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The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus Paperback – 7 Aug 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (7 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310209307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310209300
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Author

Is there credible evidence that Jesus is the Son of God?
Not too many years ago, I was an atheist. My agnostic wife's conversion to Christianity prompted me to use my legal training (M.S.L., Yale Law School) and journalism experience (I was the legal editor of "The Chicago Tribune") to systematically investigate whether there's any credible evidence that Jesus is the unique Son of God. "The Case for Christ" retraces the two-year quest that rocked my world. But instead of me merely describing the evidence that convinced me Christianity is true, I interviewed thirteen leading scholars and experts, posing to them the tough questions I had when I was a skeptic. These authorities, with doctorates from Cambridge, Princeton, Brandeis, and other prestigious institutions, were forced to defend their positions with compelling evidence and persuasive logic. Among the topics I cover are: € Historical evidence: Are there really enough reliable documents supporting the life, teachings, and resurrection of Jesus? € Scientific evidence: Do archaeological findings support or contradict the historical accounts of Jesus? € Psychiatric evidence: Did Jesus ever claim to be God? If he did, was he crazy? And does he fulfill all of the attributes of God? € Fingerprint evidence: Do ancient prophecies -- written hundreds of years before Jesus was born -- really point to him alone as being the Messiah of Israel and the world? € Plus powerful evidence from four leading authorities on the ultimate authentication of Jesus' claim to being God: his resurrection from the dead. I wanted the book to be both reliable and readable. I have been extremely gratified by the reaction of renowned law professor Phillip Johnson of the University of California at Berkeley, who wrote: "Lee Strobel asks the questions a tough-minded skeptic would ask. His book is so good I read it out loud to my wife evenings after dinner. Every inquirer should have it." Hank Hanegraaff, the nationally syndicated "Bible Answer Man" and president of the Christian Research Institute, was especially gracious in his review: "This is not a dry-as-dust theological treatise. 'The Case for Christ' is a supreme example of investigative journalism that reads like a fast-paced novel. I couldn't put it down. I will go so far as to say that 'The Case for Christ' is the best presentation of the historical evidence for Jesus, in print at a popular level, that I have ever read." Others who have strongly endorsed the book are Bruce M. Metzger, professor emeritus of Princeton Theological Seminary; well-respected scholars J. P. Moreland, Thom Rainer, Peter Kreeft, and Gregory Boyd; Ravi Zacharias, one of the world's foremost defenders of Christianity; famed psychologist Gary Collins; and such highly regarded Christian leaders as Bill Hybels, D. James Kennedy, Bill Bright, and Luis Palau. I wrote this book for three audiences. First, it's for Christians who want to be prepared to defend their faith when it's challenged by skeptics like I once was. (I include a chapter responding to the liberal Jesus Seminar's conclusions that Jesus never said most of what the New Testament claims he said.) Second, it's for Christians who are wavering in their faith and want to anchor it firmly once more. Third -- and most of all -- it's for spiritual seekers who are truly interested in investigating for themselves whether it's rational to put their faith in Jesus of Nazareth. No single book can answer every question. However, I encourage anyone who is authentically curious about Jesus to read "The Case for Christ" with an open mind and sincere heart. Weigh the evidence for yourself. Reach your own verdict. I'll be cheering you on.

From the Back Cover

Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandies who are recognized authorities in their fields. Strobel challenges them with questions like How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence exist for Jesus outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event? Strobel's tough, point-blank questions make this remarkable book read like a captivating, fast-paced novel. But it's not fiction. It's a riveting quest for the truth about history's most compelling figure. What will your verdict be in The Case for Christ?

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First Sentence
When I first met shy and soft-spoken Leo Carter, he was a seven-year-old veteran of Chicago's grittiest neighborhood. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alan the Kaz on 29 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the kind of book that people tend to rate from one extreme or the other. That is, they'll either be convinced by its arguments and give it four or five stars, or they'll find it lacking and give it one or two. There aren't very many people who would give this a "neutral" three stars because, by its very nature, it's very difficult to have neutral feelings about it.

For those reading about 'The Case for Christ' for the first time, this is a very famous and long enduring book which attempts to explain, in as simple language as possible, a rational case for the existence of Jesus Christ as the son of God. I was given a copy to borrow at an Alpha Course (a free and friendly course for non-Christians to learn about Jesus and Christianity), and I've since learned that this book is very common among such gatherings, and held in high regard by Christian apologists in general. The book's author, Lee Strobel, a former journalist with a legal background, explains that he began this book as an atheist looking to better understand Christianity but, by the end of his research, came to the conclusion that the evidence undoubtedly points to the fact that Jesus was the son of God, and the Bible is the word of God. Strobel uses his journalistic skills and legal understanding to present a systematic and rational argument in favour of his new belief, not to mention one that is highly readable and entertaining at the same time. The book consists of various interviews, where Strobel (who allegedly begins as a sceptic and ends up convinced of the Bible's legitimacy) probes into the minds of some of the most respected and academically decorated Christians in America.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By T. P. Ang on 24 May 2006
Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend this book to anyone exploring Christian apologetics for the first time. It is a compellingly written and easily readable defence of Christian claims about Jesus Christ. Strobel tackles the subject from about every conceivable angle by investigating everything from the geography of the New Testament to the events surrounding Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. It is on this latter point that the book builds is case most strongly, providing credible arguments for a rational basis for believing in the resurrection.

The book's structure is both its strength and its weakness. The author assumes the role of detective as he jets around America meeting and interviewing experts on the various aspects of the case he investigates. The cross-examinations that take place are recounted to the reader and make for more lively reading than a traditional narative. The interviews are also cleverly interspersed with the little anecdotes that tie in with the unfolding argument. However, the question-and-answer format tends to leave gaps in the arguments and gives the overall case a disjointed feel. Also, arguments tend to get simplified because they are related in the form of a dialogue.

On the whole, the book is well-written and accessible, but slightly simplistic, and can serve as a good starting-point from which to explore the case for Christ further.
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102 of 115 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
As someone who has spent years studying ancient history, I can attest to the accuracy, fairness, readability, and thorough nature of this excellent new book. And while it's great that "The Case for Christ" has generated so much response at amazon.com, I'm concerned that a handful of people who disagree with the author's conclusions have sought to discourage others from obtaining the book through reviews that are at times misleading or which miss the point of the book entirely. Taking simplistic potshots when there is no ready mechanism for response by the author seems terribly unfair. Let me give just a few examples. One reviewer tries to discredit the author's citing of Josephus, a first century historian. First, the reviewer claims that Josephus wrote about Jesus 80 years after Jesus died, which is absurd because this would place the date after Josephus' own death! Further, he claims Josephus' work has been "universally acknowledged to have been altered or doctored by later Christians." Yet this is a point that the book's author, Lee Strobel, readily concedes! However, Strobel takes the approach of a true historian by seeking to determine what part of Josephus' work is authentic and what was likely a later Christian interpolation. Unfortunately, potential readers of the book might think from the review that Strobel's book is lacking, when it's the review that misses the mark. A reviewer points out that several of the experts interviewed in the book are from Christian universities, so of course they believe Jesus is who he claimed to be. However, these scholars don't hold this view because they are at Christian universities; they are at Christian universities because they have been personally convinced by the evidence that Jesus is who he claimed to be!Read more ›
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By MR O C LORTON on 16 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
Before reading this book I struggled with the idea of Christianity, especially when my girlfriend was a Christian. But this answered 95% of my questions that she couldn't answer. Because of this I have become a Christian, and so has my best mate to whom I have lent the book. This book is amazing!
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