Having joined the journey a few years ago, I discovered that the train had left the station some years back and had already gathered a good head of steam.
This book, and in fact the series to date, has been a personally enlightening discovery for me. To find someone doing such a thourough job to hand me a clear picture of life, thinking and history at the time of the new testament was nothing short of amazing. As Wright pieces together not only the times, but ways to understand those times and make good sense of the data, I find myself with the tools needed to know and discover the Jesus that I had previously only experienced intangibly.
The beginning on such a massive task feels much like starting out to write a tale as grand as the Lord of the Rings. But this is one hughed in different tones and devices. The story goes on by clear and balanced scrutiney rather than narrative and description. But is none the less compelling to read.
As someone unused to such academic books, I devoured this and couldn't wait for more. Which thankfully there was, and plenty of.