Adventures with Words: Jesus by Richard Bauckham
The Oxford Very Short Introduction series really hits it out of the park with Richard Bauckham’s slim book on Jesus. Whatever your religious affiliation, an obscure carpenter from Nazareth has, against all the norms of history, gone on to become the most influential person to have ever lived. Richard Bauckham is probably the most important scholar working today on the historical life of Jesus (his Jesus and the Eyewitnesses was a truly paradigm shifting book on the whole quest for the historical Jesus) and in this short book Bauckham synthesises all that down to a hundred pages. If you’re interested in the question of who Jesus was, did he really exist and did he do what people said he did, this is an excellent introduction: rigorous, scholarly and beautifully written. A book almost worthy of its subject.