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The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus [Paperback]

Gary R Habermas , Michael R Licona , Gary R Hebermas , Kregel Publications
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications,U.S.; Pap/Com edition (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825427886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825427886
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In July 2000, ABC network television news anchor Peter Jennings produced a program titled The Search for Jesus. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've had this book for a year or two now and the more I go back to it the more I realise what a truly excellent volume this is. The authors set out a Minimal facts approach to defending the resurrection, what this means is that they are appealing to 5 historical points that even the most liberal of scholars would agree with. This is used as the basis for their argument that the resurrection was a historical event.

Each chapter is well written and will be a super resource for either the christian looking for clarity on this subject or for the seeker and skeptic. The appendix is excellent and provides a summary of the evidence provided and draws on writings from historians and other church writings around the 1st/2nd centuries.

Well worth the money and you also get a free CD resource which is excellent aswell.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much recommended apologetics tool. 17 Aug 2008
I decided to read this book after reading The Case for the Real Jesus by Lee Strobel, which listed this book about the resurrection. It's an area that fascinates me so I decided to check it out and I have to say I think it's brilliant.

The authors put forward a 'minimal fact' approach which only uses facts that are agreed upon by the majority of scholars, to try and make the case for the resurrection of Jesus. It has been a real help in my Christian life, as it's simple, accessible and persuasive. I'm no scholar so I can't critically examine this, however the fact the authors try to minimise bias and use generally agreed facts gives me confidence and trust in this book.

I would recommend this to athiests/agnostics/people of other faiths who want to check out the other side, and to Christian's who want to look at the evidence for the resurrection. Much recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
95 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Equipping Believers to Evangelize the Resurrection 26 Aug 2004
By C. Price - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To be candid, I am not a fan of most popular apologetics -- especially on the resurrection. But when I saw that this book was 384 pages long, I thought it was perhaps an exception and would cover the issue in more detail than others. I was wrong. So why do I still rank this book so high? Because it does what it intends to do effectively.

This book effectively equips Christians to witness to their friends, neighbors, and families using the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Habermas and Licona begin with a discussion about the importance of the resurrection of Jesus to Christianity. Though this seems obvious, the discussion is helpful because it wisely recommends focusing on the resurrection without getting bogged down in, presumably, issues such as inerrancy and a complete harmonization of the resurrection narratives. This is a common failing of Christians trying to share their faith. The authors' emphasis on keeping the eye on the ball extends throughout the book.

After the opening chapter, the book turns to the core of the issue, the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. The strength of this section is that it distills down, accurately, a high level of scholarship on the issue. Habermas and Licona present five "minimal facts." That is, they focus on five historical facts that are accepted by most scholars:

1) Jesus' death by crucifixion;
2) Jesus' disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them;
3) Paul, a persecutor of the church, has suddenly changed to faith in Jesus;
4) James, skeptical of Jesus during his ministry, was suddenly changed to faith in Jesus; and,
5) The tomb of Jesus was empty.

No. 4 is perhaps more disputed than Habermas and Licona discuss (and by far the least important of the five), but the rest of the discussion accurately represents the state of historical scholarship. Although their discussion will not supplant the more probing discussions of N.T. Wright or William L. Craig, it will equip the reader to accurately present to their friends, neighbors, and family the persuasive historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. They fit their "minimal facts" together effectively to present a strong case for the resurrection of Jesus.

Most of the rest of the book deals with various objections to the resurrection. This includes the usual suspects, such as the hallucination theory or the forgotten grave site. But it also includes others that scholars tend to ignore but which actually pop up in real conversation, such as whether Jesus could have been an alien (don't laugh, I've heard that one) and how do we know that even if there was a resurrection that God had anything to do with it. Their response effectively focuses on the context of Jesus' ministry and claims about himself.

There are a few sections that appear out of place, such as the discussion of near death experiences and even the section about the existence of God. But the book closes with its strength, a helpful discussion of how to take the knowledge conveyed by the book and convince others about the resurrection of Jesus.

Christians wishing to share effectively the core of their faith with those they care about will find this book very helpful. And for that reason, I recommend it.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most useful books on the Christian faith 10 Feb 2006
By Christian Book Previews - Published on
Knowing why you believe what you believe is one of the hardest parts of being a Christian. Just as parents answer a child's endless supply of "why?" questions and usually run out of answers, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas ensures that we Christians don't. It begins with "why" it is important for us to know the information provided in this book. The answer is found in God's Holy Word, I Peter 3:15, "Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account of the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

This book takes several arguments disputing the resurrection of Christ and tears them to shreds. It demonstrates that the very sources used against the resurrection are biased and partial. The amount of information and biblical knowledge contained within is astounding. It includes a CD-ROM which is pure genius, educating the public about the resurrection.

