It is somewhat surprising and illuminating to discover for how many people the Prophet of Nazareth has been little more than a theological concept with a semblance of humanity. I have chosen the ambitious description of biography for this life of Jesus, because that is the class of writing to which it is intended to belong. My book is not designed to serve any theological or propagandist purpose whatsoever. I have attempted to take the subject out of the domain of purely religious literature, though I know how difficult it is—and has been for myself—to acquire the unbiased and detached viewpoint which is vital to such an experiment. I cannot pretend that I have always succeeded; but I believe that I have gone further in this direction than any of my predecessors. The name of Jesus is so intimately bound up with an exalted faith, which is daily operative for thousands, that the task of him who would remember only that his function is to relate the story of a Galilean Jew, who lived nearly two millenniums ago and claimed to be his people’s Messiah, is no enviable one.
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