The book’s specificity defines its most likely readers. As Kubala points out, his fellow medical professionals will likely “find the language to be somewhat elementary.” However, laypeople may think it reads too much like a textbook. Some knowledge of the Bible is assumed, and non-Christian and Christian alike will occasionally feel preached at. But for intellectually curious Christians and history buffs interested in the era, Kubala’s work is a treasure trove of research. Even the seasoned churchgoer will learn something new—Kubala sometimes strays quite far afield, as when he explains the etymology of the names Golgotha and Calvary—and all readers will appreciate the clear, objective prose.
Anyone looking for a gripping narrative, emotional argument, or devotional text should look elsewhere. Kubala’s restrained writing style and well-reasoned arguments resemble those of medical journal articles. What he does successfully provide are the tools to allow anyone to consider the details of Jesus’s execution—local history, medical understanding, cause-of-death theories—and an invitation to remember Jesus’s sufferings and rejoice in the triumph of his resurrection. The descriptions are gruesome, the illustrations are basic, and the message is explicitly Christian, but those in the target audience will find it genuinely moving.
Takeaway: This scientific yet tender exploration of Jesus’s final week and execution will find a home in Christian bookstores, Bible study groups, and discussions of apologetics.
Great for fans of Lee Strobel, N.T. Wright.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B