I really enjoyed this book – it’s a look at Jesus of Nazareth the man, not Jesus the Son of God. The author gives a great deal of background of what was going on with the Jews being part of the Roman Empire at the time Jesus lived, which informs a great deal of why events went down the way they did in that time period. (Seriously, this has to be the longest Notes section I’ve ever seen in a nonfiction book. If you can say absolutely nothing else about this book, you have to admit it was well researched.)
I doubt there’s anything particularly new or earth shattering in here for any religious scholars, but speaking as a lapsed Catholic who’s mostly only read about other religions in a scholarly sense; it was very interesting to me to see all of this historical detail pulled into one place. I definitely had read about parts of this larger picture before, but I do feel like I have a better picture of the historical Jesus, as well as the formation of the early church, after reading this book.