but the scholarship is simply amazing. I appreciate the copious notes included in this book. Approximately 25% of the electronic edition were notes. While some may feel end notes bog down the flow of reading, I find the notes are helpful both to check the author’s conclusions and to continue one’s studies.

I also appreciate how the authors did not limit themselves to their own faith traditions or era. There was breadth to their research and references. For two thousand years and in various faith traditions Jesus has been seen as the center, source, and point of Scripture. The authors have done a magnificent job coalescing these resources into a unified whole which points to Jesus.

I highly recommend this book. While it is still early, I wonder if these book will become a classic, or at least a reference for all those who look to scripture in order to see and find Jesus.

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