LIFE Books managing editor, Robert Sullivan, has twice been awarded the Wilbur Award for best religion feature in a national magazine and has authored LIFE's New York Times best-selling biography of Pope John Paul II. He brings to this book his expertise on the subject of Christianity a long with text informed by the world's great scholars, theologians and religious figures.
Jesus emerged from nowhere to become, in his short life-perhaps as few as 32 years-a thinker, teacher and preacher whose words and deeds would change the world and become the foundation for the world's largest religion. But the biography as outlined in the New Testament and apocryphal writings only tells us so much. LIFE's editors go, in words and pictures, in search of Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter's son who would one day influence all. The great photographer Denis Waugh once made a thorough, colorful and moving pictorial pilgrimage to the Holy Land exclusively for LIFE, and those images will anchor our quest. We will travel, as well, to the Vatican, to the missions of Africa, to the Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco-to all that has risen in Jesus, name. In the book's final section, we will look at Christianity today: Its still vastly influential place in our tumultuous world.