|Author||Brant Pitre and Robert Barron|
Lots of reviewers have written great reviews, so this one will be fairly brief. Brant Pitre's books, this one included, are an example of what is best in the new scriptural studies emerging today. His research is solid and meticulous - no sloppiness here! - and he writes with a refreshingly strong Catholic faith. This book carefully and effectively undoes the harm of decades of scholars' attempts to debunk the Gospels. He very effectively rebuts 20th century scholars' claims that we don't know who wrote the Gospels, and that they were written so long time after Jesus' time on earth that they lack credibility as eyewitness, historical accounts. Step by step, with each chapter building on the next, Pitre shows the opposite to be true. Christians who have been disturbed by the debunkers will be strengthened, confirmed, and given much joy by this book. I've just purchased three more copies to give to friends - one of them a Catholic high school teacher and two, Catholic priests. But I think Christians of any denomination will welcome this book.
Pitre's writing style is a joy to read: lucid, clear, and very easy to understand (even when I'm tired at the end of the day), without being annoyingly clever (as some popularizers can be) or pushy (as some apologists are). (I see Pitre as neither a popularizer nor an apologist; he is a scripture scholar who also is a fantastic communicator.) Without any attempt on his part to be "entertaining," Pitre has written a cliff-hanger - I couldn't put the book down! His insights - and now I'm speaking of the insights in all three of his books that I've read so far - Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Jesus the Bridegroom, and this book, The Case for Jesus - are profound and deeply enriching spiritually. Although I've questioned a few of his insights, most of them have moved me profoundly, with a sense of wonder, and deep love and gratitude to Our Lord. Reading his books is, for me, a real form of prayer. I am looking forward to reading Jesus and the Last Supper (borrowed from the library to see whether I'll want to buy my own copy); this last book, per its reviewers, is aimed at a scholarly audience and different in tone from the three very accessible books I named above, but I'm expecting this book to be a treasure, too.
In all of his books, Brant Pitre's lucid writing style, coupled with his solid scholarship, deep faith, and beautiful love for Our Lord, makes for a very special reading experience. I appreciate his respect for and great knowledge of Judaism, and the way he helps us to see the rich continuity between the Jewish and Christian faiths. Brant Pitre’s books are a real gift to us all.