Who was the real Jesus? How was this Palestinian charismatic transformed by later generations into the heavenly savior who is the focus of the Christian Church? Did Jesus’s own teachings lead to his divine characterization? Or did the church-centered needs of gentile Christianity hide his true face, obscuring the religion he preached and practiced? With unique authority, sensitivity, and insight, renowned scholar Geza Vermes explores these difficult questions by examining the New Testament writings, placing them in the context of the Jewish civilization of the first century. Starting with the elevated, divine figure of Christ presented in the most recent Gospel, the Gospel of John, Vermes travels back through earlier accounts of Jesus’s life to reveal the true historical figure.