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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 1 March 2012
I was reading through Mark's Gospel and was told that it was an eye-witness account of Jesus' ministry. I wanted to be sure that what I was reading was the truth. FF Bruce provided the head knowledge, to what my heart already knew (I've never been too keen on blind faith)!
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on 14 August 2013
Excellent book by an author outstanding in his field. Both books were in excellent condition and amazingly inexpensive. Essential reading for anyone wanting to know how the New Testament documents stand up to historical scrutiny.
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on 1 July 2014
I found this book to be quite good. However there were quite a few printing errors but overall this did not detract from the content and message of the book.
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on 12 March 2014
An excellent, clear and thorough review of the subject. Would recommend to any student, or to anyone interested in the subject as it is also very readable.
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on 26 August 2010
As the book says; New Testament documents are scrutinized closer than many other secular ones of a similar period. It's not hard to see why when you consider the claims it makes for the central character.
This book makes it easy to see how it's possible to take considerable portions - if not most of the documents - back to the time they were written. For a non-academic I found it quite intriguing to take account of writers outside of the NT quoting parts of it. Even though the originals have been lost in some cases, trusted contemporary sources elsewhere have quoted them. Being able to put them into the correct time is everything if you are concerned that they were written near the time of the events rather than a few hundred years ago.
It is a useful book that helps you understand where and when the documents were written. You don't need to be a believer to appreciate this, it is a book that would be good reference for students of the period, history in general and how to look at the sources of old documents.
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on 24 October 2014
This book is obviously a cheap and nasty reprint of what was originally an important work.

1. It does not carry the publisher's name and address (these should be clearly displayed in a prominent position). To sell ANY book without this information is an offence in UK law.

2. There are very many typographical errors, some of which are so serious and so frequent as to render the text difficult or even impossible to follow. The proofs have obviously never been read by a human being conversant with the English language.

Amazon have disgraced both themselves and the book trade by selling such rubbish as this. They have also broken the law.
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on 17 October 2013
Unfortunately this small volume is virually unreadable due to the very poor copy editing. Page after page of incorrect, incorrectly spelt words used for example... the shirt gospel instead of the short gospel, 15 used instead of is etc. Allright the book only cost 38p but I expected to be able to read it.

As for content, useful but somewhat dated and biased towards the believer. The author's arguements may not convince the skeptic.
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on 22 September 2011
The book is an interesting read but the writer essentially confuses the fact that documents exist with the idea that because they exist they must be factually true. This allows the author to mix assertions of the existence of god/Jesus with such wonderfully religious logic such as - Christians know Jesus through studying the bible, therefore how could they come to know Jesus if the bible isn't true? And my favourite dose of religious logic in the book is the claim that because people throughout history have referred to the bible, therefore it must be true. This idea is communicated with the phrase that the bible is the most "attested" document in history. The author makes his case by noting that the documents contained in the new testament existed long ago and that people referred to them. This is true, but it doen't mean the author can assume that those people who "asserted" the bible fact-checked anything, nor can it be assumed that those who "attested" were in a position to offer useful insight into whether the events contained in the bible happened or not. The book also ignores that all accounts of people "attesting" the bible weren't present at any event that was written about. The word "asserted" is a better one to use in this context instead of "attested" - and in some cases the word "mentioned" is better suited.

The book goes on to mention that people also referred to the cities and towns in the bible and that these cities and towns actually existed. Some (not all) people who "attested" the bible believed in god (although perhaps not the idea of the trinity, as that came in around the 4th century). Because of all these things, the documents must be factually true and must describe events that actually happened. This is, of course, a leaping assumption that asserts "truth" onto the reader. The icing on the cake is when the word "historical" is placed in front of the word "Jesus" as if the sheer will of persuasion is able to make something factually true. Unfortunately it's a flimsy foundation for any truth claim.

In summary, this is an affirmation piece for those who subscribe to the religion of Christianity. If you believe, this is the book for you. However, if you're looking for genuine research on the texts included in the bible, a book like "The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel" by Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman does a much better job at cutting through the assertions to establish what biblical claims are supported by archeology to give us a picture of what is true, what isn't true, and what is unknown (and therefore up to the reader to give the benefit of the doubt or not).

In short: because a document exists, and the cities and towns contained in the document exist, and people in history acknowledge that the documents and places exist, it doesn't mean the documents are factually true in every claim. This logic doesn't stand up to basic scrutiny. For example, the logic fails with the ancient egyptian Book of the Dead. In ancient egypt people believed it was factually true, people have acknowledged the existence of the text throughout history, locations in the book existed, the documents can be dated, but this doesn't lead us to the conclusion that the book is factually true. You can apply this logic to "The Iliad" or to "Homer's Odyssey", or any other religious text and it doesn't help establish if what was written actually happened. And placing the word "historical" in front of other words doesn't change this either.
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on 1 June 2009
Easy to read, very informative, perfect condition; still reading this, but it is written in a way anyone can understand, no fancy words.
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on 7 January 2016
Very good !
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