Habermas dissects common questions that argue against Jesus' resurrection, making it an easy reference for the future. For example, say the person you are witnessing to says, "The disciples stole the body;" it is easy to find the information to refute that false belief. Every known argument for why the resurrection didn't happen is accounted for in this book, and proven wrong.

This book is an excellent learning tool for every Christian. I recommend it for pastors as a reference tool and a study guide, regardless of where they are in their walk with the Lord. All of life is a time to learn, and learning never stops. We can never know too much about God.

With the inclusion of a detailed outline of the arguments contained in this book, the notes taken to write the book ( listed by individual chapter),and the bibliography of other reference books used in this one, there is an limitless supply of Bible studies and/or sermons. What pastor could not use this book? This book is by far one of the most useful books on the Christian faith. -- Tammy Hornbeck, Christian Book
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great for beginners, good for the experienced 15 Aug 2004
By Jason Engwer - Published on
This is the best book I've seen for introducing people to the evidence for Jesus' resurrection and preparing them to answer objections. I've never seen a book address such a large variety of objections and alternate theories: the disciples were hallucinating, the disciples stole the body, Jesus survived the crucifixion, He should have had more of an influence on the ancient world if He did what the New Testament claims He did, miracles in other religions count against Christian miracle claims, Jesus was a space alien, the sightings of the risen Christ are comparable to Elvis sightings, etc. Some of these arguments aren't made by scholars, but this book is directed primarily to laymen, and laymen will come across such arguments on the Internet and in other places. I would think that at least the large majority of objections to the resurrection that most people will come across are addressed to some extent in this book.

The book is well-written and well-organized, with many charts and an interactive CD that tests the reader's knowledge of the material. Basic issues of the nature of historical evidence and evidence for the existence of God and the supernatural in general are addressed, so the reader will be knowledgeable of more than just the resurrection itself.

People who are already highly informed on these issues should still find the book helpful. It does contain some significant new material, such as the results of Gary Habermas' recent survey of modern scholarship on the resurrection and excerpts from the authors' personal correspondence with other scholars. Although the main body of the text is easy to follow and is aimed primarily at laymen, the notes go into more depth (more than 80 pages) and have a goldmine of information and sources.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the anger.... 27 Nov 2011
By R. Brown - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For those of you who are thinking of buying (or not) this book based on REVIEWS, my advice to you is: Understand that the low ratings (usually in the 1 to 2 range)are most often written by atheists. Angry atheists. I have always been amazed at the almost rabid reviews and comments they apply to anything that has to do with God or Jesus Christ. In an attempt to give their opinions a sense of legitimacy, they usually cloak it in pseudo-scholar language with references and opinions that are easily refuted. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is overwhelming for any serious historian and this publication proves that.

This particular book was written for the average person. It also contains some excellent information in it for those scholars who desire an additional resource. I like this book because it was written in an easy to understand style and format and not bogged down in "scholar speak". That's also what Jesus did - spoke and taught the common people in a way they could understand.

Ignore the angry reviews of those who don't want anyone to believe in Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Buy this book and make up your own mind. You won't be disappointed.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Excellent Case for the Resurrection of Jesus 22 Sep 2004
By Apologist4Him - Published on
I have used the "minimal facts" approach several times since I finished reading "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus." Three weeks ago I used it to witness to a Muslim, and she granted that Jesus could have risen from the dead, but she argued this would not mean Christianity was true. However, I pointed out that Jesus' resurrection would have served in confirmation of the claims He made, and she agreed with me.

I also used the "minimal facts" approach while witnessing to and debating three agnostics at once this past Saturday night. The approach was extremely effective against their objections, and the best they could come up with was that the disciples were subconsciously predisposed to believe Jesus rose from the dead, grave robbers stole Jesus' body, and that Paul was just sick of his job so he converted to the Christian faith. However, I pointed out that the disciples were not in the right frame of mind to believe Jesus had risen from the dead, because they had just seen their leader, and friend die a horrible death. I also explained how the grave robber theory could not account for the resurrection appearances to Paul, nor James. Regarding Paul's conversion I reminded them of Paul's own words stating that he was an excellent Pharisee, and he apparently loved his job before his conversion. The agnostics also tried to negate the four minimal facts by pointing out that many people sincerely believe they have been abducted by aliens, and that more people have claimed to have been abducted by aliens than those who claimed to have seen the risen Jesus. However, I pointed out that this objection failed to address the minimal facts presented.

Needless to say, I found "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus" to be a very powerful, and effective witnessing tool.
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