Leithart is a literary renaissance man. He is the kind of person that knows something (maybe the more accurate terms is “many things”) in nearly every field and area. His approach to the text of Scripture is not overly innovative, although he demonstrates a much-needed practice for exegetes – creatively reading the text. John 9 is the test case that he uses throughout his book. What I appreciate most about his use of John 9 is that be basically interprets it just as one would interpret OT literature (assuming one knows how to properly interpret OT literature). He sees allusions that build a biblical theology of new creation. He utilizes intertextuality, and even better, he demonstrates an intratextual approach to John. He emphasizes not just a christocentric reading but a totus christus reading where the text deals with both Jesus, as the head of the church, and his body as well. He is doing things in the NT that many OT scholars have been doing for years… an integrated reading of the text.
I will warn that those who are thoroughly entrenched in the world of modernity and objectivity will have a hard time with this book (yes, there is a large fundamentalist segment that would be under this classification). He gives his nods toward pre and postmodern interpretive concepts. I’ve come to appreciate a pre-critical hermeneutic all the more these days on my theological journey. Leithart, in just over 200 pages, has opened the world to consider the text in multiple ways, all of which are extremely enriching and will have lasting effects on the reader of Scripture. I highly recommend this book with 2 hardy thumbs up.
PS—I usually knock a book for using endnotes rather than footnotes. However, the book arranges the endnotes with page numbers above to help the reader find them much more quickly. That saved me a great deal of time, since I didn’t have to remember what chapter I was in, find that chapter in the back of the book, then find the note I need. I could just go to the back of the book and find note #17 from page 127 labeled in the endnotes as “Notes to pp. 110-127.” So much easier‼!