In this fascinating work, John Dominic Crossan sums up his findings from 25 years of research into the historical Jesus. He draws from cross-cultural anthropology, Jewish and Greco-Roman history, and literary and textural evidence.

According to Crossan, Jesus was a Mediterranean Jewish peasant who broke all the societal rules by eating with sinners; by denying the processes of patronage, brokerage, and clientage; and by not looking down on the poor, the sick, and women. His disarming egalitarianism is what got him into trouble with the authorities and led to his death. Crossan's Jesus is a radical figure similar to the severe Jew in Pasolini's film The Gospel According to St. Matthew.