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4.3 out of 5 stars70
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 19 April 2001
This book takes an interesting look at the last few days of the life of Jesus. It challenges the reader to look a fresh at Jesus's death and resurrection. Morison argues his case by reviewing the options and uses logic to determine his thinking. Although written at the turn of the 20th century (which shouldn't put you off) this remains one of the best apologetics books around today - a timeless classic. Excellent as a gift for those skeptical and enquiring friends.
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on 5 March 2014
I was recommended to read this book, and I can see why. I am so glad I read it and a must read for any "not quite convinced" persons.
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on 18 May 2014
This is a wonderful book. If thee are any sceptics re' the resurrection of Jesus Christ out there, then this is the book you should read.
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on 11 March 2009
I think enough has been said of the merits of this book, so instead of repeating other reviewers I'll just attempt a brief rebuttal of the negative reviews.

They seem to suggest that this books weakness is circular reasoning. This, I submit, is not truly a weakness, though it may be seen as an obstacle. I say this because, to my mind, sometimes circular reasoning cannot be got around (no pun intended). How can you prove to me that your legs exist? By showing me of course! But that, I'm afraid to say, is apparently not a valid argument according to the negative reviewers. It too is circular, because you can only show me your legs if they exist! You'll find that all other approaches to this problem are also circular. Nevertheless, nobody will fault you for believing someone else has legs (or that you have,for that matter). This may seem out of the way, but I think its the same with the new testament. The way to validate its claims is to assess its own reliability. Once this is established there is nothing standing in the way of it authenticating itself, circular though this is.

This is common practice. A historian analysing an ancient text will, among other things, assess it on its own merits in an attempt to authenticate it. I see no reason why this cannot be attempted here. In fact I think the exercise has proven very fruitful.
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on 5 June 2014
The book was interesting but quite hard going at the beggining. Once you get into the style it is a fascinating read.
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on 27 April 2013
Really great to get a classic like this after so many years. Contents are ageless and excitingly relevant. Bonus to get it so reasonably priced and so quickly. i chose it for research and lecturing purposes.
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on 11 April 2014
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on 21 June 2013
I felt this book was a bit erratic, jumping all over the place. There was so much suggestion at the possibilities of who moved the stone that I got lost in the journey. I bought this book to read before passing it on to a new Christian who had many questions. I didn't pass it on after reading it.
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on 5 February 2015
Arrived a little worse for wear and took some time to reach me from the states but otherwise good value.
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on 9 June 2013
This book was recommended to me by a Christian friend and, as a non-believer, I would thoroughly recommend it to others: believers and non-believers alike. The book is an earnest attempt to understand, in secular terms, the days up to and following Jesus' death. The thrust of the book is that everything at that time, except the resurrection of Jesus, is explainable in secular terms, therefore the resurrection must be true. For me, however, there are a number of flaws in the argument:

1. The author often has recourse to the 'truth is stranger than fiction' argument; or, "if the Gospel writers were going to make this up, they wouldn't have made this up". My issue with this is that the argument is made through the lens of the 20th century, not the 1st century.

2. The author makes a lot of the abrupt change in the disciples following the resurrection as evidence of the cathartic event they had experienced. In fact, he makes much of the 7 week gap between the crucifixion and the disciples first speech at the Feast. Anyone with children who have left home or even moved from junior to secondary school will know that seven weeks is plenty of time for a "sudden" change to occur.

3. The author often looks at the actions of the players (disciples, priests, etc.) in the immediate days following the crucifixion in terms of what Christianity became many years later. I can well imagine the immediate reaction of the priests being one that it was all nonsense (Jesus has risen but won't present himself) and would blow over. Think David Icke or Sabbatai Zevi for example.

4. Much is made of the women visiting the tomb and their inability to move the stone. It is never explained why when they knew they wouldn't be able to move the stone, they went at a time when they could not have expected anyone to be there to help them.

5. This is my biggest criticism, the author does not fully explore the argument that Jesus was a mortal human. Although the book predates C.S. Lewis' Signature broadcasts, the author does appear to think that we must admit the divinity of Jesus because to think otherwise means Jesus was either a conman or a madman. It is not possible to think of Jesus as just an exceptional social reformer. I have never accepted the Lewis argument because there are lots of other exceptional social reformers whose mortality is never questioned (Moses, the Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed). This is not the place to express my own views, but there are facets of Jesus' mortality that could and should have been addressed in the book. Much is made of the delay in the Garden of Gethsemane - was Judas 'negotiating' on Jesus' behalf? Was the timetable set by Jesus - he was convicted by his own words after all? Was it imperative that Jesus died on the Friday because the needed to know the tomb would to be undisturbed for a day. Jesus' statement on the cross "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" is never examined. I contend Jesus says that not because he has not been saved, but because he is not dead yet.

Nevertheless, whilst not accepting the author's deductions -the book does raise some very interesting questions. The location of Jesus' body was not known to anyone - I agree with the author that this is a secret that could not be kept. Any discussion around the mortality of Jesus, must accept that Jesus' plan had him dying on the cross. Why did a Church whose promise of bodily resurrection was so palpably false (except for one, supposed, exalted individual) survive to become the dominant religion? The answer for me has always being that Christianity was as much a political movement as a religious one.
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