The birth of Jesus has puzzled many people. It is full of contradictions, not least the gap between the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke. The Jewish tax collector and Greek physician might be expected to have different perspectives, but both strive to be honest -- so why the contradictions?? This book towers over most biographies of Jesus and New Testament Commentaries. It is distinguished by Raymond Brown's scholarship and sincerity combined with clarity of organization, thought and expression. He engages the reader in the best way possible. He reconciles difficult issues of conflict by means of courtesy rather than glossing over. If the reader's perspective is Catholic, Protestant, or other he or she will be gently confronted with one insight after another which at least assures learning at the feet of a master. The greatness of the book is possibly indicated by its substantial length and the fact that it is not one page too long. If you want to know the secret at the heart of Christianity, forget about Dan Brown.