I recently finished one of the books Jane bought me for Christmas - Arthur Rowe's 'The Essence of Jesus' (I believe this may be a recently updated version, copyright 2017 by Arcturus Holdings Limited).
This was a nice little book, giving a well-rounded look at the person of Jesus. It was somewhat brief at just over 200 pages, and a little on the textbook side in regard to history and style, but I found it quite enjoyable and a good reminder of who Jesus was... and is!
The back cover gives good insight to the content:
"...To this day, the identity of Jesus remains an unfathomable mystery for non-believers and a glorious open book of hope for the devout. Who really was this figure and why are his life and sermons so pivotal to the core of Christianity..."
'The Essence of Jesus' tackles such fascinating subject matter... turning to sources as diverse as the Bible, iconic art, Church reformers, religious ritual, as well as other religions, leaders, and holy texts, in order to offer a wellrounded discussion about the power of Jesus' word and his legacy."
The chapter titles are:
- Jesus, the evidence
- Jesus in the Gospels
- Jesus and the first Christians
- Jesus and the emergence of Christianity
- Jesus in an age of devotion
- Jesus in word and sacrament
- Jesus of history and Christ of faith (*very interesting chapter)
- Jesus and other religions
- Jesus today
I'm not sure I would recommend this for the casual reader - not that it is overly deep or anything - but, again, it is fairly textbook-y. However, if you're looking for a nice easy read of that variety filled with some interesting and insightful information, I thought this a very good book. I'm glad I read it, and glad Jane bought it for me!