Customer Review

98 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book that stands up to scrutiny, 28 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (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! These experts are highly respected scholars with excellent academic credentials. Why aren't opposing scholars interviewed? Because the scholars in the book are confronted with the claims of these opposing scholars and are forced to defend their positions with facts. Thus, the claims of opposing scholars are given due consideration. In addition, the author devotes an entire chapter to debunking the highly questionable -- and sometimes laughable -- scholarship of the left-wing Jesus Seminar. Concerning the resurrection, a reviewer claims: "If one disciple claimed to see Jesus, wouldn't others also do so in order to not feel less special or blessed?" Why would someone falsely claim to have seen the resurrected Jesus when it meant a life of hardship, rejection, poverty, and eventual torture and death? Can anyone find a single example in history of a person who knowingly and willingly allowed themselves to be tortured to death for a lie? I could go on and on. There are logical and rational responses to every single point brought up by the reviewers. In fact, a fair reading of this book shows that it already provides answers to much of what is raised! At about 300 pages, this book is clearly intended to be an overview of the evidence concerning Jesus. To fault the author for not going deeper on one point or another does not mean there aren't adequate answers. It simply means one book can only give so much information. What is in this book, as far as I can determine, is accurate, balanced, and written in a very creative and highly readable form. I strongly recommend it to anyone with an open mind.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Apr 2008 15:41:12 BDT
C. H. Wood says:
Reading your review prior to purchasing the book I was taken by the challenge to point out examples of people being tortured to death for lies. Surely every time one religious sect tortures a member of a different sect there is a likliehood this is happening. In the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth people were tortured and burnt to death for their beliefs in lies (one sect believing the opposite of another therefore at least one belief must be of a lie). Events such as these have been repeated throughout history in Ireland, Palestine, Beirut, Yugoslavia, India, Pakistan and many other places

Posted on 30 May 2008 22:21:19 BDT
Mr. S. Heath says:
C. H. Wood,

I think your fudging the issue here. The reviewer is asking for someone to provide an example of religious sects who have made up lies and gone to death for them. Let's look at some of your examples:

"In the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth people were tortured and burnt to death for their beliefs in lies"

People were tortured and burnt to death for their beliefs, not for making up lies like the disciples are accused of.

"Ireland"

Setting aside the considerations of religion being used as a means to a political end, no one has died for concocting a religious belief. If people have died for lies, they've died for believing them rather than propogating them.

"Palestine, Beirut, Yugoslavia, India, Pakistan"

Again, followers of accused lies rather than inventors of them.

Just an observation on your review.

Posted on 26 Apr 2010 15:45:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Apr 2010 15:52:52 BDT
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Posted on 20 Sep 2011 22:27:38 BDT
A. says:
For a reply to Lee Strobel's, 'The case for Christ' try top Bible scholar Robert M. Price's, ' The case against the case for Christ' or ' The reason driven life ' or ' The Davinci Fraud '.
For humanity's shared moral core & belief in the Golden Rule try wisdomcommons or Valerie Tarico
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