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Working from the belief that there is a basic continuity between the ideas of Jesus and those of his first followers, de Jonge sketches a well-grounded, though tentative, outlille of Jesus' own view of his minion. At all stages de Jonge steers a middle course between skepticism and absolute confidence with regard to the reliability and the usefulness of what we know about Jesus from the early Christian sources. He carefully distinguishes between what seems certain, probable, and possible, and he argues that though we cannot fill in all the details, it is possible to present a picture of what was most characteristic of Jesus.
De Jonge is professor emeritus of New Testament and early Christian literature, University of Leiden, the Netherlands.