Here is the celebrated second volume in John P. Meier’s series on the life of Jesus, in which he continues his quest for the answer to the greatest puzzle of modern scholarship: Who was Jesus? Volume 1 concluded with Jesus approaching adulthood. In this second volume, the author grapples with the words and deeds of Jesus during his public ministry. A vivid portrait of Jesus emerges through Meier’s careful examination of Jesus’ mentor, his message, and his miracles. Volume 2 definitely resolves the long-standing debate about the relationship between Jesus and his mentor, John the Baptist. Meier concludes that John was the person who had the greatest single influence on Jesus; “in a sense, Jesus never was without John.” John’s prophetic ministry, message of repentance, warning of a coming judgment, and ritual of baptism flowed into the ministry of Jesus. The Baptist’s fiery announcement of the end of time strongly shaped Jesus’ conviction that God was coming to save his people. Meier’s insightful analysis of the Gospels reveals that Jesus’ proclamation of the “kingdom of God” moved beyond the threat of judgment to the promise that God’s saving, healing kingdom was at hand. Consciously imitating the prophet Elijah, Jesus showed the crowds the present reality of God’s kingly power by performing many might deeds—miracles. The author confounds modern skeptics by arguing convincingly that measured by historical criteria, the miracle tradition was not invented by the early church. Instead, the stories about Jesus performing miracles go back to the historical Jesus himself. “If the miracle tradition from Jesus’ public ministry were to be rejected in toto as unhistorical, so should every other Gospel tradition about him.” Contradicting scholars like the controversial J. D. Crossan, the book demonstrates that Jesus was a miracle worker, not a “magician,” because he did not try to coerce God by secret spells. Meier shows that Jesus’ miracles aimed “at bringing people to faith, repentance, and discipleship.” As we proceed step-by-step through Jesus’ practices of exorcism, healing, and other miracles, we grasp the relationship between his message and his miracles. “Thus, in both word and deed,” Meier claims, “Jesus made God’s future kingdom a present reality.” In this volume, Jesus of Nazareth comes to life as he seldom has on the printed page—as charismatic prophet, herald of God’s kingdom, miracle worker.