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Interviews with Leading Experts about the Evidence Concerning Christ's Divinity,
This review is from: CASE FOR THE REAL JESUS: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ (Paperback)
"So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, 'Truly this was the Son of God!'" -- Matthew 27:54 (NKJV)
I developed an interest in reading this book after hearing Lee Strobel preach at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a few weeks ago. He presented a lot of background information about Jesus that was new to me, and I decided I wanted to learn more.
I believe that you will gain the most benefit from The Case for the Real Jesus if you first read Lee Strobel's earlier book, The Case for Christ. The facts and arguments in The Case for the Real Jesus are often connected to material in The Case for Christ.
In the interest of helping you figure out if this is a book you want to read, I suggest you begin by taking a look at pages 266-267 where the key issues addressed in the book are summarized.
The book considers these challenges that have been frequently raised in the public press during recent years:
1. "Scholars are uncovering a radically different Jesus in ancient documents just as credible as the four Gospels."
2. "The Bible's portrait of Jesus cannot be trusted because the church tampered with the text."
3. "New explanations have refuted Jesus' resurrection."
4. "Christianity's beliefs about Jesus were copied from pagan religions."
5. "Jesus was an imposter who failed to fulfill the Messianic prophecies."
6. "People should be free to pick and choose what to believe about Jesus."
Each section basically follows the format of finding one of these six challenges, documenting who made the claim and what the claim was based on, locating an expert in that area, and asking the expert to comment on the claim.
You may find that format a little restrictive for getting all of your questions answered. I think you'll find that reading this book is a little like getting an appetizer-sized portion of the information. It would have been much more interesting if Mr. Strobel had arranged for those who made these claims to debate the "expert" who was interviewed and then reported on the give-and-take. The book is filled with references, however, so you'll have an easy time tracking down the original claim and what others have written on the subject. I believe there's enough here to lead you to the information you are looking for to make up your mind from what the sources say or suggest and your heart tells you.
If you are a graduate-level theology student, this material will be too simple for you. If you are just an average person who wants to understand more about what scholars are disagreeing about, you'll probably find that you will get enough information in many areas to satisfy your curiosity.
I feel that people should know why they believe what they believe. The historical record about Jesus' life through the ascension into heaven is richer than is typically the case for events that happened almost two thousand years ago, and I think most people who want to know more about Jesus will be glad they became more familiar with the sources and how they were developed and analyzed.
May God bless you, your family, and all you do in the name of Jesus!
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Initial post: 16 Aug 2011 00:41:40 BDT
Guy Mannering says:
"The historical record about Jesus' life... is richer than is typically the case for events that happened almost two thousand years ago." Oh no it isn't! I can give you at least a hundred names from the 100BC - AD100 for whom the historical record is better known and less open to dispute. Perhaps you could point me to the historical evidence for the ascension of Jesus into heaven ?
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