Book Review

Scholarly works on Jesus offer complementary perspectives

JESUS: WORD MADE FLESH by Gerard S. Sloyan. Liturgical Press (Collegeville, Minn., 2008). 194 pp., $19.95.

JESUS: A PORTRAIT by Gerald O'Collins, S.J. Orbis (Maryknoll, N.Y., 2008). 246 pp., $25.

Fr. Gerard S. Sloyan's Jesus: Word Made Flesh and Jesus: A Portrait by Jesuit Fr. Gerald O'Collins offer complementary rather than competing discussions on Jesus. Both are demanding, scholarly authors; Sloyan closely analyzes the New Testament account of Jesus, while O’Collins starts with theology before turning to the biblical evidence.

O’Collins offers a faith-based approach that often reads like a Sunday homily, making the book slightly more accessible than Sloyan's. He has a sense of the Jesus of faith for whom Christians hunger. He therefore takes a liberal approach with filling in the gaps in the record on Jesus' life.