For many years now I have been enthralled by the scholarship of Vermes. His insights into the 'Jewishness' of Jesus have inspired both my personal reflection and my preaching. In his book 'The Gospel of Jesus the Jew' he challenges us to separate the fact from the interpretation. How refreshing to be able to understand the person behind the scholarship. As an autobiography is is not the best written of books, but the story which emerges is one which encapulates so much of the history of the 20th century. Vermes' humility and his humanity shine through. I found it inspiring.
This is the second book by Geza Vermes that I have reviewed, and one that I have also been disappointed with. Given his roots in Judaism, his up-bringing in Catholicism, his time as a Catholic priest, and eventual return to Liberal Judaism, I expected this to be a detailed commentary on his spiritual development and journey.Alas, it isn't. In the main it is, at best, a mundane autobiography with very little interest to the average reader. I'm sure the many fans of Vermes'works will appreciate the book, giving them some insight into an author they like, but for readers such as me expecting a spiritual 'classic' this will be a disappointing read.