Like the other books in this series, this book combines an astonishing amount of scholarly research and reflection with a style that's not only readable but - dare one say it? - at times, wickedly impish. Casual asides, sometimes buried in the footnotes, point out some of the illogical conclusions or lazy thinking of other scholars, and do so in a wry style that's apt to make you laugh out loud. Not the norm, when reading a theological book!
But more seriously, there's real depth here. Wright paints a picture of Jesus which is solidly rooted in history, and after reading this book, a lot of the odd little stories and sayings in the gospels suddenly make sense. I'm talking about those difficult to understand bits, which generations of preachers and lecturers have 'explained', but whose explanations have left us feeling dissatisfied and unconvinced.
By placing Jesus solidly in his political/religious setting, and by seeing him as being in line with the Old Testament prophets, suddenly a lot of things begin to make sense.
In some sections, the book *is* hard going, because Wright is such a careful and meticulous scholar. But there are real nuggets of knowledge to be mined here.
An enlightening and important book. Highly recommended.