Do we really need another book about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ? Is there really anything new to be said that has not been said already? I believe that another book was needed. I believe this book was needed. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola have come together to write, “Jesus; a Theography”. The authors offer as a given that most books on the person of Jesus Christ start with the manger in Bethlehem and for the most part single out the gospels from which to tell His story. Sweet and Viola reveal early on what their intent and focus of the book will be. They write, “we are less concerned with every fact and detail of Jesus’ life than we are about the narratives, metaphors, signs, and symbols that reveal pictures of God’s touching of humanity through the person and identity of Jesus.”
This book has a unique approach. It begins with the Old Testament (the authors call it the First Testament) which they show is the story of Jesus Himself. The authors take the reader all the way back to creation and then begin walking forward highlighting all the signs, forms, shadows, people, structures, and pictures that show Jesus existed before creation itself. This forward-walking from the past also highlights man’s sin and the reason why Jesus can be the once-for-all atonement for his sin.
As the authors approach the New Testament (they call it the Second Testament), they do so chronicling Jesus’ presence ad activity not only in Bethlehem, but through His childhood, earthly ministry, call of the disciples, healing and miracles, His trial, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. While sharing the New Testament Jesus, the authors faithfully looked back and connected Jesus’ life to the Old. Their purpose for this approach is further stated when they write, “The twenty-seven books of the New Testament are largely a commentary on the Old Testament, and each part of the Bible is a signpost to Jesus. Once this is properly understood, everything changes, including our own identities.”
“Jesus; a Theography” is well written and well researched. Although this book has better than 300 pages and is extensively documented, it does not a have that textbook feel. I believe all Christians can pick up this book and be enlightened, challenged, and blessed. I believe the uniqueness of this book, the one trait that sets it apart, is the fact that the authors show Jesus’ relationship to the Old and New Testaments not as an “either/or” choice, but as a “both/and” fact. Outstanding work. I highly recommend.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review 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 the Federal Trade Commission’s 16