The author, who has other popular but serious religious studies to his credit, undertakes here a venture into a genre of religious writing that has somewhat fallen into decline in recent years. ""Lives"" of Jesus that seek to recover the ""real man"" have had much of their basic ground cut out from under them by twentieth century New Testament scholarship. While present day authorities insist that Jesus did live as a historical figure, they are reluctant to agree that anything resembling a biography can be reconstructed from the records; and while much of the teaching ascribed to him undoubtedly came from Jesus himself, the separation of such teaching from later elaborations by the church is difficult if not impossible. The author is aware of this situation and quotes a number of contemporary scholars. This does not seem to deter him, however, from attempting to introduce the reader to Jesus as ""he really was"" --as the disciples knew him, free from theological dogmas that threatened to overtake them ""before they've had a chance to get acquainted with him simply as a man."" Nor is the author's approach adequate even for the purpose he takes upon himself, consisting as it does of quoting large sections of the Gospels to which he adds cursory observations. One may question whether the result will be satisfying even to the serious lay inquirer.