Book Review: Jesus: A Theography by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

I love Len Sweet’s creative mind, especially when it comes to words. He doesn’t join with Frank Viola to merely write a biography of Jesus’ life. He writes Jesus: A Theography. And its more than just a cute use of words, it is a great book that weaves scriptural thought with the most incredible of lives.

Christians know that the story of the life of Jesus is more than any other story they have ever read. Sweet and Viola do a great job of weaving that story throughout all the Bible. Not limiting to themselves to the 4 gospel accounts they see Jesus popping up everywhere throughout the Bible. Best part is they invite us along for the journey.

As a pastor I have made it my mission to study the life of Jesus. I thought I knew the story so well, Sweet and Viola helped me to know the story even better. I knew of the Gospel of John’s imagery of Genesis through his gospel account. Genesis 1 language in John 1, the gardener image in Jesus Easter appearance is a reference back to the Garden of Eden. But Sweet and Viola find that Genesis imagery weaving through out the whole gospel.

In addition to coming up with the word theography (what you get when you combine theology with biography), there’s also  narraphors, what you get when you combine narratives and metaphors as every word in Scripture represents the Word. Their contention is “Jesus is the thread that holds all Scripture together. He is the prism that breaks forth its multifaceted colors.” 

Jesus: A Theography shows how that thread weaves a tapestry of Jesus life. Well researched. Well foot noted. Well written. This book was filled with “Aha” moments and appreciation for the incredible gift Jesus is to the world and to every life.


Some unique contributions of the book include a closer look at Jesus use of imagination. I’ve never seen anyone delve into that side of Jesus though some have used Jesus quite imaginatively. The look at humor was also beneficial. Greatest benefit of all is how they follow the thread of Jesus throughout His life, as it leads back to creation and forward to His return.

I give Jesus: A Theography 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend reading this book for those who want to know more about Jesus and the Bible that speaks of His life and transforming power throughout its pages.

Thanks to BookSneeze for a free copy to review. I wasn’t required to write a positive review, just an honest one.


1 Comment

Filed under Book Review

One response to “Book Review: Jesus: A Theography by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

  1. Thanks bro. Great review! Honored. Given what you wrote, I believe you’d like “From Eternity to Here” also. See


    Psalm 115:1

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