Categories: Biography, History, Politics, Religion, Science, Spirituality
Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert
An extraordinary deep dive into the life of an extraordinary man, Jonathan Geoffrey Dean’s Salt & Light; The Complete Jesus presents a masterful guide for inquiring minds to the definitive life and ministry of Jesus. The first edition to his two-book series, this book offers an intelligently posed wealth of knowledge, garnered from many years of research and fueled by the layman author’s ignited curiosity.
As a whole, the book was written in search of the entire true scope of Jesus’ life and works, particularly as an earnest way of seeking to answer three simple questions, 1. Who was Jesus? 2. What did he do? 3. What did he say? However, instead of focusing on the religious elements, author Jonathan Geoffrey Dean leaves his faith out of his search, choosing to focus primarily on the academic aspects, which works out very well throughout the book.
Albeit while there is no simple answer to discovering the complete life of Jesus, however, the level of work ethic, thorough research, comparative analysis, and discernment employed by author Dean raises the bar for other books of this nature to meet.
Moreover, as thorough, as it is well-written, this work provides a masterful reading venture that is part historical dissertation, populated with literate reaches into obscured aspects of biblical texts, such as the Gospels, and Acts, which contain elements of the true history of Jesus. Moreover, the information contained in this book is catalytic in the way that it does well to offer definitive, perception-altering data when it comes to the life of Jesus, often bruising long-standing myths and alternate religious-based concepts previously known, concerning the life of Jesus. Meanwhile also included are instances of contact with those around him used to establish a credible timeline of his life and ministry.
Altogether, author Jonathan Geoffrey Dean did well in answering his proposed questions via sorting through the broad spectrum of information providing sources on the life of Jesus. In part 1 of the book, he delves into the explanation of how myth can become reality and shares the intriguing example of the life of Betty Crocker to prove his point. Additionally, he shares his methodology of reviewing available source materials while meticulously narrowing down the material to a concisely viable list and was able to establish a credible timeline of the true life of Jesus. He examines what made a source useful, including parameters that proved useful in narrowing the scope of truth. Then in part 2 he delves into answering his aforementioned questions by also studying other resources of information including scriptures from Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Pagan perspectives.
Altogether, I enjoyed reading Jonathan Geoffrey Dean’s, Salt & Light; The Complete Jesus and believe this would make a fantastic documentary. This was an absolutely phenomenal read that piqued my curiosity and excited my mind. This was a work that was easy to relate to because it came from a well-versed layman’s perspective and not from the religious perspective bogged down by dogma. I enjoyed the thoroughness of his methodology and look forward to reading the second book in this series. This is a must read for seekers of the true Jesus.