Besides Paul, there are the Gospels, representing, at their latest, collections including very early traditions about Jesus. A good deal is thus known about the character of Jesus. Of course the Gospels present us not with photographs but with portraits, and portraits conceived with varying degrees of freedom; they are all interpretations, not slavish chronicles. Each is different; each is more or less impressionistic. And there are those who deny that any clear-cut, consistent impression of a single sitter emerges through the portraits. But-although I would be among the first to agree that he is much too big to be characterized simply, and that any hope of portraying him may have to be through a succession of paradoxical, partly conflicting impressionsyet it seems to me that certain features do constantly recur. We know Jesus as a man with inflexible singlemindedness and a determination as resilient and hard as steel, and yet with a heart of extreme tenderness and feminine sensitivity; an artist of intense poetic directness, capable of grasping and presenting shattering truths pictorially with a few deft strokes of his brush; and, above all, one who took God with absolute seriousness, so that, wherever Jesus was, there was God's sovereignty, releasing men and women from their fantasies and neuroses and letting them stand free and upright as children of God. Where God is obeyed as intensively as Jesus obeyed him, where God is treated as axiomatic, there things happen which do not happen normally (170-171).