Photo by SCALA/Art Resource, N.Y.

ON THE COVER: Crowned with thorns, a repudiated Jesus casts down his eyes in George Rouault’s “Ecce Homo” (1952), painted in oil on wood. The painting captures the moment when the Roman governor Pontius Pilate presents Jesus to the hostile crowd, announcing “Here is the man” (John 19:5). But who was this man? Was he the sober yet luminescent creature of Rouault’s painting, a wicked priest, a gay magician, a guru of peace, a charismatic or a peasant Cynic? This question—and the seemingly infinite answers to it—has overwhelmed New Testament scholarship in the 1990s, as scholars scour the Gospels for clues to the true, historical Jesus. But have they found him? Or, as Luke Johnson asks in “The Search for (the Wrong) Jesus,” are they really engaged in “a camouflaged cultural critique of contemporary religious expression”?