Geza Vermes: A child of his time
The occasion is Vermes's new book The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. I've not yet seen it myself and probably won't rush to do so -- I found the other follow-ups to Jesus the Jew (an all time classic) pretty disappointing. The article, based on an interview with Peter Stanford, doesn't tell you a lot; there is some spurious journalistic nonsense about Vermes easily being able to "pass for one of Santa's elves"; but there's an interesting concluding passage, the first line of which is pretty exaggerated, but the rest is worthwhile:
"For years," he says with a chuckle, "before Jesus the Jew, there had been no books on the historical Jesus, but since then one book after another has been published and what sounded at that time something absolutely revolutionary and very sensational has become almost a cliché. Everybody talks of Jesus the Jew today."