In his well-known book Christ and Culture H. Richard Niebuhr has this wonderful section early on where he talks about our picture of Jesus, and how our perspectives tend to shape it. Niebuhr writes:
[Jesus] can never be confused with a Socrates, a Plato or an Aristotle, a Gautama [Buddha], a Confucius, or a Mohammed, or even with Amos or Isaiah. Interpreted by a monk, he may take on monastic characteristics; delineated by a socialist, he may show the features of a radical reformer; portrayed by a Hoffman, he may appear as a mild gentleman. But there always remain the original portraits with which all later pictures may be compared and by which all caricatures may be corrected. And in these original portraits he is recognizably one and the same. (Niebuhr, 13)
My question is this: what is a Hoffman? Is it slang for an actor, a dandy, a gentleman… what? Neither the Oxford English Dictionary or the Urban dictionary have a clue–perhaps someone reading this will.