The short book (only 200 pages of text in the hardcover edition) brings together Verhoeven’s reconstruction of events in the life of Jesus. On occasion, he writes how he would film certain events. These lively visual scenes supplied an otherwise dry and academic book with cinematic flourish. His understanding of a century of theological thought meshes with his take on movies made about Jesus. His takedown of Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ is refreshing and commonsensical in its assessment.
For anyone genuinely interested in the historical Jesus, Verhoeven’s Jesus of Nazareth brings an outsider’s perspective and an enthusiast’s passion to this endlessly fascinating topic.