Jesus a Theography (Leonard Sweet and frank Viola, Thomas Nelson, 2012). A friend recently reminded me of a saying that I haven’t heard recently, but is still applicable: “to understand the God of the New Testament, it is necessary to understand the God of the Old Testament.” Likewise if we are to have a good understanding of Jesus the Christ, it helps to see Him foretold in the Old Testament. Viola and Sweet have done an outstanding job of making those connections that we might miss. At times I thought they were stretching just a little to make some of the connections, but for the most part they are spot on.
Especially helpful are the times when they put the Old and New Testament (or as they call them the First and Second Testaments) texts side by side. This is not a biography, nor is it intended to be, but a commentary on the biblical signposts to Jesus. Along the way, the reader is gently nudged into the realizing that scripture is intended to be read in its entirety, and not as two separate parts.
Reading as a Christian, I had no choice but to let scripture continue to transform me; as a pastor, I made lots of notes for future sermons and studies; and as a student, I was impressed with the detail and research that was done to be able to write this book.
My only complaint is that the authors used end notes instead of footnotes. I find it much easier to look at the bottom of the page to check the references instead of flipping to the back of the book. Granted, many of the notes are simply indicating the particular scripture being quoted, but much of the commentary is interesting and informative and it would be a shame to miss it simply by not taking the time to refer to the end of the book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of the booksneeze review program in exchange for posting this review. I was not required to give it a favorable review.