Jesus Unbound: The Story of Jesus of Nazareth

Jonathan Holland

Download your free sample chapter here.

Please note that the printed version of this book is no longer available to purchase through this website. It is, however, still in print. If you would like to find out how to obtain a copy of this book, please contact Acorn’s office on 03 9383 1266 or

Jonathan Holland uses his skills as a story teller to bring to life Jesus, his experiences and encounters with people. Years of research and reflection into the subject are combined with an interest in art to produce an enjoyable, stimulating and thought provoking book. Emerging from its pages comes a compelling and affectionate portrait of the man behind the Christian faith.

This beautifully produced devotional book is also suitable for Lenten studies or as a gift book.

Jonathan Holland is an Assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane and the co-author of Eyes Delight: six paintings and their theological meanings. He has a PhD in the history of post-WW II Brisbane diocese.

Book Review
for Brisbane Catholic Leader

Some Snapshots of Jesus

Jonathan Holland, Assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, is the author of this delightful little book which readers will find valuable for both personal reflection and group discussion. In offering us many refreshing images of Jesus throughout the book, Bishop Jonathan has clearly steeped himself in the scriptures which he likens to “the family photo album”. The gospels provide four quite different portraits of “the gateway to God”, and we readers are the beneficiaries of the author’s ongoing “personal search for the face of Jesus” and his skill in unravelling the “jigsaw puzzle” of His story.

There is much to challenge and stimulate us in both the author’s insights about Jesus and his speculations about His life. Particularly helpful are his deliberations about the non-cosmopolitan mission of Jesus, His various styles of teaching, the content of His radical message, His diverse audiences and their responses to Him, the Eucharist and its place in the Church. Each chapter is introduced by a significant piece of art about Jesus which helps us develop a richer image of Him. Not surprisingly perhaps, Bishop Jonathan’s best writing is reserved for describing his wife Kerry’s painting entitled “Sacrifice’ – a delicately painted lace doily also featured on the handsome cover of the book. “The delicacy of the lace might remind us of Jesus’ sensitivity to others….The delicacy of the lace is also its vulnerability and in Sacrifice the lace has been torn, almost ripped, foreshadowing the coming passion…The lace is round and torn, like the bread held up at every Eucharist and broken.”

Bishop Jonathan’s prose flows easily, often surprising us with the speculative questions he raises. Was Thomas really a sceptic and a doubter? Why did Caiaphas seek the death penalty? Why did Judas negotiate with the authorities and did he really ‘betray’ Jesus? How is Christ really present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist?

Jesus Unbound is splendidly pitched to the general reader who seeks to learn more about Jesus and be challenged by these insights. While Bishop Jonathan admits that our search for Jesus occurs in a sometimes messy and untidy Church, his own ponderings about these mysteries, offered deftly and with scholarly humility, are a light for our path. It is a book to which we will want to return frequently.

Christopher Gleeson SJ,
Director, ‘Santa Teresa’ Spirituality Centre, Ormiston. QLD 4160
for the Brisbane Catholic Leader, December 2008

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