Father Harrington was my New Testament professor in graduate school and he was and continues as the editor of New Testament Abstracts, which means he has read all of or a summary of every book published in English related to the New Testament. He’s a reading wonder.
This slim volume condenses the orthodox scholarship on Jesus in response to popular culture attention to his life, such as Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and more scholarly work on the Gnostic Gospels.
There are few surprises and none of the sensations that Harrington argues against. At times it seems Harrington wants to say more, but is constrained by the genre of a pastoral-themed book for general readers that seeks to counter the misinformation of the popular media. The majority of the book first appeared as newsletters under the same title and publisher and Harrington has maintained that quick in-and-out approach in these chapters. I wish he had gone into more depth and been willing to engage a bit more with the debates, but it’s a good entree for someone looking for a summary of solid scholarship on the life of Jesus.