For economic reasons the text of this book has been severely compressed and abridged, and the apparatus of scholarship has been almost entirely jettisoned. It would be pleasant, therefore, to name here some of the scholars to whom I am indebted, but there are too many of them. Not to mention my own teachers, time would fail me to tell of the host — from Dibelius and Bultmann to, say, Via and Crossan — by whose work I have profited even when I could not agree with them.
I do want to express my appreciation of the competent secretarial assistance and encouraging interest of Deborah L. Wettstein and Ellen W. Emerson. For making their services available and providing facilities, I am grateful to Dr. A. Arnold Wettstein of Rollins College.
This is the first time I have been unable to thank my wife for help with a book; yet the thought of her has been a constant support and stimulus. Dedicating my work to her memory is the least and perhaps the most I can do.
In a way I have been writing this book all my life, and from childhood that life has been consecrated to him of whom I write. If what I have written is disturbing to some readers, 1 hope it will help others to reach a truer understanding of Jesus and a deeper devotion to him.