In short, I enjoyed reading significant parts of this book, even found them emotionally moving at times, though I admit to skimming some sections which did not grab my attention so well. Overall, there are a lot of valuable cultural insights and he does acknowledge some of the difficulties with the evidence. This book is about understanding the biblical portrait of Jesus from a mostly Christian Middle Eastern Cultural perspective, but if one is looking to understand how Jesus is understood in the Islamic tradition concerning the Gospel of Jesus, this book does not address this issue directly. Bailey does not write as a fundamentalist commentator seeking to "harmonize" the gospel accounts and is reasonably critical in his approach to the material given that his main aim is to encourage Western readers to set aside their Western cultural assumptions and read the canonical gospel accounts with Middle Eastern eyes. A couple of problems: he places Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics" in the fifth century B.C. (p.73) yet Aristotle was the tutor of Alexander, the conquorer of Persia, in the middle of the fourth century B.C.E. and his reference to the "classical past" (p.199.1) should really be a reference to the Hebrew past. A recommended reading despite some quibbles, as I wish that some of my former preachers had been aware of this material, in order that their preaching would have been less mismisleading at times. Hence, Bailey's book serves as a necessary corrective to the foolish assumption that the "ploughboy in Iowa can understand the gospel as well as the Princeton Theologian" and similar ideas that an educated ministry is somehow an unnecessary "frill" that takes away from the simplicity of the gospel.