Take a look for yourself. Its author is a solid scholar.
The four Gospels devote a significant portion of their accounts to Jesus’s last week in Jerusalem leading to his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. This observation reflects that fact that the early Christians agreed that the death and resurrection of Jesus have foundational significance for the faith and life of the church.
Jesus in Jerusalem follows the simple but essential approach that helps readers understand narrative texts around Jesus’s final days—identifying and analyzing people, places, time, events, and significance. While there are other matters that can be discussed with great benefit when analyzing the accounts of Jesus’s last week, I focus on these four areas…
It would be a mistake to imagine that this volume is something like Ray Brown’s magisterial ‘The Birth and Death of the Messiah’. It is not. It is not a narrative telling of the events of Jesus’ last week. It is not a narrative telling at all. Rather, it is an encyclopedia of the seventy-two named and titled persons Jesus encountered in the last days of his life; the 17 places Jesus visited; the timeline of his last days; the twenty-four events of his last days, and the 5 major theological themes of those last days.
To state it another way, the volume is comprised of 5 major sections:
It includes copious notes (indeed, the endnotes stretch from page 399 to page 578!); a very, very impressive up to date bibliography (pp. 579-628); and indices of authors, subjects, Scripture references, and an index of other ancient texts.
The work also includes a foreword by Craig Evans, a series of tables, figures, excursuses, a list of abbreviations, and an introduction.
Users of the work will find it best to utilize as an encyclopedia. So, for instance, if one is interested in Lazarus one need simply find him on the listing of persons at number 14. Then one need only find listing 14 in part one of the book and one has at hand a description of the places in scripture where Lazarus is mentioned (only in John) along with a very useful discussion of the form of the name in Greek and Hebrew and its meaning. Then follows a thorough discussion of the figure. This is the pattern followed for each of the seventy two named souls in the Gospels which play a part in Jesus’ last days.
The places Jesus visited too are treated quite thoroughly and the timeline of his last days is meticulously examined, down to the very dates of the events. And even, in an excursus, down to the hour of Jesus death.
When we turn to the events featured in the Gospels connected to Jesus’ last days, we learn details about such things as the anointing at Bethany, the Scheme to Eliminate Jesus, and in an excursus, the cursing of the fig tree, along with the Passover meal, the arrest of Jesus, and his various trials. In meticulous (Germanic) detail.
The final segment of the book is what I have styled the theologically significant events of the last days of Jesus. These are, in more detail,
- Jesus is the Messiah, the King of the Jews
- Jesus and the Temple
- Jesus’ Death
- Jesus’ Resurrection
- Jesus’ Mission and the Mission of his Followers
This is a fantastically useful resource. Readers, again, may not find it the kind of book that they would sit down and read through. But they will certainly enjoy doing so if they so choose. However, they might find it more useful and more engaging if they utilize it to look up specific details about the various persons and places described in the Gospels. That is how I will continue to use it in the future. Indeed, I can easily imagine that I will be making constant use of it.
I could not recommend it more highly as a brilliant research tool.