Brilliant.I have read many wonderful theology books, but The Hidden Jesus moved me profoundly, leaving me ever grateful to Donald Spoto's insight into the life of Jesus. Don't pass this book by on the basis of a preferred religious slant, there is no dogma attached to it. And if, like me, you are a open minded seeker of the 'why?'of life this book is a must to read.
There is a well known dictum in theological circles with regard to 'histories of Jesus.' The authors of such reinterpretive histories of Jesus life and teaching 'look down the well of history and see their own reflections at the bottom.' In other words their Jesus is just that, made in their own image and bearing their own concerns.
If you really want to know what the teaching of Jesus was read the New Testament and then the early Church fathers. It is outrageous that people think they can find 'the hidden Jesus' or 'the real Jesus' from an interpreter two thousand years after the event. The New Testament and Fathers either knew Jesus or were disciples of those who did.
There's so much written on this subject, isn't there ! Donald Spoto has interesting insights and challenges some things we have taken for granted. A good read but I'm not well up enough on the subject to make any scholarly judgement.